This little book, by a master of the craft of woodworking (whose own furniture pieces now command handsome sums as valuable antiques), was published in 1918 and intended to be followed by further volumes. One must surmise, however, that life and work supervened, as this was the only volume ever issued. It deals with first principles, choice of material, design, selection and cutting of trees, and lastly, how to make a bench or table. Volume II would have gone on to instruct the pupil in the making of a door, tools and machinery, dovetail joints, how to make a chair, chest or cupboard, and finally 'utility, ornament & design'. Written in a detailed and clearly-understandable style, and illustrated with woodcuts, for which the author thanks the artist Eric Gill for the input of his expertise in this process.
Arthur Romney Green (1872-1945) was a prolific writer of poetry, but realised that he would have to earn a living, and trained in chemistry and physics at Mason College, Birmingham. He taught in South Africa for three years, but was already crafting boats and furniture, and returned to England in 1900 to set up a workshop, first in Bosham on the Sussex coast, moving in 1902 to Haslemere, Surrey. He continued to teach, and in the 1930s he taught woodworking skills in workshops for the unemployed organised by the Rural Industries Bureau. He joined the Independent Labour Party, and established an active branch in Haslemere.
Our copy is in surprisingly good general condition, given its age, bound in attractive grey marbled boards with black cloth spine (no dust wrapper) and title in black lettering on label pasted to front cover. Spine quite rubbed, and with softness at top & bottom. Cover edges rubbed, and corners bumped. With 21 engravings of tools by Eric Gill and 10 by R. John Beedham. Pages are roughcut (p. 49 is missing the bottom corner). Binding is firm with no loose pages; all pages clean but a little browned at edges; brown stain on pp.86-7 indicates use of a paper bookmark. A list of errata is printed on the reverse of the contents page. Bright endpapers indicate that this is a contemporary rebind, the original binding being paper card.