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Hestan Isle Press


Rather Special Hand printed Books.

A selection of hand-made books from the Hestan Isle Press


The books are letterpress printed by Peter and Frances Grant on the Hand-press from individual letters of metal type, and all are signed limited editions.

Some are Twelfth-scale books, some are Miniature Books, some larger.

Some are illustrated by Frances Grant (who also designs the slip-cases), and all are hand-bound using artificial leathers, book-cloths, and interesting papers.



Books Worth Keeping!

The books are bought by collectors all over Britain, America, Canada and Europe, and some can be found in


The Edward Clark Rare Book Collection at Edinburgh’s Napier University,

The University of Virginia Library,

The University of Iowa  Special Collection,

The City Library of Lijubljana in Slovenia, 

The Associazione Cultural Art Gallery Museum, Paese, Italy,

The Victoria and  Albert Museum Library, London,

The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh,

and the Scottish Poetry Library, also in Edinburgh.


Member of the Fine Press Book Association





All of our books are available to buy on the SHOP pages on the left.

Buy through Paypal, or if you prefer just send us a cheque (P & F Grant) to the address in the Delivery and Payment page.










Let this evening summer sun

a calming breeze – a glass of wine –

a book of lines that sometimes rhyme

define the joy of timeless time


In “time out of mind”, our first full-colour publication, ten of John Horn’s best poems on the subject of “time” are presented alongside some of Frances Grant’s paintings.

Some pages have decorations from relief blocks printed in turquoise ink.

The A5 pamphlet is sewn into card covers with a gold stencil decoration on the front cover.


Open edition.                                                                   time out of mind £14

                                                                             Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy





‘A’ for ‘orses

‘B’ for mutton

‘C’ for yourself


Also known as a Cockney alphabet.

The text pages are printed by letterpress in two colours and are accordion-folded, and then glued into a hard cover, closed with a ribbon.


A quirky and original gift.


 There are only three copies left            A SILLY ALPHABET           £15

                                                                   Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



‘The red-headed dancer in the black stockings accepts a drink from one of the customers.’

Written by Peter Grant, this is an evocation of a café in Montmartre in the nineteenth century. The illustrations and cover image are by Frances Grant. Letterpress printed in red with line images in a different colour, in an edition of 30.                                   

                                                                       CHAT NOIR.     £16.50 in the UK


                                                                                Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘Our English Housewife shall then look to her bakehouse . . .’

From Gervase Markham’s “The English Housewife 1675, this booklet describes the making of rather large quantities of bread both for the household and for the household servants.

 A unique and amusing gift.

A6 format.

 Letterpress printed in an edition of 100.              

                                                      HOW TO BAKE BREAD.      £6.50

                                                                                Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



‘We will suppose the farmer has a copper, which, when filled…holds six and thirty gallons’

From Thomas Hale’s “Compleat body of Husbandry” 1758, this booklet is very popular with the gentlemen for some reason!

Letterpress printed in an edition of 100, this is an ideal small gift, or Christmas stocking-filler.

A6 format.                                        HOW TO BREW BEER.     £6.50

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy









'Go placidly amid the noise and haste...'

A Classic text popular in the 1960's and still selling well.

A6 booklet Sewn into blue card covers .

                                                                  DESIDERATA         £6.50

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘Most of the city sleeps, but cabmen, wakeful as ever, cluster in a pool of light thrown by the Teastand.’

This mystery tale takes place around a tea-stall in London which is frequented mainly by Cabbies.

When Sam, one of the Cabbies disappears, is it alien abduction, just a ghost story, or a case of amnesia?

Written, and letterpress printed by Peter Grant, the book is illustrated by Frances Grant.

Bound in white bookcloth with a cover illustration in two colours. Limited edition of 30 copies.

Size 65 x 72 mm.                   

                                    FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.     £10

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



Or you can buy an A6 booklet of the same story. Landscape format. 300gsm card cover in cream with illustration in brown. Letterpress printed. 

                                    FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.     £6.50

                                                                                Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘Dark forms of gulls against the storm-swept sky’

A selection of poems by Arthur Wellings, inspired by the area around the Wirral Estuary.

Wellings original book was privately printed in 1926.

This selection is letterpress printed in black and light blue on Gerstaecker paper, and has page decorations by Frances Grant.

Size 140 x 97 mm.

Limited edition of 45.                                 SEA AND SKY.        £16

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



‘London Bridge is broken down. Gold is won, and bright renown.’

The Bridge suffered the ravages by wind, water, fire and frost, in its

long and chequered history.

