A rake's progress : a poem in five sections

David Posner

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London: Lion and Unicorn Press, 1967

Physical Description

[82] p. : ill. (col.) ; 37 x 39 cm (single sheet)

General Note

Text printed in grey and red
This book has been printed and bound by the Lion and Unicorn Press at the Royal College of Art, London, SW7. The text is set in 18pt Century Schoolbook and the two-colour halftone plates were made by Engravers Guild Ltd., London. The paper is Dual White Proven Art by Wiggins Teape Ltd. Designed by John Tomlinson. [colophon]

Summary Note

The plates, David Hockney writes: “These etchings were begun in London in 1961 after a visit to the United States. My intention was to make eight plates, keeping the titles originally invented by Hogarth, but moving the setting to New York. The Royal College, on seeing me start work, suggested extending the series so as to incorporate the plates in a book of reproductions which might be printed by the Lion and Unicorn Press; accordingly, I set out to make twenty-four plates, but later reduced the total to sixteen, retaining the numbering from one to eight and most of the titles in the original series. Altogether I made about thirty-five plates of which nineteen were abandoned, thus leaving these sixteen in the published set. No 7 and 7a were etched at the Pratt Graphic Workshop in New York City, the others at the Royal College of Art from 1961, to 1963.”

The poem. The Lion and Unicorn Press felt that an American text would be the most suitable accompaniment to David Hockney’s engravings and Hockney was asked if he knew anyone who might like to write one. He immediately suggested a young American poet, David Posner, who had admired his work but whom he had not at that time met. The Press therefore commissioned David Posner to write a poem on A Rake’s Progress which was to be a work in its own right and not necessarily an illustration to Davide Hockney’s engravings. [title-page verso]

Binding Note

Binding: text block sewn through the side. With black, buckram-covered boards, with title on front in grey, and orange, illustrated paper pastedowns. Boards not attached to textblock.

Name as Subject

William Hogarth, Rake's Progress


David Hockney RA, illustrator
The Lion and Unicorn Press, printer/publisher