Item #DSAY002 The Æneids of Virgil. Done into English Verse by William Morris. Dorothy L. Sayers.

The Æneids of Virgil. Done into English Verse by William Morris

Price: $650.00

Hard Cover. London: Ellis and Whit, 1876. First Edition. Near Fine.

First edition. From the library of Dorothy L. Sayers, signed by Sayers on the front free endpaper, with her marginalia to pages. Bound in 20th century brick-red cloth, with spine lettered and ruled in gilt. Near fine, with light toning to spine, a touch of dimming to gilt, light rubbing to spine ends and corners, and some very light soiling and spotting to pages. Overall, an attractive, clean copy, with a fascinating association. The Æneids of Virgil is English designer William Morris' translation of Virgil's epic Latin poem The Aeneid. A textile designer and leading figure of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Morris created original calligraphy and page ornamentations for his printing press, the Kelmscott Press. Morris' Kelmscott Press is still cited as a major source of inspiration for modern private presses. Dorothy L. Sayers (1893 - 1957) was one of the four "Queens of Crime," alongside Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, during the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction," and is best known for her acclaimed mysteries featuring the British gentleman crime-solver, Lord Peter Wimsey. Sayers was one of the first women to attend Somerville College, Oxford, and her background in modern languages separated her from many of her less literary contemporaries in the detective writing field. From 1949 to 1957, she was president of the Detection Club, a prestigious club for mystery writers that boasted members like Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton, and Hugh Walpole. Perhaps Sayers' greatest achievement - and the work that she herself was most proud of - was her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (Inferno, 1949; Purgatory, 1955; Paradise, 1962), for which she ambitiously maintained Dante's terza rima rhyme scheme. Sayers passed away before completing the third and final part, Paradise, but the last third of the volume was finished by Barbara Reynolds. The success of Sayers' Hell helped establish Penguin's burgeoning series of translated classics, and her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy as a whole is considered to be one of the best. Notably, Virgil and The Aeneid figure strongly in the Divine Comedy, most apparently in the way that Virgil guides Dante through Hell in Inferno. In this copy of The Æneids of Virgil, Sayers makes references to Purgatory and Inferno in her marginalia, noting passages from those works next to a handful of paragraphs throughout the book (pp. 73, 77, and 105, and 150). Item #DSAY002