ASHENDENE PRESS. LUCRETIUS. ~ T. Lucreti Cari Rerum Natura Libri Sex.
One of only 85 copies on Batchelor 'knight in armour' paper, 7 copies were printed on vellum. Hand-drawn initials in red, blue and gilt at he beginning of each of the six books by Graily Hewitt. Printed in red and black in Subiaco type. Large 4to., original parchment backed holland boards. An extremely good, crisp copy with only a few tiny marks to the boards and slight bumping to the bottom of the spine.
With two tipped in als from the printer on his headed notepaper - one which must have been sent with a prospectus to Meynell dated 29th July 1914 “Sent by request of B.H. Newdigate [the noted British printer and typographer] The only books in print are those against which the price is marked in red”. The second is written the following day to Meynell, sending this copy of the Lucretius: “The Lucretius is in my opinion so much the best of the two books as a specimen of my Press that I am sending you that...” He is clearly turning down a commission as he writes “ I never undertake any work at my Press from outside, or I would have been glad to print ‘Love in Dian’s Lap’. In any case I have at present in hand a book which will take me 2 years to finish”.
A wonderful link between the Ashendene Press and how it inspired the printing work made later by Meynell at his Nonesuch Press. At this time he was a publisher and the business manager at the Daily Herald. In 1916 he started the Pelican Press.
One can assume that the big project Hornby refers to is his Decameron which, due to the war, eventually appeared 6 years later.
Hornby wrote in his Bibliography: "This book calls for little comment. It depends for any beauty it may possess on the proportion of its page". In fact it is a truly beautiful piece of printing with the type, design, initials and shoulder notes all sitting perfectly together.
Apparently the German presses were particularly taken by the Lucretius which Franklin, quite rightly, calls a "masterpiece".
Lucretius's De Rerum Natura, or On the nature of things, is the Roman poet's only known work and it lays out clearly his Epicurean beliefs. The epic poem runs to six books which transmit the ideas of Epicurean physics and psychology.
Bookseller’s label of Philip Duschesnes of New York.