Friday, 19th February 2016

I spent much of the week before last in airports and railway stations. First destination was Stuttgart, where I press-passed the illustrations for H. G. Wells’s The Door in the Wall. Given the huge commitment by the photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn in supervising the printing of the original photogravures, I felt especial attention to detail was called for, and had my copy of the original book to hand for reference. The printers, Grammlich, were very helpful and made numerous alterations to the plates to get them as close as possible to the originals. As can be seen in this photo, the backs of the plates are printed with different tints to replicate the different papers chosen by Coburn for each of the plates.

Plates from The Door in the Wall

Then I collected the dummy of Dalì’s 1001 Nights from the binder – it is a mighty tome! This photo of the solander box highlights the exquisite calligraphy by Ged Palmer; the other snap shows Dalì’s signature blocked onto the crushed ‘silk’ of the binding.

Solander box from Dali's 1001 Nights from the Folio SocietyDali's signature

I returned to Stuttgart via a visit to Frieder Mayer at his bindery in Esslingen. Frieder is an expert in all aspects of fine binding. He knows all there is to know about types of leather, and one of his arcane skills is hand polishing the skins to produce different effects. I asked him to produce something for the binding of the Elder Edda which would appear antique without looking ‘fake’ and here is his first trial.

Frieder Mayer's leather

A brief stopover in London coincided with the arrival of the running sheets of Plants of the Americas: here is a small selection of the 264 plates.

Plants of the Americas

Then I was off to Bayeux with the proof of a trial section of the tapestry, to show the Director, M Verney, and his colleagues at the Museum. I must admit to being rather nervous – it seemed the height of presumption even to attempt the reproduction of such an awe-inspiring artefact. There was a long silence as I unrolled the two-metre length and then M Verney said simply ‘Parfait!’. And I said ‘Whew’. So now let’s hope for a fair wind to get it launched for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, 14 October.

Bayeux tapestry reproduced

All this was two weeks ago. As for last week – I went skiing.

Went skiing ...

 

Friday, 8th January 2016

blog_crateIt has been a momentous week, with one major project finally coming to an end, and another getting under weigh. Just before Christmas, this imposing crate was delivered by a specialist fine art shipper. It had been sent from Canada by Charles van Sandwyk, and contained 500 signed etchings for Alice in Wonderland.

These are now at the binder, who will deliver the first batch of books next week. An early copy has arrived already, and can be examined in our bookshop.

Alice in Wonderland Folio Society edition


Yesterday I travelled to Lancashire to witness the first proofing trial for our reproduction of the Bayeux tapestry. Not only were we checking that the printed result would be effective on the unusual paper we had chosen, but were also faced with an unusual technical challenge: would it be possible to align the individual sections of the tapestry so that the entire 50-yard length would be printed seamlessly?

blog_bayeuxI’m glad to say that the result exceeded all expectations – however hard you look, the joins are absolutely invisible. (In the photo above, the black felt-tip marks show where one digital file butts up to the next.) I am now fully confident that we can bring this project off, and will take a proof to Bayeux soon to compare it to the original.


Dummy copies of two other limited editions have also arrived in the past few days. One is for Plants of America: here below is a photo of the blocked cloth for the case sides, prior to binding.

blog_plants1The most extraordinary feature of this book – and the reason why only about 30 copies were ever produced – is that every plate is painted by hand. This means that every page of every copy is subtly different; on the title-pages, however, the artists really went to town and produced strikingly different designs. We will be reproducing all the variants in our commentary volume, and here are a few of them: it must be remembered that all the lettering on these pages is not typeset, not engraved, but hand-drawn.

blog_plants_montage2


The other new dummy is for The Door in the Wall, the volume of science fiction stories on which H. G. Wells collaborated with the photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn. Here is a photo of the solander box, featuring the eponymous door.

blog_doorinthewallWhilst Wells’s attitude to religion and the supernatural was complex to say the least, there can be no doubt that Coburn deeply believed in the spiritual world, and that the Door was an important symbol for him – as it was for William Blake, who wrote: ‘In the universe, there are things that are known and things that are unknown, and in between there are doors.’

