The dictionary definition of a facsimile is “an exact copy, especially of printed
or written material.” Our facsimile publications fit that definition precisely. That
is, we aim not merely to reproduce venerable texts that were originally printed in
the sixteenth century (1500-1599) in modern editions, but to faithfully recreate
the pages just as they appeared and were read by our forebears centuries ago. To
this end, although the books are newly typeset using modern digital technology, the
typography is exactly as the originals.
That is, every page has the same number of lines, each line has the same number of
words and the words are printed in the same typefaces, especially created by us to
mimic the fonts used in the originals. The language style in which these books were
first printed is EARLY MODERN ENGLISH and all spellings are as the original. All
typographical features such as the use of multiple fonts, aggressive hyphenation,
abbreviations and diacritical marks are meticulously reproduced. Diagrams and illustrations,
if they occur, are redrawn and where this is not possible, illustrations from the
originals are copied and digitally cleaned to remove blemishes. As closely as possible
we aim to reproduce pages that are virtually indistinguishable from the centuries-old
typography, set by compositors assembling metal type line-by-line in wooden frames,
and laboriously printed by pressmen on manually operated wooden presses.
The only things we do not faithfully reproduce are the mould spots, insect damage,
ink leaching, fading, rents and tears, which the passage of time has sadly inflicted
on the originals. Our books are definitely NOT modern reprints reproduced by photographic
means and which therefore replicate all the wear and tear found in the originals.
Nor are they reproduced by OCR scanning, which is worse than useless with such old
material. Regrettably, such reproductions are rife in online bookshops and give purchasers
a very poor reading experience.
In contrast, our books feature crystal-clear text, tables, diagrams and illustrations,
all printed on good quality white paper. Of course we cannot reproduce the sumptuous
leather or parchment covers in which many of these early books were first bound.
It would be prohibitively expensive to do so, but between the covers of our inexpensive
paperback editions will be found all the attributes of the printed pages as described
All books include introductory notes giving information about the author, the book's
history and several pages of help in understanding the typographical conventions
All our EARLY MODERN ENGLISH books are of great historical interest and cultural
importance. Today they are found only in the world’s great libraries, known only
to librarians and scholars, or they are in the hands of private collectors. Sadly
most bibliophiles, and certainly the general public, have long ago lost sight of
them. Happily, they can be found again in our Catalogue.