Of Interest: Anatole France’s The Revolt of the Angels and Penguin Island, as published by Dodd, Mead & Co.

July 10, 2013 Comments Off on Of Interest: Anatole France’s The Revolt of the Angels and Penguin Island, as published by Dodd, Mead & Co.

Welcome to the very first non-Macy book post here at the George Macy Imagery. Today’s post will focus on the lovely editions of The Revolt of the Angels and Penguin Island Dodd, Mead and Company put out in the early 1900’s. I’ve ordered a slew of other titles in the line from my local library system for examination, as I do adore these two volumes immensely. What really makes them remarkable is the artwork done by Frank C. Papé; best known perhaps for his work on James Branch Cabell’s works like Jurgen. He didn’t handle all of Dodd, Mead’s France collection, but he probably should of, given how amazing these two are. I’m abandoning the usual format for these special posts, but I’ll inform you on what I do know in the paragraphs.

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Front Binding – Let’s start with Penguin Island. This edition was published in 1926 by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, located in London. A.W. Evans is the translator; the very same as the LEC/HP Cameron and HP Sauvage editions. This series was edited by Frederic Chapman and James Lewis May, featured 31 volumes, and were issued in Great Britain by The Bodley Head. That’s all the production details I can share. The bindings are striking; I’ve seen a couple of the volumes are red cloth over black, but I’ll update this when I get a hold of the library copies of the other works. This one ended up in my hands courtesy of Carpe Diem Rare Books in Monterey for $15. It’s in fairly good shape considering that it’s close to 90 years old!

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Title Page – Here’s Papé’s whimsical artwork on full display. He was a master, no question, and his work is perfectly suited for both this book and Revolt.

Examples from Penguin Island (right click to enlarge):

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Front Binding – Revolt features the translation work of Mrs. Wilfrid Jackson, just like Macy’s LEC/HP edition. This one was issued in 1928, printed by Richard Clay and Sons, Limited, in Bungay, Suffolk. Bernard Miall joined the editorial board by this point. My wife bought me this book for Christmas in 2012, and it’s awesome. I adore both of these works by France, and this one is just…wow. Seriously. The cover has a little bit of discoloration to the gold leaf on the big wing of the sphinx, but otherwise it’s in very good shape.

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Title Page – More good stuff from Papé.

Examples from Revolt of the Angels (right click to enlarge):

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Spines for Both Books

All and all, wonderful printings of a too-little-read author nowadays. If you like France’s work, consider adding these lovely books to your collection. If you haven’t read France, these are both fantastic stories!

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Of Interest – Eulogy to Book Haven, Monterey, California

January 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

My favorite book shop closed its doors last year, and I mentioned that I would devote a special post to its memory. Well, this is that post. I’ve since discovered that another gentleman, a Mr. Matthew Sundt, has purchased the business and rechristened it Old Captiol Books, so I’m pleased to hear that the store’s core remains. However, I still want to devote space to giving Book Haven a proper eulogy.

Book Haven was a magical place. It was the realization of the perfect dream bookshop for me. Tons upon tons of books, many classics, many Heritage Press and Limited Editions Club titles, and super-friendly proprietors. It was a delight to step inside and experience the wonder of books. It was where I purchased my very first LEC, Man and Superman. I would go on to purchase The House of the Dead, The Oresteia, Three Men in a Boat, The Three-Cornered Hat, Saint-Simon’s Memoirs, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Twenty Years After. All had the same number, #403, which I think is pretty nifty. Hopefully, Old Capitol is still selling some of the remaining stock so I can continue to expand upon those.

Heritage Press books were a huge part of the store’s classic inventory, and I ran off with many of their better selections, including the original issuing of Manon Lescaut. Along with that, my Heritage collection from Book Haven included Resurrection, The Nibelungenlied, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Elegy Written from a Country Churchyard, The Birds and the Frogs, The House of Seven Gables, The Possessed,  A Journal of a Plague Year, and The Ambassadors. I also got my Heritage Saint-Simon from them. Their prices were quite reasonable, $10 – 15 for a book, depending on condition and completeness.

The owners were a delight to discuss books with, too. We had a few really amazing conversations about their LEC history (including hearing about the lovely Fahrenheit 451), and they were kind enough to help us out when another local bookshop’s buyer was absent on a trip, taking a look at our books and giving us money for some of them with little warning.

