An occasional newsletter

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

 September 2005

recent progress on

Harry Carter, Typographer

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

Standard edition published 26 April 2005

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We had two 'launches' for the standard edition of the book, one in London at the St Bride Printing Library on 26 April 2005 when co-author, Martyn Thomas, gave 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. One of the bonuses of the Oxford event was that Vivian Ridler, one-time Printer at Oxford University Press who worked with Carter for many years, was able to come, even though he is now in his nineties.

The de luxe copies (of which only one copy remains unsold) contain an extra volume of 28pp with three previously unpublished essays by Carter. I have printed them 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, and took the sheets and the marbled paper by Ann Muir off to the Fine Bindery. Printing on the Van Gelder was a little tricky as I decided - perhaps foolishly in the end - to print on the full sheets with the deckle edge in place, rather than having it guillotined off. This made registration a bit of a nightmare of course, given that I am using a proof press which relies on having at least two straight edges to get alignment constant. It required some set up on the feed board to allow me to align each sheet against other marks - not entirely satisfactory but workable. In the event the binders are trimming all the edges, so I had set myself a rather pointless challenge!

The main volume is being bound in quarter green leather, with the Muir paper on the boards. The second volume is being case-bound in full cloth and the two volumes will come in a slipcase. As a bonus - and rather at the last minute - there will be two further items in a wallet at the back of volume 2: a copy of the keepsake from the launch, which contains a showing of Carter's Emerald Bible type, and a showing of three type borders which we know or suspect to be Carter's design. The latter are being printed for us by Ian Mortimer using original type from Curwen Press for whom at least one border was designed. I hope to be able to send out ordered copies of the de luxe edition in early October.

The three books - The Fell Revival, Stanley Morison & 'John Fell', and Harry Carter, Typographer complete - for now - our researches into various aspects of Oxford University Press. The three de luxe copies in particular make a fine set, united in format and colour. (A few copies are left of that of the Morison title.) I say 'for now' as we have in mind a showing of all the extant Fell flowers. This would naturally be a very small edition - probably only fifty copies - but if anything comes of the idea then readers of this newsletter will be the first to hear about it.


recent progress on

Henry James Sat Here


Nine poems by Anne Coon with images by Kurt Feuerherm



Possibly 2005, possibly not

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In a previous newsletter I had provisionally titled this Passeggiata, the title of one of the poems, but the new title (also the title of one of the poems) captures the flavour of this collection better I think. I had also reckoned on just six poems but - as things worked out - I have chosen nine from the larger cycle about Siena, Italy entitled Via del Paradiso that Anne Coon has written.

Kurt Feuerherm has painted some wonderful images to go with the poems - all done with bravura in their colour and line, and, as someone who likes strong graphic qualities, I was taken by the combination of words and images. As predicted in the last newsletter, I shall be printing his images with archival inkjet: the results are just terrific. I am currently preparing a dummy made of the zig-zag design that I am planning so that we can start some costing and take the dummy to Oak Knoll Book Fest (see below) in a few weeks' time. Text and images will be printed on 225gsm Somerset, with the poems hand-set in 14pt Octavian.

You can find links to Anne and her work at our website as well as further information about the title.

If you want to express an early interest in it, please let us know via the contact form on our website. Currently we expect a small edition - probably 95 copies - of which sixty will be for sale. The price has not been finalised but we expect it to be around 140, Euro200, US$250.

a note about

The Bricks of Venice


Venetian decorative brickwork in words and pictures, by Peter Harris



In print

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No matter how much effort one puts into getting something right, perfection always seems at least one step further. A couple of buyers of The Bricks of Venice reported that an illustration was missing from their set of seventy-two. Initially it looked as though we had simply not compiled a full set in their copies, though this seemed unlikely given the checks we make.

It indeed turned out to be more complicated than that, and demonstrates the dangers of different states of an author's work. To identify the watercolours referred to in the book we had used a printed copy that Peter Harris had left. And, yes, it was subtly different in one respect from the electronic version that we used to edit and typeset the text. In the event it turns out that no-one has been deprived of a watercolour - Harris in fact never painted the 'missing' one, though it is referred to in our version of the text. Future copies will have an explanatory note added, and that note has also been sent out to folks who have already bought a copy. Hey ho.

Forthcoming events


Two major book fairs on either side of the Atlantic


Oak Knoll Book Fest
1-2 October

Oxford Fine Press Book Fair
5-6 November

We shall be making our annual trip to New Castle, Delaware for this year's Oak Knoll Book Fest where the weekend will be spent meeting friends and - we hope - selling some books.

Then, just a few weeks later we are back and gearing up for the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair. Held every two years, this Fair has gone from strength to strength with something new every year. As well as two full days of the Fair, with over sixty presses and dozens of dealers and trade suppliers, we have the Gregynog Letterpress Prize being awarded for the first time, as well as the Judges' Choice Awards, and five lectures and a demonstration on marbling on the Sunday.

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Copyright © Martyn Ould 2005.