The Life & Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York.
London: Basilisk Press, 1979. Quarto. 180pp., + (10)ff. From an edition of 500 copies, this is one of twenty-five with ten original wood engravings bound-in subsequent to the text, five of which are signed by the book's illustrator, Edward Gordon Craig. For decades, Craig nurtured an interest in Daniel Defoe's story about the castaway Robinson Crusoe. Craig's copy of the book was well-read and heavily annotated, with the phrase "My beloved book" written by him on one of the pages, clearly revealing his feelings for the story. He created sketches and even cut numerous blocks for an illustrated edition of the book he hoped to one day publish. After the success of the Cranach Press Hamlet, for which Craig contributed the illustrations, he and the Press's founder, Count Harry Kessler, began to develop an edition of Robinson Crusoe, using the illustrations Craig had assembled over the years. They printed a proof of the first page of the book, set in the Hamlet type designed by Edward Johnston, but the outbreak of World War II derailed their plans. The illustrated edition of Robinson Crusoe for which Craig had so long prepared was not published until this edition. All the artist's illustrations, which he did mostly in the 1930s, are published here for the first time. Craig also wrote the book's introduction. A fine copy, bound in full dark blue morocco with gilt stamping, and housed in the original wood dropback box. Item #28753