THE OLD SCHOOL PRESS

A listing of all our in-print and planned books

For details of our out-of-print titles, click on the 'history' button at left.

Use the 'in print' and 'plans' buttons to the left for indexes.


Stockholm Reflections

Modern and ancient responses to the vibrant Stockholm waterfront, with digital images by Leslie Gerry

in print

View the book from several aspects

View a sample image

follow the story of the making of this book

'The nicest book at the fair [Oxford Fine Press Book Fair 2013]' ... 'much appreciated' ... 'truly magnificent' ... 'a sensational book'

 


Years ago, I bought a copy of The Britain of Brian Cook, a survey of the work of the artist who, in particular, designed the covers for the Batsford series of books on the British landscape. Cook worked with flat colours from a distinctive palette. I even considered collecting The British Heritage Series but, sensibly probably, decided against the idea. However, when The Whittington Press published its book Portmeirion I had to have a copy for the wonderful illustrations by Leslie Gerry.

Leslie works in a similar way, now of course using digital tools, and he is preparing a dozen large-scale and very striking illustrations of Stockholm, in particular its evocative waterfront. Many years ago (many, many years ago) Angela and I lived in Stockholm, right in the Old Town (Gamla Stan), so the island on which it stands, the waterfronts around it and on neighbouring islands, and the bustle of boats and ships were all five minutes' walk from our front door and we have fond memories of it all, both in the bright long summer days and the short winter days when the ice-breakers cleared the way for the Finland ferries and I could walk to work across Lake Mälaren. So when we met Leslie and heard about his project it became a must for The Old School Press.

Leslie's eleven images occupy a landscape sheet 370mm tall by 560mm wide (that's about 14.5 inches by 22 inches) and they are compiled as a concertina-fold book, with a further illustration on the title page and two more on the front and back covers of the book. His illustrations are very much his personal response to the beauty of the place, to the colour and vibrancy imparted by the boats, the buildings, the sky and the water. (For a much reduced version of one of the images click on the button above.) His pleasure on first coming across the area echoes that of those who found their way to Stockholm in the eighteenth century and so to accompany the images we have printed extracts from travel books from as early as 1720. Putting letterpress text together with giclée digital images is becoming quite a habit here at The Old School Press; for us the two techniques are unrivalled for quality and I have no doubt that Caxton would have preferred giclée to woodcuts if he could have! So once again, expect clean letterpress from freshly-cast type combined with brilliantly rendered colour in a novel binding.

The text occupies an eight-page section printed by letterpress on a pale-blue hand-made paper from the Velké Losiny mill in the Czech Republic. The choice of typeface is also new departure for The Old School Press: Eric Gill’s Joanna in the 14pt size, with headings in variations of Gill Sans.

The book's binding is quarter-cloth with the further illustrations by Leslie on the boards and it is presented in a solander box bound in a dark blue-grey cloth.

The edition is just 95 copies, priced at £295 (euro370, US$490) each.


The Colours of Rome

Decorative painter John Sutcliffe on the pigments that give Rome its characteristic visual flavour

In print

View the book from several aspects

read about 'The Daniel Press in Frome'

follow the story of the making of the book in pictures
follow the story of the making of this book

'highly unusual and beautifully produced books' ... 'magnificent' ... 'I fell for it as soon as I saw it' ... 'a magnificent production' ... 'a work of art' ... 'outstanding' ... 'a beautiful unique book' ... 'it's lovely'

 WINNER of a 'Judges' Choice Award'
at the 2013 Oxford Fine Press Book Fair


John Sutcliffe knows about colour. A former regional curator at the National Trust and now active as a decorative painter, his expertise in the topic, in particular in an architectural setting, was extensively used by Farrow & Ball, a company that will surely be known to many, at the time when they were first building up their reputation for traditional paints and hand-produced wallpapers. For many years John’s interest in colour has taken him to the Mediterranean, to Italy, and in particular to Rome. The buildings of Rome’s centro storico carry on their walls many layers of coloured limewash and distemper, layers that have both accumulated and decayed over time, thereby capturing the changing fashions in colour.

John’s vision for this book was a survey of the city’s colourscape, a palette of colours so different from that of, say, Venice, Tuscany, or Palermo, and a palette that is today in a period of great change. His new essay traces the history of that palette and the influences that have led it to its state today.

To illustrate the essay John made several trips to Rome, returning finally with twenty sheets of colours copied directly from the buildings themselves. His carefully chosen selection is designed to demonstrate the diversity of the palette and also to draw together two very different strands of tradition that have created the appearance of the streets of Rome today. Each of the twenty colours is illustrated with a large painted patch applied directly onto its own sheet of Magnani wove using water-based paints. These sheets are loose in a wallet within the cased sleeve that holds the book, thus making it possible for the reader to explore the colours in different combinations just as they appear in Rome. A swatch card of chips of the twenty colours is also included in the wallet.

The text is printed in 14pt Dante on a large page of Magnani hand-made laid paper, with headings printed from wood-letter. The book is bound in full cloth and is protected by the sleeve inside which the wallet of paint patches is attached. In addition to the standard edition of ninety-nine copies there were twenty-five de luxe copies (ALL SOLD) that take the form of a solander box containing, as well as the standard edition book, bottled samples of nine of the most important pigments, mostly earths, in powdered form.

The book is 323mm by 235mm (about 12.75 inches by 9.25 inches); the solander box is slightly larger and 92mm deep (3.75 inches)

The price is £185 (euro235, US$350) for a standard copy (and was £350 (euro435, US$580) for a de luxe copy). Trade discount is one quarter. Postage and packing are charged as usual at cost.

If you know our books you will know we love colour, so this was a project that appealed from the outset. If Rome, architecture, and the way our cities change interest you, this book will appeal, and we hope that the production qualities will enhance your enjoyment. Uniquely, it is the only record of the most characteristic colours to be seen in Rome today, perhaps the only such survey of any city.


Palladio's Homes

Andrea Palladio on building a home, and what others have thought of those that he built, illustrated by Carlo Rapp, with an essay by Witold Rybczynski

In print

View the book from several aspects

follow the story of the making of the book in pictures
follow the story of the making of this book

'a really lovely production' ... 'a most impressive publication' ... 'another splendid production'  ... 'magnificent - another highly original and well thought-out book from the Old School'  ... 'an absolutely beautiful work, and an absolute pleasure to read and handle'


We have had a keenness for the domestic architecture of Andrea Palladio for some time - if one can refer to the villas he built for, say, the Venetian nobility as just 'domestic'. Anyway, we can say that he designed houses for people to live in as well as civic buildings.

