The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (1943)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag
Prepared, Edited and Commentated by Louis Untermeyer
Part of the Heritage American Poets Series
Reprint of LEC #153/15th Series V. 1 in 1943
Click images to see a larger view.
Front Binding – Welcome to our first American Poets title! There’s quite a few of these, all with the same bland boards on the front and back, saving its creativeness for an patriotic spine (which you can see below). Louis Untermeyer (didn’t I just talk about him?) served as the Editor for this series. Others include Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier, Dickinson, and Emerson (from a quick ABE Books scan), with Dickinson being the last LEC reprinted in 1952. Poe’s was the first, originally done in 1943 by the Limited Editions Club and thus redone by the Heritage Press in this exclusive series. Curiously, they omitted Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass despite the collection being among the most reprinted of any of Macy’s books.
Anyway, this is our first Edgar Allan Poe post, but there is no shortage of future posts about the Gothic master. The fifth book the LEC ever produced was Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (which bizarrely had a Heritage reprint – a scarcity for a book done this early in the LEC lifeline!) in 1929. In 1941 his Tales of Mystery and Imagination would be printed, followed up by this particular book in 1943. With most everything major printed, Macy would retire from Poe’s works, but Sid Shiff revisited The Fall of the House of Usher in 1985 with its own edition. I have Heritage copies of the first two, so expect those down the road.
Herr Steiner-Prag has been documented before for his work on Tartuffe – his full career with the George Macy Company is there (and will be revised in the future), but I will add here that this was his last LEC before his passing in 1945. As usual, his work is astounding.
Spine – All of the American Poets books have this spine design.
Title Page – Steiner-Prag does a very good Poe portrait, that he does. Untermeyer provides commentary to the poems on top of preparing and editing them, and that is a lovely logo of the Heritage Press Sandglass there! I should scan that for the blog’s Gravatar.
Page 11 – A little more surrealist than Tartuffe, but amazing none the less.
Personal Notes – I got this one for $5 in Jamestown, California this past summer. It has no Sandglass or slipcase, but the book was in nigh-perfect condition, and it was $5. I tend to not pass up books that low for documenting!…although I am keeping this one thanks to how nice it is. With any luck I’ll get a slipcase and Sandglass in the future for it.
If you have a LEC of this book or a Sandglass for the Heritage New York printing, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing! I could use extra insights into this book. Thanks!