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Barbarian Press
Books in Print

Wood engraving by Colin Paynton
(from The Chimes, 1985)

The Splendour of a Morning
A collection of C. P. Cavafy’s poems, translated by David Smulders, and illustrated with five engravings by Peter Lazarov
Summer 2016

8 Odes of John Keats

with fifteen wood engravings by Andy English.

Endgrain Editions 4
Simon Brett – An Engraver’s Progress


Cover scan

The Splendour of a Morning
Click on the image above for full details.

Books in Print
from Barbarian Press

On the average, we publish two to three books a year – usually one substantial book, such as an addition to the Endgrain Editions series, and one or two other smaller or less elaborate titles which will often include an illustrated classic or a book of poetry, or something with typographical or bibliographic interest. Since wood engravings are an important part of our interests as publishers, most of our books are illustrated. In 2016 we are beginning work on a much larger project than usual, Bordering on the Sublime, which will take at least eighteen months to complete.

The Splendour of a Morning, a small collection of thirty-eight of C. P. Cavafy’s poems, translated by David Smulders and illustrated with five engravings by Peter Lazarov, is now (early August 2016) at the bindery. Apart from our liking for Cavafy’s poems and Mr Smulders’ translations, the other delight about this project is that in it we are introducing a new addition to our composing room: Antigone, a Greek typeface designed by Jan van Krimpen in 1927. We have always thought this the most beautiful of Greek types, but as it has long been unavailable for purchase anywhere we never thought we would be able to acquire it. However, the generosity of a patron of the press made it possible for us to have a set of matrices punched for us by the Monotype Corporation, and so this will be a bilingual edition, setting the Greek texts of the poems facing the English versions. The type itself, cast expertly as ever by Michael Bixler in Skaneateles, New York, arrived propitiously on Christmas Eve.

Not entirely incidentally, all this has meant some pleasurable problem-solving for CE, who had to work out a way of laying the Greek type in cases intended for roman alphabets and, more specifically, for the English language. Where an English fount of roman type in upper and lower case will typically have a total of fewer than 80 characters, Greek typefaces like Antigone include, in addition to the 24 upper- and 25 lower-case letters of the alphabet, over 130 accented characters and diacritical marks – a total of nearly 180, not including figures. Fortunately, Chip Coakley of the Jericho Press in Cambridge, England, has founts of Greek type and very kindly sent a diagram of his case lay. CE laid the type in cases, making a very few modifications to Mr Coakley’s arrangement.

The Splendour of a Morning is been completed as of the first week of August, 2016, and will be available later in the summer, once binding is completed. The book includes an Introduction by the translator. The Deluxe copies are all reserved, but some Regular copies remain available.

Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats was published in the mid-Autumn of 2015, and the Deluxe state is now out of print, with some Regular copies remaining. This was a book we decided to print quite suddenly during the summer in order to fill a gap between completing Ingoldsby and beginning our two next projects, The Splendour of a Morning and Bordering on the Sublime. Fancy includes the five ‘Great Odes’ plus three others, less well known, and is illustrated with fifteen engravings by Andy English – as was our earlier Eve of St. Agnes (2003), with which this copy is uniform in size and design.

Endgrain Editions Four: Simon Brett – an Engraver’s Progress is the first addition to the Endgrain Editions since 2003, and it is a major return to the series, a celebration of the work of Simon Brett over fifty years as an engraver. Comprising over 130 engravings printed from the wood, an introduction by the artist, and a chronological catalogue of the over 1,000 engravings Simon has so far engraved, this is a major work of 250 pages, and we are very proud to have published it. The Deluxe copies are now out of print, but there are still a few Regular copies available.

Please look at the page for each individual book for further information with photographs of the book and of sample pages, and information about prices. You can find news about books presently in the press under Books Forthcoming.

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A Note about Currencies

Because the world economy is in such a constant state of flux, we are unable to offer fixed prices in other currencies. Our books are priced in Canadian dollars, but we accept payment in other currencies by personal cheque. We will invoice you at the exchange rate prevailing on the day the invoice is sent.

Of course we also accept payment by Visa and American Express, which take the payment off at the rate prevailing at time of purchase. However, we have to add a surcharge of 5% on credit card purchases to cover our costs.

A Note about Subscriptions

If you are interested in our work, or in fine press editions, you should consider becoming a subscriber. It is economically exceedingly wise.

It is also very simple: Just contact us, and tell us that you wish to become a subscriber. This means that you undertake to buy ONE COPY of every book we publish – typically two to three a year. In return for this guarantee from you, we give you a 30% discount on the retail price of the book.

In the case of our more expensive books, the resultant savings can amount to a few hundred dollars – enough to buy another substantial book from us or from another press!