Book design Books

Albanian Letters by Arthur Evans


Arthur Evans Albanian Letters

Design for Albanian Letters, a compilation of letters and reports on Albania in the 1870s by archaeologist and journalist Sir Arthur Evans, the latest book from the Centre for Albanian Studies now in print.

From the blurb:

In Albanian Letters Evans not only explores the implications of the key political events of this period but also paints a vivid picture of the country’s complex social and cultural make-up. Albanian Letters looks at how Albanians’ views of their homeland were affected by developments taking place at the time, including increasing awareness of ethnic differences, population migration, and changes to its distinctive culture and tradition.

and the back cover testimonials:

‘These fascinating letters and reports – never previously collected – cast fresh light on one of the most vital periods of Albanian history. The crisis which began in the late 1870s would lead, eventually, to the creation of an independent Albania. But while the end-point of that process was a relatively simple solution, the starting-point was a complex problem, with many different interests competing for power. Arthur Evans was both an opinionated young man and a brilliant journalist, with a vivid pen and a keen appetite for information; his accounts of these tensions and conflicts, both internal and international, make him a very valuable witness – and a very good read.’

Sir Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford

‘Despite their biases as pointed out by the editors, Evans’ journalistic reports provide an impressive depth of detail as well as insightful analyses of events, personalities and intrigue within their cultural and historical context.’

George W. Gawrych, Professor of History, Baylor University 

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Nymphette, I think I love you

It’s getting close to the day I see a printed copy of the Biographical Dictionary back from the printers. As ever, excitement mixed with some trepidation, especially since I have not seen the proof.

I was looking for typographic adornments or glyphs to use in the design and found Nymphette. Perfectly named and perfectly shaped. Can’t wait to see it in print – for real.


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Launch of ‘Birth of Albania’

It’s always good to see a project come to fruition, especially one that you – and many others – have put a lot of work into: in my case, the design and production of the book. So it was great to attend the launch party for The Birth of Albania at the Albanian Embassy in London last week.

Written by Nicola Guy, the book explores how an independent Albania first came into existence, and how later actions during and after the first World War by the Great Powers in partitioning ethnic Albanian territory gave rise to problems that are still unresolved.

Fittingly the book is published, by IB Tauris in association with The Centre For Albanian Studies, in the centenary year of the declaration of the Independence of Albania (from the Ottoman Empire), in Valona on November 28th 1912.

The book is set in Adobe Caslon Pro, a font that I think works really well for books. The front cover features a detail of an illustration originally used on the front cover of the Italian journal La Tribuna in 1914, and depicts the 1914 uprising.

In the photo above Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, is speaking, with His Excellency Mal Berisha, Charge d’Affaires at the Albanian Embassy in London, at left and the author, Nicola Guy, to the right of the picture.

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Aubrey Herbert

The Aubrey Herbert book launch at Portcullis House, with Kate (far right) “looking Albanian.”

Aubrey Herbert was one of a kind, and described by John Buchan (who based the character Sandy Arbuthnot in Greenmantle on Herbert) as

The most extraordinary combination of tenderness and gentleness, with the most insane gallantry that I have ever known – a sort of survivor from crusading times.

Very good to see the book – Albania’s Greatest Friend: Aubrey Herbert and the Making of Modern Albania: Diaries and Papers 1904-1923 – finally in print and available, overseen, as ever, by my good and indefatigable friend Bejtullah, prime mover at the Centre for Albanian Studies.

Published by I B Tauris and The Centre for Albanian Studies. Editors Jason Tomes and Bejtullah Destani. Book design by westrowc

[Photo by Jeni, for which many thanks]