Tern Press, 1988.
Designed and printed by Nicholas and Mary Parry at the Tern Press.
Published in an edition of 110 standard copies and 15 specials.
I have to admit that I’d never been much of a fan of Tern Press books as I had not found the standard of the editions I’d seen quite as ‘fine’ as I tend to go for. This is not to say that they are badly produced at all, but more, I’d found, akin to work of decent hobby printers rather than a fine press. It is, I guess, curious that, now I own some of Nicholas and Mary Parry’s endeavours, I find this to be a large part of their charm. They are clearly labours of love from a couple who were most enthusiastic about the various book crafts they pursued.
But, to the edition in hand. I initially obtained one of the standard copies out of sheer interest in the content. With a love of the writing of Richard Jefferies, and a particular fascination with rooks, I felt I couldn’t go wrong. When it turned up I was most pleased with it. It may not have been the finest of fine press items, but it was most handsome nonetheless. In fact I quickly found myself deeply charmed by it. Set in Poliphilus and printed on a nicely textured Hardy Ends paper, it has a strong rustic feel that I can’t help but love. And the illustrations – two-colour relief prints taken from original etchings by Nicholas Parry – are most captivating.
In addition to the standard copy (pictured), I’ve just acquired number 1 of the fifteen special copies, full bound in cream pigskin and housed in a clamshell box. Going that extra mile, each of the specials has original ink illustrations drawn directly on the pages by Nicholas Parry instead of the prints in the standards. Now that’s what I call a special edition!
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