Limited Editions Club: The Evergreen Tales series (1948-1952)

The Evergreen Tales series (1948-1952)
Edited by Jean Hersholt, with different illustrators for each volume
Five different sets of three books were issued between 1948-1952; more individual details below.
All are LEC exclusives.

Hello dear readers! Today brings a very unique post to the blog: a comprehensive look into one of George Macy’s many projects under the LEC banner, the “Evergreen Tales” subseries. At present I own sets 1, 2, 3 and 4, and will update this post accordingly when I acquire set 5. This is falling outside of my usual format for my posting given that I will be covering this as an enterprise versus a post per three book set.

Before beginning each set proper, I thought it would do some good to look into the entirety of said enterprise first. This is going to be very generalized as unfortunately there isn’t a lot of information on the creation of this series available to me at the time of writing. As of this moment there isn’t a copy of any of the five sets’ Monthly Letters accessible, a Google search for the sets only gives me options to purchase them, and the Quarto doesn’t get into specifics on its creation from my perusal of it. So, some basics: at some point Macy decided that he wanted to reprint individual tales of children’s literature from several sources in a separate collection. Having done some work in this field with the early editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Book #20) and Andersen’s Fairy Tales (#138 and #195), alongside some publications of Pinocchio (Book #88), the Alice in Wonderland titles (Books #36 and #65), Aesop’s Fables (#47), and Twain’s Tom Sawyer (#114), and some others, Macy was well equipped to tackle this concept. He recruited Jean Hersholt, who had served as the translator and editor for both the aforementioned Andersen’s, to serve in an editorial role on this project. Hersholt is a bit of a fascinating person — I’ll let the Wikipedia page cover much of his biography as this is already going to be a massive post. For our purposes, I’ll note he was an actor, radio personality and avid Andersen fan, with his massive collection of titles being donated to the Library of Congress upon his death in 1956. His work on the original Andersen volumes were praised at the time as being definitive; it’s little wonder Macy called him back to assist with this endeavor. Hersholt provided brief introductions to each tale on top of his editorial and occasional translation duties.

The other major selling point was the recruitment of some of the premiere book illustrators of the era to get their chance to shine alongside these fairy tales. Some of them were already titans in the Macy oeuvre: Fritz Kredel, Arthur Szyk, Edy Legrand, Sylvain Sauvage, and Fritz Eichenberg had several prior editions by the Club at this point. Some illustrators like Henry C. Pitz, Rafaello Busoni, Malcolm Cameron, and Edward Ardizzone either got their start here or were relative newcomers to the LEC canon. Robert Lawson and Everett Gee Jackson were brought back after an extended hiatus from a LEC publication, while William Moyers, Edward Shenton, Ervine Metzl and Hans Bendix began and ended their Macy careers with these editions.

It is important to note that these did have a higher limitation number than usual — 2500, in fact. Finding a complete set with the same limitation number is difficult nowadays! Most were signed by Hersholt, and a few did get the illustrators to sign. An exhausting fact is that the Evergreen Tales had Hersholt sign 2500 copies (plus additional ones for special individuals) for 15 individual books: that’s 37,500 signatures in four years! Note that my “Ali Baba” is not signed by Hersholt, which I touch on below. My third set has Jackson and Ardizzone’s signatures in their respective books, although I know of some of the other sets being signed by their illustrators (my first and fourth sets are not), as you’ll see below. Another thing of curiosity is Hersholt’s dedication to the families these sets went to. In my fourth set the signature includes a dedication note to the “Cutler” children. Other limitation numbers feature this dedication as documented here on Librarything — note that the photos are from the first, second, third and fifth sets, most within the normal 1500 copy limitation. The second “Ugly Duckling” example falls outside of the 1500, though, and is inscribed while mine is not.

