Heritage Press – Gargantua and Pentagruel by Francois Rabelais (1942)

December 20, 2015 § 1 Comment

Gargantua and Pentagruel by Francois Rabelais (1942)
Sandglass Number 10M
Artwork: Illustrations by Lynd Ward
Translation and Introduction by Jacques LeClercq
Heritage Press Exclusive; the LEC printed their own LEC, #82, in the 7th Series, V. 12, in 1936 with a five-volume set featuring the talents of W.A. Dwiggins.

Click images for larger views.


Front Binding – Our weekend of Ward marches on with this delightful Heritage exclusive edition of Francois Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel, an early French comedic romp filled with fantasy and humor. Despite being printed in the middle of World War II (of which I could compile a post of mishaps and tragedies that beset the George Macy Company’s efforts…perhaps next year?), Macy managed to produce this lovely 800 page volume packed to the gills with 100 drawings from Mr. Ward, a mammoth undertaking for both press and artist! Rabelais, a monk and practitioner of medicine in his time, is best known for this work, and it’s a defining classic of French literature. This work was also issued as a LEC earlier in 1936, starring W.A. Dwiggins in a five volume set.

Ward, as mentioned yesterday, has his bibliography here. And I won’t mince any further words about him here, as I’ve probably gushed plenty about his talents elsewhere on the blog; just know that he did 100 line drawings interspersed in Rabelais’ text.

Design Notes – The designer is not mentioned; we do know that LeClercq’s translation comes from the LEC, so it’s possible that Macy borrowed the textual design of that work for this reissuing (W.A. Dwiggins designed the LEC). However, Electra was Dwiggins’ font of choice; here, Scotch is used. So I’m not sure who exactly to credit on this one.

The text was composed by Quinn and Boden and put to the page by Ferris Printing Company. The binding is a little strange — the Sandglass observes that a blue stamped design was intended for the book’s tan linen, but as you can see, that didn’t happen with my book (only on the spine). Perhaps World War II once again undermined Macy’s intentions? And that’s as deep as the Sandglass goes into production notes here.

gnp-hp-spine gnp-hp-slipcase



Title Page – LeClercq serves as an Introductory voice to the text as well as its translator.

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


Personal History – This was my first purchase of a Heritage/LEC title after I moved! Huzzah! Purchased at the Bookstore in Chico. Eager to read!



Updated 2/25/2018 – JF


Heritage Press – The Gods are A-Thrist by Anatole France (1942)

July 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

The Gods are A-Thrist by Anatole France (1942)
Sandglass Number VI:21
Artwork: Illustrations by Jean Oberlé
Introduced by André Maurois, translated by Alfred Allinson
Heritage Press exclusive; part of the Nonesuch Press/Heritage Press Great French Writers collaboration.

Click images for larger views.


Front Binding – Sooner or later I was bound to run into this series; today’s a good a day as any! This book is a part of a greater series on the Great French writers, done in collaboration with the Nonesuch Press (for lavish details on the Nonesuch side of things, I point you to Nick Long’s splendid post on their edition of this very book at his blog). As I have mentioned in The Shaving of Shagpat, the Nonesuch Press was run by Sir Francis Meredith Meynell, who designed this particular edition (according to Long, George Macy designed eight of the ten books, and this one was one of the exceptions). Since this is the first time we’ve seen a book in this line, let me do my best to properly detail out each one below:

A Woman’s Life by Guy de Maupassant/Edy Legrand (1942 Heritage printing, 1952 LEC edition available)
Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac/René ben Sussan (1948, LEC edition available)
Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert/Pierre Brissaud (1950, LEC edition available)
Germinal by Emile Zola/Berthold Mahn (1942, Heritage exclusive)
Mademoiselle de Maupin by Theodore Gautier/Andre Dugo (1943, LEC edition available)
The Gods are A-Thirst by Anatole France/Jean Oberlé (1942, Heritage exclusive)
Candide by Voltaire/Sylvain Sauvage (1939, Heritage exclusive)
Dangerous Acquaintances by Choderlos De Laclos/Chas Laborde (1940, Heritage exclusive)
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette/Hermine David (1943, Heritage exclusive)
The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal/Rafaello Busoni (1955, LEC edition available)

There is a splendid story behind this series, which I’ve recently separated out into its own post here.

