The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser (1953)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Illustrations by Agnes Miller Parker, decorations by John Austen
Specifically published by the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, introduced by John Hayward
Heritage Press Reprint of LEC #234/22nd Series, V. 2 in 1953
Click images for a larger view.
Front Binding – An artistic tour de force lies within these boards, as two of the greats in the history of the Limited Editions Club unite for this special Coronation edition of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen. Agnes Miller Parker, whose work has been featured on the blog twice before (for the Poetry of Shakespeare and Hardy’s Return of the Native…but there’s plenty more to come!), combines her wood-carving talents with the fine drawing abilities of John Austen. Austen’s other works will be spotlighted soon on the blog, as I have come into possession of his very first commission for the Limited Editions Club, Vanity Fair, and he also applied his touch to Aristophanes’ The Frogs, among plenty of others. I think the two work well together, but you can judge for yourself momentarily.
Alas, this library copy is not in the greatest shape, so it’s got a few issues. I do like the color choice of a creme board with aqua green adornments on top, with the pink spine giving it a little class. However, this is a library copy, and Sandglasses are notoriously difficult to uncover within these well-read books, so I’m in the dark as to who put this beauty together. Any help would be great!
Title Page – Parker gets the left side to herself to showcase her excellence, while Austen embellishes the actual title page with his decorations. The work is introduced by John Hayward.
Introduction Page 1 – Austen did smaller pieces meant to decorate the text, while Parker offers full page woodcut prints. Here’s two examples of Austen’s contributions.
Page 18 – And here’s Parker’s. Another follows. Just incredible.
Personal Notes – The list of my desired books continues to grow. *sigh* This was another I checked out through the library system.
Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful! If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing! Thanks!