COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor. PEAKE, Mervyn (Illustrator). The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With an Introduction by Fabian Peake. Marlborough. The Libanus Press. 2003.
Small folio, original cloth lettered in gilt on spine and upper board. Printed in red and black, with 8 illustrations by Mervyn Peake, printed the same size as the originals. A mint copy.
Limited edition of 190 numbered copies, this one of 80 Standard copies.
"Following the restorartion and publishing of Meryn Peake's illustrations to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Libanus Press, Peake's family approached the Press with the suggestion that we should produce a companion volume of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. After the first publication of his illustrations, Peake had hoped to sell the drawings: he reworked them and colour-washed the papers. None were sold and one was lost. The drawings have been scanned and restored by the Press using the techniques developed with the Alice drawings. The background tints of the original vary. The drawings are printed letterpress to crisply replicate them at the size of the original artwork on a uniform tint to reveal the full effect Peake had in mind with his final reworkings." (Prospectus)
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner proliferates in images and offers enormous potential for an illustrator. Mervyn Peake began illustrating books by writers other than hiomself in the early 1940s and the 'Mariner' illustrations are part of a rich history in which his best work was realised. He knew the poem well and would often quote passages in the house. He made a thorough search, choosing scenes and images with which to emboss his interpretation on the poem. When reading the poem, one is struck by images that spring up like flashing beacons and demand to be illustrated. The illustrations have an unreal, rather theatrical quality. as has the poem, and leave us bursting with unanswerable questions." (Fabian Peake from his Introduction).