Eric Gill was born in Brighton, Sussex, the son of a clergyman. Gill trained as an architect but chose to embark in adult life as a carver and painter of inscriptional lettering. In due course he also became a sculptor, a wood engraver and a type designer, in which field he was unsurpassed. His name adorns several typefaces, while others he designed remain among the most beautiful available. He was a dedicated controversialist; he wrote sixteen books and numerous pamphlets and articles; and throughout his life he experimented with modes of living, setting up communes and founding Guilds of artists and craftsmen. In all this, Gill was concerned to think out the relationship between art and work and life, man, society and God. In The Four Gospels (1931) and The Canterbury Tales (1929-31) that Gill designed and illustrated for The Golden Cockerel Press, the eroticism of some of his subject-matter is matched only by the chastity of his style. He was supremely the printer’s engraver, never a printmaker; his engraving style was evolved so as to sit with type to perfection. His influence on the development of wood engraving was, for better or worse, profound.

Out of the Wood: British Woodcuts and Wood Engravings 1890 - 1945, The British Council 1991

Further reading:
Eric Gill, Autobiography, Jonathan Cape, London, 1940
Christopher Skelton, Eric Gill The Engravings, The Herbert Press, London, 1983