Gawain and the Green Knight, from Taller Martin Pescador

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Gawain and the Green Knight, from Taller Martin Pescador

Redigerat: aug 5, 6:41pm

With the recent flurry of publicity for the film version of Gawain & the Green Knight, this would be a good time to make readers of this forum aware of a fine edition published in 2012 by the Taller Martín Pescador. The printer, Juan Pascoe, still has a very few copies of the standard edition available—the deluxe having been sold out for some time. A full description with photographs of the book and his workshop in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, Mexico, can be found at

Juan Pascoe is one of the few contemporary fine printers devoted to the hand press (though this edition was printed on his large format Vandercook). He studied with Harry Duncan, and is much influenced by Duncan’s example but with his own Mexican flavor. The custom paper for this edition “of just the right shade of green” (from the prospectus) was handmade in Mexico by the De Ponte mill. The edition was bound at his workshop, sewn onto vellum tapes and then laced into a stiff dark green cover paper over a thin but rigid binder’s board. The book opens beautifully and lies flat in a relaxed and inviting manner. The Poliphilus and Bembo Titling types were cast in Austin, Texas, “then shipped across the Rio Bravo with many an adventure at the customs office.” The linocut illustrations are by Artemio Rodríguez, a long-time collaborator who conveniently lives nearby.

Most of Pascoe’s publishing is in Spanish (and sometimes Nahuatl), but here John Ridland’s translation into Modern English is an “easily accessible adaptation of traditional ballad meter.” Some sense of Ridland’s style can be appreciated at the above mentioned web site, with photographs at enough resolution to read a few pages. Says Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts: ”John Ridland's translation invites reading aloud, flowing naturally yet grandly; the language is similarly easy and familiar, and yet noble and epic.”

Those same Poliphilus types were distributed back into the case and used to compose his forthcoming edition, La Piedra Amada — Dante’s canzones translated into Spanish by Francisco Segovia. A prospectus for that book, also to be printed on De Ponte handmade paper, can be found at

Anyone interested in either of these editions is encouraged to contact the printer directly at the email address mentioned at the bottom of the Green Knight web page: tallermartinpescador (at) gmail

aug 5, 5:35pm

I recently acquired a copy and it's a truly outstanding piece of work

aug 5, 6:20pm

Anyone who wants a fine press edition of this work should not hesitate to purchase this.

aug 5, 9:49pm

I whole-heartedly agree, but my bank account doesn't!

Redigerat: okt 16, 7:16am

I got the green version of this one in the door yesterday. It's really a gem of a book that I'm looking forward to spending time with :) Got a matching, custom-made solander box for it as well.

okt 16, 7:37am

>6 Dr.Fiddy: Beautiful!

okt 16, 8:48am

>6 Dr.Fiddy: That box is special. Now I'm itching to house mine properly

okt 16, 8:49am

>6 Dr.Fiddy: Did you purchase it recently? I emailed them but never heard back.

okt 16, 8:56am

>9 paperandinkguy: My first contact with them was 3-4 weeks ago. They made the box and sent it within a week or so. Then two weeks for it to travel...

okt 16, 11:27am

>9 paperandinkguy: I just got a reply from Juan. These books sold out in 2015. Haha

Redigerat: okt 16, 12:09pm

>11 Objectr: that is incorrect, so perhaps there was some miscommunication. The main distributor for this book is The Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts Company. I bought a copy from them a couple months ago. It is well worth acquiring if you like this story.

The book was released in two states, so perhaps he meant the deluxe state with half vellum binding.

If you are interested in the state with stiff paper cover, I would give PRBM a call and see if they have any copies available. The last time I was in contact with them (a few weeks ago), they had a few remaining.

okt 16, 12:16pm

>10 Dr.Fiddy: Taller Martin Pescador made the box for you?

okt 16, 12:37pm

okt 16, 7:55pm

>14 Dr.Fiddy:
Wow, nice box! I had a slipcase with ribbon-pull made by Starr Bookworks, who also re-covered my copy in indigo Cave paper. (I bought my copy from PRBM at a discount, because the original cover was sun-faded and soiled.)

It's such a nice book that I'm tempted to buy a 2nd copy in the original binding, just on general principles. ;-)

okt 16, 8:24pm

>12 abysswalker: I stand corrected. I emailed asking about the quarter vellum copies, which did sell out in 2015.

okt 22, 2:21pm

>6 Dr.Fiddy: stunning!