As stated above, the books all share a similar motif for the boards like above; a Fleur-de-lis pattern on both sides, with a gold-stamped spine highlighting the title in a rather fancy font.

Anatole France once again makes an appearance here; we’re running out of books to spotlight! I’ve covered the two editions of Penguin Island and the Heritage Revolt of the Angels already, and, for those who stumble upon this on the main page of the blog, will see that I just shared a heap of illustrations and info from the Dodd, Mead & Co. illustrated editions of those two works right below this one (or for those just glancing at this one post, here’s the link!). All that’s left is for me to track down the LEC copies of At the Sign of the Queen Pedauque and The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard , as well as a LEC or Heritage copy of his shorter novel Crainquebille…not to mention the Sauvage Penguin Island from the Heritage Press! I adore this man’s work, that I most certainly do, and he’s very high, if not the highest, on my “need to own all of the works done by Macy of this author” list. Luckily, his relative obscurity in today’s literary circles will make that not too horrid an expenditure.

Jean Oberlé makes his sole appearance in the George Macy Company canon here. I’m a little torn by the work, personally; it’s colored well and Oberlé has a knack for bringing out the humorous aspects in his illustrations, but the overall look and layout doesn’t excite me. Such is life, I suppose; I can’t be wooed by everyone!

Production details: the font is Cochin, with headings in Sylvan (hmm, almost a nod to Sylvain Sauvage!). The title on the title page and ornamental letters are all done by hand. Riverside Press printed the text, while the Photogravure and Color Comoany of New York produced the illustrations. The Arrow Press colored the art via pochoir, which the Sandglass gleefully explains on Page 4. No bindery info this time!




Title Page – André Maurois, well-known biographer and writer, steps in to introduce this story. Alfred Allinson was one of France’s official translators, and Macy snatched up his localization to use for his edition. Now, an interesting development occurred with the various issuing of this book via Heritage and Nonesuch. Nick points this out, utilizing my photo to contrast against his Nonesuch copy (which I hope he doesn’t mind my using of it, much like he was concerned about his use of my picture!):


The interpretation of Oberlé’s artwork is radically different in the two works! The Nonesuch was hand-colored, as Nick points out, compared to the rubber-stamped prints done for the Heritage printing. Fascinating stuff, and it makes me wonder if other books shared between the two printing houses did the same sort of treatment. Kudos again, Nick!

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

Personal Notes – I bought this from Old Capitol Books in Monterey the first time I visited the rechristened Bookhaven. It’s not the first printing, but I’m happy to have another France tome in my collection. It’s in really good shape.

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

Updated 7/17/2013 by JF

Limited Editions Club – Samuel Pepys’ Diary (1942)

October 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

Samuel Pepys’ Diary (1942, ten volume set, Volume I and X utilized for this post)
LEC #135/13th Series V. 6 in 1942
Artwork – Pen Drawings by William Sharp
Transcribed by Rev. Mynors Bright, edited and additions by Henry B. Wheatley
LEC #1240 of 1500

Click images to see larger views.

Front Binding (Volume I) – Hello friends! It’s been a long while. Today’s LEC is the 10-volume issuing of Samuel Pepys’ Diary. This diary is among the most famous in all of literature, and George Macy took no chances with his reprinting of it. He went with the Henry A. Wheatley translation taken directly from the Pepys volumes in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College in England, which was transcribed by Rev. Mynors Bright. This is only one cover of ten. I didn’t check out each individual book, but I can say that each one features a different illustration if memory serves. Each volume represents a year out of the Diary. The production details are as follows, courtesy of the book’s announcement letter:

So, it was shipped in two sets, I see. The letter too was inside this library check-out, which I have scanned and supplied at the end of this post. This was the only printing of Pepys by the LEC, but it’s a nice one! This was re-released by the Heritage Press in a two-volume set in the same year.

