FOLIO SOCIETY LIMITED EDITIONS
Strictly limited, bound to order and numbered by hand, Folio Society limited editions are outstanding works of literary or historical significance reproduced as works of art in their own right. They can almost invariably be found for sale on the open market at considerably more than their published price, reflecting their exceptional production and editorial standards.
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From illuminated manuscripts to masterpieces of the private press, these are amongst the finest books ever made. Here are two of our most recent facsimiles.
Poems of Thomas Gray
with Watercolour Illustrations by William Blake
Our facsimile reproduces the original watercolours, which were acquired by Paul Mellon in 1966 and are now in the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art. A number of scholars have written about this work, but Irene Tayler’s 1971 book, Blake’s Illustrations to the Poems of Gray, remains the most comprehensive and compelling reading. Presented here as a separate commentary volume, Tayler’s account tells how the illustrations were produced and relates Blake’s interpretation of the poems to his own ideas.
‘One of the richest and most fascinating of Blake’s series of illustrations’
The Faerie Queene
Walter Crane, an illustrator and associate of William Morris, was inspired by Edmund Spenser's epic Elizabethan poem. Spenser, after all, was a quintessentially English writer, dedicated to the noble aims of justice, honour and chivalry to which Crane himself, a socialist and romantic, was also committed. He illustrated the poem so lavishly that this sumptuous edition became a legend of book production in its own right. Our 3-volume facsimile is limited to just 1,000 numbered copies.
‘Great Spenser’s noble rhyme have I essayed
To picture, striving still, as faithful squyre,
Each faerie knight to serve’
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GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE
Beautiful presentations of the great classics of world literature and non-fiction. Here are two of our most recent bestselling editions.
The Canterbury Tales
A landmark of English poetry, The Canterbury Tales has appeared in many illustrated editions over the centuries. The Golden Cockerel Press edition of 1929-1931, illustrated by Eric Gill, is among the most remarkable.
‘Gill became the greatest artist-craftsman of the twentieth century ...
No other wood-engraver of the period comes near’
DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Richard Bowdler Sharpe
At the time when Sharpe’s Birds of Paradise was produced, lithographic plate reproduction had reached its peak of subtlety and precision. The 79 magnificent colour plates in our edition show these fabulous birds in radiant colour and exquisite detail.
‘The Folio Society has produced a truly remarkable edition of one of the greatest of all bird books. Birds of paradise are among the most spectacular and colourful creatures on earth, and this book displays them in all their extraordinary beauty and variety’
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The ultimate reading edition of Shakespeare's greatest plays: presented in a buckram-bound solander box with a commentary volume that includes the text of the play with full explanatory notes. Individually numbered on a special limitation page.
The craftsmen and women who work on these volumes are rightly proud of their involvement in the project. From the hand-sewing of the pages to the blocking of each label in 24-carat gold, few books have had such care lavished on them. You can be confident that these exceptional editions will give pleasure for generations to come.
Unmatched in comedy and tragedy, poetry and prose, Shakespeare’s plays are the crowning jewel of the English language. The creation of beautiful reading editions worthy of their stature is a dream that all lovers of his works will understand – a dream realised in The Folio Society’s Letterpress Shakespeare series.
Here, Shakespeare’s words are given the space and setting they deserve. The meticulously designed pages and the clear and elegant type entice the eye to read, whilst the leather quarterbindings, gilded top edges and hand-marbled paper sides make these volumes a pleasure to look at and a delight to own.
To view our Letterpress Shakespeare click here