Gilchrist, Alexander ~ Life of William Blake. With Selections from his Poems and Other Writings. A New and Enlarged Edition illustrated from Blake’s own Works. With additional Letters and a Memoir of the Author.
Macmillan, London : 1880
2 Vols. : The second UK printings published by Macmillan, London in 1880 (The first Printing having been in 1863). 2 vols. with a portrait frontispiece on India paper in each volume and numerous illustrations. Original blue cloth with elaborate gilt-stamped designs. The Second and more sought after edition and a highpoint of Victorian publishers' bindings. The binder's ticket 'Bound by Burn & Co' to the rear. Gilchrist was Blake's first full-scale biographer. The work was unfinished when he died; his wife Anne helped to complete the Life, with help from Dante Gabriel Rossetti who wrote the final chapter from Gilchrist's notes, and his brother William Michael Rossetti -- also A.C. Swinburne whose own book on Blake was the result of his researches when reviewing Gilchrist's book. Also of interest are the prints (found in all copies) - three from electrotypes of Blake's Virgil woodcuts, and 17 from electrotypes of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience.( Bentley, Blake Books, 1680B). Both BOOKS are in Very Good++ condition. Volume I has moderate pushing at the spine ends with little splitting. Some cracking at the hinges with a little web exposure but the binding remains tight. Volume 2 has moderate pushing at the spine ends. Some very early splitting at the hinges but the binding remains tight. Both volumes have toning to the pages with some usually encountered light spotting and offsetting in places, more-so to those with illustrations (different paper content). The gilt designs to both copies remain very bright. Free from inscriptions. No bookplates Copiously illustrated including Blake's own works. Frontispiece of Blake with tissue guards to both volumes. Both books are protected in a removable Mylar archival covers. A handsome collectible set.