Alan Odle was born in Deptford, London, on 12 January 1888. He studied art at the Sidney Cooper School, Canterbury and at St John’s Wood School, and in 1915-16 worked as the art editor of the short-lived periodical, The Gypsy. He lived a bohemian life, frequenting the Café Royal and soon suffering from both alcoholism and tuberculosis. His survival was due in great part to the novelist, Dorothy Richardson, whom he married in 1917. From the following year they shared their time between London and North Cornwall.

Odle exhibited at the Bruton Galleries in 1919 and soon after began work on an edition of Voltaire’s Candide, though this was not published until 1922. He also exhibited with Harry Clarke, Austin Osman Spare and John Austen at the St George’s Gallery in 1925. He illustrated various books and magazines but never completed his magnum opus, an edition of Rabelais’ Gargantua. He died in Trevone, Padstow, on 14 February 1948.

  • The Mimiambs of Herondas, Herodas, Translated by Jack Lindsay, Decorated by Alan Odle, with a Foreword by Brian Penton. (The Fanfrolico Press, London, nd [c. 1929], #351/375 [first edition, and first Fanfrolico to be printed in London]) 11 7/8" X 9 3/8", unpaginated 72pp, hardbound no DJ, original buckram-backed decorated Japanese paper boards with plain green cloth spine and gilt lettering, top edge gilt, other edges deckle, poor condition, boards show major wear, spine worn off, binding still good, boards still attached, interior pages are fine, Cloister types on Van Gelder Antique handmade paper Herodas was a Greek poet and the author of short humorous dramatic scenes in verse, written under the Alexandrian empire in the 3rd century BC. Mimes were scenes in popular life in South Italy and Sicily, written in the language of the people, vigorous with racy proverbs such as we get in other reflections of that region. The Mimes of Herodas have been known to us only since the discovery and publication of the "Kenyon", M. S. Buck, by the British Museum in 1891 (from a parchment containing 7 legible mimes half of the 8th and a fragment of the 9th).  This was Fanfrolico's first London book.  It was published "for subscribers to The Franfrolico Press". This new translation of Mimiambs of Herondas was translated by Jack Lindsay and beautifully illustrated by Alan Odle whose grotesque and subversive style was a precursor of surrealism. This is a beautiful printed book in great condition and quite rare. Fanfrolico Press, Australia’s first ‘private press’ in the arts-and-craft tradition, was founded by Jack Lindsay, P. R. Stephensen and John Kirtley, originally in North Sydney in 1923. The press specialized in printings artful, limited editions of classics and forgotten works that were suited to the extravagant style of artist like his father, artist, sculptor and author Norman Lindsay who illustrated many of their books. Fanfrolico was scornful of modernism and with its florid style determinedly backward-looking. They did surprisingly well, despite the lack of business expertise of their young, ambitious "bohemian" owners, eking out a living despite the risky move to London in 1926 and upheavals in ownership that saw the departure in 1927 of Kirtley, and then Stephenson in 1929.  Sometime in 1930 they published their last book.
  • 1601 A Tudor Fireside Conversation As Written by the Ingenuous, Virtuous and learned Mark Twain, wit., Embellished by the worthy Alan Odle, Mark Twain, illustrations Alan Odle (Land's End Press, USA, 1969, stated "At London, Printed for Subscribers Only and are to be sold at ye beare Back-Side in Maiden Lane") 12 1/2" X 9 1/2", 24pp (unpaginated), hardbound with dust jacket, blue boards with blue titles, pages, pages printed in such a way that the lower edge is uncut (six folded sheets of paper printed on one side, making up 4 pages) [Date: 1601.] Conversation, as it was the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors is the title of a humorous work by Mark Twain, first published anonymously in 1880. Edward Wagenknecht once referred to it as "the most famous piece of pornography in American literature." Its content is irreverent and vulgar rather than obscene, and its purpose seems to be comedic shock rather than erotic arousal. It would thus qualify as ribaldry rather than pornography. Twain wrote 1601 during the summer of 1876 (between writing Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), for the amusement of his closest friend, Reverend Joseph Twichell, 1601 was later first published by another friend, John Hay, who later became Secretary of State. The work circulated among printers (due to it's often archaic type font) and many small batches were printed, however the authorship of the work remained unverified until Twain finally acknowledged he wrote it in 1906.
  • The Mimiambs of Herondas, Herodas, Translated by Jack Lindsay, Decorated by Alan Odle, with a Foreword by Brian Penton. (The Fanfrolico Press, London, nd [c. 1929], #106/375 [first edition, and first Fanfrolico to be printed in London]) 11 7/8" X 9 3/8", unpaginated 72pp, hardbound no DJ, original buckram-backed decorated Japanese paper boards with plain green cloth spine and gilt lettering, top edge gilt, other edges deckle, very good condition minor wear to bottom of boards, Cloister types on Van Gelder Antique handmade paper Herodas was a Greek poet and the author of short humorous dramatic scenes in verse, written under the Alexandrian empire in the 3rd century BC. Mimes were scenes in popular life in South Italy and Sicily, written in the language of the people, vigorous with racy proverbs such as we get in other reflections of that region. The Mimes of Herodas have been known to us only since the discovery and publication of the "Kenyon", M. S. Buck, by the British Museum in 1891 (from a parchment containing 7 legible mimes half of the 8th and a fragment of the 9th).  This was Fanfrolico's first London book.  It was published "for subscribers to The Franfrolico Press". This new translation of Mimiambs of Herondas was translated by Jack Lindsay and beautifully illustrated by Alan Odle whose grotesque and subversive style was a precursor of surrealism. This is a beautiful printed book in great condition and quite rare. Fanfrolico Press, Australia’s first ‘private press’ in the arts-and-craft tradition, was founded by Jack Lindsay, P. R. Stephensen and John Kirtley, originally in North Sydney in 1923. The press specialized in printings artful, limited editions of classics and forgotten works that were suited to the extravagant style of artist like his father, artist, sculptor and author Norman Lindsay who illustrated many of their books. Fanfrolico was scornful of modernism and with its florid style determinedly backward-looking. They did surprisingly well, despite the lack of business expertise of their young, ambitious "bohemian" owners, eking out a living despite the risky move to London in 1926 and upheavals in ownership that saw the departure in 1927 of Kirtley, and then Stephenson in 1929.  Sometime in 1930 they published their last book.
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