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Older Folios, vol. 2

This is a continuation of the topic Older Folios.

Folio Society devotees

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Jul 8, 2013, 10:04am Top

Just extending the old thread.

Jul 8, 2013, 11:00am Top

First, Lola, you mentioned that the pic of The Book of Psalms had "lovely typography". It was actually written out by hand, and then printed by lithography. It is really amazing how beautifully it was done.

Second, something which seems germane to this thread, in looking through the book, I discovered a copy of the FS "Programme" for 1951. It's a far cry from the glitzy Prospectuses of this day. Thought people might like to see it.

Jul 8, 2013, 11:01am Top

< 2

That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!

Jul 8, 2013, 11:07am Top

Yes, thanks, Gary, I've never seen one of those! I suppose most people would consider picture catalogues an improvement, but I think I'd enjoy the element of surprise.

Jul 8, 2013, 11:43am Top

>2 garyjbp: Thank you so much for sharing that prospectus Gary, I had great fun perusing it!

Jul 8, 2013, 1:33pm Top

>4 LolaWalser:
Well, most of the early books were pretty nondescript. They did have dustjackets, but they are also pretty nondescript, although Conte_Mosca's recent posting of the early Shakespeare volumes might contradict that, and my copy of Incognita also contradicts that. I can post a copy if you'd like. The dust jacket of Book of Psalms is very plain.

Jul 8, 2013, 8:12pm Top

Having seen this ancient brochure I have been enabled yet again, and have just ordered a copy of The Sofa through Abe. This looks like a story too good to miss.

Jul 8, 2013, 8:39pm Top


Oh, I hope you like it! I posted some pictures of mine in the old thread (this post).

Gary says "nondescript", but I don't know, I rather like the simplicity of these older books.

Jul 8, 2013, 8:41pm Top

I was tempted to get The Sofa because of those pictures I saw on the older thread. Am holding back for now.

Jul 8, 2013, 9:04pm Top

>8 LolaWalser:
Lola, doubly enabled! Now I have no doubts about ordering it. Great pics.

Jul 8, 2013, 9:50pm Top

Lola, et al. I guess I misspoke, or was tricked. If you look carefully at the bottom right corner of page two, you can see that you could get a "fully illustrated prospectus". Interesting that you had to ask for it though. Would like to see that too. That was two years before I was born, though, and I only joined the FS in 1985, but I did start collecting books long before that, as in 1967.

Jul 9, 2013, 12:59am Top

I've enjoyed looking at all these pics, so let's see if I can manage to post some pics of "The Hundred Years' War" (1966):

Jul 9, 2013, 2:07am Top

thanks for these lovely pictures . I too have this book of the Hundred Years War and it is one of my favourites .Has worn well as the blue spine binding is real leather with gold lettering .

Jul 9, 2013, 3:05am Top

"The Young Visiters" by Daisy Ashford (1956):

Jul 10, 2013, 3:13am Top

Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain" (1969)

Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 5:34am Top

The first Folio edition of Max Beerbohm's "Zuleika Dobson" (1966) used the author's own watercolour illustrations:

Jul 11, 2013, 9:01am Top

> 16
Damn! Enabled again! Though only in time. My initial check of ABE and eBay did not reveal any copies in a condition/price combo that appealed to me. As this will be my third copy of this book (after the most recent Folio edition and the Limited Editions Club edition), I am not willing to pay over $25 for a VG+ or better copy.

Jul 11, 2013, 9:23am Top


I've been wanting to replace my ancient Penguin of this book; this is now my first choice.

Jul 11, 2013, 10:05am Top

> 17, 18

One word of warning - I've intensified the colours a little in a couple of the pictures: Beerbohm's original watercolours are sometimes very pale. But as a great admirer of Max, I don't think there's anyone but Max himself whom I want to see illustrating the book.

Jul 11, 2013, 10:52am Top

>16 TabbyTom:-19

There's also a Folio rebinding of the 1985 Yale University Press reproduction of Max Beerbohm's own copy, with some 80 illustrations (20 full page, the others in the margins or inserted in the text) from which 10 were selected for the 1966 Folio version. Hardback copies of the Yale edition at least seem easy to come by: I was a little fortunate to come by my Folio copy for £5 at a book fair a few months back, and though it's not a real FS book I probably wouldn't exchange it for any other. The additional illustrations with Max' hand-written comments are a delight, beginning with a box drawn around Heinemann's list of new six shilling novels which faces the bastard title, and a maître d' below the box calling attention to it and asking "But perhaps you would rather read one of these?"

Jul 11, 2013, 11:11am Top

>20 terebinth:

Thanks for your post, terebinth. I have a paperback edition of the Yale reproduction, but I never knew about the Folio rebinding (though I see it's listed in the Appendix to Folio 60). I'll be ordering it right away: there seem to be a few copies at reasonable prices on ABE.

Jul 12, 2013, 1:54am Top

A battered secondhand copy of "Pilgrim's Progress" (1962), with reproductions of copper engravings made by John Sturt for an edition of 1728:

Jul 12, 2013, 11:07am Top


Thanks so much, terebinth! Ordered!


Wonderful engravings.

