A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle

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Bound by Tom McEwan

A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle
By Hugh MacDiarmid
Illustrated by Frans Masereel
Published by Kulgin Duval & Colin H Hamilton, Falkland, 1969
292 x 203 x 31mm

A Distinguished Silver Prize award winner at the Designer Bookbinders International Competition 2022 - A Gathering of Leaves

Hand-dyed Hewit Fair goatskin and doublures with inlayed panels. Gold and pigmented foils, carbon and blind tooling. Head decorated with acrylic ink and gold leaf, blind tooled and textured before sewing. Colour and design derived from thistle heads.

"This was such a beautiful book to bind and an important one too in the history of Scottish literature. The text, from 1926, is a long 'stream of consciousness' poem written in a broad Scots dialect dealing with issues of Scottishness on social, cultural and political levels.

The book itself was typeset (Dante) and printed on the hand press at Officina Bodoni in Verona by Giovanni Mardersteig. It is printed on hand made paper (I think specifically produced for the book by the Amatruda Mill at Amalfi). The book contains 8 wonderful woodcuts by Frans Masereel and was published in Falkland, Scotland by Kulgin Duval and Colin Hamilton in 1969.

This is, by a long way, the most important book I have designed a binding for and is now one of a recent series of bindings I've worked on by Scottish writers - this is, after all, 'Scotland's Year of Stories'!"

Tom and his work can be found on his web site at www.mcewan.co.uk
and on his Instagram page at @tmcewan


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