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George Macy Imagery #4

This is a continuation of the topic George Macy Imagery #3.

This topic was continued by George Macy Imagery #5.

George Macy devotees

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May 23, 2014, 11:22am Top

With the old thread over 150 replies, I thought it was time to update the posting for my blog's new reviews. Today marks the beginning of more books going into the spotlight, with this one focusing on the Heritage Westward Ho!


The Sandglass I have is lacking a ton of info on the production process, so if anyone knows who designed or bound the book, I'd appreciate it. :) Enjoy!

May 23, 2014, 7:59pm Top

Jerry, I gave away my Heritage edition but kept a xerox of the Sandglass 7L to use when I acquired a pristine LEC copy that didn't include the ML. Later I paid outrageously for an ML for the book, so from the two, here's what I can tell you.

The HP edition was printed letterpress in Bodoni 75. The paper is not specified other than saying it is chemically tested to assure a life of at least two centuries. The boards are covered in a tough binder's linen and the illustrations reproduced in monochrome photogravure with the colors being applied via lithography (offset, I'm sure).

The LEC was printed on a predominantly rag paper provided by the Worthy Paper Company and the binding was done by Russell-Rutter. (Same details about type used as the HP.) The illustrations were likewise produced in monochrome via photogravure, but the colors were hand-applied with stencils (pochoir process) and with watercolor paints--not printer's inks.

The ML gives no indication of designer either, but in the Quarto-Millenary reference volume, the designer is designated as Eugene Clauss, about whom I found that he was a prominent lithographer at the J.C. Hall Company, Lithographers, Printers and Binders of Providence R.I. This and the LEC edition of The Scarlet Letter are apparently Mr. Clauss' sole Macy efforts--and a fabulous one this one is!

May 24, 2014, 10:51am Top

2) As usual, thank you for the info, Robert. I'll supplement that into the post.

May 24, 2014, 4:42pm Top


I have had great use from the George Macy Imagery site. Good job!

May 25, 2014, 9:26am Top

4) Thank you kindly! :)

May 26, 2014, 6:48pm Top

This week's post is up early (as I am going to Monterey this week to celebrate my graduation; wish me luck in acquiring some great LEC's!), and covers Henry James' The Turn of the Screw (Heritage edition): http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/heritage-press-the-turn-of-the...

Enjoy, and I'll see you next week!

May 26, 2014, 8:33pm Top

>6 WildcatJF: "According to the Sandglass, this would have been the first time the Company licensed artwork that they themselves did not commission. Now I wonder what book actually did earn that distinction."

Thanks for the post on this book, Jerry. Actually, the Sandglass is perhaps being somewhat absent-minded on the matter of reusing illustrations: the LEC in its first half-dozen years re-used Tenniel's illustrations for the Lewis Carroll books, Kemble's for Huckleberry Finn, Cruikshank's for Punch and Judy, W.M. Thackeray's for The Rose and the Ring though redone by Kredel (not to mention the HP Vanity Fair with Thackeray's artwork), Hugh Thomson's for The Cricket on the Hearth, the English version of the 2-volume Salome featuring Beardsley's artwork, Hoffman's original artwork for Slovenly Peter (albeit adapted by Kredel), the French version of Flowers of Evil with Rodin's drawings, The Pilgrim's Progress with William Blake's artwork, and the period engravings for Aesop's Fables, redrawn by Bruce Rogers.

However, in a curious case of memory failure, the Sandglass seems to have also forgotten how Mr. Macy made Ms. Lydis' acquaintance, for in the Sandglass for The Beggar's Opera, one reads:

In 1936, she came to New York {from Paris} for an exhibition of her paintings and her book illustrations...While she was here, she was told of The Limited Editions Club's Second Competition for Book Illustrators, and she immediately submitted a series of lithographs to illustrate The Beggar's opera. The judges awarded her one of the prizes.

Things are a bit muddled here, as after winning the prize the LEC Directors decided to produce an illustrated edition of The Beggar's Opera and had pulls made of Ms. Lydis' art to illustrate said edition...so, one could say that the cart didn't come before the horse, but one could as easily say that The Beggar's Opera illustrations were really done before they were commissioned.

If, since most of these except for the reuse of the Thomson and Blake artwork, the originals were redrawn and/or colored you are willing to say that there was no prior reuse of existing art, then the first acknowledged case of such would either be the use of Piranesi's etchings for The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Pierre Watrin's illustrations for The Revolt of the Angels.

May 27, 2014, 9:38am Top

7) Wow, I suppose I should have done a little more homework! It does seem that the writer of the Sandglass forgot about all of those examples (like me!). And the story behind Lydis' first commission should definitely be included, too. I'll modify the post with your comments when I get home from work today. Thanks as always, Robert! :)

Jun 2, 2014, 2:45pm Top

I've got a post on the Heritage Hard Times up today: http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/heritage-press-hard-times-by-c.... I'm planning on getting the LEC posts up next, so look forward to those! :)

PS - I don't have a Sandglass for this book (it's a library copy), so if someone could pass along the designer/production details, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 3:23pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jun 2, 2014, 3:14pm Top

>9 WildcatJF:

Jerry, I'm with you in thinking this one of Dickens' finest novels--I actually prefer it to more famous ones such as Great Expectation and Oliver Twist; although of course those works have perhaps more striking characters, I don't think they are as well-constructed and as unified as Hard Times.

I do like the illustrations though I can well see how you find them a little bloodless compared to, say, Wray Manning's for Martin Chuzzlewit or Freedman's for Oliver Twist. This was one of the first books I got as a teenaged member of the heritage Club, and somehow over the years the Sandglass became MIA, so I can offer nothing in the way of information on the artist nor the production values. I hope someone else will have it!

Edited: Jun 7, 2014, 4:43am Top

>9 WildcatJF:
Jerry, Michael Bussacco lists the Sandglass as Number III:31, and it is quite informative on the production and design!

"When Charles Raymond prepared to illustrate our book, he was surprised to find that Hard Times had rarely been issued in an illustrated edition. Therefore, we are all the more pleased that our edition contains his fifteen wash drawings in color — fourteen full-page and a double spread. In addition you will find that each of the thirty-seven chapters opens with a Raymond line drawmg. The Charles Raymond we are talking about is a forty-two-year-old English artist to whom colors have an especial meaning, for his addiction is botanical painting and fabric design. No wonder that when he reread Hard Times it appeared to him in terms of the spectrum. Here is his explanation: 'I became aware of the colours of ageing — browns, greens, and brown-greens — and decided that these should be my colours. I felt strongly that the nearer I came to monochromatic interpretation the better would be the final result.' These smoky wash drawings, which convincingly evoke the special atmosphere of Coketown, have been reproduced with wonderful fidelity by The Connecticut Printers of Bloomfield, Connecticut.
"Charles Raymond has produced paintings for a series of volumes on the old garden roses with Sacheverell Sitwell; the Queen Mother headed the impressive list of subscribers. He illustrated The Complete Library of the Garden for The Reader's Digest Association, Limited, and he has recently been completing the same firm's guide to Great Britain. Raymond has done a set of rose paintings for Conde Nast and he regularly illustrates for New Society, the weekly survey of the social sciences. 'I am deeply interested in female and child fashion,' Charles Raymond has informed us, 'more so since the coming of the boutique. These latter interests are stimulated by my beautiful young German wife and our three children, two daughters and a son, ages two, four, and five years.' (The Raymond family lives in Wye, Kent.)
"One reason for the sheer readability of our volumes of Dickens's works is that the type is Baskerville, a smooth-flowing, clear face which Joe Blumenthal specified back there in 1937 and which your Hard Times proudly displays in the eleven-point size, with two points of leading. The illustrations and the text of this Heritage Club offering were printed by The Connecticut Printers of Bloomfield, Connecticut, on a specially made wove paper, tough and pure in content, manufactured by the Monadnock Paper Company of Bennington, New Hampshire. The gray linen cover, stamped with the decorations originally drawn for us by Clarence Pearson Hornung, is one of the few uniform cover designs in the Heritage roster; the two shelfback sketches of characters from Hard Times were provided by Charles Raymond. This binding was performed by the Russell-Rutter Company of New York."

