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Crowning glory

January 31st, 2015 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest

R.L. Allan has been sending copies of the no. 53 Longprimer all over the world since it was first published in 1952, 63 years ago. In that time it has become a favourite with many readers, renowned for its bold, clear type and our high quality leather bindings. It is certainly our flagship Bible – and, incidentally, our best seller.

Available exclusively from Allan’s for some years now, and published by us under our licence from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Her Majesty’s Printers for Scotland, it was clear when Dominique and I took over at Allan’s a year ago that of all the Bibles in our range, for the Longprimer above all we would have to be very sure indeed before we made any changes.

How do you improve on the best? That was the question we had to wrestle with. A year on, we feel we are ready to start at least on answering it. The Longprimer Sovereign edition is part of that answer.

(Just to be absolutely clear, the existing standard size Longprimer will continue – and in fact we are awaiting a reprint which itself is moving onto a better quality 36gsm paper from the current 32gsm. There are no plans to mess with the fundamentals that have made the 53 range such a stalwart of our list.)

So then, what is the Longprimer Sovereign? It is a new printing of the existing Longprimer text, with the text image retained exactly as is but the added luxury of a wider margin all round, and particularly along the bottom and on the outer edge of the page, which is now a full inch wide. Some publishers might count this as a wide margin, but for us the Brevier Clarendon WM fulfils that role, so calling it an ‘extra margin’ edition is as far as we’ll go…

The point of the additional margin is not so much to cram notes into (though obviously you can if you want) but to enhance the beauty of this classic double column reference setting by giving the text image more room to breathe – and we have printed it on a writable 38gsm paper for maximum opacity and thus minimum show-through.

In developing this new edition it has of course been critically important to ensure that the familiar and well-loved elements of the 53 Longprimer are retained – but we have also been able to identify some areas for improvement. Here are a few of the key carry-overs and changes:

* The classic ‘highland goatskin’ full yapp binding style is retained for all editions (NB. 15% more goatskin is required to bind each Bible!)
* Printed on Tervakoski Thinopaque high-opacity 38gsm writable Bible paper for minimum show-through – print and paper cost is double that of the ‘standard’ Longprimer
* Text page image retained as existing Longprimer at 10/11pt but with increased margin
* Our UK bindery’s sumptuous red under gold art gilding (or blue under silver for the ‘Navy Blue Silver Line’ edition), which is of course one of our trademark features
* Leather-lining and triple ribbons in our classic colourway combinations (silver ribbons on the ‘Navy Blue Silver Line’)
* New design for Presentation Pages and Family Record with Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired ‘Glasgow Rose’ motif, printed on 120gsm Conqueror paper
* Classic full colour Oxford Bible maps now reprinted for the larger format, also with increased margin
* Revised notepaper uses improved paper (60gsm vs. 50gsm) and 5mm rather than 4mm spaced lines, now printed in navy blue to match presentation pages/ribbons etc.

It is our hope and prayer that this new variation of the classic Longprimer Bible will prove as valuable as its sister editions in enabling many people around the world to read and study the Scriptures in greater depth and to apply its words in their lives.

Allan 53 Longprimer

Allan 53 Longprimer

The title page of the new Allan 63 Longprimer Sovereign sheets

The title page of the new Allan 63 Longprimer Sovereign sheets

A spread from the new Allan 63 Longprimer Sovereign sheets

A spread from the new Allan 63 Longprimer Sovereign sheets



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