Vancouver: Robert and Felicity Reid, 1959. [original sheets; this is later state, casebound and issued with a new colophon by:]
Vancouver: Stephen Lunsford | Heavenly Monkey, 2003.
Octavo, 24.9 x 16.8 cm. Cased in quarter red morocco and marbled paper over boards. Red leather label, titled and decorated in gilt, to the spine. Single fillet rolled in gilt to the edge of the leather on the covers. Matching red leather tips and hinges; orange leather endbands. Housed in a linen covered slipcase with matching marbled paper sides. pp. [ll. 3, including a fold-out leaf with a tipped map] v-x [plus ll. 2: tipped-in facsimile leaves], [pp. 4] 1-58 [ll. 4, including later colophon leaf]. A fine copy. The text was set in Linotype Eldorado and printed on English Eynsford Ancient Laid paper. The presswork was done by Ib Kristensen. “Both the manuscript and the letters and other items reproduced were obtained from the Lee family by Eileen Laurie of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation… The drawings in the text are by the author, and are reproduced from the manuscript in their original size.” From an edition of 100 copies. The present copy was issued with a new colophon and is “one of twenty original copies […] that have had to wait forty-four years to be bound. As the colophon states, the books went to Victoria for Fritz Brunn to bind in 1959. As is common with private press endeavors, copies were bound as orders were received. Fritz completed about seventy-five copies, but the remaining sheets were never called upon. Robert R. Reid, the original publisher, left Vancouver in 1962, having forgotten about the unbound copies of Lee (and two of his other books as well!). When Fritz died in 1973, the sheets were still in his shop. They did not resurface for about fifteen years, when they were purchased from his estate by the booksellers Stephen Lunsford and William Hoffer. A few copies were individually bound over the years, but most remained in storage. These newly bound copies of The Lee Journal— all that remain from Fritz’s bindery— have been issued by Stephen Lunsford (now the sole owner of the sheets) in 2003. Their authenticity and completeness are confirmed by Robert Reid…” The later colophon was set and printed by Heavenly Monkey. The binding, which was modelled after the original by Fritz Brunn, was done by Claudia Cohen; her attractive binder’s ticket is neatly affixed to the rear pastedown. This copy is number 9 of 20 comprising this later state. Signed in pencil by Robert Reid on the later colophon page. Item #405
“The press was very busy during 1959, when The Lee Journal was produced. Tak was coming and going, printing a variety of things: books for Bill McConnell’s Klanak Press; the first bookmarks for Bill Duthie to give away with each book he was selling from his new bookshop; a series of poetry broadsheets that Tak gave away to friends. I was printing a similar pot-pourri: catalogues for Duthie Books and for George Kuthan’s show at the Vancouver Art Gallery; colour prints from Bill Reid’s silver engravings; the B.C. Library Quarterly with covers by George Kuthan and my students at the art school.
But the most important thing was a new addition to the printing shop— an automatic 14 x 20 Miller cylinder press. Charlie Morriss had bought out a large printing shop in Victoria, and offered to give me the press if I would move it out of there. We cut out a side wall of the basement printery and in it came. The hole left a nice space to install a large window, which brightened the place immeasurably.
The press was a treasure, but who knew how to run it? Luckily I had been giving some lectures to the printers at Mitchell Press & one of the pressmen, Ib Kristensen, showed great interest in the printing we were doing. Trained in Denmark, the new press was a piece of cake to him, and he became our part-time pressman. His first job was printing The Lee Journal.
We stumbled across the journal of Norman Lee listening to the radio— CBR at that time. Eileen Laurie was reading parts of it over the air, & it sounded perfect for our third B.C. historical publication. She had obtained it from Lee’s younger brother, Edward Penrose Lee, along with letters & other documents. The journal had never been published and was a great find, well deserving of being printed on the British handmade Eynsford Ancient Laid paper that we had saved for just such a book.” — Robert Reid (quoted in Reid’s Leaves, 19).