I agree that this is one of the best of Dickens's works - certainly the most focused and well worth reading (and re-reading). As for the illustrations, I can't remember now who did them for the original publication but I find Raymond's more striking than some in the earlier Heritage Dickens. His is a typically English style - I'd say it's also recognizable in Charles Mozley The Invisible Man, Clarke Hutton Pygmalion and some of Charles Keeping Folio Society Dickens.

However, Mr Raymond's main claim to fame is that he and his 'beautiful young German wife' were the models for the ground-breaking illustrations in Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex!

Edited to add
1 I've just checked and neither the original serial or book version had any illustrations!
2 In the Tom Jones discussion Felixholt asked
" Readers' Digest - does the guillotine fall on one's membership of this group if one admits to owning one? If not, I might be prepared to confess to one or two."
Now I know that Mr Raymond was one of them there posh LEC illustrators, I am ready to admit that as newly-weds my wife and I definitely had some of the Complete Gardening Library volumes.

Jun 2, 2014, 4:25pm Top

>11 Django6924:, 12
Does anyone know if the illustrations were re-used in the LEC edition which came out in 1966? I don't have my copy handy and my database suggests that the LEC also used Charles Raymond as the illustrator, but I have no way of knowing whether these are the same Raymond illustrations.

Jun 2, 2014, 7:17pm Top

13) I don't have a LEC copy handy, but I would assume both books have the same illustrations.

12) Thank you so much, featherwate!

11) I think my personal issue is that Sissy's depictions come nowhere close to how I imagined her, particularly her encounter with Harthouse (where she looks like a deranged demon or something). That disappointment colored the rest of the work, of which some is quite adequate.

Jun 2, 2014, 7:19pm Top

Jerry - thanks for your blog! A lot of useful information for G. Macy enthusiasts like myself.

RE: The Story of Manon Lescaut. I wonder if the signed edition is indeed the first HP printing for Manon Lescaut. The first HP Sandglass does not mention a signature. There is one printing of this book with the year 1935 printed under The Heritage Press on the title page. Brissaud watercolor on the opposite is missing though. The French marbled boards are bluish but different than yours. My copy is on the way and I will be able to provide pictures once I get it.

Also on the same page you mention that Penguin Island is one of the first six HP titles. It is not but The Scarlet Letter is.

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 8:54pm Top

I've never owned the LEC of Hard Times--or seen it--but the bibliography says "line and wash illustrations by Charles Raymond," so I would doubt at this point in the Club's history (1966) that there were any major difference.

Added: I started this post several hours ago but hadn't finished when I had to leave, and I see in the interim featherwate has provided a superb post about the issue. Also very interesting that the Raymonds were the models for the illustrations in Alex Comfort's book! Thanks, Jack!

RE: Manon Lescaut. My edition has the signed Brissaud illustration, very nice marbled blue boards, and tan leather half-binding. Whereas this was one of the first 6 books issued by the Heritage Press (Sandglass 101 LL), the one with the signed Brissaud illustration was one of 1500 which were offered as "collector's items" to LEC subscribers. The remnant of the 1500 which were not purchased by LEC members were sold through bookstores such as Brentano's. The copies sold to the general public in the first series also had blue marbled boards and tan half-leather binding, but not the signed, hand-colored illustration. All of these had the 1935 date. Later, in the first 12 month subscription series A, it was the 9th book of the series, Sandglass 9A, the quarter-leather binding was black with red or blue marbled boards (I had one with the red boards originally), had a 1938 copyright date, and a colophon. (There was also a small number, possibly sold only through bookstores, which had the 1935 copyright date, and black linen cloth quarter binding, most likely the result of binding unbound pages from the unsold run of the First Series--minus the signed illustration, of course.)

Jun 3, 2014, 9:58am Top

The Heritage Press section of the dropbox has a copy of the Sandglass 101 LL mentioned by Django (16 above) - look for 1935 For Properly Interested People. It covers the first six HP volumes:
David Copperfield, Songs of Songs, The Scarlet Letter, Romeo and Juliet, A Shropshire Lad and Manon Lescaut (which appears under the sub-heading As French as Crêpes Suzette!).

Jun 3, 2014, 1:32pm Top

>16 Django6924: >17 featherwate:

Thanks! It is clear now that Jerry's copy is part of the "collector's items" from the HP first edition. Other than valriations of the marbled boards the First Series Manon Lescaut is likely identical to the collector's edition sold to the general public. Interesting that Sanglass 101 LL as well as 3K identifies the book as having 180 pages. I think this is not the case.

From what I have seen so far The Song of Songs is the most striking from the first six.

Jun 3, 2014, 2:43pm Top

>18 BuzzBuzzard: "From what I have seen so far The Song of Songs is the most striking from the first six"

Yes, this book is easily in a class with many LECs. Second in honors for the first six, and to my mind LEC-worthy as well, is the Housman book: some of E.A. Wilson's best work--including a foldout signed lithograph--a striking leather binding, great paper and typography, and a most unusual design, all in superb harmony with some of the most enjoyable English lyrics of the past century and a half.

Jun 3, 2014, 8:21pm Top

>18 BuzzBuzzard:
Yes, all the descriptions I've seen of Manon give it 155 pages.

Jun 6, 2014, 11:20am Top

Since LT is not letting me reply to a privately sent comment, let me just say to the person who made a note to me regarding the volume count of Droll Stories that it has been fixed. Thank you for the correction! ;)

Jun 6, 2014, 2:40pm Top

Relive the events of the H.M.S. Bounty from William Bligh's journals today with my LEC post on this work: http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/limited-editions-club-a-voyage...

Jun 20, 2014, 2:20pm Top

I've revisited an old post now that I have the LEC for it, and ended up rewriting the whole thing. XD That does make it a better post, though. Enjoy a comparison between the LEC and Heritage editions of Browning's The Ring and the Book: http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/limited-editions-club-the-ring...

Jul 4, 2014, 11:46am Top

My last LEC from my trip is up at last: Ferdinand and Isabella!


Jul 30, 2014, 11:16am Top

I'm updating older posts (finally) with the new format of the blog. This includes rewrites, linking the older posts with the newer ones, adding in information, and removing typos. Two of the oldest posts are now done:

7/30/2014: This is the Hour: A Novel About Goya by Lion Feuchtwanger/Francisco Goya
7/25/2014: The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky/Fritz Eichenberg

If you have any new information on these posts, please pass it along! :) New posts will be popping up soon, too.

Jul 30, 2014, 11:31am Top

>25 WildcatJF:

Is your website supposed to show pale grey text on a black background with links in blue?

If it is, you seriously need to redo your colour palette because you've just made it virtually unreadable, save for the links, which stand out like sirens. The text is nearly unreadable. I will NOT be perusing your site if you retain the colour options as they currently stand.

Macy would be aghast.

Edited: Jul 30, 2014, 12:34pm Top

26) At the moment, yes, it is. I'm not super thrilled about it either. I really like everything else about the format except the color options, and I can't change the font colors without paying Wordpress for it.

I will take your criticism to heart and will reformat the theme, however. I'd like people to not have such reactions when they visit my site.

EDIT - I've changed it to a different theme that at the very least is readable. It's a bit too modern-looking for my taste, but it at the very least removes the inability of deciphering dark gray text on a black background.

EDIT 2 - You know, it's growing on me. So I'll stick with this for now. It'll need a bit more tweaking, but it's a definite improvement over what was there before. So thank you, scholasticus. Your critique was a tad harsh, but it did make the site look a whole lot better in the end. :)

Jul 30, 2014, 3:06pm Top

>27 WildcatJF:

Thanks! I just realised I should have clarified my last comment: Macy would be aghast at some of the crap formats/formatting blogs let people get away with nowadays.

My sincere apologies!

My personal 'favourite' was the blog with electric blue text on a blindingly bright hot pink background. Suffice it to say I never visited that site again!

