1854 · London
First edition: Devotional poetry for => critical moments in a woman's life specifically, including marriage, pregnancy, illness, the death of a child, the absence (or betrayal!) of a husband, etc., all presented in ornate fashion. "The style of ornamentation adopted in this little volume is that of 'A Book of Christian Prayers,' printed by John Day, 1569, usually called 'Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book,'" according to the foreword; some of the decorative page borders were inspired by woodcuts from that work, while others were designed by the printer's wife and daughter, Elizabeth Eleanor Whittingham and Charlotte Whittingham. Mary Byfield wood-engraved the vignettes, borders, and initials, as well as the architectural border for the title-page, which was drawn by the Rev. Calvert (1819–80) himself and depicts Martha and Mary beneath the inscription "Faith Hope Charity."
This volume is cited by some sources as marking the first-ever appearance of the Basle roman typeface cut by William Howard for the Chiswick Press, though Ing now considers it rather => the first Chiswick Press work printed entirely in Basle roman (Ing, p.36).
Provenance: Front free endpaper with inked inscription of Georgiana Trench, dated 1854, and later pencilled inscription of Harriott Trench. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Ing, Charles Whittingham, 70; NSTC 2C2712. Publisher's textured brown cloth, covers framed in blind, front cover with gilt-stamped central title medallion, spine with gilt-stamped title and compartment decorations; spine and sides partially sunned with spine gilt dimmed, extremities rubbed. All edges gilt and gauffered. Back pastedown with small binder's ticket of Leighton, Son & Hodge. Inscriptions as above. Pages gently age-toned, with minor foxing to first and last few leaves. => A nice copy of this work for women involving the work of at least three women, with womanly provenance that may reward further research. (Inventory #: 40305)