Set in the charming British leafy village of Whittington, this fine-art press exemplifies the best of independent printers at work in the UK today. Originally founded in 1971, and with a team that includes its original founders, the Whittington Press has steered a course of traditional publishing during a time of unprecedented changes in the publishing industry – and has done so to its credit.
John and Rosalind Randle, the founders and lead printers of Whittington, state on their website that they started the Whittington Press as a form of escape from their hectic London publishing jobs, as a way to keep themselves sane! Never knowing whether it would be anything more than a hobby, the Press surprised them all when their first book, A Boy At The Hogarth Press – the story of one of the printer-apprentices who worked with Viriginia and Leonard Woolf at their home printing press – was a complete success. The book took a year of weekends to produce, and proved to the couple that the Press was viable.
Since then, the Whittington has maintained a commitment to hand-press techniques (Albion’s and Colombian relief presses) as well as Caslon type and handmade paper. They have supplemented their work with posters and the very well-respected Matric, a journal for bibliographic and printing arts. Highly rare back copies of the Matrix are now well sought-after, and can fetch thousands of dollars at auction.
The Whittington Press perhaps suffers from its modern heritage; many of its lesser-known works do not have a vast prestige associated with them yet, but they are nonetheless well-respected. Many of their smaller works may not belong to the most well-known authors, (or belong to the most well-known and oft-reproduced names, conversely) but still offer, I believe, a wonderful opportunity to invest in some of the finest of fine-art printing today. Especially look out for their editions with woodcut illustrations and reliefs, such as Solomon’s Song of Songs or Mountains of the Mind by Gant, with original woodcut illustrations by artist Howard Phipps.
Kennedy, Richard. A Boy At The Hogarth Press. Whittington Press (1972). Introduction By Bevis Hillier; 520 signed, numbered copies
St. John, John. To The War With Waugh.. Whittington Press (1973). With an introductory memoir by Christopher Hollis; 600 numbered, signed copies; drawings by Peter Mackarell
Ayling, A. A Folding Screen. Whittington Press (1974). Mackintosh, D. ; Tung, Ping-Cheng; Selected Chinese Lyrics from Tang to Mao Tse-Tung; 200 numbered signed copies; printed on English hand-made paper
Carroll, Lewis. The Hunting Of The Snark. Whittington Press (1975). An Agony, In Eight Fits; 750 copies printed on mould-made paper and signed by the illustrator Harold Jones
Weissenborn, Hellmuth`. Hellmuth Weissenborn Painter and Graphic Artist. Whittington Press (1976). and Richard Walker; With An Introduction By Richard Walker; 200 copies; tipped in color plates
The Happy Dream: An Essay. Whittington Press (1976). 400 copies printed on Wookey Hole mould-made paper
Bosley, Keith. The Song Of Songs. Whittington Press (1976). Translated With An Introduction and Notes By Keith Bosley; Illustrated By Richard Kennedy; 165 signed, numbered copies; total printing 206 copies
Reeves, James. Arcadian Ballads. Whittington Press (1977). Illustrated By Edward Ardizzone; 200 large format, numbered, signed copies; 50 leather bound, numbered, signed copies
Weissenborn, Hellmuth. Ruins. Whittington Press (1977). A Picture Anthology Of Human Genius, Aggression, Neglect and Folly; 23 linocuts printed from the lino and hand-colored by the artist; 60 numbered copies
Thomas, Edward:. The Diary Of Edward Thomas 1 January - 8 April 1917.. Whittington Press (1977). forward by Myfanwy Thomas; introduction by Roland Grant; illustrations from 8 wood engravings by Hellmuth Weissenborn; 50 deluxe copies specially bound and numbered in Roman, signed by artist, Grant and Thomas; 575 total copies printed
Nicholson, William. An Alphabet. Whittington Press (1978). One of 300 copies, 150 sets, numbered and signed by Craig; Includes 'William Nicholsons Alphabet: An Introduction to the Reprint From the Original Woodblock
Kempson, E G H. Marlborough Town And Countryside. Whittington Press (1978). and G.W. Murray, editors; An Anthology From 1436 to the Present Day; introduction by Lord Brooke of Cumnor; illustrations by Richard Kennedy; 410 signed and numbered copies, 420 total copies
Clare, John. The Shepherd's Calendar.. Whittington Press (1978). John Lawrence, illustrator; 400 signed, number copies; 500 total copies
Scott, Paul. After The Funeral. Whittington Press (1979). Preface by Roland Gantp; illustrations by Sally Scott; 175 signed, numbered copies; 25 leather-bound, signed, numbered copies; 200 total copies
Azmi, Iftikhar. The Garden Of The Night. Whittington Press (1979). Twenty-six Sufi poems; Translated by Iftikhar Azmi; illustrated by Richard Kennedy; 35 leather-bound, numbered, signed copies; 205 numbered, signed copies; 240 total copies
Nicholson, William. An Almanac Of Twelve Sports and London Types. Whittington Press (1980). 150 numbered copies; 225 total copies; 30 original woodblock prints and 4 line- block rep roductions of prints by William Nicholson.