I took a quick look at the new version, and I agree - it's still a bit too modern, but it's not bad, all other things considered! :)

Also, you've made me want to pick up House of Dead. I kinda have a thing for Eichenberg's work. Trying not to make him the primary artist in my collection, though - variety is the spice of life and all that.

Aug 1, 2014, 9:06pm Top

>27 WildcatJF:
Thank you, the black text on white background is SO much more readable! The other way always bothered me but I hesitated to comment on it.

Aug 7, 2014, 10:06am Top

29) I'm glad you like the change as well! It's funny how different people react differently to color schemes. I had someone praising my choice for white font on black backgrounds on my site!

Anyway, I've updated my post on Man and Superman yesterday:

Aug 7, 2014, 9:00pm Top

>30 WildcatJF:
I know some people must prefer white-on-black because so many use it on their blogs! It looks cool -- but for extended reading it makes my eyes cross.

Thanks for the update!

Aug 7, 2014, 10:01pm Top

>30 WildcatJF:, >31 withawhy99:

Actually, the reason white on black is used is because our eyes are naturally lazy and drift towards white spaces; in fact, we SHOULD be reading white on black, not black on white, according to science.

Edited: Aug 7, 2014, 10:27pm Top

In advertising 101 or any basic print advertising courses, it is proven beyond a doubt that lower readership occurs when type is reversed out of black or out of any color. But many art directors in their striving to be different continue to use reverse type in print ads. This is done by deriving readership scores from ads by asking viewers pertinent questions about ads they have read or asking viewers if ads with reverse type are even read at all.

Reversing type out of four color (CMYK) suffers lower readership scores since some magazines are not printed well enough to register type reversed out of four color which makes the type appear fuzzy.

Aug 8, 2014, 6:46am Top

I've noticed food manufacturers are well aware of the best ways to discourage readers when it comes to information they are legally obliged to provide to consumers but don't really wish them to know.

Edited: Nov 7, 2014, 11:09am Top

Hello everyone,

I'm pleased to announce the hiatus is finally over! Long time fans will also celebrate the return of the classic look of the site. :) I'll have a new post up later on today on The Chronicle of the Cid's Heritage release!


Nov 7, 2014, 12:23pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 7, 2014, 12:25pm Top

Welcome back! It has been a while.

Nov 7, 2014, 12:59pm Top

36 - I may make a poll or something to see what people here desire in terms of the background/font issue, as I can't seem to find a sweet spot for people. Thanks for the compliment, though. :)

37 - Indeed! And here's that post I promised: http://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/heritage-press-the-chronicle-o...

I do have a quick question for you all. I'd like a definitive date for the Rivals/School of Scandal Heritage combo, if anyone happens to have it. I've read 1956 through 1968, and if someone could give me a more concrete date I'd appreciate it. Thanks! Also, the Sandglass will be added to the post soon.

Nov 7, 2014, 7:10pm Top

>38 WildcatJF:
Sandglass VI:18 is from November 1953, and says:
"a most unusual book, a book in which Sheridan's two great comedies are printed together, the text and the illustrations being borrowed from that edition of The School for Scandal which The Limited Editions Club published in 1934, and from that edition of The Rivals which The Limited Editions Club distributed to its lucky members only last year."
Only last year should mean 1952, but according to Bill Majure's guide, the LEC Rivals did not come out until September 1953 - only two months before the two-in-one HP volume. Maybe it had been intended to come out in 1952, but had been delayed. 1953 was an unusual year: it saw LEC members receiving three plays (the first two of them illustrated by ben Sussan!) in the space of five months: Volpone in July, The Rivals in September and Cyrano in November. That sounds as if there had had to be some last-minute reshuffling of the LEC Twenty-third Series. If anyone has the Prospectus for that series it might provider a clue...

Edited: Nov 7, 2014, 11:32pm Top

>38 WildcatJF:

I'm fairly certain the 1956 date is the first printing of both plays in a single HP volume as the Curwen Press LEC of the School for Scandal was 1953, and I remember from seeing the combo volume pictured in Club literature in the late 1950s.

Written before, but posted after featherweight's conclusive post.

Nov 9, 2014, 5:05pm Top

39, 40) Thank you both for your insights! I'll update the post tomorrow. :)

Edited: Nov 14, 2014, 7:13pm Top

Enjoy this lovely rendition of Don Quixote, starring the talents of Edy Legrand, in today's Heritage post!


I do have a quandary. My copy of the book does not give a proper date for its publication. The years in the posr are an estimate based on comments in the Sandglass about Edy Legrand’s age (born in 1893, is now 58, thus it’s 1951!) and comments about Macy’s reading of a three-volume Rabelais (printed in 1928, which was 25 years ago according to Macy, which means this came out in 1953!). Perhaps a GMD can enlighten me with a more specific date?

Edited: Nov 15, 2014, 7:16am Top

>42 WildcatJF:
Jerry, it was the selection for November 1951, coming between The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche illustrated by Edmund Dulac and Gray's Elegy (Agnes Miller Parker). In fact, illustrator-wise this was one heckuva series (Series 16 June 1951 to May 1952). As well as Dulac and AMP it included among others Fritz Eichenberg (Crime & Punishment and the Olivier Henry V), Hugo Steiner-Prag (Tales of Hoffman), Valenti Angelo (Sonnets from the Portuguese) and Edward A. Wilson (Jekyll and Hyde) - quite an array!
As for George Macy saying he read the Rabelais 25 years before, I guess he was just rounding up to a neat figure. As he does in the Quixote Sandglass where he refers to it as a book of "nearly eight hundred pages". I think it's actually 682!
Never mind the length - it's the quality that matters!

Harry Block, whose Imprenta Nuevo Mundo printed the text of this book, also printed the Heritage Club Martin Chuzzlewit, an earlier 1951 publication (the last in Series 15). If I remember aright, Wray Manning's illustrations for this are among Django's favourite illustrations for any book.
Block also designed, edited, printed (and got to sign!) the LEC Conquests of Mexico and Peru.

Nov 15, 2014, 10:52am Top

>42 WildcatJF:

Jerry, these are my favorite Quixote illustrations--which is saying something considering the competition. My HP which I got as a member in the mid-1960s featured swirly green marbled paper sides--much less striking than your feather-patterned paper.

>43 featherwate:

featherwate, you remember aright about my admiration for Manning's illustrations--my favorite of all Dickens illustrations by any illustrator.

The Henry V to which you allude is one of the oddest works in the Macy canon, featuring illustrations which are clips from Olivier's movie of Henry V--a great movie, though not, as Macy thought, the "greatest movie ever"--which were slavishly repainted by that other Fritz, Kredel, when it proved impossible to make decent photographic reproductions directly from the film frames. I think the illustrations are a mistake--the quality of dynamism so apparent in the movie is completely missing in these static images, and they look grossly out of scale with the size of the printed page.

Nov 15, 2014, 1:57pm Top

>44 Django6924:
Robert, Henry V has some pleasures - the magnificent binding, the layout of the text, the quality of the colour reproduction - but, yes, I agree sadly it's true that they don't entirely make up for the imbalance between picture and page. And the pictures' lack of dynamism is due, ironically, to the precision of Fritz Kredel's copying skills - or more precisely to his faithfully adhering to Macy's requirements.
I haven't seen the Heritage Press edition but browsing Abebooks it seems as if it's the same size as the LEC. A more compact edition might at least have given the pictures a bit more prominence!

Nov 15, 2014, 6:56pm Top

>45 featherwate:

The HP edition is virtually identical to the LEC, and you're right that it's a handsome production, illustrations notwithstanding. If only the artist had been given the freedom to adapt the scenes from the film and compose them for the page, rather than the rectangle dictated by the Academy aperture ratio. The end result might have been along the lines of Groth's illustrations for the LEC Gone With the Wind, which faithfully recall the scenes and characters from the classic film, but are successful as book illustrations in their own right.

Nov 25, 2014, 4:38pm Top

>42 WildcatJF: I have the same HP edition. Going through my files today I found out that I purchased it for $3.50 almost two years ago...

