David Roberts’ The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia
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I have been turning around it for nearly a year, but I cannot make up my mind!
The FS website does not detail much about the content, apart the 500 and something lithos.
Apart the illustrations, is there any text, maps?
Would it be possible to have pictures of an entire page posted here?
Thanks so much!
I think it might help in choosing whether to buy or not. I personally love the publication a lot. There is a lot of text on the various monuments, but not so many maps. I'm not even sure there is one map in it, but the incredible lithos make up for it completelty.
I have bookmarked your blog, full of gorgeous pictures.
In fact, I took the decision to order the Moby Dick after seeing your pictures. But I did not see the Roberts's, the navigation through the page is uneasy.
And I think I m going to order it, after one night of dreaming about it!
I often spent time looking for pictures of an inner page , which is rarely found , i guess the owner spent too much time enjoying thier book. and usually skip the hassle of sharing a photo.
I already have a couple of Limited Editions that you have (Moby Dick, War and Peace, Wind in the Willows etc.) but am yet to lay my hands on the Omar Khayyam and Holy Land.
They look out of this world!!
Thanks a lot.
Thus, for the time being, I have to satiate myself by looking at those gorgeous photographs.
I was constantly worrying that it would sell out and the FS does not seem to be listing how many are left any more.
This will be my most expensive LE, but on a per volume basis, the Queen Mary Atlas is still costlier.
You have indeed taken the right decision. I ordered it sometime back after waiting for almost a year and trust me, I regret the fact that I hadn't ordered it an year ago....:-)
My copy was number 400 in a run of 1000, so if the FS are following their usual procedure and distributing them in numerical order, there are another 600 sets yet available.
Provided FS are following this protocol it seems there is no rush to order yet despite being available for nearly two years.
The way Folio is issuing limitation numbers remains a complete mystery to me. I do not think Folio is issuing the books in numerical order, I ordered my Roberts about a year ago and received limitation number 860. No idea what Folio's algorithm in this matter is. Do they issue limitation numbers in a random fashion? Whatever book happens to be on top of the pile? The number is hand written, perhaps they maintain a tick off list and simply pick a number not issued before and write it in the book when sold... (delicate process, it might also go wrong :-) )
Once again the FS is defying logic with issuing the numbers of their LEs. With South Polar Times members of this group posted their issue numbers and order dates and they seemed to follow logically (the lowest FS devotee number was 4 for someone who ordered instantly, mine was 83 as I delayed by a couple of weeks).
I guess we have no real way of knowing how many of the Roberts books are left. I ordered now because I was concerned they may run out.
On a different matter, the time noted on these posts seems to be GMT which makes you a total insomniac Export Frisian as 3.34am is a very uncivilised hour in the Netherlands, but 5.34 pm in Australia is a normal hour to be perusing LT.
Oops, my error. We are +10 hrs GMT here (not -10 hrs), but the time stamp is actually +14 hrs, so that makes the time stamp eastern USA. Does anyone have any clues about this?
I'm really pleased with the set, but I do urge older Devotees who may be interested to act now while they still have the strength to lift the books, and manoeuvre them in and out of slipcases...
affle, I just recently purchased this set too, and anxiously awaiting arrival. It's more than I would ever normally spend on any books, more than I spend on any single luxury item, but the 10-payments plan helps. These are just too beautiful, and likely the best presentation of the plates to come around for quite sometime.
Would you recommend shelving them flat or vertical?
>25 britchey: I hope you'll be as pleased as I am. You have the choice on storage, I think, depending on what you can manage: the slipcases have supports for the text blocks if they are stored vertically - the blocks are enormously heavy, and would otherwise sag and strain the binding. But I have no shelves that deep, and every centimetre of wall space is covered in shelves, so I can't store them vertically; instead I have created a pair of shelves, side by side, each just deep enough to store them horizontally. I had no choice, and I suspect this may be the safer option for them, but the spine titling etc would look better vertical.
Affie, I agree that they are magnificent volumes, but I would not be so sure that there are fewer than 100 of the Roberts work left. I received mine a fortnight ago and the number was 400.