Bagnold, Enid. Letters To Frank Harris and Other Friends. Whittington Press (1980). Edited and With An Introduction By R. P. Lister; 30 leather-bound, signed, numbered copies; 370 signed, numbered copies; 400 total copies
Kavanaugh, P. J. Real Sky. Whittington Press (1980). 25 signed, numbered copies with artists proofs in a separate portfolio; 525 total copies. 7 wood engravings by Miriam Macgregor.
Milton, John. On The Morning Of Christs Nativity. Whittington Press (1981). Miltons Hymn, With Illustrations By William Blake; 6 watercolors by William Blake; 350 copeis
Thomas, Edward. The Chessplayer and Other Essays.. Whittington Press (1981). With An Introduction By R. George Thomas, And With Two Wood-Engravings By Hellmuth Weissenborn; 25 copies signed by the artist and Myfanwy Thomas;
Lawrence, Simon. 45 Wood-Engravers. Whittington Press (1982). Edited By Simon Lawrence; Introduction By John Lawrence; 350 copies
Randle, John. Matrix 2. Whittington Press (1982). A Review for Printers and Bibliophiles, edited by John and Roselind Randle; 450 copies
Gant, Roland. Stubble Burning. Whittington Press (1982). 175 hand-set signed copies; illustrations by Howard Phipps
Butcher, D. The Whittington Press : A Bibliography 1971-1981.. Whittington Press (1982). Randle, J.; Compiled By David Butcher With An Introduction And Notes By John Randle; 300 copies
Craig, E.G. Edward Gordon Craig: The Last Eight Years, 1958-1966. Whittington Press (1983). Carrick, E.; Craig, J.; Letters From Ellen Gordon Craig; 30 copies signed, numbered with an additional set fo the engraved illustrations; 345 total copies
Weissenborn, Hellmuth. Hellmuth Weissenborn Engraver. Whittington Press (1983). With An Autobiographical Introduction By The Artist; 260 numbered copies
Mawdesley, Bruce. Song Of The Scythe. Whittington Press (1983). 6 Wood-Engravings by Miriam MacGregor; 35 specially bound, signed copies; 650 total copies
Russell, Richard. A History Of The Marlborough College Press 1934--1984.. Whittington Press (1984). Richard Russell editor; 220 numbered copies
Dowson, Ernest. New Letters From Ernest Dowson. Whittington Press (1984). Edited and with a Preface by Desmond Flower; 220 copies
Randle, R. and Verity, J. Roses Aga Recipes.. Whittington Press (1984). Illustrated with Linocuts by Judith Verity; 250 numbered, signed copies
Lister, R. P. Allotments. Whittington Press (1985). Wood-Engravings By Miriam MacGregor; 35 signed, numbered copies with initialled proofs of 10 of the engravings in a serarate portfolio; 335 total copies
Phipps, Howard. Interiors Wood Engravings. Whittington Press (1985). 175 signed copies, 35 copies accompanied by a portfolio containing 15 signed wood engravings
Morgan, Gwenda. The Wood Engravings Of Gwenda Morgan.. Whittington Press (1985). 35 signed, numbered copies; 300 total copies
Weissenbom, Hellmuth. Towns. Whittington Press (1985). Mikellatos, J. E.; 60 copies; 15 fullpage linocuts by Weissenborn, handcoloured by Sylvia Stokold.
