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The Texture of the Universe

A new selection of the writings of Henry and Thomas Vaughan


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Illustrated with wood engravings by HILARY PAYNTER

The twins Thomas and Henry Vaughan (born in 1621) were both writers of real distinction and power. This collection of texts and extracts by both seeks to illustrate the relationship between their writings. The power of Henry's verse, chiefly the religious poems contained in Silex Scintillans (1650, 1655), has brought him the greater fame. Though he did also write verse (some of which is included), much of Thomas's work is in prose and largely concerned with Hermetic philosophy and alchemy; he, like his brother is capable of vivid metaphor and of a visionary intensity.

Some key images connect the writings of the brothers and recur with insistent frequency. Both have a profound sense of the sacredness of the natural world. In the writings of Thomas that sense i s most powerfully felt as one part of a more-or-less coherent system of thought. In Henry's work—though such a system underlies it — the most striking expressions of the same sense are matters of apprehension rather than comprehension, of the sympathetic perception of God in the world. For both brothers the world is not a static collection of objects, but an arena of energies, graced by 'Soul quickning rain', a world where 'hills and valleys into singing break'.

GLYN PURSGLOVE is Reader in English at Swansea University. He has published extensively on a wide range of English poetry, chiefly that of the seventeenth century and of our own time. He recently edited an historical anthology of poetry under the title Rome: the Poetry of Place (2008) and has been reviews editor of the long-running journal Acumen for many years.

STEPHEN CONWAY established his own bindery in 1985, being later elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders. His bindings are in many leading public and private collections worldwide. A recent commission is the binding (with James Brockman)of The Highgrove Florilegium, conceived and commissioned by the Prince of Wales.

GEERT VAN DAAL is a fourth generation Dutch bookbinder based in Dodewaard, close to the German border. He studied bookbinding in Utrecht, Hamburg, and later at Ascona, Italy. His bindings, characterised by subtle colour combinations allied to meticulous g;old tooling, have gained him an international reputation, and it is perhaps as an expert finisher that Geert is most widely known and respected. An accomplished paper marbler, whose sample books remain sought after, his imaginative and generous disposition is directed to every aspect of the art and craft of bookbinding.

HILARY PAYNTER was born in 1943 in Dunfermline and studied sculpture and wood engraving at Portsmouth College of Art. Instrumental in the revival of the Society of Wood Engravers in the early 1980s, Hilary was its lynchpin for over three decades. Her work is represented in the Ashmolean, Fitzwilliam and Victoria & Albert museums, as well as in city galleries and the universities of London and Northumbria. She has illustrated books for a number of publishers, and in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Thomas Bewick, a suite of 14 wood engravings by her was enlarged, printed onto vitreous enamel panels and installed on the Metro platforms at Central Station, Newcastle. This is the second book she has illustrated for Gwasg Gregynog.


AN EDITION limited to 75 numbered copies bound by Stephen Conway in quarter goatskin with cloth sides, blocked in gold on the spine and upper cover, and presented in a complementary slipcase. A maximum of a further 15 copies in a special design binding by Geert van Daal, accompanied by an editioned set of the 22 prints, and signed by both artist and binder, will also be available. The text is 11 point and 13 point Monotype Perpetua Series 239, with display lines in Monotype Perpetua Titling, some hand-set from the type of the original Gregynog Press. Printed letterpress on John Purcell's special ENE making of Zerkall 7625 mould-made paper, with Hilary Paynter's wood engravings printed direct from the blocks. The illustrations are also available as signed prints. 128pp., 180 x 305mm.

ISBN 978 O9549839 63

Also available unbound for bookbinders at £300 and in a special binding (ISBN 978 09549839 70) Details on application

Prices include postage within the UK, and by Surface Mail overseas.


A number of individual prints are available: Large (A4) £130, Small £65. Please contact us for details.

Price: £450 (Quarter Leather)
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£300.00 (Unbound)
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