The LetterPress Project

Books Can Change Your World


Inspiring Older Readers

Sandino In The Streets

posted on 19 Jan 2018

Back in the highly politicised atmosphere of the early 1980s a badge I picked up on one of the innumerable marches I went on ....

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British Prints from the Machine Age

posted on 10 Jan 2018

The experience of the First World War and the growing certainty and collective fear that there would be a second seems to have made the inter-war years...

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Joan Hassall

posted on 02 Jan 2018

Is there an illustrative art form that’s more under-rated than that of the wood engraver and printer?

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Children’s Book Covers

posted on 27 Dec 2017

Alan Powers has pretty much cornered the market on these large format, colourful and informative books about books.

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The Haunted Tea-Cosy

posted on 19 Dec 2017

Given my distinctly Scrooge-like attitude towards Christmas, this is probably not the site to come to for Yuletide bonhomie

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As Kingfishers Catch Fire

posted on 17 Dec 2017

It’s not the least bit surprising to discover that the combination of Alex Preston’s words and Neil Gowers artwork landed As Kingfishers Catch Fire a ...

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The Mediterranean

posted on 13 Dec 2017

This is one of the most powerful and emotional books about refugees and asylum-seekers that I have ever read.

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Black Fire! New Spirits!

posted on 16 Nov 2017

Let’s suppose you know nothing of the history of the Black civil rights movement in the USA during the 1960s and 1970s.

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The Lost Words

posted on 05 Nov 2017

This has to be a contender for the lost beautiful and thoughtful book of 2017.

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The Strange Library

posted on 17 Oct 2017

So another year slips past and once again, much to the chagrin and puzzlement of his fans, Haruki Murakami doesn’t get the Nobel prize for literature.

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Extinct Boids

posted on 24 Sep 2017

In the world of illustration what does the name Ralph Steadman bring to mind?

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Songs of the Garden

posted on 02 Sep 2017

Comparatively little is known about the life of the great Japanese artist Utamaro (1750 – 1806) ...

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posted on 30 Jul 2017

I am particularly fond of woodcuts as a method of illustration – they’re dramatic, often superbly expressive and devilishly difficult to do well.

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Do Miners Read Dickens?

posted on 06 Jul 2017

I think that one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century was the establishment of a workers education movement...

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Peer Gynt

posted on 11 Jun 2017

I actually first came to read Ibsen’s Peer Gynt as a result of hearing Grieg’s famous suite of music..

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Adrian Wiszniewski

posted on 08 Jun 2017

Adrian Wiszniewski was a new name to me before I came across Kidson’s beautifully produced introduction to his work.

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After The Off

posted on 25 May 2017

There’s always a risk in bringing two very different masters in their own form together ...

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White Trash – Uncut

posted on 02 Apr 2017

The counter-cultural earthquake of the second half of the 1970s that the term ‘punk’ has come to represent...

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The Poet Assassinated

posted on 27 Feb 2017

The poetry and prose of Guillaume Apollinaire is thought of as one of the seminal bodies of work in the early years of the twentieth century.

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The Book of Tea

posted on 19 Feb 2017

When I was a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s one of the few things we thought we knew about the mysterious East ..

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The City

posted on 11 Feb 2017

I love the work of this Swiss born Australian illustrator.

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The Party

posted on 16 Jan 2017

Born in Strasbourg in 1931, Tomi Ungerer might well be best known as a prolific and excellent illustrator of children’s books.

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The Last Book

posted on 15 Dec 2016

I would be reluctant to call this a photographic essay because in many ways it doesn’t have a narrative arc that gives each photograph a role or a purpose.

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posted on 09 Dec 2016

  It’s hard to imagine a more difficult task to set yourself than producing a fable of revolution without using much more than a handful of words

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Silent Quarter

posted on 08 Dec 2016

It’s no secret that new artists and writers struggle to get their work published – however creative and accomplished they are.

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Veering North-Easterly

posted on 04 Dec 2016

Veering North-Easterly : Poems by Kevin Crossley-Holland, Paintings by Gillian Crossley-Holland This elegant little gem of a book brings together former hu

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The Night Bookmobile

posted on 27 Nov 2016

This idiosyncratic and unsettling graphic novel first appeared in a serialised form in The Guardian newspaper ..

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Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

posted on 01 Oct 2016

I know there are plenty of scholars who blanch at the mention of Edward FitzGerald’s ‘translation’ of the great Omar Khayyam

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posted on 16 Sep 2016

I recently read and reviewed Sagan’s seminal romantic novel,  Bonjour Tristesse, and while I was doing some general background reading on the author...

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Beating Time

posted on 04 Aug 2016

Forget what you’ve seen on nostalgia television, Britain in the mid-1970s was not a groovy place to live in.

