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Books from my own Private Press: 35 years of hand printing

d'Ailly, Gisèle: Parian Poems. Typographeum. Francestown: 1995. 8vo. Blue cloth with printed label on back-strip (spare label tipped in). 48 pp. Illustrated: 3 pp. of plates. Issued without a dust-jacket. 150 copies hand-set, printed letterpress and bound by R. T. Risk. $35.00

Gisèle d'Ailly is a Dutch artist who in the mid-1960s found and restored a small, nearly ruined monastery on the Aegean island of Paros. The monastery was isolated and spartan; yet it had a splendid location and there was much natural beauty to inspire her art. In the evenings, by candlelight, she wrote these poems about her work, her distant neighbors, and her life on the island.

Aldington, Richard: ‘Bubb Booklets’, The Letters of Richard Aldington to Charles Clinch Bubb. Edited by Dean H. Keller. Preface by A$40.00lister Kershaw. Typographeum. Francestown: 1988. First edition. 8vo. Russet cloth. Pp. 64. Limited to 150 copies. Fine copy as issued without dj. $45.00

These eighteen letters, written between 1916 and 1919 to an American private press printer who published five of his earliest works, give an interesting insight into Aldington's life and opinions as he grappled with the ‘shock of change’ and the horrors of war in the trenches.

Richard Aldington: In WinterAldington, Richard: In Winter. Two line drawings by Sylvia Nicolas O'Neill. Typographeum. Francestown: 1987. 16 pages sewn and glued into paper wrappers. Limited to 100 copies printed on English hand-made paper. Signed by the artist. Preserved in a cloth case. Fine copy. $50.00

[Aldington, Richard], Adrian Barlow: Answers For My Murdered Self. Typographeum. Francestown. First edition. 8vo. Brown cloth with printed label on back-strip. Limited to 150 copies. New as issued without dj. $30.00

Richard Aldington is remembered today mainly because he was associated with a group of poets—often called The Imagists—which came to prominence just before the First World War. However after the war he wrote a number of poems about his experiences in the trenches, and these, the author argues, made a more considerable contribution to the literature of the 20th Century.

[Beardsley, Aubrey], Derek Stanford: The Purgatory and Paradise of Aubrey Beardsley, An Essay and A Narrative Confession In Verse. Typographeum. Francestown: 1988. First edition. Cloth. Limited to 150 hand-printed copies. Illustrated with black & white drawings by Beardsley. New, as issued without dj. $45.00

This is a long poem, written in Beardsley's imagined voice, which allows the author to recreate the artist's life as a confession.

Bernlef, J.: Driftwood House, Poems. Translated by Scott Rollins. Typographeum. Francestown: 1992. First edition. 8vo. Russet cloth with printed label on back-strip. Pp. 44. Limited to 100 copies. $28.00

J. Bernlef is one of the foremost Dutch poets. He began writing in the 1950s and his first book of verse, Kokkels, appeared in 1960. This was followed by many other collections of poetry, as well as short stories, essays, reviews, plays, and novels. He also has translated into Dutch the American poets Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore.

Berwald, Rosalind: Remembering Signor Oscar. Illustrated by the author. Typographeum. Francestown: 1992. First edition. 8vo. Green cloth with printed label on back-strip. Pp. 44. Limited to 135 copies. $45.00

This is a short story set in Venice. It concerns a group of colorful people who gather regularly at a charming small hotel off the bustling Lista di Spagna beside one of the city's quiet canals. The story explores the way memorable experiences take hold of one's imagination.

Burford Mason, Roger: Print and Be Damaged. Typographeum. Francestown: 1994. First edition. 24 pages sewn and glued into grey wrappers with a printed label on front. Limited to 150 copies. $20.00

In 1975 the author and a friend began to buy and sell the letterpress equipment which was being abandoned by commercial printers as they switched to newer technology. This is the story of what happened along the way.

Campbell, Roy: Mass at Dawn. Set to music by Christopher Connolly. Typographeum. Francestown: 1991. 20 pp. sewn into brown overlapping paper wrappers with a printed label on front cover. Limited to 75 copies hand-set and printed letterpress by R. T. Risk. $30.00

Roy Campbell's lovely poem, ‘Mass at Dawn’, was first published in 1930. The poem and this musical setting were first published together in 1984. This reprinted edition was published in recognition of the 90th anniversary of the poet's birth.

