British Columbia, CA: Barbarian Press, 2017. Hardcover. One of 50 regular copies from an edition of 110 copies with 60 deluxe copies. This is the 46th book from this esteemed Canadian private press. Crispin and Jan Elsted write about this charming book: “The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries positively reveled in music. The sudden development of new instruments and styles of musical composition in the early Renaissance had arguably created a profound a shift from the music of the medieval period. The period from 1550 through Shakespeare’s life and on into the seventeenth century saw hundreds of composers producing songs, lute music, consort music, dance music, and polyphonic choral music. The first stirrings of what eventually became the orchestra are discernible in the wide range of instruments—viols, rebecs, hurdy-gurdies, lutes, guitars, citterns, trumpets, cornetts, sackbuts, serpents, recorders, flutes —which were used in multiple combinations. Shakespeare’s theatre assumed music to be a natural part of almost any performance. Roughly two thirds of his thirty-eight plays include song texts, and many of those have become established in the canon of lyric poetry in English in their own right. The Elizabethan stage moreover included what was called a ‘minstrels’ gallery’ above the stage, and we know that music was played at dramatic points during performances to create moods or enhance special effects. The texts in the book are in the original spellings of the First Folio or Quarto texts, and there are notes about the poems and a glossary of particularly obscure words.” The book is illustrated with tiny thumbnail wood engravings as well as rich full-page black and white illustrations. Printed on Zerkell Smooth White Paper in Poliphilus and Blado types. Quarter bound with a red silk spine and printed paper label. In cream paper covered boards with sprightly small flowers decorating the front cover. Errata slip tipped in rear. In fine condition. 5.5 x 7 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/100417. Fine.
Monmouthshire, England: The Old Stile Press, 2008. Hard Cover. Number 70 of 195 copies in Main Edition. Illustrated by Michael Onken and signed by him. This book came when the McDowells, proprietors of the press, discovered this text among the papers of George Mackay Brown. He wrote it in 1984 and it had a single public reading but was never published. The play draws on the tales of the Selkie folk. The American artist, Michael Onken, has found Orkney to be his "spiritual" home, and also was drawn to the Selkie legends. This book is a result of the play's discovery. Bound in cream cloth front cover with illustration in brown. Backing and rear board are blue linen. Housed in fine grey slipcase with paper illustration of Mackay Brown affixed to front. Designed and printed by Nicolas McDowell in Albertina type on grey Velin Arches paper. The artist's wood engravings, woodcuts,and linocut images were printed in black and white from the original blocks. Binding by The Fine Book Bindery using paper printed at The Old Stile Press. In fine condition. Unpaginated [56 pages]. PRI/061316. Fine.