23 December 2009

Thoreau for Christmas

Thoreau at last! Gary Dunfield and I decided we could stand the delay no longer and took a run at bringing the first few copies of our letterpress edition of Thoreau’s Walking into being before the end of 2009 (given that the title page reads 2008). By the time we close up tomorrow, there should be a dozen or so copies completed. Hip, hip!

The book – which includes Thoreau’s 1851 lecture “Walking, or the Wild,” three wood engravings by Wesley Bates and my annotations – has been in progress for a number of years now. I handprinted the text and Wesley’s engravings on Hahnemühle Biblio paper about a year ago, and folded and collated the sheets. This autumn, Gary finally found time to make the paper for the first 50 jackets, but we simply couldn’t free up the labour to assemble the parts until this week.

Jack McMaster and I made these snazzy ornaments, which are based on those found on a wrapper used by the Thoreau family pencil factory.

This paper-covered edition will total 150 numbered copies and should be generally available in January. It sells for $200. There will also be a lettered edition of 26 books. These will be casebound and placed in a little pine box with copies of Wesley’s three wood engravings. The lettered edition sells for $600. Its completion date remains murky. I’ll let you know when I’ve bought the lumber for the boxes.

Merry Christmas Henry.



sad+ said...

Looks good, Andrew.

Al Cooper said...


The Thoreau looks great! Fitting, and beautiful.