An Iceland Fisherman
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Is anyone able to shed any light as to why a later (1957) version of "An Iceland Fisherman" was published by the LEC? I haven't seen any of his illustrations for this work, but from what I 'have' seen of Mugnaini he strikes me as being a strange choice of illustrator. I've been looking on abe for the '31 edition in that elusive combination of nice condition and reasonable postage charge, and was surprised to see that this was one of the titles that the LEC had chosen to do over again.
The 1931 version was appropriately Scandinavian, as was one of my very favourite LEC acquisitions, The History of Amleth. I really love Vasegaard's numerous woodcuts for this, which seem crude in comparison with the work of many of the wood engravers used by the LEC, but which are striking and powerful and simply 'right'.
On the subject of wood engravers, I very nearly acquired Eichenberg's personal copy of King Midas from the Evergreen Tales last week. It was very reasonably priced, but I quibbled when the seller requested what I thought were unreasonable additional p&p charges and, in a fit of pique, cancelled the order. I think I've made a mistake...
A listing error, Huxley. The LEC never redid An Iceland Fisherman. I can only assume the book is The Age of Fable (which was a redo of the Heritage Press original), because the Bulfinch is the only LEC illustrated by Mugnaini in 1957.
Too bad about the Eichenberg Midas...a lovely book, and the Evergreen Tales are very hard to find in Fine condition, still, I'm totally with you when a seller tries to jack up the p&p fees.
Incidentally, I also think Vasegaard's illustrations are amazingly right and appropriate. I'm of course partial to the choices for illustrators for most of the LEC books of the first 30--40 years, but only rarely was the choice of illustrator, and the work he did, so perfectly matched as in this book, which is a very slight volume by LEC standards and seemingly not highly regarded.
I'm with you, Huxley. Sellers are getting worse about shipping charges and especially about book condition. An older LEC I needed, Sartor Resartus by Thomas Carlyle, was rated as Fine. I even emailed the seller to confirm this. When the book arrived, It was badly sunned on the spine. Now I'm trying to get my money back because of an improper listing. this was not on ebay, but from a bookseller with a web site. These sellers should be posted here to warn others to beware.
A quick search of abebooks.com for this title and LEC as the publisher, returns 38 items, 9 of which are the 1957 version illustrated by Joe Mugnaini. The description of one of these nine states, " Private Press of C. F. Brown (sic) & Co., by permission of The Limited Editions Club. 1957"
Evidently, this is an authorized reprint with new illustrations and may have been made as a presentation volume.
A little more checking shows that C. F. Braun & Co. issued a fine reprint of R. L. Stevenson's The Bottle Imp with original etchings By Paul Maudje, in 1955
Yes, I noticed that civitas. A little research found this
which has a couple of examples of the illustrations - can't say they look particularly 'Icelandic' to me, but it looks like a very nice book nonetheless (quarter morocco, marbelled paper, private press etc) and I found one for considerably cheaper than the cost of any of the paperbacks listed on amazon so have indulged my curiosity at the expense of my wallet.
So the publisher licensed the use of Endore's translation and commissioned Mugnaini to make new illustrations. Interesting. And I have to agree Mugnaini is an odd choice, but I thought he was an odd choice for Bulfinch, too, although I very much like his bizarre work in The Age of Fable.
Here's the link to The Bottle Imp mentioned above: http://www.biblio.com/books/424502232.html#
Note, the binding matches that of An Iceland Fisherman. It would seem there's a whole set of these to be collected.
Hm, not the most exciting range of titles; there's a nice looking Legend of Sleepy Hollow though.
>6 The two example illustrations definitely have a bit of a sci-fi slant to my eye. But for the price of a tea and a piece of cake in one of those dreadful coffee-shop chains (one US import I could have done without) I'm very happy to have taken a punt.
Huxley, how is your copy of Amleth? The only ones I have ever seen pictures for do not show it aging very well, I assume because of the binding material used (not sure which varietal of leather it is sheep, goat, duck duck goose). Usually it is badly rubbed at the ends of the spine and shows a lot of displeasing darkening. The title certainly interests me, but I probably will not find the proper sweet spot of price/condition.
Thanks for the link, I like the illustrations. Not tempted by this copy though.
>9 I have to say that it is absolutely fine, mint and pristine. I won't say that it was a lucky find, as I went to the shop specifically to see this book, but as the shop was one of those very exclusive antiquarian dealers in a very high rent district and as the price was low £20 and as they gave no description of condition, I wasn't really expecting too much - walked out of the shop with a big grin on my face though. So, stick with it as there are nice copies out there and I think you'll feel that it is worth the wait if the illustrations are to your taste that is.
The leather is very smooth, probably calf.
Edited as LT doesn't like 'less than' symbols.
Amleth leather is pigskin, blind stamped. A fairly durable leather and used on the Club's first book, Gulliver's Travels. My copy is near Mint. It was published in 1954 so there should be Fine copies available.
The marbled paper used on the Stevenson and Loti books looks like marbled Cockerell paper replicated and made in England. The Cockerell series of marbled papers are sold by Talas in Brooklyn, NY. I used a chocolate Cockerell when I rebound The Ballad of Reading Gaol in full Nigerian chocolate. The whole series of Cockerell marbled papers are very beautiful, and I will use them again.
>12 Pigskin - yes, of course it is. Denmark -> Bacon -> pigs!
Edited to change the symbols - I realised that the way it was written previously it looked incredibly insulting to our Danish friends (very sorry Faisel!) that wasn't the intention at all.
>3 What an amazing story! This is EXACTLY what happened to my copy of Sartor Resartus 10 years ago. I was quite a rookie in books collecting , and found the book on the ABE and sent $50 for it. When the book arrived , it appeared to be without the slipcase and with the back being sunned quite substantially. I called the seller and he refused to take it back. I even sent the book back to him, but the box with the book returned unopened.
That was my lesson that I learned, and all these years I could not find a sub for this copy, only 3 days ago I got it from Ebay and now I am waiting for it for inspection.
Many similar thoughts, even working as a prof in the local college.
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