August 5, 2017 Comments Off on Heritage Press – Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore (1943)
Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore (1943)
Sandglass Number 10F
Artwork: Illustrated by John Austen
Introduced by John T. Winterich
Heritage Press exclusive
Click images for larger views.
Front Binding – Today brings another Heritage exclusive to the blog, R.D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. A Victorian novel written among many other greats of the era, the book is perhaps considered a minor classic in contrast to its more famous contemporaries like Great Expectations and Silas Marner, but it remains a romance icon regardless. The Limited Editions Club however passed over printing an edition of their own, but we do have this Heritage exclusive to consider. Blackmore did not get a second publication.
The book’s illustrator is a different story, as John Austen was called upon for his third Heritage exclusive, following David Copperfield and The Vicar of Wakefield. We’ve seen a fair amount of Austen’s work thus far on this blog, as we have discussed Vanity Fair, The Faerie Queene and the aforementioned Vicar, where I go into his publication history. This is very much in Austen’s usual standards of illustration, with hauntingly beautiful full-page color prints and several line drawings decorating the chapters, and as such may or may not please your eyes, depending on your feelings of Austen’s style. I for one feel this novel fits Austen’s artistic proclivities.
Design Notes – The designer is unstated, so it’s conceivable George Macy handled it, as is often the case when such commentary is lacking in a Sandglass. I’ll update this when I find out for sure. The color prints were reproduced by the Photogravure and Color Company of New York, while text setting and printing was done by Rochester’s The Printing House of Leo Hart. The font is Scotch. Paper was supplied by The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, while Russell-Rutter did their usual binding services.
Spine – The front and back covers are pretty barren save the green cloth, but the spine has this delightfully intricate design.
Title Page – Interestingly we get a rather large reproduction of the Heritage logo in the center of this title page (minus the HP). While uncredited here, John T. Winterich stepped in to discuss the book’s origins and history within a short Introduction.
Examples of the Illustrations by Austen (right click and open in new tab for full size):
Personal Notes – I acquired this at Bookbuyers in Monterey last time I was there. The condition was exquisite! Bright and vibrant, unlike other copies I had seen before. Happy to have this in my collection.
May 28, 2016 § 2 Comments
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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! (pictured), Treasure Island, The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
1) Fritz Kredel (20)
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!
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!
March 28, 2012 § 2 Comments
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (1939, Illustrated Bookshelf Edition)
No Sandglass, includes a “Monthly Magazine of the Junior Heritage Club”
Artwork: Illustrations by John Austen
No Introduction beyond a brief note on the author
Heritage Press Exclusive, printed as a standard Heritage title as well.
Click to see larger images.
Front Binding – Ah, our second Illustrated Bookshelf piece. The first was Twain’s Tom Sawyer, and finally I can share the first “complete” one I own (in fact, at present it is the only one!), Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield. Designed by John Fass, this book never saw a LEC edition, so Macy purists will have to settle for a Heritage edition. Some quick production details: W.A. Dwiggins’ Caledonia font is what renders the text, done at a 12-point size. Unfortunately, Macy fails to mention the publishing house who printed the work and the bindery who bound it (just my luck today it would seem, as Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard also left out that crucial information!).
John Austen was a very productive member of Macy’s artist pantheon, and there’s a nice essay on Austen by Austen in the Magazine you may want to peruse. He calls joining the Limited Editions Club “the happiest period of my life”, and you can see the results in every book he had a hand in, including this one. I’ve failed in my duties to elaborate on his career with my earlier posts spotlighting his work, Vanity Fair and The Faerie Queene, so I’ll do it now and save myself some grief. Austen began his work for the LEC with Vanity Fair in 1930, and following that he rendered for the LEC The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens in 1933, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett in 1935, The Frogs by Aristophanes in 1937, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane by Alain Rene Le Sage in 1938, The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett in 1941, and The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser in 1953, which was published after his death and also featured the woodcuts of Agnes Miller Parker. Several of these books were bound at Oxford University Press in similar slipcases, with dustjackets, in two volumes, and all had common design philosophies. As far as I know, all of the above save The Frogs were published in this way. Austen was also a player in the LEC Shakespeare, contributing his touch to The Comedy of Errors. He also did several exclusive Heritage books, including this particular work, Dickens’ David Copperfield, and R.K. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. He was a busy man, no question.
