SWINBURNE, Algernon Charles. Laus Veneris. Golden Cockerel Press, 1948.
Royal 8vo. Original cloth-backed marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt, top edges gilt, others untrimmed; 11 wood-engravings by John Buckland-Wright; a very nice copy, very slightly rubbed at corners, with a rather lovely previous ownership inscription to front paste-down: "Gigi/ I love you now and for always/ for always is always now. Simon.".
No. 185 of 750 numbered copies. In a letter from Buckland Wright to Christopher Sandford Laus Veneris is described as "one of JBW's most succesful smaller books."
Swinburne's Laus Veneris, whose Latin title translates to "the praise of Venus or love," tells the legend of young knight who falls in love with Venus and lives with her in her subterranean home until he becomes filled with remorse. He escapes her snares and travels to Rome to ask the Pope if he can be absolved of his sins. The Pope declares it impossible, just as impossible as his papal staff blossoming, but three days later, the Pope's staff blooms with flowers.