CHAPBOOKS

I have been researching Chapbooks. These were small, cheap booklets illustrated with crude woodcuts of redactions of single works. They were offered for a penny and could be 4,8,12,16,24 pages. Their size of 3.5"x6" was determined by folding a single sheet of paper into a quatro. The woodcuts would not necessarily illustrate the text, but just to fill a page when the text ran out. Samuel Pepys had a collection of Chapbooks, they were referred to as small merriments and small Godliness. I have also found that they were referred to as Penny Compliments and Penny Witticisms.

Finding amusing stories within the books I have read at Chawton House Library, I will be creating a series of Chapbooks illustrated with my own linocuts. I have started to collect the witticisms and will start making the lino cuts to place within the text. I like the idea that the illustrations may not represent anything in the text.


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