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The Caudle History: A Droll Game


Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857), The Caudle History: a Droll Game (London: Edward Wallis, 1845-47?). Also called Wallis’s New Social Gamer, the Caudle History. Designed and lithographed by G. E. Madeley, 3 Wellington Street on the Strand. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


From January to November 1845, the British dramatist Douglas Jerrold published a humorous series of monologues entitled Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures each week in Punch magazine. The garrulous character of Mrs. Caudle was an immediate hit with the British public. Theatrical presentations of the lectures followed, along with volumes of collected Lectures published in Great Britain and in the United States. To further capitalize on the enormous success of Jerrold’s series, a satirical board game was released.

Composed of thirty-four hand-colored panels, the game follows closely on the thirty-six chapters or lectures published in Punch. There are six bed and five wedding ring squares that might set a player back. On square thirty-three, Mr. Caudle is dressed in mourning over the loss of his wife but in square thirty-four he is jumping for joy on the winning panel.

Introduction: “Poor Job CAUDLE was one of the few men whom Nature, in her casual bounty to women, sends into the world as patient listeners. He was, perhaps, in more respects than one, all ears. And these ears, Mrs. Caudle … took whole and sole possession of. They were her entire property; as expressly made to convey to Caudle’s brain the stream of wisdom that continually flowed from the lips of his wife, as was the tin funnel through which Mrs. Caudle in vintage time bottled her elder wine. There was, however, this difference between the wisdom and the wine. The wine was always sugared: the wisdom, never. It was expressed crude from the heart of Mrs. Caudle who, doubtless, trusted to the sweetness of her husband’s disposition to make it agree with him.”

See also Charles Zachary Barnett, Mrs. Caudle! or, Curtain Lectures! A Dramatic Sketch in One Act, Founded on the Celebrated Series of Papers in “Punch”. The only edition correctly marked, by permission from the prompter’s book … As performed at the London theatres. Embellished with a fine engraving by Mr. T. Jones … (London: J. Duncombe [1845?]). Rare Books: Theater Collection (ThX) TC023 (Playbooks Collection) Box 7

Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857), Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures: Delivered During Thirty Years by Mrs. Margaret Caudle (New York: E. Winchester, 1845). Firestone Library (F) PR1105 .H665 v.20

Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857), Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures, Illustrated by Charles Keene (New York : D. Appleton, 1866). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2003-0371

Preces Christianae

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Preces Christianae: Barmanorum lingua atque litteris editae (Rome: Typis Sac. Congreg. De Propaganda Fide, 1785). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


In the eighteenth century, publishing a translation of Christian prayers meant not only studying the foreign language and selecting the right words but also cutting and casting the type needed to print those words onto paper. The Propaganda Fide Press, or Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, did it all.

Founded in 1622 to promote the spread of Catholicism in non-Catholic countries, the Propaganda Fide served missions in North America, Africa, and the Far East. They were the first European press attempting to publish in all the languages of the world.


Father Percoto was sent to Burma in 1761 and became fluent in the Burmese language, authoring both a Latin-Portuguese-Burmese dictionary and a Burmese grammar in manuscript. Fifteen years later, the Propaganda Fide published the first printed book in Burmese, Alphabetum Barmanum seu Bomanum regni Avae finitimarumque regionum (1776).

The Preces Christianae offers Christian prayers printed in Burmese script. In addition, it has been set to show-off the talent of the Propaganda Fide designers and the variety of type forms available.

Der entwurzelte Baum


Josef Luitpold Stern (1886-1966), Der entwurzelte Baum (The Uprooted Trees).Woodcuts by Otto Rudolf Schatz (1900-1961) (Berlin: Büchergilde Gutenberg, 1926). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


Austrian author and poet Josef Luitpold Stern was an active member of the sozialdemokratischen Bildungszentrale (Social Democratic Educational Center) and in 1924, co-founded the Büchergilde Gutenberg (Gutenberg Book Guild) together with Bruno Dressler, chairman of the Education Association of German printers. With offices in Leipzig and Berlin (and later Prague, Vienna, and Zurich), their objective was to publish inexpensive books in an effort to make them available to a broad audience.


