A50. Shakespeare on Papermills
A50. Peter Thomas. Shakespeare on Papermills. Santa Cruz, California: The Good Book Press, 1988.
49 x 39.5 mm (1 15/16” x 1 9/16”), 64 pages, 200 copies.
Binding: Quarter-bound in black sheepskin and cream paper from Digestum Novum (1576) printed with text in black and red. Title in gold on spine. End sheets are from Digestum Novum. Paper: Copies 1-100 recycled from Digestum Novum. Copies 101-200 white, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Letterpress. Text printed from photoengraving. Typography: Berkeley Old Style. Illustration: Reproductions of eight line drawings by Donna Thomas.
“The text discusses Shakespeare’s reference to a papermill in 2 Henry VI, act 4, scene 7. This was Peter’s first attempt at scholarly writing since college and necessitated the editorial help of many friends. The information was gathered while researching his role at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire as papermaker in an Elizabethan village. The copy of Digestum Novum was also acquired at the Faire: one day a visitor gave it to us as a gift. It was water stained and dis-bound, but it was made during Shakespeare’s lifetime and cutting off the generous empty bottom margins provided the perfect paper to use for this miniature book. This was made before personal computers or printers were commonly available. I gave my handwritten manuscript to local photo-typesetting company. They typed it into their machine which generated positive printouts. Those were sent to a photo-engraving company that made type-high wood-mounted engraved copper plates that we could use in our printing press. As an aside, three copy were bought by a Japanese advertising firm, and they used them for a jewelry company’s advertisement displaying their exotic gold rings draped over copies of our book.”