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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[Berkeley, CA]: Poole Press, 1995. Number 37 of 100 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. Poole Press was the imprint of Maryline Poole Adams of Berkeley, California, founded in 1978. She designed, handset, illustrated with original line drawings, linoleum cuts, woodcuts or wood engravings, letterpress prints, and bound her books. This charming miniature book has the text of a lovely carol written by Morris for the melody of an ancient French tune collected by Edmund Sedding. Printed with Libra and Goudy 30 types, with Morris initial letter enhancements, on Lana Royal paper. Bound in stiff blue ornamental paper boards with title to spine and gilt initials WM on cover. In fine condition. Measures 2 x 3 inches. Unpaginated. PRI/060122.