While teaching at the Vienna Workers’ University, Stern collaborated with the equally progressive Viennese artist Otto Rudolf Schatz on several woodblock books. Their first was Der entwurzelte Baum in 1926, followed by Die Neue Stadt (The New State) in 1927. Both volumes promoted the ideals of social democracy through poetry and graphic images beautifully carved and printed from full-page wood blocks.


When the Nazis took over the Book Guild, both men moved temporarily to the United States. Schatz lived briefly in New York City but when he tried to return in 1938, both he and his wife were sent to a concentration camp in Bistriz. Stern made his way to Philadelphia and worked for a time at the newly established Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center at Wallingford, Pennsylvania.

The Newspaper for Laughter


Le Journal pour rire (The Newspaper for Laughter). Journal d’images, joural comique, critique, satirique, lithographique, etc. Paris: Charles Philipon, February 4, 1848-September 26, 1851. 191 issues (complete); Large format series. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library.

Petit Journal pour rire (Little Newspaper for Laughter). Paris: Maison Aubert, 1856-1886. 1575 issues (1st series, n°1 to n°671; 2nd series, n°1 to n°313; 3rd series, n°1 to n° 591; Complete through 1886 (ran through 1904). Also called Le Journal amusant for some issues. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library.

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La Maison Aubert was opened in 1829 by Charles Philipon (1802-1862), his half-sister Marie-Francoise-Madeleine Aubert, and his brother-in-law Gabriel Aubert. Initially, the shop sold lithographs by Philipon and his friends. Their first caricature magazine was La Silhouette (1829), followed by La Caricature (1830) and Le Charivari (1832).

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In 1836, Philipon acquired a “brevet” or license so that La Maison Aubert could run its own lithographic press. When the July Monarchy ended in 1848, Philipon led the way into the second Republic with Journal pour rire, and then, Petit journal pour rire. Arguably the most popular Parisian journal of the day, the latter title continued through the end of the century and into the next.

rire5.jpgMore exploitation of women by men.

Félix Nadar (born Gaspard-Félix Tournachon 1820-1910) served as the editor, as well as illustrator, for Petit journal. The other principal artists included Cham (1818-1879), André Gill (1840-1885), Henri Monnier (1799 or 1805-1877), Bertall (1820-1882), Alfred Grévin (1827-1892), Gilbert Randon (1814-1994), Gripp, and Félix Régamey (1844-1907).

Sincere thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library for this wonderful new acquisition.

Emily Faithfull and the first Western printing press operated by women


Unknown artist, Portrait of Emily Faithfull, ca. 1860-70. Watercolor with pencil. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.

At the age of twenty-three, Emily Faithfull (1835-1895) fell in with a group of women led by Barbara Leigh Smith, who called themselves the “Langham Place Circle.” These ladies worked together to promote women’s suffrage and other social reforms, such as a campaign to have university examinations opened to women. In 1859, Faithfull and the others formed the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women.

In their search for skilled professions suitable for women, Faithfull and Bessie Parkes looked into the printing trade, specifically the position of the compositor. The two women bought a small press and took a few lessons to see if they were capable of performing this job, which of course they were.

On March 25, 1860, Faithfull used her own money to establish the Victoria Press with female compositors and proof-readers, and some men to do the heavy lifting. The Society for Promoting the Employment of Women apprenticed five girls to the Press at premiums of £10 each; others were apprenticed by relatives and friends.

Serious objections came from the London Printer’s Union, an all male organization, which claimed that women lacked the intelligence to be compositors (“The job requires the application of a mechanical mind and the female mind is not mechanical”).

At the same time, Faithfull had many supporters. Prominent authors including Alfred Tennyson, William Makepeace Thackeray, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and Anthony Trollope offered material to be printed and published by these women. The result was The Victoria Regia, A Volume of Original Contributions in Poetry & Prose (1861 (Ex) 3955.379).