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A few weeks ago I went to Bayeux for the first time. Culinary considerations aside, the main objective was of course the Tapestry, and I was bowled over. The sheer length (70 metres is really very long), the richness of its colours, the series of striking compositions each overlapping and linking to the next, all contribute to an unforgettable experience.

Bayeux TapestryI have long had a pipe dream of reproducing the tapestry in full, as a continuous scroll, and I had a meeting with the Director of the Bayeux Museum to discuss this. He was intrigued, and I undertook to develop the idea further and send him a formal proposal.

There are numerous technical problems, not least the construction of the viewing box. This drawing shows the concept – turning the two handles enables the viewer to scroll to and fro through the whole length of the tapestry. [Click on the image to enlarge].

Bayeux Tapestry Scroll boxSubject to the approval of the French authorities, we hope to publish next year, in time for the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on 14 October. It may be a hare-brained idea but it might just come off.


The proximity of Bayeux to the D-Day beaches is a striking reminder of the symbolic importance (as well as the military one) of choosing Normandy for the landings in 1944. We were constantly reminded of the parallels between these great sea-borne invasions, viewing the tapestry one day (‘this is how we invaded England – we built all these ships, provisioned them with food and munitions, and filled them with our best troops and means of transport’) and the museum at Arromanches the next (‘this is how we liberated France – we built all these ships, provisioned them etc etc’). Surprisingly few traces remain of the awesome German defences: this battery at Longues-sur-mer is the only one to survive in situ.

Battery at Longues-sur-mer; Arromanches D-Day museum


The latest news on Alice in Wonderland is that the text is now all printed, and the books are being sewn prior to casing in at the binders. This has to be done before the colour plates can be tipped into place – which is just as well, since the artwork for the plates is still coming in from Charles van Sandwyk in Canada. Here is one he sent the other day, which is perhaps my favourite so far: I like the way Charles has given a slightly unstable air to the Rabbit Herald by perching him on the gavel, and love the expressions of the audience – they look suitably interested, but not frightfully quick-witted.

Alice in Wonderland illustration

Our Alice web page will go live on 10 November, and the physical mailing will drop through letterboxes a few days later.


The author David Lodge popped in the other day to see our rare copy of the edition of H.G. Wells short stories, The Door in the Wall which was published in 1911, illustrated with original photogravures by Alvin Langdon Coburn. David is writing an essay to accompany our facsimile of this unusual book, and had only seen the photographs in muddy reproductions. Here is a rather better image of one of them, ‘The Lord of the Dynamos’, together with a proof of the title page, printed on mould-made paper.

The Door in the Wall

Friday, 3 July 2015

RabbitAs everyone knows, this year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland. Or is it? The first edition was indeed printed in 1865 but was rejected by John Tenniel on account of the poor reproduction of his illustrations, so the book was reprinted with 1866 on the title page – but it was actually issued in December 1865. A typically Carrollian ambiguity in fact, and a rather long-winded way of introducing the topic of our own Alice, about which I am constantly asked. The latest news is that the artist, Charles van Sandwyk, is very well advanced with the illustrations; the printing of the etchings has begun; and the book’s layout is complete. We hope to have some copies ready before Christmas (thus meeting the actual anniversary) with the rest in the New Year (thus meeting the title-page anniversary). But anything can happen in Wonderland, as Alice found to her bemusement, and the White Rabbit is perpetually late…

Pearl Poet

We have just received the hand bound dummy of our next limited edition – a facsimile of the ‘Pearl’ manuscript, the unique source of this and three other great Middle-English poems, including ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. Here is the book, resting in its recess, ornamented by the calligrapher Stephen Raw. It will be accompanied by a substantial volume containing a complete transcription of the original poems, a parallel modern translation and extensive scholarly commentary.

