|Marvellous. The only bookbinding book I have ever read aloud to friends.|
|This is not really a book aimed at binders. As the title indicates, it's really for bibliophiles and collectors.|
My father brought this book over from California, having found it in a used bookshop in Monterey. It's from an almost magical time in bookbinding history, during the height of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The book is well titled. It is aimed at book collectors who want to intelligently evaluate book bindings. Its main intent is to inform the taste, and it explains the processes and materials of bookbinding to further that end. It's not an instruction book.
The writing style is almost unbelievably florid and allusive. It reminds me of nothing more than Thomas de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, though it is much more readable.
The goat himself has few virtues; all ages have condemned him. In Attic groves he was ever a terror to the tender nymph, a follower of wine-bibbers, and of general ill repute. Yearly he wandered in the desert, bearing the sins of a whole people on his horny pate. At some future day we know he is to be divided from the sheep. Always he is typical of evil. But this merit, if no other, he has above other beasts; his hide is tough. Properly tanned in sumach he is transmuted to a thing of beauty, suffers a "sea-change" into something fair, and is honored above the very clay of Caesar.And then to thy once shaggy breast,So sings some forgotten bibliomaniac. We despised him living, but we prize him dead. Such injustice is common to us.
Now purified, shalt thou enfold
Frail Manon and fair Juliet