The Beautiful Plump Little Boy translated by Luke Freeman

As unusual as its title, this strange and interesting old story from Madagascar, printed on a textured paper and bound in papyrus, stitched with raffia and in a deep red slipcase, makes a tactile and visual treat. There is one linocut by John Woodcock.

In the words of David Vickers in Parenthesis, ‘As is usual with such legends, it has crossed the centuries by word of mouth (“the inheritance of the ears”) and is here published for the first time, bringing us very close to the very raison d'etre for the invention of printing.’

Maurice Bloch, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, has written a perceptive and moving foreword. The story was collected and translated by Luke Freeman. He writes ‘ ... His parents could never have imagined, back on that dark and windy hilltop, that the story of their beautiful plump little boy would one day be written down. Even less, that it would end up on another continent, a hand-printed book in your hands. The book you are holding may well outlive you. Its story certainly will.’ 

  • 80 numbered copies printed.
  • Text is set in 18 pt Poliphilus bold, printed on Hahnemuhle 'old antique' laid paper on a Vandercook proofing press and an Arab treadle platen. Sewn by hand with plaited raffia from Madagascar, and covered with papyrus, in a slipcase, by Salisbury Bookbinders.
  • 32 pp. 26 x 19.5 cms.
  • ISBN 1 870019 20 2.
  • Price £40.00.