Book Condition: Fine+
Edition: Limited/Numbered Edition; First Printing
Size: 8 x 12"; 68 pages
Publisher: Vancouver, BC: Heavenly Monkey Editions, 2018.
Set in Monotype Garamond (several sizes) on a page slightly larger than Wither's quarto. Like the books from which the leaves came, the type will be inked and printed by hand, with a handpress, on dampened paper. A number of decorative initial letters taken from A Collection was incorporated to the setting, along with various patterns made up from the single pinter's flower used in that book. In Series 1 and 2 copies, the initial letters will be illuminated by hand in gold and bronze (a total of nine per copy). Elaborate flourishes from the engraved Calligraphic Mottoes on de Passe's plates (sadly cut away for Wither's book) adorn the top of Chapter Openings.
Aside from brief preliminary material & translations, Rollenhagen's book is entirely intaglio, printed rectos only. Wither's book combines the intaglio plates with extensive letterpress on each page, and is printed on both sides; thus, one Wither leaf presents two emblems (recto and verso), while one Rollenhagen leaf presents one emblem (recto only).
With the different formats in mind, Labour Vertue Glorie was published in an edition of 48 copies, in three states:
Series 1 A: Copies 1-16 with leaves containing the same emblems from Rollenhagen and Wither (i.e., two Rollenhagen leaves bookending a Wither leaf, presenting the same plate from each book side by side, as illustrated above), to allow for comparing the state and printing of the same plates. Also included was a text leaf, from the preliminary notes and dedications in Wither's book, as a frontis. These copies were bound by Claudia Cohen in quarter leather. A small number of these books, Series 1B, was bound in full leather.
Series 2: Copies 17-23 with a leaf from Rollenhagen paired with the same plate on a Wither leaf (recto or verso, as the case may be). Bound in quarter leather by Claudia Cohen.
Series 3: Copies 24-48 with a leaf from both Rollenhagen and Wither (different emblems). Cased in printed paper over boards at the HM studio. This listing is for one copy of series 2.
Labour Vertue Glorie, reprints three of Wither's prefatory notes from A Collection: one about William Marshall's engraved frontis-piece, one about the game of lots included in the book, and "To The Reader" in which he discusses at length the book's creation and intent. Each of these is appended with comments from a variety of sources, discussing and sometimes disputing the author's words. The comments also provide some insights to how Wither adopted, and more importantly adapted, Rollenhagen's original work for his own purposes. While not exact facsimiles, the reprinted texts follow the original's use of swash characters and seemingly random combinations of roman, italic, and majuscule types (illustrated in the paragraph on the facing page). But only the reprinted texts; the rest of the book is set in a more traditional, and calming, manner.
In addition to Wither's introductory remarks, Labour Vertue Glorie includes brief biographies of Rollenhagen and Wither; some bibliographic details about the two emblem books; a history of Augustine Mathewes, the printer of A Collection; and the tangled story of Withers' protracted patent dispute with the Stationers' Company, and how it relates to the publication of A Collection of Emblemes. Engraved portraits of both authors are reproduced, along with facsimile settings of an emblem (i.e., page) each from Alciato's Emblematum Liber and Quarles' Emblemes. The book concludes with a three-page bibliography of source materials.