Thomas Traherne

THE FIRST CENTURY OF MEDITATIONS

Belmont Hall, 2017

 

Designed and printed by Andrew Judd at Belmont Hall.

Published in an edition of 50 copies.

 

It appears to me that Andrew Judd is a figure in British fine press publishing that has unjustly gone under the radar. I’m hoping this changes now that a couple of more substantial items have been published (of which this book is one). Some very fine editions have come from his Belmont Hall and MKB Editions imprints and they merit a wider audience.

This particular book is by far the most ambitious project undertaken by Judd, and is quite an achievment. It is a sizeable, slipcased volume; cloth-bound with a printed wrapper, and is very well designed and handsomely printed on a thick Zerkall paper. The subject matter is the first hundred of 17th century clergyman and writer/poet Traherne’s meditations’ – a series of personal reflections on religion, philosophy and life that had gone unpublished until 1908. Accompanying the text are over twenty of Judd’s linocuts in single colour (mostly black) or two-colour (black and grey or black and muted pink). Judd is an accomplished artist and printmaker, and these superb prints of his pared-back, stylised country scenes are the highlight of the edition. It is difficult to describe his style – his linocuts are something akin to high contrast black and white photocopies of old photocopies where all the fine detail has been lost, leaving you with an essence of the image. This ability to portray the essence of a scene is remarkable and captivating, and certainly makes the images perfect company for the deep richness of Traherne’s words.

 

 

 

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