Edited: Nov 26, 2014, 2:03pm Top

47) Nice! I've snagged a few HP's for that cheap.

The last new post for November is ready for your perusal. Enjoy this lovely Heritage printing of Marco Polo's travels:


I don't have a Sandglass, so if you happen to have one from this edition, I'd appreciate any design details!

Nov 27, 2014, 10:29pm Top

I'm in total agreement with you, Jerry, about the loveliness of this binding; my LEC with its plain black linen binding seems rather tame for a work that is one of the most famous examples of Exotica in world literature. I don't have this HP edition but perhaps you would like to include this from Michael Bussacco's Sandglass Companion, Sandglass 10N, March 1950. The paper is from the Hamilton Paper Mill; the pages were reproduced (via photolithograpy) from copies of the original LEC, by the Duenewald Printing Corporation.

For the binding we arranged for a special making of linen, in a soft finish, to be done for us by the Western Shade Cloth Company...done in a "Chinese Orange" color....for the boards which cover the sides, we purchased a most-unusual, made-by-hand, obviously made-before-the-war, Oriental lamp-shade covering material of an unusual tensile strength and eye-filling Oriental colorings.

You are very close in surmising it is rice paper, Jerry; I'm sure it is probably mulberry paper, which feels a lot like rice paper, but is much stronger, also used to make tapa cloth. My mother had lampshades when I was a child that had very similar paper to the illustration on your site. I have a few sheets I intend to use someday to rebind one of my books.

The illustrations in the HP version have an interesting story themselves; per the Sandglass:

...Professor Lapshin's illustrations could not be reproduced photographically from the printed reproductions.We decided to shoot the works, and had the illustrations redrawn....Luckily, Fritz Kredel entertains a great admiration for those illustrations by Professor Lapshin; and...agreed to push aside some of his own work, and to redraw the Lapshin pictures so that we would have actual drawings from which to make our reproductions.

From the samples I've seen in your HP, he did an excellent job. However, the illustrations in the HP seem to be monochrome, albeit in different hues for each illustration, whereas the originals are in multiple, vivid colors for each illustration. They were reproduced originally by offset lithography, and it is some of the finest use of that medium I have ever seen. Each illustration actually looks like an original watercolor, and considering how the numerous illustrations are scattered throughout, and integrated with the text, you begin to realize what an astonishing achievement it was for the time (and perhaps the reason Macy cheaped out somewhat on the binding). They are, along with Grant Wood's Main Street, my favorite LEC illustrations from the first 10 years.

Edited: Nov 28, 2014, 8:38pm Top

I like Macy's description of how Lapshin's illustrations arrived before the committee:
"These delicately-colored, quickly-drawn, suggestive little drawings came to us on small bits of news-print in a dirty little envelope."
That's one way of catching the judges' attention!
I share Robert and Jerry's enthusiasm for the drawings; even when they're not in full color they still vibrate, making the HP edition with its striking cover a real bargain.
Marco Polo's travels seem to have been the must-print book for fine presses in the early 1930s. The LEC came out in 1934, and I have a chunky 1933 edition designed and profusely illustrated in colour and black&white by W A Dwiggins for a New York printer, Leo Hart; his artwork doesn't blend seamlessly with the text the way Lapshin's does, but it's typically eye-catching:
Colour rough of doublespread:

Then back in 1932 there was an edition I wouldn't mind having but I'd have to sell most of my other books to get it! It was illustrated by Mariette Lydis:

and was produced for Les Cent Une, a French society of women bibliophiles, whose number can never exceed 101. It was founded in 1926 by a Princess Schakhowskoy (an "intellectuelle avant-gardiste russe") with the aim of publishing once every two years a book that flawlessly combined an underrated or even hitherto unknown text with illustrations by a leading contemporary artist and impeccable typography, paper and binding. (And to think some people criticized George Macy for the extravagance of his write-ups!) Impeccable is also the word for Les Cent Une's own connections, both social and cultural: a sprinkling of aristocratic titles among its presidents and a bookplate designed by Jean Cocteau, no less. Such an elitist combination would be derided in Britain, but apparently does not trouble the republicans of France.
How many of the society's 46 books to date (the next should be out this year) have achieved its founder's lofty ideal I've no idea, but I do like the look of Ms Lydis's contribution. But not as much as I like Prof Lapshin's.
Footnote: Hollywood caught up with the fine presses in 1938 with the Adventures of Marco Polo starring LEC subscriber Gary Cooper ("Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor's daughter.")
Mr Cooper felt miscast, but at least he didn't have to shave off his eyebrows and have a fancy black wig spirit-gummed round his face as newcomer Lana Turner did in her role as an oriental maid. The film had three directors in succession (including John Ford) and was a disaster for Gary Cooper and Sam Goldwyn - it lost $700,000. I can't wait to see if it's available on You Tube...

Nov 28, 2014, 9:08pm Top

49, 50) Thank you both for your contributions and insights! I'll add those into the post in the near future. :)

So the LEC features multi-colored illustrations, huh? Alas, none of the previews I found of the LEC online featured those. If someone would be so kind as to provide me a quick set of shots of the binding and an illustration for comparison, I would appreciate it!

Nov 29, 2014, 2:36am Top

Nov 29, 2014, 10:03am Top

52) Many thanks, parchment! I'll also add those in. Those illustrations are indeed lovely!

Nov 29, 2014, 7:56pm Top

featherwate, I'm glad the Lydis Marco Polo, as is the case with so many of her works, is in French, a language I am not that comfortable reading. She is one of my favorite illustrators, and though I believe Lapshin's illustrations are unsurpassable, I might otherwise be tempted to acquire another copy of this work, which despite its imortance and interest, is not really great literature.

Ah yes, Samuel Goldwyn's Marco Polo movie--what a dumb delight! Cooper's confession that he was miscast did not require an extraordinary amount of self awareness--its only rival for the Oscar for Poor Casting Choice is John Wayne as Genghis Khan in "The Conqueror."

Edited: Dec 17, 2014, 12:50pm Top

It's time for a new post, folks! Enjoy the Heritage edition of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire!


Edit - I've also updated the Marco Polo post. Thanks again, Django6924 and parchment!

Dec 17, 2014, 7:00pm Top

Good post, Jerry. When I was a Heritage Club member back when I started building my library, this was the edition I really wanted to get! It was the binding design that hooked me (plus growing up in the 1950s we were bombarded with movies about life in the glorious days of Rome--some, such as Spartacus and Ben-Hur, still worth watching while all the cheesier "sword and sandals" movies, dubbed atrociously, only provided fodder for Fellini's campy Satyricon). I finally did get it, and read big chunks of it, and have to say as history it is more fun to read than many histories of the period which have superseded Gibbon.

A few years ago I acquired the LEC edition, and honestly, though the larger type is easier on my aging eyes, I prefer the HP edition. Hornung's crumbling columns are sen to much better advantage in the 3 volume HP binding, and the linen on the spines doesn't crumble on my trousers when I read it, as does the LEC which is bound in Don's leather of choice, the noble sheepskin....:-)

Dec 18, 2014, 1:22pm Top

>55 WildcatJF: McPharlin the puppeteer is the correct man. He also died far too young at 44. Well known for starting a nascent fine printing career, he illustrated and designed several books. Blu Ox Press, Peter Pauper Press, and the LEC all felt his impact. Read this post for more details.


Edited: Dec 18, 2014, 5:21pm Top

57) Thank you for the confirmation, Nick. I'll amend the post tomorrow. :)

Edit - I took a look at that thread, and wow, there's a heap of research there! And your LEC post! I totally blitzed that. I'll put in a link tomorrow as well. Thanks again!

