Religio Medici Thomas Browne

Religio Medici, Urn Burial, Christian Morals, and Other Essays by Sir Thomas Browne, 1902

Back matter: “Edited by C.J. Holmes; decorated by C.S. Ricketts, under whose supervision the book has been printed at the Ballantyne press. Sold by Hacon & Ricketts, The Vale Press, 17 Craven Street, Strand, London, & John Lane, New York. London: MCMII

Bibliography: “Edited by C.J. Holmes. One volume. Imperial octavo. With a woodcut border of vine leaves designed by Charles Ricketts and engraved by C. Keats. Three hundred and ten copies printed. Price two guineas. Ten copies on vellum.” xxix


(Vale Press). Browne, Thomas.

Edited by Sir Charles John Holmes. Printed by Charles S. Ricketts.

  • London: Hacon and Ricketts, 1902.
  • 4to
  • Quarter bound in cloth over paper covered boards w/ paper title labels to upper board and spine
  • 198 pages

First Vale Press edition limited to 310 copies. Watry, B35. Edged bumped; partially unopened. A very good copy. With book label, “From the Library of John Masefield, O.M., Poet Laureate.”

The decorations were designed by Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), a publisher, designer, and wood engraver who readily embraced the printing revival which propagated the ideals of the arts-and-crafts movement: “The novelty of a book, made during the recent revival, lies in the fact that it shows design in each portion of it, from type to paper, and from ‘build’ to decoration. Therein lies the difference between a book so understood and any other modern book printed before 1891.”. Franklin, p. 81; Ransom, p. 437.

The Ricketts’ designs were engraved by C. E. Keates. In addition to the works listed on the title-page, the Vale Press edition also includes the ‘Letter to a Friend’ and the fragment ‘On Dreams’. Religio Medici is prefaced with Browne’s note ‘to the reader’, written for the first authorised edition of 1643; similarly, the title for ‘Urn Burial’ takes the form of the first edition of 1658.