Thanks to Django6924, tag83 and astronauteric for the above images. It seems the colophon was a chaotic element with these sets, and one truly will not know if they will purchase a set with illustrator signatures or an additional inscription from Hersholt! Before moving away from this topic, I want to spiral back that I discovered that the fifth set of #1993 ended up with another Devotee, and he noticed the fifth set was still in the original glassine wrappers sent out to protect the books. My fourth set was received the same way. Seems the Cutlers weren’t all that interested in these books by the time the last two were issued in 1952. Shame I don’t know where the second set ended up.

Another question I have on these is how they were shipped to subscribers. For instance, the 18th series considers each Evergreen Tale book to be its own unique release for the twelve books issued that year. However, the 19th series did not do that for the second or third set, with the Evergreen sets counting as their own release alongside ten others. The fourth and fifth sets do the same. So perhaps this first set was issued separately? Or there was a two month gap with the understanding that you’d get three books all at once for the first set? Hopefully I’ll find that out someday.

The other thing to note is that even in the Quarto the designer details are sketchy. I can say five are definitively assigned to Macy himself (“Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” in Volume 1, all of Volume 2, and “The Ugly Duckling” in Volume 3), with one, “The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in Volume 3 designed by Ernest Ingham. The other nine are quiet on the matter. Given the consistency with these volumes, it’s likely that Macy handled several others within this set, but I cannot state that as a certainty.

I’m not sure if five sets were the intended cutoff point for the series, but given both Macy and Hersholt’s deaths in 1956, I’m sure that future plans for more Evergreen sets were possibly in the cards but folded as the two faced their medical issues. Helen Macy never returned to the concept over her tenure, and thus 15 classic pieces of children’s tales were enshrined under this banner.

Okay, so now that we’ve gone over some of the murky background of the development of the Evergreen Tales, let us begin our look into the books themselves. My Volumes 1, 3 and 4 all came from the same limitation number, #1993 of 2500. My set #2 came from a different number, #1888. I’m going to keep my words to the point for these to keep this post from being too exhausting.


Volume 1: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, The Three Bears, The Story of Joseph and his Brothers
Illustrated by
Fritz Kredel, William Moyers, Arthur Szyk
LEC #193/18th Series V. 8 in 1948
#1993 of 2500

Click images to see larger views.

Spines – Let’s begin our journey into the Evergreen Tales with the very first set. This is, out of the three I have, probably the most stunning on the binding front, courtesy of the excellent Arthur Szyk having one of his pieces bound into the cover of his take on “Joseph and his Brothers”. The other two are quite playful as well, as you’ll see below:

Front Bindings (in the order they are listed on the slipcase label)

Along with Szyk, Fritz Kredel and William Moyers were the other artists on this set. We recently covered Szyk’s gorgeous art with the LEC edition of The Book of Ruth (which also includes his bibliography). Kredel, meanwhile, was last seen in Barchester TowersLEC update in 2018. Both would continue to see commissions following this. Szyk ended a fabulous run of LEC and Heritage Press commissions over three years with this, and would have his art for The Arabian Nights Entertainments posthumously published in 1954. Kredel would have several more extending into the 1960s; for his entire LEC/Heritage bibloiography, see here. Moyers, meanwhile, only illustrated this book for the LEC.

The Quarto provides the following production details:

As the front binding gallery suggested, I’m going to combine the three books into a gallery for each of my usual post breakdowns just to save on space a little bit.

Slipcase

Title Pages – “Aladdin” was translated by Hersholt. “The Three Bears” is pulled directly from English poet Robert Southey, who created the iconic tale. “Joseph and his Brothers” comes from the King James version of the Bible. All note a 1949 publication year, but given the gap between November to January for these titles, it’s hard to say when exactly these came out.

Colophon – These are #1993 of 2500, and Hersholt signed the colophon for all three.

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


Volume 2: Saint George and his Dragon, Beauty and the Beast, Dick Whittington and his Cat
Illustrated by
Edward Shenton, Edy Legrand, Robert Lawson
LEC #202/19th Series V. 6 in 1949
#1888 of 2500

Click images to see larger views.

