The Reading Room Press

Books in Print

Bewick’s Matchem

On p.57 of Nature’s Engraver Jenny Uglow describes Thomas Bewick at the age of fifteen, after the excitement of a day at the races, engraving on a copper medallion an image of the famous racehorse Matchem. Bewick’s Matchem repeats this account together with a succinct essay by Nigel Tattersfield about both Bewick’s apprenticeship engraving and the horse itself. Interpersed are photographs of both side of this medallion, for many years obscured from public scrutiny.

120 copies set in Caslon, bound in quarter-cloth and marbled papers.

Price: £48 plus P&P

Thirty More Years ~ Bookplates 1990-2020 by Simon Brett.

The two previous books about Simon’s ex libris [Klaus Rodel, Frederckshavn 1982 and Fleece Press 1989] were by the late Brian North Lee, that doyen of the genre. Here the text is by the artist himself. 190 copies set in Perpetua, printed with an Albion on Zerkall paper. Case-bound in quarter-cloth. Of the sixty-eight plates commissioned since 1990, thirty-four are reproduced, all but two from the wood. In addition, the first 100 copies ordered will have an additional bookplate tipped in, the 150th, printed and signed by the artist.

Price: £75 + P. & P.

Count Arnold

Count Arnold is a single section 12pp booklet sewn into Buggra Butten covers with three engravings by Simon Brett printed from the wood. Originally published in Poems and Transaltions by Walter Shewring [Paulinus Press, Marlborough 1984] About 110 copies. £15 including UK postage.

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.

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