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Carr's printers

J.L. Carr used at least 11 printers to print his small books and other publications. The name of the printer was usually given at the foot of the rear cover, if there was room, underneath a list of other titles in the series. Many titles do not name a printer; it is a more common feature of early titles and impressions than in the later books.

Carr wrote in an article in The Bookseller:

I only deal with printers who will let me talk to the chap on the machine. Once I can get him interested in the job all goes pretty well. I can't afford proof copies so a map or book has to be near-enough right first time. With the printshop proprietor himself, I find the simple logic of "If it looks so awful I can't sell it then I can't give you a re-order" works well.

Occasionally printing went wrong: I have a variant of the first and only edition of Wilfred Owen, printed by Harry Richardson, which has four blank pages (pages 7 & 8 and 11 & 12). I also have a version which is complete. A copy of the first edition of the poems of Flecker at the British Library, also printed by Richardson, also has four blank pages. As Carr's small books consist of 16 pages on 8 leaves (octavo), printed on both sides, they were probably cut from a single sheet of paper, so the right text had to be printed in the right axis on the each side of paper before it was cut into eight strips, gathered and stapled. At least that's how I suspect it was done. Evidently the four blank pages were not spotted before some copies had been stapled in their covers and sold. There was only one edition of the poems of Wilfred Owen.

The eleven named printers of Carr's small books were, in probable order of first use:

Carr listed eight printers of his small books on the back cover of The History of the QTP of whom two are not listed above: Messrs Hunt and Century Press. No books credited to these printers have been seen, but they may exist. If so, Carr used 13 printers. Or he may have got the names wrong? Perhaps Century is Central and Hunt was the name of the chap he dealt with at Dalkeith Press?

The table below lists the small books that I have seen, by their printer. There may be more early impressions that I haven't seen, so this list is probably not complete. The titles are listed in the order in which printers were employed, and then in the order which they might have been printed, based on the likely date of publication, the number of titles listed, or the serial number. Carr may not have used each printer sequentially, but may have mixed printers or returned to a printer after a gap. For example, the number of titles listed in books printed by Harry Richardson jumps from 15-16 to 27 or more, and he may have used both Dalkeith Press and Central Printing Works in between.

Some of the printing plates for small books used by Central Printing Works are illustrated in the entries for Thomas Hardy, Dictionary of English Queens, Dictionary of English Kings and Forrest's Dictionary of Eponymists. I bought them on eBay from a woman who had found them at a car boot sale.

Only one map has been seen with the name of the printer: the second map of Essex was printed by Dalkeith Press of Kettering. Carr recorded in his History of the QTP that they were mostly printed by Messrs Richardson and Seddon.

All of Carr's novels published by the Quince Tree Press and issued before 1994 were printed by Stanley L. Hunt (Printers) Ltd., Rushden, Northamptonshire, which stopped trading in 2016 and was dissolved in 2019.



Table of printers of small books and maps, if noted.


Printer Book Titles Month & Year Serial
V.B. Pike Robert Bloomfield 0 (1966)
V.B. Pike Clare 1 0 (1966)
V.B. Pike Clare 2 0
Dalkeith Press Tennyson 1 0 1967
Dalkeith Press Joseph Goodson 0 1968?
Dalkeith Press Northants Campaigner, Winter 1970 0 1970
Dalkeith Press Barnes 1 0 1970?
Dalkeith Press Blake 1 0 1970?
Dalkeith Press Blake 2 0 1970?
Dalkeith Press Essex map 2 0 1971
Dalkeith Press Herbert 1 17
Dalkeith Press Aubrey 1 20 1976?
David Green Tennyson 2 0 1969?
David Green Clare 3 0 1970?
Harry Richardson Blake 2 0
Harry Richardson Clare 4 0
Harry Richardson Herrick 1 0
Harry Richardson Forefathers 1 & 2 0 1980/81
Harry Richardson Owen 8
Harry Richardson Blake 3 10
Harry Richardson Barnes 2 10
Harry Richardson Tennyson's Lincolnshire Verse 2 10
Harry Richardson Thomas 1 10
Harry Richardson Milton 1 14
Harry Richardson Arnold 1 15
Harry Richardson Clare 5 15
Harry Richardson Flecker 1 15
Harry Richardson Shakespeare 1 15
Harry Richardson Stevenson 1 15
Harry Richardson Wordsworth 1 15
Harry Richardson Donne 1 16
Harry Richardson Coleridge 1 27
Harry Richardson Goldsmith 1 27
Harry Richardson Marvell 3 27
Harry Richardson Chaucer 1 30
Harry Richardson Grey 1 37
Harry Richardson Dictionary of Eponymists 4 37 1979
Central Printing Works Blake 5 0
Central Printing Works Blake 8 0
Central Printing Works Cowper 1 17
Central Printing Works Hardy 1, 2, 3 0
Central Printing Works Longfellow 1 22
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 1 24 (1977)
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 3 24 1977
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 4 27 1977
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Cricketers vol 1, 2 27 August 1977
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Cricketers vol 1, 3 27 September 1977
Central Printing Works Austen 1 27 November 1977
Central Printing Works Forrest's Eponymists 1 1978
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Cricketers vol 1, 4 30 January 1978
Central Printing Works Johnson 1 30 1981
Central Printing Works Bewick 1 30
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Cricketers vol 1, 5 30 June 1978
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Cricketers vol 1, 6 30 October 1978
Central Printing Works Austen 3 27 January 1979
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 6 30 1979
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 7 30 1981
Central Printing Works Bewick 2 31
Central Printing Works Blake 6 31
Central Printing Works Longfellow 2 32
Central Printing Works Dictionary of Queens 9 33 1983
Central Printing Works Blake 7 34
Central Printing Works Johnson 2 34
Central Printing Works Hassall 1 35
G. Smith (Thrapston) Brooke/Owen 1 0
G. Smith (Thrapston) Brownings 1 0
G. Smith (Thrapston) Brownings 2 0
G. Smith (Thrapston) Rossettis I 0
G. Smith (Thrapston) D.G. Rossetti 17
G. Smith (Thrapston) Khayyam 2 19
G. Smith (Thrapston) Dryden 20 1970
G. Smith (Thrapston) Cobbett 1 21
G. Smith (Thrapston) Crabbe 1 24 January 1977
G. Smith (Thrapston) Tennyson 4 31
G. Smith (Thrapston) Khayyam 3 33
G. Smith (Thrapston) Wordsworth 2 31
G. Smith (Thrapston) Thomas 2 31
G. Smith (Thrapston) Bunyan 1 35
G. Smith (Thrapston) Bewick 3 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Crabbe 2 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Keats 1, 2 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Khayyam 4 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Macaulay 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Tennyson 5 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Tennyson 6 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Wellington 1 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Wordsworth ? 39
G. Smith (Thrapston) Cobbett 2 40
G. Smith (Thrapston) Smith 1 40
Arkle Print Austen 5? 32
Arkle Print Kings 8 32
Arkle Print Cricketers vol 1, 8 39
Seddon Packaging Mackley 1 0
Seddon Packaging Shakespeare 32
Seddon Packaging Forrest's Eponymists 7 37
Sally Jones Smart 0 No. 63
Sally Jones Pope 0 No. 65
Sally Jones Skelton 0 No. 66
Peter Dawes Mackley 2 0
Peter Dawes Mackley 3 0
Peter Dawes Paynter 1 0
Peter Dawes Ellis 1 0
Unity Print Limited Poole 1 0 No. 84