Jul 12, 2013, 3:15pm Top

Modern woodcuts for Daniel Defoe's "Journal of the Plague Year 1665" (1960):

Jul 12, 2013, 4:22pm Top

Does someone have a copy of the 1991 Jane Eyre with Engravings by Simon Brett to show me? I'm considering getting an edition of this one. There's currently a 2006 10th edition on offer, though I don't know that such a late edition would be in great shape in terms of clean typography and whatnot. In any case, one of my favourite titles so I'm bound to get a FS edition sooner or later... If you have other editions to show I'd be glad to see them too!

Jul 12, 2013, 7:17pm Top

>25 Smiler69:

Here's a selection of engravings from the 1991 edition of "Jane Eyre". The fourth pic, showing the first page of the text, shows a typical engraving in context: the engravings are usually about 3" x 2" and occupy about a quarter of the page (maybe rather smaller than they appear on a large monitor screen).

(click to enlarge)

Jul 12, 2013, 8:55pm Top

Tom, thank you ever so much for sharing these. You've convinced me I definitely need to get my hands on this book, though I'll be looking for an earlier printing I think. Mind you, the current asking price is rather appealing...

Jul 13, 2013, 3:36am Top

The Rime of Ancient Mariner, 1994

Set in Spectrum, Ocean blue tint Albatross wove paper, full silk board.

Jul 13, 2013, 5:13am Top

The first Folio book I received when I joined in 1973 was the presentation volume for that year - Eric de Maré's "London 1851: The Year of the Great Exhibition":

(click to enlarge)

Jul 13, 2013, 6:35am Top

> 28 This is one of my favourite FS books; one of my favourite books period.

>25 Smiler69: If you are looking for a nice edition of Jane Eyre at a reasonable price, and you like wood engravings, then check out the 1943 Random House edition illustrated by Eichenberg. It's often to be found as a slipcased pair along with Wuthering Heights (also illustrated by Eichenberg).

Jul 13, 2013, 7:25am Top

>29 TabbyTom: Tabbytom, you have enabled me!!
Abe explored, copy found in "unread fine condition" and ordered from a UK bookseller.
Looks like a fascinating piece of FS publishing as issued without a slipcase or dustjacket.
Now to wait the couple of months it will take to reach this side of the globe.

Jul 13, 2013, 7:52am Top

> 25,27 A word of caution. The 1991 set and its early reprints were bound in green silk, which is, or was, lovely, but fades very badly, often to brown on the spines. From 2004 (? for the set) and from 2006 for the separate impression of JE, the binding is blue buckram with paper sides as shown in TabbyTom's picture.

Next the typography: the original typeset was 1965, and this was cut and pasted for the 1991 impression to accommodate the new Brett illustrations. It was not reset until 1997, and all impressions before then are the 1965 setting. I'm not sure that what you call clean typography is a relevant concept for modern print technology, but I doubt you'll find the print quality better in 1991 than in later impressions. The 1965 first edition may be better, in that we were then in the era of real type, but that doesn't have the Brett illustrations.

Of course you may be lucky and find an unfaded silk-bound copy/set of the earlier impressions: if so, you'll have to be careful with it.

>28 kafkachen:, 30 I'm another fan of this book, which cost me less than 3% of the price asked for the later LE.

Jul 13, 2013, 8:21am Top

> 29
Damn it! Enabled again. Just ordered from ABE.

Jul 13, 2013, 9:05am Top

>31 wcarter:, 33

I hope you're happy with the book when you receive it. It was the ideal introduction to the Society for me - a really superior coffee-table book that's small enough to leave room for your coffee cups.

wcarter, the presentation volumes in those days sometimes came with glassine wrappers. "London 1851" may have had a glassine cover originally, but those covers never stood up to my handling of books.

Jul 13, 2013, 9:09am Top

>27 Smiler69: Hi Ilana, I was going to warn you about the earlier printings after reading your post, but I see affle has beaten me to it! If you have a look at the current listings on eBay.co.uk for 'Folio Society Bronte Complete Novels' you'll see a couple of typical examples of how the green art silk discolours/fades to a brownish pink - though you may prefer this colour! Just be sure to ask the bookseller specifically about discolouration of the spines. The green silk bound sets are lovely, but you'd need to take especial care to keep yours away from daylight if you bought one - that is if you do not prefer the brown/pink patina!

Jul 13, 2013, 10:14am Top

>25 Smiler69:, 27, 32, 35

Apologies for the misleading cover photos. I'm afraid I looked at the date MCMXCI on the title-page and didn't look at the printing history on the reverse.

Jul 13, 2013, 10:52am Top

>32 affle:, 35, 36 Thank you so much for the feedback. The copy I have my eye on is exactly like the one Tom showed us in >26 TabbyTom:, with buckram/paper side binding. I'm actually quite fond of that cover, and didn't know about the earlier silk binding, which I think I'd rather stay away from.

Jul 13, 2013, 1:17pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jul 13, 2013, 6:44pm Top

"The Trial of Joan of Arc" (2nd edition 1971). This is a translation of a French manuscript in the Municipal Library of Orleans, produced for King Louis XII of France about 1500 and based on official transcripts of the original trial. The illustrations are facsimile woodcuts from early French printed books.