Does anyone know if there is any way of finding out accurately how many of any LE have been sold?
I'm sure you would have already tried this, but do they give you any indication if you just email them and ask?
They are UNBELIEVABLY huge. Seriously, if you haven't seen these books in person, you cannot fathom how large they are. I have a pretty fat cat, and he could easily sleep on top of one of these with room to spare. Side-by-side, they would make a lovely coffee table. :D
The plates are gorgeous, the descriptions fascinating, but the size of these books is hard to get over. They're not even rightly called "books." They're tomes. I'm really struggling with where I'm going to put them. Part of me wishes that Folio has sold the plates loose like the Temple of Flora non-LE, with a nice buckram volume containing all of the descriptions.
I was seriously considering returning them because of their size, but the longer they sit here, the harder it is to think of letting them go.
Sounds like my first reaction when I received my Kelmscott Chaucer (non-LE), which, looking at the dimensions on the site, is smaller than this one, but not by too much.
The TERRIBLE news is, although I was very careful about turning the pages, with the book laid flat on a firm surface, and yet it's damaged! As I got to the last quarter of the book, I heard a cracking sound, and when I looked into the spine, this is what I saw:
The paper of the binding has torn away, as though it was poorly glued.
Then, as I got to the last signature, I saw this:
It's pulling away from the binding! I'm afraid it's going to completely separate if too much stress is applied.
I mean, these aren't so much cosmetic damages as they are structural damages. I'm really concerned about the long term integrity of the binding.
I called Folio and spoke with Sally. She said that the Limited Editions staff will be in touch with my shortly. This is such a shame. Just when I'd decided that I couldn't give these books up if you pried them from my corpse, I find the kind of damage that concerns me if I should be paying $1800 for anything the Folio Society produces. This is just not the kind of quality I expected for that price – easily the most I've ever spent, or plan to spend, on any single volume or set.
If it comes down to returning these books, I sincerely hope that I will be reimbursed for the shipping charges.
That is horrible - I would never accept a book that has damages like this. Indeed its a structural damage and Folio needs to be very careful and attentive towards the quality of its books - not just the content but also the structural part of it. The worse thing is that we paid $1800+ for this set.
Just to add on - my experience has been good (touchwood) with limited editions. The only LE I ever had a complaint with was Egypt/Holy Land - fortunately only with its slipcase that they readily replaced.
Speaking of slipcase, I was looking at the images on Folio's site, and I was quite taken aback by the closeup of the slipcase shown here:
That is not what the front edge of my slipcase looks like. What about yours? Mine looks like cloth that's been gathered, folded, and flattened. Upon closer inspection, it's clear that the image on Folio's site has been Photoshopped to make the edge appear smoother and uniform. I've drawn some simple circles and lines to reveal identical patterns where their graphic designer used Photoshop's clone tool to copy and paste smooth areas of cloth over the folds. These hallmarks of poor cloning will be obvious to anyone who works in the industry. Above the large left circle, you can see unnatural smoothing and blurring. I suspect that the piece of cloth which extends back into the slipcase beneath the textblock support was also digitally added. The edge where it meets the sidewall is just too sharp, and there is a noticeable "seam" where it meets the area in front of the support.
This is pretty devious, isn't it?
Ouch. That's ugly. It kinda looks like the wrong size of paper a little bit - which caused the strain and the tear. And the whole binding had been just not done as it should have been.
That's always a risk with big books but there are ways to do it properly...
My experience is same as yours. Obviously, FS has done a great job in manipulating the photograph.
This is the last time I'll be spending so much money on any single book or set from The Folio Society.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with the LE's. I've been on the fence about ordering one of these (any of them), and if I do take the plunge, it'd be with one of the cheaper books. I had been vacillating about if it was worth it to buy the Roberts volumes or the Temple of Flora, and I'll just go with one of the editions from another publisher for about $100-200. Definitely not as nice as a $1,800 set would be, but a lot cheaper, certainly.
(I must note that due to this, I'm seriously considering just getting the Temple of Flora - The Flower Plates instead of the LE itself).