Edited: Dec 19, 2014, 3:14am Top

>57 nicklong:
>58 WildcatJF:
The catalogue of the Macy Collection at the Harry Ransom Center suggests the Gibbon had a long gestation period - and that Rudolph Ruzicka and the Merrymount Press may have been the first choice for designer and printer:

McPharlin's first LEC commission was the attractive 1937 oddity Punch and Judy, which he edited. Presumably the job wasn't offered to McPharlin's more famous fellow-puppeteer W A Dwiggins as the latter's obsession was with marionettes (stringed puppets as opposed to the hand-up-the-bum Punch characters).
His next and so far as I know only other involvement with the LEC was in 1940-41 with the three-part issue of the last edition of The Dolphin.
His 1931 (and oft reprinted) Sayings of Confucius for the Peter Pauper Press has delightful Dwiggins-like decorations - there's a digitised facsimile in the online Posner Memorial Collection.

Edited: Dec 19, 2014, 10:27pm Top

59) That's neat! I'll add that in, too. Thanks, featherwate!

Edit - These edits will be coming Sunday, folks. Needed some time to unwind today, and am quite busy tomorrow!

Mar 27, 2015, 2:00pm Top

Hello hello. It's been some time, but the Imagery is back in business. I've got a new LEC/Heritage book post for you on Fathers and Sons: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/limited-editions-clubheritage...

Robert, I have a couple inquires for you (or anyone else): who designed the original Heritage edition? What pages are the illustrations I sampled from your excellent post from? Did John Winterich give a preface in the Heritage as well? Thanks in advance!

I've also decided to do some trivia-style posts for fun, and the first also went up today. Wondered who was the most published authors in the LEC and Heritage canon? Now you can find out! https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/curios-the-most-popular-autho...

Of course, I may have errored, so if you spot one, please let me know and I'll amend it. :)

Edited: Mar 27, 2015, 2:03pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Apr 2, 2015, 4:01pm Top

>61 WildcatJF:

Jerry, I'm sorry to have been so slow to respond, but health issues have prevented my getting back to you with the information you requested.

The Sandglass (4E) does not mention the designer other than saying it was intended to be a "companion volume" to the HP Crime and Punishment, so I would assume the designer of that edition, Carl Purington Rollins, deserves the credit, though I suspect if anyone did the actual design it was George Macy.

John T Winterich did provide the "How This Book Came to Be," and came up with this gem: "Father and Sons is pretty short as Russian novels go, and Russian novels go pretty far."

In addition to the title page, the illustrations I featured were (from top to bottom and left to right) opposite text pages:66, 116, 132, (and a detail of 132), 148, 156, 214, 226, and 235. I took some others but didn't include them for technical insufficiencies in my photography.

ADDENDUM: Jerry, I just thought that you probably wanted to just know the pages from my post which you used in your article (excellent, by the way!) Those are from the HP pages 66 (Matvy Illyich in his uniform) and 235 (the couple at Bazarov's grave).

Apr 2, 2015, 6:34pm Top

63) I'm sorry to hear you've had some health issues. Hopefully you're on the mend!

Thank you for your input and compliments. I'll update the post tomorrow with this new information. :)

Apr 10, 2015, 1:13pm Top

Today I've put up the LEC Idylls of the King. Lynd Ward did a cracking good job with this one!


If someone has the Heritage Idylls, could you let me know who introduced it? Thanks in advance!

Apr 10, 2015, 8:54pm Top

Well, the two LECs are done, so I'd like to leave the remaining Heritage Press posts to you all, the readers. Out of these selections, tell me what you'd like to see most:

War and Peace
The Divine Comedy
Rights of Man
The Jungle (Conn.)
The Tales of E.T.A. Hoffman
Sherlock Holmes (Original and Later Adventures)
The Essays of Francis Bacon
The Jungle Books

It'll be a bit before I get around to the next post, but don't hesitate to vote now!

Apr 11, 2015, 12:54am Top

Divine Comedy

Apr 11, 2015, 4:14am Top


Apr 11, 2015, 11:58am Top

E.T.A. Hoffman (great illustrations)
Rights of Man (one of the most intriguing Macy books--should some books be illustrated?)

Edited: Apr 11, 2015, 12:13pm Top

>69 Django6924: wrote: "should some books be illustrated?"

I could create and supply fifty congenial illustrations for Fifty Shades of Grey at a very competitive price. It surely would beat Scully's Heart of Darkness.

Edit: And what about Joseph Hémard who illustrated law books?: http://library.law.yale.edu/news/laughing-law-codes-french-tradition-introductio...

Apr 12, 2015, 1:21am Top

Divine Comedy

Apr 12, 2015, 7:53pm Top

So far Dante and Doyle are in the lead! Who will break the tie?

Apr 13, 2015, 1:14am Top


Apr 13, 2015, 11:16am Top

The Divine Comedy it is! I'll let you know when I get the post done. :)

Edited: Apr 13, 2015, 12:07pm Top

>65 WildcatJF: "If someone has the Heritage Idylls, could you let me know who introduced it? "

I'm assuming you are referring to the HP exclusive edition of Idylls illustrated by Robert Ball; that edition has no Introduction or Forward but goes straight into the poem. (Sorry to be so slow in responding, but I lost track of where I had shelved it.)

Apr 15, 2015, 5:15pm Top

75) No worries, Robert. That is indeed the book I meant, and I'll amend my post next time I'm over there. Thanks!

Apr 20, 2015, 1:40pm Top

Hello folks! That Divine Comedy post is now up on the blog:

In other news, I did just get the blog going once again, but there’s some major life changes on the way that will forestall my efforts towards working on further book posts. You see, my wife successfully got into grad school for this upcoming Fall semester. That school is four hours away from our current location, and we’ve been itching to move out of our current rural environment and beginning the next chapter of our lives together. So, there’s the issue of a relocation in our very near future. And that is very exciting, and I think it’ll do wonders for me in terms of getting out of some of the funks I’ve recently been feeling (including writing posts for the Imagery). But we have SO MUCH to do before we move in June, and then there’s probably going to be a few snags once we get up there we will need to address before we are well and truly settled in our new home.

So, the George Macy Imagery will be silent for some time. I'll try to visit here, though, and comment on things if I can. :)

Apr 20, 2015, 9:00pm Top

Thanks for the post, Jerry--and please don't be a stranger!

Edited: Apr 27, 2015, 10:05pm Top

I have found the *georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com* website extremely useful so please keep up the important work when you can.

Important for book nerds of course

Apr 29, 2015, 7:07pm Top

78, 79 - Thank you both for the kind words. I'll be around here when I can (lurking more than likely), but I'll post when I see something I can comment on. :) The blog will pick back up once we get settled in at our new place. :)

Jun 13, 2015, 9:31pm Top

My wife and I are now successfully moved in at our new place, and as of yesterday we finally have home internet access. So, the hiatus is officially over. I’ve been taking advantage of our new library and checking out Heritage books of titles not yet covered on the blog, so you’ll have more than just the few I’ve kept in my collection to look forward to. I would not expect much this upcoming week, as there are other events going on in my life with my other major hobby (video games, for those unaware) keeping me preoccupied — not to mention the continuing hunt for employment here — but I anticipate getting back to work documenting some books the following week.

Thank you for your patience, and we’ll see you soon with new material. :)

Jun 13, 2015, 11:24pm Top

Jerry, I can't wait!

Jun 25, 2015, 5:56pm Top

We're back with the Heritage War and Peace: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/hertiage-press-war-and-peace-...

My Sandglass lacks any real publication details; anyone have them? Thanks in advance!

Jun 25, 2015, 6:11pm Top

--I’ve been taking advantage of our new library

Im impressed that your (local?) library has HP books.

Jun 26, 2015, 10:45am Top

84) Well, there's probably 20 or so that I don't have in my personal library at the local branch. When my wife gets into grad school in August, I hope to have access to the university's library as well, and hopefully there will be more there like at my old school (including LECs, with any luck!). Some of these library titles have seen far better days, but the insides have been generally okay.

Edited: Jun 26, 2015, 6:07pm Top

>83 WildcatJF:

Jerry, your Sandglass is the same as mine and dates from the initial HP release in 1943. When War and Peace was re-issued in 1951, it was in a single volume and the Sandglass didn't have any details on the production either.

