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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

The Poetical Works.

BROWNING (Robert).

BROWNING (Robert).

The Poetical Works.

Frontispiece portraits in vols. 3, 7, 8, 10 and 16.

17 volumes. Large 8vo. 237 x 157 x 685 mm]. Original tan cloth, the spines printed paper labels, plain endleaves, uncut edges. (Spines darkened, four labels defective and others chipped, some endleaves browned, and a little rubbed and marked).
London: [by Spottiswoode and Co for] Smith, Elder, & Co, 1888-1894.

Limited to 250 copies on hand-made paper. There are a few minor spots and the bindings show some signs of wear but it is a decent copy.

Browning died in 1889, so these are his final words.

Vol.1 is inscribed in ink on the front endleaf: "I gave this set to my mother as it was published. Stanley Baldwin", vols 3 and 17 have pencil inscriptions "Louisa Baldwin from S.B." and all the volumes have the large bookplate of Louisa Baldwin designed by M.D. Johnston and dated 1922.

Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947) served three times as British Prime Minister, in 1923-24, 1924-29 and 1935-37. He was the only child of Alfred and Louisa Baldwin, who married in 1866. Louisa (1845-1925) was the youngest of the four remarkable Macdonald sisters. Alice (1837-1910) was the mother of Rudyard Kipling, Georgina (1840-1920) married the painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Agnes (1843-1906) married the painter Sir Edward Poynter. Alfred Baldwin was a successful Worcestershire ironmaker and the couple lived at Wilden House, near to the works. Louisa suffered from poor health but read widely and wrote four novels, along with poetry and collections of stories. She encouraged her son's love of literature, although he failed to shine at Harrow, or Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he graduated with a third in 1888. He returned home to work in the family firm and became Managing Director in 1902. He inherited almost £200,000 on his father's death in 1908, and remained engaged in business until appointed to his first ministerial office in 1917.

Stock no. ebc3192

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Price: £500

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