A Mediaeval Dream Book

Dublin Core


A Mediaeval Dream Book


B. S. Cron, translator; Morris Cox, printer, binder, and illustrator


London: Gogmagog Press



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Brief Notes on Book

From the colophon: "...set in Cloister Old Style with an engraving by Morris Cox... printed on Green's 'Bodleian' hand-made paper & limited to one hundred copies. Number 89."

From the copyright page: "Hand-set and hand-printed by Morris Cox & bound by him at his private press... The decorative borders are arrangements of the Calypso fleuron designed by Roderick Cave. The end-papers are original."


I have accumulations of books in a variety of areas, but dream books--books attempting to capture and describe dreams, and books claiming to interpret them--are what I think of as my primary personal collecting area. Mostly these are very scruffy, cheap, ephemeral pamphlets, or unpopular experimental literature, and I love both of those subgenres. But a few are knockouts as book objects.

The most beautiful book in my collection, I think, is this one. The binding, the somewhat hypnotic decorated endpapers, the type, and the slim, tall format all combine to create an elegant package. It is a joy to hold in the hand.

The text itself is modest, with the original (probably 14th-century) Latin text on versos facing an English translation on the rectos--simple interpretations such as "To catch bees or birds in dreams signifies profit." Even these simple explanations, though, testify to the human urge to understand the strange stories told to us (by ourselves?) in our sleep.

The photographs were taken atop a pillow, for obvious reasons.


Will Hansen




B. S. Cron, translator; Morris Cox, printer, binder, and illustrator, “A Mediaeval Dream Book,” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed January 30, 2023, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/30.