Hard Cover. Leipzig: Bernard Tauchnitz, 1882. Very Good.
Early edition. With a memoir of the author by Francis Hueffer. Finely bound by Giulio Giannini in contemporary three-quarter black morocco and light blue and purple marbled paper, five raised bands to spine, boards and compartments decorated in gilt and stamped with simplified Florentine lily devices, top edge gilt, matching blue and purple marble endpapers. A very good or better copy with a slight lean to spine and a touch of rubbing to extremities, spine very lightly sunned, small bookbinder's sticker to verso of front free endpaper. Overall, a handsome copy. Published the same year as Rossetti's death, this volume contains the English poet's ballads and sonnets, including his multi-part sonnet sequence, "The House of Life". A talented artist and poet, Dante Rossetti was a founding member of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an organization which endeavored to return elements of Classical art to modern works - a movement which heavily influenced the works of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Indeed, Rossetti's illustrations for his sister Christina's "Goblin Market" are demonstrative of his interest in book arts. Although perhaps better known for his artwork, Dante Rossetti, valued his poetry most highly. Notably, Rossetti and his siblings were the nephews and niece of John Polidori, who was best known as Lord Byron's physician and the author of the 1819 novel The Vampyre, which is considered the first modern vampire story in the English language. Giulio Giannini was a bookbinder active in Florence around the turn of the 20th century, whose firm is still active today. Along with his contemporaries, including the bookbinder Alfonso Dori, Giannini's work was aimed primarily at a tourist market. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Florence was a popular destination for English aristocrats who visited the city and patronized its businesses. Local bookbinders, taking advantage of the high tourist volume and their interest in souvenirs, began using a decorative binding style, often marked with the unmistakeable Florentine lily - the city's coat of arms. Indeed, these Florentine souvenir bindings are often found on English titles, more accessible and appealing to tourists than books in Italian.