So, while the shop lives on as Old Captiol, the memories of Book Haven will always be ingrained in my mind. I wish prior owners Guy Rodriguez and Jerry Welling the best in their retirement, and look forward to checking out the new shop to see how Mr. Sundt runs his business.

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!

Of Interest: Fritz Eichenberg’s Conceptual Work

July 7, 2012 Comments Off on Of Interest: Fritz Eichenberg’s Conceptual Work

Fritz Eichenberg is one of my favorite illustrators, and today I wanted to share with you some of his “behind-the-scenes” material included in his marvelous collection of woodcuts and lithographs, The Wood and the Graver. This is a must for fans of Eichenberg, as it includes personal recollections of most of his LEC and Heritage Press output, plus a generous smattering of his exquisite art from the George Macy Company and beyond. I’ll share some of his memories with you at a later date, but for now, enjoy the pictures. :)

This shot may look familiar to anyone who has seen Eichenberg’s Crime and Punishment Heritage or LEC. This is a posed shot Eichenberg did of himself in order to aid capturing the tense moment seen on the title page in both books. Here’s the finished product:

While we’re talking about this engraving, here’s a glimpse into the carving process:

This gives you the briefest understanding of the time and dedication it takes to be a wood engraver. The text expands upon that significantly. How about some sketchwork? Since we’ve been discussing Crime and Punishment, we’ll begin there:

The final woodcut appears on page 250 of the Heritage and Page 323 in the LEC.

This comes from The Idiot, but I do not know the page number right off hand. It’s like the one Dostoevsky I don’t have. XD

This too is from The Idiot.

The last sketch I have for you now is from the Heritage Gulliver’s Travels. Alas, I can’t aid you with a page number here, either.

The last two pieces are not conceptual, but are actually variants of art seen in The Brothers Karamazov. At the same time, Eichenberg had a commission for another Dostoevsky work for an alternate publisher, The Grand Inquisitor. Unlike Karamazov, which used stone lithographs, he did Inquisitor with wood engravings. I can do a comparison of one of them at the moment, and I’ll see about eventually refreshing the post with the final version of all of these sketches once I have The Idiot and Gulliver’s Travels in my possession. (There is a Dostoevsky pun there). Anyway!

And the other:

Hope you enjoyed this peek into Eichenberg’s creation process!

Of Interest: ABEBooks Spotlights the Limited Editions Club

July 6, 2012 Comments Off on Of Interest: ABEBooks Spotlights the Limited Editions Club

A nice little clip detailing out a slew of pictures of many LEC’s, plus mostly accurate information from ABEBooks’ Richard Davies. Funny story: I had to talk to Davies once to find out their customer service number for my first bookstore gig, which he was kind enough to give yet was a bit annoyed that he had to do it (he asked me not to call that number again :p ). Having irate bosses makes time of the essence, so I apologize for bothering you. Anyway, check it out if you want to see a nice scope of LEC’s under two minutes. Tip to featherwate at the George Macy Devotees.

Of Interest – The Illustrators of the LEC Shakespeare

April 29, 2012 Comments Off on Of Interest – The Illustrators of the LEC Shakespeare

While I’ve yet to cover most of the exquisite LEC Shakespeares, I’ve had a devil of a time trying to find a complete list of the illustrators for the 39 volume set. Well, I’m happy to present to you that very coveted list, in a typed form, so that it’ll be available to LEC collectors looking for books from their favorite illustrators. All of the books were designed by Bruce Rogers.

All’s Well that Ends Well – Drawings by Richard Floethe, printed in color by A. Colish

Antony and Cleopatra – Wood engravings by Enric-Cristobal Ricart, pulled by R.& R. Clark and hand-colored by Jean Saude

As You Like It – Watercolors by Sylvain Sauvage, hand-colored by Mourlot Freres

The Comedy of Errors – Wood engravings by John Austen, pulled and printed in 5 colors by R.& R. Clark

Coriolanus – Tempura paintings by C. Pal Molnar, lithographed in 15 colors by Mourlot Freres

Cymbeline – Lithographs by Yngve Berg, pulled by the Curwen Press

Hamlet – Dry-brush drawings by Edy Legrand, printed in collotype/black/gray by Georges Duval

Henry the Fourth Part I – Color lithographs by Barnett Freedman, pulled by the Curwen Press

Henry the Fourth Part II – Watercolors by Edward Bawden, hand-colored by Jean Saude and printed in collotype by Georges Duval

Henry the Fifth – Pencil drawings by Vera Willoughby, lithographed by Mourlot Freres

