Hogarth Press first edition book jacket designs
George Rylands, Poems (1931)
“George (“Dadie”) Rylands as an undergraduate moved in the Cambridge Apostles circuit of young men who caught the attention of Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey. He became the Woolfs’ short-term but beloved assistant from July to December 1924 and then returned to Cambridge where he became a fellow of King’s College in 1927. The Woolfs published two volumes of Rylands’s poetry, Russet and Taffeta (1925), people by Perditas and Corydons, and Poems (1931) about Chloe and Flora amid the flowers and hay-scented farmlands. The Woolfs also published his fellowship dissertation, Words and Poetry (1928). For all their skillful lyricism, Rylands’s Poems are like pressed flowers, nosegays colourless and dry, preserved from change. Only one year older than William Plomer and two years older than Christopher Isherwood, Rylands wrote not of his generation but of a generation before the FirstWorld War.”
J.H. Willis Jr, Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: The Hogarth Press 1917-1941
There is generous use of white space in this, the second book of Rylands’ poetry hand printed by the Woolfs… There is a typo in the imprint, placing a comma rather than a period after Leonard’s initial.
Elizabeth Willson Gordon, Woolf’s-head Publishing: The Highlights and New Lights of the Hogarth Press
Hogarth Press studies
Woolf’s-head Publishing is a wonderful collection of cover designs, book jackets, and illustrations – but also a beautiful example of book production in its own right. It was produced as an exhibition catalogue and has quite rightly gone on to enjoy an independent life of its own. This book is a genuine collector’s item, and only months after its first publication it started to win awards for its design and production values. Anyone with the slightest interest in book production, graphic design, typography, or Bloomsbury will want to own a copy the minute they clap eyes on it.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: Hogarth Press, 1917-41 John Willis brings the remarkable story of Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s success as publishers to life. He generates interesting thumbnail sketches of all the Hogarth Press authors, which brings both them and the books they wrote into sharp focus. He also follows the development of many of its best-selling titles, and there’s a full account of the social and cultural development of the press. This is a scholarly work with extensive footnotes, bibliographies, and suggestions for further reading – but most of all it is a very readable study in cultural history.
© Roy Johnson 2005