Laurence Sterne's novel, Tristram Shandy, has a famous black 'mourning page' marking the demise of Yorick, one of its characters. In April 2018 we marked the 250th anniversary of Laurence Sterne's own death by printing a chapbook of black pages. Like Sterne's, they're not really black. Early editions of Tristram Shandy show how difficult it was in the eighteenth century to print a solid black page. They're a surprisingly varied and uneven, revealling the texture of the paper and sometimes the impromtu methods used to print them.
Ours are printed with blank type spaces, lino, and the wooden 'furniture' used to hold the letters in place.
By far the most proficient bit of the operation was the marbled cover (after Tristram Shandy's other famous unreadable page), produced by junior 39Steppers Ezra, Anna, Mia and Molly.