James Mosley

Caslon and the English typographic tradition

A century ago Caslon was the only politically-correct type for type-conscious Britons. To Americans The Declaration of Independence made Caslon politically acceptable in another way. James Mosley demystifies the man and his types, with a glance at the contemporary competition, and at Caslon's present digital status.

James Mosley is Visiting Professor in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, and a member of the faculty of the Rare Book School held at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. From 1958 until May 2000 he was Librarian of St Bride Printing Library, London.

His recent work includes an annotated facsimile edition of the Manuel typographique (1764–6) of Fournier le jeune, and the curating in 1999 of an exhibition relating to the origins of the sanserif letter in 18th-century England at Sir John Soane's Museum, London, entitled Primitive types. He has recently edited a facsimile edition of the first German handbook of wood-engraving, punchcutting and stereotyping, Kurtze Anleitung von Form- und Stahl- Schneiden (Erfurt, J. M. Funcke, 1740) issued by the Lehrdruckerei, Technische Universität, Darmstadt. His latest publication is the first list to be made of Italian type specimens before 1861, published in the current issue of the bibliographical journal La Bibliofilia.