Jul 14, 2013, 6:35am Top

Some rather grisly 18th-century illustrations from the 1974 Folio Press reprint of Lord Birkett's selection from the Newgate Calendar (first published in 1951):

Edited: Jul 14, 2013, 12:54pm Top

>37 Smiler69: I completely agree with affle and cronshaw about the risks associated with silk bindings, but don't dismiss an earlier printing out of hand. If you can get one in good condition it is lovely, and there is no reason why if it is not looked after well it can't remain so. I have had this set for over 15 years and the green moire silk binding is as bright, vibrant and even throughout as the day it was issued. I wouldn't swap it for a later printing, nice as the buckram/paper bound version is (and it is certainly nice).

I love moire silk bindings. Alan Moorehead's The Nile two-volume set is one of my favourite FS publications and is beautiful (as is the recent Three Kingdoms set), and whilst bindings of this type need to be cared for, they can remain beautiful for a long time.

Photos I am afraid do not do justice to silk bindings, but are best seen when they catch the light (and the colours don't get washed out with flash). In pictures that can just look like fingermarks. I assure you they are not :-)

EDIT: Added for clarity(!!), this is the 1997 version so, with its complicated publication history, this is the second printing, of the reset 1996 edition of Jane Eyre, which itself was a version of the reissued (and newly illustrated) 1991 edition (which was a reissue of the 1965 edition with the text 'cut and pasted' around the new Simon Brett woodcuts!)

Edited: Jul 14, 2013, 1:27pm Top

For a bit of fun I thought I would gather up each of the books covered in the 1951 programme shown in #2 above (and thanks Gary for posting that), as I love these very early FS editions from the days when FS was starting to build its identity.

I know I have the 1951 edition of the Newgate Calendar too, but can't put my hands on it right now, so may re-post if it turns up! All of these books have stood the test of time pretty well given they are over 60 years old - all in very good condition. They all have their dust jackets, and most of those are in pretty good nick too, except the jacket to The Sofa which is missing some bits on the top edge due to chipping.

Jul 14, 2013, 1:53pm Top

> 24
Do you know if your copy of the Journal of the Plague Year was printed letterpress? I recently acquired this and didn't realize that there were later printings. Given its original issue date was 1960, I believe Folio was printing exclusively letterpress back then. Turns out my copy is from the 1992 reissue, which looks identical, except it is clearly not letterpress and the cover design is just slightly different (this difference in the cover is what inspired me to check my copy more carefully and when I noted all the differences). It is the same basic pattern except there are no white "outlines" to the columns and skulls. Also yours appears to be "embossed" (if that is the correct term) or raised slightly from the boards whereas my 1992 copy actually has them as indentations to the boards (concave vs. convex?). I find that change a bit puzzling. But I really like this edition, so I may look for an older copy and just acquire a duplicate.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words (please excuse quality, taken quickly with iPhone only for visual aid):

Jul 14, 2013, 2:03pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jul 14, 2013, 2:34pm Top

> 44
It is definitely solid black rather than the greenish hue that is in the picture. iPhones will never replace good cameras.

Edited: Jul 14, 2013, 3:57pm Top

> 43

The 1960 edition is printed letterpress. As you say, that was standard Folio practice in the earlier days: I think they went over to lithography in the latter half of the 1970s.

The embossing/indentation of the cover design is rather strange. The silver lines down the left-hand edge of the columns are indented: the left-hand edge of the column is (I think) flush with the boards but the right -hand edge is slightly indented. The columns are therefore semi-concave (or semi-convex), as it were (I'm sure there are technical terms for what I'm trying to say, but I can't find them). I hadn't really noticed this until now!

Jul 14, 2013, 5:56pm Top

Illustrations by Nigel Lambourne from the 1974 selection of Short Stories by Chekhov:

Jul 15, 2013, 1:07am Top

> 46
Thanks for letting me know. I definitely find your copy more striking and I would of course prefer letterpress printing, even if the overall condition is a bit worse, being older. Now the difficulty will be trying to ensure I get a 1960 edition and not a reprint! I have not seen this come up all that often, which is why I pounced when it did.

Jul 15, 2013, 10:03am Top

>20 terebinth:

Thanks again, terebinth, for alerting us to the Folio rebinding of the Yale edition of "Zuleika Dobson". I've just received my copy - a much worthier showcase for Max's work than my old paperback.

Jul 15, 2013, 4:41pm Top

Engravings by Frank Martin for Oscar Wilde's "Salome" (Folio Press reprint 1974):

Jul 16, 2013, 12:34pm Top

Comte Mosca, how do you recommend taking care of silk bindings? Is it keeping them out of the direct sun or away from all strong light?

Jul 16, 2013, 2:04pm Top

>51 Bond_Girl: To be honest, I don't really give it much active thought. But then again, I am very lucky I live in a temperate climate, so sunlight and moisture is very easily managed. I have bookcases in all the rooms in my house, and can easily arrange particular books such that they face north if I choose, and also so that they are low down in the corner of rooms, protected from sunlight by other furniture, i.e the sofa! So that is all I do really, just be careful which bookcases I put which books in, and whether on high exposed shelves or lower shelves likely to be partially obscured by furniture.

