Monmouthshire: The Old Stile Press, 2006. Hardcover. Number 59 of 150 copies numbered and signed by Davis and Adams. The story of Bluebeard has a long history, from Perrault's Fairy Tales through Maeterlinck, and is deeply embedded in the dark storytelling of the early twentieth century. Béla Balázs, heavily influenced by the French Symbolists, wrote a play which inspired his fellow countryman Béla Bartók to create a truly Hungarian opera. The music and the libretto in their turn have drawn from Susan Adams a sequence of stunning images. Each page evokes the unfolding terror that the walls of Duke Bluebeard's castle have witnessed. The chilling story is of the young bride, Judith, brought to her new home by the Duke. She longs to fling open windows, to let sunlight flood into her castle but gradually she has to face the truth of what may have happened here -- the truth of the destroyed lives of three previous wives. The libretto is the English version made by John Lloyd Davies for performances of the opera in the UK. Printed in Eric Gill's Joanna type on BFK Rives paper. The 18 images by Adams use two printmaking techniques, printing directly from woodblocks in black (with two in white) and digitally generated photopolymer line blocks, printed in red. The small folio book is bound in black and red paper and covered with red paper with printed with woodcuts on both covers. The slipcase has grey sides with a black border, again printed with images by Susan Adams. A particularly striking production from this excellent private press. In fine condition. Unpaginated [56 pages]. PRI/061416. Fine.
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Toronto: George A. Walker, 2014. Hardcover. Number 49 of 80 copies. Signed by Walker, Ravvin, and Smart. Master engraver George Walker has created this splendid work celebrating the 80th birthday (September 21, 2014) of Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen. The eighty wood engravings commemorate Cohen's artistic accomplishments and explore how images of Leonard Cohen have appeared in popular culture over his six decade career. The black and white engravings are arranged chronologically and depict scenes from Cohen's varied creative endeavors. The book also presents portraits of some of the many famous people in his life, including Allan Ginsberg, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Andy Warhol. In his images Walker strives to communicate the importance of Cohen's Zen Buddhist philosophy and plays with numerology and the symbolism behind the number 8. This beautiful book took over one year to make. The engravings were hand printed on Folio Rising Stonehenge archival rag paper. The text pages used Garamond type for the text body and Bernhard for the headings. Bound in black Japanese Asahi bookcloth and housed in a clamshell box covered in the same cloth. The book cover has an inset of an engraved portrait of Cohen and has a brown cloth spine label. A different portrait is inset on the clamshell box. 6 1/4 x 8 x 2 1/2 inches. Unpaginated (22 pages printed recto). PRI/041916. Fine.