[London:]: Dropmore Press, 1950/. One of an edition of 250 copies, numbered in ink on the verso of the title page. Wood engraved frontispiece, eight additional wood engraved headbands, and one facsimile folding financial statement. Printed on cream wove paper handmade by Hodgkinson of Wells in Somerset. Very minor offsetting from engravings. Some pages unopened. A fine copy in a very good illustrated dust jacket with minor wear, creasing, soiling, and toning. In a red cloth slipcase. Full fawn buckram with a gilt-lettered black morocco spine label. Bound in the London Craft Bindery of W.H. Smith & Son. Top edge stained red. Octavo. . , [1, blank], ii, 182, [2, blank], [+1, colophon] pp. Item #16303
"A century ago John Jaffray, a journey-man bookbinder working in London, was at great pains to collect every possible scrap of information concerning the early history of the bookbinders' trade union, which was founded c. 1780. Not only did he assemble a number of documents and minute books, but much additional information, which he wrote down, or pasted into scrap-books. This body of material had never been seen by anybody outside the trade union, until Mr. Ellic Howe was granted access to it five years ago. From the documents at his disposal, Mr. Howe has pieced together an entertaining account of personalities and working conditions in the London trade during the period 1780-1806. While the history of the early trade unions is generally a dry enough subject, the lively nature of the material has enabled Mr. Howe to write a book which can be read with pleasure by those who are not normally interested in either the history of trade unionism or of bookbinding" (from the dust jacket).