Prudence: The Cautionary Tale of a Picky Eater, 2006

I was approached by Trisha Hammer about a possible collaboration. Trisha is the designer and binder for Sherwin Beach Press. I’ve always admired their books so I eagerly agreed. She was interested in a 1901 book with the intriguing title Poisonous Plants in Field and Garden, by the Reverend Professor G. Henslow. It sounded delightful, but when I tried to read it, it was a bit of a snooze, except for the parts in which the Reverend described whole families dying of accidental mushroom poisoning because they couldn’t sort the tasty from the toxic. Trisha and I agreed that a more selective approach to the text might be best.

The book includes the choicest selections from Henslow’s guide, along with charming menus of thoroughly poisonous dishes (but no recipes!) concocted by Trisha, and a short story with illustrations, Prudence: The Cautionary Tale of a Picky Eater, by me. Trisha’s clever and useful book binding keeps all the parts working together.

From the colophon:
Artist’s book with four Giclee color prints; black-and-white letterpress prints and letterpress-printed text on Twinrocker handmade paper and Thieberge & Comar Chromatica; and Kozo Momi paper. Designed and conceived by Trisha Hammer. Published by Sherwin Beach Press, Chicago in an edition of 75. Incorporates selections from Poisonous Plants in Field and Garden by the Reverend Professor G Henslow, originally published in 1901, with Poisonous Plants at Table, selected menus and recommendations by Dr. E. Coffin, irregular practitioner.