Crow, Barbara. An Acrobatic Alphabet. Whittington Press (1986). Twenty-Six Wood-Engravings; 335 numbered copies;
Alcaforada, Mariana. Letters From A Portuguese Nun.. Whittington Press (1986). Translated by Olive Kennedy; illustrated by Richard Kennedy; 235 signed, numbered copies
Randle, John. Matrix 6. Whittington Press (1986). and Roselind Randle, editors; A Review for Printers and Bibliophiles; 900 copies
McKitterick, David. A New Specimen Book Of Curwen Pattern Papers. Whittington Press (1987). 250 numbered copies; 335 total copies; Plates and re-printed pattern papers are printed at the Senecio Press.
Lister, R. P. Early Poems.. Whittington Press (1987). By Enid Bagnold; With An Introduction By R.P. Lister; 175 (200) numbered copies
Matrix 7. Whittington Press (1987). and Roselind Randle, editors; A Review for Printers and Bibliophiles; 960 copies
Gant, Roland. Mountains In The Mind. Whittington Press (1987). Six Wood-Engravings By Howard Phipps; 400 roman numbered copies; 200 total numbered, signed copies
Lawrence, T. E. Letters To E.T. Leeds. Whittington Press (1988). Wilson, Jeremy; Kennedy, Richard; Leeds, E. Thurlow; 650 copies; illustrated with line drawings by Richard Kennedy and 23 b/w photographs in section at end
Randle, John. Matrix 8. Whittington Press (1988). and Roselind Randle, editors; A Review for Printers and Bibliophiles; 900 copies
Randle, John. Matrix 9. Whittington Press (1989). and Roselind Randle, editors; 925 copies
Hanscomb, Brian. Sun, Sea and Earth. Whittington Press (1989). Jefferies, Richard; Clare, John; Thomas, Edward; 25 numbered copies, with an extra set of proofs of the engravings signed by the illustrator; 125 total numbered copies
O'Connor, John. The Wood-Engravings Of John O'Connor.. Whittington Press (1989). Jeannie O'Connor; 50 special bound, numbered and signed copies, with a portofolio of additional proofs; 350 total copies
Randle, John. A Miscellany Of Type. Whittington Press (1990). Compiled by John Randle; 55 specially bound copies with a separate portfolio of broadsides of types and ornaments; 530 total copies; wood-engraving by Howard Phipps.
Randle, John. Matrix 10. Whittington Press (1990). and Roselind Randle, editors; 925 copies
Randle, John. Matrix 11. Whittington Press (1991). and Roselind Randle, editors; 955 copies; illustrated with 48 color plates, tip-ins which include marbling, hand-printed wallpaper, and a rare piece of Fijian Tapa paper, 12 pages of wood-engravings (including 6, 3-colour engravings).
MacGregor, Miriam. Whittington:. Whittington Press (1991). Aspects Of A Cotswold Village, By Miriam Macgregor. With 34 Wood Engravings; 300 (350) copies
Hanscomb, Brian. Cornwall An Interior Vision. Whittington Press (1992). Copper-Engravings and Texts; 135 signed copies; nine copper-engravings printed by the artist on F.J. Head
Phipps, Howard. Further Interiors.. Whittington Press (1992). Wood engravings by Howard Phipps. Limited edition; 65 specially bound copies, signed by Howard Phipps with a separate set of signed prints; 300 total copies,
Matrix 12. Whittington Press (1992). 925 copies
Butcher, David. The Stanbrook Abbey Press 1956 - 1990. Whittington Press (1992). 2 vols; With An Introduction By John Dreyfus And A Memoir Of Dame Hildelith Cumming; 50 copies quarter bound in vellum, signed by David Butcher and Abbess Joanna Jamieson,OSB; 350 total copies
Matrix 13. Whittington Press (1993). 925 copies
Matrix 2. Whittington Press (1993). Reprint; A Review For Printers and Bibliophiles
Tucker, Alan. Poems For Alan Hancox.. Whittington Press (1993). 350 numbered copies; Melvyn Bragg, D.J. Enright, U.A.Fanthorpe, Michael Foot, Duncan Forbes, John Fuller, Seamus Heaney, Michael Horovitz, Ted Hughes, Adrian Mitchell, Jenny Joseph, P.J. Kavanagh, Laurie Lee, Peter Levi, Brian Patten, Lawrence Sail. 50 copies igned by contributors.
