[Mission, B.C.]: Barbarian Press, 2015. Quarto, 23.5 x 20.5 cm. Cased in quarter red silk, with patterned cream paper covered boards, printed paper label to the spine, cream endpapers, and red silk ribbon marker; top edges trimmed and cut, others untrimmed. pp. , 11- 165, [5, plus tipped in corrigenda slip]. A fine copy. Designed and set by Crispin Elsted, and printed by Jan Elsted, in Poliphilus and Blado type, with unidentified Victorian initials and Goudy Thirty for display; printed on Heine mouldmade paper. Illustrated with eight tipped in wood engravings by the Brothers Dalziel, printed from the blocks on Zerkall Smooth Cream paper. This is their first published appearance. The blocks are held in the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College; they were acquired by Roberson Davies and donated to the College during his tenure there as Master. The blocks were made available to the Elsteds through the facilitation of Brian Maloney and P.J. MacDougall, printer and librarian at Massey respectively. One of 90 copies, of which this is one of 45 unnumbered Standard Edition states. 45 copies of the Deluxe state were also issued. Item #122
“It has been a pleasure for us to spend some time with the Reverend Mister Barham, this slightly batty, warm-hearted, voluble parson, and to revisit a few favourites from these quirky, zany, irrepressible Ingoldsby Legends, which show so absolutely the teeming liveliness of the Victorian imagination - their love of stories, their delight in the absurd, & their unassuming self-confidence. For all the horrors of their age, the crippling ignorance of their colonial policy, & the rampant capitalism of the new bourgeoisie, much of what the Victorians attempted or accomplished shows good conscience. However much their class structure was held up to shame in the face of the appalling poverty and living conditions of the urban poor, their religious belief called into serious question by developing science, or their use of technology impugned by the beastliness of the conditions under which industrial workers lived and died, as a society they tried continually to make things better for others, as well as for themselves. Even today, the debates & political manoeuvrings around the Reform Acts of the 1830s would make salutary reading for our politicians. Here in the 21st century, with our violent desire to have come from somewhere clashing with our mortal terror of going nowhere, the Victorians seem comfortingly certain.”
Crispin Elsted, from his Afterword.