Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ex Libris Joseph Gleeson White

Gleeson White, in by all accounts a quiet and unassuming way, was one of the lynchpins of the literary and artistic world of England in the 1890s. He was editor of The Studio, and championed the arts and crafts movement. He designed books for Bell Publications and for The Bodley Head. He was host and mentor to groups of young and aspiring artists in both London and Christchurch (Hampshire) - where he met and had dealings with Frederick Rolfe for a while. Because his own output was limited really to non-fiction, journalism and design, it seems that he is destined to be underestimated in terms of the influence he wielded on the taste and critical faculties of a large part of the 1890s world.

I'm not a bookplate collector and I dont' intend to become one, however, every now and again, for a book collector, a bookplate (in or out of a book) will be of particular interest, which is why I bought these. I believe all of them are by Gleeson White, one of them for his daughter Cicely Rose Gleeson White, a couple for EC (id'ed on the verso in pencil as Emma Chapman, and one of his own which seems at least to hint at his uranian sentiments.

UPDATE September 2011: Through the kind offices of Anthony Pincott of The Bookplate Society, I learn today that the EC bookplates are wrongly attributed and should instead be noted as Emma C Chamberlayne, a bookplate collector who died in 1908 at the age of 76, and whose arms it bears. Thank you Mr Pincott.

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