An occasional newsletter about forthcoming books and events

April 2021

In this newsletter . . .

progress on: Into the lagoon

a new collaboration with Naoko Matsubara

our newsletter archive


progress on
Into the lagoon

A collection of images by Leslie Gerry with an early twentieth-century text

planned for late summer 2021

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As we hinted in our February newsletter, one of the books currently in hand is another on Venice and its environs, in particular the surrounding lagoon which rarely gets the coverage that the city itself is all too readily given.

If you are an FPBA member (and if not, why not!?) you will probably have seen my review of Leslie Gerry's stunning book Venice in Parenthesis 38 and you'll know we are a fan of his work. I'm delighted to say that Leslie has prepared eight perfect images for Into the lagoon, one of which you can see in low resolution below.

For the text we've chosen excerpts from an early twentieth-century writer's work, that of E. V. Lucas, writing just at the outbreak of the First World War when things were probably less visitor friendly in some respects than they are today. Everyone in Burano is dirty. Murano glass works were a tourist trap: 'the entrance may be 'free', but the exit rarely is so'. I'm setting the text in 14pt Hunt Roman which makes a fine page.

The images, seven of which will fill an opening and one will form a frontispiece, will be printed by the best quality digital printing on Bockingford papers from St Cuthberts Mill, and the text of course by letterpress here at The Old School Press on the same paper. The whole production is currently looking like forty pages, and our current plan is for it to be presented in a Japanese-style wrap. The edition will be perhaps sixty copies with fifty for sale. Stay tuned for more news.

If you're also a fan of Leslie's work, do have a look at Stockholm Reflections on our website - you'll find a short video there which gives a good idea of the book and its contents. Copies are still available from our online shop.


progress on
a book with Naoko Matsubara

Woodcuts inspired by poems from the Manyoshu

planned for late 2021

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The other hint in our February newsletter was that a new collaboration with celebrated Japanese wood-cut artist Naoko Matsubara was in the offing.

Compiled during the Nara period, the Manyoshu is one of the most revered of Japan's poetic anthologies. Naoko has taken her inspiration from just a dozen of the more than 4,500 poems and is preparing a large multi-coloured woodcut for each. We will be adding an English translation here at The Old School Press. Everything will of course be printed on Japanese handmade papers and we are planning a Japanese style binding. The page size will be 35.5cm by 26cm, and we anticipate an edition of fifty copies for sale.

Our earlier collaboration with Naoko - tokonoma - is still available; for details see our website. You can buy a copy from our online shop

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Copyright Martyn Ould 2021