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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Printing and Production

Printing at the Daniel Press was a largely domestic affair. Daniel first began printing in the mid-1840s at the family vicarage in Frome, first on a thumb press, then a toy press, and finally a Ruthven table press amid the burgeoning Victorian interest in “parlor printing” for self-improvement. Even in the heyday of the Press at Oxford in the 1880s and early 1890s, after the introduction of the Fell types (1876) and the larger Albion press (1882), Daniel books were still produced in small numbers with all the presswork, typesetting, and decoration done by Henry himself; his wife, Emily; and occasionally their two daughters, Rachel and Ruth.

The Daniel Press ‘Misit’ mark

The Daniel Press ‘Misit’ mark. 

Daniel’s woodcut printer’s mark was designed by English landscape artist Alfred Parsons. It depicts the biblical Daniel in the lion’s den accompanied by the legend ‘Misit Angelum Suum’ (‘God sent his angel’). In the Bible story, God sends an angel to protect the faithful Daniel after he was thrown into a lion’s den by the king of Babylon.   

Printed in Frome, Somerset

Daniel and his brothers printed on a toy press and then a Ruthven table press at the family vicarage in Frome from about 1845, when Daniel was 9 years of age. Most of these works are small pamphlets or ephemeral items printed for friends and family or for church activities. These two Christmas books were written by Daniel’s maternal uncles.

Works from the Frome period were printed in very limited numbers and are difficult to find on the market today. These two examples were discovered in the Grolier Club basement in 2018 while planning for a renovation.

Sir Richard's Daughter: A Christmas Tale of the Olden Times Sir Richard's Daughter: A Christmas Tale of the Olden Times

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Wilson Clement Cruttwell. Sir Richard's Daughter: A Christmas Tale of the Olden Times. Frome: Excudebat H. Daniel, Trinity Parsonage, 1852.

Sonnets Sonnets

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

AND:

Charles James Cruttwell (1812-1892). Sonnets. Frome: Printed at the private Press of H. & E. Daniel, 1856.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Printed in Oxford

Hymni ecclesiae, cura Henrici Daniel

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Hymni ecclesiae, cura Henrici Daniel. Oxonii: Typis Henrici Daniel, 1882. Edition of 100.

This modest collection of early Latin hymns was the first work printed by Daniel on the Albion press purchased in 1882. The Albion had a larger platen (17¾” x 24”) than the Ruthven table press, which allowed for printing in larger formats and the production of more pages with each pull. Although Hymni Ecclesiae is somewhat experimental, the works that followed, such as Theocritus’s Sixe Idillia (below), show the impact of the new press.

Emily Daniel donated the Albion press to the Bodleian Library in 1919, where it is still used for teaching and fine printing.     

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Sixe Idillia Sixe Idillia

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Theocritus (3rdc. BCE). Sixe Idillia. Oxford: H. Daniel, 1883. Edition of 100.  

This attractive work, the second produced on the Albion press, represents several “firsts” for the Press. Alfred Parsons’s idyllic frontispiece etching is the first Daniel work to contain an illustration; it is the first work produced in quarto; the first to use ornaments for decorative lines and borders; the first for which a prospectus was issued; and the first to receive a price (12s.). With the exception of the illustrative matter (always rare in Daniel books), all of these features would become standard from this point forward.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Odes, Sonnets & Lyrics of John Keats Odes, Sonnets & Lyrics of John Keats

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

John Keats (1795-1821). Odes, Sonnets & Lyrics of John Keats. Oxford: Daniel, 1895. Edition of 250.

Typeset by Emily Daniel and printed by Henry Daniel, this work was produced in honor of the hundredth birthday of John Keats. It is noteworthy for the photogravure portrait of the poet by Hollyer after a drawing traditionally attributed to Joseph Severn. In fact, the drawing was executed by Severn’s daughter, Ann Mary, under his supervision. The selection of poems was made by Robert Bridges.

In lavdationem benefactorvm preces vespertinae Coll. Vigorn. In lavdationem benefactorvm preces vespertinae Coll. Vigorn.

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Worcester College (University of Oxford). In lavdationem benefactorvm preces vespertinae Coll. Vigorn. [Oxford]: Excudebat C. Henricus Daniel, praepositus 1906. Edition of 140.