The text is letterpress printed in red and black, and the 21cm square book is illustrated with linocuts printed in black.

Extra page decorations are printed in blue.

All the illustrations were printed using a Victorian screw-press. 

Limited edition of only 28 copies.                          

                                                       OLD LONDON BRIDGE.   £45

                                                                                Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘I heard the ripple washing in the reeds, and the wild water tapping on the crag.’

Anecdotes of 21 towns and villages on the A30.

The book is illustrated with silk-screen prints - printed in ochre.

The cover decoration is by Frances Grant.

Limited edition of 30 copies. Size 150 x 110 mm                      

                                                        ROAD TO LANDS END.    £17.50

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


 ‘Truly I can sing my own songs of the hardships I suffered on my journeying.’

A new translation of the Anglo-Saxon poem, describing the hardships of life at sea during this period of history.

Letterpress printed in three colours, with a decorated cover.

Limited edition of 30 copies. Size 195 x 130 mm.            

                                                                       THE SEAFARER. £20

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


 ‘Oft the solitary one prays for his Creator’s mercy.’

A new translation of the familiar Anglo-Saxon poem.

Letterpress printed in three colours.

Cover and Title page decoration by Frances Grant.

Limited edition of 30 copies. Size 195 x 130 mm.       

                                                                  THE WANDERER.   £20

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy




‘An ancient story I’ll tell you anon, Of a notable Prince that was called King John…’

An amusing anonymous poem with twelve illustrations by Frances Grant (most in two colours). The text is printed on cream paper by letterpress, and the images are from relief blocks made in our workshop. A5 booklet in red card covers with title and image in gold thermographically enhanced. Edition of 28 signed by the printer and by the illustrator. 


"Many thanks for a very amusing and finely presented text." D.B.,Edinburgh                                                             

                         KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF CANTERBURY.     £16

                                                                              Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘I’m quite content when I wake up

And look at the world in the morning’

An amusing poem about the Irish ‘simple life’ by Frances Grant, who also did the illustration for the cover.

 A6 poetry pamphlet, letterpress printed on an ADANA “eight-five”and  sewn into Bockingford cover.

Limited edition of twenty.     

                                                          I LOOK AT IT THIS WAY   £5

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy






'Thou white swan, Sad thy condition, Pitiful thy condition, Thy blood flowing.’

Alexander Carmichael collected hundreds of prayers, blessings and poems from the Highlands and Islands, in the nineteenth century. These two beautiful poems – The White Swan and Song of the Swan - are perfect examples.

The text is letterpress printed.

Illustrations  (by Frances Grant) are laser printed.

Limited edition of 30 copies.  Size 125 x 145 mm.

Bound in white bookcloth with title and decoration in silver                           

                          THE WHITE SWAN and song of the swan        £15

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy




in the beginning cool air

                           bequeaths small orbs of dew

                                                          and gentle tears of morning rain' 

A beautifully evocative poem about a river’s journey to the sea. Written by John Horn
Two illustrations plus a cover decoration by Frances Grant.

28 copies signed and numbered on Gerstaecker paper sewn into blue Bockingford covers. Size 15.5 x 13 cms.

This poetry pamphlet has been short-listed for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award at the National Library of Scotland for 2016.

                                                                                                                              JOURNEY   £10

                                                      Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy                      









Three hundred horses galloping,

Three hundred helmeted men,

Led by a flying Dragon

An open-mouthed whistling Dragon.


A poetry pamphlet containing this poem by Frances Grant, who also provided the cover illustration.

The poem describes the use of the Draconarius in a Roman battle against the Britons.

The Draconarius is a decorated Dragon's head mounted on a long pole, carried into battle by a soldier on foot or on horseback. Inside the head are reeds, which, when turned into the wind, whistle or scream.

The pamphlet is letterpress printed in a limited edition of only twenty copies.

105mm x 150mm. Glued into card covers.

                                  The Whistling Dragon    £7.50

                                                                              Click on Online Shop to buy


'It's a beautiful June evening

O'er the hills the lark is calling

But a million midges murmur -

We are waiting - we are waiting!

An amusing poem about the dreaded Scottish Midge by Frances Grant.

Letterpress Printed.Second edition of 35. Sewn into card covers.

Size 125 mm x 75mm 

                                     The Fighting of the Midge £5

                                                                          Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy




the train on the track

Stations and sidings,

Red-brick houses back to back








An eight-page poetry pamphlet printed by letterpress.

This amusing yet poignant poem, by Peter Grant, tells of a day-trip by steam train in the 1950's.

Sewn into a card cover with two full-colour illustrations by Frances Grant, and digitally printed.