On July 23, 1860, Emily Faithfull sent a letter to the editor of The Times (London). “So great is the success of this office,” wrote Faithfull, “that I have more work at this moment than my 12 women compositors can undertake, and I shall therefore be glad to receive six or eight girls immediately. They must be under 16 years of age, and apply personally at my office next week.”

The Victoria Press was a commercial success, operating for over twenty years, and leading to Faithfull’s appointment as “Printer and Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.”

Jansenist style binding


This 1900 volume has a Jansenist style binding, in imitation of a style from a previous period. The Jansenist style was popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, characterized by a plain exterior and elaborately tooled doublures.

Both front and back boards are plain while the spine has a gold tooled title. Inside, the doublures are elaborately tooled color leather with a series of interlocked floral elements. The edges are gilt.


The term Jansenist binding is an allusion to the Jansenists, a Christian theological movement that emphasized original sin, human depravity, and the necessity of divine grace, originating from the writings of theologian Cornelius Otto Jansen (1585-1638).

“In the reign of Louis XIV, also, by sheer reaction against the leaden showiness of the fashion set by the king, that there arose the simple style of binding called after Jansen, and adopted by the sect of Port Royal. The Jansenists bound their books soberly, with no gilding whatsoever on the sides, relying on the simple beauty of the leather in which their volumes were clad and decorating only the inside border, the dentelle, as it was called, from its resemblance to delicate lacework. These under decorated books were better bound in a technical sense than those of an earlier day.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), The Poetical Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (London: Ellis and Elvey, 1900). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2011- in process.

A Booke of Christmas Carols

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Joseph Cundall (1818-1895), A Booke of Christmas Carols, Illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: Henry O. Bohn, 1845). Plates drawn and lithographed by John Brandard (1812-1863). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


Printing Casanova

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Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), Twelve printing plates for the frontispieces of Giacomo Casanova’s Memoirs ([New York], 1925) Graphic Arts collection GAX 2011- in process. Copper line block relief plates attached to wood blocks.

Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798), Memoirs. Translated into English by Arthur Machen with an introduction by Arthur Symons, a new preface by the translator, and twelve drawings by Rockwell Kent. Priv. print. for subscribers only. ([n.p.] Aventurors, 1925) Rare Books (Ex) 14091.241.1925, v.1-12.


1925 was a busy year for Rockwell Kent. Newly divorced from his wife but still supporting his five children, Kent took on more commercial work then he might have preferred. This included the designs for 12 frontispieces to accompany a limited edition set of Casanova’s Memoirs, translated into English by Arthur Machen in 1894. 12,000 relief line cuts were printed for the edition of 1000, sold only to a group of subscribers identified as Aventuros. This was Kent first attempt to illustrate a major literary text and the project met with enthusiastic approval.

The following year, Kent was approached by R.R. Donnelley and Sons to repeat his success by illustrating another novel. Kent suggested Moby Dick, a project which was not completed and published until 1930 (sold out immediately). Then, late in 1927 and working into 1928, Kent, Elmer Adler, and the newly established publishing firm of Random House agreed to join forces on a deluxe edition of Voltaire’s Candide. Kent not only designed the book’s illustrations and its type but also the Random House logo, which they continue to use today.


In 1932, the New York firm of A. & C. Boni reprinted Memoirs, using only eight of Kent’s less salacious plates. This was done without Kent’s knowledge or permission, although they acknowledged the earlier edition with a note:
“The twelve volume Aventuros edition (New York, 1925) has been used as a basis for the present edition; the eight volume French edition (Paris, Garnier) has also been employed.”

