The Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part III – The Fables of Esope, Gregynog Press

{Ed. Note: This is the third in a series on ‘The Great Illustrated Private Press Books‘ by Books and Vines Contributor dlphcoracl.  Part I is here and Part II is here.} In the most recent installment of this series, featuring the 1973 Officina Bodoni edition of The Fables of Aesop, astute Books and Vines readers will have noted that I stated within the introduction: ‘Aesop’s Fables’ is firmly ensconced … Continue reading The Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part III – The Fables of Esope, Gregynog Press

The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

Aesop’s existence, while likely, is not completely certain, though writings about him are found in such sources as Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. Apparently he lived in ancient Greece around 600 BC. It was long said that he was a slave who won his freedom by his cleverness. No direct writings of his survive, though many tales over the centuries and across cultures have been attributed to him. In fact, as … Continue reading The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

Richard the Second, William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

The historical play Richard the Second, by William Shakespeare, was written sometime around 1595. It is based on Raphael Holinshed‘s Chronicles. The play focuses on the the last two years of the life of King Richard II of England, 1398-1400, especially the conflict between Richard and Henry Bolingbroke (later King Henry IV) over the kingship.  A synopsis is given by Sir Paul Harvey, from The Oxford Companion to English Literature: It deals with the arbitrary exile of Henry Bolingbroke … Continue reading Richard the Second, William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

Agnes Miller Parker, Her Wood-Engravings for Gregynog Press

{Ed. Note: This article is from Books and Vines contributor Neil.} Agnes Miller Parker (1895-1980) was a Scottish painter, illustrator and celebrated wood-engraver. She was born in Irvine and from 1911-1917 attended the Glasgow School of Art where she met the art critic and painter William McCance who she married in 1918. McCance and Miller Parker lived in Chiswick in the twenties and were near … Continue reading Agnes Miller Parker, Her Wood-Engravings for Gregynog Press

Gertrude Hermes and the ‘Gregynog’ Selborne, Gwasg Gregynog (1988)

{Ed. Note: This article is from Books and Vines contributor Neil.} Gertrude Hermes, OBE, RA (1901 – 1983) was an outstanding sculptor and wood engraver whose work spanned much of the twentieth century. In the opinion of Simon Brett, “her prints stand in the history of British Modernism alongside the paintings of Nicholson and the sculpture of Moore and Hepworth.” The story of Hermes’ association with Gregynog Press is interesting and sad. The … Continue reading Gertrude Hermes and the ‘Gregynog’ Selborne, Gwasg Gregynog (1988)

The Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies of William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939/1940)

William Shakespeare. The mere name puts students around the world into a state of fear and grief, sends conspiracy theorists into excited revelry and draws nervous shame from the masses who have never experienced Shakespeare. Yet, for lovers of literature, especially those who have read and re-read Shakespeare after reaching a mature age, hearing his name excites one’s soul while stimulating intellect, recalling scene after … Continue reading The Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies of William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939/1940)

A look at Simon Lawrence’s The Fleece Press

{Ed. Note: A few weeks back Books and Vines reviewed Leon Underwood: His Wood Engravings from the The Fleece Press. This article, from Books and Vines contributor Neil, provides a broader overview of the The Fleece Press by looking at a wider range of what they have published.} The Fleece Press, in Upper Denby near Huddersfield, England, is the imprint of Simon Lawrence. He is particularly well known for printing wood-engravings ‘from … Continue reading A look at Simon Lawrence’s The Fleece Press