GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS. GILL, Eric. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. ~ Troilus and Criseyde.
Edited by Arundel del Re. Wood-engraved pictorial title-page, five full-page plates, sixty decorative borders and four tail pieces by Eric Gill. Printed in blue, red and black in Caslon Old Face type on Kelmscott hand-made paper. No. 177 of 225 copies. Small folio, original quarter niger over patterned paper boards gilt, with panelled spine with raised bands, lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, fore and lower edges uncut. A remarkably good, fresh and crisp copy, few small marks to spine, corners slightly bumped, very mild offset from the turn-ins.
The scarcest and the first of the three Great Books produced by Gill and Gibbings at the Golden Cockerel Press, having a relatively small limitation. The engravings are full of life and movement and paved the way for Gill’s Canterbury Tales which was soon after printed at the Press.
Chaucer’s epic poem is here printed in Middle English and tells the story of the ill-fated lovers against the backdrop of the Trojan War, Troilus being the youngest son of Priam, King of Troy, and Criseyde being the daughter of the Trojan Priest Calchas who joined the Greeks having foreseen the defeat of Troy. Gill clearly enjoys the theme and the flowing Greek and Trojan robes and tunics - his image of Chaucer at the end is particularly charming.