Letterpress & Binding Studio

You Can’t Choose Your Progeny

With a vellum leaf from the Doves Press 1914 Shelley
Rollin Milroy (Heavenly Monkey 2008)

A brief essay, subsequently incorporated into Elements in Correlation (HM 2009), discussing the influence of the Doves Press on HM’s aesthetic. The project was conceived both as a means to make appropriate use of a lot of 23 original vellum leaves from the Doves Press’ 1914 collection of poems by Shelley, and to try out some of the format and design ideas for Elements in Correlation. In addition to the essay, Progeny includes a three-page foreword discussing the provenance of the vellum leaves, and extracts from Cobden-Sanderson’s own journals about the printing of vellum copies at Doves (including one extract specifically about the Shelley sheets).

Set by hand in 18-pt Perpetua and printed on dampened HM Text paper. The book (8 x 12.5 inches, 15 pp) was published in an edition of 23 press-numbered copies (the edition determined by the number of sample sheets available), plus five hors commerce copies (I–V) that included a Doves leaf printed on paper. The book was bound by Claudia Cohen: sewn on four vellum paper slips, and laced into a limp case made from Reg Lissel’s opague white vellum paper, with gold lines tooled on the front and back, and the title stamped on the spine.

You Can't Choose Your Progeny

You Can't Choose Your Progeny