This Week’s War: 223

Aside

‘It is now given out as official that the armistice has been signed; and by the paper we see that the Kaiser has abdicated. These are great happenings, and though peace has yet to be declared we may safely regard them as marking the actual end of the war.’

Entry dated November 11th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

D is for Device

A ‘printer’s device’ (also known as a printer’s mark or emblem) is a form of trademark, used widely by early printers from the 15th to the end of the 17th century. Devices were initially employed primarily as a means of differentiating a printer’s work from forgeries and imitations. However, they soon came to be seen, in addition, as a marker of quality, familiarity, and style. In effect then, they represented an early form of logo; a marketing tool and security device.

One of the most instantly recognisable printer’s devices is the dolphin and anchor of the important, innovative Venetian printer Aldus Manutius (this book (EP.B08) was printed in 1523).

Devices are most often found directly above or below the imprint (publication details such as name of printer, and place and date of printing). As very early books were printed without a title-page, it is not uncommon to find these details at the end of the main text, in what is called a colophon, particularly in books printed before 1500.

This is the device of the famous printing partnership of Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, printed beneath the colophon in a book of 1473 (Inc.JWH.7/OS). Fust and Schoeffer, who were responsible for printing the Mainz Psalter of 1457, are credited with being the first printers to use a device.

The imagery used in a device can be armorial, or might involve an allegorical vignette, or a pun on the printer’s name or character. Jacques and Estienne Maillet’s device includes a picture of a mallet, for example, whilst Gaillot de Pré used an image of a ship’s galley and both Sebastian and Antonius Gryphius a griffin:

Sometimes devices also includes the printer’s name and/or motto, as in this more modern exmple from the Kelmscott Press:

For more information on printer’s devices see “Printer’s marks” by W. Roberts.

 

 

 

 

This Week’s War: 219

Aside

‘The war news is excellent now, and we can do more than see light through the tunnel at last. I am only afraid that the foolish people who abound everywhere in public as in private life will be tempted into too premature a discussion of peace terms. It is quite evident that the Hun now feels the hopelessness of his position, so it behoves us to wire into him with redoubled fury and finish the job thoroughly, once and for all.’

Entry dated October 9th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

Almost an alphabet

Over the two 12-week semesters of this academic year, SC&A will be putting up a weekly blog post, working through from A to Z, to demystify some of the specialist words we use in cataloguing our printed books. Each term will be illustrated and explained using examples from our medieval to 21st century collections.

24 weeks for the whole alphabet? Don’t worry about our maths – or that there’s a secret week 13 – the printer’s alphabet is made up of only 23 letters. Find out why in week 1 at Manuscripts and more. And if there’s a word that puzzles you that you’d like explained, let us know – ask us when you’re in classes taught in Special Collections & Archives, when you come to the SC&A reading room, or by emailing us at scastaff@liverpool.ac.uk and we’ll try to include it in the series.

This Week’s War: 214

Aside

‘This is a very war-scarred district, the scene of much severe fighting quite recently, and the villages are all mere heaps of debris. Till the rain came the dust, fanned by a strong wind, was terrible. It was most curious to stand on a piece of high ground and see all around what looked like burning villages […]’

Entry dated September 9th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 211

Aside

“Though one man was just touched here last night, I should have mentioned that no one was really hurt. The shell struck the edge of a trench right under the corner of the building and blew the floor up behind the bar. It was very strange how, occasionally, an isolated shell would drop, as it did here, in a perfectly quiet area…”

Entry dated August 15th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 206

Aside

“We are going to make another move to-day, though only about five miles, and not nearer to the horrid Hun. There is far too much of the ‘circuit’ system in army life; we never get settled but we move.”

Entry dated July 15th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 204

Aside

“It will always be a disappointment to me as regards this war (I cannot answer for the next), that I never was in any actual fighting. The ordinary risks of the trenches troubled me so little that (though I strongly object to the idea of being killed, and have no wish even for the ‘cushiest’ wound), I should like to have carried my experiences a step further – merely for the sake of experience.”

Entry dated June 30th 1918, War Diary 1917 – 1919, by Aleyn Lyell Reade [ALR. A. 1. 2].

This Week’s War: 202

Aside

“It’s the soldier we worry about; he has been shrapnelled, […] shell-shocked, and gassed, but is still hard at it as adjutant. But he is tired, though cheerful.”

Extract from a letter dated 14th June 1918, from Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh to Robert Andrew Scott Macfie, who was serving abroad in the Army, [GLS E1/1/22].

New Accessions: May 2018

 

SPEC 2018.a.004

The following of Christ is an English translation of Imitatio Christi, a work traditionally attributed to the German canon Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380–1471). Written around 1420, it became one of the most widely read and frequently translated of Christian devotional works.

This edition was printed and sold by John Sadler of Harrington Street, Liverpool, in 1755. Sadler was primarily an engraver and printer for the pottery trade, but he also produced a number of Catholic devotional books.

This book marks a landmark for Special Collections, as it was our 10,000th item reported to the English Short-Title Catalogue! According to ESTC it is one of only two known copies of the 1755 edition in Britain, with two more copies reported in the United States.

 

SPEC 2018.a.003

 

Our second new accession is another translation, and another Liverpool publication. Printed in 1802 by William Jones – a bookseller, printer, publisher, stationer and “seller of patent medicines” based on Castle Street – Memoirs of the year two thousand five hundred is an English translation of the French work, L’an 2440: rêve s’il en fut jamais, by French dramatist and writer Louis-Sébastien Mercier. Originally published in 1770, the novel is set in 2440 (or in the English edition, “for the sake of a round number” 2500), presenting a future France based on Enlightenment political theories. It was one of the very first novels to present a utopian vision of the future, and was especially pioneering in choosing a real place in which to set it – namely Paris. The novel was immediately banned in France and condemned as blasphemous in Madrid, where distribution was subject to a fine and six year prison sentence. Despite this, it is thought to have had an important influence on subsequent French and English speculations about the future.

Finally, we have two books containing volumes 1 and volumes 4-6 of William Combe’s The r[oya]l register. Combe was a prolific writer, best known for his Doctor Syntax series. Published between 1778 and 1784, this register contains often lengthy descriptions of the activities of aristocrats and other notables of the period. Written in the distinctive writing style of the author, the tone has been described by one bookseller as “somewhere between ‘Hello’ magazine and ‘Private Eye'”.

Volume one contains the bookplate of the Earl of Morley:

SPEC 2018.a.005

 

Bibliography:

Alkon, Paul K, Origins of futuristic fiction, (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1987)

Liverpool Bibliographical Society, The book trade in Liverpool to 1805: a directory, (Liverpool: Liverpool Bibliographical Society, 1981)

Stableford, Brian M., The plurality of imaginary worlds: the evolution of the French roman scientifique, (Encino, CA: Black Coat Press, 2016)