[Flansham, Bognor Regis: The Pear Tree Press, 1937]. Number 17 of a purported 100 copies. OCLC notes seven copies only worldwide: Columbia, Stanford, Boston Atheneum, Trinithy College Dublin, Cambridge, the National Library of Scotland, and the British Library. 8 bifoliate leaves, printed on recotos only, comprising the half-title, frontispiece, title, three pages of the poem, the colophon (which is signed by James Guthrie), and the tailpiece. The text and illustrations are printed in purple and gold. A hint of foxing, but a lovely copy of a scarce work. With three proof sheets: the title, page 2 of the poem, and the colophon, printed in green and gold, the first two signed by Guthrie at the foot. Publisher's quarter oatmeal cloth over cream boards, illustrated paper label on front cover. Light blue paper ust jacket, featuring a variant version of the frontispiece illustration. Item #17255
The Pear Tree Press was founded in 1899. Its proprietor, James Guthrie, named it after his residence at the time, Par Tree Cottage in Brentwood, Essex. He moved from Essec to Kent and Sussex before finally settling in Flansham. A small scale handpress, Guthrie printed in small batches, which he varied "from copy to copy as the order of [his] palette (or slab) subbests." Interestingly, the proof of the colophon is dated September 1934 and that of the finished book exactly three years later, suggesting that it had a long gestation period, during which he experimented with the use of colors.
William Collins (1824-1889) was second in influence to Thomas Gray amongst English poets of the middle decades of the twentieth century. Like Gray, he represents a progression away from the Augustan poetry of Alexander Pope's generation towards the poetry of the Romantic era.