December 2009 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Fine Books, Great Cause

This holiday season Oak Tree Fine Press is publishing three very fine editions of a book by Philip Pullman to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities. The book, A Outrance, is excerpted from Pullman's novel Northern Lights, winner of the Carnegie Medal and the inspiration behind the film, The Golden Compass.

The book is limited to a total of 265 copies, all featuring original woodcut illustrations by three of Britain's foremost book artists. There are, however, three editions to choose from:

The Mohawk edition (below), printed offset on Mohawk paper, bound in cloth and marbled boards, and signed by the author. There are 200 available.


The Somerset Deluxe Edition (below), of which there are 50, is printed letterpress by hand on mould-made Somerset paper. In addition to signing the book, the author has also inscribed each copy with a line of text. Slipcase included.


The Ruscombe Letterpress Art Edition is comprised of 15 unique books, printed letterpress on paper from the Ruscombe Mill in France and hand-bound by some of the world's finest designer bookbinders. These special bindings will be exhibited at Oxford University's Bodleian Library this upcoming week from the 15th to the 18th, before the silent auction -- which has already begun on the Oak Tree website -- is completed at midday on the 21st.

All profits go to children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. Oak Tree Press was established through the support of author J.M. Coetzee to raise money for this cause. It has published limited editions of many leading authors, including Doris Lessing, A.S. Byatt, Gunther Grass, and Toni Morrison.