Heritage Press – Dangerous Acquaintances by Choderlos de Laclos (1940)

December 27, 2015 Comments Off on Heritage Press – Dangerous Acquaintances by Choderlos de Laclos (1940)

Dangerous Acquaintances by Choderlos de Laclos (1940)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Illustrations by Chas Laborde
Introduced by Andre Gide, translated by Ernest Dowson
Heritage Press exclusive; part of the Nonesuch Press/Heritage Press Great French Writers collaboration.

Click images for larger views.

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Front Binding – Dangerous Acquaintances is our selection today, continuing our look into the Heritage/Nonesuch Great French Romances series. This book was the progenitor of the line, being the first issued back in 1940. For a more detailed look into the series,  see here. This edition, like yesterday’s post on The Princess of Cleves, is from the Nonesuch Press. Alas, this is also not my copy, and it too lacks a Sandglass or whatever Nonesuch may have issued, so I won’t go into production details here. Like Cleves, this volume’s a Heritage exclusive. The Limited Editions Club never printed this book (or anything else by Choderlos De Laclos), and they did not rehire illustrator Chas Laborde for any other commissions.

Dangerous Acquaintances is structured like a series of letters sent between the primary cast, and is very critical of the French Aristocracy, particularly the Ancien Regime. Published in 1782, it has gone on to become one of the premiere examples of the epistolary novel in any language, but its intent continues to be debated to this very day (De Laclos never specified his reasoning for writing the piece in his lifetime).

Chas Laborde did the artwork for this edition, and his hand seems apropos for the novel. As I mentioned before, he was not called upon again by Macy.

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Title Page – “Englished” by Ernest Dowson (a strange way of putting it), and introduced by fairly renowned French writer Andre Gide.

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

Personal Notes – Like Cleves, this is a work I’d like to read sometime, but this copy is not mine; it’s from my wife’s university library.

Heritage Press – The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette (1943)

December 26, 2015 Comments Off on Heritage Press – The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette (1943)

The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette (1943)
Sandglass Number 8F
Artwork: Illustrations by Hermane David
Introduced by Jean Cocteau, translated by H. Ashton
Heritage Press exclusive; part of the Nonesuch Press/Heritage Press Great French Writers collaboration.

Click images for larger views.

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Front Binding – At long last, here’s the second volume from the Heritage Press and Nonesuch Press’ collaborative efforts to reprint several French romances — The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette. Unlike the last volume I featured, The Gods are A-Thirst (where the series history is further detailed, and for those seeking a very thorough breakdown of this series, see here), this edition is from the Nonesuch Press. I recently purchased a Nonesuch volume for myself (the same as the copy I borrowed to make this post) that came with a plethora of documentation including a two-page Sandglass, so I can now discuss the production details. As the other nine volumes in this series, this was designed by Francis Maynell, owner of the Nonesuch Press and close friend to George Macy. He chose Cochin as the primary font, with Le Fourneir as the headlines. Curtis Paper Company supplied the paper, which was printed on by the Printing House of Leo Hart. Frank Fortney of Russell-Rutter, the everpresent bindery, did the duties for this volume.

This volume is a Heritage exclusive, unlike some later editions issued under this banner. The Limited Editions Club never printed Cleves, nor did they feature its illustrator, Hermine David, in any other publications. The book is one of France’s most prominent works from a woman; de La Fayette (or her full name, Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne, comtesse de La Fayette) is considered one of the progenitors of the French novel (this work stands as the first historical fiction in French and is an early attempt at psychological fiction). It was issued anonymously back in 1678 — a unfortunately common happenstance for women who wished to branch out beyond domesticity in those heady times — but de La Fayette eventually was attached to the work and has since been credited for her efforts in launching French literature as we know it today. This series has done well to include such a critical work in its canon!

As for Hermine David, she was a member of the Ecole de Paris, a group of immigrants in France that all happened to be artists. This was the sole commission she received by the George Macy Company. Her illustrations were reproduced by the Photogravure and Coloring Company, with the colors handpainted by the studio of Charlize Brakely.

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Title Page – An H. Ashton translated the book, while then-modern French writer Jean Cocteau introduces the work.

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

Personal Notes – Originally I checked this out from my ex wife’s university library, but I bought my own copy from the local Goodwill for the cheap price of $2.99!

Sandglass and other Documents (right click to open full size):

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Updated on 11/12/16

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.

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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!

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Slipcase

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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!):

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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

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