THE MOUNTAINS OF WALES: AN ANTHOLOGY IN VERSE & PROSE.

(Newtown: Gwasg Gregynog, 1987). 303 x 191 mm. (12 x 7 1/2"). 189, [3] pp. No. VI of XX copies bound by James Brockman (and 255 ordinary copies).

A DRAMATIC ONLAID AND DYED VELLUM BINDING BY JAMES BROCKMAN, the vellum boards stained in shades of purple, pink, light green, chocolate, and pale gray, covers also with onlaid strips of turquoise and black morocco in an abstract pattern perhaps suggesting stained glass, smooth black morocco spine, gilt titling, turquoise suede doublures, all edges gilt. In the (lightly chafed) original black morocco-backed clamshell box with stained vellum label on spine and thick padded lining. Eight plates of watercolors by the Reverend John Parker, printed via offset-lithography by Adrian Lack. Gwasg Gregynog 16. In mint condition.

Attractively printed on smooth, heavy paper by the modern successor to the original Gregynog Press and beautifully bound by a modern master, this is a collection of tributes to the beauty of the mountains of Wales by poets, travellers, naturalists, and mountaineers. Written in English and Welsh, it begins with verses from the 11th century and continues through the years, ending with a poem written in 1980. In between there are descriptions by such luminaries as Daniel Defoe, who compares the mountains of Wales favorably to the French Alps; Matthew Arnold; and John Ruskin, who says of his first visit to the mountains, "I had as much pleasure in that single day as some men have in all their lives." The watercolors of Anglican cleric and amateur painter John Parker (1798-1860), who produced hundreds of paintings of this landscape, add a visual perspective to the literary tributes. For the covers of this special binding, James Brockman (b. 1946) uses the soft colors of the Parker illustrations to create his abstract designs, while still giving an impression of mountains. A past president of Designer Bookbinders and the Society of Bookbinders, Brockman apprenticed as a finisher at Blackwell's, studied with Ivor Robinson, and served as assistant to Sydney Cockerell at Cambridge from 1968-73. Three years later, he opened his own bindery in Oxford, which continues to produce notable work.
(ST13001)