Heritage Press – Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley (1947)

May 23, 2014 § 3 Comments

Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley (1947)
Sandglass Number 7L
Artwork: Illustrations by Edward A. Wilson
Introduced by John T. Winterich
Reprint of LEC #182, 17th Series, V. 8, in 1947 in 2 volumes.

Click images for larger views.

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Front Binding – We’re back with new reviews! Yay! And our first book is the exquisite rendering of British author Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho! for the Heritage Press. This is, as usual, a reprint of the LEC edition. Kingsley only saw this one book produced by the LEC, but the Easton Press would later issue The Water Babies under the Heritage Press label after they took over the brand. The Sandglass calls this a “masterwork of British propaganda…a symbol of British martial heroism”, and I suppose that’s a pretty accurate assessment. A nice little biography can be found in the Sandglass below.

Edward A. Wilson makes his second Macy appearance on the blog now, following his earlier Journey to the Center of the Earth. This is a better overall example of his work in my opinion, and stands as some of his finest illustrations I’ve come across. Perhaps, as the Sandglass notes, he is unmatched in his “creation of illustrations for a salty tale of the sea.” His full Macy bibliography is in the aforementioned post. For this book, the pen and brush were Wilson’s tools as he created over 40 full-color illustrations for Westward Ho!, and the Sandglass notes that the reprinting of these drawings were quite expensive! Photogravures of his original drawings were touched up and painted by Wilson via watercolor, and then lithographic processes brought the colors and lines together for the Heritage edition.

Design Notes – The binding is a lovely linen (“tough-binders’ linen” according to the Sandglass) of a “sea-green” tone, stamped with a Wilson design of a symbolic sailing of the sea done in a golden shade. The designer is notably absent here, when oftentimes leads to George Macy’s involvement in that role. However, Django6924 was kind enough to pass along some info from the Quarto-Millenary and the LEC letter:

The ML gives no indication of designer either, but in the Quarto-Millenary reference volume, the designer is designated as Eugene Clauss, about whom I found that he was a prominent lithographer at the J.C. Hall Company, Lithographers, Printers and Binders of Providence R.I. This and the LEC edition of The Scarlet Letter are apparently Mr. Clauss’ sole Macy efforts–and a fabulous one this one is!

The LEC was printed on a predominantly rag paper provided by the Worthy Paper Company and the binding was done by Russell-Rutter. (Same details about type used as the HP.) The illustrations were likewise produced in monochrome via photogravure, but the colors were hand-applied with stencils (pochoir process) and with watercolor paints–not printer’s inks.

Bodoni 175 is the font of choice. The bindery is also missing for the Heritage, but Russell-Rutter was the likely suspect.

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Slipcase

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Title Page – Although the title page omits this information, Heritage Press introductory alum John T. Winterich supplies such a preface for this work. I like this title page a lot; Wilson’s colors are indeed a wonderful thing when he’s on fire.

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

Personal Notes – I originally acquired the Connecticut edition of this book from the Oakhurst Library as part of my 50-book haul back in 2012, but I came upon the New York printing in fairly good condition at a later sale from the same library for around $3, so I ditched my older edition for this one. I wouldn’t mind having the LEC of it!

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

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§ 3 Responses to Heritage Press – Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley (1947)

  • Jack says:

    Wow – it can’t get much better than finding a book as good as this for $3!
    I remember winning a very badly printed, unillustrated copy of W. Ho! as a Sunday School prize over 60 years ago. Fortunately I managed to ‘lose’ it in a ditch while walking home, which got me into trouble but out of having to read it. I think this edition could tempt me to give it a go this time round.
    (I think that’s the only time in my life when I deliberately destroyed a book; it made feel sooo guilty….)

    • don floyd says:

      I’ve read this two-volume LEC twice. It just gets better each time you read it. This may be the best illustrations Wilson did for Macy. Plenty of adventure here, and the story moves right along. The ship sailing upside down commemorates Sir Francis Drake’s voyage around the world in which Amyas, the protagonist, accompanied Drake.

  • WildcatJF says:

    Thank you both for commenting! :) Nice to see familiar faces.

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