Jules Bernard Luys

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Jules Bernard Luys (1828-1897), Les émotions chez les hypnotiques, étudiées à l’aide de substances médicamenteuses ou toxiques agissant à distance (Paris: E. Lefraçois, 1888). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

Jules Bernard Luys was a French neurologist who began practicing medicine in 1857, first with the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, then to the Hôpital de la Charité. According to André Parent, writing for the Journal of Neurology (vol. 249, no.10, pp.1480-81), “Luys devoted the last period of his life to the study of hysteria and hypnosis. In doing so he became perhaps the most highly caricatured example of the fascination that hysteria exerted at the end of the 19th century, even upon individuals with a supposedly rational and scientific mind.”

“Luys imagined extravagant hypnosis experiments that were frequently performed during public sessions and attracted not only specialists but also le Tout-Paris. Most of Luys’ colleagues, however, were convinced of the scientific integrity of this courteous man whose foray into the mine field of hysteria cost him part of the scientific renown he took nearly forty years to acquire.”

Luys illustrated this book with 28 woodburytypes mounted four to a plate. Most of the photography was done by his son, George Luys (1870-1953), who was also a practicing physician.

See also:
Asti Hustvedt, Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011). Firestone Library (F) RC339.52.C453 H87 2011

The Free Acres Association

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Twentieth Anniversary of the Free Acres Association, 1910-1930 (Scotch Plains, N.J., 1930). 9 mounted photographs by William Armbruster (1865-1955). Graphic Arts collection GAX 2011- in process

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The community of Free Acres was founded on the ideals of Henry George, a 19th-century political economist. According to George, all land is a gift of nature and all people have an equal right to use the land and its fruits.

One of George’s followers, Bolton Hall (1854-1938) founded Free Acres in 1910. Originally just a social experiment, the community continues to thrive. Today, Free Acres is a seventy-five-acre wooded community of eighty-five households, located about 33 miles west of New York City within Berkeley Heights and Watching, New Jersey. People can own the houses on the lots they lease, but they can never own the land. All the land is held collectively by the community, along with a century old farmhouse and a spring-fed pool.

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See for a complete list of names of the Free Acres members seen here.

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Goldie Burke, Pickles Martin, and Dynamite Murphy


Al Delmar was a middleweight boxer from San Francisco. His first professional fight took place on June 23, 1920 against Earl Biddle. Delmar won this fight in a knock out and went on to win twelve more, losing seven, and had nine end in a draw.

Eddie McGovern, alias Iron Man, was a light heavyweight from San Francisco. He boxed from 1920 to 1932, winning sixty-two matches (thirty-four in a knock out), lost thirty-four, and finished in a draw thirty-four times.

These are only two of the nearly 1100 boxers whose photographs are preserved in an album recently acquired by graphic arts. Each portraits is numbered in the negative and, happily, a previous owner has gone to the trouble of listing the names of the boxers who could be identified. Goldie Burke, Pickles Martin, and Dynamite Murphy are among the men represented in these oddly criminal-looking mug-shots.


In the early 20th century, San Francisco was known as The Cradle of Fistic Stars, because of the number of boxers living there. Many began their training at the San Francisco Olympic Club, the oldest athletic club in the United State. It is curious that the use of photographic mug shots also began in San Francisco, where Chief of Police James Curtis established the practice in 1857.

Bound by the Guild of Women Binders

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Comptesse Diane, Le livre d’or de la Comptesse Diane. Preface par Gaston Bergeret. Edition augmentée (Paris: Paul Ollendorff, 1897). Graphic Arts collection GAX 2011- in process.

“In an age largely given over to utilitarianism,” writes Elliot Anstruther, “it is gratifying to find purposes and persons at variance with the conditions around them, and in no field is the discovery more productive of satisfaction than in that of industry. …The introduction of machinery has nearly lost to us the self-reliant, consciously-proud figure of the English craftsman; the old Trade Guilds, with their dignified constitutions and worthy aims, had little in common with their corporate successors of to-day, and the stress of competition has driven thousands of women and girls into the already overcrowded ranks of suppliant labour.” (Introduction, The Bindings of To-Morrow. A Record of the Work of the Guild of Women-Binders and of the Hampstead Bindery (London: [Griggs & son], 1902). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2008-2402N.)