William Sharp is making his debut on the blog today, so let’s give him a little bibliography, shall we? He worked on five different LEC’s and one Heritage exclusive for George Macy’s houses. The LEC’s are, in chronological order:

Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1941)
This set of Pepys’ Diary (1942)
The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1955)
The Wall by John Hersey (1957)
Wilheim Meister’s Apprenticeship by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1959)

An eclectic set of selections, eh? I have the Poe and Rousseau Heritages, so I’ll share those down the road. Also, he was a part of the Heritage Dickens series, rendering The Old Curiosity Shop. I’ve recently discovered that Sharp also did a Heritage exclusive Autoobiography of Benjamin Franklin as well.

Title Page – A rather fanciful one, isn’t it? I’ve pretty much explained all of the above info earlier, so I’ll save a second explanation.

Signature Page – This copy from my university library is #1240, signed by Sharp.

Page 23 – Most if not all of Sharp’s drawings are in-text ones, but he was a solid choice. I prefer his work in the Poe, however.

Page 43

Personal Notes – Borrowed from my university…so I don’t really much else to add! I wouldn’t mind owning it, though.

LEC Monthly Letter:

Upadted 7/22/2013 by JF

Heritage Press: The Education of Henry Adams (1942)

March 29, 2012 Comments Off on Heritage Press: The Education of Henry Adams (1942)

The Education of Henry Adams (1942)
Sandglass Number: Unknown
Artwork: Gravures by Samuel Chamberlain
Introduction by Henry Seidel Canby
Reprint of LEC #133, 13th Series, V. 4 in 1942.

Click images for larger views.

Front Binding – A wonderful marbled set of boards for you here, with tan cloth for the spine.  Alas, I don’t have the Sandglass for this book, so I’ll be hoping to net some info from somebody to inform you about the book’s creation.

Henry Adams is best known for this autobiographical work, with Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres not too far behind.  He was well regarded in his day and age for his knowledge of history, even teaching at Harvard for a while.  He also was a journalist, intellectual and was tied to the Adams family of presidents.  He would see the two works I discuss above see LEC and Heritage editions.

Samuel Chamberlain only worked for the George Macy Company on the two Adams works.  Here he provides gravures, and for Mont-Saint-Michel he supplied a photographic touch.  I assume that this here is an obituary on him; it certainly sounds appropriate.


Title Page – Henry Seidel Canby gives an introduction.  Chamberlain is doing a fine job in my book.  His landscapes are very nice.

Page 30

Page 190

Personal Notes – I bought this from my local library for $8 or so a couple years back.  Wish it had the Sandglass, but the book was in very good condition save some water spots on the spine.

If you have a Sandglass for the Heritage New York printing, or the LEC edition (for comparison), please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  I could use extra insights into this book’s creation.  Thanks!

The Readers Club – The Days of the King by Bruno Frank (1942)

October 2, 2011 Comments Off on The Readers Club – The Days of the King by Bruno Frank (1942)

The Days of the King by Bruno Frank (1942)
Foreword by Sinclair Lewis
Artwork – Woodcuts from Adolf von Menzel
Translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter
Exclusive to the Readers Club

Click images to see larger views.

Front Binding – All Readers Club books came with a dust jacket, but this particular copy is missing its clothes.  The Readers Club seemingly had two logos – one for the front binding that was a little simpler and a second, more complicated piece on the title page.  All of the books I’ve researched and featured a picture of the boards have this on the front, so that makes it easy to find!

Spine – The Macy touch is saved for the spine it seems, as this has a classy one.  Author Bruno Frank, judge Sinclair Lewis and deceased illustrator Adolf von Menzel get some props here, as well as a “RC” to further indicate its “Readers Club” ties.

Editorial Committee of the Readers Club – Before the title page is this announcement of the key figures of the Readers Club (save George Macy).  Clinton Fadiman seemingly was the least involved according to what I’ve found, but the others popped up quite a bit.  Lewis seemed to be the figurehead, despite Alexander Woollcott’s prominence as the Chairman – I’ve seen far more forewords from Lewis in my research than any other.  Since I keep referencing it, here’s my research, BTW.