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Spines – Compared to the other three sets that came from the Cutler family, my second set is a little more faded and appear to have been read more often (there’s also a strong smoky smell in these ones, so I’ll need to apply some baking soda treatment to these to absorb it out). I feel that this set is a bit of a bridge between Set #1 and #3 in terms of the quality of the bindings. “Dick Whittington” and “Beauty” remind me more of the third, while “Saint George” harkens back to the more lush aesthetics of the first.

Front Bindings (in the order they are listed on the slipcase label)

This set brings together two well established LEC illustrators along with a fresh artist who only contributed to this set of Evergreen Tales. Edy Legrand (“Beauty”, last seen here with 2020’s post on Travels in Arabia Deserta) and Robert Lawson (“Whittington”) had both had a LEC under their belt by the time this commission arrived; Legrand had the grandiose LEC Shakespeare Hamlet, while Lawson designed and illustrated The Crock of Gold in 1942. Legrand would continue on with several more commissions through the 1960s (see The Nibelungenlied for his complete Macy bibliography), while Lawson would end his run here. The other artist was Edward Shenton, whose watercolors enrich “Saint George”.

The Quarto provides the following production details:

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Slipcase

Title Pages – “Beauty” was originally written by Madame Le Prince de Beaumont and translated by P.H. Muir, “Whittington” was retold by its illustator Robert Lawson, while “Saint George” was retold by William H.G. Kingston. This is the only set without a more extensive literary touch from Hersholt, as he either retold or translated one of the books in the other four Evergreen Tales releases.

Colophon – These are #1888 of 2500, and Hersholt signed the colophon for Whittington along with artist Robert Lawson. For my set, the other two were unsigned.

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


Volume 3: Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves, The Ugly Duckling, The Sleeping Beauty of the Wood
Illustrated by
Edward Ardizzone, Sylvain Sauvage, Everett Gee Jackson
LEC #203/19th Series V. 7 in 1949
#1993 of 2500

Click images to see larger views.

Spines – Set three features three very well known tales from vastly different sources. We have Charles Perrault’s “Sleeping Beauty”, Andersen’s “Ugly Duckling”, and the Arabic “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”

Front Bindings (in the order they are listed on the slipcase label)

The bindings reflect these differences as well — I do find that these are a bit of a step back from the first set, but I do like the classy “Sleeping Beauty” one the most of these.

Sylvain Sauvage is my personal highlight here — this is the third posthumous publication the LEC issued after his death in 1948, and if memory serves this is the last I’ll be able to cover here. The last time Sauvage was discussed here was The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard last month! Zadig covers his bibliography for the two Clubs. Edward Ardizzone makes his LEC debut with “Ali Baba”, as well as his GMI debut as well, haha. As of today I don’t have anything else of his in my collection, but when I do, I’ll cover his bibliography. Lastly, we come to Everett Gee Jackson, whose prior LEC contribution was for the American folktale The Wonderful Adventures of Paul Bunyan in 1945, and his style works well for “The Ugly Duckling”. We’ve featured his other commissions before, the most recent being The Popoh Vuh in 2017. I’ll let his publication history from an earlier post on Paul Bunyan talk about the rest of his career with Macy.

The Quarto provides the following production details:

Note that “Ali Baba” was designed by Ernest Ingham and printed in London; this is a key I’ll get to shortly.

Slipcase

Title Pages – “Ali Baba” was translated from the original Arabic into French by J.C. Mardrus, and subsequently translated into English by E. Powys Mathers. Hersholt translated Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” from Danish to English (probably pulling from his earlier LEC Andersen), while P.H. Muir translated Perrault’s “Sleeping Beauty” from French into English.

Colophon – These are #1993 of 2500, and Hersholt signed the colophon for all but “Ali Baba”. I wonder if this was because it was handled by a different designer and published in London versus the US as the others? Ardizzone did sign that book, however. Jackson joined Hersholt on “Ugly Duckling”. Unfortunately, Sauvage had passed away well before the time this set was issued. This shows how early these were in the production cycle — Sauvage died in 1948, and these were not issued until late 1949, but it’s a healthy amount of illustrations!

