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Design Binding - The House At The Edge Of The World by Julia Rochester

Lino cut, hand-printed endpapers using Schmincke linoprint ink in Prussian Blue

I was spoiled for choice when I was seeking inspiration for the design binding of my sister, Julia Rochester's novel The House At The Edge Of The World. The novel is full of rich imagery; a wild costal landscape, family drama and legendary tales. I was drawn in particular to one I grew up with, the story of the Devil's footprints which was a phenomenon that occurred in 1855 around the Exe Estuary in East and South Devon where I grew up. After heavy snowfall, trails of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow overnight covering a total distance of some fifty miles. As the mysterious foot prints allegedly appeared as a cloven hoof, many believed they were tracks of the devil and still to this day the strange foot prints are unexplained. This legend inspired the cover design, where you see the fork like footprints leading up to the house, the house which holds a dark secret. The line-drawing was hand-tooled using a tool of my own making. I made it during a workshop with design bookbinder Dominic Tiler. The end papers were lino-cut and hand-printed. They depict the stormy relationships in the novel and the dramatic sea which encircles the house and the family.

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