19 NOVEMBER 1954, Page 16

City and Suburban

necessary not to curb him or frustrate him so that he can say, " They have spoilt my church." ' I hope those wise and humbling remarks will be heard beyond East Anglia, for so far they have only received local publicity.

Book Prize I wish some benevolent public body or some very rich man who is making his will would consider the idea of providing money for an annual prize to publishers who have produced during the past twelve months the most consistently attractive- looking hooks. The prize-givers should not take into consider- ation the subjects of the (books they judge, nor even dust wrappers and illustrations. They should judge on binding, paper, type, printing, legibility and the proportion of type area to page. Certainly some publishers have a house style. I think it can at times be too aggressive. The admirable Every. man Library, for instance, despite efforts to modernise it, still smacks of the Williar. Morris tradition of the beginning of the century and goes all right with Arthurian legends, but seems too arty and crafty for Jane Austen. Again, you call always tell a book published by Jonathan Cape. Each hears so strongly the publisher's typographic personality that I feel Mr. Cape must have written all the books he publishes him- self--until, of course, 1 start to read them. Then, must all Gollancz books have yellow dust jackets and be printed on 3 kind of blotting paper ? Apparently not, for I notice that the charming Gollancz pamphlet about Bishop Woods of Lichfield, which was edited by Janet Stone, looks like one of the most ' chaste and tasteful productions of one of the University presses. Anyhow, the standard of English book production has been so high in the past that I am sure some public recognition of good standards in British publishing should be given by some- body. I think I would give this year's prize to Rupert Hart' Davis.