Palladio designed about thirty domestic villas of which about nineteen survive (the exact numbers depending on how you count them). His influence on subsequent architecture in the UK and USA was considerable and remains to this day, and 'Palladianism' entered the vocabulary of architects world-wide. He left not only a legacy of fine buildings, but also a detailed exposition of his ideas in his I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura ('The Four Books of Architecture'), first published in 1570. Palladio prefaced his descriptions of his villa designs in I Quattro Libri with chapters laying out his general principles for the placing and design of villas. This new title, Palladio's Homes, reprints those chapters in the original Italian together with a parallel translation by the English architect Isaac Ware who in 1738 provided, unlike previous translators, a faithful translation as well as accurate reproductions of Palladio's numerous original plates.

I Quattro Libri was considered so important by later architects that they would travel to Italy to see Palladio's work for themselves, scribbling their own views in the margins of their copies. This new title includes these and other reflections - not always complimentary - alongside Palladio's descriptions of his work. Amongst those quoted are architects Inigo Jones and Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, Goethe, sixteenth-century power-walker Thomas Coryat (of Coryat's Crudities fame), and a more recent visitor, Witold Rybczynski, Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, who recorded his own visits in the 1990s in The Perfect House. Professor Rybczynski has written a new essay on Palladio and his legacy for Palladio's Homes.

The texts present a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Italian printing as well as one of its greatest architects. We have printed the text on an Amatruda paper hand-made in Amalfi using Giovanni Mardersteig's Dante typeface in the 14D size. Italian artist Signor Carlo Rapp has prepared illustrations for seven of the thirteen villas covered, using linocuts and pen and ink drawings. The book is 36.5cm tall by 26.5cm wide (14 3/8 in. by 10 3/8 in.), has 112 pages, and is quarter-bound in dark grey cloth. The boards are covered with a splendid three-pulp paper by Cave Paper of Minneapolis called 'Cloudy Sky', and the book is presented in a robust wrap of board covered in the same cloth as the spine. Both book and wrap carry a spine label.

The edition consists of 170 copies. The price per copy is £250 (euro300, US$400). Trade discount is one quarter. Postage and packing are charged as usual at cost. (ISBN 978 1 899933 24 2)

An Italian Dream

Charles Dickens thinks he has been to Venice

In print

View the cover and an opening from the book

follow the story of the making of this book
 


Some years back I came across a wonderful description of the interior of St Mark's Basilica in Venice and discovered it had been written by Charles Dickens. It didn't take too much help from various search engines to discover that it was from his book Pictures of Italy and to find the text, in particular of chapter VII, online at Project Gutenberg. I squirrelled it away planning to print it when the opportunity arose, and finally that moment came.

In this chapter, Dickens describes his visit to La Serenissima as if remembering a dream that happened between two other, more prosaic stops on his tour. 'In the luxurious wonder of so rare a dream, I took but little heed of time, and had but little understanding of its flight. But there were days and nights in it; and when the sun was high, and when the rays of lamps were crooked in the running water, I was still afloat, I thought: plashing the slippery walls and houses with the cleavings of the tide, as my black boat, borne upon it, skimmed along the streets.'


I had the text set automatically in 12pt Poliphilus from the digital copy by Harry McIntosh at Speedspools. Poliphilus is a type based closely on that cut by Francesco Griffo and used for Aldus Manutius's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili which was published in Venice in 1499. I printed the text on a dampened hand-made paper from the Carteria Amatruda in Amalfi, a stock of which I bought from Christopher Skelton's estate some years back. Complementing that are end-papers of a burgundy-coloured Magnani Firenze, another Italian hand-made. The book consists of a single section of 16pp sewn into boards. The front cover carries a photograph, digitally manipulated, that I took on a rather misty day from Dorsoduro, towards San Giorgio, though the latter was not to be seen. The edition is 135 copies. The price is £36 (€42, US$70). (ISBN 978-1-899933-25-9)



 

Jump of the Manta Ray

 

A poem in Spanish by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Psiche Hughes, with images by Philip Hughes

In print

View five of Philip Hughes's images from the book

See a sequence of twelve images of the book

See how the book was printed

See a gallery exhibition of the book and its images

read a short extract (14K PDF file)
read the story of the book through our newsletters

'the images are very haunting and it is a beautifully assembled work'

 

Inspired by the sight of a giant manta ray leaving the water, Mexican poet Carmen Boullosa has written this epic and erotic poem for which Psiche Hughes has prepared an English translation. The two texts run in parallel, interspersed with twenty-nine images by Philip Hughes. A further twenty images accompany the book in a portfolio.

Hughes has worked before with Boullosa on a cycle of lithographs to accompany her epic poem The Elysian Garden, also translated by his wife Psiche. For this new collaboration he has prepared over fifty photographic images, digitally manipulated, echoing the imagery of the poem, and taken from seas and sea-shores around the globe. The Tate Gallery in St Ives and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London have shown exhibitions of his work in 2000 and 2001.

Copies have been purchased by the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, and the British Library Special Collections Department, London. A number of major collections in the USA have also obtained copies.

The book was short-listed for a British Book Design and Production Award in the 'Limited Edition / Fine Binding' section in November 2003.

When we first received the texts and images from Philip and Psiche Hughes it was clear that a powerful image needed a robust design. Choosing a typeface was hard. It needed strength with dignity, and the only metal face that I could imagine working was Will Carter's sinewy Octavian. This was easier said than done: only three sets of matrices were sold by Monotype for the face, which was only ever cut in 14pt - an ideal size for this book however. (For more of the story behind this, click on the 'cuttings' button above to read cuttings from our newsletters.) The result has been very gratifying, the face printing beautifully on the heavy Somerset paper we have chosen to complement the Somerset Velvet which is the chosen paper for giclée printers. A bright red solander box and one of Claire Maziarczyk's bold silver grey checks on the book and the portfolio carry through the theme of strength. The images pack a real punch, the vibrant colours looking wonderful in the Iris prints - and 100% cotton papers and the latest in archival-quality inks mean that longevity is assured.

A solander box in red cloth holds the book and a portfolio. The text is printed letterpress on 175gsm Somerset paper, making a handsome book of about 340mm (13.4 inches) high and 300mm (11.8 inches) wide. Twenty large images (170mm square) have been printed on an Iris giclée printer on 330gsm Somerset Velvet paper: they come on separate sheets in the portfolio, all signed and numbered by the artist. Two other images, also Iris-printed, act as frontis- and tail-piece for the book. Twenty-nine smaller Iris-printed images (70mm square) appear throughout the text. All the images are listed in an index locating them to the sites where Hughes took the original photographs, from Scotland to Antarctica. A Maziarczyk paste paper covers the boards of the book and the portfolio, each of which has a grey spine. The edition consists of 60 copies of which 50 are for sale. Each copy is signed by the poet, translator, artist and printer.

