Limited Editions Club – The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1967)

July 5, 2013 Comments Off on Limited Editions Club – The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1967)

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1967)
LEC #391/35th Series V. 5 in 1967
Artwork – Illustrations by Colleen Browning
Introduced by R.W. Stallman
LEC #403 of 1500

Click images to see larger views.

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Front Binding – Henry James makes his debut on the blog today, and he has some curiosities in his Heritage portfolio I’d like to address (in a moment). For now, let’s get the production details out of the way:

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James was apparently not too high on George Macy’s list of authors; in his lifetime, he only printed The Turn of the Screw in 1949, often considered among the Devotees as the finest of the bunch. Mariette Lydis did a spectacular job with the art on that one; eventually I hope to be able to share it with you. After George Macy passed away, James sort of exploded in printing popularity. The Ambassadors came next in 1963, featuring Leslie Saalburg’s artwork. This was followed by this particular volume in 1967. Daisy Miller proceeded in 1969, starring Gustave Nebel as artist. Last was Washington Square in 1971 with Lawrence Beall Smith’s illustrations. That’s all of the LEC’s, and I believe all of them have Heritage editions. However! The Easton Press oddly resurrected the Heritage Press in the 1990’s to issue two more works of James with the artistic merits of an Alan Phillips; The Europeans and The Bostonians. These can also be found as Easton editions, so I’m not sure why exactly MBI Inc. decided to dust off the Heritage Press label for them.

Colleen Browning has a lengthy bio in the Monthly Letter, but all that verbiage was spent on this sole contribution to the Macy publishing houses. Her pastels work fairly well in the context of a James novel, but I will admit that this particular book is not my favorite set of illustrations. Nice, but not awe-inspiring.

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Spine

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Slipcase

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Title Page – The book continues the title page’s “blue decoration box” motif for its chapter openers. Robert W. Stallman issues the introduction.

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Signature Page – Another #403 for my collection! Browning provides her signature.

Examples of the Illustrations by Browning (right click and open in new tab for full size):

Personal Notes – I picked this up at Old Capitol Books in Monterey, CA last time I visited. It was around $40 or so, but I traded in some stuff to make it technically a freebie. I am pleased to report that, following the change-over from Bookhaven, Old Capitol is doing swimmingly. I wish them the best, and will continue to shop there on my subsequent visits to Monterey.

Monthly Letter (right click and select Open in New Tab to see full size):

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