The Hound of Heaven

The Hound of Heaven


francis Thompson


Alberto Sangorski



[4], 5-19pp, [4]. Contemporary full crushed blue-green morocco by Riviere & Son and signed to upper turn in, raised bands, spine in six panels, title lettered directly to second panel, author to third, remaining panels with leaf shaped morocco onlay and gilt pointille, date to foot. Upper cover with single line gilt border surrounding a finely gilt pointille frame with contrasting vine leaves and grapes in relief, lower cover with single line border, surrounding a similar design with a grape and vine leaf and pointille frame, surrounding a similar central oval design, with a total of twenty-seven clusters of grapes and forty vine leaves in relief, gilt double line to edges, morocco doublures with onlaid frames of different colours with interlocking corner pieces, watered silk endpapers, a.e.g. Housed in the original, silk lined and padded, straight grain morocco drop back box, raised bands, spine in six panels, with title lettered directly to second panel, and author to third. Very slightly rubbed to extremities, a couple of small Japanese paper repairs to upper joint, tiny chip catching the 'n' in 'heaven' to the gilt to title. Internally generally quite bright and clean, though with a couple of small patches of foxing to vellum, page eight with one or two finger marks to margin. Box spine is faded, rubbed to extremities, and the lower catch doesn't quite catch easily, internally there is wear to the silk lining, probably from the relief aspects of the binding. Illuminated manuscript on vellum, eleven leaves, including biographical leaf and colophon, those in black and red, plus four blank vellum leaves, all tipped on to guards. Richly illuminated on nearly all of the pages, including a portrait of the poet on the title, dated 1915 and signed by Sangorski in monogram, a full page frontispiece miniature, with several large floral initials and floral borders with gold. The colophon reads "This manuscript ... was designed, written out, and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski for Messrs. R. Riviere & Son, Bookbinders and Booksellers by appointment to H. M. King George V., London. The miniature in frontispiece illustrates the third line of the poem. This manuscript will not be duplicated. This manuscript was executed by me", and signed "Alberto Sangorski". Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932), was the older brother of the bookbinder Francis Sangorski of Sangorski and Sutcliffe, and initially worked for them, but later worked for Riviere and Son. Francis Thompson (1859-1907), poet and writer, a Catholic, who was an opium user, and had been homeless. He ended up living with the Meynells, Wilfrid and Alice (herself a poet), and they published some of his poetry in their magazine. "In 'The Hound of Heaven', his best-known poem, the flight of the soul from God reaches from within 'the labyrinthine ways' of the human mind with its 'Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears' to 'the gold gateways of the stars'. When the flight is over, the self-confrontation that follows takes place in a cosmic setting centred on 'the hid battlements of eternity' and the cry of Everyman against his human limitations: Whether man's heart or life it be which yields; Thee harvest, must Thy harvest fields; Be dunged with rotten death?. Though the poem is rooted within Thompson's Catholic background, his later experiences had widened his vision to embrace, in the final resolution, a restoration that extends beyond any particular creed" (ODNB)



Book Type

Signed by the Illustrator