We are just starting work on another major project, a collection of botanical art by the great Plants of AmericaFranz Bauer. The book was published in Vienna in 1780–1 in an edition of only 18 copies, one of which resides at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It rejoices in the title Selectarum stirpium Americanarum historia : in qua ad Linnaeanum systema determinatae descriptaeque sistuntur plantae illae, quas in insulis Martinica, Jamaica, Domingo aliisque et in vicinae continentis parte, observavit rariores; adjectis iconibus ad autoris archetypa pictis but for convenience our working title is Plants of America. Here is just one of the 264 gorgeous plates – until now, I had no idea that cashew nuts grow like this!

award-for-excellence-fsOn Monday I went to Stationers’ Hall in the City of London to be presented with a ‘Warrant of Excellence’ by the Worshipful Company of Stationers, for our Letterpress Shakespeare volumes. This was the first time such an award has been given, so we felt particularly honoured. Founded in 1403 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1559, the Company maintained the Stationers’ Register, a crucial resource for scholars which contains many of the certain facts we possess on the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. For example the Register reveals that on 26 November 1607, the stationers John Busby and Nathaniel Butter claimed the right to print ‘A booke called Master William Shakespeare his historye of Kinge Lear, as yt was played before the Kinges maiestie at Whitehall vppon Sainct Stephens night at Christmas Last, by his maiesties servantes playinge vsually at the Globe on the Banksyde.’ (They paid sixpence.)

BookshelfThe Letterpress Shakespeare and all the other limited editions I have acquired over the years were presenting me with a rather severe storage problem, so I eventually decided to design a bespoke bookcase to house them all. It was made by William Garvey in Devon and is very solidly built – as it needs to be to carry such a weight of books – and does its job to perfection. (And if you were wondering about the animal skulls, they were carved in holly wood by the versatile sculptor Grant McIntyre.)

 

 

 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

I went to York at the weekend, for the AGM of the Alliance of Literary Societies, and met several people who asked whether I had given up my blog; flattered that they should have noticed its non-appearance in the last few months, I resolved to resume writing it without delay. Since the start of the year things have been somewhat hectic, with a major reorganisation of our office. The result is a change to my role: after nearly 30 years in charge of all Folio production, I am now concentrating entirely on Limited Editions; having been freed from the shackles of managing a department I am throwing myself into numerous projects with renewed relish.

In fact that was the reason for going to York – by meeting representatives from 40 or 50 other literary societies and telling them about our successful collaboration with the Trollope Society on The Duke’s Children, I am hoping that other masterpieces may emerge from dusty cupboards up and down the land.

York Head 2One cannot visit York without seeing the Minster, and I spent a pleasant hour there, particularly in the Chapter House, which contains the most wonderful gallery of medieval portraits in the carved stone heads above the stalls. There must be almost a hundred of these, all different and amazingly life-like. To my surprise, there does not appear to be a photographic book of them – perhaps I can persuade the authorities to let me make one.

Then I went to Shandy Hall in Coxwold for a chat with Patrick Wildgust. Major Sterne anniversaries will occur in 2017 (250 years from ‘The End’ of Tristram Shandy) and 2018 (publication of A Sentimental Journey and Sterne’s death) and we discussed various possible publications to mark these events.

Hansel endpaperRhino illusEarlier in the week was the Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, filled with eye-popping treasures. Here are a few of them: Hansel and Gretel, a selection of Grimm Stories beautifully illustrated by Kay Nielsen, whose endpaper design (above) is one of the loveliest I have ever seen; the original artwork for a French 19th-century book of mammals – the watercolours of the animals themselves are by Jean Werner, and the exquisite pencil backgrounds are by Alexandre de Bar.

And here is a real curiosity from Maggs Bros – a broadsheet in which Shakespeare is co-opted to the defence of the realm against the tyrant Bonaparte.Britons!

Waterlooexemplary_edition_2_large_imageAnd talking of Napoleon, I also ran into my friend Martin Morgan of Extraordinary Editions, who was selling copies of his magnificent centenary anthology The Battle of Waterloo 1815: if you can only buy one Waterloo book this year, this should be the one!

Ever since once of our members brought in his copy of one of Walter Crane’s Toy Books, I have been trying to track down a complete set of these wonderful publications. There are 41 in all, each of 8 or 16 leaves, and consist of retellings of classic children’s stories such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, illustrated with intensely coloured wood block prints. Once I have tracked them all down I’d like to produce a facsimile series in their original covers. As a taster, here is the fabulous double-page spread from ‘Beauty and the Beast’.Beauty and Beast

BuddhaA week or so ago, I went to the opening of an exhibition from the collections of Oliver Hoare, mounted to accompany his book Every Object Tells a Story, an extraordinarily eclectic and beautiful collection of objects from around the world. Here for example is a serenely beautiful head of the Buddha, from the Gandhara civilisation in what is now Afghanistan, dating from the 3rd Century AD. For more details click here.

