BLACKMORE, Richard Doddridge Fringilla: Some Tales in Verse London: Wlkin Mathews, 1895.
4to., sage green cloth elaborately blocked and lettered in dark green to both boards and spine, with a central circular motif featuring a bird to the lower cover; pp. [ix], 2-128, 20 [ads.]; with full decorative title; proliferated throughout with borders, initials and full-page illustrations by Louis Fairfax Muckley, and three by James W. R. Linton; all behind mounted tissue-guards; edges, endpapers and tissue guards a little browned; evidence of a former bookplate being removed from the front paste-down; some light spotting to prelims; still a lovely example, a little pushed to corners and head/foot of spine.
First edition, published simultaeously with the American edition, also printed in 1895, which had parallel illustrations by Will Bradley.
"Can'st thou suppose it right or just,
When thine own creature so misled us,
In virtue of our simple trust,
To torture us like this, and tread us
Back into dust?
Often referred to as the "Last Victorian", R. D. Blackmore is best known for his magnum opus Lorna Doone, and much of his other work has faded into obscurity. Despite this fact, however, he achieved literary merit and acclaim in his time for his vivid descriptions and personification of the countryside, sharing with Thomas Hardy a Western England background and a strong sense of regional setting in his works. One reviewer writes, of his work: "He may be said to have done for Devon what Sir Walter Scott did for the Highlands and Hardy for Wessex."
Fringilla, as a series of tales told in verse, focuses on Blackmore's love of nature, but also includes poems which explore themes of Egypt, Good and Evil, Religion, Myths and Legends.