The Lewis and Dorothy Allen Press was, in a word, awesome. Always producing books entirely by hand, the output of their labors is always a wonder to behold. Take for instance their 1982 publication of The Oresteian Trilogy by Aeschylus. It certainly has to be one of the most beautiful editions of this classic ever done. Classically designed with Greek-letter calligraphy and Greek decorations hand-set in ‘flame’ ink along with hand applied gold illumination on hand-made all rag paper from the Richard de Bas mill in France (founded in 1326!), the work is stunning.
The Oresteian Trilogy is the only surviving example of a trilogy of ancient Greek plays. The Oresteia was originally performed in Athens in 458 BC, winning first prize. Just as Athens was learning the world-changing idea of self-governance by the consent of the governed, this great trilogy by Aeschylus highlighted the idea of justice and reason being a more rationale response to wrongs, rather than a viscous cycle of retribution.
Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC) is one of the three great Greek tragedians whose works have had a tremendous influence on our culture (along with Euripides and Sophocles). As he was the first, he is often thought of as the father of tragedy. Though he is estimated to have written nearly a hundred plays, only seven survive along with various fragments that are still occasionally found. His work tended to have significant moral and religious emphasis.
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About the Edition
- Volume 1 – Agamemnon, Volume 2 – The Libation Bearers and The Furies; both produced entirely by hand
- Designed, printed and bound by Lewis and Dorothy Allen
- Introduction by Mark Livingston
- Both volumes are individually 10″ x 7″, 148 pages
- Typeface is Menhart Unciala printed in black brown; the running headings on every page are Solemnis and Libra types, Greek-letter calligraphy (by Mark Livingston), and decorations from Greek sources are printed in ‘flame’ ink; all set by hand
- Title page and opening of text are embellished with 23 carat gold illumination
- All rag paper was handmade and watermarked especially for this edition by the Richard de Bas mill in France, established in 1326
- Printed damp on a Albion hand press made in 1882 in Scotland
- Cloth binding, books sewn on tapes, is a ‘flame’ fabric imported from France
- Brown cloth slipcase
- Limited to 140 copies
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