The price per copy is £1,500 (UK), €2,500 (continental Europe), A$3,800 (Australasia), or US$2,500 (rest of the world) according to country of purchase. Carriage and insurance are included. (For trade terms please contact us.)  (ISBN 978 1 899933 15 0)

More images and some samples, exhibitions, and talks about the book . . .

visit the artist's website for details

Between 20 July and 22 August 2004, Jump of the Manta Ray was on show at Association artothèque, in Château La Nerthe, near Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France.

see three photos taken at the Star Gallery exhibition

The book and the images that went into it were exhibited at the Star Gallery on Castle Ditch Lane in Lewes, Sussex, in March 2004. Click on the blue pointer for images of the show and of the collaborators.

visit the website of Francis Kyle Gallery

Amongst the images in Jump of the Manta Ray are some from Antarctica, taken when Philip was there as an official artist. His major one-man exhibition In Antarctica was held in September /October 2003 at Francis Kyle Gallery. You can see and purchase Jump of the Manta Ray at the gallery.

request a paper prospectus

A printed announcement for the book is available - please let us know if you would like a copy - you can use our contact form via the 'contact' button on the left.

get a pdf of the image index of Manta Ray

Click and pick up a pdf of the index page showing thumbnails of all the images in Jump of the Manta Ray. (Warning: it's 110K!)

As work on the book progressed I recorded the process with photographs. In December 2002, I gave a lecture to the Designer Bookbinders society in London on the making of Jump of the Manta Ray, and gave it again at the Oxford Fine Press Fair in November 2003.

visit the website of Sherman Galleries

The book and associated images were shown at an exhibition of Hughes's work at the Sherman Galleries in Sydney, Australia, in November 2002. A further exhibition was held at the Drill Hall Gallery, in Canberra, Australia, between 7 November and 15 December 2002.



Tonge's Travels

 

The diary of an Oxford undergraduate: the Mediterranean by cargo steamer in 1857

In print,
BUT bound copies will not be available
until later this year (2013) (possibly)

View one of John Watts's watercolours

view the book itself
read chapter 3 (91K PDF file)
sheets are available for binders in seven sections

'a perfectly delightful book'

I have always enjoyed travel writing, especially when it shows travel in its true light: general awfulness punctuated by moments of great pleasure. Some years ago I acquired a manuscript diary which, a recent handwritten slip inside suggests, was written by George Tonge who went up to Lincoln College, Oxford in 1856, and subsequently entered the Church.

According to his diary, George Tonge (if indeed it was he) had decided that the Long Vacation at the end of his first year would be spent on some form of voyage, and, in the event, on 15 July 1857 he boarded the screw steamer Avon which was headed for the Mediterranean in search of a cargo of currants. The 282 manuscript pages of his diary take us on a ten-week journey to Gibraltar, Genoa, Pisa, Naples, Vesuvius (avoiding falling debris), Pompeii, a detour on foot and horse to Corinth, Athens (which clearly made a deep impression on him), Vastitza ('began loading early and shipped about 80 tons of currants', 'had a bathe close to the vessel with a man looking out for sharks'), and back via Algiers. Stowaways are put back on land, the rigging breaks, the engineer blows himself up, and bandits are avoided. For a flavour of the diarist's writing, click on the 'excerpt' button to the left.

There is a single edition of 290 bound copies plus forty sets of sheets reserved for binders. The book is in a generous landscape format (230mm high by 300mm wide) to allow the text to run in double columns and provide the right shape for twenty-four watercolours and sketches by John Watts, much as a traveller of the day might have committed sights and thoughts to paper where today we would use video and digital images. John's illustrations have been reproduced by off-set litho at BAS. Printing a diary also gives us another excuse for using the written as well as the printed word in the book: snippets of Tonge's account have been hand-written by calligrapher Patricia Gidney and printed letterpress.

The text has been printed letterpress in 12/14pt Monotype Centaur on Mohawk Superfine eggshell finish paper, and copies are bound in full cloth with a dust-jacket bearing one of John Watts's line drawings. 114pp. A four-page announcement, with two of the watercolours and a sample text page, is available on request: just send your name and postal address via our contact form using the 'contact' button on the left.

The price is £60 (€90, US$110) for bound copies, and £40 (€70, US$80) for sheets. (ISBN 978 1 899933 08 2)

American binder Nancy Bloch of the Lemon Tree Press has done a fine binding of Tonge's Travels which featured in a major exhibition - Women in Letters - at the Clark Library at UCLA in 2007.


Printing at the University Press, Oxford, 1660-1780

The first definitive narrative on one of the greatest English presses

In four volumes from 2014 onwards,
the first to be published in 2014

read the story of the book so far through our newsletters

In November 2013 Oxford University Press is publishing a major four-volume history of itself. In 2008 I was asked to write a chapter specifically on the printing side during the hugely important period from 1668 to 1780 which began with the formation of the free-standing Press under John Fell and his partners. As I worked on my chapter it became apparent that, although historian Harry Carter and bibliographer Falconer Madan had delved into many aspects of the topic, their coverage was fragmented, scattered here and there through their writings. There was evidently no single continuous narrative that told the story of the day-to-day business of printing. It is that gap that we hope to fill.


This title, perhaps the most ambitious in its research and extent from The Old School Press, will be a four-volume work, each volume to be published separately. Volume I will cover three key resources of the Press (in particular the Learned Press) and their development: the premises they occupied and how they were used, the management organisation that ran the Press, and the paper it used and its sources. Volume II will cover the type it used and its sources. Each of these resources will be dealt with chronologically in order to show the changes that occurred and why, as well as providing the foundations for the third volume. Volume III will cover the processes of the Learned Press, detailing how a book progressed from its author, via compositor, corrector, press-crew, and rolling-press man to the Warehouse ready for sale.

Volume IV will break entirely new ground with its coverage of the workings of the Bible Press towards the end of the period through a statistical analysis of the weekly accounts; such an analysis has only been possible for a handful of other presses, and I believe this will be the first for one such as Oxford's Bible Press which printed hundreds of thousands of Bibles and prayer books each year. The analysis is based on the weekly accounts for a three-year period from December 1769. We know how much which men were paid for composing and printing which sheets of which Bible or prayer-book. Further, by combining that detailed data with an examination of the books themselves, in particular the so-called 'press figures' with which sheets were marked, we can deduce much about the dynamics of the Bible printing house.

