Earthly Paradise (6th Ed); William Morris; Roberts Bros (1871-Vol 1+3, 1870- Vol 2);Title/Endpage device woodcuts by Wm. Morris; Four parts bound in 3-Vol Set; VG (all vols); 8vo; Not Ex-Library, Not Facsimile, Not Print on Demand; All Vols: Hardback-Dark green filled cl. w/stamped gilt lettering + design to spine, minimal edgewear/bumping, single chip to top spine(vol 3). 1,302 pp- Top edge gilt, some pages uncut. Vol.1-Previous owner’s bookplate on front end paper, previous seller’s pencil mark/closed tear to right front end paper.
William Morris, English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and revolutionary socialist was a close friend to the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, as well as associated with the British Aesthetic movement. Morris was a major contributor to the revival of traditional textile, book arts and methods of production in Britain. The long lasting influence of the Kelmscott Press, including his own literary and artistic contributions, on the book publishing and the modern fantasy genre cannot be under estimated.
Earthly Paradise, a collection of retellings of various myths + legends from Greece + Scandinavia, established his reputation as one of the foremost poets of his day. The resulting fame + popularity led to Morris being offered the position of British Poet Laureate after the death of Tennyson in 1892, which he declined.
Utilizing the frame story device similar to Canterbury Tales, Earthly Paradise centers on a group of medieval wanderers searching for a land of everlasting life. After much disillusion, they discover a surviving colony of Greeks with whom they exchange stories. The poem is divided into twelve sections, each section representing one month of the year. Each month consists of two tales told in verse, drawn largely from classical mythology + Icelandic sagas.