Oh and the rooms at the front of my house (south facing), which includes my main Reading Room, have purpose made privacy blinds which allow you to see out, but people,can't see in. A particular attraction of these blinds is that they also provide some protection from direct sunlight without making the rooms look dark or "shut up", and I keep them down in the Reading Room all the time.

Jul 16, 2013, 3:30pm Top

The presentation volume for 1976 - Eric de Maré's "Wren's London":

(click to enlarge)

Jul 16, 2013, 5:46pm Top

> 53
Ok, stop, you are killing me! I've been looking for a reasonably priced copy of this (given that it was originally free!) but every time it comes up, it seems to go for more money than it should.

Jul 16, 2013, 5:55pm Top

There's free, and there's free when you buy four volumes!

Edited: Jul 16, 2013, 5:57pm Top

My Salome 1957 has a different cover, peacocks all over it. I made a montage of the cover and one illustration for my LT list.

Jul 16, 2013, 7:59pm Top

>53 TabbyTom:
Could you tell me if "Wren's London" came with a slipcover?

Jul 16, 2013, 9:20pm Top

> 57
I have read that it did not, like many of the presentation volumes of its era. Though I will need to the let the actual owner of this treasure speak to that (even if I suspect he is not the original owner which would make him retirement age).

Jul 17, 2013, 2:54am Top

>57 kotarana:, 58

Presentation volumes (free gifts on renewal) didn't come with slipcases in those days. They sometimes had glassine wrappers, but those wrappers couldn't stand up to the rough-and-tumble of life on my chaotic bookshelves.

I am actually the original owner and yes, I've been retired for several years now. I intended to spend my retirement reading the Folios and other books that I'd bought during my working life: instead, I'm spending it buying even more of them online!

Jul 17, 2013, 9:45am Top

> 59
Jealous on several counts!

Jul 17, 2013, 11:18am Top

This thread is so enabling!

>52 Conte_Mosca: Thank you! I don't know why I didn't think of simply moving certain books on the lowest shelf. Too used to be prominently displaying my Folios, so I can admire them more often.

Jul 17, 2013, 12:16pm Top

>41 Conte_Mosca: Michael, thank you so much once again for supplying beautiful photos. Those volumes look very appealing indeed, especially as I can well imagine the effect of the moire silk as it gets caressed with light. Stunning. I finally ended up getting the 1991 (non-silk) copy on eBay, but now I almost wish I'd held off and looked for one of these gems instead. All the same, I think I'll be happy with my copy.

Jul 17, 2013, 2:47pm Top

Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark" (1976), illustrated by Quentin Blake:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 17, 2013, 4:20pm Top

I just wanted to chip in to say how much pleasure these pictures of early FS books give me. Last weekend I bought a copy of the 1959 Trial of Charles I , but not cased . I already have a copy of this book , so if anyone would like my spare copy , I'd be happy to post . Send me a pm.

Jul 17, 2013, 6:04pm Top

Echoing Africansky1, thanks for all the pictures! Several books went onto wishlist.

Jul 18, 2013, 3:29am Top

Continuing the theme of older Presentation Volumes without slipcases, the Presentation Volumes between 1959 and 1970 (with one exception I think) were all books about art, reproducing paintings, drawings and lithographs by famous artists. I don't have them all, but here are four that might be of interest.

1960 Presentation Volume - "Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Provence" (1959)
1961 Presentation Volume - "Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers" (1960)
1964 Presentation Volume - "Rembrandt van Rijn: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings" (1963)
1966 Presentation Volume - "Renoir: Paintings, Drawings, Lithographs and Etchings" (1965)

Edited: Jul 18, 2013, 5:45am Top

The use of glassine wrappers by FS for many of their Presentation Volumes was an interesting choice. Given their extreme fragility these can have been intended for nothing other than protecting the covers from marks in storage and in the post. It means that very few Presentation Volumes on the secondary market have their original wrappers. I have managed to retain a few in good condition...

1979 Presentation Volume - "The Great Enterprise" (1978)
1984 Presentation Volume - "The Fire of Liberty" (1983)
1983 Presentation Volume - "The Sun King And His Loves" (1982)
1982 Presentation Volume - Thomas Bewick: My Life" (1981)

With Glassine Wrappers

Without Glassine Wrappers

But my glassine wrappers do not all fair equally well. Here is one well on its last legs! (1977 Presentation Volume - "The Shadow of Vesuvius")

Mind you, the wrapper has certainly kept the book nice and clean and bright (although I suspect a slipcase would have done a better job!)

Jul 18, 2013, 4:30am Top

Lovely pictures, Michael. I'm rather taken with The Shadow of Vesuvius - will have to investigate further.

Jul 18, 2013, 6:37am Top

Glassine paper is easily available at art supply stores. I have replaced old wrappers with new ones when necessary, and even created others for books that, having no slipcases, I felt needed protection.

