- Recent Books
Meg Powers Livingston's new edition of John Fletcher's play The Woman's Prize is a handsome celebration of the Malone Society's centenary, and an intriguing indication of the directions in which the Society might possibly expand its activities over what will be (one hopes) its second century. This is the first photo-facsimile edition of an early modern dramatic manuscript in the Society's history, and sets a very high standard for those that might follow: reproduced in full colour from the original in the Folger Shakespeare Library (where it is MS J.b.3), the fifty-two folios from 'ACTVS PRIMVS' to 'Finis' are sharply and exactly legible. Meg Powers Livingston's Introduction carefully and usefully discusses the play, the manuscript, and the question of the relations between this text and those of the first and second folios (1647 and 1679). All of these things would make this edition welcome; that the Folger (as the editor notes, p. x) has had to curtail scholarly access to the original for conservation reasons only adds to its value.
This collection of occasional pieces - reviews, memoirs, and obituaries - amply demonstrates both the range of Alastair Johnson's expertise and the fine cut of his pen. The ellipsis that takes the place of a title has various resonances through the book, perhaps representing those events best left unstated in the lives of some of the more decadent of his poet friends, but to the operator of a Linotype machine it signifies danger: the three dots can often misfire and squirt molten lead onto the compositor. The interdependence of poetry and typography is an underlying theme, and one on which Johnson is surely a supreme expounder.
Augustus Frederic Christopher Kollmann (1756-1829) was organist of the German Chapel in St James's Palace from 1782, and did much to promote the music of Bach in London. He also published various works of musical theory, including a short-lived periodical, the Quarterly Musical Register, which survived for only two issues but has some claim to be the first musicological journal to be published in England. This facsimile reprint is furnished with extensive notes and a lengthy introduction.
An impressive 320 books about books have issued from the Oak Knoll Press since its establishment thirty years ago. This bibliography includes a valuable descriptive paragraph about each, as well as an enjoyable memoir by its founder and proprietor. [End Page 228]
Bruce Rogers (1870-1957) was one of the great American book designers. This catalogue of an exhibition held at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library from 24 September to 21 December 2007 commemorates Thomas Schweitzer's presentation of his collection of Rogers's publications to the library, and provides an excellent account of the qualities that made his work so collectable. The three works by which he is most remembered are T. E. Lawrence's translation of the Odyssey, published by Emery Walker in 1932 and lavishly decorated with golden roundels, Stanley Morison's Fra Luca de Pacioli for the Grolier Club in...