[Campbell, Roy], Alister Kershaw (editor and translator): Salute to Roy Campbell. Typographeum. Francestown: 1984. First edition thus. 8vo. Cloth. Limited to 200 copies. New without dj as issued. $100.00

A year after Roy Campbell's tragic death in 1957 his friend, F.-J. Temple, published a paper-bound book in French called Hommage à Roy Campbell which contained reminiscences by many people who knew the great poet. Almost 30 years later these essays were translated, and extensively revised and expanded, by Alister Kershaw working with the original authors who were still living. Also a number of completely new essays were added, including most notably by Roy's daughter, Anna, and by Kershaw himself. Among the other authors are Richard Aldington, Lawrence Durrell, Laurie Lee, Wyndham Lewis, Alan Paton, William Plomer, and Dylan Thomas.

[Campbell, Roy], Edited by Alister Kershaw: Salute to Roy Campbell. Typographeum. Francestown: 1984. First thus. 8vo. Bound by Jelka Kozmus in crimson half morocco with marbled sides, t.e.g. With contributions by Alan Paton, Laurie Lee, Lawrence Durrell, Richard Aldington et al. Some selections were translated by Alister Kershaw. Limited to 20 hand-printed and numbered copies. $250.00

[Campbell, Roy], Anna Campbell Lyle: Poetic Justice, A Memoir of My Father Roy Campbell. Typographeum. Francestown: 1986. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Printed label on back-strip. Pp. 156. Limited to 150 copies hand-set and printed letterpress by R. T. Risk. New as issued without dj. Only a few copies of this book are still available. $150.00

Roy Campbell's generous and colorful personality touched many people in his time. They knew a man who had an almost larger than life nature, as soldier, bull-fighter, raconteur, and friend. But here is another view of him, that of a more private person as remembered by his daughter. It is a revealing portrait of a deeply loved man who was also a poet: “We missed our Father sadly when he began to write. I got to know well an approaching spell of inspiration. He became abstracted and jumpy. He usually wrote all night because the silence was necessary to him. These phases could last for anything from two to six weeks. We hardly saw him during that time as he seemed to live entirely on coffee and cigarettes. Only occasionally would he wander in to a meal, stuff a few grapes into his mouth, his eyes bulging with concentration, and wander out again.”

Alister Kershaw: An Introduction to Leon Daudet[Daudet, Léon], Alister Kershaw (translated by and with an Introduction): An Introduction to Léon Daudet, With Extracts From His Memoirs. Typographeum. Francestown: 1988. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Limited to 200 copies. Illustrated with a portrait of Daudet. $40.00

Léon Daudet was a well-known right-wing journalist and prolific writer in France in the 1920s and 30s. The extracts include portraits of Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Marcel Proust, all of whom Daudet knew.

Di Camillo, Kevin: Occasionally Yours (& Others). Frontispiece photograph of the poet by Mark Dellas. Typographeum. Francestown: 1999. First edition. 32 pages sewn & pasted into blue paper wrappers with a printed label on the front. Limited to 200 copies signed by the poet. Fine copy. $20.00

These poems written from 1990 to the present for a wide range of occasions and various friends are here collected for the first time.

Douglas, Lord Alfred: Halcyon Days, Contributions to The Spirit Lamp. Selected and Introduced by Caspar Wintermans. Typographeum, Francestown: 1995. First thus. 8vo. Green cloth with printed label on back-strip. Pp. 40. Limited to 100 copies. New, as issued without dj. Only one copy still available. $100.00

These four prose pieces were written by Lord Alfred Douglas in the 1890s when he was an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford. They first appeared in The Spirit Lamp, a student magazine which he edited.

[Ellis, Richard], Frank G. Harrington: Praise Past Due, A Memoir of Richard Ellis, Designer and Printer 1894-1982. Typographeum. Francestown: 1991. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. 80 pp. Limited to 175 copies. Fine copy as issued without dj. Only one copy left. $85.00

Richard Ellis was an American printer much respected for his technical skills and for his understanding of the requisites of literature. He was a fastidious craftsman, and possibly his best books were those he published under his his own imprint, The Georgian Press, in the late 1920s. Afterwards he designed many very fine volumes for the Limited Editions Club. Frank Harrington knew Ellis for some thirty years. He writes here with affection about him and his career.

