Heritage Press: A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1966)

January 7, 2014 Comments Off on Heritage Press: A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1966)

A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1966)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Illustrations by Edward A. Wilson
Introduced by Isaac Asimov
Reprint of LEC #387, 35th Series, V. 1, in 1966.

Click images for larger views.

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Front Binding – Jules Verne makes his debut today, as does one of the Limited Editions Club’s most prominent illustrators, Edward A. Wilson! Verne had five works published by the LEC, four of which Wilson illustrated. Verne did not see publication until after George Macy’s death in 1954, suggesting that the author was perhaps one of Helen Macy’s favorites, given the radical increase in the production of Verne’s books. It goes without saying that Verne is one of the grandmasters and originators of the science fiction genre, and the LEC rendered five of his greatest stories, which I’ll list below:
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1956, Edward A. Wilson
The Mysterious Island, 1959, Edward A. Wilson
Around the World in Eighty Days, 1962, Edward A. Wilson
A Journey of the Center of the Earth, 1966, Edward A. Wilson
From the Earth to the Moon, and Around the Moon (2 volumes), 1970, Robert Shore

Wilson finished his illustrious career for the George Macy Companies with this book, spending 36 years of his life rendering artwork for many classics for Macy and other publishers. He passed away in 1970. He is one of two artists who received a special Heritage Press edition featuring their artwork; Arthur Szyk was the other. Let’s detail the LEC books he had a hand in:
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe, 1930
Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson, 1935 (no Heritage edition; they would print their own with Miguel Covarrubias’ watercolors)
The Man Without a Country by Edward Everett Hale, 1936
Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen, 1937 (no Heritage edition)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1941
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1945
Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley, 1947
The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, 1949
Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, 1951
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1952
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne,1956
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, 1959
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper, 1961
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, 1962
A Journey of the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne,1966

For the Heritage Press, Wilson also did:
A Shropshire Lad  by A.E. Housman, 1935
The Book Of Edward A. Wilson A Survey of His work 1916-1948, 1948

As you can see, Wilson was among the more utilized artists in the history of the Club. For this work, I think Wilson was a good choice. His style syncs well enough with the vision of Verne to coincide nicely.

I can’t offer you any design notes this time, as I inadvertently bought this without the Sandglass!

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Slipcase

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Title Page – Isaac Asimov, a more contemporary grandmaster of sci-fi, was recruited in for the introduction. Asimov is an intriguing character in his own right, as he tried to publish one book in every literary genre during his timeline.

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

Personal Notes – I bought this from Bookbuyers in Monterey, CA last year. Verne is a little hard for me to find for some reason, so I jumped at the chance to own one of his books in a Heritage edition.

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