Mondays in Reading

Posted on 30 October 2007 in:

1800s Lettering Sketchbook:Journal 14.jpg

Some of you have been asking what life in Reading is like. Actually, most of you ask me what life in London is like. Unfortunately, I haven’t been in London since some time in 2006. Although Reading is just a 30 minute train ride from Paddington Station, it isn’t really anywhere near London. People tell me that the distance is 60 km, which must be something close to 40 miles.

Those of you wondering what Reading is like must have not been paying attention when members of last year’s MATD class covered it in their own blogs rather thoroughly. To recap, most days in Reading are enjoyable, but some days are more enjoyable than others. I won’t pick favourites here; rather, I’ll just start with Mondays.

On Mondays, we have class with Michael Twyman. In fact, on some Mondays, we even have two classes with him, but that is another matter. You can read about Michael Twyman on Wikipedia and elsewhere, so I won’t go into any personal details. It suffices to say he brings in a wealth of things for us to look at each week, in addition to the rather large collection of ephemera and typographic goodness that is already stored in the department’s collections anyway.

The image to the above left is a photography I took from an 1800s scrapbook of letters, tracings, letter drawings, and other brilliant medievalist items.

Close-Up of an English Boradside 03.jpg

I loved this English broadside from 1858. It was so royal and so superfluous. I don’t know if it was ever intended for anyone to read the text, but I read it. The week before, we saw some similar notices from 150 years prior; those were set in a heavy Old English textura, which I also read, but was not much more enlightening.

Close-Up of an English Theatre Bill.jpg

This photo shows a close-up of a theatre bill, which in contrast to the “poster” above was rather quite small; something you could hold in your hands.