Dorian Pricing and Pre-order

Hi everyone,

In this news post I’m going to outline the main details of my forthcoming project, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde. I have covered most of these points already in various social media posts and via subscriber email, but I will go through everything again here just so it’s all in one place.

There is now a dedicated ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ page on the website where you can see the info for the project. Both editions are now in the shop but unavailable for purchase until the pre-order opens. So… to start, this is the first book from the Lyra’s Classics imprint. Lyra’s Classics is a line of titles which will focus on public domain works and which will have its own matching rights system, separate from the Lyra’s Press imprint. More info on how rights work can be found on the helpful flowchart.

This title (and all future Lyra’s Classics titles) will be limited to a Lettered and Numbered edition only. For ‘Dorian Gray’ there will be 26 Lettered and 250 Numbered copies available. The owners of the Lettered and Leather editions of ‘Stardust’ will be given first refusal on the 26 Lettered and the first 100 Numbered editions of ‘Dorian Gray’ respectively. 

Any available Lettered copies not taken up by current Lettered rights holders will be available by public lottery only. After current rights holders have made their decision, we will open up a form on the website where you can fill in your details if you wish to purchase a copy. This form will be available for a few days, after which we will choose the winners at random. Winners will be notified by email and will be able to make their purchase at that time.

Our Edition

This limited, fine press edition of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is the full twenty-chapter version from 1891 and contains the Preface by Oscar Wilde. 

The book is newly illustrated by award-winning oil painter Gregory Manchess. Greg will be providing us with nine full-length oil portraits of Dorian, which will gradually change and degrade as the novel progresses. There will also be a frontispiece portrait of Oscar himself. Greg will be signing both editions.

We have commissioned a new foreword from writer, editor and Oscar Wilde’s only grandchild, Merlin Holland. Merlin will be discussing the origins of the story and how it played a part in Wilde’s trial. He will sign the Lettered edition only.

All books will be hand-bound by myself with help from the skilled team of binders here at Ludlow Bookbinders. All books will be letterpress printed by Phil Abel and Robert Hetherington at Hand and Eye Letterpress in London. 

I have designed the bindings with creative input from Marcelo Anciano of Arete Editions who has designed the layout of the books. We also worked together with Greg to create the designs that can be seen on the Lettered edition cover and the Numbered slipcase.

The hand polished goatskin leather we are using is of the highest quality available and comes from (in my opinion) the finest book leather tannery in the world. This is a major upgrade from the leather we used on ‘Stardust. The paper stock is also of a much higher quality, both types being mould-made and the Magnani being made from 100% cotton.

Now, on to the editions!

The Numbered Edition

  • Limited to 250 copies.
  • Signed by Gregory Manchess.
  • 314 pages. 
  • Trimmed page size – 240 x 170mm
  • Printed letterpress on 150gsm Zerkall Smooth mould made paper by Hand and Eye Letterpress. Printed two colours on the title, half-title and signature pages.
  • 10 tipped in colour plates with tissue guards.
  • Half-bound in finest, hand polished, burgundy leather supplied by Harmatan and Oakridge. 
  • Marbled papers designed and supplied by Freya Scott of Paperwilds.
  • Five hand tooled raised bands to the spine with title, author and ornament stamped in gold. 
  • Book block gilded on three edges.
  • Silk marker ribbon. 
  • Headcaps sculpted over endbands.
  • This edition comes in a curved edge slipcase with black goatskin leather ends. The slipcase is wrapped in burgundy cloth with gold stamped design to the front. Lined with burgundy suede.

£550 (Worldwide express shipping is included in the price).

See this edition in the shop.

The Lettered Edition

  • Limited to 26 copies. 
  • Signed by Gregory Manchess and Merlin Holland.
  • 314 pages. 
  • Trimmed page size – 240 x 170mm
  • Printed letterpress on 160gsm Magnani Pescia 100% cotton mould made paper by Phil Abel and Robert Hetherington of Hand and Eye Letterpress. Printed in two colours on the title, half title and signature pages.
  • 10 tipped in plates with tissue guards.
  • Fully bound in finest, hand polished, black goatskin leather supplied by Harmatan and Oakridge. 
  • Blocked in 4 colours front and back using an ornamental design by Gregory Manchess.
  • Five hand tooled raised bands to the spine with title, author and ornament stamped in gold. 
  • Book block gilded on 3 edges.
  • Silk marker ribbon. 
  • Headcaps sculpted over endbands. 
  • Marbled endpapers designed and supplied by Freya Scott of Paperwilds.
  • This book comes in a curved spine, half-leather solander box with marbled sides. The trays are covered in burgundy cloth and lined with black suede.
  • Each box contains an original drawing by Gregory Manchess.

£2250 (Worldwide express shipping is included in the price).

See this edition in the shop.

The pages are being printed in January and we should start binding early to mid-February. I expect delivery to happen in the second quarter of 2022 but I will give updates as we go via social media and occasional mailing list ‘round up’ emails, as I did with ‘Stardust’.

The Pre-order

I had hoped to do the pre-order before Christmas/New Year, but sadly what with one delay or another it has had to be pushed back. We are now looking at doing the public pre-order in late January and the current rights holder emails to go out in early January.

This will be the first time I’ve dealt with matching rights orders so I’m not sure how long it’s going to take me to email, invoice and take payments. I figure it’s probably best to give myself a while to sort it all out! There will then need to be a lottery for any available Lettered editions, which will take another few days. So, tentatively, but pretty confidently, this is the timeline for the pre-order – 

10th January – emails sent out to current rights holders

15th January – opportunity for rights holders to purchase expires

17th – 20th January – lottery form is open for remaining copies of the Lettered edition

21st/22nd January – contact winners and process payments for lottery Lettered edition

29th January – public pre-order for the remaining copies of the Numbered edition

I think that’s it for now. Please acquaint yourself with the ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ page page as well as the product pages in the shop. I will announce the exact time and date of the public pre-order a couple of weeks before it happens so you will have plenty of time to prepare!

Thanks!

Rich

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