The justly revered Doves Press edition of Milton's essay on freedom of the press.
"It is astonishing that a line of calligraphy can give character to a book and change its quality. Johnston achieved this in his opening, quite simply printed in black, to the Doves Areopagitica. Milton was well served." – Colin Franklin
Milton's protest against Parliament's re-establishment of press censorship during the English Civil War has become legendary, with the most celebrated line of AREOPAGITICA commemorated over the entrance of the New York Public Library's Main Reading Room: "a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd & treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life." Edward Johnston, the designer best remembered today for the London Underground typeface and logo, was called upon by Cobden-Sanderson for a special project in this edition. Johnston created a calligraphic heading to open the essay so that the art of the book harmonized with tone of Milton's transcendental lines. The result is an unforgettable page in a work that deserves never to be forgotten.
Read more: Franklin, The Private Presses; Tidcombe, The Doves Press, DP12.
Hammersmith: The Doves Press, 1907. Octavo. 9.25'' x 6.5''. Original full limp vellum, spine lettered in gilt. Text printed in Doves type in black ink, calligraphic heading designed by Edward Johnston, colophon at rear. One of 300 copies on paper out of a total print run of 322. 74,  pages. Housed in a custom chemise and slipcase. Engraved bookplate of American collector George Allison Armour, featuring St. Jerome and the lion.<br />
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