Ditchling: St Dominic's Press, 1929. Short, Mary Dudley. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 431 of 450 copies, twenty-fourmo size,  pp., numbered and initialled by HDCP. Near fine. Item #CNBR434
The Saint Dominic's Press, founded by Harry (Hilary) Douglas Clarke Pepler, flourished at Ditchling, Sussex, from 1916 to 1936. The first home of the Press was "a disused stable", with a hundred-year-old Stanhope hand-press which supposedly had belonged to William Morris. Pepler endeavored to do everything possible by hand, believing that such would both produce the best results and also be a "more individual or 'humane'...product". He therefore "preferred the handpress to the machine, handmade to machine-made paper, and handset founder's type to the products of typesetting machines."
Pepler met Edward Johnston and Eric Gill while living in Hammersmith; Pepler and his family would eventually move to Ditchling to join Gill, who was one of the most important artists to provide illustrations for the St. Dominic's Press. Other artists who provided illustrations included David Jones, Desmond Chute, Philip Hagreen, and Mary Dudley Short, among others.
This work a compilation of the following plays: "The Horse", "The Ox and the Ass", "St Martin", "The Cat Burglar", "Running Water", and "Crockodile". Pepler "had his own puppet theatre at Ditchling" and his puppets performed "The Ox and the Ass" at an international marionette festival in 1929.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in quarter blue cloth over paper-covered boards, this the alternate binding noted in the bibliography with a brown paper label on the front board with black lettering and ruled border, top edge rough-cut, fore- and bottom edges uncut, numbered and initialled by Hilary Pepler on the title page, with five wood-engraved illustrations (one repeated) by Mary Dudley Short; twenty-fourmo size (5 3/8" by 3 7/8"), with  pages; limited edition of 450 copies, this no. 431; note that while the title page has the date "1929" the colophon is dated "1928".
___CONDITION: Near fine: the boards without wear, the corners straight and without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a few extremely light, stray marks on the paper boards and light indication of slight damping to the cloth of the spine (with no evidence in the text block).
___CITATIONS: Taylor and Sewell, no. A174; note that the quotes and much of the introductory information from "Three Private Presses" by Brocard Sewell.
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