Jul 18, 2013, 9:00am Top

>69 drasvola: That's a good point Antonio. Personally though, I don't worry too much about the wrappers. I have looked after the ones I have, and those books I have that no longer have them I don't really worry about too much. The wrappers provide little protection, and detract from the aesthetics (covering the spine) so I am happy to leave them "naked"!

Jul 18, 2013, 9:16am Top

> 70

Good point too, Michael! Glassine paper is a bit opaque and the spine cannot be seen clearly. I have read, but don't know how true that is, that glassine paper is an excellent protection against grease smudges and stains (i.e. pollution), so it may serve that purpose...

Jul 18, 2013, 10:49am Top

> 67
Was Fire of Liberty later released as a full priced title with a slipcase? Both my copy and a close friend's have decorative slipcases. But we both purchased second hand, so who knows the origin of the book.

Jul 18, 2013, 10:57am Top


According to Folio 60, the original edition came with a glassine dust-jacket. There was then a second impression (1984), with a white slipcase printed in lilac.

There was also a third impression in 1984, presumably with a similar slipcase.

Jul 18, 2013, 5:14pm Top

> 72, 73

Fire of Liberty was also sold in the USA in a St. Martin's Press dustjacket. A got a copy from the "Folio Gallery" (in Henry Sotheran) in 1993. It was a deal to get rid of surplus copies, I imagine.

Jul 18, 2013, 7:08pm Top

Drawings by George Grosz illustrating Christopher Isherwood's "Goodbye to Berlin" (1976):

(click to enlarge)

Jul 19, 2013, 11:48am Top

>75 TabbyTom: I almost purchased this on eBay recently, not sure why I balked, probably condition wasn't good enough. Will have to get my hands on it eventually.

Thanks for all the images you've been so generously supplying on this thread Tom!

Edited: Jul 19, 2013, 7:21pm Top

Pierce Egan's "Boxiana" (1976), with illustrations from Robert Cruikshank, Gillray and Rowlandson:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 19, 2013, 6:55pm Top

Excellent! Keep 'em coming!

Jul 20, 2013, 2:01am Top

>75 TabbyTom: That's certainly a lovely book!

The Hunting of the Snark" (1976) illustrated by Quentin Blake is a better edition than the current one.

This thread is really enabling.

Jul 20, 2013, 1:16pm Top

Osbert Lancaster illustrated a couple of Saki books for Folio in the seventies - a collection of short stories (1976) and "The Unbearable Bassington" (1978):

(click to enlarge)

Short Stories:

The Unbearable Bassington:

Jul 21, 2013, 9:32am Top

Stella Gibbons' "Cold Comfort Farm" (1977), illustrated by Quentin Blake:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 21, 2013, 9:39am Top

> 81

Your posts with the wonderful illustrations that accompany them are a tremendous temptation. Make me realise how much I'm missing from the early Folios. Thank you.

Jul 21, 2013, 9:44am Top

You're welcome! I joined the Society forty years ago, so I have quite a few fairly old volumes (though I can't compete with Conte Mosca on the really early editions).

Jul 22, 2013, 5:19am Top

"Abelard and Héloïse" (1977), with engravings by Raymond Hawthorn:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 23, 2013, 5:37am Top

Conte Mosca recently shared some photos of the older Folio presentation volumes on art. Another one from that period is "Goya: Paintings, Drawings and Prints" (1972):

(click to enlarge):

Jul 23, 2013, 10:20pm Top

> 84
Oh damn, now I'm torn. I have always hated the cover for this book so I ignore copies that come up on ABE and eBay. But I believe this is the first time I've seen the illustrations, which I really like. So now, to buy or not to buy a book with an ugly cover and gorgeous insides? I suppose in the end I will cave as the cover will not be visible when the book is in my hands and I'm reading it!

Jul 24, 2013, 5:18am Top

>86 UK_History_Fan:

And you'll only see the fairly thin spine when the book's on the shelf!

This is Arthur Morrison's “The Hole in the Wall” (1978), with illustrations by Val Biro which seem to owe a little to Doré:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 24, 2013, 10:12am Top

>77 TabbyTom:
Oh my Gawd! I had no idea Folio had ever printed Pierce Egan's "Boxiana"! All I have been able to find is a cheap print-on-demand reprint of the 19th century edition. Now my wallet is going to be emptied again.

Jul 24, 2013, 10:15am Top

It's really surprising to see FS books with dust jackets. Forgive me if this has already been asked, but when did they abandon DJs for slipcases?

Jul 24, 2013, 10:31am Top

>89 GiltEdge: The first FS title to be issued with a slip case rather than a dust jacket was Daphnis and Chloe in 1954. They continued to issue books in dust jackets for a few more years but by c.1957 they had all but been abandoned in favour of slip cases, with the occasional exception of Presentation Volumes issued in glassine wrappers.

Jul 24, 2013, 10:53am Top

And also the Folio Fine Press series mentioned elsewhere, this series was also issued in glassine wrappers.

Jul 24, 2013, 11:18am Top

>91 N11284: Good point. I have also referred to the protective covers on the Folio Fine Press series as glassine wrappers elsewhere I think, although they were actually more robust clear plastic dust jackets, rather than the glassine wrappers I show at #67 above.

