William Morris (1834-1896)
Hammersmith, England: Kelmscott Press, 1896-97
A series of twenty-four tales, two for each month. Twelve tales are from classical sources; the other twelve from medieval Latin, French, and Icelandic origins. Earthly Paradise became one of the most popular works of the Victorian era. It was morally acceptable and read as a means of relaxation and escape from daily cares. For this work Morris was offered the poet laureateship upon the death of Tennyson. Morris refused the honor. Morris himself oversaw completion of the first two volumes, while the remaining six were printed by the trustees of the estate after his death.
Printed in Golden type in red and black. Illustrated with full-page woodcut borders and initials. The ten borders and four half-borders used in The Earthly Paradise do not appear in any other Kelmscott book. Bound in vellum with ties. Edition of two hundred and thirty-one copies.