In your article you mention that since Freedman died in 1958, that this edition dates from then. It is one of those little details that make the collecting of HP editions a fascinating game of detective work! In fact, this statement proves how strange things were for Macy during the war, and how much confusion existed in those days before satellite communications. In fact, Macy, and many others, I'm sure, believed that Freedman had died serving as a War Artist--having been sent to France in April 1940 to record the work of the BEF--either during the near-disaster of Dunkirk, or being lost when the Bismarck sank HMS Hood, with with virtually the entire ship's company.

Freedman was nearly lost at Dunkirk when he left the complement of War Artists to retrieve the one painting he had completed before the Germans forced the evacuation. As told in the wonderful book The Sketchbook War: Saving the Nation's Artists in World War II (which features the exploits of several LEC illustrators), Freedman had "a last defiant meal on French soil before leaving the burning city--three bottles of champagne and a tin of bully beef" before getting on an ammunition boat which brought him to England. After this, he was posted, not on HMS Hood as Macy thought, but on HMS Repulse, which was one of the ships that searched for the Bismarck. This is undoubtedly the origin on the comment "late, great painter" in the 1943 War and Peace Sandglass and the comment in the 1951 War and Peace Sandglass that Freedman was a survivor of the sinking of the Hood (in fact there were only two survivors) and a survivor of Dunkirk.

Jun 26, 2015, 11:23am Top

86) Well, that changes things significantly! I'll amend the post with this information. Thanks again!

Jun 26, 2015, 12:33pm Top

>86 Django6924:
Thank you for mentioning The Sketchbook War! I knew there was such a book but not its title. Now I can order it.
Freedman had "a last defiant meal on French soil before leaving the burning city--three bottles of champagne and a tin of bully beef" before getting on an ammunition boat
Yes, I'd have needed at least that much alcohol before embarking on a floating explosion waiting to happen!
Three of the British war artists were killed, as was Rex Whistler, a prolific and talented painter, illustrator, muralist and stage, china and poster designer. He had chosen to enlist in the army and took part in the D-Day landings as a tank troop commander. He died of a broken neck a few weeks later.
I have a small non-limited edition of his most famous illustrated book, Gulliver's Travels (1930). Nice as it is, I'd rather have one of the original 205 copies published by the Cresset Press. Unfortunately I don't have the needful at present (anywhere between $9000 and $50,000)...

Jun 26, 2015, 7:58pm Top

>88 featherwate:

Yes, Jack, considering the Luftwaffe was strafing everything in sight, I'd almost have preferred to try to swim the Channel than get on a boat loaded with high explosives. Freedman's luck held out at Dunkirk and in the fact he was posted off the Repulse before it was sent to the Orient and its doom with the HMS Prince of Wales, but oddly, of the War Artists who survived the war, he died soonest afterwards.

I've also been a fan of Whistler, who preferred to fight rather than paint the war.

Jun 27, 2015, 6:33am Top

>89 Django6924: Many years ago I lived in Hove, which is the posh neighbour of the Regency seaside town of Brighton. One of my neighbours was an elderly gentleman, who was a most interesting character. The walls of his living room were lined with bookcases, upon which resided the entire output (to that point) of the Folio Society, and they were like a magnet to me, an impoverished post-grad student. The other thing that I remember about Gerald's flat was the large cupboard filled floor to ceiling with bottles of gin, for he took the stuff almost intravenously and chain-smoked. Clearly he was rather careless of his health, and admitted such, as one of his favourite things to say being that he was now, after living many years, rather tired of being here and he was very curious to see what came after. Religion was a favourite topic of conversation - he had 'interesting' views on the virgin birth - and he also talked about the war years: his duty in the Royal Navy and later imprisonment under the Japanese. Of the first, he most often talked about losing his beloved Leica during the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales. He put his surviving the prison camp down to his being a clergyman and the necessity of the highly spiritual Japanese for someone appropriate to properly lay to rest the souls of the dead.

I moved away from Hove and lost touch, but I was thinking about Gerald earlier this year, and wondered if I would be able to find anything about him on the internet. I found this:

"I had a cousin who served as padre on the HMS Prince of Wales, his name was Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald.
There is not much we know expect that he was imprisoned for three years in a Japanese Camp at Macassar for the remainder of the war after the sinking of the Prince of Wales. He used to play the piano for the camp Commandant in exchange for food for the prisoners, he also treated the sick and dying as well as burying them. Rev. Fitzgerald died in the 90's.
He did not speak much about his experiences"

Jun 27, 2015, 11:11am Top

>90 HuxleyTheCat:
Fascinating story! Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory addresses the alienation felt by many combat survivors, and how many cannot integrate with "civilians" who did not share that experience--Fussell goes so far to claim that many Great War survivors found it easier to bond with their former enemies than with their countrymen who stayed at home. You were privileged to be able to hear some of his experiences.

I admit my curiosity is piqued by his "'interesting' views on the virgin birth." Robert Graves in his King Jesus posited that Mary was a "temple virgin" and that Jesus was the offspring of her relationship with Antipater, the eldest child of Herod the Great. (Graves assures the reader in his Afterward that all his speculations are based on his research in historical documents and tradition "however tenuous.") King Jesus is an interesting and provocative read, but I'm not surprised it is one of Graves' major works which the Folio Society has eschewed so far.

Jun 27, 2015, 4:38pm Top

>91 Django6924: He thought that she was likely 'taken advantage of' by a Roman soldier - at least that's what he used to say to me, which, as a very innocent country bumpkin who had attended a church school, I found deeply shocking. I think he found some amusement in that, but I know that he was very interested in science and evolution and kept up a correspondence with David Attenborough amongst others.

Jul 10, 2015, 8:24pm Top

I have a rather short post on the Essays of Francis Bacon up today: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/heritage-press-the-essays-of-...

I don't have the Sandglass, but if someone does, let me know. I'd appreciate the design info!

Jul 11, 2015, 9:35pm Top

>93 WildcatJF:

Check your mail!

Jul 12, 2015, 9:51am Top

94) I did, and liked what I found! :D Thank you, Robert! I'll work on getting that into the post soon.

Aug 5, 2015, 5:52pm Top

I'm trying to clear some confusion over the HP edition of Thoreau's "Walden" with the Nason illustrations. From what I've read online, it was originally published in 1939, but it seems to have been re-issued around 1965 by HP New York, with no readily apparent way to distinguish the re-issue from the first issue. Can anyone help? (It was also re-issued by HP Connecticut in 1981, but I'm not concerned with that one.)

Aug 5, 2015, 8:02pm Top

>96 kermaier: " From what I've read online, it was originally published in 1939, but it seems to have been re-issued around 1965 by HP New York, with no readily apparent way to distinguish the re-issue from the first issue."

The 1939 Walden is a very scarce book. It was the 8th book issued in the second year of the Heritage Club, and seems to be harder to find than most other books of that series (except the first Mother Goose).

You can always know the 1960s Walden by the pictorial boards on the front and rear (Nason's illustration of Thoreau's cabin) and the cream-colored linen spine. The original edition had the boards covered in unbleached linen with an embossed label of dark green cloth on the front that extends across the front and around the shellback, with the title stamped in gold. (This is the description from Sandglass 8B.)

Aug 5, 2015, 9:22pm Top

>96 kermaier:
Further to Django's post, although the first, 1939, edition and the third 1965 edition are easily distinguishable, there may be a problem in distinguishing the 1965 edition from its predecessor, the second edition of 1948....
In addition to the different bindings, the first and third editions have different copyright information. The first is copyrighted 1939 Heritage Club (it also has a colophon). The third. issued in August 1965 as the third book in the thirtieth series, is copyrighted 1939 HP for GMC Heritage Press N.Y. (Wildcat's excellent GMI blog has a detailed entry on this edition, complete with the relevant Sandglass.)
However (there is often a however with HP editions!) there was a second edition that came out in December 1948 (book number 7 in series M). Like the 1965 edition this too is copyrighted 1939 HP for GMC Heritage Press N.Y. Unfortunately Michael C. Bussacco's Sandglass Companion Book doesn't reproduce Sandglass 7M, so there is no easy way of knowing what are the relevant binding and other production details. They may be the same as for the 1965 edition. In which case, the only way of knowing which edition one is buying would be to find a copy that still has its Sandglass laid in: 7M or 8B.