148mm x 105mm. Edition of 40 copies


                                                                        A DAY BY THE SEA   £5

                                                                             Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘Dark is yonder town, Dark are those within, You are the brown swan going in among them.’

An ancient Wedding Song, collected by Alexander Carmichael from the Highlands in the Nineteenth century.

A beautiful and unique Wedding gift for the 21st century.

Letterpress printed in red and brown with a decorative cover. First edition of 30 is sold out. This second limited edition of 20 copies is printed on Saunders Waterford paper. 

Celebration is a poem from Andrew Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica.   Size 40 x60 mm.                                       CELEBRATION.       £12.50

                                                                              Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy








They do say, the Wise Ones, That all eternity, is contained in the white waved lines ‘tween the sea shore and the sea.’

This beautiful poem by Frances Grant, is letterpress printed as an A6 poetry card, and also available under the title EPONA as a small booklet 110 x75 mm.                

                                                                   THE WHITE HORSE.    £4

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


 ‘pink thrift and baby birds’

An evocative midsummer celebrationary poetry pamphlet by Frances Grant.

 Hand printed . Second Limited edition of only 34 copies.

103 mm x 148 mm

                                      SLIPPING BETWEEN THE ELEMENTS  £ 8

                                                                          Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


Jesus sent His Apostles to all parts of the known world, and Thomas was sent by Jesus to India. At first he was reluctant to go, but eventually agreed. But he took with him the beliefs of Jesus and His family - beliefs which included the concept of a female/male deity.

This thought-provoking laser printed booklet is hand-sewn into a   letter-press printed cover and thermo-graphically enhanced.

A6 format. Open edition.   THOMAS AND JESUS.     OUT OF STOCK AT PRESENT



‘Wisdom is radiant and unfading.’

Extracts from this Apocryphal book of the Bible which describe the attributes of Sophia Goddess of Wisdom, ‘opening the door to eternal life, and thereby the attainment of happiness’. Originally written in Greek about 110BC, these extracts are letterpress printed in red and black with page decorations silkscreened in a third colour.        

It is hand-sewn and bound in white Ecorel leathercloth, this book is in a limited edition of only 29. Size 250 x 155 mm.                        

                                                  WISDOM OF SOLOMON.       £20

                                                                              Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘A Virtuous woman who can find? For her price is far beyond rubies.’

From Proverbs Chapter 31. Letterpress printed. A6 format.      

                                                         FAR BEYOND RUBIES.     £6.50

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


These next three books are taken from ancient texts found at Nag-Hamaddi in Egypt in 1945

 ‘I am the first and the last, the honoured one and the scorned one.’

Also known as “Perfect Mind” this is a Gnostic text similar to Proverbs where the Divine Mother is speaking as the Goddess Wisdom.

A miniature book measuring 57 x73 mm.

Letterpress printed in red and black, marbled endpapers.

Limited edition of 50 copies.

                                                                            THUNDER.         £11

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


 ‘I am the thought that dwells in the light, the movement that dwells in the All.’

Also called “Protennoia” this is one of thirteen papyrus scrolls found in Nag-Hamaddi in 1945. The poem is spoken in the voice of a female deity.

The text pages are assembled so that they “pop-out” as the pages are turned.

Bound in pink suede-effect book cloth.

Size 120 x 120 mm. Letterpress printed in two colours.

Limited edition of 50

                                                                 FIRST THOUGHT.      £15

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


   'I am the Thought that dwells in the Light'

 Also known as Protennoia, the First Thought is one of thirteen papyrus books found in a jar in a cave near Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945.

It is a poem spoken in the voice of a female Divinity.

Edition of 50 copies Letterpress Printed in two colours.

Size 75 mm x 58 mm

Marbled card covers.                              FIRST THOUGHT.      £8

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘There is a new understanding about the real meaning of Christianity, and many books have been published about the New Theology.’

With over one hundred line illustrations, this 275 page book is digitally printed and perfect bound in a square 210 mm format. The cover also features a colour picture of The Earth Goddess, or Lady Wisdom.

Lady Wisdom – the Lady of the Doves – was the Goddess believed in by the family of Jesus and Jesus’ followers. They also believed in the Father God El, rather than the God Yahweh, and this book attempts to tell the whole story.

Independent scholar Frances J. Grant has spent several years researching, writing and illustrating this beautifully produced book.

                      THE HOLY SPIRIT - LADY OF THE DOVES.        £45

                                                                              Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy

Some readers’ comments-

“I do find Frances writing quite a breakthrough at the deep level”

Julian Watson, Gallery owner.