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


Volume 4: King Midas & the Golden Touch, Pandora’s Box, The Emperor’s New Clothes
Illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg
Rafaello Busoni, Ervine Metzl
LEC #222/21st Series V. 2 in 1952

Click images to see larger views.

Spines – There is a lot less color diversity in this set than the other two I own, but that’s okay when the bindings are considerably nicer than the last set:

Front Bindings (in the order they are listed on the slipcase label)

“King Midas” in particular is my favorite in this set and second overall; it’s so classy! “Pandora” has a textured binding in contrast to the others feeling slick to the touch, and “Emperor” is perhaps the most avant-garde in the entire Series, with a distinct rebellious orientation that defies layout conventions.

Fritz Eichenberg was called in for “King Midas”, which he does with splendor. He abandons his usual woodcutting techniques for colored lithographs, which works very well for the tale. Of course, I’ve covered Eichenberg plenty on the blog before as he is one of my favorite all-time illustrators; he was last seen in the Heritage reprint of Reynard the Fox back in 2017, with a look at his career in The Brothers Karamazov post. Rafaello Busoni got his second LEC commission here following The Red and the Black in 1947, which is conveniently the last time I covered him as well way back in 2011 (I need to update that post with Busoni’s bibliography!). Ervine Metzl only contributed his artistry to “Emperor” to the LEC.

The Quarto provides the following production details:

Slipcase

Title Pages – “King Midas” and “Pandora’s Box” both come from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, called there “The Golden Touch” and “The Paradise of Children”. “Emperor”, meanwhile, is another Andersen tale translated by Hersholt.

Colophon – These are #1993 of 2500, and Hersholt signed the colophon for all three to the Cutler children. Unfortunately, I know nothing about the Cutlers, but I can at least suspect that these three sets with the same limitation all went to that family.

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


Volume 5: Bluebeard, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk
Illustrated by
Hans Bendix, Henry C. Pitz, Malcolm Cameron
LEC #228/21st Series V. 8 in 1952

Forthcoming!


Personal Notes – I bought the first set from Powell’s Books online when they had a sale, and I wanted to give this a test as they had the third and fourth sets available as well but didn’t apply to the sale. When I received the set, I was incredibly pleased by the condition and I took the risk in the hopes all of them would be so nice! And hey, I was right! These have always been on a wish list for me since I saw the second set at Carpe Diem years ago, and while I couldn’t afford that set then I knew I wanted to have them all eventually. As of today, I’m 60% there! Haha. It’s super cool that these three are all from the same limitation, too!

In 2021 I acquired the second set from a library non-profit with an Amazon storefront for a remarkably good deal. While it’s a bit sunned and has a smoky smell, the interiors are in excellent condition, so I’m happy to be one step closer to having all of these lovely sets!

George Macy Imagery Video Series #9 – LEC First Series #3…but with a twist!

Welcome to the ninth video for the George Macy Imagery Video Series, where I share some books from the first series of the Limited Editions Club alongside Heritage Press exclusive variants that did their own thing with the same piece of literature. Covered in this episode are Leaves of Grass and The Decameron!

Links Referenced:
Leaves of Grass – https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.c…
The Decameron – https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.c…

Limited Editions Club/Heritage Press – The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1930/1940)

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1940)
Sandglass Number 11L
Artwork: Woodcuts by Fritz Kredel
Introduced by Edward Hutton, translated by Anonymous in 1620
Also printed as a special two volume LEC in a limitation of 530 copies, signed by Kredel. The LEC first published The Decameron in 1930, #7 of Series 1, featuring the artwork of T.M. Cleland and the modern English translation of Frances Winwar (see below).

Click images for larger views.

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Front Binding – The Decameron is our next highlight of the Heritage Press. A little background on the book’s publishing history is in order! In the very first series of the Limited Editions Club, The Decameron was produced with T.M. Cleland’s design and decorative skills and a modern verse translation by Frances Winwar. I’ve appended this post to feature that edition below.

