Friday, July 15, 2005

"Two Tracts" by The Printery

I've only recently learned of the existence of Kay Michael Kramer's press The Printery and I'm quite impressed with what I've seen so far. In 2004, The Printery published Benjamin Franklin's Two Tracts:

As America's envoy, Franklin set up a small printing office at Passy that grew into a full-blown diplomatic press. He printed Information to Those Who Would Remove to America and Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America in both French and English. These engaging and thought provoking essays were printed together in London in 1784 as Two Tracts. Subsequent editions soon appeared in Dublin, France, Italy, and Germany.

The London edition of Two Tracts was set in Caslon types as is this new edition. Stephenson-Blake promoted this Caslon as being "cast entirely from matrices produced from punches engraved in the eighteenth century by William Caslon."

From Gutenberg's time until the end of the eighteenth century, printers followed the manuscript convention of employing a long 's' initially and medially in a word and using the short 's' terminally. This new edition of Two Tracts is taken diredtly from the 1784 London edition. The same Caslon types are handsest. The long 's' with all its legatures, the capping scheme, the catch-words, and the signature indicators are all retained allowing the modern reader the opportunity to enjoy these widely circulated Tracts in their original eighteenth-century attire.

Octavo, 64pp. One hundred numbered copies have been printed in three colors. The first ten copies are quarter-bound in leather and slipcased at $240.00, the next twenty copies are quarter-bound in leather at $190.00, and seventy copies are quarter-bound in cloth at $150.00.

For further information (and to see some images of Two Tracts), visit The Printery online at www.theprinterybooks.com; to order a copy or to otherwise contact the press, you can send an e-mail to proprietor@theprinterybooks.com.