New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Books, 1981, 8vo., cloth, dust jacket. xxii, 271 pages.
Frank E. Hopkins set up a press in the attic of his “Red House” in Jamaica, New York in 1896 and named it after his daughter Marion. He printed the first announcement of his press a few months after the death of William Morris and continued printing until his own death in 1933. Unlike most of the founders of private presses in the 1890s, who drifted into printing from other fields, Hopkins was already well schooled in the practical aspects of the printing business. Forced to leave college for financial reasons after his father fell ill he found a job working for the De Vinne Press as a proofreader. The book designs that he subsequently created for De Vinne were among the finest produced by the firm and are generally considered those publications on which De Vinne’s considerable reputation was built. Although Hopkins died in relative obscurity, his works remain as an example of the quality of fine printing in America at the turn of the century. Amy and Thomas Larremore, daughter and son-in-law of Frank E. Hopkins, have written a sensitive, in-depth account of his life including an even-handed evaluation of his typography and design work at the Marion Press. In addition Joseph W. Rogers has compiled a detailed, descriptive, bibliographical checklist of Hopkins work at the Marion Press. This fascinating study of a private press was originally published in a limited edition in 1943.
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