Friday, June 11, 2021

Anne Frank and the Pennyroyal Press

A print by Joseph Goldyne of Anne Frank looking out a windowAnne Frank was 13 years old when she began keeping a journal about her experience as a Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis during World War II. She had been given an autograph book with a lock on it for her birthday on June 11th, 1942, and decided to turn it into a diary. For over two years, Frank chronicled her life in seclusion as a teenager who was going through the usual sorts of experiences and challenges associated with that phase of life. Three months after her fifteenth birthday, Anne and the other nine residents of the secret annex were discovered and arrested by the Nazis. She was sent to Auschwitz with her family and then later on to Bergen-Belsen with her sister Margot, where both died from typhus. Of the Frank family, only their father Otto survived the war. However, thanks to Otto's secretary, Miep Gies, Anne's diary also survived, was published in 1947, and soon became one of the world's best-known books.

Here at Rauner, we have a beautiful letter press edition of Anne's diary that was printed by the Pennyroyal Press in 1985 as a collaboration with Jewish Heritage Publishing. Our copy is number twenty-six of a limited run of three hundred and fifty. The text was set by the Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vermont, a company that was started by Rocky Stinehour '51. The gorgeous aquatints in the book were created by Joseph Goldyne and evoke a sense of enclosure, isolation, and loneliness. To see our copy, come to Rauner and ask for Presses P372fran.