The Book Handbook
The Book Handbook

While Dropmore was a private press that was founded in 1945, its history actually starts in 1936 with a private press called Corvinus. Corvinus Press was the respected hobby press owned and operated by George Lionel Seymour Dawson-Damer (who was once Ireland’s Viscount Carlow). Corvinus published beautiful new work by authors like T. E. Lawrence, James Joyce and Wyndham Lewis, but the company was forced to cease operations when Dawson-Damer was killed in a wartime plane crash in 1944. 

Dropmore Press got its chance when newspaper-owner James Gomer Berry purchased most of the assets required to open a private press from the now defunct Corvinus Press, including all of the necessary printing equipment, paper, and type - and even their press-man. 

While Dropmore continued to be a private press, its directors took the publishing house in a slightly more commercial direction.  Like Corvinus before it, most of Dropmore’s publications were limited runs, usually of a less than a thousand copies.  However, their books were less flashy than those Corvinus had published years earlier, which was a product of the post-war times.  Despite appearing more like a typical trade publication of the era, they produced some very interesting works by the likes of Evelyn Waugh, T.S. Eliot and George Sitwell, and due to their limited print runs have become fairly collectible. 

Dropmore was also noted for producing quality ephemera, the most recognizable title for bibliophiles being the Book Handbook, which was dubbed "An Illustrated Quarterly for Discriminating Book Lovers" and was partly the brain child of none other than Ian Fleming.  It was this quarterly which eventually would morph into the magazine known to contemporary collectors as “The Book Collector.”

Some Gems from Dropmore

Syon House by John Buckland Wright
Syon House
by John Buckland Wright
On the Making of Gardens by George Sitwell
On the Making of Gardens
by George Sitwell
The Golfer’s Manual by H.B. Farnie
The Golfer’s Manual
by H.B. Farnie
Nursery Rhymes by Vita Sackville-West
Nursery Rhymes
by Vita Sackville-West
Thyme & Bergamot by Christopher Sandeman
Thyme & Bergamot
by Christopher Sandeman
Historian’s Holiday by Arthur Bryant
Historian’s Holiday
by Arthur Bryant
My Rod My Comfort by Robert Bruce Lockhart
My Rod My Comfort
by Robert Bruce Lockhart
Revolt of the Tartars by Thomas De Quincey
Revolt of the Tartars
by Thomas De Quincey
The Dogs of War by Edward Shanks
The Dogs of War
by Edward Shanks
The Sculptured Garland by Walter Savage Landor
The Sculptured Garland
by Walter Savage Landor
Shadow of Eros by Adrian Bury
Shadow of Eros
by Adrian Bury
Famous Trees by Richard St. Barbe Baker
Famous Trees
by Richard St. Barbe Baker
Translations and Verses by Duff Cooper
Translations and Verses
by Duff Cooper
Jan Masaryk, a personal memoir by Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart
Jan Masaryk, a personal memoir
by Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart
The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner (Corvinus Press)
The Flying Dutchman
by Richard Wagner (Corvinus Press)
The Story of Don Vincente by Holbrook Jackson (Corvinus Press)
The Story of Don Vincente
by Holbrook Jackson (Corvinus Press)

Which of these Dropmore Press treasures have you read?


But don't stop there...




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