Phyllis Gardner, her story almost lost from history, operated this press with her sister Delphis and brother Christopher, who may have been autistic, from 1922 to at least 1931. The sisters were artists and included their own woodcuts in the books, which in truth are not a great piece of printing quality! They also produced wood carvings and silver jewellery. Phyllis had an affair with Rupert Brooke 1912/1913 and wanted to marry him – she wrote a 92 page memoir about it in 1918 that was hidden away for many years and discovered by the British Library in 2000. The family were leading breeders of Irish wolfhounds and produced a book on that in 1931 with over 100 of their wood engravings.
Phyllis died of breast cancer in 1939 and Delphis could not cope alone with a sick father, autistic brother and the dogs, and was prosecuted by the RSPCA for cruelty to her dogs – she and her brother then moved to Ireland.
12 mo. hardback, blue cloth, gilt border and title to front. 26 pages, quality paper, untrimmed fore-edge. Small illustration last page. VG+