Michael Field

A selection of 5 Michael Field books

We have a large assortment of books by Michael Field, the pen name of the couple Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper. They were friends with Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon. Ricketts contributed to the designs of many of their books as well as published some of their work. Below is a small selection of Field’s work that we have in our Ricketts and Shannon rare book collection.

The Tragic Mary, 1890

Front cover of The Tragic Mary featuring flowers, plants, and other art nouveau decorations

Fair Rosamund, 1897

The Race of Leaves, 1901

Wild Honey from Various Thyme, 1908 – This one includes what looks like an additional poem written by Michael Field. The writing style matches the one in their journals.

Dedicated, 1914 – This book is a posthumous collection of Edith Cooper’s poems assembled by Bradley.

If you’d like to read more about the Ricketts books for Michael Field, check out this older blog by Paul Van Capelleveen, curator of the National Library of the Netherlands. Furthermore, if you want to go down the Michael Field wormhole, Darthmouth has digitized their diaries.

Harry Quilter’s Essays on Art



Our Woodring Collection of Shannon and Rickett’s rare books has so many visual treats we could showcase something from it every week.

This time let’s focus on Harry Quilter‘s Preferences in Art, Life, and Literature, 1892. Clocking in at 898 pages, this tome presents many of Quilter’s previously published art criticism (1872-1890), along with some new work. His aim was to review his own criticism and to see how it had stood up to time.




“Early Portrait of Rosetti” William Holman Hunt


“Daddy Hunt” and “Jack MillaisDante Gabriel Rosetti


“The Waters of Lethe” Frederick Sandys

Tech Thursday: The Woodring Collection


The Woodring Collection of Ricketts and Shannon Books is one of the Woodson’s rare books collections. According to the Rare Books page on Fondren Website:

Versatile British artists Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon were long-time partners in life and art. Both were members of the Royal Academy. They pursued independent careers as artists and often collaborated on creative projects. Shannon is best known for his painting and lithography, Ricketts for his contributions as book designer and illustrator and for designing costumes and sets for the theater.

While the collection’s focus is art history and literature, it includes many books on printing, binding, design, lithography, and illustration, as well as a rich collection of examples of Shannon and Ricketts’ work. Students and researchers interested in making books and printing can search the collection using the online catalog.