QB freemanAlthough it is rather belated, I cannot resist including this photo from the ceremony in which Quentin Blake was made a Freeman of the City of London – the most famous privilege of which is that he can freely herd his sheep across London Bridge. Here he is, sandwiched between the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. And here too is an illustration from his forthcoming edition of The Golden Ass, details of which will be sent to our members in a week or so.

metamorphosis

 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ed KluzNext year is a big year for centenaries, several of which we are commemorating with new books. Rupert Brooke died in 1915, on a troopship in the Mediterranean, and we are marking the occasion with a letterpress volume of his poetry, illustrated with real lithographs by Ed Kluz, printed at The Curwen Studio. We have become so used to digital technology these days that it requires quite a mental shift to adapt to the hands-on nature of traditional lithography. Here is Ed drawing some additional detail onto a piece of film: although he is working in black, the result will be Rupert Brooksprinted in red. I find it mind-boggling that he can envisage the effect of every mark, especially when the colours are overlaid. And here is the hand of Andrew the printer, developing a printing plate: this too is a process requiring considerable skill and experience, to judge when the lines have reached the perfect strength. These photos were taken during the proofing process – I hope to report  on the actual printing very soon.

SealAs any fule kno, 2015 is also the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta by bad King John. Personally, I feel that history has been harsh in its judgement of this monarch, particularly since he had the good taste to make a grant of land to my ancestor Robert of Ainsdale (whose grandson was the first in the family to take the name Blundell). This deed is the oldest in our archive, and bears the seal which, though badly worn, is recognisably the same as that on Magna Carta. Among the witnesses were the improbably named Walter Maltravers Ingelard de Pratel and the even more outrageous Fulk de Cantelo duke de Trubblevill.

A couple of weeks ago we held a launch for The Herefordshire Pomona in the delightful rural setting of Dewsall Court near Hereford. The cider and perry makers were out in force, some of them bringing boxes of fruit to decorate the room. ApplesI concluded the event by presenting a copy of our edition to Mrs Jean O’Donnell MBE, the president of The Woolhope Club – the institution who had put such effort and expense into the original edition back in the 1880s. On the left of the photo is James Crowden, poet and cidermaker, who made a brilliant speech, and on the right is Major Patrick Darling High Sheriff of Herefordshire, who introduced the event.Pomona

Finally, here is an astonishing piece of book-art by Brian Dettmer. Brian spent a week as Tristram Shandyartist-in-residence at Shandy Hall, and his project was to transform copies of Tristram Shandy into a new artwork. He chose The Folio Society edition for this enterprise, perhaps because of John Lawrence’s marvellous engravings, and the carefully crafted randomness of the result is absolutely in the spirit of the book. Like all the best book art it provokes, intrigues and encourages one back to the book itself.

PS – for those of you not already aware of The Gentle Author, here is a link to an entertaining and extremely useful list of printing terminology he posted recently. Next time you are speculating on the difference between bottle-necked and bottle-arsed, or wonder what are the ingredients of floor pie, you’ll find the answer here!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Victoria HallBack in the office after a peripatetic few weeks. One of the treats awaiting me was a selection of paste-papers from Victoria Hall for binding our forthcoming Selected Poems by Rupert Brooke. She sent about 40 variations which look wonderful together – it will be hard to choose just one design. The Brooke will be the first in a planned series of centenary editions of poets who died in the First World War, the others being Edward Thomas, Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen. They will be printed letterpress and illustrated with auto-lithographs.

Also on my desk were some trial book blocks for The Duke’s Children marbled by Jemma Lewis. Hand-marbled edges are a feature of fine bindings, especially from this period, but producing them is so time-consuming that we cannot have them on the entire run – but we intend to offer them as a (more expensive) option.

marbled edges

My travels in the USA were centred around the launch of the Letterpress Shakespeare in New York – reported in the Folio Footnotes blog.Calligraphy crop In addition, I visited a number of institutions in Boston, Baltimore and New York, and saw some delightful books which might become Folio limited editions. At Ars Libri, a superb art bookshop in Boston I saw several masterpieces of calligraphy, including this one by Jan van den Velde. It is absolutely stunning – and if anyone knows of similar work in English I’d be delighted to hear about it.

