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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

T. S. Eliot's long poem The Waste Land has often been called the most important poem of the twentieth century.

By turns ironic and sincere, learned and heartbreakingly plain, the poem was immediately recognized as a classic when it was first published in 1922, and its influence has only grown over time. In the words of literary critic Helen Vendler, “The Waste Land reached so far beyond its origins in both life and literature that it revolutionized modern verse.”

Now, Thornwillow Press is proud to publish The Waste Land in a letterpress and hand-bound limited edition.

Allow us to introduce you to THE WASTE LAND, a letterpress printed and hand-bound book . . .

We are proud to present THE WASTE LAND—in four magnificent bindings.
We are proud to present THE WASTE LAND—in four magnificent bindings.
THE WASTE LAND is famous, in part, for its editorial and publication history. T. S. Eliot's original typescripts (with his and Ezra Pound's hand edits) have survived. We are including a facsimile of one typescript page with every book.
THE WASTE LAND is famous, in part, for its editorial and publication history. T. S. Eliot's original typescripts (with his and Ezra Pound's hand edits) have survived. We are including a facsimile of one typescript page with every book.

The Waste Land in 2018? 

The Waste Land, though written nearly a century ago, is more relevant today than ever. Written in the shadow of the first World War, the poem captures the very essence of the transformed landscape and the radically altered society of the 20th century. President Barack Obama once said that in The Waste Land Eliot faced “what he perceives as a choice between ecstatic chaos and lifeless mechanistic order.” Sound familiar?

In a series of unforgettable fragments—a late-night conversation in a London pub, a casual sexual encounter in a working-class flat, an elegant game of chess between an unhappy husband and wife, a popular song, a proposition at noon on a busy street—The Waste Land echoes a fractured world we recognize. It is, as poet and critic Roz Kaveney said, a “radical text of a wounded culture.” 

A new introduction.

We are also lucky to celebrate this poem with an original monograph by Sravani Sen-Das, a scholar of Eliot who, perhaps more than anyone, has experienced the poem’s power over the course of her lifetime. Born in Mumbai, India, Sen-Das grew up with Eliot’s work, which built a literary bridge for her between East and West. She understood Eliot’s work as being among the first to transcend borders and speak to the heart of diverse cultures. As life brought her from India to Oxford to New England, she saw students of many backgrounds connect to The Waste Land

With this unique perspective, she makes the case for The Waste Land as a work of unifying literature. The issues it grapples with, and the possible solutions, are universal ones.

What is a 'fine press' book?

While most books are commercially mass-produced by machine, these are not—they are made by hand. At Thornwillow Press, we believe that reading is, and should be, a pleasure for the senses. With The Waste Land, we have been afforded the opportunity to return the poem to its publishing roots. 

The history of The Waste Land is intertwined with the history of the fine press movement, of which Thornwillow is one of the last remaining presses. The first British edition of the poem was published by Virginia Woolf at Hogarth Press, and bound in paste paper wrappers on her kitchen table. We are proud to continue Woolf’s tradition. The Thornwillow Press edition, like her’s, is a labor of love. 

Each book is bound by hand.
Each book is bound by hand.

We have taken inspiration from Virginia Wolf's Hogarth Press edition of THE WASTE LAND. Learn more about this and the design of the edition by watching . . .

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When you add a Thornwillow fine press book to your collection, you can expect:

  • Each page to be printed letterpress. You can feel the impression of the type as you run your finger across the page. 
  • Each book to be masterfully hand-bound, using only the finest materials.
  • Each book to be individually hand numbered. 
  • And finally, when you pledge, your name is included on a subscribers list accompanying every book, and archived in the world's greatest collections. 

Please enjoy this short film by our friends at Surrender Pictures about the Thornwillow philosophy . . .

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The paper-wrapper binding on our Heidelberg printing press.
The paper-wrapper binding on our Heidelberg printing press.
The spine of the cloth binding.
The spine of the cloth binding.


And it gets better . . .

Friends of the Press know what always accompanies a Thornwillow book, but this edition has a few features in particular:

  • A spectacular new introduction by Sravani Sen-Das, in which she discusses her own personal history with this poem, and makes the case for The Waste Land in the twenty-first century. 
  • Notes at the back of the book which situate the reader in Eliot's milieu. 
  • With every copy, a letterpress facsimile of one of the typescript pages of The Waste Land which includes material cut before the poem's publication.

We are offering THE WASTE LAND in four bindings.

We are offering THE WASTE LAND in four bindings. All half and full leather copies are presented in a clamshell box.
We are offering THE WASTE LAND in four bindings. All half and full leather copies are presented in a clamshell box.

PAPER-WRAPPER | Starting at $60. Edition limited to one hundred more than subscribed.

THE WASTE LAND bound in a paper wrapper.
THE WASTE LAND bound in a paper wrapper.

CLOTH | $185. Edition limited to one hundred more than subscribed.