Title Page – Von Menzel’s illustration leaps out at the reader here, but it seems his part of the book was a rarity to the Readers Club.  Either that or most books lacked that explanation on the binding/dust jacket and most ABEBooks vendors fail to mention them.  Frank’s biographical novel is translated by H.T. Lowe-Porter.

Page XI – My favorite piece of art from this book.

Page 11 – This is nice, too.

Personal Notes – My current book shop employment has this book, but I didn’t buy it due to my overall lack of interest in building up a Readers Club collection (they aren’t as nice as Heritage or LEC titles).  Nice of my boss to lend it to me to document, though!

Heritage Press – The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)

August 20, 2011 Comments Off on Heritage Press – The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1942)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Watercolors by William Blake
Introduced by John T. Winterich
Reprint of LEC #129/12th Series V. 12 in 194

Click the images for larger views.

Front Binding – The Heritage Press apparently liked this design, as they reused it for their unique version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which also featured the watercolors of William Blake (the LEC utilized Carlotta Petrina’s artwork in 1936, which did not come out as a Heritage).  Who designed it is not something I know, I’m afraid – I bought this for $1 or so, and it was a former library copy with a fair share of problems, but hey, I want to document books, and I think $1 was not a bad price for that purpose.  Anyway, Macy seemed to like Blake, as his art appears in several Heritage and LEC volumes.  Off the top of my head, I know there’s this (in LEC and Heritage formats), the aforementioned Heritage Paradise Lost, the LEC/Heritage L’Allegro & Il Penseroso, also by Milton, the Heritage Divine Comedy by Dante, and, after Macy’s passing, the poems of Blake which included his own art done in the Cardevon period of the LEC.

Title Page – Admitting complete ignorance to what The Pilgrim’s Progress is about, I find Blake’s watercolors to be compelling yet unsettling to look at.  He’s got a talent for rendering such beautiful depictions of the grotesque, that he does.  John T. Winterich, the man behind many early introductions for the Heritage Press, continues that tradition here, too.  I’ll let Blake’s work speak for itself in the next two examples from the book.

Page 144

Page 160

Personal Notes – I do like Blake’s work, but I also have no real interest in Bunyan’s tale here, so the two bicker with each other. :p  I sold off this copy in Monterey to get better quality books (and by that I mean condition – it had torn pages, library trappings throughout and was lacking a slipcase or Sandglass).

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

Heritage Press: Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1942)

August 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

Andersen’s Fairy Takes (1942)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Illustrations in color by Fritz Kredel
Translated by Jean Hersholt
Reprint of LEC #138/13th Series V. 9 in 1942 in 2 volumes

Click images for larger views.

Title Page – Alas, this book was rebound in that ever-exciting generic library binding, so I bypassed photographing it.

Anyway, this is a Heritage reprint of the LEC 2-volume Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen, and the delightful artwork of Fritz Kredel, an excellent fit, accompanies it.  Kredel would be no stranger to fairy tale illustrations, as he did a collection of art for Grosset & Dunlap for a set of Grimm’s Tales (Arthur Szyk did the art for Andersen’s in that line, FYI) in 1945.  His whimsical style works well here, if you ask me.  Andersen’s words were translated by Jean Hersholt.  Both Kredel and Hersholt would sign the LEC edition, which is a little unusual.

As I have no Sandglass, I’m in the dark on who designed this – please let me know if you have that information!

Page 1 – I wonder if these were full color in the LEC – I’ve seen a few cases where the Heritage reprints have gone with a simpler color set for the illustrations, and seeing Kredel’s full color work in the Grimms’ book I have, I’m forced to ponder that possibility.  Regardless of that tangent, Kredel’s work suits the kooky worlds and inhabitants of Andersen’s tales.

Page 5 – Kredel also did in-text bits.  I particularly like this one.

Page 17

Personal Notes – Having a set of Grimm’s Fairy Tales done by the Heritage Press, I’d like to have this book, too.  As for now, I’ll remember the good days of checking this out from the library system.

Any and all info on this book’s design process would be very useful!  If you have a Sandglass or LEC Newsletter, please drop me a line here or through the comments at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing!  Thanks!

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