Throughout my researches I have aimed at basing the entire narrative in contemporary documents, rather than relying on later commentators and writers. I have - much as in The Fell Revival and Stanley Morison & 'John Fell' - tried to let the players of the time speak for themselves through their letters, notes, and accounts, and also to provide the necessary background to what was happening at the time both in Oxford and the wider world as it impinged on work at the Press.

Each of the four volumes will have tipped-in reproductions of manuscripts from Oxford University Press archives, Oxford University archives, and the Bodleian Library, all published for the first time. The edition will be 200 standard copies (including ten sets of sheets for binders) and there will be a de luxe edition of fifty copies which will come bound in quarter leather in a slipcase with additional material: with volume I there will be a volume of hitherto unpublished correspondence from the London paper dealers to the Press in the 1670s, with volume II a portfolio of leaves from books printed across the period, and with volume III an extended essay on the business planning done by Fell's partner Thomas Yate at the time that they set up their press in 1671-2.

The separate volumes will of course be printed letterpress, in Monotype Van Dijck on Mohawk Superfine. The books' size and binding will be the same as for our previous titles on OUP (such as those noted above).



The Fell Revival

The story of the revival of the Fell types in the 125 years from 1864, by Martyn Ould and Martyn Thomas

Only unbound sheets remaining

View a fuller PDF announcement

view the book itself
sheets are available for binders in 13 sections

'a bold and ambitious study'
Bibliomane, The Times

'a very well-written and well-made book, and one that every student of modern fine printing will want to read and own' Parenthesis

Anyone turning the pages of Stanley Morison's splendid volume John Fell, the University Press and the 'Fell' Types published in 1967 would be justified in thinking that the last word had been said about Oxford University Press's Fell types. But Morison and his collaborator Harry Carter were mostly concerned to chronicle the origins of the types. After their 'rediscovery' at O.U.P. in the form of punches and matrices in the 1860s, the types saw a gradual revival, started mainly by the Reverend Daniel at Worcester College, Oxford, who obtained some founts and used them for fifty books of poetry. By the time Hornby had also acquired some founts and used them for ten books at his Ashendene Press at around the turn of the century, O.U.P. saw the potential in the types for their own use and for others, and there began a revival which continued until the close of the Printing House at Oxford.

The authors of this new book started with the modest aim of cataloguing titles printed in Fell during that revival. However, as their researches progressed in the O.U.P. archives, at Worcester College, in the Morison and Meynell archives at Cambridge, and at the Bodleian Library, they found themselves uncovering a fascinating story of the revival: of the problems faced by the O.U.P. Type Foundry in casting new type from the 'ancient' and often faulty matrices, of the use of the types by the 'amateurs' Daniel and Hornby and some other surprising names, of the impact of Horace Hart's management on the operation of the Press, and of life at the Press around the turn of the century. Before long, the intended handlist with short introduction had become a major book with a handlist as an appendix, a list that surprisingly exceeds 250 titles.
We have been delighted by the way the book has been received by our customers. Adjectives used to date include outstanding, marvellous, breathtaking, splendid, superb, beautiful, handsome and wonderful.

The book is printed litho in 11.5/15pt. ITC Galliard CC on demy quarto Mohawk Superfine paper. There are 350 copies for sale, each of which contains eight tipped-in type samples printed at The Old School Press on hand-made papers from pre1989 Oxford University Press stocks using the remaining founts of Fell type, together with 18 pp. of photographs of archive materials. 204 pp. Approximate size 290mm by 220mm.

BINDING A. ALL SOLD Fifty copies bound in quarter-leather, the boards covered with paper marbled by Ann Muir in a seventeenth century style but with a twentieth-century flavour. Each copy contains an additional portfolio of about twenty type facsimile and original pages printed using Fell type, including displays of the remaining Fell flowers; all the new items are printed at The Old School Press, except one from a Daniel Press book which is printed by the authors at the Bodleian Library on the Reverend Daniel's hand-press. Book and portfolio come in a slip-case. £180 (US$300). (ISBN 978 1 899933 07 5)

BINDING B. Two-hundred and fifty copies bound in full blue cloth and numbered 1 to 250. Endpapers and dust-jacket are in Colorplan. Paper spine label. Standard copies ALL SOLD £75 (€130, US$130). A further fifty copies, numbered 251 to 300, are reserved for binders in folded and collated sheets. £45 (€80, US$80). Trade terms are one third on Binding B. (ISBN 978 1 899933 06 8)

If you are interested in the Fell types, a book being prepared by Stephen Heaver at his Hill Press in Baltimore might also be of interest: Dutch Types at Oxford University Press and Merrymount Press. You can view a scan of an announcement here.



Stanley Morison & 'John Fell'

The writing and printing of Stanley Morison's book John Fell, the University Press and the 'Fell' types

Only unbound sheets and two O/S copies remaining

View one of the photographs from the book

view the book itself
read a 12pp extract (83K PDF file)
read the story of the book through our newsletters
sheets are available in nine sections of 16pp with all necessary tip-ins
 

'A wonderful production.' 'Delightful - beautifully produced and very interesting and informative too.' 'Handsome and well done.' 'Splendid!'

WINNER of a 'Judges Choice Award' at the 2003 Oxford Fine Press Book Fair

While researching The Fell Revival, Martyn Thomas and I found ourselves following threads just off the main theme but equally interesting. One of them related to the writing and printing of Stanley Morison's great work John Fell, the University Press and the 'Fell' types, a book which was first suggested to Morison in 1925 but which was not published until 1967, on the very day after his death.

In the words of Vivian Ridler, who was Printer to the University when the book was finally printed, 'Morison had a very strong journalistic streak in him, he wasn't an innate scholar, he was rather of the "publish and be damned" school. He reckoned his job was to do some pioneering work. He used to say "get it all down and published and let other people come along and go over it." The scholarship was Morison's but Harry Carter did a lot of quiet putting right.' The topic was vast, and others were enlisted to assist in various aspects: John Simmons as Printer's Librarian, Mr. Bill from the Bodleian Library, Dr. Voet at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, and Miss Margaret Crum, also from the Bodleian.

