The Kelmscott Chaucer

© President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard University Art Museums)

"After a quick glance at the Kelmscott Chaucer, one might think the book was
printed in the 15th or 16th century, not long after the printing of the
Gutenberg Bible. In fact, it was printed in 1896. Its intentions, however, were
very much rooted in the early history of the printed book. The publisher was the
founder of the Kelmscott Press, William Morris, who was not only a noted printer
and typographer, but also a famous commentator on a vast array of subjects, from
the design of textiles and furniture to politics and social studies. The
Kelmscott Chaucer was Morris’ response to what he considered the cheap quality
of books of the time…"

The Kelmscott Chaucer


[via Sushiesque]


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One thought on “The Kelmscott Chaucer

  1. The Kelmscott Chaucer is one of the best books ever made. Since we have an original in our collection we have highlighted it on our website: and hope to add additional photos when we can. The book is very large and is filled with fabulous illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones and decorations by William Morris. It took Morris four years to prepare. Burne-Jones referred to it as a “pocket cathedral.” William Morris died a few months after its publication but it cemented his place as one of the leading fine printers of any time. His Kelmscott Press, along with Doves Press and Ashendene, were in the forefront of the fine press movement.

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