Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave

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***SPECIAL Ordering Instructions Below, Please Read***

 The year 2020 marks the 175th anniversary of the first appearance of Frederick Douglass’ first memoir. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pennyroyal imprint.

 The fourteen engravings in this book, all of which were printed directly from the blocks, were not designed to illustrate Douglass’ Narrative. Not as we ordinarily understand the role of illustration. Rather, they comprise one man’s visual meditation on slavery and its legacy. They are not tied directly to any of the incidents described in the memoir.

 About that, Barry Moser has written: “It seems to me that Douglass wasn’t inclined to exposing the unvarnished horrors he saw and experienced to the polite, white, mid-nineteenth century New England society, who were his first readers. We do know from other accounts--most indelibly from historic, contemporaneous photographs--much of the truth of what he must have witnessed through that unflinching eyewitness medium. And it was through those eye-witnessed photographic accounts, and my imagination, that I composed and engraved the images herein.”

 Sixty copies of the Douglass Narrative were printed for Pennyroyal Press by Thomas Leech and James Bourland at the Press at the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary. Ten unnumbered copies have been reserved in sheets for bookbinders. The typeface, Pennyroyal Book, was designed by David Jonathan Ross especially for Pennyroyal Press and appears here for the first time celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first publication of the Press.

 The text is printed on Zerkall Book, a mould-made paper from the Zerkall Paper Mills near Dueren, Germany, whose history dates back to the 16th Century. The engravings are printed on a vintage mould-made sheet from the Whatman Paper Mills near Maidstone, England, founded in 1740. The marbled papers were made by the book’s printer, Thomas Leech. The binding and clamshell encasement come from the workshop of Priscilla Spitler in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

126 pages. The price is $675, plus $25  USPS Priority Insured Shipping. For pickup, please leave a message in the notes section of your order. Even though the website will "charge" shipping, it will not be applied when the sale is completed manually by the MNMF Shops.

This book is available for purchase on our website as a courtesy to Tom Leech, via the Press at the Palace of the Governors. Therefore, the purchase of "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave", is not eligible for any Museum of New Mexico Foundation Membership discounts. For questions please call 505-216-3137 and leave a message. Shipping outside of the regional US will be priced on a case by case basis. 

Please include your phone number with your order. Thank You! 


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    Stephen J.
    United States United States
    Rare Book Purchase

    Great rare book and professional customer service