Books 2010

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Saturday, 07 July 2007


Isn't Howard Phipps marvellous?! I am a great fan of block prints and wood engravings - there's something about the texture of the finished pieces on lovely paper that feels immensely satisfying to me. And then there's the fact that as a form of illustration they are often perfect for books.

Certainly cherry is sometimes used.

Intrigued by the comment on the density of box (Dark Puss has a number of wood engraving blocks by the bird illustrator G E Lodge) I thought you might find this table of wood densities interesting ( I thought that some of the trees of the Rosacea family have also been used in Europe for wood engraving blocks: apple, pear, cherry, but maybe these are only ever used for wood cuts.
Dark Puss has just noted that the Primrose Hill Press (apparently NOT near to me) has some books on felines with rather splendid engravings!

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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