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Friday’s Library Snapshot … of Joan Hassall.

October 26, 2012

The wood engravings of Joan Hassall with introduction by Ruari Maclean 

I came across this little book in a the Mark Longman Library; which is an Aladdin’s Cave of jewels from 1900 -1980 that never ceases to delight me. As with other collections, if I don’t see something immediately, it will point me to something else.

For instance, last week I posted a piece about the Two Rivers Press’s translation of  the Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud. I was reminded of a translation by Samuel Beckett.  This is without images so not as  graphically pleasing for me. However, it was published here at the University of Reading in the Typography department and typographically most attractive and complementary to the my first choice.

You will see later that  Joan Hassall does not stand alone for me in the collection (s).

Joan Hassall (1906-1988) was  widely known as one of the most distinguished wood-engravers of this country.  Considered the most delicate of modern engravers since Bewick. Her decorations and devices for bookplates, Christmas cards and leaflets of various kinds  transformed an otherwise ordinary document into a collector’s item.

There are lots of resources that discuss Joan’s expertise as an illustrator and wood engraver. I have chosen not to regurgitate stuff; but encourage you to look at her work.

Our Village by Mary Russell Mitford is about Mary’s life in Reading and nearby Three Mile Cross so is very interesting to me – a local lady. Also it has been published several times and graphically produced quiet differently. One copy we have has been published here at the University and the wood cuts are very lovely; I will show you next week. 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Elvidge permalink
    October 26, 2012 6:59 am

    I worked in Three Mile Cross in Mary Russel Mitford’s house…

    • October 26, 2012 7:55 am

      See what I mean … who needs the WWW a golden thread weaves us all together xxx hehehe … and you Suzanne will be my Wise Woman … One day!!

  2. paper doll permalink
    November 6, 2012 7:47 pm

    Exquisite work…thank you for posting!

  3. October 16, 2015 7:16 am

    Reblogged this on Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages and commented:

    Still absent from work with sadness; but looking forward to returning meanwhile a reblog …

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