The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde, Chester Creek Press, 2005

What does one get when they combine a fantastic short story by one of history’s great writers, with an edition made from wonderful hand made paper and letterpress handset type which together provide tactile stimulation for the eyes, the nose and the hands? A must have ‘little’ edition that encapsulates what lovers of fine press books find so attractive about hand crafted books.

Oscar Wilde’s short story The Nightingale and the Rose manages to powerfully explore themes of love, death, rejection, sacrifice, and futility in a mere seventeen pages of text. It was first published in 1888 as part of an Oscar Wilde written collection of stories for children titled The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Though I very much enjoy The Nightingale and the Rose, especially the romantic love aspect that drives the Nightingale’s sacrifice, the ending, essentially teaching the futility of true love, is not really something I would want my children to grow up believing in!

That having been said, I would love my children to appreciate the beauty of the 2005 edition of The Nightingale and the Rose by Chester Creek Press. It provides everything to the reading experience that a Kindle does not! As you will see in the pictures below, the overall production is wonderful; the paper and text are top-notch and the illustrations by Michelle Souliere are very nice. Chester Creek Press is located just outside the hamlet of Chestertown in New York State’s Adirondack Park. As stated on Chester Creek’s website, the main focus of the press is publishing limited editions of contemporary works of prose and poetry. Most of the production work of each edition happens in their studio – design, illustration, papermaking, letterpress printing from handset metal type, and bookbinding.

Besides a nice selection of works produced to this point and, as stated in Books and Vines News, Chester Creek Press is planning an edition of The Raven, from Edgar Allen Poe, in early 2013. I am greatly looking forward to that! Those interested in the works of Chester Creek Press can contact proprietor Robert Walp here.

About the Edition

  • Published by Robert Walp, Chester Creek Press, in July 2005
  • Illustrations are adapted from drawings by Michelle Souliere of Portland, Maine, and printed from polymer plates
  • Printed letterpress from Goudy Old Style type cast by Swamp Press of Northfield, Massachusetts
  • The paper is Old Rage Gray Handmade, pulled in The Lost Arch Papermill and The University of Alabama by the printer, who also bound the books
  • Bound in a hard cover Ethiopian style binding with blind printed title
  • 5-3/4 x 8-1/4 inches, 24 pages
  • Limited to 65 copies, mine is #22

Pictures

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The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Cover and Spine
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Cover
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Side View (paper front)
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Side View (paper back)
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Endpapers
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Title Page
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Title Page
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Sub-Title Page
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Macro Detail of Text (Beginning of Story)
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Sample Illustrations #2 with Text
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Sample Illustrations #2 with Text
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Colophon
The Nightingale and the Rose, Chester Creek Press, Macro Detail of Colophon Limitation

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