The Book of Ruth, King James Bible (Printed by Gwsag Gregynog, 2003)
Introduced by Gwasg Gregynog via Joy Walsh, a volunteer at Gregynog, Newtown, Wales
Books from the Bible have always been a favourite subject for publication by the Private Presses. The Gregynog Press [in Tregynon, Newtown, in Mid Wales] published three complete books and a selection from the Psalms but until now Llyfr Ionas, the Welsh-language Book of Jonah, was the only one to have been published by its successor, Gwasg Gregynog [Gwasg is Welsh for ‘Press’]. The Book of Ruth, in the same format and using the same illustrations as its Welsh counterpart Llyfr Ruth, goes some way towards redressing the balance.
Both were designed by John Woodcock, who also cut the title-page blocks and designed the cover paper. Anna Ravenscroft captures the story of Ruth in three delightful full-page wood engravings. The texts are set en bloc with an Aldine leaf ornament, printed in colour, replacing the conventional paragraph marks.
The Book of Ruth is reproduced from the King James version of the Bible, and incorporates – as separate pieces – an extract from Keats’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and Victor Hugo’s ‘Booz endormi’. It was printed by David Vickers. The typeface is Monotype Baskerville, cast at Gregynog from spools produced by Harry McIntosh, and ‘put through the stick’ by Erick Franklin. Printed letterpress in two colours on Simili Japon paper in an edition of 200 numbered copies for sale. The volume comprises 28 pages, 310mm x 230mm. Hand bound by John Sewell in quarter cloth with printed paper sides.