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Grolier Club Exhibitions

The Garland of Rachel

"The Garland of Rachel," printed in just 36 copies, is the most attractive and celebrated work of the Daniel Press. The volume gathers 18 poems composed by Daniel himself and a circle of literary friends—many from Oxford—in honor of the first birthday of Daniel’s daughter, Rachel. All contributors received a copy with a specially printed title page bearing their name, and the remaining 18 copies were printed for sale to the public (although many were given away to friends and relatives). The hand-drawn initials are by Emily Daniel, and the woodcut headpieces are by English artist Alfred Parsons, who also designed Daniel’s printer’s mark.

Contributors to The Garland of Rachel

  • Francis Bourdillon
  • William Ernest Henley
  • Robert Bridges
  • Andrew Lang
  • William John Courthope
  • Frederick Locker-Lampson
  • Charles James Cruttwell
  • Ernest James Myers
  • Henry Daniel
  • Mary F. Robinson
  • Austin Dobson
  • James Addington Symonds
  • Charles L. Dodgson (“Lewis Carroll”)
  • Thomas Humphry Ward
  • Edmund W. Gosse
  • Albert Watson
  • Sir Richard Harington
  • Margaret L. Woods

The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands

The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands. Oxford: Printed at the Private Press of H. Daniel, 1881. Edition of 36. Bound in contemporary green morocco gilt by Morley of Oxford.

Although this copy of the Garland bears the name of the poet and literary critic, John Addington Symonds, it was not Symonds’s original copy. Rather, it was given in 1892 to the poet’s cousin, Horatio Percy Symonds, on the occasion of his marriage (see letter from Emily Daniel to H.P. Symonds, also in this section). 

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Preface to the Garland

Preface to the Garland, October 18, 1881.

This preface in the form of a letter from Daniel was sent to each of the contributors to the Garland. It includes the text of Bishop John Earle’s ‘Character of a Child,’ from his Microcosmography (1628) reflecting Daniel’s ongoing interest in seventeenth-century English poetry. Only a few extra copies were made, making the preface very rare today.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

Letter from Emily Olive Daniel to Horatio Percy Symonds Letter from Emily Olive Daniel to Horatio Percy Symonds

Letter from Emily Olive Daniel to Horatio Percy Symonds, Dec. 9, 1892.

 In 1892, Emily Daniel sent a copy of the Garland with J.A. Symonds’s specially printed title-page to the poet’s cousin, Horatio Percy Symonds (1850-1923), a respected medical doctor. In this letter, she thanks Symonds for “all he has done for Rachel,” suggesting he treated the child for an illness. The occasion of the gift was Symonds’s marriage to Marion Robinson Leckie.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press

The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands

Photo credit: Grolier Club

The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands. Oxford: Printed at the Private Press of H. Daniel, 1881. Edition of 36.

One of 18 copies printed for sale to the public. The white vellum binding with simple but elegant gilt tooling is found on most of the 36 copies of the Garland. Daniel probably commissioned the bindings from his favorite local bindery, Morley & Sons in Oxford, a firm especially noted for its work in vellum. 

Generously lent by Jon A. Lindseth

The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Mosher Press. The Garland of Rachel by Divers Kindly Hands. Portland, Maine: T.B. Mosher, 1902. Edition of 450.

Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) was an American commercial publisher known for issuing attractive and well-produced books that were also affordable. He had a special fondness for Daniel Press books, reprinting several of the texts (without permission) from 1894 to 1922. 

Madan describes the Mosher Garland as a “kind of type facsimile” of the original, reproducing not only the text, but also the headpieces and printer’s mark. Mosher also added an additional poem, a publisher’s preface, and a checklist of Daniel Press publications based on the private collection of Henry W. Poor. The limp white vellum binding with green silk threads alludes to the more elaborate original by Morley & Sons.

 Gift of Philip R. Bishop, 2020

The Daniel Press & The Garland of Rachel

Photo credit: Grolier Club

William S. Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson. The Daniel Press & The Garland of Rachel. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 2016.

In this census, William and Silvia Peterson identify the whereabouts of 27 of the 36 copies of the Garland and provide details on many unlocated copies as well. (At the time of writing, 7 copies were in private hands and 20 were in institutions.) Detailed provenance histories, biographies of past owners, and an introduction based on previously unstudied archival material round out this invaluable study of the most beloved work produced by the Daniel Press.

Purchased 2016