Mark Batty Publisher, New York. 2002. xxii, 383 pp. + colophon. Case bound in cloth. Dust jacket. 31 full page illustrations many in 2 colours. New copy.
Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941) has been described as the most distinguished American printer. He was one of a handful of highly successful and influential book designers of the twentieth century and proprietor of the Merrymount Press in Boston. Updike’s aesthetic philosophy and commitment to quality in the making of books have a special relevance today at a time of rapid change in the media arts.
The Well-Made Book is a substantial and timeless collection of virtually all of Updike’s writings on the art of the book. William S. Peterson has researched, unearthed and assembled this wealth of material such of which will be new even to those readers who are familiar with Updike’s writings. Until the publication of The Well-Made Book, many of these important and revealing essays have been hard to find, and some of Updike’s writing featured in this book appears here for the first time. There is a complete index, annotations, and a new scholarly introduction by Peterson.