Aug 6, 2015, 11:56am Top

98) I may need to amend this post with this information! Once again, the Heritage edition problem rears its ugly head. XD Thanks, featherwate (for the note and for the recommendation!).

Edited: Aug 6, 2015, 5:45pm Top

>97 Django6924:
Ah, perfect, Django, thank you very much -- that's exactly what I wanted to know!

Aug 6, 2015, 5:45pm Top

>98 featherwate:
Oboy, I didn't even know there was a 1948 2nd issue!

Aug 6, 2015, 6:49pm Top

>101 kermaier:
That's the fun (or nightmare) of collecting Heritage Press books!

Aug 7, 2015, 2:42pm Top

>102 featherwate:
Right you are! Well, I just won a copy of the 1939 first edition at auction today, so hopefully I won't need to struggle any further with this title!

Aug 7, 2015, 6:06pm Top

>103 kermaier:

Aug 12, 2015, 6:59pm Top

I've got a report on the Connecticut Heritage issuing of the Jungle up today: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/heritage-press-connecticut-th...

Oct 31, 2015, 8:02pm Top

Hey, it's a new post!


Enjoy a look at the Heritage Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann!

Edited: Nov 1, 2015, 1:50pm Top

Jerry, I don't have the HP edition of this, nor the Monthly Letter for my LEC. The colophon states that it was the artist himself, Steiner-Prag, who was the designer. This makes sense considering Steiner-Prag was obsessed by Hoffman. The introduction by the artist is definitely unusual: not only in that it was perhaps unique for the illustrator to introduce an LEC/HP (though I think there may have been another instance of this), but because this "prologue" is the record of a ghostly encounter Steiner-Prag had with Hoffman. Strange, and much in the nature of one of Hoffman's own tales.

Nov 1, 2015, 1:10pm Top

107) Thank you, Robert; I suspected Steiner-Prag was the designer, but didn't want to make that assumption out loud without any evidence. I'll make note of your observation about his prologue, too. Thanks again!

Dec 19, 2015, 2:15pm Top

Hello, everyone! It has been a while. Unfortunately, I had a laptop die on me in November, and my full-time job has taken up a lot of my time, so I haven't had a lot of gumption to work on my site.

...until now. :D

All this week (and next weekend!), I will have one post up for a bunch of Heritage titles, as well as a LEC/Heritage comparison of South Wind Christmas Day. Full details can be read here: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/our-lineup-for-our-holiday-po...

Today's post brings together the talents of Lynd Ward with the patriotic zeal of Thomas Paine for the Heritage Rights of Man: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/heritage-press-rights-of-man-...

Dec 19, 2015, 10:28pm Top

Nice post! I have always liked this volume--primarily because of Ward's wonderful illustrations and the overall design, which is, as you say in the site, one of the best of Helen Macy's tenure.

I had to read this when I was a English major coupled with a work that seemed would have been a natural to print in a tête-bêche edition: Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Edited: Dec 20, 2015, 11:14am Top

Today's post is a Heritage exclusive! Lynd Ward's spin on the Rabelais classic Gargantua and Pantagruel: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/heritage-press-gargantua-and-...

Dec 21, 2015, 11:37pm Top

Jerry, this was going to be one of my upcoming "Kid Brother" posts, as I think it is a gem of an exclusive--especially coming in wartime. Ward's work is amazing (as it usually is) and I prefer LeClerc's translation to any other. I also have the LEC version of this, and while beautifully produced in 5 smallish volumes, Dwiggins' charming little decorations are not what I consider adequate illustrations for Rabelais! (To be fair, they undoubtedly weren't intended to be illustrations.)

I actually read Rabelais first in a Bibliophilist Society edition with Doré's great illustrations, with an unknown translator (probably the Urquhart/Motteux translation), which despite an undeniable racy idiom, is neither complete nor very literal. Dora's illustrations are definitely worth seeing, but Ward's are also great and the Leclerc translation is the one to read.

Thanks, again for the post--looking forward to tomorrow's!

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 1:57pm Top

>111 WildcatJF: Looks like another HP exclusive worth picking up. I've just added it to my wish list. The LEC version is still a little special for me since I ended up with Dwiggins hand written letter to Macy regarding the edition (I've posted it earlier under the LEC Promotional Materials and Letters folder on our Google Drive).

Edited: Dec 22, 2015, 8:14pm Top

Sorry for the delay; the holidays are wrecking havoc on my posting preparations. XD I do have the third volume of the Great Masters novel series of the Heritage Press ready today, The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/heritage-press-the-romance-of...

Sinebad will be coming tomorrow, due to poor photographs. Sorry!

113) kdweber - That's neat. I'll have to get on the Google Drive list one of these days.

Dec 23, 2015, 1:26pm Top

Two posts today to make up for the lack of one Monday.

First, the Heritage printing of Sindbad the Sailor: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/heritage-press-the-seven-voya...

Second, the Heritage printing of The Jungle Books: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/heritage-press-the-jungle-boo...

Dec 26, 2015, 11:57am Top

Sorry for the delay in posting, my friends; the holiday season took over my life. XD

But we're back with a post today, on The Princess of Cleves, one of the Heritage French Romances they co-published with the Nonesuch Press. This is the Nonesuch edition: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/heritage-press-the-princess-o...

Dec 27, 2015, 6:43pm Top

Another in the Great French Romances series for you today: Dangerous Acquaintances!


Jan 1, 2016, 3:00pm Top

Whew, this post is meaty: enjoy a look at two of three Heritage Sherlock Holmes volumes today.


South Wind is going to happen later this weekend; this post was a monster and I'd like to get away from the computer for a while today.

May 28, 2016, 2:02pm Top

Hello everyone,

It's been some time since I've posted on my blog. I haven't had the motivation to do so, given that I've completed my personal collection and found that grabbing random Heritage titles off of library shelves felt like I was putting up incomplete explanations on purpose. So I made a choice to only work on posts of books I own, and while I've had this latest post's featured title for a couple of months, I still wasn't quite in the right frame of mind to work on posts for it. However, that has passed, and now I have a new post for you:


It's Henry the IV Part I from the LEC Shakespeare! I'm following Chris' sensational run of these books, but I needed to share how gorgeous this particular book is. It's amazing, especially in Barnett Freedman's lithographs. My mouth hung open when I saw them in the store.

I have some more books on the way, thanks to my contact who was kind enough to mail me some Macy titles. Those should arrive next Tuesday, and I'll give a thorough rundown when I get my hands on them. :) It's nice to be back!

May 28, 2016, 2:20pm Top

>119 WildcatJF:

I'm glad this is one of the LEC Shakespeare volumes you received, and that it is the first of your resurgent series! This is one of my favorites in the Shakespeare set--fabulous illustrations, as you rightly point out--and the play is my favorite of the Bard's history plays. Orson Welles, who did a wonderful interpretation of Sir John in his "Chimes at Midnight," thought Falstaff was Shakespeare's greatest creation. I'm not sure I would go that far, but his character certainly has a universality that appeals to all ages.

May 29, 2016, 1:03am Top

Thanks, Robert! :)

For fun, I decided to detail the top ten illustrators in terms of commissions for the LEC. Before you click the link, do you think you can guess the artist with the most work for the Club?


May 29, 2016, 1:58pm Top

Fritz Kredel?

May 29, 2016, 7:24pm Top

>121 WildcatJF: Unlike the LEC, in my library Kredel ties for third with Kent at 16. Second place is Wilson (20) and my winner is Eichenberg at 23 titles.

Jun 26, 2016, 1:00pm Top

A new (well, heavily updated) post on the Histories of Herodotus is up on the blog: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/heritage-press-the-histories-....

Now with my new LEC for comparative purposes!

Jul 4, 2016, 2:52pm Top

A new post for you today: the Heritage exclusive version of Ben Franklin's Autobiography: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/heritage-press-the-autobiogra...

