London: Ballantyne Press, 1897. Hardcover. 75p., Dramatis Personae, script in two acts, woodcut decorations by Ricketts, offsetting and toning to endpapers, untrimmed edges, first separate edition (revised), limited to 210 copies. Really splendid presswork on superb paper, lavishly rubricated and plainly a labor of love (and expertise, executed in the age of Doves Press and others). This lovely textblock is cased into two kinds of cloth, a lovely job once upon a time but now decrepit, the fabrics were too lightweight for eager handling: expect chipped-away cloth at both head and tail, and some handling grime. Hinges and the rest of it remain quite sound. The printed paper spine label is intact but very toned; "finepress" items seldom get such heavy handling, but we can blame the contents.
Scenes are well-written competently Shakesperian. Katherine Harris Bradley (1846-1914) and her niece and ward Edith Emma Cooper (1862-1913) assumed the pen name Michael Field after writing under another set of names, Arran and Isla Leigh. They lived openly as lovers. Bradley was associated with John Ruskin's utopian project, Guild of St. George during her years at Cambridge. The couple died of cancer within eight months of each other. This is the first separate publication of their play about the mistress of King Henry II which was their first publication using this pen name in 1884 in tandem with "Callirhöe"
Out of stock