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The Legacy Press



Books about the Printing, Paper, and Bookbinding Arts

Now Available!


224 pages   •   92 images   •   full color   •   cloth, sewn


10 x 7 in.   •   9781940965215   •   $80.00   •   2023


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click here.

'Morris Marbles'

Oxford's Paper Marbler,

Edward Webster Morris (1842–1919)



Alan Isaac


Foreword by Sidney E. Berger

When one sees a book covered in a particular paper, the question often arises: Who made that paper? This book helps us recognize certain kinds of marbled-paper decoration created by Edward Webster Morris (1842–1919), an Oxford printer. Morris was adept at the art of marbling, and, as Isaac shows, his papers were considered attractive by know-ledgeable critics, contemporary and more recent, and his work was taken up by several well-known bookbinders at the time. One point worth repeating is that often scholarship about a phenomenon is published without any context. What Isaac has done in this book is to put Morris’ papers into the broader contexts of the publishing and the bookbinding worlds. Only by doing this could he interpret the evidence before him with some sense of authority and reliability. Why would Morris produce what he did? The answer lies in the publishing industry and the people inhabiting it – the people who would have used Morris’ papers, and those who would have promoted his work. Isaac’s research here is wide ranging and deep, and as a result, the volume is a substantial contribution to the world of decorated-paper scholarship.


Sidney E. Berger, Professor

School of Information Sciences

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


School of Library and Information Science

Simmons University