Work on John Fell had to fit in with all of Morison's other activities and was interrupted by his bouts of illness, so the work proceeded with agonising slowness. At one point Ridler was prompted to write to Morison 'Do you think that . . . some way might be found of moving the Fell opus again? . . . even if I am spared, I have only another nineteen years to go.' Printing this vast work - itself all hand-set in the Fell types - became a major project for the Printing House, requiring sets of pages to be type-set, proofed, corrected, and printed, before the type could be dissed ready for the next set.

This new monograph tells the story principally through the archives at Oxford University Press, and the Stanley Morison Room papers in Cambridge University Library, but also through interviews with some of those directly involved: John Simmons, Vivian Ridler, Richard Russell, and John Bowley. (If you would like to listen to recordings of our interviews with Vivian Ridler, please click here.) It gives a fascinating insight into Morison and his dealings with colleagues, and of the workings of OUP over the period. The chapters are The book described, The 1900 Hart catalogue, The 1925 Chapman folio, The 1930s Johnson specimens, The 1950 Batey keepsake, The 1953 Morison fascicules, The 1967 Morison book, End-game, Production, Publication, and The type-faces in 'John Fell'. Click the 'excerpt' button above for a 12pp extract from the book. There are four tipped-in leaves of books set in the Fell types, plus a dozen splendid photographs of those involved over the four decades. A two-page announcement is available on request: just send your name and a postal address via our contact form using the 'contact' button on the left - if you would like to be sent some sample pages as well, just let us know.

In January 2004 I presented a paper to the Printing Historical Society conference Printing and the World of Learning in Cambridge. Why not read a transcript of my paper (157K PDF) - it will give you a feeling for the scope of the book itself.

240 copies have been printed letterpress in 12/14pt Monotype Van Dijck on a demy quarto page of Mohawk Superfine, to match The Fell Revival in size. 144pp.

BINDING A. ALL SOLD Fifty de luxe copies are bound in quarter burgundy leather, with a marbled paper by Ann Muir on the boards. They are signed by Vivian Ridler, and Morison's collaborator John Simmons. Like the de luxe of The Fell Revival, these copies come with an additional portfolio of material, some printed in Fell; you can click here to download a PDF of the portfolio's contents. The book and portfolio are presented in a slipcase. £160 (€270, US$270). (Trade terms on de luxe copies are one quarter.) (ISBN 978 1 899933 17 4)

BINDING B. There were 170 copies case-bound in burgundy cloth with a dust-jacket carrying a drawing of Morison, but these have all been sold. However I have two O/S copies for sale at £50 each, in very good condition with fresh dust-jackets - contact us for details. Twenty copies were reserved in sheets for binders and a few sets are still available. Bound copies were £80 (€135, US$135), sheets are £50 (€90, US$90). (ISBN 978 1 899933 10 5)

If you are interested generally in the history of Oxford University Press, I recommend On the Press, an excellent book about the people on the shop floor at OUP, written by one of its former employees, Mick Belson. (Mick had been Head Reader. He died in 2008.)



Harry Carter, Typographer

A tribute to an unsung English typographer, by Martyn Thomas, John A Lane, and Anne Rogers

Just two bound copies left

View one of the photographs from the book

view the book itself
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sheets are available in nine sections plus end-papers and spine label and all necessary tip-ins

'a lovely piece of design' 'a properly and thoughtfully designed and fascinating history of a time of values which, sadly, have almost totally disappeared'

Harry Carter was one of the foremost typographers of the twentieth century, and one of the least celebrated. Sir Francis Meynell described him as 'one of the least-known best-known men in the world of books. He has chosen nearly always to be an accompanist, rather than the soloist he could be.'

Carter was a meticulous scholar. Stanley Morison famously said of him 'The man's a pedant! The man's a pedant!', but Morison's great book John Fell carries the acknowledgement 'with the assistance of Harry Carter' on the title page, and in his preface Morison says that Carter 'carried unflinchingly the massive burden of editorial drudgery'. In reality, Morison would never have completed John Fell without Carter's deep knowledge of ancient types, his unerring eye for detail, and his passion for accuracy.

 Carter's Emerald (6pt) Bible type designed for OUP.
 

Carter's career spanned the Monotype Works, the Kynoch and Nonesuch Presses, H.M.S.O, and the University Press, Oxford. His designs ranged from a Curwen pattern paper, to the lettering for the route blinds on London buses, Monotype Russian Baskerville, a Hebrew type, and a new Bible face for O.U.P. His main legacy, however, lies in his many publications. Carter's breadth of work was remarkable. His translation of Fournier on Typefounding is the standard work, as is his translation of Herodotus for the Limited Editions Club. But it is his many books and articles on type design and type history that are especially valuable to typographers and lovers of fine printing today.

The book combines a 50pp biographical sketch by Martyn Thomas and Anne Rogers with a comprehensive bibliography of Carter's published work originally compiled by John Lane, including books, articles, reviews, and lectures, as well as reviews of his work by others. 240 copies have been printed letterpress, uniformly with Stanley Morison & 'John Fell'. Each copy of the book contains eleven photographs of Carter through his lifetime, a sample of the pattern paper he designed for Curwen, a self-portrait when aged 13, a triple wood-engraving portrait of him by George Buday, and a printed sample of his 'Emerald' Bible type. 128pp. There are two bindings, both executed by The Fine Bindery:
BINDING A. ALL SOLD Fifty de luxe copies are quarter-bound in green goatskin with a Cockerell-style marbled paper by Ann Muir on the boards. Each copy also contains an additional volume of three hitherto unpublished essays by Carter: two sections he drafted for the putative second volume of his history of Oxford University Press, and an essay he wrote on Baskerville as a typeface. The additional volume is printed in Romulus, as the main volume, but here on a Van Gelder hand-made paper. The two volumes are presented in a slipcase. £160 (€270, US$300). (ISBN 978 1 899933 19 8)
BINDING B. 170 standard copies are case-bound in green cloth, with a dust-jacket of green Hahnemühle Bugra Bütten carrying a line-drawing portrait of Carter by John Watts; £80 (€135, US$160). Twenty copies have been reserved in sheets for binders; £40 (€70, US$85). (ISBN 978 1 899933 11 2)

The book was published on 26 April 2005 at a talk entitled 'Harry Carter - Man of Type' given to the Friends of St Bride by co-author Martyn Thomas, at St Bride Library, London.


The Daniel Press in Frome

The Daniel family and their press in Frome, by David Chambers and Martyn Ould

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Falconer Madan, one-time Bodley's Librarian, wrote the definitive bibliography of the Daniel Press, and had it printed on Daniel's own Albion and published in 1921, and one might reckon that little more was to be said on the topic. Not true!