“I've just read your book - it's fantastic! Most fascinating, quite academic, and very rev-ealing!”  Brenda Green, Author and poet.


 ‘Quelle’. The Hidden Gospel

It had been noticed for hundreds of years that there were numerous parallel passages in the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke, but it required the tenacity of Canon B.H. Streeter almost 100 years ago to extract the verses concerned and to re-establish that St. Matthew and St. Luke used St. Mark's Gospel plus an original text available at the time.

Streeter referred to this original document as "Q".  "Q" being a shortened form of "Quelle", meaning 'the source' in German.

It is important to remember that many thousands of Jewish people were on Jesus' side of the arguement. The arguement, which clearly appears in "Q", was with the Jewish authorities.

As these first writings were in use throughout the Roman Empire for at least the first thirty years after the death of Jesus, many of the congregation listening to "Q" would have been 'living witnesses' to Jesus Himself. So these writings are likely to be extremely accurate.

These words were thought to be of such importance by St. Matthew and St. Luke that they obviously felt compelled to hide these words until someone like Streeter would realise their truths.

Digitally printed 61 page booklet with commentary and illustrations by F.J.Grant.

Open edition.                   ‘QUELLE’. (THE HIDDEN GOSPEL)  £12

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



Above the door on the Minster wall

The Green Man smiles upon us all.’

Another beautiful poem written and illustrated by Frances Grant. Letterpress printed in black on Gerstaecker paper. Bound in Green leathercloth. Size 85mm x 102mm. edition of 30 copies signed by the printer and by the poet.                      

                                                              THE GREEN MAN.     £12.50

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy








We are passing clouds of the sky but not the sky

we are rolling waves of the ocean but not the ocean

we are vehicles of dreams


Three evocative poems by John Horn letterpress printed by hand on an Adana handpress.

Sewn into black card covers with blue titling. Blue Khadi endpapers. Second edition of 28 signed and numbered copies.


                                                                                                      TRIO £8.50

                                                                         Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy











‘A’ for ‘orses – ‘B’ for Mutton, etc.

See if you can work out what they all mean?

Accordion-fold which folds down to 50mm square and 25mm deep.  

Letterpress printed in two colours.

Limited edition of only 30 copies.  


                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


Besides the glowing Morning Star

The glorious Crescent Moon lay on her back

Resting on the deep blue of the night sky







A beautiful poem by Frances Grant about the wonderful juxtaposition of the moon, Venus, a blackbird in the Damson Tree, and the rising of the sun.

160mm x 140mm. Card covers. Letterpress printed.

One illustration also by Frances. Edition of thirty copies.

First Blush of Morning  £7                                 Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy



TINOS is a small island -

one of the Cyclades -

in the Aegean sea.

In the village of Tinos

stands the Church of the Virgin Mary.

An Icon of Mary in the Church

is known throughout the World as the source of many miracles.







This tale concerns a group of fishermen from the Greek island of Tinos who experienced a surprising miracle at first hand!

The story was mentioned in Francesco da Mosto's TV documentary "Mediterranean Voyage" - this is what inspired us to make this booklet.

This large Format booklet is Letterpress Printed and sewn into card covers.

Pictorial endpapers on blue Canford paper shows the island of Tinos.

21cm x 21cm.  Edition of 20 copies. Designed and illustrated by Frances Grant.

The Fishermen's Tale   £12                  Click on 'Online Shop' to buy.






Three twelfth scale books:


‘By the shores of Gitchee Gumee, By the shining Big Sea Water…’

A tiny twelfth-scale version of the poem.

Only 22 mm high and 27 mm wide, this ever popular and well-known poem by H.W.Longfellow is letterpress printed from photo-polymer blocks in an edition of 200 copies.

There are seventeen line illustrations by Frances Grant printed in dark brown.

                                               HIAWATHA’S CHILDHOOD.         £18

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy


‘Hamelin Town’s in Brunswick By fair Hanover City…’

Only an inch high, the full text of Robert Browning’s poem has 21 illustrations, and a dust-wrapper by Frances Grant.

Letterpress printed from photo-polymer blocks.              

                                                PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.          £18   

                                                                               Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy

“Beautiful… and a joy to hold and own”  Aylwyn Temperley


Genuine recipes from 1882.  Learn how Victorians roasted a Goose, boiled potatoes, and made white sauce amongst other things.

60 pages of text. Only 25 mm high.

 Illustration by Frances Grant.                                             

                                                         VICTORIAN COOKBOOK.  £15

                                                                           Click on ‘On line shop’  to buy

















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