Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
Arion Press edition of Whitman's masterpiece, issued to celebrate the Press' 100th title. Limited to 275 numbered copies, of which this is number 136. A superb production, the text is based on the 1855 first edition and produced in the same way–on a movable-type printing press– to "present the version of Whitman's poetry that so astonished and impressed Ralph Waldo Emerson and many other discerning readers then and since with its highly original approach. No one had ever read such revolutionary poetry before, and this book established Whitman as a major poet. In tribute to the Grabhorn edition, we used a similar format, production methods, and materials, but with a new design" (Bibliography of the Arion Press). With an introduction by Helen Vendler, the full text of Emerson's July 21, 1855 letter to Whitman, and a portrait of Whitman on page 24 in brown ink reproducing the frontispiece of the 1855 edition.
San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2014. Folio, wooden boards over green morocco spine, gilt-stamped lettering and leaf design to spine, housed in the original green cloth splicase; pp. (iv), 155, . From the colophon: "The book was designed and produced under the direction of Andrew Hoyem. The types are Goudy Californian (designed for the University of California Press in 1938) for the text, and Trajan capitals, also by Frederic Goudy, for initial letters and titling. The poetry was set by hand from type freshly cast by Mackenzie & Harris; the introduction, preface and subsidiary material were composed and cast in Monotype, also by M & H Type. The paper is handmade Langley, from the Barcham Green Mill in England, a special order in 1985, with watermarks of the Press and the Mill. The printing was done on a Thomson Laureate letterpress with paper dampened."
Minor scratch to front board, a bit of rubbing to board extremities from the slipcase, else fine in a fine slipcase. A beautiful copy.