Fri 24 May 2013
Co-published by ANZAAB member Books of Kells this is recommended reading - see the review by Roz Greenwood in the most recent issue of Bookfare
Obsessions and Confessions of a Book Life by Colin Franklin.
Reminiscences of an author, bookseller and publisher, Colin Franklin's newest book is perhaps his most entertaining. It wanders freely through themes that have absorbed him – a lost world of publishing, adventures in bookselling, and the irreplaceable scholarly eccentrics who dominated that world a generation ago. During his numerous trips to Paris, Japan, South Africa and the United States, Franklin kept diaries of his accounts which have helped him to put together this new publication. The chapters represent a compelling memoir recalling his various book interests developed during his life of publishing and bookselling.
Including serious essays on diverse characters who have fascinated him, the book discusses the Bowdlers and their 'Family Shakespeare'; William Fowler of Winterton, who neglected his humble calling and privately produced books of the greatest magnificence on Roman Mosaic Floors (when these were being discovered under England's green and pleasant land); a little-known Oxford antiquary and print-maker Joseph Skelton; the once-so-popular Robert Surtees and John Leech (much admired by Ruskin), who illustrated his novels; the neglected theme of Binders' Lettering; and Franklin’s lifelong hero William Morris. There is also a new assessment of the Italian printer Giambattista Bodoni, whom Franklin considers to have been finest of them all. A satirical essay called 'Expert', in addition to the anecdotal and narrative style of text, make this an entirely enjoyable work, rich in illustrations and photographs.
Jointly published by Books of Kells, Oak Knoll Press and Bernard Quaritch.
Canberra Times on our pop-up book fair at the Canberra Conference