1907 – 1944
George Lionel Seymour, Viscount
Carlow, born in 1907, was the only son of the 6th Earl of Portarlington. The family had a house in London as well as Emo Court in Ireland, but used to come to Ireland twice every year for an extended
visit. It was decided to close up Emo Court in 1914, at the start of World
War I, and the house was subsequently sold in 1920, so the Viscount never lived
there after his childhood. In the 1920s he wrote his short but informative and
amusing diary about his memories of visiting Emo Court when he was a child, probably
aged about six or seven.
Carlow was a gifted and versatile man who was interested in sailing, foreign
travel, book collecting and printing. He spoke nine languages, and was a RAF
pilot at the start of World War II, moving later into the Intelligence section.
Having been on many diplomatic missions in Europe and South America, he was
killed in 1944 while on his way to Yugoslavia. His father, the 6th
Earl, died in 1959; the 7th Earl is the 6th Earl’s
grandson, Viscount Carlow’s son, who was born in 1938.
Viscount Carlow founded the Corvinus Press in London, with the intention of
producing books “beautiful beyond all those yet produced”. Not a large number
of books were printed - only 58, and only five in editions of more than 100
copies. Some of these were magnificently bound in richly coloured morocco
leather with elegant decoration.
Lawrence was a close friend – Carlow was at his deathbed in 1935 – and so it
was possible for the Corvinus Press to produce an
especially beautiful edition of Lawrence’s Two Arabic Folk Tales in 1939. There was also an edition of James
Joyce’s Storiella as She is Syung,
and a copy of Walter de la Mare’s Poems.
Other authors include Edmund Blunden, Wyndham Lewis
and Stefan Zweig.
the books from the Corvinus Press were produced in
the typeface known as Corvinus Light. To see what
this looked like, go to Google Books, and put in ‘Corvinus
Light’ (copyright page).