|Florentine Sonnets (1906); vellum-covered|
boards with hand-painted illumination
At the end of his life, he lived in Florence, and wrote and photographically illustrated a couple of books for the English-speaking tourist trade. The one pictured here was--as I hope the illustration shows--available bound in vellum, and (for an extra fee, one supposes), available with a hand-painted illumination on the cover.
This copy has, in addition, a small gift dedication painted on at the bottom, matching the illumination. "From Aunt Laura," it reads.
All in all, such a book reminds us that one of the things tourism did (and does) is to make the past (and in European tourism, it is often the medieval past) consumable. And that book and manuscripts could be, and were, sometimes used for the same purpose. Many a manuscript or leaf, I think, was purchased as a souvenir on the Grand Tour.
|The same poet's Roman Sonnets (1908), in|
printed paper-covered boards.