Randle, John. Matrix 14. Whittington Press (1994). And Rosalind Randle, editors; A Review for Printers And Bibliophiles; 975 copies; a linocut by Margaret Wells; frontispiece photograph; articles on Edward Craig, Sydney Cockerell and the Kelmscott Press, Patterned Papers in the Insel-Bucherei
Randle, John. Matrix 15. Whittington Press (1995). And Rosalind Randle, editors; With Wood-Engravings By Robert Gibbings, Paul Landacre And Miriam Macgregor, Wood-Engraved Initials By Eric Gill, A Copper-Engraving By Brian Hanscomb And A Linocut By Susan Allix; 950 copies
Taylor, Michael. Saint Dominics Press, A Bibliography 1916-1937.. Whittington Press (1995). With A Memoir By Susan Falkner, An Introduction By Brocard Sewell, A Preface By Michael Taylor, And An Appendix By Adrian Cunningham; 400 total numbered copies
Gant, Roland. Steps To The River. Whittington Press (1995). With Eight Wood-Engravings by Howard Phipps; 40 copies include an extra set of artists proofs in a folder; 200 total signed, numbered copies
Randle, John. A Book Of Posters Printed At Whittington, 1977-1994.. Whittington Press (1996). With An Introduction By John Randle; Edition A, 50 copies, with a separate portofolio containing additional posters; Edition B, 100 copies; Edition C, 25 copies with only six assorted posters
O'Connor, John. Knipton: A Leicestershire Village.. Whittington Press (1996). 200 signed, numbered copies
Randle, John. Matrix 16. Whittington Press (1996). and Rosalind Randle, editors; 925 copies; Includes: Dreyfus on The Hammersmith Hot-house; Borders designed by Edward Bawden; Vance Gerry on Weather Bird and Disney; David Kindersley; Joanna Selborne on Eric and Tirzah Ravilious; Skira on Matisse Book Illustrations; Wallpapers by Peggy Angus; Enid Marx; Beaumont and the Ballets Russes
Butcher, David. The Whittington Pres : A Bibliography 1982-1993. Whittington Press (1996). Randle, John ; MacGregor, M.; 28 B issues; C Issue, 80 copies
Butcher, David. The Whittington Press, A Bibliography 1982-93.. Whittington Press (1996). Introduction and notes by John Randle; 244 copies without the tipped-in specimen pages.