I'm just grateful that I did not pay the full price for these books all at once, but opted for the payment plan instead. It's the only consolation preventing me from getting full-blown angry.
Sure, they deserve a holiday, I'm not saying that, but no other company I know is taking off Thursday to Tuesday. Actually, most people I know have only Monday off.
I'm just frustrated that I got handed off to another department yesterday morning with nary a warning that I might not have this situation resolved for a week. Instead, it was left to another member here in the Spring Sale thread to alert me to the 5-day weekend.
PS: Both Friday and Monday are bank holidays: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/bankholidays.html
Annie, thanks for the information. I feel a little better. But it's still a long time to wait. Would've appreciated a call yesterday or this morning. This isn't about a book I got on sale for $20.
I don't know why they did not call - maybe they needed to synchronize something. Last time when there was a problem with my account, they called me at ~ 6pm UK time on the day after we talked previously - basically the UK people had to check something and then the ones working in the US call center (still in UK but different number and people I think) to start working for the day so they can call me. At which time if something needed to be done (refund and so on), it would have been a day more. Which I suspect is what happened here as well.
At this price and at this size, if they cannot lay flat, someone did not put any thought in the design...
Obviously they put in some thought, but was it enough?
Compare fig. 2 in this interesting article to the picture above:
I know how you must feel. A combination of bad luck and circumstances. I'm pretty sure that FS will do everything to correct the situation, but the sense of frustration will not be easily overcome, and the harm is already done.
Thanks for the link, starkimarki. That's an interesting article. Informative, and something the average customer of Folio would never think about.
These books weigh 10 lbs apiece. If they are not meant to lay flat like this:
then, as AnnieMod said, someone at the Society failed to design them properly. They cannot be appreciated any other way, due to their size and weight. Curling up with these books, holding them in a spine-protecting V, is out of the question. They must be laid down on a flat surface and leaned over. Propping the front board against something so it doesn't fall flat is not a solution, again, because as you shift more and more of that 10 lbs to the front board, you put strain on it, potentially warping or cracking it.
>45 britchey:, 47
Thanks for the concern. I'm glad I have LT to vent my frustration. I'm an optimistic person by nature, so I still trust that FS will resolve the situation, I just wish it was sooner so I could get these boxes out of my house! :)
If they cannot lie flat, then they need to be shipped with something that will support them....
Books are not objects of art and beauty which you are just hanging on a wall. If it cannot handle leafing and reading, something is very very wrong. If they are not supposed to lay flat, they should not be able to open flat without force - it looks like they open just fine... but the spine and binding simply cannot take the weight...
Although I remain cautious about buying any more big ticket items from Folio, my faith in their customer service has been restored. :)
That is excellent - I am glad that it worked out for you....FS's customer service is indeed one of the best I have encountered.
For me, however, the set is too gorgeous to be parted with - I would have definitely gone for a replacement and would have taken the damaged set as an exceptional case.
I don't know if "trolling" is the right word. I usually equate it with behaviors like starting arguments and controversial topics to upset people and waste their time for the troll's enjoyment. I think it's fair to say they read this board because it is a valuable place for "taking the temperature" of their most devoted members. Personally, I think that's fantastic to know they are paying attention to us.
I know what you mean, Neil77, they are absolutely gorgeous books, but I'm cautious with my money and I was nervous from the moment I ordered the set that I was spending a lot on two books. Finding the defects was like a punch in the gut, making me seriously re-evaluate if I'm the type who can even enjoy books in that price range, or if my nervousness about care and maintenance will always keep me from truly appreciating them. A manufacturing defect I know can be handled by Folio, but if I came home one day and found my cat had climbed my bookcase to sharpen his nails on the spine of an $800 book, I would probably have a heart attack! :)
Agreed. And Neil, thnk of all the reading time we gain by not having to walk and feed the pets! Then again since pet ownership supposedly lowers blood pressure and lengthens life, perhaps they get it on the back end and may even come out ahead. Still I would not risk any of my books to a misbehaved pet nor would I want their inevitable hair all over the libray.
i completely agree with you. Although I love to cuddle others' pets, I would never have one. Its too much of a mess. I have even seen books having a weird smell when they come from houses that own pets....
