DLE HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
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There is a new DLE listed - HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN. Called up Easton press customer service - they said that it should be ready to be shipped around the middle of March.
It's a beautiful book, but keep in mind this translation is one that has been severely criticized for inaccuracy--to the point where Jean Hersholt undertook a new translation of the complete works--a translation that is still the standard today.
Once again we're faced with the dilemma of whether to by a beautifully produced edition with copious historical illustrations or go with a good translation.
Some days I wonder if there is any point checking DLEs that contain translations at all...
Are the 100 Gaskin illustrations even the largest set made for the tales of HC Andersen?
4: I think the Ovid translation, History of the Crusades, and da Vinci are all respected. I guess it's unfortunate that some wonderfully illustrated books have lousy translations. How bad are these Andersen translations?
This is a historic edition. I'm glad they are going to replicate it faithfully.
The emperor's "new suit". Still, I think this is a no-brainer, really. Hope there's no quality issues...
Here's a google version of the whole work, I'm on my tablet and signed into my gmail, so I hope this link will work for everyone:
Yes, I think it is the edition:
Little more white space, unless the mock-up is just a photoshop approximation.
Well as one of EP's biggest critics, given their multitude of recent disappointments including the bookplate pasted signature of Elie Wiesel for the DLE Night, I wanted to share my thoughts about the DLE Stories and Fairy Tales by Andersen which just arrived today.
Unlike most of my most recent DLE purchases, I am pleased to report that this one does not disappoint. I checked carefully and there are no immediately obvious quality issues (except for a few nits noted in the next paragraph). It is a stunningly beautiful, nicely crafted book. The slipcase was perfect, unlike my Dore's London which has some white powdery marks that won't rub off (granted, I refuse to try water!). The gilt stamping on the slipcase appears to be a quality job as well and superior to many of the more recent releases (Dore's London, Prince and the Pauper). The books themselves are gorgeous, bound in a leather very similar, if not identical in both color and texture, to The Romance of King Arthur, which in my opinion, was one of their very best DLE productions. The gilt on the covers and spines is deeply stamped and seemingly durable. Oh, and a joyous little surprise was an additional gilt design on the back covers about the size of large postage stamp. It provides an overall luxurious impression to the binding. The marbled endpapers are gorgeous and probably in my Top 3 (along with Aesop's Fables and Ovid). The paper used is thick and luxurious and very reminiscent of the quality found in the best Limited Editions Club volumes. The printing quality could be a bit better (appears a bit faded on many illustrations and throughout the text), but my expectations might be influenced by the fact that most of my book purchases since December have been Limited Editions Club books printed letterpress, so perhaps the similarity of the paper combined with the modern printing technique is incongruous with my initial impressions. It is certainly no worse than any other EP book, none of which (to my knowledge) have been printed letterpress. Once you get used to this kind of type, it is so hard to go back to standard!! The book size is perfect for casual reading (since I would expect the stories to be best dipped into selectively rather than read from cover to cover), not too small as to be insubstantial or detrimental to the illustrations, but not too big that it would be uncomfortable to hold in one's hands or lap for long periods of time.
Since I am a perfectionist, I feel it is only fair to note the following: slightly bent pages toward the bottom center in both volumes (at least 30% of Vol II and maybe 10% of Vol I, from the front), bent leather at the base of the spines from the weight of the books, and text block sagging (already!). I believe all three issues are perhaps related. The wrinkling at the bottom of the pages though is a bit puzzling to me as I checked the bottom page edges when the book is closed and there does not appear to be anything but a perfectly straight gold gilted bottom edge. Yet when I open the book up, the wrinkling is there, but it is rather minor and only covers an area about 1/3 the length of a line of text and about 2 or 3 lines high (but appears only at the bottom center from the edge up). The text block sagging, though, was a bit shocking in a brand new book which was unlikely to have been stored or shipped vertically. It hasn't become extreme enough to bruise the gilt page ends on the bottom (as in most of my EP books with this condition), but there is a clear concaveness to the text block at the top of the book (picture a stretched out "U") with its mirror convexity at the bottom. This is true of both volumes and does make me question how well this will hold up over time as I doubt this is the last of it. Finally, I noticed that there was a little bit of bending or crushing to the leather at the very base of the book spines (more severe on one volume than the other). My best theory is that this is a consequence of relatively heavy books exerting downward pressure and weight on rather supple and pliable leather. It has not created obvious damage yet, but I do wonder if it won't show significant wear before too long. Luckily the creamy leather color will likely disguise this better than a solid black color would.
