Ditchling, Sussex: The Ditchling Press Ltd., 1952. Octavo, original gilt blue cloth, original dust jacket. Fine. Item #1109
"WE LIVE IN THE SPEED AGE AND SO MUST SUFFER ACCORDINGLY...BUT WE CAN EXCLUDE FROM THE RUSH ONE SHELF IN THE ROOM, IF WE HAVE ONE, WHERE BOOKS ARE SOMETIMES TO BE ENJOYED IN PEACE"
Ditchling Press edition of Hilary Pepler''s farewell address as the printer of St. Dominic's Press—a fine reissue of the original 1935 edition, printed shortly after Pepler's death in 1951.
Under the influence of the Distributists (such as Father Vincent McNabb, O.P.), Pepler arrived in Ditchling as part his interest in of the Back-to-the-Land movement. He became "involved in type, printing and published" because "I wanted to escape from the town and earn my living in the country. The Hand Press, though a thing of the city, can be moved to a place where gas and electricity have not penetrated." Pepler converted to Catholicism and established St. Dominic's Press in 1915, as part of The Guild of St. Dominic and St. Joseph (established in 1921).
This address on the virtues of hand-made books was first printed in an edition of 250 copies by Pepler as "the last book I shall print" at St Dominic's Press ("Completed on the Feast of the Assumption when men should abstain from servile work") for the Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago in 1935. This 1951 Ditchling edition is essentially a less-expensive alternative to the first edition. It adds a brief Foreword by Pepler's son ("M.B.C.P"), an additional illustration—Frank Brangwyn's colored lithographic portrait of Pepler as the frontispiece (Brangwyn himself appears over Pepler's shoulder)—along with facsimile illustrations by Eric Gill, Thomas Derrick, Philip Hagreen, Desmond Chute, David Jones, and others. With Notes & Index, Publisher's Note, Errata list, and a concluding Imprint of the original edition. Cleverdon, 28; Taylor & Sewell, A233.