The Golden Cockerel Gawain

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The Golden Cockerel Press was established in 1920. Its books became famous for, among other things, the wood engravings used for the illustrations. To read more about this style of illustration, see Joanna Selborne, British Wood-engraved Book Illustration, 1904-1940: A break with tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998; reprinted in 2001 by the British Library; Special Collections, NE1143.S45 2001)

Eric Rowland Gill (1882-1940) worked on many of the most celebrated publications of the Press: the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center has a major collection of his work, and also holds the Press archive:

Click here to visit the Eric Gill page at the Center

For more about the Press, see the history by Roderick Cave and Sarah Manson, A History of the Golden Cockerel Press, 1920-1960 (London: The British Library, 2002; Special Collections Z232.G63 C38 2002)

The Press also produced bibliographies: Chanticleer, Pertelote, and Cockalorum (1936, 1943, 1948) have been collected together as Bibliography of the Golden Cockerel Press, 1921-1949 (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1975; Special Collections Z232.G6 1975). The last volume is Cock-a-hoop, covering 1949-1961 (Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1976; Special Collections, Z232.G63 A34 1976)

The Golden Cockerel Sir Gawain (1952) included illustrations by Dorothea Braby (1909-1987), who also did the illustrations for the Press's magnificent edition of the Mabinogion (1948). Translator Gwyn Jones (1907- ) is a Welsh writer and academic; in the latter role, he translated Icelandic sagas and collaborated with Thomas Jones (1910-1972) on the translation of the Mabinogion used in the Golden Cockerel edition and later widely republished. Both men were professors at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth; the one of English and the other of Welsh literature.

Like all of my web pages, this page is intended primarily for the use of my students at the University of British Columbia, and is drawn in part from my own ongoing research. Please do not use this material without permission: you can e-mail me at

The images on this webpage are reproduced with the kind permission of the estate of Dorothea Braby.

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