CurlewThen in New York, at the Arader Galleries – a treasure trove of fine plate books, atlases and heaven knows what else – I examined books by Eleazer Albin, the first notable compiler of highly illustrated natural history books. This plate of the curlew is from his Natural History of Birds published in 1731.

At the end of the beautifully printed text, Albin includes a note on the eating properties of the curlew. My next destination was St Kilda, whose inhabitants appear to have lived almost entirely off a diet of sea-bird meat, oil and eggs. The last indigenous inhabitants left the island in 1930, but there are still colossal numbers of sea birds, as you can see in this photo of Boreray.

St Kilda pic

Riddley WalkerI was delighted by the number of people who responded enthusiastically to the idea of a Folio Riddley Walker, and now it seems probable that we will go ahead with this for 2016. This title page, dedicated by Riddley himself, was sent to me by Quentin Blake – top drawer boath ways!

PS: Someone just sent me this photograph of a damaged manuscript – it’s clear who the culprit is!

damaged ms

Monday, 2 June 2014

Toilers of the Sea deskTo launch The Toilers of the Sea I travelled to Guernsey – naturally enough, since the novel was both written and set there; we held a reception in Hauteville House, Victor Hugo’s extraordinary dwelling during his years of exile. Hugo spent five years designing every detail of the interior himself, including carved woodwork collected from old farmhouses, Delft tiles assembled into elaborate 3-dimensional collages, and many other eccentricities (one room is lined with plates on all the walls and ceiling) and precious objects. Hugo wrote Toilers standing at a small writing desk in the attic with a fabulous view over the harbour of St Peter Port, and we photographed our edition in situ.

Winchester temptationA few months ago I emailed a number of our collectors of medieval manuscript facsimiles asking for their opinion of the Winchester Psalter, a Romanesque masterpiece in The British Library collection. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and as a result we decided to go ahead. The first colour proofs arrived today from Italy. Here’s a photo of one sheet, plus a detail of one of the most powerful (and entertaining) images, the Temptation of Christ in the Desert – the devil is dressed in the most decadent and seductive female fashion of the time.

Winchester proofs

Pomona b&w scattersBy way of contrast another set of proofs also arrived today, for The Herefordshire Pomona. Some of the delicious colour plates were shown in a previous blog post; the new proofs are of the black-and-white line engravings of the fruit which will appear in the commentary volume, where each fruit will be adjacent to its descriptive text. In the proof they are gathered together on the page, making rather a striking effect. There are 534 of these in total (I think!) and their meticulous detail enables precise identification of all the different apple types.

The first ever charter of the rights of the individual citizen, and perhaps the most famous document in history, Magna Carta was signed on 15 June 1215, and we are marking the 800th anniversary by producing a facsimile of one of the best-preserved of the four surviving original copies, Cotton Augustus ii.106 in the British Library. Our facsimile will be printed on parchment, and Kate and I went to visit the works of William Cowley near Newport Pagnell, who have been making parchment for over 140 years using completely traditional techniques. The manual effort that goes into every skin is astonishing: we had a go ourselves at scraping the skins but it was terribly hard work, and we were pleased to hand the scraper back to the expert.

Parchment

Quentin Blake just phoned, to discuss his current Folio project – Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, of which more anon. We also talked about Riddley Walker, which I have just read for the first time, with more pleasure than any book for years. Quentin knew Russell Hoban well, having worked with him on a number of books, and has long been intrigued by the idea of illuminating Riddley. Please will all RW fans encourage the idea of a Folio edition by replying to this blog – and I urge those of you who haven’t read it to get hold of a copy without delay.

 

Friday, 21 February 2014

PomonaI was introduced to The Herefordshire Pomona by a Folio member, met by chance at an exhibition. It is a masterpiece of chromolithography, and the loveliest fruit book I’ve ever seen. We are embarking on a facsimile edition, and here are a couple of plates before we started work on them. As you can see, the fruit have an almost super-real quality, which comes from their being printed in 8 or 10 colours. Layout 1The engraved titles are, however, rather broken up, and we will reset them in a matching font.