Thanks to the Guild of Women Binders, Anstruther concludes, “The future is full of promise for the reunion of industry and art, even if the final aspect of that reunion lies beyond the purview of our own years.”

Graphic Arts recently acquired this lovely example of an Art Nouveau style binding from the Guild of Women Binders. The vellum is stamped and decorated in gilt, with the name of the author and the title also stamped on the upper cover. The monogram ‘EB’ is a question. Dealer Charles Wood posits the initials refer to Ella Bailey, would worked with the Guild from 1898 to 1900.

Frank Karslake founded The Guild of Women-Binders in 1898, which operated until 1904. Besides Ella Bailey, some of the other women binders included Constance Karslake, Edith de Rheims, Florence de Rheims, Helen Schofield, Frances Knight, and Lilian Overton.

The provenance of our volume is also of interest. The book has the engraved bookplate of Clive Behrens, who married Evelina, the eldest daughter of Lord Rothschild. A note on the second fly reads: “From the library of Lady Rothschild.”

Le film vierge Pathé: manuel de développement et de tirage

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Le film vierge Pathé: manuel de développement et de tirage (The Virgin Pathé Film: A Handbook of Development and Printing) (Paris: Établissements Pathé-Cinéma, 1926). 155 pages with 107 samples of film. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

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In the early years of the twentieth century, the largest film production company was the Société Pathé Frères (Pathé Brothers Company). Founded in 1897, the company was at its height in 1920s when it unveiled the first home movie projector, the Pathé Baby. To accompany Princeton’s Pathé Baby film collection, we have acquired one of the company’s first publications explaining the secrets of processing “virgin” film. Plates offer incredible images of the mass production of thousands of silent movies, including the first newsreels, sports films, and animation. 107 examples of actual celluloid color film have been mounted in each volume.

Graphic Arts is in the last stages of digitizing and cataloguing 800 9.5 mm Pathé Baby films, which will be streamed online for the use of our students and faculty. This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of The David A. Gardner ‘69 Magic Project, given by Lynn Shostack in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner ‘69, and administered by Council of the Humanities.

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japanese cards.jpg Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Karuta (One hundred poets, one poem each, card game) (Japan: ca. 1850 or earlier). 200 cards in lacquer black box. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process.
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Here are the rules, as posted by the University of Virginia:
There are two sets of 100 cards. On one set the complete five-line poems are printed. On the other set only the last two lines (“shimo-no-ku”) of each poem appear. Usually there are two players or sides. Each player takes twenty-five of the shimo-no-ku cards and spreads them in front of him or her. A third person, acting as reader, reads from the cards with the whole poems on them. As the reader reads the first lines of a poem, each of the two players tries to find the card with the corresponding final two lines. The first player to find the right shimo-no-ku card removes it from the playing area. If the card is in the opponent’s area, the player gives one of the cards from his or her own area to the opponent. The first player to get rid of all the cards in his or her own area is the winner.

Very similar to another set in the Cotsen Children’s Library (CTSN): Cards 55195

See also Peter McMillan, One hundred poets, one poem each: a translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008). East Asian Library (Gest): Western PL758.5.O4 A3 2008

Barcode Flipbook by Scott Blake

Scott Blake, Barcode Warhol: Flipbook (Omaha: Blake, 2011). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process


We recently acquired a flipbook from barcode artist Scott Blake. The tiny book features a portrait of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), created with the barcodes from Campbell’s soup cans. There’s also a portrait of Madonna created with the barcodes from her albums and a portrait of Oprah Winfrey made up of barcodes from the books in her book club. See more:

A wall-size mural of Elvis Presley was made of 2,400 bar codes. “It’s all the bar codes from Elvis CDs,” Blake said, “I go on the Internet and use sites like Amazon and Google and I type in the word ‘Elvis’ and it gives all that UPC data for free. If you scan each bar code on Elvis’ face, it plays a song or a clip from”

Blake’s website, includes a video clip from an ABC News interview a few years ago, along with a barcode clock.