Craig, John. Brittens Aldeburgh. Whittington Press (1997). With Eighty-One Engravings And Three Two-Colour Linocuts By The Author; 440 numbered, signed copies; 60 numbered, signed copies, specially bound with an additional portfolio of engravings signed and dated by the artist;
MacGregor, Miriam. Diary Of An Apple Tree. Whittington Press (1997). 65 leather-bound copies, with a set of prints from the book contained in a hardboard portfolio; 300 total copies
Randle, John. Matrix 17. Whittington Press (1997). and Rosalind Randle, editors; 850 copies; Articles include: John Dreyfus on The Typographical Importance of Maximilien Vox; Hal Bishop on Joan Ellis: a Lost Engraver from the Underwood School; Jerry Kelly, The Dust-jacket Designs of Hermann Zapf; Adela Roatcap, El Lissitzky 1914-1924; J.F. Coakley, Bruce Rogers and the Harvard University Press
Randle, John. Portraits Of Presses.. Whittington Press (1997). Introduction by John Randle; photographs by Ski Harrison of Fleece, et al; commentaries by the printers; 500 copies
Randle, John. Matrix 18. Whittington Press (1998). A Review For Printers And Bibliophiles. With Wood-Engravings By Edward Gordon Craig, John Depol And Rachel Reckitt. Major artiticles include: Alan Powers, Ben Nicholson and Printing; David McKitterick, The Fanfare Press; Hal Bishop, Rachel Reckitt: Letters from the Blitz; Roderick Cave, Forging Links at the Latin Press; John Dreyfus, A Curious View of Book Design at the University Printing House in Cambridge, 1939-56; Sebastian Carter, Type for Books; Alan Powers, Enid Marx,
Foden, Peter. The Fell Imperial Quarto Book Of Common Prayer. Whittington Press (1998). An Account Of Its Production; 150 copies (+50 specials); 4 leaves of the original Prayer-book of 1913 tipped-in
O'Connor, John. People and Places.. Whittington Press (1999). 40 deluxe copies from a total edition of 415 copies, slipcased with portfolio of 6 hand-coloured engravings each signed by John O'Connor
Randle, John. Matrix 20. Whittington Press (2000). Rosalind Randle, editors; 825 copies; A Review For Printers And Bibliophiles. With Wood-Engravings By Paul Kershaw, Gaylord Schanilec, Freda Tremlett And Hellmuth Weissenborn.
Thomas, R. George. Personal Letters.. Whittington Press (2000). Selected by R. George Thomas; Forword by Myfanwy Thomas; Illustrated By Hellmuth Weissenborn; 45 copies with a serarate suite of twelve Country Scenes, wood engravings by Weissenborn; 200 total copies
Butcher, David. British Private Press Prospectuses 1891-2001.. Whittington Press (2001). 350 copies With A Wood-Engraving By Eric Ravilious, Type Facsimiles And Lithographic Reproductions Of Prospectuses.
Weissenborn, Hellmuth. Country Scenes. Whittington Press (2001). Wood Engravings By Hellmuth Weissenborn; 2 vols; 50 copies with a set of 24 proof engravings in a separate folder; 250 total copies
Weissenborn, Helmuth. London Scenes. Whittington Press (2001). Wood Engravings By Hellmuth Weissenborn; 60 copies with a set of proof engravings with a signed proof of another image engraved at the same time; 300 total copies
Randle, John. Matrix 21. Whittington Press (2001). Rosalind Randle, editors; 825 copies; thirty articles including Memories of an Apprentice Typefounder, by James Mosley, Engraving a Dead Man, by Gaylord Schanilec, Cockerels Forgotten Partner, and Eric Gills Last Commission, by Roderick Cave, Frederic Prokosch: a Passion for Self-Publishing, by James Lorson, Book-jackets, by Michael Harvey, Earth Pigments in Plant Papers, by Maureen and Brian Richardson,
Cave, Roderick. Chinese Ceremonial Papers. Whittington Press (2002). An Illustrated Bibliography; 200 copies
Morgan, Gwenda. Diary Of A Land Girl 1939-1945. Whittington Press (2002). 300 copies; with a selection of wood engravings by Gwenda Morgan, plus photographs
Randle, John. Matrix 22. Whittington Press (2002). Rosalind Randle, editors; 825 copies; Contributors include Martin Andrews on Gibbings; Simon Lawrence on Ravilious; Bernard Roberts on the Basilisk Press; Alberto Tallone on Nebiolo; Alan Wilkinson on Henry Moore; Hal Bishop on Reg Boulton; Nicolas Barker, Dan Carr, Sebastian Carter, Roderick Cave, John Dreyfus, Crispin Elsted, Michael Harvey, James Mosley, Alan Powers, Anne Ullmann.
Randle, John. Matrix 23. Whittington Press (2003). Winter 2003, A Review For Printers and Bibliophiles Rosalind Randle, editors; 825 copies; twenty-five articles and additional book reviews, including: Anthony Dowd, Fine Press and the Bookbinder; Miriam MacGregor, The Forgotten Pleasure of Hand-Printing; Lucy Archer, Working with Olive Cook; Michael Caine, My Concatenation of Types; Dennis Gould, Latterday Letterpress Printer; and Simon Lawrence, Aspects of Golden Gockerel. Illustrated throughout with many tipped-in specimens on special paper, engravings, photographs. color plates, etc. and a 1937 Matisse, Womans Head, as frontispiece.
