Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Poetical Works & Letters of Robert Burns

In honor of Robert Burns birthday today (1759-1796), I have one of my own favorite title pages to share from a 1787 edition of The Poetical Works and Letters of Robert Burns. I recently found this book on a flea market table for $10. It has a very nice stamped leather binding with some wear, gilded edges and it is all in tact. Evidently, this is the "family edition" of this book. Just beyond the title page it has the comment "(In this Edition the more Objectionable Passages and Pieces are excluded)". The decorative title with beautiful line art and blackletter text is an inspired work of lettering and illustration. I have seen other titles of this very same nature, but so it goes...I can't seem to put my fingers upon them now. (I have digital copies of them floating around here somewhere, so will revisit their comparisons again later once I find them). This title page and other illustrated pages throughout the book are steel engravings. Below is the same edition of this book I found on The Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Company site recently. It has a plaid front cover and a nice fore-edge painting of Ripley Castle.   

This beautiful edition of the same Burns book is currently on display through February 5th for a Robert Burns exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City. It was lavishly rebound for Charles J. Sawyer (1876?-1931), in the 20th century, probably by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, in London. The binder even included a miniature portrait of the author on the back cover. Visit the Morgan Library's online exhibit and you can listen to some audio versions of Burns works over a hearty meal of haggis tonight—or not. 

 This is how the poet's birthday was celebrated in Glasgow a few years back.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.