Edinburgh: Privately Printed / T. & A. Constable, 1890. FIrst edition. Octavo (8 3/4 inches tall), original maroon marbled paper boards with gilt illustrated title, gilt spine, gilt maroon floral endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. Discrete reinforcement to front hinge, toning to spine and upper boards, gilt still bright, mild bumprng to corners. A near-fine copy. Item #1402
"NO MAN SO LEARNED WAS EVER LESS OF THE MERE BOOKWORM OR PEDANT THAN HE"
Fine illustrated study of Dante and his masterpiece—in the original Scottish Arts-and-Crafts binding designed by Phoebe Anna Traquair. An excellent copy with a binding usually found in rough condition.
Exquisitely illustrated by Phoebe Anna Traquair with a frontispiece ("I even I am Beatrice"), a title page portrait, and 19 additional engravings. The text, by the Rev. Sutherland Black, consists of three main sections: I. A Chronology of the Life of Dante, on "His earthly journey (1265-1321)," II. A Short Bibliography of the Divine Comedy for Beginners, III. Dante's Library: an alphabetical Catalogue of Authors whom he is known to have used, or who may be presumed to have been more or less familiar to him (listed alphabetically, from Abelard to William of Ockham).
The text is supplemented with An Index to the Dante Chronology and the other Notes. With a brief Preface by Dr. Whyte (dated, "St. George's Free Church / Edinburgh, November, 1890") commending the "original and sympathetic genius of Mrs. Traquair," the "scholarship of the Rev. John Sutherland Black," and "the fine taste and professional skill of Mr. Walter Blackie of the eminent house to which this book was entrusted." Printed by Edinburgh University Press / T & A Constable ("Printers to Her Majesty"). Rare in this condition. Elizabeth Cumming, Phoebe Anna Traquair 1852-1936.