Friday, January 13, 2006

News from Old School Press

I had forgotten to post about some Old School Press news back in November or December: the three unpublished Harry Carter essays that accompanied the deluxe version of Harry Carter, Typographer were released separately as Three Pieces:
During their researches on Harry Carter's life and work, the authors of Harry Carter, Typographer came across about 150pp of typescript material that he had drafted towards a second volume of his history of Oxford University Press. Unfortunately, that volume was never to see the light of day, but we have taken the opportunity to publish two of the essays in that typescript. The first, 'Bradley’s Observations', describes (in Carter’s words) ‘the worst dereliction of duty in the history of the Press’ and is fascinatingly tied up with the £20,000 prize offered under the Longitude Act of 1714 for an accurate way of determining longitude. The second, 'Thomas Bensley as a Partner', is a tale of fraud and deception at the Press. In August 1932, Carter sent an essay on the influence of John Baskerville on type design to Jan van Krimpen for inclusion in the first issue of a proposed successor to The Fleuron, but that also never came to fruition. Carter's essay on this most influential of English type designers - whose tercentenary is in 2006 - makes the third item in this volume of his work.
Old School Press is also sending out an announcement of a new publication - Fell's Flowers. The announcement is being sent out to gauge interest in a project that is very much in its early stages. Some excerpts from the prospectus:
The Old School Press is in the process of cataloguing the remaining Fell type at Oxford and at St Bride Printing Library; the majority of the type that survived the smelter at the closure of the Printing House in 1989 was for setting text, but there are in fact around a hundred founts of flowers still in packets. We are delighted to have been given permission by OUP to prepare a small edition showing the remaining flowers. [...]
The text will be hand-set in 12/15pt Van Dijck and [...] case-bound in quarter cloth [...]. We anticipate a small edition, with three-quarters going to subscribers, each of whom will receive an ad personam copy. To subscribe please write, in the first instance, to or to The Old School Press, The Old School, The Green, Hinton Charterhouse, Bath BA2 7TJ, U.K., letting us know that you intend taking a copy when it is published. When production starts in earnest and we have a date for publication, we shall announce the final price and contact you to confirm that you still wish to take a copy and to request payment if you do. The price is expected (but not promised) to be around £120 (US$230) plus shipping at cost.