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Victorian Bookbinding

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Design Bindings by Individual Artists

The following two exceptional binding designs are by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and show the ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in its movement towards aestheticism and away from extravagance. The Pre-Raphaelite ideal was a precursor of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Prince's Progress

Rossetti, Christina. The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems. London: Macmillan and Company, 1866.

Green cloth blocked in gold on front, spine, and back.


Swinburne, Algernon Charles. Songs Before Sunrise. London: F. S. Ellis, 1871.

Blue cloth blocked in gold on front, spine, and back.

Below: Close-up of the three circular designs, featuring the moon, sun, and stars.

Songs before Sunrise

Designs on Songs before Sunrise



Speaking Likenesses

Rossetti, Christina. Speaking Likenesses. London: Macmillan, 1874. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes.

Blue cloth blocked in gold on front and spine, and in blind on back. From a design by Arthur Hughes.



Malory, Thomas Sir. Le Morte d’Arthur. J. M. Dent, 1893-1894.

Tan linen blocked in gold on front, back, and spine. Cover design by Aubrey Beardsley.


Le Morte d’Arthur


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On exhibit through September 30, 2000, Rare Book Room, fourth floor, University of North Texas Libraries,
Weekdays 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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Exhibit by Kenneth Lavender. Web design by Gwen Smith. 

This page was last modified on Thursday, July 08, 2004.

University of North Texas 2000 - All rights reserved.