Jul 24, 2013, 5:05pm Top

> 92

The covers to the Folio fine Press series have their own problems in that they shrink over time, leading to them crinkling, as well as leaving bare bits of book (so to speak) poking out at top and bottom.

Jul 24, 2013, 8:03pm Top

Are the pre-slipcase era Folios hard to find with their dust jackets intact?

I just checked ABE. There were no copies of Macbeth w/DJ offered, and the cheapest copy of As You Like It was $200.

Edited: Jul 26, 2013, 5:48am Top

James Hogg's "Confessions of a Justified Sinner" (1978), with lino-cuts by Peter Pendrey:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 25, 2013, 6:34pm Top

"Confessions of a Justified Sinner" -- great title! I've never heard of it. Could you describe it some?

Jul 26, 2013, 5:30am Top

>96 GiltEdge:

It's a macabre work which has been seen as a forerunner of such works as “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

It purports to be the publication of a recently discovered memoir, with observations by the “editor”. The memoir is set in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; the “discovery” is contemporary with the publication (i.e. early nineteenth century). The central character (the “sinner” of the title) is the second son of a Scottish laird's wife (though his father is the Calvinist pastor who acts as spiritual counsellor to his mother). Under the pastor's influence he believes that he is one of God's elect, “justified” by virtue of his election and assured of heaven whatever he does on earth.

First, the “editor” tells the sinner's tale as it is commonly preserved in local folk memory. The sinner, brought up apart from the laird by his mother and the pastor, meets his half-brother (the laird's eldest son and heir) as a young man and carries on a campaign of persecution against him. Eventually the brother is killed in a duel. Another man is tried for the murder, but eventually the only witness to the duel denounces the sinner. However, officers sent to arrest the sinner cannot find him, and he is never seen again.

At the end of the book, the “editor's” narrative resumes, telling how the grave of a herdsman who had committed suicide a hundred years ago in another part of the country was recently opened, and along with the corpse, the “Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” were found. The memoir itself forms the middle part of the book. I won't reveal the content of the memoir, except to say that he commits several more crimes besides the murder of his brother, and that he acts under the influence of a sinister figure called Gilmartin (the devil? the sinner's own alter ego?), who persuades him that what they are doing is God's will.

To avoid spoilers, I've just given a very plain and probably boring outline, but the book is a powerfully told narrative which falls, from a literary as well as a chronological standpoint, between the Gothic novel and psychological works such as “Dr Jekyll”. Well worth a read.

Jul 26, 2013, 5:48am Top

There seem to be only two Folio books for which "Nicolas Bentley drew the pictures". This is one of them, E. M. Delafield's "Diary of a Provincial Lady" (1979):

(click to enlarge)

Jul 26, 2013, 8:51am Top


Love that style. I just might get that book for the pictures (as I recall, the novel itself is rather unexciting).

Btw, I received my "Illustrated Zuleika Dobson", and it is a beauty of a book! Thanks again, terebinth!

Jul 26, 2013, 9:41am Top

>97 TabbyTom:
Thanks for the outline.

Jul 26, 2013, 9:58am Top

> 95

Enabled! I've ordered the book from abebooks. I just love stories about unrepentant or not sinners...

Jul 26, 2013, 12:18pm Top

Fantastic thread. Thanks to TabbyTom for sharing his older Folio riches! I have been enabled and have tracked down James Hogg's Sinner on Abe.

Jul 28, 2013, 10:20am Top

"The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon" (1979) with illustrations by Jasper Deane:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 29, 2013, 7:09am Top

A selection from the memoirs of Harriette Wilson (Folio Press reprint, 1979), with plates reproducing etchings from the first edition of 1825:

(click to enlarge):

Jul 29, 2013, 7:32am Top

>88 GiltEdge:

As you can see from the title-page, the Folio edition is only a selection from the original five volumes, so if you order it I hope you get the extracts that you want. The Folio edition includes the biographies of about twenty of the major prizefighters and about a dozen other short pieces, mainly about clubs and sporting venues.

Edited: Jul 30, 2013, 3:19am Top

Evelyn Waugh's "Black Mischief" (1980) and "Scoop" (1982), with illustrations by Quentin Blake:

(click to enlarge)

Black Mischief:


Edited: Jul 31, 2013, 6:27am Top

"Venice: The Most Triumphant City" by George Bull, The Folio presentation volume for 1981, with illustrations from Renaissance times to the twentieth century:

(click to enlarge)

Jul 31, 2013, 12:59pm Top

Lovely endpapers. I'll have to get that, I like the mix of illustrations.

Jul 31, 2013, 6:11pm Top

These are brilliant pictures, many thanks for sharing. The Defoe Journal and Salome are delightful, and I'm now hunting these down on abebooks.

Jul 31, 2013, 7:21pm Top

Thanks to this thread I have already purchased The Sofa and London 1851 - both fascinating. Pondering more Abe and Biblio searches.

Aug 1, 2013, 5:28am Top

"The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion in 1764 - 65" by Magdalen King-Hall, illustrated by Frank Martin (1982);

(click to enlarge)

Aug 1, 2013, 6:17am Top

Tabby Tom, you have enabled me again. Just ordered my third book from your list, "The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion" from Abe, in (purportedly) fine condition for USD20 including postage.