Henry the Sixth Part I – Lithographs by Graham Sutherland, pulled by the Curwen Press

Henry the Sixth Part II – Lithographs by Carlotta Petrina, pulled by George C. Miller

Henry the Sixth Part III – Colored line drawings by Jean Charlot, printed in 3 colors by A. Colish

Henry the Eighth – Wood engravings by Eric Gill, pulled by A. Colish

Julius Caesar – Wood engravings by Frans Masereel, pulled by A. Colish

King John – Line drawings in three colors plus gold by Valenti Angelo, printed by A. Colish

King Lear – Brush drawings by Boardman Robinson, printed in collotype in black/2 grays by Georges Duval

Love’s Labour Lost – Crayon and wash drawings by Mariette Lydis, printed in collotype in black/gray by Georges Duval

Macbeth – Color drawings by Gordon Craig, lithographed by Mourlot Freres

Measure for Measure – Color lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag, pulled by Mourlot Freres

The Merchant of Venice – Watercolors by Rene ben Sussan, printed by both Mourlot Freres and Georges Duval, hand-colored by Maurice Beaufume

The Merry Wives of Windsor – Color drawings by Gordon Ross, printed in collotype in black and sanguine by Georges Duval, then hand-colored (does not state by whom…Ross, maybe?)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Watercolors by Arthur Rackham, lithographed in 4 colors by Mourlot Freres, hand-colored by Maurice Beaufume

Much Ado About Nothing – Watercolors by Fritz Kredel, printed in collotype by Georges Duval and hand-colored by Jean Saude

Othello – Wood engravings by Robert Gibbings, pulled by A. Colish

Pericles, Prince of Tyre – Wood engravings by Stanislas Ostoja-Chrostowski, pulled by A. Colish

Richard the Second – Wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker, pulled by A. Colish

Richard the Third – Lithographs by Fritz Eichenberg, pulled by George C. Miller

Romeo and Juliet – Color line drawings by Ervine Metzl, printed in 2 colors by A. Colish

The Taming of the Shrew – Line drawings by W.A. Dwiggins, printed in sanguine by A. Colish

The Tempest -Watercolors by Edward A. Wilson, printed by both Georges Duval (collotype) and Mourlot Freres (2 colors), hand-colored by Maurice Beaufume

Timon of Athens – Wood engravings by George Buday, pulled by A. Colish

Titus Andronicus – Watercolors by Nikolai Fyodorovitch Lapshin, lithographed by Mourlot Freres

Troilus and Cressida – Wood engravings by Demetrius Galanis, pulled in black/terra cotta by Dehon et Cie

Twelfth Night, or What You Will – Watercolors by Francesco Carnevali, lithographed by Mourlot Freres

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Watercolors by Pierre Brissaud, printed in collotype (key gray) by Georges Duval and hand-colored (not stated, Brissaud, perhaps?)

The Winter’s Tale – Drawings by Albert Rutherson, hand-colored by Jean Saude and printed in key-black by the Curwen Press

Note that this set is completely unsigned, so that bit of novelty is lost. However, a set of Shakespeare’s poetry followed the release of the plays. They were deliberately matched to the binding style of the rest, and this one is signed by Rogers. Hope this list aids you somehow or another!

Of Interest – Status of the Limited Editions Club

October 13, 2011 Comments Off on Of Interest – Status of the Limited Editions Club

As fans of the LEC are probably aware, owner Sidney Shiff passed away last year and his wife Jeanne had taken on the mantle of the Club.  After a year of silence, fellow collector busywine (who runs the Books and Vines blog I link to) was able to contact Shiff and scheduled an interview/book tour with her, and the results of that are here (with more posts on the books to come).  One key thing busywine inquired about was the future of the LEC and if Shiff would continue her husband’s fine press book series onward – alas, the answer to that is no.  She explains that the overhead for making such exquisite books is too great nowadays, and figures that the time has come to put the Club to rest.  She’s not giving up the LEC completely, though, as she is working on a proper webpage for the Club (which it has never had) that will document Mr. Shiff’s era of the Club, offer up copies of Shiff’s remaining LEC’s to the public, among other plans.  It’s a shame to see George Macy’s dream end conclusively after a 82 year run under a few different ownerships, but I understand Shiff’s decision to close it up for good.

That being said, busywine will be sharing a ton of the Shiff-era books at his site in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for them – I doubt (unless I get rich suddenly) I’ll have the good fortune of handling any myself.

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