Essex House Press - The Essex House Song Book.

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The Essex House Song Book, being the collection of songs  formed for the singers of the Guild of Handicraft by C.R. and Janet E.Ashbee, and edited by her. Royal 8vo, pp.40 + 24 + 44 + 32 +52 + 28 + 20 +24 + 76 + 60 + xxiv appendix, Essex House Press, Chipping Campden, 1903-1905.

10 parts bound together in contemporary reversed calf (by the Guild of Handicraft?), complete set; Number 79 of 200 (205) sets printed in red and black in 'Endeavour' type on Batchelor handmade paper. Woodcut initials by C.R. Ashbee. Musical notation drawn by Paul Woodroffe. Head of spine and spine label a bit rubbed, lacking three of four silk ties, otherwise very good to fine set, unfoxed.

A collection of some two hundred representative songs of England, together with their music, from the Middle Ages to the year of publication. Several songs were specially written for the publication, including examples by Laurence Housman and John Masefield. Of Essex House books this was Ashbee's favourite. Always searching to express the Idea of the Guild of Handicraft, he wrote: 'To me, perhaps, its completed expression in the life of the Guild is to be found in the Song Book, printed and published by the Essex House Press in 1905, and entirely ignored by the public.'

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