Edited: Aug 1, 2013, 8:54am Top

> 11
Wonderful illustrations. I am not familiar with this book. Do you know what it is about? Was the fashionable lady anyone famous historically?

EDITED TO ADD: Why ask questions, when one can simply Google?

"I wrote the book in a few weeks as a joke," said Magdalen King-Hall, author of "The Diary of a Young Lady of Fashion in the Year 1764-1765," published in 1926. "If I had realized that so many distinguished persons would take it seriously, I would have spent more time and pains on it."

Miss King-Hall's imaginary diarist, Cleone Knox, supposedly had traveled around 18th-century Europe, meeting and recording her impressions of Voltaire and King Louis XV of France, among others. Critics declared the diary authentic partly because it contained obsolete expressions and spelling and lots of capital letters.

"Her diary must take its place beside that of Mr. Pepys," one critic wrote. Another opined, "No modern girl will ever write a diary like this. Cleone Knox breathes the very spirit of the witty, robust, patriotic, wicked, hard-drinking, hard-swearing 18th century." The diary went through several printings on both sides of the Atlantic.

Six months after its publication, 19-year-old Miss King-Hall admitted that she had written the diary because she was bored. And she did have a lively imagination. About her visit with Voltaire, she wrote, "The great man received us in a chintz dressing gown. ... Sometimes affable, more often peevish. To tell the truth, he reminded me of nothing so much as a chattering old magpie. We listened, silent, with the Respect which is due to Genius, however Wearisome it may be."

source http://online.wsj.com/article/deja_vu...(less)

Edited: Aug 1, 2013, 5:03pm Top

>111 TabbyTom:, 113

There's a whole genre of spurious memoirs out there - not all, of course designed to deceive. They range from famous examples like Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year to more obscure ones like The Diary of a Farmer's Wife 1796-1797, first published in Farmer's Weekly in 1937, and The Diary of Elizabeth Pepys 'edited' by Dale Spender and published in 1991. I'm sure there are many more.

Aug 1, 2013, 8:50pm Top

>114 boldface:
Yes, I did not realize how many diaries the FS published until now. Earlier today, I spotted ‘The Diary of a Country Parson, the Revd. James Wodeforde’ at a local used bookstore. Although the various titles elude me at the moment, there is also a village shopkeeper’s diary and an innkeeper’s diary - and of course there is the Diary of a Nobody.

Aug 1, 2013, 9:30pm Top

Thanks to this thread I received 'Cold Comfort Farm' . The book is so much lovelier in person, love the illustrations!

Aug 2, 2013, 2:04am Top

>114 boldface:, 115

Other genuine diaries published by Folio (often selections from voluminous originals) include:

John Evelyn (1963)

Francis Kilvert (1977: another country parson)

William Allingham (1990)

Thomas Turner ("Diary of a Village Shopkeeper, 1754 - 1765", 1998)

Anne Frank (2005)

I'm tempted to get the Village Shopkeeper, since the diarist is from my part of the world (East Hoathly in Sussex) and seems to habe been fond of village cricket.

Aug 2, 2013, 2:17am Top

A selection of short stories by P G Wodehouse, with illustrations by George Adamson (1983):

(click to enlarge)

Aug 2, 2013, 2:31am Top

I own and have read the FS "Diary of a Village Shopkeeper" and found it fascinating.

Aug 2, 2013, 2:44am Top

>119 wcarter:

Thanks. I've just ordered a copy from Ardis.

Aug 2, 2013, 2:53am Top


I have read that too and found it a splendid read. I was frequently amused by his anxiety on falling to the temptation of the liquor.

Edited: Aug 2, 2013, 3:26am Top

> 121

Yes, I've come across extracts from the book in various other works, and it's the boozing and the cricket that make me think it will appeal to me!

Aug 3, 2013, 4:03am Top

"Drawn from Life" (1984), a selection of William Makepeace Thackeray's journalism illustrated with the author's own drawings:

(click to enlarge)

Aug 4, 2013, 5:44am Top

"Shades of the Alhambra" by Raleigh Trevelyan, the presentation volume for 1985:

(click to enlarge)

Aug 4, 2013, 12:34pm Top

Love it! What a great cover.

Aug 5, 2013, 3:42am Top

"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" by Anita Loos (1985), with drawings by ffolkes.

(click to enlarge)

Aug 5, 2013, 4:54am Top

>126 TabbyTom:
TabbyTom - please stop! You've enabled me yet again with "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". I just can't resist these older folios and their delightful illustrations. Abe is making a small fortune on their commissions from me.

Aug 5, 2013, 6:00am Top

>127 wcarter:

I tend to find the illustrations in the older volumes more appealing too. Nowadays I find myself buying Folios in spite of their illustrations, rarely because of them.

I'm planning to stop posting in a few days' time when I reach the 1988 books - just a quarter of a century ago.

Aug 5, 2013, 6:12am Top

> 117. What fortune to live a short hop, skip and jump from the bibliographic riches of Lewes and a short jog to Brighton!