The Pomona features in Michael Twyman’s recent magisterial work A history of chromolithography, and he has volunteered to write an introduction about the printing history of the book. Researches so far in the Woolhope Club in Hereford have unearthed the minutes of the meeting at which the publication was first mooted: the frequent interjections of ‘(hear, hear)’ and ‘(laughter)’ suggest a rather convivial after-dinner gathering of these Victorian gentlemen. There is a drole reference to the Gloria Mundi – the large apple at the centre of plate X above – in the discussion of the format of the volume; Herefordshire Pomona 5‘if the illustrations were always to represent the exact size of the apples, [Mr Bull] questioned whether a representation of the Gloria Mundi could be got on any page less than quarto (laughter).’

The artist Neil Packer has started work on the binding design, and here is his preliminary rough of one of the fruit, which will be gold blocked on green canvas.

Joao leatherLast week I went to Portugal to oversee the production of the leather for binding our facsimile of Goya’s Disasters of War. The original is bound in acid-etched leather, a process unpractical to replicate for 1,000 copies, but the extremely ingenious Joao Carvalho (whose main activity is producing an array of patterned leathers for the fashion industry) came up with a technique which gives a pretty close match. Joao is also a sculptor – in leather, of course – and here is one of his more tasteful creations. The first hand bound copy of the Goya book, together with the prototype presentation box have just arrived in the office.Goya binding

Occasionally I get involved in projects which are nothing to do with Folio. A couple of years ago I received an unexpected phone call from the Royal Mint, asking if I would like to tender designs for a new £2 coincoin to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Trinity House. I said I’d be delighted, so long as it was in collaboration with David Eccles. After a couple of pints of Guinness for us both and a lot of work by David the design was complete, and following a lengthy selection process we were adjudged the winners. I’m told the coins will become legal tender later this year, so keep checking your change for something like this.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Goya pagesI spent most of last week in Barcelona, overseeing the printing of Goya’s Disasters of War. I cannot recall any book of ours which has required as many machine proofing trials as this one. Etching is, of course, an intaglio printing process, and is notoriously difficult to reproduce by offset lithography. Thus, although the images are ‘just’ black and white, to Goya pressachieve exactly the right shade of black, in all its gradations, involved four different inks – one of them is a dark brown, though it looks bright orange in its unprinted form.

PedroAfter printing, each of the images is ‘debossed’ with a metal plate exactly the same size as Goya’s originals; defining the printing area in this way is not merely cosmetic, but performs an important aesthetic function. And here is a picture of the printer himself, Pedro.

In between passing each sheet I had plenty of time to myself – not long enough to go out and enjoy the sights of Barcelona, alas, but long enough to get stuck into Tristram Shandy, in preparation for a trip to Shandy Hall in Yorkshire next weekend to celebrate Sterne’s 300th birthday. It suddenly struck me that in addition to anticipating so many features of modernist fiction, Sterne was also the world’s first blogger. The art of blogging – pray don’t interrupt me, madam, I am about to say something important for a change! – is the merging of real, historic and fictional time. Tristram Shandy is one vast blog, seven years in the making. Here are some photos of my 18th-century edition showing the famous marbled page (‘motley emblem of my work’) and the fold-out of Uncle Toby’s favourite song ‘Lillabullero’. I would rather like to publish a new edition of it one day, copiously (but not always relevantly) annotated, and with numerous contemporary illustrations of hobby-horses and midwives, maps of the siege of Namur, etc.Tristram

Odes of HoraceBack in the office, the commentary dummy for Odes of Horace arrived. Here it is, pictured alongside the designs by David Eccles for the solander box cover and the acanthus-leaf surround to the facsimile book itself.

Last night I went to a wonderful recital by Boris Giltburg, perhaps the most exciting young pianist in the world. Why mention this here, you might ask, apart from rightly encouraging all bloggees to go to his concerts? Why, because he is an enthusiastic member of Folio, and especially keen on our limited editions. He came to the office a couple of days ago, with another bibliophile friend, and only wanted to talk about books (they are particularly looking forward to The Toilers of the Sea) while I just wanted to talk about music. Appreciation from someone I admire as much as Boris is incredibly heart-warming.

Russell MaretFolio took a stand at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair for the first time this year. As usual, there was a superb display of wonderful books and prints. For me the most enticing of all came from Russell Maret – here is a spread from his forthcoming riff on Euclid’s Elements, entitled Interstices and Intersections.