Heritage Press: The Poems of W.B. Yeats (1970)

December 16, 2010 § 2 Comments

The Poems of W.B. Yeats (1970)
Unknown Volume Number (I lack a Sandglass for this one – help would be appreciated!)
Artwork: Drawings by Robin Jacques
Selected, Edited, and with an Introduction by William York Tindall

Part of the LEC/Heritage Press British Poet Masters series (my own designation)
Heritage Press Reprint of LEC # 425 /38th Series V. 3 in 1970

Click images to see larger versions.

Front Binding – Graced with a trio of drawings of two swans surrounded by roses on both sides. This is a former library copy, which you will notice library stamps and numbering on the later pictures. I sold it off a while ago and hope to reacquire a nicer copy. I did not have a Sandglass for this, so the book’s designer is unknown to me.  If you have that info, please let me know.

W.B. Yeats is one of Ireland’s premiere poets (if not the premiere poet), and the Limited Editions Club gave him his due in two editions, this and a collection of Irish Folk Tales he edited and introduced, which was printed in 1973.

Spine – An atrocious white-out blotch on the spine showcases it was a library book at one time.

Title Page – Jacques’ illustrations are pretty incredible. He only did two books for the LEC, this and Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, which preceded this by eight years. He was a fairly prominent book illustrator in the ’60’s and ’70’s. I’ve seen his work in a few other books in the bookshops I’ve worked at. Anyway, this particular copy originally belonged to a family named the Sampsons, who donated it among many others to the Livingston, California Library after the owner’s death. Well, that’s what I gather from the library stamp. I’ve had The Poems of Shakespeare and The Poems of Robert Browning in my collection, as well as spotting a few others in my library check-outs.

Page 24

Page 95

The lighting was not in my favor the day I took these, but I no longer have the book.  I’ll update these when I reacquire it.

Personal Notes – This, The Poems of Shakespeare and The Poems of Robert Browning all ended up landing at a college anthropology club book sale while my wife and I were members of the club. I paid $1 each for them (and got two for free, The Song of Roland and Henrik Ibsen’s Three Plays), so it was a fairly good haul, despite the library markings. I gave the Browning book to a dear friend of mine who gave me a different Browning Heritage Press book, The Ring and the Book. I would love to have a copy that is not an ex-library copy. I find this book to be quite enchanting, and Jacques’ art is quite insane and awesome. I sold it off to aid in my purchasing of The Shaving of Shagpat.

Django6924 chips in this information on the LEC version of the book:

The LEC edition was the third volume in the 38th Series, which ran from January 1970 to April 1971. The edition was designed by John Dreyfus and printed at The Thistle Press. The full page B&W drawings by Jacques were hand-colored in the studios of Walter Fischer (and are lovely), and the book is bound in quarter green morocco leather and green linen boards. A black oval embossed portrait (in what appears to be leather) of Yeats on the front cover is the only decoration on the binding. (I must say, I wish instead of the portrait they had embossed the drawing of the wild swans at Coole that the Heritage book used–frankly Yeats would not have approved the likeness of him.)

I am seeking some info for this book – namely, the designer of it and the Sandglass volume number.  If you have that info, let me know through the comments here or at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

Updated 5/28/2012 – JF

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§ 2 Responses to Heritage Press: The Poems of W.B. Yeats (1970)

  • Jack says:

    Jerry
    From Mr Bussacco’s Sandglass Companion for 1960-1983:
    “The Poems of W.B. Yeats is the sixth in our series of British poets, the other volumes having been devoted to Burns, Keats, Shakespeare, Donne, and Browning. The series is of uniform height, with harmonizing shelfback schemes, but each volume has its own individual typography, specially worked out by our English friend, John Dreyfus. As our members are aware, he is Typographical Advisor both to the Cambridge University Press and to the Monotype Corporation, as well as European Consultant to The Heritage Club. In designing the Yeats volume, Dreyfus chose for the body type English Monotype Walbaum, in the twelve-point size with one point of leading between the lines. Walbaum is a “modern” face created early in the last century by the German punch-cutter J.E. Walbaum.
    “An unusual juxtaposition with the Walbaum text is the Uncial type used for the poem headings and for the author’s name on the title page. One reason for its effectiveness is that it is based on the manuscript style employed in the Book of Kells, considered to be the first example of medieval Celtic calligraphy and illumination. This particular uncial was designed in the 1940s by the Austrian artist, Victor Hammer. The type for our Yeats was set in New York under the eye of typographer Bert Clarke, and the printing was done by Rae Publishing Co. in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. The edition has been bound in nearby Moonachie by the romantic craftsmen of the Tapley-Rutter Company.”
    No information on the paper used, unfortunately, although the Sandglass for a later (1982) Norwalk edition does: “The warm-white paper was specially made in a vellum finish for this edition at the Mohawk mill in Cohoes, New York.” Perhaps the same paper was used for the first edition – all the other production details are the same except that, sadly, the swans on the cover are replaced by an all-over wickerwork pattern that comes over as a mass of little green spots. Hideous!

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