Aug 5, 2013, 6:31am Top

>129 HuxleyTheCat:

I'll have to re-acquire the bookshop browsing habit. Since I got an internet connection I've found it much easier to go to websites where I can be virtually sure of finding what I want in a minute or two. I'm actually based in Hastings rather than Turner's East Hoathly, but Lewes and Brighton are certainly only a short train journey away.

Aug 5, 2013, 10:22am Top

> 119 to 122

I've just received my copy of "The Diary of a Village Shopkeeper" and I think I'm going to enjoy reading it.

Aug 5, 2013, 5:30pm Top


I'm sure you will.

Edited: Aug 6, 2013, 6:22pm Top

"Cobbett's America" (1985), with various illustrations from Cobbett's day:

(click to enlarge)

Aug 6, 2013, 6:30pm Top

The "Poetic Gems" of William McGonagall (1985) with "dramatic collages" by Michael Foreman:

(click to enlarge)

Aug 7, 2013, 9:50am Top

Venice: The Most Triumphant City was the first Folio Society book I bought (and still have it). I was 21 and joined the FS as part of my celebrations.

Aug 7, 2013, 10:11am Top

Now there's an idea for a "biography in books"...

Edited: Aug 7, 2013, 6:06pm Top

"England, Their England" by A. G. Macdonell (1986), illustrated by Peter Brookes:

(click to enlarge)

Aug 8, 2013, 7:42pm Top

"The First Colonists" (presentation volume for 1987) - a selection, edited by A. L. Rowse, of Hakluyt's accounts of the early British voyages to North America, with various illustrations from the period, including a number of watercolours by John White:

(click to enlarge)

Edited: Aug 9, 2013, 5:25pm Top

"Augustus Carp Esq, by Himself. being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man", a lovely satire on religious bigotry, published by the Folio Society 1n 1988 with drawings by David Eccles;

(click to enlarge)

Aug 10, 2013, 12:42am Top

> 139
I always wondered (but never bothered to research) just what this book was about. Now that I know, and with those illustrations, it has just been added to my wish list!

Aug 10, 2013, 10:47am Top

Sounds right up my alley, especially being a fan of Eccles!

Aug 10, 2013, 7:24pm Top

The presentation volume for 1989 (prepared in 1988) was "My Early Times", a quasi-autobiography of Charles Dickens compiled by Peter Rowland from Dickens's journalism, letters and speeches, with all sorts of illustrations from Dickens's time. I have no idea how I managed to damage the front endpaper and flyleaf (second pic).

(click to enlarge)

Sep 10, 2013, 5:19pm Top

I bought a copy of "Fire of Liberty" about 20 years ago, second hand, in a slipcase, but without the glassine wrapper. The slipcase was illustrated. Large book eating roaches abound here in New Orleans, but they leave my Folios alone, preferring cheap bindings and wrappers from the 60s and 70s. But, alas, when I pulled "Fire of Liberty" out a few months back, they had feasted on the slipcase. The volume is fine, and sits on the shelf in naked splendor. Oh, the joys of a near tropical local!

Sep 11, 2013, 12:27pm Top

> 143 - move to South Dakota, where life is much duller and colder than New Orleans but at least our Folio collections are consumed only by the eyes!

Sep 11, 2013, 12:31pm Top

Thank you, TabbyTom for posting such fantastic pictures!

Sep 11, 2013, 12:36pm Top


Ha! Somehow or other, while I suffered from the New Orleans climate for years, my books were spared weather and bug-related damage. Probably didn't stay long enough...

Apr 28, 2015, 7:40pm Top


Nov 16, 2016, 12:02pm Top

I ran into this charming 1992 Folio last week, don't recall hearing about it before. The poor man's Liber Bestiarum, which I got for a poor man's price (15 CAD, I'm almost embarrassed to say):


Nov 16, 2016, 12:06pm Top

Sorry about the bad photography. The paper is actually creamy, very smooth and pleasant to the touch (Unicorn Cream Cartridge?)

Quite wonderful.

Nov 16, 2016, 12:20pm Top

> 148

It was the presentation volume for 1993 (which must mean that it was published in September 1992). It's catalogued as number 726 in Folio 60.

Nov 16, 2016, 12:25pm Top

>150 housefulofpaper:

Yeah, my Folio 60 has been out of easy reach for two years now... :)

I actually wondered if that hadn't been the case--seems like a great way to whip up appetite for the LE.

Nov 16, 2016, 12:41pm Top

I've always thought that the Liber Bestiarum, in a very large limitation, was an odd choice for an LE so soon after Folio gave everyone who might be interested a pretty nice free copy of the content. It does seem to have lingered on the list for a long time.

Nov 16, 2016, 12:49pm Top

>152 Jayked:

When I joined in 2006 I received offer of a solid discount on the LE, and I really should have picked it up at that time, as it never got to that price again (and now it's hundreds more).

But this is really nice.

Nov 16, 2016, 1:00pm Top

>152 Jayked:

To be fair, the gap between the presentation volume and the LE was the best part of 15 years (Publication was April 2008).

Nov 16, 2016, 1:26pm Top

>154 housefulofpaper:

Oops... I remembered it as a treat for joining...

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