An association copy is a book with a unique history, most often connected to the author, printer, or other notable personality. The signatures and inscriptions found in an association copy can shed light on the ownership history of a book.
As an author and printer, William Morris inscribed many of the books he gave as gifts to friends and colleagues. Analyzing these annotations alongside other evidence, it is possible to construct a picture of Morris's social milieu, which included family and friends, colleagues and critics. The inscriptions pictured here are taken from association copies available in Special Collections at the University of Maryland.
Image: William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, 1874. Burne-Jones was an artist, designer, lifelong friend and collaborator of Morris.
Three Northern Love Stories, 1875
Inscription by William Morris to Louisa MacDonald Baldwin (1845-1925)
Louisa was the younger sister of Georgiana Burne-Jones and wife of politician Alfred Baldwin.
Of the Friendship of Amis and Amile, 1894
Inscription by May Morris (1862-1938)
"In memory of a pleasant afternoon, June 18th, 1919, May Morris, 8 Hammersmith Terrace, W." May was the youngest daughter of William Morris.
The Tale of Beowulf, 1895
Inscription by William Morris to Frederick James Furnivall (1825-1910)
Furnivall was a literary scholar and founder of the Chaucer Society.
Earthly Paradise, 1868
Inscription by William Morris to his mother, Emma Morris (1805-1894).
Earthly Paradise, 1890
Inscription by William Morris to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Burden (1842-unknown)
"To Elizabeth Burden from her affectionate Brother, William Morris, Christmas, 1890." She worked as a skilled embroiderer for Morris & Co.
The History of Godefrey of Boloyne, 1893
Inscription by William Morris to Robert Steele (1860-1944)
Steele was a medievalist scholar heavily influenced by Morris.
Laudes Beatae Mariae Virginis, 1896
Inscription by Edward Burne-Jones to his son-in-law, John William Mackail (1859-1945)
Mackail was a scholar and William Morris biographer.
The Poems of John Keats, 1894
Inscription by William Morris to Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
Sidonia the Sorceress, 1983
Inscription by William Morris to Georgiana Burne-Jones (1840-1920)
Georgiana was the wife of Edward Burne-Jones and close friend to Morris.