Chapter XXV of the fourth volume of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman opens:
No doubt, Sir, —there is a whole chapter wanting here—and a chasm of ten pages made in the book by it.
A jump in pagination confirms Chapter XXIV is missing. Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of Sterne’s birth, here is the absent chapter—a single signature designed to fit neatly into the first edition ( R &J Dodsley, 1761). Craig Dworkin’s interpolated text uses all historically consistent English words in which the letters f and s can be interchanged and result in a legitimate word. Each sentence is based on grammatical constructions found elsewhere in Sterne’s novel.
The type, ITC Founders Caslon, includes seven pre-existing ligatures and seven bespoke long-s ligatures created by the book designer. The project was letterpress printed from photopolymer plates on handmade paper including a custom Red Butte Press watermark. A typographically illustrated cover utilizes the placement of each dash that appears in the text and externalizes the 18th century typesetters’ practice of using any available foundry dashes. The varying dash length and humorous interplay of the letters f and s call attention to potentialities of punctuation, spelling, and meaning.
CHAP. XXIV was produced in 2013 in an edition of 325 numbered copies; 26 lettered copies hors de commerce; and 14 deluxe copies individually letterpress-printed with one of the ligatures that appear in the text and housed in a custom enclosure.
Illustrations by David Wolske
Signed by the author
Handmade papers by Tryst Press/Robert Buchert; 12 pages, plus covers
Limited edition of 325: $27
14 deluxe copies individually letterpress-printed with one of the ligatures that appear in the text and housed in a custom enclosure: $200