Friday, September 16, 2005

Pennant and His Welsh Landscapes

New from Gwasg Gregyog:
Pennant and His Welsh Landscapes
THOMAS PENNANT was revered by contemporaries, notably receiving the accolade of that great arbiter of literary work, Samuel Johnson. He draws us inexorable into his absorbing narrative. He was sensitive to scenic impact, noting that near Leeswood 'Cambria here lays aside her majestic air and condescends to assue a gentler form'. The contents of houses are sharply observed: Pen Bedw held Sir Kenelm Digby's 'curious illuminated books';and Powys Castle's gallery was 'filled with bad paintings'. Castles and fortifications are to the fore. He contemplates on the ruins of the fort at Deganwy, and has 'melancholy reflections' at Conway Castle like some latter-day Gibbon. The classical scholar in Pennant frequently comes out: he finds the tradition of the Graves of the Men of Ardudwy 'nearly parallel with the Rape of the Sabines'. The Tour in Wales is a lively museum of this man's verve, knowledge, wit and language.

Readings from Thomas Pennant's The Tour in Wales (1776-1784), selected and edited by Gwyn Walters. Illustrated with colour woodcuts by Rigby Graham, the selection retains, in an elegant prose, that rich mixture of history, typography and comment which gave the original work pioneer status and instant acclaim.

A PROLIFIC and versatile painter, printmaker and illustrator, Rigby Graham has illustrated hundreds of books for both private and commercial presses. In his illustrations for Pennant and his Welsh Landscapes he has attempted to reflect the contemporary view rather than reproduce that of Pennant, and has compressed time, so that past and present often co-exist within a single image. Graham has attempted to inject vitality into the volume by using vibrant colours for each of the 16 full page and 4 double page illustrations, and in so doing has created dynamic and visually stimulating volume for Gwasg Gregynog.

Set in Monotype Baskerville and printed on Velin Arches pure cotton mould-made paper. The edition is limited to 165 copies, of which 150 will be hand-bound in quarter leather, titles in gold on the spine and both boards, and presented (together with an editioned set of prints) in a drop-back box. Both bindings have been designed by Rigby Graham. Also available unbound. 168 pages, 240 x 350mm.

Special binding-16 copies in a full-leather binding containing an additional set of prints and presented in a cloth-covered drop-back box.(1 copy remaining).

Quarter leather £550. Unbound sheets £300. The illustrations will be available as signed copies-please enquire for details.