Unregulated Printing
Modern Private Press Books

The Gehenna Press - Items on Display

Ted Hughes

Howls & whispers; etchings by Leonard Baskin

[Rockport, Maine]: Gehenna Press, 1998

These 11 poems present an amplification of Hughes’ Birthday letters, published commercially in the same year. Each poem is accompanied by an etching numbered and signed by the artist. The edition was issued in 110 copies, the first ten of which comprised a deluxe edition containing three watercolour drawings by Baskin, a second suite of the etchings, one copperplate, and a sheet of Hughes’s manuscript. The Library’s is copy number 26, signed by the poet and the artist.


Anthony Hecht

Æsopic: twenty four couplets...

Northampton, Massachusetts: Gehenna Press, 1967

The texts were written to accompany the engravings of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). This copy was received in the bequest of John Dreyfus, a typographer who was from 1949 to 1955 Assistant University Printer to Cambridge University. In 2002 Dreyfus left his collection of some 1200 private press books, many with inscriptions from the printers and authors, to the University Library ‘where I learnt so much about typography while I was an undergraduate.’




[Rockport, Maine]: Gehenna Press, 2001

Towards the end of his life Hughes undertook a number of dramatic translations, including works by Euripides, Racine and Lorca. This limited edition of 60 copies of his version of the Oresteia was his last collaboration with Baskin. The illustration is from volume 3, The Eumenides.


Leonard Baskin

Caprices & grotesques

Northampton [Massachusetts]: Gehenna Press, 1965

This volume of Baskin’s own drawings was printed using Cancelleresca Bastarda type on Fabriano and Japanese papers. Ten copies of the edition were issued with an additional set of drawings on Japanese vellum signed by the artist, hand-sewn into Fabriano wrappers and enclosed in a slipcase; this is one of the standard issue.


William Blake

A letter from William Blake

Northampton [Massachusetts]: Gehenna Press, 1964

Baskin said of himself that he was ‘a compositor and pressman of no distinction’, and this volume from the mid-1960s was the last to be made with his own hands.