An occasional newsletter

News on progress on forthcoming books from the Press
Hinton Charterhouse, Bath, UK

 April 2005

recent progress on

The Bricks of Venice

A new study of the brickwork of Venice with sixty-six watercolours, by Peter Harris.

Now available

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This title was finally launched at a party at the Arts Club in London to start an exhibition of the original watercolours - and a grand time was had by all. We are little behind in satisfying the first rush of orders ... and have not even managed yet to send out the prospectuses to our mailing list, but that will be happening over the coming weeks. For the excuses, read on ...

recent progress on

Harry Carter, Typographer

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

Being published 26 April 2005

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As soon as we had finished printing The Bricks of Venice, the press received a little care and attention and was immediately put to 28 days of winding to print the 240 copies of 128pp of this biographical sketch and bibliography of typographer Harry Carter.

The 7,500 sheets of Mohawk paper had to go through the press twice each, and my right biceps are now significantly bigger than the left. But it all went smoothly enough, the fresh Romulus type looking very good on the page. For the title on the title page, I finally decided to purchase a small fount of Van Krimpen's Open Kapitalen which works well with the Romulus ... which Van Krimpen also designed.

The de luxe copies will contain an extra volume of 24pp with three previously unpublished essays by Carter, as mentioned in our last newsletter. As I write, I have the galley proofs on my desk and I expect to travel up to Stan Lane at Gloucester Typesetting next week to collect the type. There was a momentary glitch when we realised that the text contains a quotation in French, with some italic accented characters for which there was no matrix in the diecase that Stan had bought - a phone to Monotype Hot-Metal soon rectified the situation and the type has now been cast. I shall be printing the text on some Van Gelder handmade paper that I acquired a few years back when the printing shop at a monastery in England was being cleared. (There are associations here that give a printer some pleasure even if they are not obvious or interesting to everyone: Harry Carter knew Jan van Krimpen well and also Van Gelder, the owner of the papermakers.) All the materials will soon be ready for the binding of the de luxe copies at The Fine Bindery

If you haven't been to our website recently, you will find some updates to the picture story for this book. A prospectus will be sent out soon to everyone on our mailing list.

There will be two 'launches', so to speak, one in London at the St Bride Printing Library on 26 April 2005 when co-author, Martyn Thomas, will give a talk entitled 'Harry Carter, Man of Type' to the Friends of St Bride, and one in Oxford at Oxford University Press, under the auspices of the Oxford Guild of Printers.

a new title

The Stuff of Jane Austen


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


Possibly 2005, possibly not

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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 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 with an extract and a sample of the fabric concerned.

After a number of (for us) large books in large editions, all Monotype-set, it feels like time for a little hand-setting and a small edition, something that becomes economically feasible when one doesn't have the large fixed cost of machine setting. Plans will develop, but I am currently thinking of using our 14pt Caslon (as for The Fruits of Jane Austen) and an edition of perhaps 80 copies.

It might also be an appropriate opportunity to use some hand-made paper, in particular some Rives that we have put by ... but perhaps such an English theme calls for an English paper ... we shall see.

We shall also be tracking 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.

If you want to express an early interest in this title, please let us know via the contact form on our website.

a new title

Henry James Sat Here


Six poems by Anne Coon with images by Kurt Feuerherm



Possibly 2005, possibly not

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We met Anne Coon and Kurt Feuerherm at the Oak Knoll Book Fest a few years ago - they had been to the reading that Carmen Boullosa gave of  Jump of the Manta Ray at the New York Public Library when we published it.

Anne has written a cycle of poems about Siena, Italy entitled Via del Paradiso and I was struck by both the images and the poems. At the time two large books were in the pipeline and I wasn't able to make a commitment, but the time has now come to realise the opportunity.

I shall be printing only about nine poem-image pairs, rather than the entire cycle. Again, I want to be able to do something manageable in a small edition - perhaps 50 copies - and in an interesting way. I have always been looking for ways of allowing a book to act as a display of its contents as well as a straightforward codex, with pages that you turn. tokonoma was one such attempt. For Henry James Sat Here I plan to produce the book as a zig-zag built in such a way that it will stand open on its own for display, sit on the knees for reading, and fold into a slipcase for storage.

I see this as an opportunity of using the 14pt Octavian again - it stands up so well in poetry, especially with strong images - and I shall be using the same inkjet technology for Kurt's images as I am currently using for Peter Harris's watercolours in The Bricks of Venice. It is capable of rendering both subtlety and intensity on 100% cotton papers and with archival quality.

If you want to express an early interest in this title, please let us know via the contact form on our website.

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Copyright © Martyn Ould 2005.