The Rich Mouse limited-edition set is comprised of two volumes, housed together in a handmade slipcase. The first volume is a hand-printed, hand-bound letterpress book that is the first edition of the “The Rich Mouse,” a beast fable featuring two mice as protagonists, written in 1950 by the renowned American woodcut artist J. J. Lankes, who also created two woodcuts to accompany his story. In the letterpress edition we reproduce those two original illustrations for the first time and supplement them with several other complementary and seldom-seen Lankes woodcuts. The book was printed on the 1848 iron hand press once owned by Lankes on fine mouldmade Somerset paper, with handset foundry types designed by Frederic W. Goudy, and hand-bound in hardcover using decorative wood-patterned papers inspired by the Lankes woodcuts, and specifically made for this project.
The letterpress edition is accompanied by “The Rich Mouse Compendium,” a paperback companion volume created to accompany the letterpress book. Set in a new digital version of Goudy’s Village type (the typeface used for printing the letterpress edition), in a paperback binding matching the letterpress hand-bound edition, it includes a full facsimile of the letterpress edition of “The Rich Mouse,” together with an introduction, notes on the manuscript, facsimile manuscript pages, original photographs and background materials on J. J. Lankes as artist and printer, photographs and background materials on Frederic Goudy and his design of the Village type, a J. J. Lankes chronology, and notes on the making of the letterpress edition.
Introduction by Welford D. Taylor; essays by Richard Mathews, Robert Oldham, Will Ransom, and Joshua G. Steward; and a conversation with Parker Agelasto.
The Rich Mouse first-edition set is limited to 150 numbered copies.