Xan Fielding: A Hideous DisguiseFielding, Xan: A Hideous Disguise. Foreword by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Frontispiece by Amy Nimr. Typographeum. Francestown: 1994. First edition thus. 8vo. Blue cloth from Van Heek. Printed label affixed to back-strip. 52 pp. Hand-set in 12-point Baskerville type. Limited to 150 copies. New, as issued without dj. $45.00

Xan Fielding (1918-91) had an adventurous time during World War II as an agent of the cloak-and-dagger Special Operations Executive. In January 1944 he volunteered to be sent to France which he knew well from his youth. This account of what happened to him there is taken from an earlier book, Hide and Seek (London, 1953). In a new Foreword for this edition, his former colleague and old friend, Patrick Leigh Fermor, writes: “Xan Fielding was a gifted, many-sided, courageous and romantic figure, at the same civilized and Bohemian, and his thoughtful cast of mind was leavened by humour, spontaneous gaiety and a dash of recklessness.”

Gribble, George Dunning: Scarecrows, A Dialogue. With an Introduction by Guy Gribble. Typographeum. Francestown: 1985. First edition. 8vo. Green cloth. One of 75 copies hand-printed and bound by R. T. Risk. $50.00

This is a whimsical play by a British author now little known, although in the 1920s his plays were well received in the West End and on Broadway. Later in life he lived in Paris and Rome and had many friends, Richard Aldington among them. It seems that his personality and his fund of entertaining stories were more memorable than any stage character he ever created.

[Hanley, James], Frank G. Harrington: James Hanley: A Bold and Unique Solitary. Typographeum. Francestown: 1989. First edition. 8vo. Blue cloth. 52 pp. Illustrated with 4 pages of family photographs. Limited to 150 copies. Also included is a checklist. Fine as issued without dj. $60.00

James Hanley, novelist and playwright, was born in Dublin in 1901. He left home at 13, went to sea, fought in World War I as an underaged soldier, and eventually became a novelist. For most of his life he lived quietly in Wales. His novels about ordinary people and their sufferings were difficult and relentlessly honest, and for this reason success eluded him. And yet their quality was recognized and praised by critics and fellow writers, such as Richard Aldington and by his great friend John Cowper Powys who put him in a class with Melville. Frank Harrington was so intrigued by Hanley that he wrote to him and thus began a literary friendship that lasted until Hanley's death in 1985. Recounted here is the course of that friendship, as well as an appreciation of the writer's works.

Kershaw, Alister: The Beginning and the End, Collected Poems. Illustrated by Alannah Coleman and Anthony Palliser. Typographeum Francestown: 1983. First edition. 8vo. Maroon cloth with printed label on back-strip. Pp. 96. Limited to 100 copies. Fine as issued without dj. $45.00

Alister Kershaw was already regarded, at seventeen, as one of Australia's most interesting poets. However, his poetry appeared in severely limited editions, and this present volume brings it all together for the first time. Alister's life was also as interesting as his poetry. As a young man in 1947 he went to Europe and eventually settled in France, first in Paris and then in retirement at a lovely cottage in a hamlet in the middle of the wine making region around Sancerre. He is perhaps now known most for his friendship with Richard Aldington and his unselfish support of Aldington when the latter fell on hard times and became ill towards the end of his life.

Alister Kershaw: The Beginning and the EndKershaw, Alister: The Beginning and the End, Collected Poems. Typographeum. Francestown: 1983. First edition. One of 20 numbered copies bound by Jelka Kozmus in black half morocco with marbled sides, t.e.g. Fine copy as issued without dj. $200.00

Kershaw, Alister: Empty Rooms. Typographeum. Francestown: 1990. 8vo. Olive cloth with printed label on back-strip (spare label tipped in). 32 unnumbered pages. 75 copies hand-set, printed letterpress and bound by R. T. Risk. Issued without a dust-jacket. This volume includes 16 poems written many years earlier but here published for the first time. $35.00

Kershaw, Alister and Christopher Connolly: I Love, A Poem. Typographeum. Francestown: 1990. First edition. 20 pages sewn into overlapping paper wrappers with a printed label on the front. Musical setting by Christopher Connolly. Limited to 75 copies. $30.00

Kershaw: Alister: One for the Road. Afterword by Terry Risk. Typographeum. Francestown: 2003. Royal 8vo. Bound by Jelka Kershaw in yellow cloth with a dark green leather titling label on the back-strip. Pp. 154. Frontispiece of a droll wine label designed by Anthony Palliser. Sources. Index. 100 copies hand-set and printed letterpress. $75.00

