Shakespeare 400

In a cycle of 154 short, 14-line poems first published in 1609, William Shakespeare meditated on themes of love, death, and desire.

The Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK, is seeking examples from hand-press printers worldwide made in this, the 400th year since the death of William Shakespeare.

These should be created by hand, using any means of relief printing.

Selected submissions, forming at least one complete collection of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, will be added to the Bodleian’s permanent collection.

I have named my press:  ‘salmon jam press’ and have been given sonnet 111 to typeset and print. I will hopefully find ways to enlist the ‘help’ of visitors about how to tackle this and make it unique over the season at Cherryburn.

I am thinking of ways to add engraving to the type and also some embossing possibilities too! really like the image of the stained Dyers hand in the sonnet. Led to thinking along the lines of fingerprinting, and DNA profiles kept as a modern ‘stain’ against character today.


Sonnet CXI

O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer’s hand:
Pity me, then, and wish I were renewed;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eisel ‘gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

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