When the Heritage Press got going, George Macy wanted to revisit The Decameron for that readership. Macy had released a limited run of The Decameron as a special offering to LEC members in 1940, on which this edition is based. He appointed Mr. Fritz Kredel, a man who needs little introduction on this blog by now (but in case you do, here’s a post with his extended tenure working for the Macys), to render period-appropriate decorations to serve as illustrations for this new work. However, despite having copyright over Winwar’s translation, Macy felt that the period-apropos work of Kredel clashed with the modernity of Winwar’s words. So, he went way back to the very first English translation of the text, done anonymously in 1620, to serve as a proper contrast to Kredel’s woodcuts. It also returns two chapters omitted from 1620 that were considered too “racy” back then with a simple modern English translation (no idea if it’s Winwar’s or not). Ultimately, 530 copies of the premium Kredel Decameron were issued to LEC members in 1940, making it the rarest limitation of any Macy-era LEC. There is no Heritage edition of the earlier Cleland/Winwar collaboration.

I’ve included a special bonus in the Sandglass section of the post; an official announcement issued in 1948 regarding the switch of some of the titles in the Heritage program. Now, one will notice rather quickly that 1940 is not the same year as 1948. I can’t explain the inner workings of the Company, but it would appear to me that the LEC edition shipped out in 1940, and that a potential Heritage edition may have been benched until 1948, as Macy sure is making it sound like The Decameron was not issued to the Heritage Press until then. Regardless, it’s a glimpse into the scheduling background that readers rarely get to see in the publishing world, and worth a look for those curious about Macy’s operations.

A final note on the author before we touch on the design; Giovanni Boccaccio published other works beyond The Decameron, but that was all the LEC or Heritage Press offered. Still, it’s always an honor (in my view) to get your work printed twice by the same high-end publishing house.

Design-wise, the design of the type for this edition was handled by Mr. Macy himself. Kredel was the designer of the boards. Cloister (main text) and Centaur (title page and other decorative uses) are the fonts. West Virginia Paper Company supplied the paper. That’s as far as the Sandglass and book goes in revealing design elements!

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Slipcase

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Title Page – A lovely title page that was supposed to reflect the era of the Italian Renaissance; Kredel hit it out of the park, I’d say. Despite that, it’s interesting they refer to Boccaccio as John here. Edward Hutton has much to say on the work and the translation in his Introduction.

Examples of the In-text Decorations by Kredel (right click and open in new tab for full size):

Personal Notes – I got this as part of my volunteering at Second Time Around Used Books in Merced. The condition is a little rough, and the slipcase is barely together, but the bonus ephemera and scarcity of this book (I’ve only seen this particular copy in a store) made me snag it. I look forward to reading it sometime.

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

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1930)
LEC #7/1st Series V. 7 in 1930
Artwork: Decorations by T.M. Cleland
Introduced by Burton Rascoe, with a modern English translation by Frances Winwar
LEC #1098 of 1500. This edition is a LEC exclusive.

Click images to see larger views.

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Front Binding – Now for the new content, the original 1930 edition of The Decameron! This was the seventh offering from the Limited Editions Club, and a high quality release that truly shines the spotlight on one of the more illustrative of Macy’s many book designers. Unlike the Heritage, it was issued in two volumes.

Not much more to add to Baccaccio’s comments from before, but we can talk a little about the aforementioned designer, T.M. Cleland, who got his start with this very book. His decorations are perfect for this edition, and highlights the very things I find most enjoyable about his work: an exquisite sense of placement. His title page is as usual spectacular, and his decorations suit the beginning of each “chapter” beautifully. You can definitely see the talent that would embellish many more LECs in the future here.

Design Notes – Cleland designed the book, as I noted. From the Quarto:

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Spine

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Slipcase

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Title Page – Astounding. I love Cleland’s title page designs; they bring me so much joy. Frances Winwar delivered a brand new modern translation to Macy for this edition, while Burton Rascoe wrote up an introduction.

