- Rutland, UK: Martlet Books, 2010.
- cloth, dust jacket
- vi, 138 pages
Price: $45.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 105869
Limited to 300 copies. Born in South London in 1893, Herbert Hodgson is now regarded as "one of the great printers of the twentieth century". In the opening chapter of this book he gives a vivid account of life a century ago in the poorer areas of the capital.
After an apprenticeship as a printer, he served from 1915 to 1918 in France and Belgium in the First World War. His account of life and death in the trenches is moving and forceful. It is one of the few memoirs of the First World War that is not written by an officer and it provides a unique point of view from the other ranks.
In a battle in April 1918 he found a mud-encrusted Bible in a shell hole. Amazingly, 92 years later, the original owner of this Bible has been traced to Private Richard Cook from New Zealand.
From 1923-26 Herbert Hodgson printed the extremely rare subscribers edition of T. E. Lawrences Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Copies of this work now attract prices of up to US$80,000 each.
Hodgson then worked for nine years at the Gregynog Press in Mid-Wales where he created 24 more printing masterpieces. His period at Gregynog came to an end in 1936 because of lack of employment prospects for his growing family. He returned to London. Then came the Second World War and the London Blitz in which one of his sisters was killed.
His memoirs are a moving personal account of a master craftsman and his family facing the upheavals of the first half of the twentieth century.