London: Macmillan, 1903-1904. Edition de Luxe. Limited to 775 copies. Fifteen octavo volumes with engraved frontispiece portrait in Volume I. Finely bound by MacDonald of New York in three-quarter teal morocco gilt over marbled boards. Spines decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others uncut, marbled endpapers. An excellent set.
Matthew Arnold, English poet and critic, “was considered a quintessential Victorian writer in his philosophy, his taste, and his manner of expression” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature). Among his most famous poems are The Scholar-Gipsy, and Thyrsis, an elegy written on the death of Arnold’s friend Arthur Hugh Clough, “which Swinburne adjudged, after Milton’s Lycidas and Shelley’s Adonais, the finest elegy in the English language. Yet Dover Beach, is arguably the poem of most lasting fame, which uses the image of the sea as a metaphor for the Sea of Faith, ebbing away from the naked shores of the world” (Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia). Here, Arnold's work is brought together in a lovely set. (Item #3558)