This service book is the last publication of the Daniel Press. After taking a position as Provost of Worcester College in 1903, Daniel was no longer able to devote his time and energy to presswork. He made an exception for this volume, a collection of older Latin prayers revived for use at the annual Worcester College gaudy. The printing was done by a hired pressman aided by Rachel and Ruth Daniel.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Emily Olive Daniel (1852?-1933)

Emily Daniel’s myriad contributions to the Daniel Press have been largely overlooked, but they were essential to its success. A skilled artist, she participated in printing, typesetting, illuminating, and binding, as well as marketing and distributing, which held little interest for her husband. According to William and Sylvia Peterson, her correspondence reveals her to be ‘the undisputed power behind the throne at the press.’

The Muses Gardin for Delights, or, The Fift Booke of Ayres, Onely for the Lute, the Base-Vyoll and the Voice The Muses Gardin for Delights, or, The Fift Booke of Ayres, Onely for the Lute, the Base-Vyoll and the Voice

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Bound by Emily Daniel

Robert Jones (active 1597-1615). The Muses Gardin for Delights, or, The Fift Booke of Ayres, Onely for the Lute, the Base-Vyoll and the Voice. Oxford: Daniel Press, 1901. Edition of 130. 

Several Daniel Press editions include a handful of special copies bound by Emily Daniel. This is a typical example, bound in limp vellum with leather ties and gold lettering on the cover. Starting in 1900, Emily Daniel took bookbinding lessons with Katharine Adams, a preeminent Arts and Crafts binder and a close friend of the family.

Shown alongside another copy of this work in the standard printed paper wrappers.

Purchased 2021

Printed by Emily Daniel

Emily Daniel printed these three Christmas books between 1894 and 1900, two of which she also bound. The Daniels often printed small books to distribute as Christmas gifts to friends and family. Additional copies were made for sale to benefit charitable organizations in the parish. 

Christmas, 1897 Christmas, 1897

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Christmas, 1897. Oxford: Daniel, [1897]. Edition of 120. Also bound by Emily Daniel.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

John Milton (1608-1674). Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity. Oxford: Printed by H. Daniel [i.e. Emily Daniel], 1894. Edition of 200.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour Guest A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour Guest

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour Guest. [Oxford: Printed by Emily Daniel, 1900]. Edition of 95. Also bound by Emily Daniel.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Desiderii Erasmi Colloquia duo, accedit Vita Desiderii Erasmi Colloquia duo, accedit Vita

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Hand Decorated by Emily Daniel

Desiderius Erasmus (d. 1536). Desiderii Erasmi Colloquia duo, accedit Vita. Oxonii: Typis Henrici Daniel, [1880]. Edition of 40.

This is one of the earliest works produced by the Daniel Press in Oxford. Each copy bears Emily Daniel’s calligraphic title in red ink on the vellum covers. The text is a selection of two of the Colloquies by Erasmus, including a dialogue in praise of women’s education.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

Poems Poems

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

Hand Decorated by Emily Daniel

Henry John Patmore (1860-1883). Poems. Oxford: Printed by Henry Daniel, 1884. Edition of 125. Bound by Sotheran & Co.

Emily Daniel’s delicate hand drawn red capital letters with flowing tendril ornament adorn many Daniel Press books. Madan described her work as a “labour of love, just as the old illuminators treated the earliest products of printing.” Henry John Patmore, son of British poet, Coventry Patmore, died of tuberculosis the year before this edition was printed.

Gift of Frederick Coykendall, 1939

“Pray come to a Sale of Needlework and other Objects to be held in the Drawing Room of Worcester House on Thursday November 19.”

Photo credit: Nicole Neenan

“Pray come to a Sale of Needlework and other Objects to be held in the Drawing Room of Worcester House on Thursday November 19.” [Oxford: Daniel Press, 1891]. 

An active church worker, Emily Daniel regularly organized fundraisers at Worcester House to benefit local charities. This invitation to a charity event on November 19, 1891, is one of more than 100 ephemeral pieces printed at the Daniel Press in Oxford between 1874 and 1903.     

Purchased 2019

Printing and Production