The books that Daniel printed and published from Worcester College in Oxford are relatively well known and by and large still to be had. Reproductions of pages from those fifty or so titles are also frequently seen. But in his bibliography, Madan also covers the less known output of Charles Henry Olive Daniel and his family from their home in Frome, Somerset. This domestic press dates from Henry's early years. But it was picked up by two of his brothers, Eustace and William, while he was away at school and later studying in London and then Oxford. After Henry had left home and established himself, and his press, at Worcester College, Oxford, the brothers and their father continued printing small items, in particular for the church at which Daniel's father was vicar (a post that Eustace was later to take over). Some were clearly juvenile and rather amateur works, including nine items that Madan refers to as 'books' and also hundreds of other items that are classed under the heading of 'Frome minor pieces' (of which some are but 'minima'). Much of it was ephemeral material for use in running the church. In contrast to the Oxford books, these are as good as unknown and almost never seen.

This title, we hope, redresses the balance and provides insights not only into the early work of a formative private press but also the role of an amateur press in its social setting. Henry's father was vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Frome and their home was the Georgian vicarage next door, a fine house that is now a private residence. Daniel and his brothers and father printed a large number of items for the church's daily affairs as well as items for more general consumption including bookplates for over fifty family members and friends. David Chambers and I tracked down, examined, and catalogued seven substantial collections of the Frome output amounting to over 1,000 pieces, and, taken together, they provided many insights into 'The Daniel Press in Frome'. Moreover, we found more than a hundred items not catalogued by Madan and these we have of course meticulously listed. Madan himself also recorded more information about the items in his own albums than he published in his bibliography and we have taken the opportunity to print the missing material in our book.

There are 72pp of text printed letterpress in 12pt Caslon on a pale blue laid paper by T Edmonds and 48pp of litho-printed photographs and scans of some of these rarest of items from the Daniel Press. We gathered the latter from five collections including the Bodleian Library and Worcester College, Oxford. There are also two tip-in reproductions of Daniel items, one by Henry and the other by his brother Eustace - they have been printed on a Ruthven parlour press of the same design as that used by the Daniel family themselves. You can watch a short video of the tip-ins being printed on the Ruthven here.

The edition is of 175 copies. The binding is quarter-cloth with a dark blue Hahnemuehle Bugra Buetten paper on the boards. Copies are £125 (€160, US$220) each.


Printing at the Daniel Press

An analysis of some rare proof sheets from the Daniel Press

In print

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'Absolutely fascinating!'

Authors' drafts are prized for the insights they offer scholars into the workings of the writer: the development and refinement of a text, the way that corrections and changes were made, and the degree of change made before the final version was reached. But we rarely have a chance to see that process in operation in the work of printers of the past. So it was with some excitement that in 2008, during our researches for The Daniel Press in Frome, David Chambers and I were presented with a paper bag full of pieces of mostly aged newsprint: fifty-two proofs and rejected sheets from the Daniel Press that had come down through the family.


On inspection they proved to date from between 1883 and 1897, complete with the Reverend Henry Daniel's pencil corrections. How this gathering of wastepaper-bin contents came to survive is a mystery, but I have not been able to resist examining them in detail and making some observations about the printing practices of that authentic and original amateur private press printer. Comparison of the proof sheets with the books as finally issued tells us quite a lot about what he spotted and what he did not! Through these items we see Henry Daniel, working at his Albion at Worcester House in Oxford, setting up perhaps four or eight pages in his forme, pulling a proof, and marking the necessary corrections; in some cases we have a sequence of proofs of the same page showing us the changes he made. In one instance we also have a sequence of proofs for a title page, revealing the changes he made to the design, wording, and typography. Daniel was not a great technical printer but his work is now much collected for its charm, and, in particular, for his use of the ‘Fell types’ and early printing ornaments which he had acquired from Horace Hart at Oxford University Press.

As well as listing all the sheets, this monograph contains twelve pages of photographs of them, illustrating aspects of Daniel’s working practices. It also reprints a fine obituary of Daniel by the writer Edmund Gosse. The 32pp of text are set in 12pt Caslon Old Face, printed on a ream of antique Turkey Mill wove paper. It is case-bound to a size that matches Falconer Madan's bibliography of the Daniel Press and our title The Daniel Press in Frome (see above).

The edition is just 95 copies. The price is £84 (E110, US$150) per copy.



The Stuff of Jane Austen

Extracts from the novels and letters of Jane Austen around the topic of 'stuff'

one day

   
   
read about progress to date

The second book from the Press was a collection of extracts from Jane Austen's novels and letters on the theme of 'fruit'. It was a nice opportunity to commission some delightful small wood-engravings from Simon Brett.

This new book takes as its theme the dress of her time, in particular the many different fabrics that were used for different items of clothing. In her book Jane Austen Fashion, Penelope Byrde lists twenty-seven different ones, and we plan to feature each as many as we can with an extract and a sample of the fabric concerned.

Plans will develop, but I am currently planning to use our 14pt Caslon (as for the Fruits of Jane Austen). We also have a number of hand-made papers which we've purchased over the years in anticipation of the right project. One such tranche is about 800 half-sheets of an Amalfi hand-made which came from Christopher Skelton's September Press. It's a paper with a wonderful crackle, quite hard, but which I think will make a nice match for the Caslon when printed damp. And of course it will be very tempting to use a nice silk for the binding. The next thing is to track down sources of as many of the fabric types as we can and think about how they can be worked into the book. Whatever happens, I'm sure it will be fun, especially for Austen lovers. I'm anticipating an edition of perhaps 50 copies.  

If you want to express an early interest in this, please let us know via our contact form using the 'contact' button on the left. As details appear they will be circulated in our occasional e-newsletter which (if you aren't on the list already) you can also request via the contact form.



tokonoma

Twenty haiku and tanka by James Kirkup with wood cuts by Naoko Matsubara

In print

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'The result is brilliant and beautiful, deeply satisfying to the senses.'

For something rather different, the Press collaborated with Canadian artist Naoko Matsubara in the making of an editioned piece that presents a collection of twenty haiku and tanka by James Kirkup, whose collection of poems Figures in a Setting we published in 1996. Each verse has been printed letterpress in large foundry Perpetua on a sheet of Japanese hand-made paper specially made by Masao Seki and accompanied by a striking woodcut by Naoko Matsubara. The images have been printed in one, two, or five colours by fine art printer Alan Flint in Canada under Matsubara's supervision.
In issue 5 of Parenthesis, Reiko Yamanouchi wrote 'The result is brilliant and beautiful, deeply satisfying to the senses. Martyn Ould is to be congratulated for having published . . . such a sumptuous work, embodying the best of handwork and a perfect harmony of art and poetry, and also presenting a world in which European and Japanese cultures are subtly and happily merged.'