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Colophon – This is #1098 of 1500, and Cleland signed the colophon.

Examples of Cleland’s illustrations (right click and open in new tab for full size):

Personal Notes – I got this on the same trip to Moe’s in Berkeley as the Jorrocks book I just wrote up on. This was definitely one of the high points of that trip!

Comparisons:

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Front Bindings

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Title Pages

https://georgemacyimagery.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/dsc_0186.jpg?w=390&h=&crop=1&zoom=2

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Example of the text/decorations

Updated 4/12/2020 by JF

Limited Editions Club/Heritage Press: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)

Limited Editions Club:

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)
LEC #292/27th Series V. 1 in 1958
Artwork: Illustrations by Fritz Kredel
Introduced by Angela Thirkell

#403 of 1500.

Click to see larger views.

Front Binding – Happy 2018 everyone! I am not entirely sure how frequent this blog will see updates without any new books to spotlight beyond this one at present, but I will continue to post new titles that come into my hands as they enter my library — I promise you that!

Our first post in 2018 is not the first for either author nor artist; in fact, we’ve spotlighted them both TOGETHER way back when with the Heritage reprint of The Warden, which predated this book by three years. You can take a look at the Heritage edition I previously reviewed below. Anthony Trollope would only see these two works printed by the Limited Editions Club, with both decorated by Fritz Kredel’s graceful hand. As for Fritz, he hasn’t been spotlighted since 2013’s post on The Decameron, so it’s nice to welcome him back, especially since he was the most utilized of all illustrators by George Macy and his family over the LEC tenure. This is a very representative example of his output; expertly done and apropos of the story within. For his entire LEC/Heritage bibloiography, see here.

Design Notes – Designer Richard Ellis was recruited to continue the tradition he established with The Warden (a theme for this book, as we will see shortly). Ellis is no stranger to the blog at this point; I even reposted a complete LEC/Heritage bibliography just for him from Devotee featherwate! We last saw his work with the Heritage exclusive The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The font chosen was Bell (much like The Warden), which was printed by Clarke & Way on Curtis paper. The letter makes a note about the paper being infused with titanium to minimize showthrough. Frank Fortney of Russell-Rutter binded the project, with a black levant-grain leather with Kredel supplying a decoration stamped in gold leaf alongside the title and publisher. The boards have a patterned paper, and it seems to be radically different batches used midway through as I’ve seen two copies of this LEC and they did not share the same paper! Kredel’s artwork was reproduced via gravures by the Photogravure and Color Company and subsequently colored by Walter Fischer’s studio. Each of the forty drawings had four separate stencils created for each to maximize closeness to Kredel’s originals. These stencils were then carefully used to color each illustration by hand to match up. More can be seen in the Letter below!

Spine

Slipcase

Title Page – Angela Thirkell, who also provided a preface for The Warden, steps back in to provide the same treatment for this book. Trollope’s two books essentially had the exact same crew backing them, which is sort of unique for the Club. The big selling point of the LEC upgrade is the upgrade to Kredel’s colors, which the Heritage reprint does not come close in replicating:

As was frequent in Heritage reprints of this era, the color choice was radically simplified.

Colophon – This is copy 403 of 1500 and signed by Kredel. My first LEC from him!

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

 

 

Personal Notes – I picked this up for store credit as Old Capitol Books in Monterey when I was down there for Christmas…this is like the 15th LEC of theirs I’ve bought I’m pretty sure. I’ll have to check one of these days…

LEC Newsletter (right click and open in new tab for full size):

Heritage Press:

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1958)
Sandglass Number unknown
Artwork – Illustrations by Fritz Kredel
Introduced by Angela Thirkell
Reprint of LEC #292/27th Series V. 1 in 1958

Click the images for larger views.

Front Binding – A nicely designed pattern for the boards on this book, with a brown spine. Shame it’s been sunned somehow, but it is a library book, after all.

Title Page

Page 18 – Lovely, lovely work. The woman’s face to the right of the carriage is amazing; I’ll need to check and see how it looks in the LEC.