>67 Neil77: You have remarkable eyesight!
I eat my words - I am tickled to have heard of a guy who saw a book having a smell ;)
I'm touched by your post.
EDIT: my fault for not recognizing you included the sense of touch, ie. "tickled." Well played! :D
I did find one peculiar typo though. On pages 252-253 of the Egypt and Nubia volume, the text accompanying the drawing flows on from one page to the next, but the last line of text on the first page is repeated at the beginning of the next page, something that does not occur in other instances where the text goes to a second page.
In another thread, a member of this blog mentioned that they had received copy 991 of 1000 (mine is 400), but it is not yet shown as sold out on the FS web site. Can't be far off though.
I am still wavering on this one.
Is there anything about the book that make you regret spending so much money on it ?
So much money? Better not to think about it - you wouldn't have anywhere to put all the books you could buy instead...
20" x 13 3/4": and I thought Night Thoughts (three inches shorter) was large. I don't doubt it's wonderful but I take some consolation in not having to find a copy a home!
I have no regrets spending the money as I love detailed artwork and large books.
I have a lectern in my library, and large books sit on this to be read. The Roberts book was read two or three pages a day over several months so that I could truly savour each drawing and its intricate detail. Now I will go through them again more quickly to refresh my memory of the illustrations without reading the text.
You could really feel the atmosphere of the Middle East in the 1840s viewing the extraordinarily accurate artwork.
If you can afford it, buy it!
Thanks for sharing, no doubt bigger volume will fit snugly into your cozy library.
>75 affle: ,76
Thanks, if only I could peruse it at the MR , I am looking for the intoxicating effect some book could emit.
I, too, sat on my hands for a long while before buying this set. I certainly don't regret paying a hefty price for them. These are heirlooms.
However, I did buy them "as new" on the secondary market, as the FS price in Australia was uncompetitive. You may want to review www.abebooks.com before deciding on whether to buy from FS. (I don't think there are any on offer at the moment, but I'm sure there will be from time to time.)
Then again, there is just something about such huge books that makes them desirable.
I have actually seen a copy of the biggest book ever published (it weighs 60 Kg and is 1.5 x 2.1 metres) in its country of origin - Bhutan. See my wife standing next to a copy (bottom of page) at:-
There are now copies scattered around the planet. See :-
Roberts books also get a mention as runners-up in this article.
Splendid! Another contender is the Klencke Atlas:
Only 35 of Robert's work left.
Going, going, ..........
Have I enabled you yet?
I remember there is a photo of your lectern bookcase somewhere, can you show me the link please ?
Go to my profile page (click on my name at beginning of this post beside 89) and browse through the photos at the top right.
The Roberts books were read on the lectern bookcase - perfect for such huge volumes.
Thanks. it is not easy for me to find a ready made lectern shelf from here
My copy had arrived. a bit bigger then kelmscott Chaucer, but easier to dapple with.
The art itself worth the price. no regret .
As someone else had complained, they are some weakness points on the binding, FS should have contracted it to a better binder on such a large book. especially when they want to sell it at such a price.
Now I need to find a lectern to shelve it. ;D
By the way, I designed the lectern myself, took the design to a cabinetmaker, who then made it for me. I have never seen one ready made, but saw a similar one in a library when touring one of the great houses of France some years ago.
Petra itself was magnificent. Highly recommend it for anyone who is able to make the trip. Perhaps not mid summer as I did though - it was up to 42 C while I was there.
The heat index got up to 44 C in the Washington DC area just a couple weeks ago. I think it's only supposed get up to 39 today.
I think it would be fun if someone make an photo album that recapture all David Robert's object in the same viewpoint.
I have a crack on the spine no less appalling then Britchey had mentioned above. and Pages are annoyingly glue together at the hinge every other 5 or 6 pages. preventing it to open flat.
Kafkachen, I have had no such problem with my copies, which have been read three times through so far. You may have been unlucky and should complain direct to FS.