Kershaw: Alister: One for the Road. Afterword by Terry Risk. Typographeum. Francestown: 2003. Variant binding. Royal 8vo. Hand-bound by Terry Risk in golden Japanese cloth. Pp. 128. Frontispiece designed by Anthony Palliser. Printed label on the back-strip. Sources. Index. 75 copies hand-set and printed letterpress. $65.00

Alister Kershaw enjoyed alcohol for its many varieties and tastes, and because it was part of the social interaction that he loved so much. So here he writes fourteen ‘Rounds’ about gin, beer, rum, champagne, cider, absinthe, whisky, and others. It is also about the people who drank with him. He completed the typescript before his death, and it was offered to me by his widow, Jelka, who asked that if I printed it, she be allowed to bind it. I agreed and duly sent her 100 copies of the folded and gathered signatures, plus several shipments of blank paper. She eventually sent me four copies, then much later, after my protest, ten more. I was able to sell two of these, but the proceeds were never enough to reimburse me even for the cost of the materials, not to mention the year or more it took to print the book. However, I retained 75 copies. Recently I decided that I would bind them myself. Jelka's binding was skilfully done but unattractive (the leather label was badly placed and misaligned on the back-strip). My binding is not as accomplished, but at least it is in keeping with the work I have always done.

An important part of the book is the frontispiece which for the copies bound by Jelka was an actual wine label printed by their friend, Claude Pouillot, for the small, unofficial vintage Alister and she bottled from a few grape vines planted against the side of their home in the village of Sury-en-Vaux, near Sancerre. Not having any extra copies of the étiquette I have had it reproduced and printed on my usual archival paper.

Moat, John: Hermes & Magdalen, Poems and Etchings. Illustrated by the author. Typographeum. Francestown: 2004. 8vo. Silk-finish Japanese cloth with complementary end-papers and a printed label on the back-strip. Pp. 96. Hand-set and printed letterpress by R. T. Risk in an edition of 150 copies.

This is a sequence of forty-three poems—‘asides and dreams’—which marks the culmination of this poet's fifty year quest to find new expression in poetry of the creative balance of feminine and masculine at the heart of all meaning. In alchemical texts the number 43 (the four and the three come together) is an expression of the ‘estate of marriage’, the Mysterium Coniunctionis. To develop his vision the poet has also created twenty etchings/drypoints which are integral to the verses.

John Moat: Hermes & MagdalenAn additional ten numbered copies, signed by the author, and including one new original etching (limited to 20 copies printed by Gareth John Jones), have been specially bound and slip-cased by Fine Binders of Wellingborough, England. The cloth is from Colibri and the end-papers are hand-made by Saunders. A further three copies, lettered A-C and also signed and boxed, include a full suite of the original etchings.

Ordinary edition: $95/£50 Signed copies (numbered): $375/£200 Signed copies (lettered): $2250/£1200

Mosley, Diana: The Writing of Rebecca West. With a new Afterword. Typographeum. Francestown: 1986. First edition thus. Limited to 150 copies. 8vo. Cloth. New without dj as issued. $45.00

From 1953 to 1959 Diana Mosley edited a magazine called The European which she also wrote for. In one article she dealt with the work of the novelist and much published journalist Rebecca West. She found West's writings to be full of snobbishness, pretentiousness and a love of violence, all of which were more comic, or pathological, than sinister.

Mosley, Oswald: Two Germans of Genius. Typographeum. Francestown: 1987. First edition. 8vo. Limited to 125 copies. Blue cloth. Fine as issued without dj. $30.00

Oswald Mosley devoted seven years to the cause of Fascism during the 1930s when Great Britain was beset by deep social and political turmoil. After the War, and until his death in 1980, he supported the ideal of a united Europe. To that end he founded a magazine called The European in which the two essays printed here first appeared. They are about the two Germans he admired most, Goethe and Wagner.

Musset, Alfred de: La Nuit de Mai (A Night in May). Translated by Claire Nicolas White. Three drawings by Sylvia Nicolas O'Neill. Typographeum. Francestown, 1989. First edition thus. 28 pages sewn into wrappers. Limited to 100 copies. $20.00

[Potocki of Montalk, Count Geoffrey], R. T. Risk: Why Potocki?. Typographeum. Francestown: 1981. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Limited to 100 hand-printed copies. New, as issued without dj. $50.00.

The author became fascinated by letterpress printing and those private press printers who still practice it. In 1973 he was working in France and had the opportunity at the end of October to visit Count Potocki who was living not far away. Further, as events permitted it, he was able to visit again the following summer. This is the story of what took place and how the author became involved in the Potockian drama.

