(Click image for full-size photo)

Fr. Vincent McNabb

God’s Book and Other Poems

Ditchling, Sussex: St. Dominic’s Press, 1930. Reed Rare Books 1930 EN St Dominic’s. On loan from Dunedin Public Library.

‘…I thought any fool could print. And there were books I wanted to print – books about crafts which machinery threatened with distinction. I felt that the Press, which had destroyed the kind of civilisation I loved, should be used to restore it…’.

So wrote Hilary Pepler (1878-1951), Quaker turned Catholic, and founder of St. Dominic’s Press. He did not set out to produce the ‘Book Beautiful’. To him, the printer’s function was ‘no more (and no less) than that of the pump which conveys water from the well to the bucket’ and the book ‘should be to act as mediator between the artistic creation of genius and the mind of the reader.’ The results (like the McNabb on display) are unpretentious, yet well crafted. This copy contains three wood engravings by Thomas Derrick, and is no.326 of 480 copies.