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Michael Field

The World at Auction

London: Ballantyne Press, 1898. Stk. PR 4699 F5W6.

Charles Ricketts (1866-1931) was founder of the Vale Press and designer of numerous books, including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray (1891) and John Gray’s Silverpoints (1893). Because of Council regulations that prevented the establishment of a workshop in a residential area, Ricketts turned to the resources of Ballantyne Press to produce his books. Although strictly a commercial operation, a hand press and pressman were reserved exclusively for his own use. This production, one of 200 copies, was written by Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913), writers collaborating under the name of ‘Michael Field’. In 1899, a fire at the Press destroyed all of Ricketts’s engraved work and blocks.