Curios: The Most Popular Authors in the LEC/Heritage canon

March 27, 2015 § 2 Comments

I’m beginning a new tradition here at the Imagery; once in a while, I’d like to present some interesting bit of research or trivia to you. Today, I’ll share the top authors who were published most by the two major arms of the Macy Companies and their successors. I will separate the two presses at first, and then merge the results to see who wins the coveted (imaginary) “Most Popular” status!

Limited Editions Club:

1) William Shakespeare, with 41 individual releases! I’m counting each book in the LEC Shakespeare as its own entity.
2) Mark Twain, with 12 individual releases.
3) Charles Dickens, with 9 individual releases.
3) Robert Louis Stevenson, with 9 individual releases.
5) Fyodor Dostoevsky, with 8 individual releases.
5) Alexandre Dumas, with 8 individual releases.
5) Joseph Conrad, with 8 individual releases.
8) James Fenimore Cooper, with 6 individual releases.
8) Nathanial Hawthorne, with 6 individual releases.
10) Gustave Flaubert, with 5 individual releases.
10) Leo Tolstoy, with 5 individual releases.
10) Oscar Wilde, with 5 individual releases.
10) Anatole France, with 5 individual releases.
10) Victor Hugo, with 5 individual releases.
10) Jane Austen, with 5 individual releases.
10) Jules Verne, with 5 individual releases.
10) William Makepeace Thackeray, with 5 individual releases.
10) Sir Walter Scott, with 5 individual releases.

Heritage Press:

This is not as simple to document, as there remains an incomplete bibliography of the Heritage Press output. But, relying on the research I’ve done here, I’ll do my best. I’ll only be doing a Top 5 due to the less frequent original publications of this Press.

1) Charles Dickens, with 14 individual releases!
2) William Shakespeare, with 5 individual releases.
3) Mark Twain, with 3 individual releases.
4) Anatole France, with 2 individual releases.
5) Henry James, with 2 individual releases.
5) Washington Irving, with 2 individual releases.
5) Charles Lamb, with 2 individual releases.
5) Homer, with 2 individual releases.
5) Nathaniel Hawthorne, with 2 individual releases.

OVERALL:

1) William Shakespeare, with 46 books to his name in the canon!
2) Charles Dickens, with 23 books.
3) Mark Twain, with 15 books.
4) Robert Louis Stevenson, with 9 books.
5) Fyodor Dostoevsky, with 9 books (I’m including the Heritage Crime and Punishment as a separate release).
6) Alexandre Dumas, with 8 books.
6) Joseph Conrad, with 8 books.
6) Nathanial Hawthorne, with 8 books.
9) Anatole France, with 7 books.
10) James Fenimore Cooper, with 6 books.
10) Leo Tolstoy, with 6 books.
10) Oscar Wilde, with 6 books.
10) William Makepeace Thackeray, with 6 books.

This list is subject to change, as there may be a Heritage exclusive somewhere I may have missed.

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Heritage Press – The Odyssey by Homer (1970, Connecticut)

January 16, 2012 § 2 Comments

The Odyssey by Homer (1970, Connecticut)
Sandglass Number: Unknown
Artwork: Classical Designs by John Flaxman
Translated by Alexander Pope
Heritage Press Exclusive – The LEC did their own Odyssey in 1930, designed by Jan van Krimpen, and later Sidney Shiff produced his LEC Odyssey in 1981 featuring woodcuts by Barry Moser.

Click images to see a larger view.

Front Binding – This will be a relatively short post, since it’s A) a library copy and B) a Connecticut-era reprint, and it’s a companion to the Heritage Iliad.  It features the same design philosophy, the same translator (Alexander Pope) and the same artist (John Flaxman).  So I don’t think I can really comment much more than I did with the Iliad.  This is a nice shade of blue in contrast to the Iliad red.

Spine

Title Page – Flaxman’s work is still nice!

Page 6 – I’ll be more than happy to compare these to the New York printing when I can, but I can say that the quality isn’t shabby at all.

Page 14

Personal Notes – Checked out from the library…although I wouldn’t mind owning them.

If you have a Sandglass for the Heritage New York printing, 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.  Thanks!

Heritage Press – The Iliad of Homer (1943)

October 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

The Iliad of Homer (1943)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Classical Design Sketches by John Flaxman
Translated and introduced by Alexander Pope, supervised by Carl Van Doren
Heritage Press Exclusive – The LEC did their own Iliad in 1931, designed by Jan van Krimpen.

Click images to see a larger view.

Front Binding – The neat Greek design you see on the left does go all the way around the front in a box. It’s also a lovely shade of red. The Odyssey would follow the same design philosophies but go for a blue cloth instead. Info on the designer of the book will be forthcoming, as long as the Connecticut Sandglass I’ve acquired recently contains it.

This book pulls heavily from the past (not only in the material of Homer, of course), with poet Alexander Pope’s translation and 19th century sculptor John Flaxman’s outlines embellishing the text. The combination looks great, although I admit to having not read the book in question.

Pope, despite being a fairly prominent figure in the English poetry canon, never had his own work reproduced by the George Macy Company, although he would reappear as part of a set of translators for Ovid’s Metamorphosis in 1961. Why his essays on Man and Criticism, not to mention The Rape of the Lock, were untouched by the LEC or Heritage Press is a mystery to me.

Flaxman was best known for his bas-reliefs, which to this day can be found all over England.  He was a busy man working with many mediums: sculpture, painting, drafts, drawings and engravings were all part of his prolific output. He not only rendered the worlds of Homer, but those of Dante and Aeschylus as well. As far as I know, Flaxman’s work was only utilized by the Company for the two works of Homer for the Heritage Press.

Spine

Title Page – Alexander Pope provides an introduction to his translation (or, better said, the Press plucked it as well as his translation to be used here). Carl Van Doren seemed to have supervisory control on the book, as he provides a note on the translation following Pope’s intro. Thanks to m7ia for the info and reminder to check! As for Flaxman’s artwork, it certainly fits the bill in my opinion. It has a simplistic grace to it, which he was renowned for in his heyday.

Page 2

Page 18

Personal Notes – I’d like to compare van Krimpen’s LEC’s to these Heritage editions. These are nice, but I imagine that van Krimpen’s are impressive, too. I originally documented a library copy, but hey, now I have one thanks to my old friend from my first bookselling gig who happened to collect this on his travels somewhere.

Connecticut Sandglass to come.

Updated 7/29/2012 JF

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