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Gorbals Children

posted on 26 Jul 2016

Joseph McKenzie died in 2015 at the age of 86. For many he is the ‘father of Scottish photography’  and a great educator

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William Dobell

posted on 22 Jul 2016

Here’s a party game suggestion for you : name five famous Australian artists. Ok, I’ll give you Sidney Nolan, Shaun Tan....

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The Cabaret

posted on 16 Jul 2016

When a book is both a lovely thing to browse through and informative, intelligent and elegantly written it’s a real bonus.

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Born To Work

posted on 30 Jun 2016

If you want to understand the extent of change in Britain – social, economic and political – that has taken place over the past two or three decades

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Spray It Loud

posted on 26 Jun 2016

Travel back to the febrile political environment of the early Thatcher years.

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Three Banners of China

posted on 31 May 2016

French photographer, Marc Riboud, is approaching 93 years of age and he can look back on a photographic career ...

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Paris Mon Amour

posted on 19 May 2016

The romance of Paris rather passed me by on the one occasion I visited it.

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Werner Bischof

posted on 01 May 2016

I feel slightly shamefaced in admitting that I knew hardly anything about Werner Bischof before I picked up this Thames and Hudson collection

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Paula Rego's Nursery Rhymes

posted on 24 Apr 2016

Paula Rego was born in 1938 as a Portuguese citizen but her Anglophile parents sent her to school in the UK during the 1950s

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

posted on 20 Apr 2016

When I started to get interested in photography as a journalistic tool as well as an art form, it wasn’t long before the name of Walker Evans ..

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Narratives of a Negress

posted on 12 Apr 2016

When I found this book I had no idea who Kara Walker was and I didn't recognise the style or any of the artworks

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Camera in Paris

posted on 10 Apr 2016

I was really fortunate to stumble across this 1949 copy of the Focal Press edition of Camera in Paris not so long ago

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Animal Farm

posted on 02 Apr 2016

Here's a a question for you: if you could bring together an author and illustrator who never met but are a perfect fit, who would you choose?

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Bell's Eye

posted on 08 Mar 2016

The greatest satirists seem to be able to capture the spirit of the age and are capable of shaping the cultural landscape as well as reflecting it.

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Eric Ravilious

posted on 23 Feb 2016

Our guest writer, Alun Severn, gives us a great introduction to the magnificent artist Eric Ravilious.

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Madman's Drum

posted on 24 Jan 2016

I was surprised and delighted to stumble on a good copy of the first edition of Lynd Ward’s Madman’s Drum in Leominster

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The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

posted on 14 Jan 2016

This superb two volume slipcase edition of all the Sherlock Holmes short stories proves that there was an original incarnation of the famous detective...

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Penguin Designer Classics

posted on 03 Jan 2016

Back in 2006 Penguin Books commissioned five leading contemporary designers to produce new covers for classic titles.

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High Street

posted on 13 Dec 2015

What makes a book a cult object and expensively collectible? There’s no single answer to that question ...

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100 Years of Sheaffer

posted on 29 Nov 2015

Let me start with an apology. This book is essentially a very beautiful and sumptuous piece of advertising.

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Punk! An A - Z

posted on 25 Oct 2015

In many ways this is an odd choice to make as an entry in this beautiful book section.

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The Cleft Stick

posted on 11 Oct 2015

I would imagine that the majority of people who have heard of Walter Greenwood will have done so because he is the author of the novel Love On The Dole

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The Jazz Loft Project

posted on 20 Sep 2015

I love jazz and I love photography and this book (published in 2009) brings those two passions crashing together.

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Gonzo : The Art

posted on 20 Sep 2015

I can't remember exactly when I first encountered a Ralph Steadman drawing but I do remember exactly what I thought : wow!

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Drawn From Paradise

posted on 14 Sep 2015

Anyone who knows me will be happy to confirm that I am not by instinct an outdoors sort of person....

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Inferno by William Blake

posted on 11 Sep 2015

Blake can be difficult, especially if you have to deal with his own extraordinary mythology. Here though ,,,,

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Pens and Needles

posted on 03 Sep 2015

This fantastic book is not only a glorious collection of literary caricatures but, for me, a trip down memory lane.

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Sleeping With Ghosts

posted on 05 Aug 2015

Sleeping With Ghosts: A life's work in photography by Don McCullin In my late teens and twenties I was bewitched by photography and the legends of the grea

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Jazz Seen by William Claxton

posted on 03 Aug 2015

William Claxton's classic photographs of the US jazz scene of the post-war years are luminescent and evocative. The black and white prints - which glow off

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The Coalition Book

posted on 31 Jul 2015

The Coalition Book  by Martin Rowson In times when we're being ruled by fools and charlatans we need our greatest satirists to step forward ...

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A Book of Books

posted on 31 Jul 2015

A Book of Books  by Abelardo Morell This is a beautiful book of luminous black and white photographs that present the book in all it's magnificent forms.

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