Randle, John. Matrix 24.. Whittington Press (2004). Rosalind Randle, editors; 800 copies; Includes: John Randle on John OConnor; Nigel Weaver on the Wood-engravings of Edwin Smith; Hal Bishop on Roderick Barrett; Martyn Thomas on Harry Carters translation of Typefoundries in the Netherlands; Adela Roatcap on Pochoir; Ann Whipple on Bay Area Bibliophiles; John Grice Chasing Caslon; Brian Alderson on Book-jackets; Roderick Cave, Jerry Kelly, David Chambers.
Smith, Edwin. A View Of The Cotswolds. Whittington Press (2005). Photographs By Edwin Smithwith Essays, Commentaries, and A Checklistby Shawn Kholucy, Ian Mackenzie-Kerr; Alan Powers, George Ramsden, Edwin Smith, Veronica Watts And Rory Young; 70 special numbered copies; 350 total copies
Randle, John. Matrix 25. Whittington Press (2005). Rosalind Randle, editors; 760 copies; articles on Edward Johnston, Guido Morris, Gwenda Morgan, Edward Walters, Rex Whistler, Shakespeare Head Press, Vance Gerry, Edwin Smith and Olive Cook; Ruari McLean on Early Days at Penguin; Sebastian Carter - Painting with Type; Nicolas Barker on Justin Howes; Paper-making in the 21st Century;
Randle, John. Matrix 26.. Whittington Press (2006). 760 copies, 80 deluxe copies. Includes: Michael Richey My Time at Pigotts [with Eric Gill]; Michael Harvey on working with Reynolds Stone; Hal Bishop on Rachel Reckitts wood-engravings for The Mill on the Floss; John Randle on Ruari McLean; Two articles on the Hammer Press; Mitchells of Bordesley: A Century of Fancy Papermaking; David Burnetts Publishing with Tunnicliffe; wood-engravings by Hellmuth Weissenborn;
Butcher, David. Pages From Presses. Whittington Press (2006). Kelmscott, Ashendene, Doves, Vale, Eragny and Essex House; 185 copies; specimen leaves from each of the Kelmscott Press; the Ashendene Press; the Doves Press; the Vale Press; the Eragny Press; and the Essex House Press.
Phipps, Howard. Ebble Valley. Whittington Press (2007). 300 copies; Howard Phipps thirty wood-engravings, two fold-out colored linocuts, double-spread linocut map
Matrix 27. Whittington Press (2007). 680 copies. essays by Michael Richey, Gaylord Schanilec, Amanda Degener and Bridget OMalley, Abigail Rorer, John Smith, Geri Waddington, James CLough, John Randle, Enrico Tallone, Andrew Anderson, Antony Penrose, Howard Bratter, Robert Elawall, Richard Shirley Smith, Michael Harvey, Ward Ritchie, John Crombie, Sebastian Carter, Phil Abel, Willem Keizer, Martyn Ould, Richard Healy, Dan Carr, William S. Peterson, Alan Caiger-Smith, Jerry Cinamon, and Paul Nash.
Llywelyn, Robin. Portmeirion. Whittington Press (2008). 350 numbered copies; Signed by both the artist and author, Robin Llwelyn.
Matrix 28. Whittington Press (2009). 630 copies and 70 deluxe copies; essays by Alan Powers on The Curwen Story, Andrew Anderson on Eric Gill, Humphrey Stone on the photographers, Janet Stone, David Hughes on the Baynard Press, James Fergusson on The Amate Press, Michael Harvey on Janet the Typeface, Hal Bishop on Ronald Salmond, John Randle on The Offizin Haag-Drugulin, Jerry Cinamon on Leipzig rambling, Andrew Dolinski on Poltawski, Barbara Henry on producing the Vandercook Book, Katherine McCanless-Ruffin on The Shinola Vandercook,