Round the World with Nellie Bly


J. A. Grozier, Game of Round the World: a Novel and Fascinating Game with Plenty of Excitement by Land and Sea: with Nellie Bly (1864-1922), the World’s Globe Circler (New York: McLoughlin Brothers, 1890). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process



On November 14, 1889, investigative journalist Nellie Bly (whose real name was Elizabeth Jane Cochran), began a journey “around the world in eighty days.” Inspired by Jules Verne’s fictitious character Phileas Fogg and financed by the New York World, Bly was challenged to beat Fogg’s time and write about the journey for the newspaper. Over 1,000,000 people entered the newspaper’s contest to guess the time it would take Bly to finish.

On January 25, 1890, she made it back to New York City, beating Fogg in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes. And, like Verne’s hero, her journey was celebrated in a board game.


Funeral Procession for Leopold I

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Esatta relazione del dolorosissimo funerale della felice memoria dell’augustissimo, potentissimo, et invittissimo imperatore de’ Romani Leopoldo primo il grande [Exact Relationship of the Most Painful Funeral, of the Happy Memory, of the Most Sacred, Most Powerful, and Most Invincible Roman Emperor Leopold I] (Rome, 1705). Stitched together with a similarly titled broadside containing an engraving “Si Stampa da Luigi Neri in piazza Nauona” [From the press of Luigi Neri in piazza Nauona]. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2011- in process

This small bifolio and broadside commemorate the funeral ceremony for Leopold I (1640-1705), Holy Roman Emperor (1658-1705), King of Bohemia (1656-1705) and of Hungary (1655-1705).

According to Mark Hengerer’s The Funerals of the Habsburg Emperors in the Eighteenth Century, “In 1705, only an hour after the death of Leopold I (1658-1705), the High Steward … and the Lord Chamberlain … discussed the preparations for the lying-in-state, the post mortem, the embalming and robing of the corpse, provision for a first coffin and receptacles für the heart and for the coffin, the fitting of the Knight’s Chamber … with altars and black cloths, the guards, and the music. The rest of the arrangements were discussed at a council meeting with other court officials on the next day. At this meeting, the ceremonial records of r657 (concerning the death of Ferdinand IV) were read, and thus became, with only a few variations, the guidelines for the funeral of Leopold L

A nice compliment to the volume: Castrum doloris quod immortali gloriae, et sacratissimis manibus Leopoldi Magni: augustissimi Romanorum imperatoris, Hungariae et Bohemiae regis, archiducis Austriae, &c. &c. ([Würzburg, Germany]: Typis Joannis Michaëlis Kleyer, universitatis typographi, [1705]) Rare Books (Ex) Oversize 2010-0048Q

See also Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly’s essay, “The Early Modern Festival Book: Function and Form,” in Europa Triumphans: Court and Civic Festivals in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2004). Marquand SA GT3530 .E87 2004

A Vision of Order


Newly acquired, a tour-de-force in fine press publishing from Whittington Press,

A Vision of Order. 35 linocuts by Andrew Anderson, with his commentaries on the images (Risbury, Herefordshire: Whittington Press, 2011). Copy xviii of 35, bound in Oasis goatskin and accompanied by the nine-sheet image of Cashel (printed on G.F. Smith Naturalis paper), and a signed print of "The Apple Girl," printed by John Grice at his Evergreen Press.

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The text is keyboarded and cast in 18- and 20- point Caslon (the latter issued as 22-point by William Caslon I in 1732, one of the earliest & prettiest founts of the Caslon's family), and printed by John Randle and Tom Mayo on Zerkall mould-made and Ingres papers.


According to the Whittington website, "The large format of A Vision of Order allows most of the prints to be tipped in unfolded. Like our Posters published in 1996, it will be a monumental volume in its own right, set in a large size of the Caslon type for which the Press has become renowned. Tom Mayo, who will be doing much of the printing of this large and unusual project, will be posting a blog giving an illustrated report of its progress."

