Quite spent with thoughts I left my Cell, and lay
Where a shrill spring tun'd to the early day.
|Charles Ricketts, initial 'Q' in The Sacred Poems of Henry Vaughan Silurist (1897)|
The word 'silurist' refers to Vaughan's native Wales, and to a Celtic tribe.
The poem 'Vanity of Spirit' is about the child-like question: Who made the world? A thorough analysis of this poem can be found online in Thomas Healy's essay 'Performing the Self: Reformation History and the English Renaissance Lyric'. He argues that the apparent naiveté conceals a darker layer of a satanesque questioning of knowledge: 'Imagining himself on a heroic quest for the heavenly, the narrator is unsuspectingly confirming a hellish identity to the observant reader.'
The initial 'Q' only appears once in this publication of the Vale Press, and the design has not been used since. Ricketts had no use for a second 'Q'. However, he drew another initial 'Q' that probably was never cut in the wood. This second 'Q' was reproduced to illustrate an essay by Gleeson White: 'At the Sign of The Dial. Mr. Ricketts as a Book-Builder', published in The Magazine of Art of April 1897.
|Charles Ricketts, initial 'Q' (in The Magazine of Art, April 1897)|
Charles Ricketts, initial 'Q' in The Sacred Poems of Henry Vaughan Silurist (1897)
The only initial 'Q' used by Ricketts appeared in the Vaughan edition (page xxx), and measures 25x30 mm.
This series will be continued as The 2018 Alphabet.