The Reading Room Press

Books in Print

Liquor and Literature

In 2016 the Reading Room Press was fortunate to acquire the autograph letters from Edward Ardizzone to John Lewis concerning his commission to illustrate the 1963 edition of Harveys Wine List. These letters are accompanied by eleven of the images from the list. Couple these to a preface by that ardent Ardizzonist Alan Powers, a full-sized reproduction of an ink and water-colour drawing hitherto in private hands since purchased in 1955, a contemporary interview with the artist for Harveys’ in-house magazine Vintage and you have a train of literary and visual delight.

150 copies set in Bembo, and bound in a Claret quarter-cloth and a patterned paper incorporating one of Ardizzone’s vignettes. Price £60 plus P. & P.

Wood Engravings by Thijs Mauve

Thijs Mauve [1915–1996] was a Dutch artist whose skills included wood engraving. Amongst the surviving blocks (some of which his widow has left to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) are a suite of ten images that he engraved for use in a book , published in 1949, commemorating the completion of the reconstruction of Rotterdam Harbour after its destruction during World War II. These are striking images and seem to me worth reproducing. Set in Lutetia and printed on Zerkall Ingres, the sheets French-folded, there will be 100 copies.

A Play (or Opera) founded on the ‘Song of Solomon’ by Forrest Reid.

10 years in the planning and two years in the printing, this book is now available. An edition of 100 copies set in the same Koch=Kursiv type bought by the Curwen Press in 1926 and rescued by Ian Mortimer on its closure in 1983 and printed in three colours on Zerkall paper. There are six wood engravings printed form the block by Jane Lydbury. The introduction is by Professor Colin Cruise, amongst the foremost of Reid scholars. The edition is bound by Ludlow Bookbinders using a patterned-paper of a wood engraving by Olive Openshaw from a plate prepared by Paul Kershaw.

24 pages - 8” × 12”
Price £80 + postage

On Collecting Books and Printing them too by Viscount Carlow

This account of Viscount Carlow’s enthusiasm for book collecting and, subsequently, for printing remained unfinished at the time of his death. He died in an air crash towards the end of the Second World War while on official duty. It is of interest not only for its description of founding the Corvinus Press but of his literary friendship with T. E. Lawrence. Carlow was one of the favoured recipients of the ‘Oxford’ text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom as well as his advice regarding book collecting.

110 copies. Magnani Vergata Avorio paper. Centaur set and cast by Stan Lane of Gloucester Typesetting Services. Frontispiece portrait of Viscount Carlow by Eric Kennington. Casebound by Chris Hicks with patterned paper boards by Paul Kershaw. Printed on an Albion press.

£44, Cheques drawn to Miles Wigfield

On Collecting Books and Printing them too