Prospectus for 'The Gehenna Shakespeare'.

The Gehenna Press [Leonard Baskin]
Publication details: 
[Northampton, Massachusetts, 1972 or 1973.]
SKU: 6074

Folio bifolium (leaf dimensions approximately 50.5 x 34 cm). Unbound. Creased, with worn central horizontal fold, and somewhat dogeared at head and foot. Four pages, printed in black, with the first and fourth pages carrying a few words in red. The first page, headed 'THE GEHENNA SHAKESPEARE' in red, begins, 'The Gehenna Press, marking its twentieth year of dedication to the art of making worthy books, is pleased to announce its plan of printing, during the coming decade, a noble edition in imperial folio of the complete tragedies, histories, comedies and poems of William Shakespeare.' Announces that 'Titus Andronicus is now ready for subscribers'. Pages 2 and 3 are specimens, page 3 carrying an illustration by Baskin. The last page gives limitation and price, and describes the physical production of the first volume (paper by the Strathmore papermakers' Woronoco mill, hand-binding by Arno Werner, type by Bruce Rogers supplied by McKenzie & Harris of San Francisco ('Our debt to Colonel Carroll Harris for his selfless and expert guidance is very great.'). 'The Gehenna Shakespeare' has been described as 'one of the great failures of the press', which, according to Baskin, 'dropped into the pit labeled 'hubris typographicus'': only two volumes appeared, and shortly afterwards Basking left America for Devon, England, where he remained, near his idol Ted Hughes, for nine years.