The Chatelaine of La Trinité

Designer: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Henry Blake Fuller (American, 1857–1929)

Publisher: The Century Company

Date: 1892

Medium: Gray-green cloth covered boards with orange, silver and gold decoration

Dimensions: Overall: 7 7/8 x 11 3/8 in. (20 x 28.9 cm)
Front cover: 7 7/8 x 5 1/8 in. (20 x 13 cm)
Front cover and spine: 7 7/8 x 6 5/16 in. (20 x 16 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Gift of Alice C. Morse, 1923, Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.72


A leading New York book-cover designer in the late nineteenth century, Morse studied at the Woman’s Art School of the Cooper Union, then under John La Farge before working for Louis C. Tiffany as a painter and designer of stained glass. In 1887 she began to concentrate on book-covers, fufilling eighty-three commissions for New York commercial publishers by 1905. Complementing the text, she chose imagery ranging from classical, to Renaissance, Celtic, Arabic, Gothic, Rococo, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. This cover is bound in gray-green plain-weave cloth, with a cartouche containing floral motifs, with orange, silver, and blind stamping. In an 1894 interview, Morse mentioned that she derived the edelweiss ornament from a Tyrolean belt, imagery suited to the alpine travel described in the book's text. An example of this cover was shown at the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, in 1893.