BLAKE, William. Water-Colour Designs For The Poems Of Thomas Gray. A Facsimile with Introduction and Commentary by Sir Geoffrey Keynes. London: Trianon Press, 1971.
Small folio, pp. 72, with 16 colour facsimile leaves, suites of progressive plates, and 116 monochrome illustrations. Marbled boards, morocco backstrip, without slipcase. Signed by Keynes. A fine copy as issued.
Limited to 28 copies inscribed and signed by Geoffrey Keynes (this particular volume is labelled no. 14). This is the de luxe edition of the trade version, issued by the Trianon Press in 1972 using 8-colour printing. Although the three-volume folio edition is a magnificent piece of book making, this version is more accessible and easier to use and enjoy, and the quality of the colour printing is Trianon Press at its best. (Bentley, Blake Books, 385).
As Keynes explains in his Introduction:
"Blake was an assiduous reader of the English poets from an early period of his life, and there can be no doubt that as a youth he was familiar with the poems of Thomas Gray (1716-1771). It is clear the poem which most caught his fancy was 'The Bard', containing all the elements of drama, legend, imagination and prophetic utterance likely to be found most appealing by the young poet and artist."