Douglas, Edinburgh, 1883, Vol. 1 (second edition)
Binding: 10 x 13 x 3.5 cm.
This book has a self-consciously Arts & Crafts feel about it, with its binding of quartered cloth over parchment, rounded spine, red page edges and very nice proportions. Unfortunately the type doesn’t live up to the standard of the rest of the book’s design, and is very average.
This book is by William Dean Howells (1837-1920), American author, critic, and editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He was a champion of realism in American fiction and published work by his friends Mark Twain and Henry James. In 1861 he was awarded the post of U.S. Consul to Venice for his service to the Lincoln campaign, and this book is based on his nearly fours there.
This copy is inscribed as a gift from W.W. Asquith, Clifton College, March 1885. His younger brother H. H. Asquith was the Liberal prime minister of the UK from 1908 to 1916, overseeing the third Home Rule Bill, the beginning of WWI and the Easter rising. [pic: WH2 100_1961]