Heritage Press – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1952)

October 14, 2012 § 3 Comments

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1952)*
Sandglass Number VII:36
Artwork: Lithographs by Barnett Freedman
Translated by Constance Garnett, translation revision by Bernard Guilbert Guerney, and the three omitted chapters translated, edited and revised by Gustavus Spett. Introduction by Lionel Trilling.
Reprint of LEC #213, 20th Series, V. 5 in 1951. Originally 2 volumes.

Click images for a larger view.

Front Binding – A remarkable post is what I present to you today, as we welcome a Russian master and a beloved illustrator into the echelon of our blog. Leo Tolstoy (as the book prints his name here…I’ve seen it many ways!) has written two of the biggest literary classics of all time, including War and Peace and our selected book for this post, Anna Karenina. War and Peace has two different Macy imprints interpreting it in their own unique ways. The LEC War was issued in 1938 in a six-volume set, with Barnett Freedman (the same artist responsible for this edition) rendering its world with his talents. The Heritage War is a fascinating experiment. It combines the drawings of Fritz Eichenberg (who is no stranger to Russian literature illustration as our blog will show) with the paintings of Vassily Verestchagin, with each doing one volume of the two volume set. Verestchagin passed away in 1904, so it’s one of those cases where Macy wanted to celebrate the art of the past with the Heritage Press, a trend he also performed for The Iliad and The Pilgrim’s Progress, for example. We’ll continue on that trail when we get to War and Peace in the near future. As for Anna, it was printed twice by the LEC. In 1933, wood engraver Nikolas Piskariov put his spin on the book, and it also utilized Garnett’s translation (I do not know if it had all of the editors and revisions this one does). Freedman’s take, reprinted here, was done in 1951 as a two volume set. Here’s Tolstoy’s entire LEC output:

Anna Karenina (1931) with wood engravings by Nikolas Piskariov
War and Peace (1938) with lithographs by Barnett Freedman
Anna Karenina (1951)
with lithographs by Barnett Freedman
Resurrection (1963) with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg
Childhood, Boyhood, Youth (1972) with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg

I have Resurrection and the exclusive War and Peace Heritage editions, so you can expect those down the road.

Let’s talk about Barnett Freedman for a bit. He is well liked in the Devotees, although I will admit that his style is not usually my cup of tea. I do like his work for this, though. He did the two aforementioned works of Tolstoy for the LEC, along with George Barrow’s Lavengro in 1936 and Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I in 1939. He also was responsible for the two Heritage Bronte publications, Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Lastly, he had a hand in the Heritage Dickens line, rendering Oliver Twist. A short but sweet ride. The Bronte works are similar in style to this, and they’re not really my thing (I have the Random House Eichenberg editions which are LOVELY). I suppose I have been spoiled. :p Anyway, those curious about the career of Freedman and how Macy discovered him will definitely want to examine the included Sandglass below closely. It lavishes so much of its space to Freedman that Tolstoy almost seems an afterthought. :p

Production details! The LEC’s text was set by the Cambridge University Press, which the Heritage reproduces. Brooke Crutchley oversaw the LEC edition’s production, following the typographic plans of John Dreyfus. I cannot tell if Cambridge actually printed out the Heritage reprint’s pages from the Sandglass. The Curwen Press of London however did redo Freedman’s lithographic prints. Russell-Rutter and William Fortney once again did the bindery honors. The font is Ehrhardt, with the larger letter-shapes being of the Fleischmann type.

Back Boards – A delightful rarity to have art on both sides! The Bronte books share this feature as well.

Spine

Slipcase

Title Page – A lot of hands were involved in this book. Constance Garnett’s translation was chosen as the best choice for this work, but two further assistants were added to further refine her work. The first is Gustavus Spett. He is a Russian expert and translated three chapters Garnett did not originally. The second is Bernard Guilbert Guerney, who edited and revised Garnett’s work. Although he is not mentioned here, Lionel Trilling supplies an introduction.

Front Endpapers – This is a massively illustrated work, that it is. I figured I’d give you more bang for your buck and include the endpapers over interior illustrations. Each color was its own stone in the lithographic process, so just imagine how much foresight and planning had to go into each illustration!

Back Endpapers

Personal Notes – This came with my huge library acquisition. I’m glad to have it, as I’ve been curious about the contents of the novel for some time.

* = The Sandglass specifically mentioned Freedman’s death in 1958, so this is clearly not the original publication date for my copy. I will respectfully keep the date as is due to the book stating it as such, but I wanted to let you know that this is not a 1952 printing.

Sandglass:

Of Interest – Books & Vines’ Intensive LEC Shakespeare Posting

October 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

Fellow Macy Devotee and book lover Chris Adamson (aka busywine) has done a wondrously thorough, enriching and illuminating post on the complete LEC Shakespeare set issued in 1941 at his Books & Vines blog. Pictures of all of the 37 plays and the two Poems/Sonnets that came the year after are included, and it’s the best way I can recommend getting an idea of how exquisite these books truly are. With my odds of landing that set slim at best for a few years, I will suggest this post to everyone if asked about this set. Check it out!

Limited Editions Club – Samuel Pepys’ Diary (1942)

October 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

Samuel Pepys’ Diary (1942, ten volume set, Volume I and X utilized for this post)
LEC #135/13th Series V. 6 in 1942
Artwork – Pen Drawings by William Sharp
Transcribed by Rev. Mynors Bright, edited and additions by Henry B. Wheatley
LEC #1240 of 1500

Click images to see larger views.

Front Binding (Volume I) – Hello friends! It’s been a long while. Today’s LEC is the 10-volume issuing of Samuel Pepys’ Diary. This diary is among the most famous in all of literature, and George Macy took no chances with his reprinting of it. He went with the Henry A. Wheatley translation taken directly from the Pepys volumes in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College in England, which was transcribed by Rev. Mynors Bright. This is only one cover of ten. I didn’t check out each individual book, but I can say that each one features a different illustration if memory serves. Each volume represents a year out of the Diary. The production details are as follows, courtesy of the book’s announcement letter:

So, it was shipped in two sets, I see. The letter too was inside this library check-out, which I have scanned and supplied at the end of this post. This was the only printing of Pepys by the LEC, but it’s a nice one! This was re-released by the Heritage Press in a two-volume set in the same year.

William Sharp is making his debut on the blog today, so let’s give him a little bibliography, shall we? He worked on five different LEC’s and one Heritage exclusive for George Macy’s houses. The LEC’s are, in chronological order:

Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1941)
This set of Pepys’ Diary (1942)
The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1955)
The Wall by John Hersey (1957)
Wilheim Meister’s Apprenticeship by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1959)

An eclectic set of selections, eh? I have the Poe and Rousseau Heritages, so I’ll share those down the road. Also, he was a part of the Heritage Dickens series, rendering The Old Curiosity Shop. I’ve recently discovered that Sharp also did a Heritage exclusive Autoobiography of Benjamin Franklin as well.

Title Page – A rather fanciful one, isn’t it? I’ve pretty much explained all of the above info earlier, so I’ll save a second explanation.

Signature Page – This copy from my university library is #1240, signed by Sharp.

Page 23 – Most if not all of Sharp’s drawings are in-text ones, but he was a solid choice. I prefer his work in the Poe, however.

Page 43

Personal Notes – Borrowed from my university…so I don’t really much else to add! I wouldn’t mind owning it, though.

LEC Monthly Letter:

Upadted 7/22/2013 by JF

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