Overall, I can highly recommend this DLE. I had mixed feelings given the appropriate criticisms that have been made of the translation, but it is certainly readable enough and it is on balance such a stunning presentation that I think any of you on the fence about this one should take the plunge.
I will try to post some pictures this weekend if no one beats me to it.
Great news Sean and I am pleased you are happy with the book. But it does sound as if you are going to have to store it flat if there is already some sag to the text block. Needles to say, I look forward to your photographs.
Does the limitation page state who has bound this volume?
Great question David! I did specifically look for that and planned to comment on it in my review. It was Kingsport in Tennessee. I thought they were no longer doing this, but if EP somehow managed to convince them otherwise, I certainly will not complain. Given that it was not bound by our friends over at BindTech may just account for its higher than usual quality. I will be sure to photograph the colophon page.
BTW, I finally received a limitation number I like! I own copy 24 out of 400.
I though as much Sean. If the Romance of King Arthur is anything to judge by, Kingsport are great binders and they know their business.
I wish I had my camera, I absolutely LOVE the endpapers for this edition. I believe it is also about the only DLE that I've received without any gilt overspray on the cover. Even my copy of Ovid has a little bit of overspray. This really is a beautiful edition.
Ok, as promised here are some pictures of the DLE Stories and Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.
First, a look at the spines. Notice the deeply imprinted gilt labeling.
Next, a view of the slipcase. It has the gilt embellishments on the one side only. Otherwise, it is surrounded by the off-white fabric material, which seems luxurious, durable, and high quality.
A close up view of just the slipcase design.
As I mentioned in my review, other than size, the design of this DLE seems nearly identical to The Romance of King Arthur. This side-by-side comparison demonstrates they could be companion volumes.
Here is a view of the front and back of each volume. Note the small postage stamp-sized gilt picture on the back cover. This was a nice surprise as I was not expecting it. It appears on the back of each volume (same picture)
A close up of the back cover illustration.
Front cover close up - again, you can see how deeply the gilt is stamped into this one, which I suspect is more a product of the softness of the leather, rather than any deliberate attempt by Easton Press to increase production values.
These marbled endpapers are simply stunning and such a nice contrast to the otherwise simple cream and gilt exterior and near exclusively black and white interior.
Here is the colophon page with the production details. Yay, I finally got a limitation number I like!!! I am hoping this means that EP will be using Kingsport more often as the overall quality of the DLEs produced by them seems consistently higher than those produced by BindTech.
This is the frontis page (I think that is what it is called).
Title page - this is the only color printing that I found anywhere.
One of the introductory full-page illustrations prior to the actual stories themselves. Most of the illustrations within the text are smaller than full page. Notice though that the printing appears to be lightly applied to the page either because of a cheap production or to more faithfully reproduce the original, I am not sure.
This is the illustration before the first story. Unfortunately, each separate story does not begin with such an elaborate illustration.
Here is an example of one of the small illustrations to be found sprinkled throughout the text.
Example of an illustrated initial at the beginning of the chapter/story.
Here you can really see the issue with the inconsistently applied printing. Notice the partially faded "w" in "The church clock was striking Midnight"
Don't get the wrong idea, not every page has an illustration, but many of them do, and some even have one on each side, as demonstrated here.
Well I hope you enjoyed the tour. As I mentioned in my review in > 11 above, this is a higher quality DLE than EP has produced in a while and despite some small criticisms, I can highly recommend it to anyone who might be even remotely interested in the design and/or content. It appears to be worth the cost in the context of DLE pricing.
Thanks, and you did the same with the DLE Night. If I didn't already own it, I would probably have to buy it after seeing the pictures.
This is a truly beautiful book Sean. I love the script to the spines. Am I tempted ? You bet !!!!
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