THE WASTE LAND bound in cloth and letterpress boards.
THE WASTE LAND bound in cloth and letterpress boards.

HALF-LEATHER | Starting at $585. Edition limited to just fifty copies.

THE WASTE LAND bound in half-leather and pastepaper boards. Presented in a suede-lined clamshell box.
THE WASTE LAND bound in half-leather and pastepaper boards. Presented in a suede-lined clamshell box.

FULL-LEATHER | Starting at $1,500.

Most spectacularly, we are offering just fifteen unique full leather copies. There are five full leather bindings, designed for the five sections of The Waste Land. They are:

  • The Burial of the Dead (five copies available for $1,500). Bound in full beige Morocco, with scarlet and dark brown "Hogarth" endpapers.
  • A Game of Chess (four copies available for $2,000). Bound in full yellow Morocco, with black and purple "Hogarth" endpapers.
  • The Fire Sermon (three copies available for $3,000). Bound in full scarlet Morocco, with scarlet and gray "Hogarth" endpapers. Printed letterpress on handmade paper.
  • Death by Water (two copies available for $4,000). Bound in full blue Morocco, with green and deep blue "Hogarth" endpapers. Printed letterpress on handmade paper, and the initial letter of each part is hand-illuminated.
  • What The Thunder Said (only one copy available for $5,000). Bound in full black Morocco, with yellow and gray "Hogarth" endpapers. Bound into the volume is an authentic T. S. Eliot autograph. Printed letterpress on handmade paper, and the initial letter of each part is hand-illuminated.

*Some full-leather copies have been reserved for collectors who pledged off of Kickstarter, which may be reflected in remaining availability.

We are incredibly excited to offer What The Thunder Said, a unique copy which is a genuine piece of both Eliot and Thornwillow history. The volume is printed letterpress on handmade paper, and the initial letter of each part is hand-illuminated. Most importantly, T. S. Eliot's autograph is bound into the book.

The T. S. Eliot signature bound into 'What The Thunder Said'.
The T. S. Eliot signature bound into 'What The Thunder Said'.

This, in itself, is significant. Eliot was famously reserved with his signature. He usually did not participate in book signings, and so his signature only ever graced his books when they were given to friends, or when a lucky reader happened across him on the street. Not only is the signature bound into this book a particularly high quality specimen, but it is bound up with Thornwillow history as well.

The signature comes from the collection of Luke Pontifell, Thornwillow's Publisher, who has held it in his collection for years, since he studied Eliot in College, around them time when Thornwillow was begun. Read more about this unique copy in the first update . . .

We are offering THE WASTE LAND in five full leather bindings. Each features completely unique endpapers in the style of the Hogarth Press.
We are offering THE WASTE LAND in five full leather bindings. Each features completely unique endpapers in the style of the Hogarth Press.

And it gets EVEN better . . .

We are pleased to offer a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft of the poem's opening stanzas, complete with edits in his own hand. The typescript contains a portion of the poem cut before publication.

A complimentary typescript facsimile is included with each book.
A complimentary typescript facsimile is included with each book.

Risks and challenges

Having conducted twenty projects in the past, each of which has been delivered on time, we are confident in our ability to successfully manage any unexpected challenges. That said, we will always communicate them to our backers if they do arise.

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    Typescript

    Receive a letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft of the poem's opening stanzas, complete with edits in his own hand. The typescript contains a portion of the poem cut before publication.

    Includes:
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
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    Paper-Wrapper Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in a letterpress paper wrapper. Each copy is individually hand numbered, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Cloth Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in cloth and letterpress boards. Each copy is individually hand numbered, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Cloth Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Fan of Eliot

    Receive two copies of THE WASTE LAND, one bound in cloth and letterpress boards, the other bound in a paper-wrapper. Each copy is individually hand numbered, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Cloth Binding
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    PAPER-WRAPPER COLLECTOR

    Receive three Thornwillow books, bound in paper-wrappers.

    A copy of FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley, with illustrations by Irena Martens.

    A copy of INFERNO by Dante Alighieri, a manuscript edition by George Cochrane.

    A copy of THE WASTE LAND by T. S. Eliot, with an introduction by Sravani Sen-Das.

    All are individually hand numbered. Your name will be included on THE WASTE LAND's subscribers list.

    Includes:
    • Frankenstein | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Inferno | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    CLOTH COLLECTOR

    Receive three Thornwillow books, bound in cloth and letterpress boards.

    A copy of FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley, with illustrations by Irena Martens.

    A copy of INFERNO by Dante Alighieri, a manuscript edition by George Cochrane.

    A copy of THE WASTE LAND by T. S. Eliot, with an introduction by Sravani Sen-Das.

    All are individually hand numbered. Your name will be included on THE WASTE LAND's subscribers list.