“It was all much the same. Principally, there were the long monologues for which my presence seemed welcome. At the meals which stretched on for hours—and now sometimes outside under a tree—or as I poked through the 'archives' or read one of the newspaper articles collected by a 'clipping agency,' Potocki would seize upon a memory and begin a new story. As he did so, he brought out all his impressive dramatic gifts. His voice would become oratorical. He would shift into imitative caricatures of his subjects. His eyes would flash. His hands would weave through the air or pound the table. He would be totally swept away by indignation or amusement. It was an engrossing spectacle. Whether it was also real theater is something I have often wondered about. At times it seemed as it the actor had forgotten where he was.” (From Why Potocki?)

Risk, R. T.: Four Private Presses, A Memoir. Typographeum. Francestown: 1993. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Limited to 125 copies. Illustrated with 5 tipped-in plates. New, as issued without dj. $45.00

Recounts visits to four private presses during the year 1973: The Castlelaw Press in Scotland, The Mélissa Press in France, the Officina Bodoni in Italy, and the Cuala Press in Dublin.

Risk, R. T.: Typographeum, Being essays, mainly historical, on printers and printing, and including a remembrance of a bookseller, along with a personal narrative. Typographeum. Francestown: 1997. Royal 8vo. Brown Dutch cloth. 48 pp. Hand-set and printed letterpress. Limited to an edition (ordinary) of 115 copies. Printed label affixed to back-strip. Fine copy without dj as issued. $50.00

Included here is an essay about what it may have been like to be a printer in the 15th Century. It describes how a printing shop was run and what problems had to be dealt with. Two more essays are about Nicolaus Jenson and Aldus Manutius, printers who worked at Venice during the same period. Then there is a chapter of autobiography, about the author's first years in Francestown. And finally there is a reminiscence of David Low, a bookseller and friend.

Simpson, Louis: Wei Wei and Other Friends. Illustrated by Robert White. Typographeum. Francestown: 1990. First edition. 24 pages sewn and glued into overlapping wrappers with a printed label on the front. Limited to 200 numbered copies signed by the poet. $25.00

Chap-BooksThe Society of Private Printers: Chap-Books, Fifth Exchange. The Society of Private Printers. [Pinner]: 1982-1986. First edition. 28 sewn booklets from various private press printers, plus an index booklet. 6 1/4 x 3 7/8 inches. Preserved in a cloth slip-case with a printed label on the back-strip. The printers in England, U.S.A., Australia, and Italy include Bullnettle Press, Cuckoo Hill Press, Plough Press, Rocket Press, Septentrio Press, and Typographeum. Fine as issued. $750.00

The Society of Private Printers: An Infant's Library. PLA Society of Private Printers. [Pinner]: 1980. First edition. 30 booklets from various private press printers, plus an index booklet with a wood-engraving by Pam Reuter. 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. Preserved in a mahogany box with a sliding front and the engraving by Pam Reuter on the front. The printers from England, U.S.A., Holland, Australia and Italy include Cherub Press, Keepsake Press, Perdix Press, Plough Press, Pump Press, Peter Stockham, and Typographeum. Fine as issued. $750.00

Towey, Augustine, C.M.: The Anna Poems and two other verses, A Chapbook. Typographeum. Francestown: 2005. 8vo. 32 pp. sewn into paper wrappers with printed label on front. 185 copies hand-printed and bound by Terry Risk, and signed by the author. Fine copy. $25.00.

Towey, Augustine D., C.M.: Later Enchantments, Poems. Typographeum. Francestown: 2000. First edition. 8vo. Green cloth with a printed label on the back-strip. 64 pp. Limited 175 copies signed by the poet. $50.00

Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., was the director of the University Theatre at Niagara University. This new collection includes two sequences, one inspired by the Post Tenure Review which many academics have to undergo and another which speaks of religious experience.

Towey, Brother Augustine, C.M.: Poems from San Francisco and The Niagara University Sesquicentennial Poem, A Chapbook. Typographeum. Francestown: 2006. First edition. 32 unnumbered pages sewn and glued into overlapping paper wrappers with a printed label on the front. Limited to 185 copies signed by the poet. $20.00

To purchase, please use my page for that by clicking here: Order/Contact. You are also most welcome to telephone me if you have any questions or comments: 1-603-547-2425. I am always eager to talk about books! Thank you for your interest and support.

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