- Shelly House, Chelsea: The Ashendene Press, 1930.
- full white pigskin with seven raised bands
- (ii), 363+(1) pages
- ISBN: none
Price: $4,000.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 44089
Printed in an edition limited to 260 copies by St. John Hornby at the Ashendene Press. (Hornby, no.37; Franklin, pp.170-173). Spine showing only the slightest hint of age darkening. Corners lightly bumped and worn (not through to the boards though). Very intermittent spotting to the front and rear covers. An absolutely beautiful copy.
Translated from the original Greek by Benjamin Jowett. The last folio format book printed by the Ashendene Press, Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is both a triumphantly imaginative work and one that begins a series of operatic death knells for St. John Hornby's "hobby of [his] leisure hours" (Franklin, Ashendene Press171).
Using four different typographic sources, the design once again demonstrates Hornby's great skill in typography, and his penchant for printing books in which he could be creative with the format, including the elaborate marginal notes. This aspect has been, quite rightly, acknowledged as adding additional interest to this volume. Hornby himself states that the majority of the typography is in black Ptolemy type, with the abundant red side-notes printed in Blado Italic, and the three-line red initials beginning each chapter and the opening lines of each of the eight books from the alphabet designed by Eric Gill for "Utopia." were designed by Graily Hewitt. These elements have been described as being done by Hewitt with "habitual finesse" (Franklin, Ashendene Press171). Hornby himself admitted that the character of the side notes was unique, even within his own oeuvre: "This is the first time since my third book issued in 1896 that I have used for side or shoulder notes a type other than that of the book itself" (Franklin, Ashendene Press171).
Contemporary correspondents of Hornby lavished their praise on him for the Thucydides, calling the composition and press work "immaculate as usual," and the work as a whole "one of the greatest masterpieces of your Press - a very fine page, the measure not too wide for so large a type and the side notes most beautiful and effective" (Franklin, Ashendene Press172). Franklin adds his voice to those others, saying "for pleasure in the look of a page, the openings of each Book in the Thucydides are the happiest climax of Ashendene printing" (Franklin, Private Presses57). Like the copies at the Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University, "the printer's mark at the end is imperfectly black" (Franklin, Ashendene Press172).