The verses are complemented by a short essay on the writing of haiku and tanka by James Kirkup and on the concept of tokonoma itself. A tokonoma is an alcove in the home in which, for instance, a picture or scroll can be placed for meditation. To achieve the desired effect, the sheets are housed in a box constructed to allow one verse at a time to be displayed, much as one might display a photograph or favourite picture. The twenty-five sheets (each about 33cm by 26cm) are held in a tray covered in black cloth with a perspex lid. The back of the tray allows it to stand so that the top sheet is displayed. A slip case protects the whole. This hybrid of book and picture means that the poetry and pictures need never be fully hidden as they would be in the pages of a shelved book, but can be changed with time or whim. Every copy is signed by the four collaborators.

There is an edition of 105 copies of which 85 are for sale. Price is £490 for mailing to a UK address, €650 to an address in the Eurozone, and US$900 to elsewhere in the world. Postage, packing & insurance are included. (Please call for trade terms.) (ISBN 978 1 899933 05 1)

A four-page prospectus with reduced, colour reproductions of two of the sheets is available on request : just fill in our contact form using the 'contact' button on the left.



TankAlphabet

An alphabet book of tanka by James Kirkup

In print

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In 1924, the bookseller-editor René Hilsum commissioned the great poet Paul Valéry to write twenty-four prose poems to accompany lettrines (ornamental capitals). The letters K and W which are rare in French were omitted. The series, representing the twenty-four hours of the day, were engraved by Louis Jou. Valéry published a few of these alphabet poems, but the collection itself remained unfinished and unedited.

Drawing on the archives of Valériana in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, Michel Jarrety established an edition under the title Alphabet, published in 1999. For certain letters, more than one prose poem was composed, some of them accompanied by the poet's own delicate watercolours. James Kirkup was inspired by this unique literary/ typographical concept to compose a tanka sequence, twenty-nine in all, on the letters of the alphabet. The use of the 31-syllable Japanese tanka form in 5-line stanzas gives the concept a unity somewhat lacking in Valéry's interpretation.

Kirkup's delightful and poised verses are printed in Monotype Fournier Molé Foliate initials on a stock of Renage près Rives hand-made paper originally bought by the Carthusian Monastery at Parkminster, Sussex. The verses and introduction are printed on five half sheets of the Rives, and each half-sheet is folded to form four horizontal panels, the folded sheets then being wrapped in a cover of heavy hand-made paper from the Larroque mill in a delicious blue-green and tied with a ribbon. There are 190 copies. (£15, €30, US$30) (ISBN 978 1 899933 09 9)



De Sitv Dvnelmi – On Durham

The last poem in Old English, translated and introduced by David Crane, with a nineteenth century wood-engraving

In print

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sheets are available for binders in two sections
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The last extant poem in the Anglo-Saxon poetic tradition is The Old English Durham Poem. It tells of the site in the North of England on which the city has been built and the relics of the saints assembled there. David Crane has provided an introduction to his new translation of the poem, a translation that matches the metrical structure and alliteration of the original. It is printed in hand-set Stephenson Blake Caslon Old Face (including the 10, 12, 14, 18, 22 and 30pt) on Zerkall mould-made paper, and sewn into a wrapper of heavy, hammered Zerkall.

The trade edition of about 250 copies (ISBN 978 1 899933 02 0) has 12pp and is available at £6 (€10, US$10). A nineteenth century wood-engraving, found in the stock of a Durham printer, has been printed from the wood. (An ordinary edition of about 50 copies (ISBN 978 1 899933 03 7) (all sold) also contained an additional line drawing by Wendy Batt of an interior from Durham Cathedral and an additional wrapper of kozo handmade paper, £18 (€35, US$35)). Sheets of the trade edition in a slightly different collation of two gatherings of three sheets each are available for binders for £10 (€20, US$20).



Six Contemporary British Poets

A series of collections of new work by British poets

The series so far features the work of

Desmond Post

David Burnett

James Kirkup

Adrian Henri

Andrew Motion 'A Long Story'

see the series of books

To provide a focus for its work in printing poetry, The Old School Press is publishing a series of six books, each consisting of new work by a contemporary British poet, accompanied by illustrations by British artists. The first five are now ready.

If you would like to take all six titles please let me know. The series is to a uniform external design: quarter bound in yellow cloth with boards covered with a hand-made paper from the Larroque mill. The Larroque paper comes in a range of six delicate colours, and a different one is used for each title in the series. Each book bears its title embossed in gold on the front board. The text paper is either 145gsm Zerkall or 170gsm Magnani mould-made paper, and the end papers black Canson Mi Teintes. Each book is about 265mm high and 175mm wide. If you buy a copy of the entire series, I will send a slipcase for the set with my compliments when the final item is published.



Antigone

A narrative poem by Desmond Post, with wood cuts by Inger Lawrance

Three copies left

View a page from Antigone

View a designer binding of Antigone by Rachel Ward-Sale

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The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone was sealed in a cave by her uncle Creon after she had, against his command, tended the body of her brother who had died fighting to succeed Oedipus. Desmond Post's poem is an imagined soliloquy as she awaits death in her tomb. Writing of his work, Desmond Post says 'Antigone, of all the royal house of Thebes, is the most deserving of recall. There was a need that I should cast her within the character that Sophocles made noble, so her words are spare and acute, and her spirit, questioning and defiant, does not succumb to the creeping despair. Her death is an affirmation of her self against the pitiless Fates.'

In asking Inger Lawrance to provide five of her striking wood cuts (cut on cherry wood), I think I have found a complementary visual voice about which the words 'spare' and 'acute' can also be used. I first came across her work in illustrations for The Old Stile Press and she publishes in her own right at The Windmill Hole Studio. The text is hand-set in the 14pt version of Stephenson Blake's casting of Eric Gill's Perpetua. The edition consists of 112 copies, signed by poet and artist, of which twelve sets of sheets were reserved for binders but are now out of print. £42 (€75, US$75). 30pp.(ISBN 978 0 9522335 8 9)



Figures in a Setting

A collection of six poems by James Kirkup, with line drawings by John Watts

In print

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James Kirkup is well known as a poet and translator, and he also published three novels, six volumes of autobiography, plays, and essays. He has been published in particular by the Sceptre Press, Rockingham Press, Hub Editions, and the University of Salzburg Press. His work appeared in various magazines in Britain, Japan, France and the USA, and he was a frequent obituarist for The Independent newspaper in the UK.