As for Oliver Goldsmith, he is known for producing an absolute classic in drama (She Stoops to Conquer), novel (The Vicar of Wakefield), and poetry (“The Deserted Village”). He was an Irishman, and was known to be a sweet yet envious man. This was his first work printed by the Company, with She Stoops to Conquer to follow in 1964. I have the Heritage She Stoops… for you to look forward to. :)
Slipcase – A little unusual for a Heritage slipcase to feature artwork and author/artist information, but apparently this was common for the Illustrated Bookshelf line.
Title Page – The paper used in this edition is interesting. It has tiny speckles throughout that give it a sort of “recycled” feel, although I doubt much of that was going on in 1939! Austen’s work is beautiful, as usual. He has pen drawings at the beginning of each chapter along with these “portrait” pieces scattered throughout the text.
Page 1 – Example of the pen drawings.
Personal Notes – I picked this up from my bookselling gig at a used book shop in my college town in Merced. I think I paid $10 for it. It has someone’s name written in pen in it, and it’s somewhat battered, but it was a complete book despite its flaws, and the Monthly Magazine seemed fascinating. I’ve photographed it in its entirety below for you.
August 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1931)
LEC # 22, 24th Series, V. 5
Artwork: Illustrations by John Austen
Introduction by G.K. Chesterton
#91 out of 1500
Click images to see a larger view.
Front Bindings – This exclusive edition of W.M. Thackeray’s most enduring classic Vanity Fair is pretty stunning to look at, with its gorgeous dust jackets (yes, you did read that right — I’ll explain why in a moment) and John Austen’s graceful illustration in the bottom right corner. Both volumes feature this. You can see the boards underneath in the next picture; the spine is a vibrant fuchsia color.
Since I’m now updating this point from 6 (ACK!) years ago, I can distinctly see a difference in how I used to post about these books. So let’s bring this up to par with the other posts with a little history, some design notes, and then the images.
Thackeray would see an alternate publication of this work issued by the Heritage Press at a later date, with his own illustrations accompanying his text. I am not sure on the publication details of that edition, but I will definitely update this once I get my hands on a copy to compare. In 1942 The Rose and the Ring would see a LEC printing with Fritz Kredel’s artistry, with a 2 volume The Newcomes next up in 1954 starring Edward Ardizzone as its visual artist. Ardizzone would get a second chance to illustrate Thackeray in 1956 with The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. 1961 brought Charles W. Stewart to decorate The History of Pendennis, the last of the Club’s offerings of the storied author. Beyond the aforementioned Vanity Fair, the Heritage Press did not produce any other unique editions, but a few of the above LECs were reprinted as Heritage volumes (the two Ardizzone-illustrated books I can confirm).
As for Austen, this was his very first commission for the LEC! As I may have mentioned before, Austen’s artistic style can be hit or miss with people; Macy himself admits as much in the Monthly Letter! But for the world of Vanity Fair, I think his fanciful linework fits just fine. We go into his career in The Vicar of Wakefield.
Design Notes – Dr. John Johnson of Oxford University Press handled the design for this book, as well as subsequent volumes of literature done in the same mold featuring Austen (The Pickwick Papers in 1933, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle in 1935, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane in 1937, and The Old Wives’ Tale in 1941). The paper came from France’s Arches Mill, and the font selected was Baskerville at 14 point and monotype. Albert Rutherston handled the binding decorations, which are also on the endpapers, slipcase and dust jackets! Macy goes into some insights about the printer, the illustrator, the font’s creator, and even some of the financial considerations in the letter below!
