(Ditchling Common, Sussex, Eng. Printed by H. D. C. and Mark Pepler [at St Dominic's Press], 1934). 240 x 170 mm. (9 1/2 x 6 3/4"). 2 p.l., 79,  pp. No. 225 OF 250 COPIES SIGNED by the printer.
Original gray-brown paper wrappers, wrap-around paper label with lettering on front cover and spine, edges untrimmed and ENTIRELY UNOPENED. With printer's device on title page, six specimen pages or facsimiles of the press' work, and three woodcuts, two of these by David Jones. Ransom, "Selective Check Lists," p. 57, #108. Paper label lightly soiled (from rubbing against other volumes), but A PRISTINE COPY INTERNALLY, unopened and unread.
In this essay, printer and social reformer Hilary Pepler argues for the merits of hand printing over the machine press, citing examples from his nearly 20 years of operating St Dominic's Press, which he founded on 14 January 1916 at Ditchling in Sussex. Although originally inspired by his former Hammersmith neighbors Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker, Pepler (1878-1951) never embraced the Doves Press' idealistic (and rather elitist) goal of producing The Book Beautiful--in fact, the first product of his press was a beer bottle label for a local public house (reproduced in facsimile here). He was a far more radical socialist than William Morris and his circle, and sought to make a living working with his hands, while encouraging and enabling others to do the same. Of his motives for establishing the press, he says, "There were books I wanted to print--books about crafts which machinery threatened with extinction. I felt that the Press, which had destroyed the kind of civilisation I loved, should be used to restore it, or at least help in preserving such records of it as came my way." Above all else, "he was a craftsman, with the craftsman's wholesome contempt for the more absurd fancies of those who would like to be thought artists." (Cave) With fellow Catholic covert Eric Gill, he founded the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic to facilitate the collaboration of Catholic craftsmen. St Dominic's Press ended in 1936, when Pepler was voted out of the Guild for employing a non-Catholic apprentice at his press. In a dramatic gesture worthy of Cobden-Sanderson, he burned the materials of the press in a big bonfire on Ditchley Common. (CBJ1761)
Add to Cart Price: $1,500.00