We collaborated with James on two other books: tokonoma and TankAlphabet. Unfortunately we never met (he died in 2009) but correspondence with him was always a pleasure and one would receive a haiku or two occasionally in the post.

In this collection, I have printed previously unpublished poems on the theme of the figure, giving an opportunity of combining each with a full-page line drawing, commissioned from John Watts and reproduced by line block. The text is set in 14pt Centaur italic. The edition is 185 copies signed by poet and artist, priced at £42 (€75, US$75) per copy. A further thirty sets of sheets were available for binders but are now all sold. (ISBN 978 1 899933 01 3). 24pp.

There is now a website devoted to Kirkup's work.



Chesil Beach

A poem by David Burnett, with a wood-engraving by Christopher Wormell

In print

View the binding and title page of Chesil Beach

 
 

Number three in the Poetry Series contains a single poem by David Burnett, whose collection Twelve Poems the press published in 1994. The poem is accompanied by a fine new wood engraving of Chesil Beach commissioned by David Burnett from Christopher Wormell. The text is set in hand-set Stephenson Blake's Caslon Old Face in a variety of sizes, with the poem in 18pt. The edition is of 215 copies, all signed by poet and artist. £24 (€45, US$50) (Sets of sheets have all been sold.) (ISBN 978 1 899933 00 6)

As part of a collaboration with binder Owen Bradford, six students at Newcastle University were each given two sets of sheets of Chesil Beach to bind, one set for themselves and one set for The Old School Press. This is the second time the Press has had this arrangement and the results have been splendid.



Lowlands Away

An oratorio in ten parts by Adrian Henri with pastel images by Adrian Henri

In print

View one of Adrian Henri's images

sheets are available for binders in three sections
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Adrian Henri wrote ten poems as texts for an oratorio by Richard Gordon-Smith for soloists, chorus and orchestra, which has recently been recorded on CD by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. It tells the story of the loss at sea of the Thames and Medway barge Cynthia, commanded by the composer's great-grandfather, a century before in 1896, and of his last words to his wife, cast into the sea in a bottle and subsequently forwarded to her.

In 2000, at the Six Chapel Row contemporary art gallery in Bath, I discovered that Adrian was also an artist and indeed had trained as one, and it seemed an ideal opportunity to have a poet's work in two forms in the same book. To that end there are eight images, reproduced by four-colour litho at the Senecio Press from Adrian's vibrant pastels. These drawings were the last that Adrian made, in hospital, before his death at the beginning of 2001 - sadly, he never saw the book in its final form, and indeed a couple of the images were unfinished. Yet they are full of life and vigour.

The book follows the binding style of the series: quarter-bound with yellow cloth on the spine, with a hand-made paper from the Larroque mill covering the boards, this time a mottled celadon colour, black Canson end-papers, and the title embossed in gold on the front cover. The text has been printed in 14pt Monotype Gill Sans on Rivoli paper. 32pp. 410 copies are bound by Rachel and Richard James at Bristol Bound, and forty sets of sheets are reserved for binders in three sections. £64 (€110, US$105) for bound copies, £45 (€80, US$80) for sets of sheets. (ISBN 978 1 899933 12 9)

Each of the eight illustrations from the book is also available in the form of editioned prints. The Senecio Press are printing fifty copies of each with the latest in fine art ink-jet printers, using archival inks on 330gsm Somerset paper. Copies are available unframed at £90 (€145, US$150) each, plus P&P at cost. The sheet size is 500mm by 400mm. We have been amazed by the quality of these prints: the rendering of the pastels is so good that one is afraid of smudging the image!

There is now a website dedicated to Adrian Henri's work.



A Long Story

A four-part poem by Andrew Motion, with wood-engravings by Simon Brett

In print

View one of Simon Brett's wood engravings

View a designer binding of A Long Story by Rachel Ward-Sale

View a designer binding of A Long Story by Kate Holland

view the book itself
 

For the fifth title in our series of the work of contemporary British poets, we are fortunate to have the opportunity of printing an extended four-part poem by Poet Laureate emeritus Andrew Motion.

Writing of his work, Motion says 'A Long Story assembled itself over several years into a loose sequence of four sections, none of them rhymed, and all are written in a very loose, rambling rhythm. I began with the wish to identify certain memories in my childhood which I've always considered to be 'spots of time' - ie, moments which have a self-contained interest and drama - and ended up with scenes which anticipate (even predict) certain moods and attitudes I have as an adult.'

To complement Motion's narrative style, we turned once more to leading wood-engraver Simon Brett, whose ability to tell a story in a single sinewy image we greatly admire, and who cut four wood-engravings for the book.

The text was hand-set in 14pt Fournier italic and printed on 170gsm Magnani mould-made paper. The book follows the series binding style: quarter-bound with yellow cloth on the spine, this time with a rich dark green hand-made paper from the Larroque mill covering the boards, black Canson end-papers, and the title embossed in gold on the front cover. 210 bound copies. Twenty sets of sheets were reserved for binders (all sold). All copies are signed by poet and artist. 44pp.

The price is £72 (€125, US$130) for bound copies. (Unbound sheets were £45 (€80, US$85)). (ISBN 978 1 899933 14 3)



Blue Lagoon

A portrait of Venice in cyanotypes

one day perhaps

read about progress to date

The traditional media that accompany letterpress include wood-engraving, copper-engraving, pochoir and line blocks. I had wanted to try combining the tonal range of the photographic emulsion with the binary tones of ink on paper, but had been put off by the fact that most photographic printing papers seemed a world away from letterpress printing papers, and a mixture of the two felt to me to be an uncomfortable combination.

Until, that is, I remembered having experimented successfully with a photographic printing method called cyanotyping. This involves preparing a rather lethal-sounding emulsion and coating a suitable paper with it. 'Suitable' here means almost any paper that one might consider using for letterpress. The paper is then dried and used immediately by contact printing with the negative. Unused emulsion is washed out, the print dried and – hey presto – one has a print with full tonal range in a splendid blue. I have a large field camera that takes a 10in by 8in negative, and so the idea was born of combining a group of large cyanotypes with texts set in large typefaces. The precise format is not yet finalised, though it is likely to be quite big and in a landscape format, and I anticipate using six to eight images to illustrate texts with the Venetian landscape as its theme. I shall issue a separate prospectus for this item when details and prices are clearer. Please let me know if you would like details then - you can use our contact form via the 'contact' button on the left.


Copyright © Martyn Ould 1995-2014.

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