Of all of the Robinson-illustrated works discovered over at Open Library, this may be my favorite. It is an illustrated version of one of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poems, which you can read in its entirety here if you’d rather not page through the book. The poem was originally published in 1820 with the Prometheus Bound collection; this edition came out as a single volume almost a century later (1911 to be precise). In all honesty Robinson’s illustrations have almost nothing to do–at least directly–with the poem; he simply took a well-known poetic work and used it as a launching pad to exercise his skill and imagination, making symbolic use of the poem to draw some of his favorite subjects: lovely nymphs, curve-laden natural scenes, and above all adorable little putti and fairies. This is a book I would love to own. It was made for collecting.
It should be said that the Open Library’s scan of the book is horribly dingy and contains some crooked pages; I have thus taken it upon myself to correct these in Photoshop as best I could. Despite that, the beauty of these pieces still captured me as soon I stumbled on this art nouveau masterpiece. I struggled with what to post here and briefly considered posting the book in its entirety, but I did not feel up to color correcting every page of the book. You can find it here if you want to read it all (and I heartily recommend doing so). I settled on around a third of the images. One more point of warning: several of the tipped-in color plates have either been removed or have fallen out over time, which is more than a tad irritating as those are often the highest quality images in such a book as this. But, alas, it is free for the reading and viewing so one can’t complain too awfully about the losses.