Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part VII – The Four Gospels, Golden Cockerel Press (1931)

{Ed. Note: This is part VII of an on-going series by dlphcoracl looking at the greatest illustrated private/fine press books of all time. See Part I, II, III, IV, V and VI for the previous articles.} The Four Gospels is one of a trilogy of works illustrated with wood engravings by Eric Gill for the Golden Cockerel Press (GCP), including The Canterbury Tales and Troilus … Continue reading Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part VII – The Four Gospels, Golden Cockerel Press (1931)

It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season as your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers, while I sheepishly admit lifting the introduction from the holiday article of last year. … Continue reading It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

Great Illustrated Private Press Books Part V – The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke by William Shakespeare, Cranach Press (1930)

Nearly everyone enjoys “Best Of” lists.  Whether it is the ‘100 Greatest Universities in the World’, the ‘100 Greatest Books in the English Language’, the ‘100 Greatest Records in Rock ’N” Roll’, etc., we usually cannot refrain from reading through these lists.  It may be to satisfy our curiosity regarding what a group of experts rate as “the best” or, perhaps, to discover a hidden … Continue reading Great Illustrated Private Press Books Part V – The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke by William Shakespeare, Cranach Press (1930)

The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, Ashendene Press (1930)

The Ashendene Press was one of the great private presses of the early twentieth century. Their most famous works include Tutte le Opere di Dante Alighieri (1909, often considered with the Kelmscott Press Chaucer and Doves Press Bible as one of the three greatest private press books ever), and seven magnificent large folio’s: Malory’s Morte Darthur, Spenser’s Faerie Queen, Spenser’s Minor Poems, Boccaccio’s Decameron, Cervantes’s Don Quixote and the work reviewed here, Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War. All … Continue reading The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, Ashendene Press (1930)

It’s the Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season to be your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers. Please pass this link on to everyone you know, the more that … Continue reading It’s the Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

The Lulu Plays, by Frank Wedekind, Illustrations by William Kentridge, Arion Press (2015)

The latest publication from Arion Press, just released as their 104th work, is The Lulu Plays by playwright Frank Wedekind. Wedekind (1864-1918) became a major influence on what was to become German Expressionism and on the development of epic theatre.  His plays were quite scandalous when released for their frank depictions of violence and sex. Based on my first time reading, I would claim his writings are sensationalistic, innovative, unnatural … Continue reading The Lulu Plays, by Frank Wedekind, Illustrations by William Kentridge, Arion Press (2015)

Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne, The Plantin Press for the Limited Editions Club (1962)

There seems to be an occasional bias, in some cases perhaps well-founded, that a work of literature is suspect if it happens to actually be entertaining. To some, unless a book is as perplexing as Ulysses or The Sound and the Fury, literary merit is disparaged. What else can explain that Jules Verne (1828–1905), at least in the English speaking world, has often been considered second tier, not quite a … Continue reading Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne, The Plantin Press for the Limited Editions Club (1962)