First edition of The Magic Casement: A Book of Faëry Poems Giving Glimpses of the World Beyond the Casement, selected and arranged with introduction and notes by Alfred Noyes. Illustrated by Stephen Reid and published by Chapman & Hall Ltd in 1908 (undated; date according to British Library catalogue). Printed by Ballantyne & Co. Limited, London. Hardback, red cloth boards with gilt lettering and decorations to front and spine, side and lower edges uncut, 4 full-page drawings (including frontispiece and title page), 26 smaller drawings, xx, 391 pages. Approximate size 7.9 x 5.7 inches (20 x 14.5 cm).
This comprehensive, wide-ranging anthology of fairy poetry features a beautiful Art Nouveau binding plus 30 delicate line drawings by the Scottish painter and illustrator Stephen Reid (1873-1948). Reid was born in Aberdeen, where he studied at Gray’s School of Art before going on to the Royal Scottish Academy Schools in Edinburgh. By 1899 he was in London, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists, of which he was a member. He painted historical and mythological subjects, as well as portraits and landscapes, and worked as an illustrator, contributing to magazines such as The Strand and to children’s books including Cuchulain, the Hound of Ulster (1909) and Famous Voyages of the Great Discoverers (1910).
The contents include some 80 poems, both well known and more obscure, grouped into eight sections: The Fairy Life, Witches’ Cauldrons and Blasted Heaths, Come Unto these Yellow Sands, Flower-Fairies, Enchanted Woods, Airy Mountain and Rushy Glen, The Faery Voyager, and Last Echoes. Alfred Noyes provides an eight-page introduction, as well as the occasional footnote.
Authors include: William Shakespeare, John Lyly, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Michael Drayton, George Darley, Rudyard Kipling, G.K. Chesterton, Tom Hood, R.C. Lehmann, Alfred Noyes, Sydney Dobell, Theodore Watts-Dunton, John Milton, Sir Walter Scott, John Todhunter, Thomas Middleton, Ben Jonson (The Witches’ Sabbath), Robert Burns, Robert Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (The Horns of Elfland and others), Fiona Macleod, Matthew Arnold, William Browne, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Philip Bourke Marston, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Keats, S.T. Coleridge, William Morris (Rapunzel), Christina Rossetti (Goblin Market and The Dead Princess), William Allingham, Sir Samuel Ferguson, W.B. Yeats (The Stolen Child), and Sir Theodore Martin.