Webb, Philip. The Letters of Philip Webb. Edited by John Alpin. 4 vols. New York: Routledge, 2016.
I was so pleased to see the edited volumes of The Letters of Philip Webb arrived this week. The letters are organized chronologically in four volumes: 1864-1887, 1888-1898, 1899-1902, and 1903-1914. There is also an extensive index to help navigate the letters by people, place, or topic.
John Alpin, the editor of the volumes, writes:
This four-volume collection of letters comprises a comprehensive selection from his surviving correspondence, little of which has previously been published. As well as revealing the range of Webb’s professional endeavours and the value he invested in a number of close friendships, the evidence presented in his letters confirms his position as a key member of the Morris circle. (Preface, ix)
I spent a bit of time this morning reading through some of the letters. Many of the recipients of Webb’s letters were familiar names: John Ruskin, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Richard Lethaby, William Butterfield, and members of the William Morris family. For example he wrote letters to Jane, Jenny, and May Morris while they were away in Italy in 1877. One of my favorites though is an exchange about the landscape at Kelmscott with Jane Morris (Letter 43 in volume 1, 1871).