Every month, How We Might Live: The Vision of William Morris, an exhibit highlighting the life and work of English designer and author William Morris (1834-1896), will showcase a new Morris-related item.
In February, we share the love with The Boke of Cupide, God of Love, or, The Cuckow and the Nightingale, printed by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press in 1896. Morris was fond of medieval literature, and was naturally drawn to this poem about the nature of love written by Sir Thomas Clanvowe in the 15th century. Clanvowe was heavily influenced by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. So much so, that The Boke of Cupid was attributed to Chaucer for nearly three centuries. Morris’s colleague and friend F.S. Ellis first made this distinction in the when he edited the Kelmscott Press edition of The Floure and the Leafe, & The Boke of Cupide, God of Love, or, The Cuckow and the Nightingale. Take a look at the special note in the colophon pictured on the right.
Read the full text of the Kelmscott Press The Boke of Cupide online, or visit the Maryland Room Gallery and marvel at the large illuminated letter designed by Morris. Does it excite your passion for typography?