Eric Gill died in 1940 so his books are out of copyright in quite a lot of countries.
His An Essay on Typography
is well worth reading, but it really needs to be seen in the way he both wrote and designed it. It is set in a typeface, Joanna, whuich he designed himself and which was first used in this book. The book is (inter
a great deal of alia
) about typography and the design of written/inscribed/printed letters more generally.
You can see selections from it, as published, here
. In addition to the typeface and the way the book is presented, it also contains a substantial number of illustrations.
It's rather a large PDF (my copy is a bit more than 6.5 MB) but I think it ought to be readily available somewhere, even if only as a PDF.
The book is something of a manifesto, and something of a rant against industrialisation. Even for the non-typographer it has much that is interesting: and besides making very frequent use of the ampersand, it probably has the largest pilcrow-to-word ratio of any printed book.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how to make it more widely available without emasculating it?