Sherwin Beach Press Poisonous Plants at Table


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Poisonous Plants at Table
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Innocents Abroad
The Essence of Beeing
Ballet for Opening Day
$144 a Month
Within the Context of No Context
Sherwin Beach Press




This most unusual book incorporates selections from Poisonous Plants In Field and Garden by the Reverend Professor G. Henslow (first published in 1901), with "Poisonous Plants at Table" (selected menus and recommendations) by Dr. E. Coffin; and features "Prudence: The Cautionary Tale of a Picky Eater," a short story written and illustrated by Audrey Niffenegger.

It's really three books in one: first is the serious field guide, with illustrations of plants discussed, taken mostly from Benthamís Handbook of British Flora, which used blocks by Walter Hood Fitch. Second is the set of four tongue-in-cheek seasonal party menus, each dish including a poisonous plant and giving a cross-referencee to Henslow. Last, but hardly least, is the original short story of Prudence. Niffenegger wrote the story and illustrated it with both ink drawings and watercolors. The four watercolors appear on 3-panel foldouts. Each of the four sections with story and menu is set off from the field guide by a wraparound of green Kosu Momi paper.

The book was designed by Trisha Hammer. It was set in Monotype Gill Sans and Joanna by Michael and Winifred Bixler, letterpress printed in two colors by Martha Chiplis on Mohawk Superfine and handmade Twinrocker, with the color illustrations giclée printed on specially coated handmade paper. A Japanese fabric-covered case drops away to expose the sewing and non-adhesive binding. A back pocket houses the text block while a front pocket houses a plant collection sleeve containing pressed Colchicum blossoms. The whole thing is contained in a box covered in the same fabric. 104 pp, 5 3/8" x 9 1/4" x 2", edition of 75. It was published in 2006, signed by the artist and bookmakers. $1200.

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