Saturday, 10 November 2012

William Morris & The Book

William Morris's last enterprise was the Kelmscott Press, fine printing of books by Caxton and his contemporaries and by Morris and his favourite authors - almost all texts that WM loved for their own sakes.  Over 50 titles in five years made it not a hobby but a business which, guided by quality not cost, aimed to make at least enough profit to continue in production.  I've been reading up on his book-making life for a forthcoming lecture and have concluded that the Kelmscott Press was a serious enterprise rather than a vanity project and that its secondary aim - alongside the making of books that were beautiful as well as useful - was success in a small, craft-based business such as, or as potentially close to, that run by Caxton; and that WM's pleasure lay in planning and managing such production, and proving that there was a market for high-quality, hand-finished items such as his books.

The first lecture is at the University of Bristol, 6.00pm Tuesday 20 November 2012, Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building. Free but booking needed
Followed by a broadly similar performance in memory of Peter Preston at the William Morris Society, 2.15pm Saturday 1 December.   See 

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