See also Andrew Anderson's comments in Matrix 28, pp. 9-14 (Graphic Arts Oversize Z119 .M38q). By the way, it's pronounced Mat trix; not May trix.


Next Saturday, September 3, 2011, will be the Whittington Press's annual open house. As usual it will coincide with the annual Whittington Village Summer Show with all its usual horticultural and other attractions. Whittington Court will be open to the public and the Press will as usual be showing off its latest work. In particular, Neil Winter will be demonstrating the increasingly rare skill of casting type on the Monotype casters.

If you can get there, you might have the treat of seeing a copy of this remarkable book in person. Whittington is 40 miles west of Oxford, 5 miles east of Cheltenham, just off the A40.


The Rock of Cashel, nine sheets joined together to form an image measuring 4 ½ x 3 ft (see Matrix 28, p. 13)

To read an interview with John Randle of Whittington Press, see

Beckett, Paz, Chigoya


Bread of Days / El pan de los días. Once poetas mexicanos / Eleven Mexican Poets (Covelo, California: Yolla Bolly Press, 1994). Notes on the poets by Octavio Paz. Commentaries by Eliot Weinberger and Octavo Paz. Twelve multicolor etchings by Enrique Chagoya. Poems by Bernardo de Balbuena, Luis de Sandoval y Zapata, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Ignacio Rodríguez Galván, Salvador Díaz Mirón, Amado Nervo, José Juan Tablada, Enrique González Martínez, Ramón López Velarde, and Alfonso Reyes. Translation by Samuel Beckett. Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

While living in Paris in 1949, Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was offered the opportunity to select and publish an anthology of Mexican poetry sponsored by UNESCO. Paz had little enthusiasm for the idea. As translator, Samuel Beckett (1906-1998) was chosen although he had only a limited knowledge of Spanish. Both authors accepted because they needed the money.

In his 1996 essay “Beckett/Paz,” Eliot Weinberger (Paz’s American translator) comments on the project. “Paz, an anti-nationalist, would have preferred to consider Spanish American poetry as a whole. … Beckett called the work an alimentary chore and said the poems were execrable for the most part.” The work was completed in 1950 but not published until 1958.

“Yet Beckett’s Mexican anthology is one of the liveliest English translations of the century,” Weinberger continues. “Its greatest achievement is its recreation of the sense of reading old texts, the distance between us and them. … Beckett accomplishes this through a subtle mimicking…of the English poetry contemporary to whatever period he is translating.”

In 1994, the project was revived for the first livre d’artiste produced by Yolla Bolly Press, under the direction of Carolyn and James Robertson. Twelve multicolor etchings were created especially for the edition by the Mexican American artist Enrique Chagoya and Paz contributed biographical notes on each of the eleven poets. Weinberger wrote an introduction and a transcription of a conversation between Paz and Weinberger discussing the Paz-Beckett collaboration was included as an afterword.

Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Anthology of Mexican Poetry. Translated by Samuel Beckett (Bloomington: Indiana University Press [1958]) Firestone Library (F) 3180.704

First Tree of Languages


Felix Gallet, Arbre généalogique des langues mortes et vivantes, gravé par Geusler de Genève (Paris, ca. 1800). Graphic Arts GAX 2011- in process

Purported to be the first tree of languages, Felix Gallet's engraved broadside predates that of August Schleicher, who is generally credited with inventing the form. Winfred Lehmann in Historical Linguistics (1992) states: "The suggestion that the relationship between subgroups of a language is similar to that between branches of a tree was propounded by August Schleicher, who was strongly influenced by views on evolution."

The tree here shows two distinct groups, the first emerging from "La Langue Primitive," from which we see languages such as Greenlandic, Guianan, Turkish, Mexican, Persian, Hebrew and Tahitian. The second group derives from "Le Celte," which in turn generates the bulk of European languages. The interaction between the two groups is fascinating and shows what must be an early attempt to integrate some of the discoveries of the New World into the existing linguistic framework.

A more recent language mapping can be found at:

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