- New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2017.
- 8.5 x 11 inches
- hardcover, cloth spine over paper-covered boards
- 264 pages
- ISBN: 1584563699
- ISBN: 9781584563693
Price: $95.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 129283
"Surprisingly, despite the many presses covered, a satisfying amount of detail about each is provided.... Over 100 attractive images successfully support Patkus remarks about the aesthetics of layout, design, and illustration produced by the presses. The book contains a number of helpful checklists, tables, and graphs that present the reader with opportunities to consider the books from a variety of perspectives.... a worthy addition to a reference library for those interested in the book arts."
- Barbara Adams Hebard, Guild of Book Workers Newsletter
The Privately Printed Bible is the first book to offer a broad survey of the history of private and fine press printings of biblical texts. Author Ronald Patkus focuses on English-language examples from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America, and includes more than 500 works in his study. He begins with the late nineteenth century revival of printing which took place in England under the influence of William Morris, and continues on through the twentieth century. Along the way he describes key texts, such as the Doves Bible, the Oxford Lectern Bible, the Golden Cockerel Four Gospels, the Spiral Press Ecclesiastes, the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, and the Arion Press Bible. He also discusses lesser-known works that are part of the story.
Following the opening introduction, the book is divided into five chapters that each deal with a specific generation of printers: the Revival, the "Second Generation," the Postwar Era, and the late twentieth century. Over 100 illustrations assist the reader in understanding the aesthetics of layout, design and illustration taken up by various presses. In addition, the book contains a number of checklists, tables, and graphs.
Within each time period, the author begins with general comments and then focuses on the individual presses, providing context on their development and their interest in printing biblical texts. Much attention is given to the production and to the books themselves: what they look like and their main features. Chapter One, "Prelude," sketches out the long history of private press printing and connections to the Bible. The second chapter, "Private Press Revival, 1892-1919," focuses on the renaissance of private press printing in England and America, beginning with William Morris and the Kelmscott Press. Chapter Three, "The Second Generation, 1920-1945," is concerned with the inter-war period, including such famous presses as the Golden Cockerel Press, the Nonesuch Press, the Gregynog Press, and the Grabhorn Press. Chapter Four, "Post-War and Beyond, 1946-1969," deals with both older presses and new ones that heralded the appearance of a new, modern aesthetic. Chapter Five, "Late Twentieth Century, 1970-2000," discusses printings at the end of the century, which concluded with the completion of two large-scale projects, the Pennyroyal Press Bible, and the Arion Press Bible. Chapter Six, "Postlude and Conclusion," offers comments on contemporary developments, and a summary.
Ronald Patkus is Head of the Archives & Special Collections Library and Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Vassar College. He teaches several courses on the history of the book and the history of the Bible. He is the author of Shirley Jones and the Red Hen Press, Ars Omnia Tuetur: 25 Years of Fine Printing at Thornwillow Press, and numerous articles dealing with the history of the book.
Designed by Jerry Kelly.