signedfirst edition[vi], 134, [2, ads] pp. 1 vols. 8vo
by Morris, William
London: Ellis and White, 1873. First edition. [vi], 134, [2, ads] pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Publisher's blue-green cloth, front cover stamped in gilt with title and floral design. Spine cloth worn and split, loss at tail end, front joint cracked. In custom green morocco-backed slipcase and chemise. First edition. [vi], 134, [2, ads] pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Presentation Copy from William Morris to John Ruskin. Presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "John Ruskin/ from his friend/ William Morris."An extraordinary presentation copy, inscribed by William Morris (1834-1896) to his spiritual mentor, John Ruskin (1819-1900), of whom he said, "Ruskin is the first comer, the inventor." Morris first read Ruskin while at Oxford in the 1850s and described the discovery of Ruskin's works as a "revelation". Morris would gather his friends to read aloud from The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Modern Painters, and The Stones of Venice. Of the chapter "'On the nature of Gothic architecture" from the latter work, Morris wrote, "To some of us when we first read it … it seemed to point out a new road on which the world should travel." The work inspired Morris's tour of the Gothic cathedrals of France in 1855 and his decision to forgo the church for the study of architecture. Ruskin had articulated modern British society's harmful separation of labor from intellect - it would fall to Morris, in his varied artistic and political projects, to reunite artisanship, creativity, and labor under the mantle of the Arts & Crafts movement. "Morris always insisted that Ruskin came at the right time and that he was the prime mover in the turning of the tide away from a blind faith in materialist progress and towards a perception of the damage to society this implied" (MacCarthy, William Morris, pp. 69-70). Buxton Forman 37 (Inventory #: 304294)
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