Aelfric’s Colloquy

Aelfric's Colloquy

Aelfric of Eynsham was an abbot who lived in England from about 955 to about 1020. His Colloquy, once used to teach Latin to young boys training for monastic life, is a lively dialogue among various Anglo-Saxon tradesmen and laborers exploring the skills and virtues of each. This trilingual text features a new Modern English translation by WR Johnson, along with the original Latin and Old English gloss as edited by GN Garmonsway. Printed letterpress on Barcham Green Sandwhich in black, brown, and red. Bound long-stitch in Gray Flax Canal from Papeterie St-Armand and housed in a wooden slipcase.

ISBN 978-0-9821242-3-9 9 by 6.5 inches. 64 pages. 2010. Limited to 100 numbered copies. $275 

It was announced in March 2012 that Aelfric’s Colloquy was one of two runners-up for the thirteenth Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. One judge of the competition, Bryce Milligan of Wings Press, said, “Obviously a work in homage to a beloved text, Aelfric’s Colloquy reflects the age and culture of Aelfric in its external design, the texture and color of the cover recalling rough woolen monk’s robes and the handmade box feeling very much like the consciously un-ornate wooden book covers of a monastic library’s most used texts. Both lend gravity to what some today might consider a slight text, but which really has a long and important legacy. The typography and layout echo the unusually spacious original manuscript, and its tri-lingual text is an expansion of the interlinear glosses of the original. Finally, the occasional and judicious use of color adds just the right amount of almost inexplicable levity, similar to that which one finds peeking through Aelfric’s text.”

Leave a Reply