Dust Jacket/Boards Comparison – The boards feature a different teal/pink coloring for the repeating flower motif, which the endpapers inside also have.
Slipcase – The case is like the dust jacket with the yellow/pink coloring. What you can’t see in this shot is the poor condition this slipcase is in: the bottom is completely separated, and the top is trying to do the same. Apparently this was a common thing, as all the copies on ABEBooks I looked at save one also had a broken slipcase or none at all. Shame.
Title Page – In my opinion, Austen’s sketches of beautiful, glamorous people match up well with the story and the overall design of the books. G.K. Chesterton of the Father Brown mystery series and master at paradox,serves up an Introduction. As for the aforementioned dust jackets on the books, which is a bit of an oddity for LECs, they were included with all of the Oxford editions I detailed above.
My particular copy, beyond the slipcase failings, seems to be a little poorly bound in Volume 2, or at the very least was well read prior to my ownership, as the pages seem to be a bit loose.
Signature Page – This is number 91 of 1500. Even after all this time I believe this is the earliest number I have. Austen’s curly signature in pencil lies below.
Page Preceding the Title Page – Austen has an unique style, that’s for sure. As I said, not for everyone, but I do think it works quite well with this book.
Personal Notes – There’s a funny story behind the acquiring of this book. When I was on a field trip with my then-wife and the anthropology club at my old community college, I went to a bookshop in Flagstaff, Arizona on the way back home. The proprietor and I had a chat about this very book. He was asking $85 or so, but the condition of it did not inspire that kind of money, nor did I even have that much to spend. He offered a 10% discount, but I still wasn’t able to match that, so I walked out. A little later, I returned to find my anthropology instructor chatting with the owner, and after letting him know where we’d be, stepped back out. In between the time I last saw him and bumping into him next, he had purchased this book for $55 and was looking for me to see if I was still interested in it. Somehow, $30 was shaved off the price! Sometimes it does pay to have good contacts. I do feel a bit for the bookshop, though…it lost a good deal of money. If only he matched my offer of $67! My win, I suppose.
LEC Monthly Letter:
Updated 10/3/2017 by JF
June 26, 2011 § 4 Comments
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser (1953)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Illustrations by Agnes Miller Parker, decorations by John Austen
Specifically published by the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, introduced by John Hayward
Heritage Press Reprint of LEC #234/22nd Series, V. 2 in 1953
Click images for a larger view.
Front Binding – An artistic tour de force lies within these boards, as two of the greats in the history of the Limited Editions Club unite for this special Coronation edition of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen. Agnes Miller Parker, whose work has been featured on the blog twice before (for the Poetry of Shakespeare and Hardy’s Return of the Native…but there’s plenty more to come!), combines her wood-carving talents with the fine drawing abilities of John Austen. Austen’s other works will be spotlighted soon on the blog, as I have come into possession of his very first commission for the Limited Editions Club, Vanity Fair, and he also applied his touch to Aristophanes’ The Frogs, among plenty of others. I think the two work well together, but you can judge for yourself momentarily.
Alas, this library copy is not in the greatest shape, so it’s got a few issues. I do like the color choice of a creme board with aqua green adornments on top, with the pink spine giving it a little class. However, this is a library copy, and Sandglasses are notoriously difficult to uncover within these well-read books, so I’m in the dark as to who put this beauty together. Any help would be great!
Title Page – Parker gets the left side to herself to showcase her excellence, while Austen embellishes the actual title page with his decorations. The work is introduced by John Hayward.
Introduction Page 1 – Austen did smaller pieces meant to decorate the text, while Parker offers full page woodcut prints. Here’s two examples of Austen’s contributions.
Page 18 – And here’s Parker’s. Another follows. Just incredible.
Personal Notes – The list of my desired books continues to grow. *sigh* This was another I checked out through 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!