Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 9: As I was going to St. Ives

   The book-of-the-week for Week 9 is an old English nursery rhyme (and riddle) about going on a trip... and maps are certainly needed when traveling to strange and unusual places. The rhyme, As I was going to St. Ives, was first published in 1730 and is thought to refer to the fishing town St. Ives in Cornwall, Wales. In the poem, the journeyman seems to be on the road with quite a few people... and cats... Where they end up, St. Ives or somewhere else, is open for interpretation.
the cover
The simple case-bound book has only five pages. A creamy Italian mould made paper was used for the textblock. Each page was printed with the image of an antique map of Cornwall, England from 1695 as the background for the poem. Handmade marbled paper was glued onto the cover boards and a neutral wide-weave linen bookcloth was used on the spine. The title plate and remainder of the poem were all letterpress printed at Orange Lantern Press with the Pearl press and 24-point Goudy Bold type. 
casebound with marbled paper, an ancient map, and linen bookcloth spine piece

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However, rather than being about adventure and enlightenment, perhaps this book is more about mathematics.. and logic.. It all depends on how one views the riddle...
This is the rhyme...
As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits,
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

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