Easthampton, Massachusetts: Pennyroyal Press, 2020.
By Frederick Douglass. Designed and illustrated with engravings by Barry Moser and printed for Pennyroyal Press at the Palace Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Number 44 of 60 copies only. Set in Pennyroyal Book type and printed on Zerkall Book paper with wood engravings printed from the blocks on vintage Whatman mould-made sheet. Small folio. 10.5 x 7 ins. 122 pp. Full bound in beige book cloth with paper title label on upper cover. Endpapers and clamshell case lining in marbled paper by Tom Leech. This volume celebrates the 175th anniversary of Douglass’ Independence Day speech and the 50th anniversary of Pennyroyal Press. More importantly, it gives Barry Moser the opportunity to express his deeply held feelings concerning a prejudice-fuelled upbringing in Chattanooga, Tennesee and “slavery’s lingering legacy in 20th and early 21st Century America”. In his review of this book Simon Brett, today’s leading commentator on wood engraving, called this series of 14 wood engravings, “as powerful as anything he (Moser) has ever done.” The man coiling his whip after whipping a female slave (pictured left) is a portrait of Moser’s maternal grandfather who was a Klu Klux Klansman. Moser writes, “The driving force for my images was my own haunted, personal history growing up in the Jim Crow South in the 1940s and 50s.” Book housed in a brown cloth covered clamshell case with paper title label on spine. As new.