Heritage Press: This is the Hour by Lion Feuchtwanger (1956)
December 10, 2010 Comments Off on Heritage Press: This is the Hour by Lion Feuchtwanger (1956)
This is the Hour: A Novel about Goya by Lion Feuchtwanger (1956)
Sandglass Number V:21
Artwork: Reproductions of Francisco Goya’s paintings, photographed by Jose Loygorri and selected and arranged by J.B. Neumann
Introduced by Carl Van Doren
Heritage Press Exclusive: This is the fourth and final book in the Heritage Club’s Great Master Novels series (that designation is mine) illustrated by the original artists that the novel is based upon.
Click images to see larger versions.
Binding (front) – Apparently I never wrote anything about this book the first time, so I’m fixing that now. This is the Hour was the last Heritage Press title in their “Grand Masters” line (which is my distinction), reprinting classic biographies or novels about legendary painters, and supplementing them with that artist’s body of work. This came out considerably later than the first three in the series — much like many other plans George Macy had cooked up, the second World War wrecked havoc upon this proposed line of exclusives. These were put on the backburner due to the majority of the artwork these books were utilizing were in Europe, and the war with Nazi Germany made it far too dangerous to attempt replicating them for the series. Between the first book, Irving Stone’s Lust for Life: A Novel of Vincent Van Gogh (1936), and the publication of Feuchtwanger’s This is the Hour, twenty years had passed by. The two books in between were Dmitri Merejcovski’s The Romance of Leonardo Di Vinci (1937) and Hendrik Von Loon’s R. v. R. The Life of Rembrandt van Rijn (1938). Macy passed away in 1956, and with his death also saw the end of this series. I suppose Helen Macy didn’t see a need to reissue contemporary works on artists with their artwork within anymore, and it’s kind of understandable. Some of these works were issued in bookshops with dustjackets under the “Heritage Reprint” label; the R. v. R. on the blog is an example of such a book. R. v. R. also showed a printing history; if only all Heritage titles were kind enough to do such a thing! Collectors would have a much easier time unraveling the web of editions, that they would.
Example of the Text
With this series of books, I will make an exception to my usual illustrations rules and only provide one example of the interior text, with the reasoning that Goya’s art is readily accessible online, and nothing in here is exclusive to this text as far as I am aware.
Personal Notes: This particular book was revolutionary to me because it opened up the sudden realization that the Heritage Press operated on its own at times, showing me that following the LEC checklist alone would not be a sufficient method of keeping track of these books. It was purchased in Mariposa, CA at an antique shop sometime in 2008. Since then the store closed, and now the building it was housed in has gone up in flames. *sigh* The book was lacking the slipcase, but did include the Sandglass, explaining some interesting history (which is below). I sold this off a while ago, as I had no desire to actually read it.
Sandglass (right click and select Open in New Tab to see full size):
Updated 7/30/2014 – JF