As for your idea of photos of these sites, those of Petra and the Pyramids are readily available, but many other sites are now no longer in existence, or have been moved out of context or flooded due to the Aswan High Dam. Cairo has changed beyond all recognition. If you Google pictures of the site, someone will have posted a pic of virtually everything that still exists.
Wow,Thanks for the information, I know very little about the far end of the east, and couldn't visit these places any time soon. I had try to google some of the temple, famous one like the kalabshe of luxor is easy target. but some remote view of a corner of some places is not easy to google.
The Aswan Dam was not the only big project that made a mess if Egypt's history. The temples and statues around some of them are moved just fine but something just does not feel the same.
And especially in the South, you can see where the stones wear off from the tourists in the last century when getting there got cheaper and easier.
The old photographs and pictures done in the past cannot be done anymore- things are not the same; not by a long shot.
Don't get me wrong - it is still a great place to visit and I highly recommend it (if the political scene allows it) - I took my mother on a Nile tour combined with a night train to Cairo and a stop at the Red Sea a few years ago and it was worth it. But it is not what it had been a century ago...
(I did read the thread but if I've somehow missed the answer already being posted, I apologize.)
1) The price is much higher than I would have ever considered paying for this type of item. I know nothing about the secondary market, but would much value be held over time? This would make me feel better about the price, if I could resell for a reasonable price in a reasonable period of time.
2) Seeing the concerns with the binding - what happens if the binding breaks in one year, or 10 years? Is this repairable? Presumably yes - but at what cost? I live in Seattle so presumably would have to ship the book somewhere to be repaired. Is the example of breakage in this thread just an anomaly?
3) I have read about concerns with damage during shipping. How good are Folio about replacements in such a circumstance?
Many thanks in advance!
If the copy you receive has no factory defect, and you handle it carefully, there is no reason to worry about it .
For LE , they use a well made carton that can survive a drop test. shipping damage for this kind of box rarely happen. if anything goes wrong, FS supporting service is 100% satisfaction guaranteed .
I guess we will have to wait for a while. They are quite expensive anyway. I'm not sure if there's enough market for them. I'm glad I bought them for 60% of the published price :-)
How on earth did you get a deal like that? Were you just lucky at a bookstore that didn't know how to properly price them? If so, congratulations. I paid full price direct from Folio but have no regrets. They are easily in the Top Three for Folio Limited Editions (it is futile to actually rank the ones I own as the position of a title in the list is completely dependent on that days mood and that month's current reading interest!)
I got lucky on eBay. Also got The Queen Mary Atlas for 40% of the published price. Holy Land books are absolutely stunning and are the second biggest books I own (first being the Atlas and the third place going to The Night Thoughts).
I'm looking to buy too! (I didn't purchase when it was still available, and regret it now).
"This three-volume, hand-numbered Deluxe Limited Edition re-creates the historic 1855 edition with all 250 of the vintage illustrations. Limited to just 800 hand-numbered sets!"
8" x 11 1/4"
I'm really curious how this compares to the Folio Society version. I remember when that came out I was in love... but alas, my wallet frowned upon such an engagement and we parted ways. Also, what's the text-to-illustration ratio? Does the text tell an exciting adventure? History? What?
From what I recall (don't have my copy with me at the moment), the text reads like your typical 19th century travelogue. Lots of detail, plenty of names but no characters, local color, exoticism, and a touch of scholarly condescension towards the natives.
edit: I should add, one of the things that appeals to many Easton Press subscribers is that they use genuine leather for their bindings. Their Deluxe Editions tend to use leather imported from Italy, so it's quite nice. Personally, I like variety in my books so not every book needs nor should be leather. That said, the blue leather looks quite nice... now where do they find those blue cows...?
It must be read on a table or lectern, as it is far too big to read on your lap.
It was AU$2150 when released, but would have been much cheaper in the UK.
The EP version will be much smaller, which will detract from the intricately detailed and amazingly accurate pictures.
"The Folio Society limited edition of The Holy Land and Egypt and Nubia, which replicated the size of the original edition, was enormously popular and quickly sold out. To make this magniﬁcent collection available to a wider audience, we have published this fine edition, which brings together all 247 lithographs in a smaller format."