Secret Scripture by
Book is about the memories of a near 100 years old lady, a patient inmate
of an Asylum in Sligo, west of Ireland. She was a very beautiful young lady
when the narrative opens. She secretly wrote down her recollections on pieces
of paper that she hid under a loose floorboard in her room. She was 'framed'
because the Irish (church) authorities considered her to be a willing temptation
to young men in the area, and so they incarcerated her in this mental institution
saying that she was mad; which she was not. She was looked after for fifty
years by a psychiatrist, a Dr. Grene, who also wrote down his own impressions
in his journal. The book has alternated extracts from both parties' accounts.
This was during the 'troubles' in Ireland. The colourations and details are
symbolic of the action in the novel.
Bound by Philip Smith
My binding shows the image of this person as a young woman (cut out of the
front cover of the paper-back and inlaid) and the back cover has a printed
copy of an over-painting in acrylics (photograph of a mirror image) of the
head of the woman as a very old lady. The heads have radiating 'flames' or
rays, very wild, long and irregular on the front image and short and geometricised
around the head on the back cover. Both heads are shown on black background
circles. The coloured outlining of each circle being a reference to young
and old. These portrait images are set amongst wild purple maril, with green
The covers are scarf-joined plain blue at the upper part, purple in the middle
and bright green at the lower end of the covers. Because this paperback novel
was printed wrong way of the grain this inhibits the opening of the book,
so I use a completely open spine lined only with two layers of Japanese tissue
to take the painting on the spine that connects both cover images. The fore-edge
is also painted to link the boards.
Cotton fabric reinforcing strips bridge the head and tail of the spine under
quarter-joint yokes. The end sections have gussets where re-enforcing cotton
joints are trapped and glued on the inside of the boards. The sewing is with
continuous link stitch (over tapes under the yokes and link-stitch only for
two middle sewing stations. The portrait heads are placed to look across
the spine at each other (as they are doing in the story).