Llandogo, Wales: The Old Stile Press, (1993). Large octavo, measuring 10 x 7 inches: 59, . Original blue pictorial paper boards, gold buckram spine lettered in blue, pale grey endpapers. Printed in blue-gray ink on Zerkall mould-made paper, line drawings throughout text. Number 103 of 250 copies signed by John Elwyn. Blue buckram slipcase with pastedown pictorial label.
Signed limited edition of this fine-press tribute to the fourteenth-century Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, a contemporary of Boccaccio and Chaucer, remembered for his virtuosity in the courtly love tradition: “She will shed brightness over every region, / A refined coin of yellow gold, / a true buckler of the light, / she is the image of the sky’s brilliant Sun. / She reveals to me, proud golden jewel, / without concealment the place where Morfudd is.” Dafydd’s descriptions of the natural world, set in a recognizably green Welsh landscape, retain their freshness. This selection of Dafydd’s lyrics, translated into modern English by Rachel Bromwich, is illustrated by the Welsh artist John Elwyn. Rather than depict Morfudd, Dyddgu, and the poet himself in medieval dress, Elwyn instead summons the imagery of his own youth in the 1950s, when he was painting “in the neo-romantic vein.” His line drawings center the leafy Welsh landscape, silhouettes beckoning the reader into the scene, reimagining the romantic hopes and disappointments of Dafydd’s fourteenth-century lovers in midcentury style. A fine copy.