I don't have a Sandglass with this, so if anyone does and could pass it along I would greatly appreciate it!

Jul 5, 2016, 8:50pm Top

>125 WildcatJF:

Nice post, Jerry. I gave away my HP edition (with Sandglass) when I acquired the LEC. I regret that I didn't replace it later when I had more room for duplicate HP, for as much as I think Nash's printing in the LEC is peerless and the whole book is a perfect example of elegant, unostentatious bookmaking of the very highest standard, it only has the frontispiece portrait of Franklin, and I miss Sharp's illustrations.

Sep 5, 2016, 2:39pm Top

Hello folks! I've updated my old Heritage Tono-Bungay post with the LEC today: https://georgemacyimagery.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/heritage-press-tono-bungay-by...

There's no Monthly Letter for this one; anyone have one to share?

Sep 7, 2016, 11:22am Top

>127 WildcatJF:

Jerry, if no one beats me to it, I'll scan it tonight and send it.

Nov 12, 2016, 7:09pm Top

As promised, I've updated the Princess of Cleves post with the documents that came with my copy (scroll to the bottom). These are very World War II oriented, as there's some quotes about the importance of literature in those troubled times as a special pamphlet, as well as the membership vote for Series G's books. The Sandglass is also included and it too discusses the war extensively. Enjoy the glimpse into this fascinating period of the George Macy Company!


Nov 13, 2016, 12:16pm Top

Jerry, it's good to see your blog back in business! And this is a great way to return; I've always felt this book is one of the real treasures of the Ten Great French Romances--an amazingly (for the period) realistic depiction of the tangled affairs between men and women in a society which tries to impose moral restraints on the natural impulses of individuals.

It is also a beautifully produced volume! If it were produced today by the same methods and to the same standards it would easily cost between six hundred and a thousand dollars (based on the cost of books being produced now by the Arion Press and the Folio Society Limited Editions). But what fine press today produces books with hand-colored illustrations?

Nov 29, 2016, 3:57pm Top

With December around the corner and quite a few LECs and HPs sitting on my shelves to be documented, it's time once more for the Reader's Pick! Tell me the ONE LEC and the ONE HP you want covered first, and the most popular vote for each will be written up within the next couple weeks.

Note that a vote for Cyrano is a vote for a comparison post between the two LECs and the Brissaud Heritage. It'll take longer, but it's like three books for the price of one! The Ibsen will also revive an old Heritage post to compare. The Quarto Millenary is not listed because I already intend to cover that this weekend.

The Koran
Cyrano de Bergerac (Sauvage and Brissaud)
The Book of the Popol Vuh
The Plays of Henrik Ibsen
An Iceland Fisherman

The Story of Reynard the Fox
Madame Bovary
Notre Dame de Paris
The Praise of Folly
Lorna Doone

Please get your votes in by Saturday! Thanks, everyone!

Nov 29, 2016, 4:58pm Top

My vote:

An Iceland Fisherman
Madame Bovary

Nov 29, 2016, 5:08pm Top

LEC: An Iceland Fisherman
HP: Reynard the Fox

Nov 29, 2016, 5:17pm Top

I vote for Cyrano.

Nov 29, 2016, 5:18pm Top

LEC: An Iceland Fisherman
HP: Madame Bovary

Nov 29, 2016, 6:02pm Top

LEC: Koran
HP: Praise of Folly

Nov 29, 2016, 7:46pm Top

Cyrano de Bergerac

Nov 29, 2016, 8:14pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 29, 2016, 8:18pm Top

Icelandic fisherman
Lorna doone

Nov 29, 2016, 8:47pm Top

Looks like An Iceland Fisherman is the LEC forerunner so far, with the Heritage vote all over the map! Thanks for all of the votes so far, everyone!

Nov 29, 2016, 10:05pm Top

An Iceland Fisherman

For the HP, surprise us! :)

Dec 2, 2016, 1:09pm Top

An Iceland Fisherman is such a popular pick I don't think another day is going to change that, so it will be the first LEC I address after the Quarto. Cyrano and The Koran will follow, respectively, and then Ibsen and the Popol Vuh.

As for the Heritage pick, the votes are still really close. Madame Bovary is in the lead by one vote, but The Praise of Folly, Reynard the Fox and Lorna Doone are all on its heels! We'll see tomorrow if anyone else has an opinion on this choice.

Dec 4, 2016, 2:01pm Top

Okay, looks like Madame Bovary wins the Heritage poll. Expect those in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy this look into the special publication Quarto-Millenary!


Dec 4, 2016, 5:49pm Top

>143 WildcatJF:

Great posting, Jerry.

Dec 5, 2016, 4:02pm Top

Yes, great, thanks. I do wish they'd used color photography, though -- it seems a shame, given that the rest of the volume is so lavish.

Dec 11, 2016, 12:38pm Top


Here is the winner of the Reader's Pick LEC nomination! Enjoy this look at the royally printed An Iceland Fisherman!

Dec 11, 2016, 2:44pm Top

>146 WildcatJF: I just purchased a nice copy of this book. I am amazed at the condition since it was published in 1931. Thanks for your imagery and your personal note. Wishing you all the best.

Jun 4, 2017, 3:09pm Top

Hello friends. It's been a long time, hasn't it? As you might surmise by this post, I'm ready to pick up where I left off a few months ago. Without dropping a gazillion personal details onto this public forum, I've had many life changes hit me the past year. Essentially I'm starting from scratch in contrast to where I was when I moved to my new home in 2015. I have a new job starting in a little over a week, I'm single, and I've had to really sit down and think about my life and my goals, as well as work through some very difficult emotions to get to where I am now. And I put this project on hold for quite some time to get through the worst of it.

Well, I'm happy to announce that I am making some strides towards reconfiguring my current self, and one area I'm pleased to be able to return to is to this project. I just wrapped up my photo shoot for all of the new acquisitions I've made since I posted last, and I'm going to begin posting new content this week sometime. I can't guarantee the consistency of updates because the position I took is one with a lot of overtime, so I'll be juggling a lot of other projects alongside this one, but it's high time I come back to the books that I love and being able to assist fellow collectors with their hunts.

Thank you for your patience while I worked through what was easily the most turbulent period in my life, but I'm getting through the thick of it and am excited to be in a place now where I can return to my passions with a renewed energy. :) See you soon!

Jun 4, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>150 Django6924:

Very happy to hear the news, Jerry! I'll be looking forward to your posting.

Jun 4, 2017, 4:38pm Top

>149 WildcatJF: Happy you are back and I know I will enjoy your pictures and comments.

Jun 4, 2017, 7:14pm Top

>149 WildcatJF:
Good to have you back where you belong - and best wishes for the new job.

Jun 5, 2017, 12:55am Top

Wonderful! That has made my weekend -- well, that and acquiring the LEC Montaigne (more on this later).

Can't wait to read your new posts! Your old ones have "sold" me on at least a dozen LECs, I think.

Jun 10, 2017, 4:56pm Top

Hello! Let me welcome back posts with an update on Three Plays of Henrik Ibsen, now with LEC comparisons!


Jun 10, 2017, 6:28pm Top

Enabler! Now I'm pondering the possibility of replacing my HP Ibsen....

Jun 10, 2017, 7:27pm Top

155) LOL it wouldn't be the first time from what I hear. :p

Jun 10, 2017, 9:52pm Top

The problem is: What do we do with our HPs when we upgrade?

Jun 10, 2017, 11:09pm Top

157) I've been lucky to find a store that does decent trade-ins on HP books. Been able to get other HPs and a couple LECs from there!

Of course, that doesn't really help anyone else...but you could always see what options are available where you live.

Jun 11, 2017, 11:05am Top

>157 NYCFaddict:

Well, I usually end up keeping both. Sometimes I can gift ones to friends or relatives--I had no problem gifting my HP the Martian Chronicles to a friend, but as yet there are no takers for Aristotle's Poetry and Poetics. Makes one wonder.

Jun 16, 2017, 11:05pm Top

>149 WildcatJF: awesome Jerry, cannot wait!

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