The Long Journey is a new fine letterpress edition of verse by Robert Louis Stevenson is illustrated with contemporary dual-colour wood engravings by Robin Mackenzie, assembled and printed by Incline Press. In the process of reviewing the book for the Society of Wood Engravers and researching the author of its poems, I made an exciting discovery: Robert Louis Stevenson had made several wood engravings of his own.
Through its vocabulary, this extract suggests that Stevenson was engraving rather than cutting wood, though perhaps poetic license is at play, as the prints themselves suggest a burin was not at work. Indeed, the poem takes pains to makes an apology, perhaps for a preoccupation with a wood cut wound or the quality of the work (beside). The full article appears in Multiples later his month.
A blemish in the cut appears,
Alas! it cost both blood and tears.
The glancing graver swerved aside. Fast flowed the artist's vital tide! And now the apologetic bard Demands indulgence for his pard!
The collection includes nine poems taken from Stevenson's Songs of Travel, A Children’s Garden of Verses, Underwoods and Ballads. Stevenson's engravings which were produced for The Precarious Mill and The Foolhardy Geographer were omitted so I thought I'd share one here as it is always interesting to consider the cross-disciplinary practices of writers and how they inform our work.
The full article appears in Multiples later his month.