Page 35

Personal Notes – Back when I was reviewing library books, I picked this up to document from the Mariposa library. It’s seen its fair share of readers, I can say that much.

Trivia: The 10 Most Frequent Artists in the LEC

Hey, remember the trivia category? Well, I’m bringing it back. This time, let’s examine who George Macy and the subsequent owners of the Limited Editions Club commissioned the most over the Club’s long tenure!

10) Sylvain Sauvage (7)
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Sauvage illustrated several French classics for the LEC, including Cyrano de Bergerac, The History of Zadig (pictured), and two works of Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard and At the Sign of the Queen Pedauque. He also handled As You Like It in the LEC Shakespeare.

9) Rene ben Sussan (8)
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ben Sussan had two commissions of Honore de Balzac, rendering the worlds of Old Goriot   and Eugenie Grandet as part of his eight titles for the LEC. He also had a hand in English drama, providing art for Jonson’s Volpone, the Fox and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Pictured is The Chronicle of the Cid.

8) John Austen (8)
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Several British works were illustrated by Austen: Vanity Fair (pictured), The Comedy of Errors, The Faerie Queene, The Pickwick Club, and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. He also branched out a little with Aristophanes’ The Birds.

7) Agnes Miller Parker (8)
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The sole woman on our list, Parker’s exquisite woodcuts brought life to all of Thomas Hardy’s novels printed by the Club, as well as The Faerie Queene (pictured), Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard, Richard the Second, and The Poems of Shakespeare.

6) T.M. Cleland (8)
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A talented designer as well as artist, Cleland’s artistic gifts were displayed a little less frequently, but often enough to earn a place on our list. Some of his works include The Decameron, The History of Tom Jones, The Way of the World, She Stoops to Conquer and The Life and Times of Tristan Shandy, Gentleman. Pictured is Monsieur Beauclaire.

5) Valenti Angelo (12)
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The simplistic yet stylistic grace of Angelo graced a dozen books of the LEC, and several of them are masterworks of literature: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The House of the Seven Gables, The Books of a Thousand Nights and a Night, Songs of the Portuguese,  and several religious texts, like The Koran, The Book of Proverbs and The Book of Psalms. Pictured is The Song of Roland.

4) Lynd Ward (13)
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Ward’s thirteen contributions mark him as one of the most prominent illustrators for Macy, and he didn’t even work on the LEC Shakespeare like the majority of the others on this list! Ward’s commissions ranged from non-fiction works such as Rights of Man and On Conciliation with America to fantastical works such as Beowulf and Idylls of the King to contemporary works like The Innocent Voyage (pictured) and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

3) Fritz Eichenberg (15)
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The gifted Eichenberg worked the longest stretch of any of our artists; his first commission was 1939’s Richard the Third for the LEC Shakespeare to 1986’s The Diary of a Country Priest. One of the few to work under late Club owner Sid Shiff, Eichenberg’s output left the LEC a lasting legacy that is difficult to ignore. Best known for his work on the Russian legends of literature, including Eugene Onegin, Crime and Punishment (pictured), Fathers and Sons, and Childhood, Boyhood, Youth.

2) Edward A. Wilson (17)

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Wilson was productive, to say the least; he even had his own Heritage volume detailing his artwork! Among the many classics he brought visual splendor to are Westward Ho!, Treasure Island, The Tempest (pictured), Robinson Crusoe, Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

1) Fritz Kredel (20)
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And finally we come to Fritz Kredel, the king of illustrating for the LEC with a massive twenty volumes! Many collections of fairy tales were conjured by Kredel, including both Andersen (pictured) and the Brothers Grimm. Two Shakespeares, two Trollopes, two Twains, Thackeray, Darwin, Austen, Plato and Heine were among the literary giants Kredel decorated for Macy, and his talent was certainly up to such a diverse palette of books.

Next time, we’ll explore the most frequent Heritage Press artists in terms of their exclusives. We’ll see how many of these artisans cross over!