PRINTING AND THE MIND OF MORRIS
Rampant Lions Press, 1988
Designed and printed by Sebastian Carter at the Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge, UK.
Published in an edition of 450 standard copies on mould-made paper, 50 specials on handmade paper, and 5 deluxe copies on vellum.
There is a book by Richard Bigus called The Mystique of Vellum that, although I’ve not read, I can empathise with its title. There is a mystique about books printed on vellum that we may or may not be able to put our fingers on, but it is definitely there. It seems almost ingrained in fine press enthusiasts that anything printed on vellum is extremely precious and therefore highly sought after. I am no exception, and find books printed on vellum utterly exquisite.
I am incredibly fortunate to have in my collection two substantial books printed on vellum by the Rampant Lions Press. They are Printing and The Mind of Morris and Poets of the Daniel Press, both written by Colin Franklin. Each is the one out-of-series ‘printer’s retree copy’ that the printer kept for himself. In all honesty, each of these treasured books could quite easily be entered in my list, but to be fair I should only pick one.
Of the two, I have settled on Printing and The Mind of Morris. There is very little to choose between the two, but Morris gets it as I find it a little more enjoyable to read, plus I prefer the design and typography. I find Franklin’s essays very well written, making for a most informative and engaging book on the ideals and efforts that led William Morris to start the Kelmscott Press, and the effect this had on the bookmaking and publishing endeavours of others.
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