Limited Editions Club: A Voyage to the South Seas by William Bligh (1975)

June 6, 2014 Comments Off on Limited Editions Club: A Voyage to the South Seas by William Bligh (1975)

A Voyage to the South Seas by William Bligh (1975)
LEC #487/43rd Series V. 5 in 1975
Artwork – Watercolors and drawings by Geoffrey C. Ingleton
Introduced by Alan Villiers
LEC #403 of 1500

Click images for larger views.


Front Binding – Last year I posted about the lovely LEC Captain Cook. In 1975, Cardevon Press reunited the creative team from that book, Douglas Dunstan of the Griffin Press of Australia and illustrator Geoffrey C. Ingleton, for a second (and final) seafaring, this time the tribulations of Lt. William Bligh of the British Navy aboard the H.M.S. Bounty. You may recognize Bligh from the more famous novel Mutiny on the Bounty (which was also a LEC, issued back in 1947 featuring Fletcher Martin’s artwork), which retold the events of this journal in a more dramatic fashion. While this LEC lacks the astounding production values on the binding in contrast to the Cook (honestly, it would be difficult to top the tapa cloth/kangaroo leather spine combo!), this is a very serviceable edition from the Cardevon period. It’s the tallest LEC I currently own, with large text and striking visuals, and the interior is designed just as exquisitely as Cook’s journals.

Ingelton would end his LEC career with this book, delivering two nautical treasures before stepping away. While we’re briefly touching on the art, this book has a rather infamous (among us Devotees at Librarything, anyway) drawing of a sailor with dropped trousers, having his penis inspected by the ship surgeon for venereal diseases. I didn’t photograph that one, but it is a rather revealing (in many ways!) look into the sailor life, and perhaps a loosening of the moral standards from the earlier days of the Club. There is ample nudity in many older LEC’s and Heritage titles, but this particular scene is of a different mold than the fantastical or humorous takes those books took, in my view. Alongside the Cardevon Flowers of Evil, I think the issuings of this period are a little less concerned with offending clientele.

Design Notes – Dunstan handled design duties, and he is good. The layout of the text and artwork is spectacular. The font is Baskerville in various sizes. Tan paper and terra cotta ink for the endpaper drawings make those particular pages pop, and the binding is a homespun linen decorated with two Ingleton originals: one for the front and one for the back. The Griffin Press handled the printing, binding and illustration duties. More can be gleamed from the letter below.


Back Binding


Spine – Gold leaf was put onto the spine, but alas, the spine is a bit faded. Only real blemish to this book.




Title Page – Alan Villiers provides an intro. And this is the full title of Bligh’s narrative! It’s a wonder books were printed cheaply in ye olde days.


Colophon Page – Ingleton and Dunstan both signed this colophon page, and this is yet another #403 in my hat.

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

Personal Notes – I bought this at Old Capitol Books in Monterey last week, capitalizing (I’m being awfully punny today) on a sale to net the book half off its $75 price tag. I’m quite happy to have it, and I’ve finally completed a set of books for an illustrator I adore! Eichenberg, you’re next! :p

Monthly Letter (right click and open in new tab for full size):


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