    Includes:
    • Frankenstein | Cloth Binding
    • Inferno | Cloth Binding
    • The Waste Land | Cloth Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    SEMI-EARLY BIRD | Half-Leather Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in half Morocco and paste paper boards. Each copy is individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    The edition is very limited: only fifty copies will be made.

    Presented in a suede-lined clamshell box.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Half-Leather Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Half-Leather Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in half Morocco and paste paper boards. Each copy is individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    The edition is very limited: only fifty copies will be made.

    Presented in a suede-lined clamshell box.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Half-Leather Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Full Leather | The Burial of the Dead

    The Waste Land is divided into five parts, we are offering five copies designed for the first: The Burial of the Dead.

    Receive your copy of THE WASTE LAND bound in full Moroccan beige leather, with scarlet and dark brown "Hogarth" endpapers.

    The copy will be individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and, needless to say, your name will be most prominent on the subscribers list.

    You will also receive a complimentary paper-wrapper reading copy.

    Includes:
    • Full Leather | The Burial of the Dead
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    HALF-LEATHER COLLECTOR

    Receive three Thornwillow books, bound in Moroccan leather and handmade pastepaper boards.

    A copy of THE SONNETS by William Shakespeare, with an introduction by Harvard president Neil Rudenstine.

    A copy of SHERLOCK HOLMES HEXALOGY, the favorite stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, with photography by Alvin Langdon Coburn, and an introduction by Randall Stock.

    A copy of THE WASTE LAND by T. S. Eliot, with an introduction by Sravani Sen-Das.

    All are individually hand numbered and signed by the introducers. Your name will be included on THE WASTE LAND's subscribers list.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Half-Leather Binding
    • Sherlock Holmes Hexalogy | Half-Leather Binding
    • The Shakespeare Sonnets | Half-Leather Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Full Leather | A Game of Chess

    The Waste Land is divided into five parts, we are offering four copies designed for the second: A Game of Chess.

    Receive your copy of THE WASTE LAND bound in full Moroccan yellow leather, with black and purple "Hogarth" endpapers.

    The copy will be individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and, needless to say, your name will be most prominent on the subscribers list.

    You will also receive a complimentary paper-wrapper reading copy.

    Includes:
    • Full Leather | A Game of Chess
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Full Leather | The Fire Sermon

    The Waste Land is divided into five parts, we are offering three copies designed for the third: The Fire Sermon.

    Receive your copy of THE WASTE LAND bound in full Moroccan scarlet leather, with scarlet and gray "Hogarth" endpapers.

    The copy is printed letterpress on handmade paper.

    The copy will be individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and, needless to say, your name will be most prominent on the subscribers list.

    You will also receive a complimentary paper-wrapper reading copy.

    Includes:
    • Full Leather | The Fire Sermon
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
    • Printed on handmade paper.
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    Full Leather | Death by Water

    The Waste Land is divided into five parts, we are offering two copies designed for the fourth: Death by Water.

    Receive your copy of THE WASTE LAND bound in full Moroccan blue leather, with green and deep blue "Hogarth" endpapers.

    The copy is printed letterpress on handmade paper, and the initial letter of each part is hand-illuminated.

    The copy will be individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and, needless to say, your name will be most prominent on the subscribers list.

    You will also receive a complimentary paper-wrapper reading copy.

    Includes:
    • Full Leather | Death by Water
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Printed on handmade paper.
    • Illuminated initials.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    EARLY BIRD | Paper-Wrapper Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in a letterpress paper-wrapper. Each copy is individually hand numbered, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $585 or more About $585

    EARLY-BIRD | Half-Leather Binding

    Receive a copy of THE WASTE LAND, bound in half Morocco and paste paper boards. Each copy is individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and your name will be included on the subscribers list.

    The edition is very limited: only fifty copies will be made.

    Presented in a suede-lined clamshell box.

    In addition, receive a complimentary letterpress facsimile of T. S. Eliot's typescript draft.

    Includes:
    • The Waste Land | Half-Leather Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Full Leather | What The Thunder Said

    The Waste Land is divided into five parts, we are offering just one copy designed for the fifth: What The Thunder Said.

    Receive your copy of THE WASTE LAND bound in full Moroccan black leather, with yellow and deep gray "Hogarth" endpapers.

    This unique copy includes an AUTHENTIC T. S. ELIOT AUTOGRAPH bound into the volume. It is printed letterpress on handmade paper, and the initial letter of each part is hand-illuminated.

    The copy will be individually hand numbered, signed by the Publisher and Introducer, and, needless to say, your name will be most prominent on the subscribers list.

    You will also receive a complimentary paper-wrapper reading copy.

    Includes:
    • Full Leather | What The Thunder Said
    • The Waste Land | Paper-Wrapper Binding
    • Facsimile of Eliot's typescript draft.
    • Authentic T. S. Eliot autograph bound into the volume.
    • Printed on handmade paper.
    • Illuminated initials.
    • Your name on the subscribers list.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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