Shakespeare's Sonnets and a Lovers Complaint and The Canterbury Tales (in two volumes)

Jenni Grey

Research output: Other contribution


Unique Bindings exhibited at Ashiga Museum of Art, Tochigi Province, Japan: 22April - 4 June 2006 Koriyama City Museum of Art, Fukishima Province, Japan: 10 June - 9 July 2006 Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba Province, Japan: 22 July - 27 August 2006 Grey was one of twenty-four Fellows of the internationally recognised Designer Bookbinders Society invited to take part in the Beautiful British Books touring exhibition to Japan. It examined the development of ‘fine’ books in Britain. ‘Fine’ in this context encompasses rare and limited edition books and/or high-quality bindings. In the context of traditional bookbinding, there is an enduring pre-conception of the use of particular structures and materials, and although there have historically been acknowledged design styles, the concept of ‘fine binding’ has changed little over three hundred years. Grey’s research evidences her instrumental re-definition of the term through the development and invention of structures that use non-traditional techniques and materials, such as wood veneers, and stitch-work with suede. Her use of materials is content led, resulting in each binding being a unique response to the text. The Canterbury Tales was selected because the binding reflects the theme of religious pilgrimage and the zebrano veneer used is an intentional counterpoint to Edna Whyte’s black and white wood block illustrations. The embroidery of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and a Lover's Complaint binding complements the etchings within the text whilst the sombre colour of the background and the lighter energetic marks of the stitches reflect themes of youth, romantic love and ageing. The pieces are part of an ongoing investigation (see output 1), and she has also given invited lectures and master classes at the Folger Library, Washington DC (March 2001), and the Designer Bookbinders and Society of Bookbinders, London (November 2005). Her work has been purchased for public collections including the British Library, the Library of Congress (Washington DC), Winchester Cathedral, and by private collectors such as Edward Bayntun (Bath), world-renowned bindery and booksellers which took over the famous Riviere Bindery established in 1829.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDesigner Bookbinders
Place of PublicationAshiga, Tochigi Provence, Japan
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Fellows of Designer Bookbinders were invited to submit bindings of classic texts for an exhibition of bindings and limited edition books called 'Beautiful British Books'. The selection of traditional and contemporary work toured to different venues in Japan.


  • Bookbinding
  • fine binding
  • design binding
  • hand bound
  • bookart


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