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Acquisitions 2019

George Macy devotees

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1BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Dec 29, 2018, 2:04am Top

The special Leaves of Grass bound in morocco and signed by Kent. This edition does not have a copyright date. On the colophon it has the logo (I assume) of the Lakeside Press. Most online sources cite 1936/1937 as the publication date, which should make it part of the first HP series A. Unfortunately my copy is lacking the Sandglass but I am not even sure if such was available with the special edition. Perhaps Robert knows more about the history of this publication. Uncommon in this condition.

2kdweber
Dec 29, 2018, 5:25pm Top

>1 BuzzBuzzard: Wow, what a beautiful copy! It looks pristine. There were 1000 copies of this edition put out by the Heritage Press. I believe it was done by the Nonesuch Press not the Lakeside Press. I don't have a copy of the Sandglass with my copy.

3Glacierman
Dec 29, 2018, 9:05pm Top

It was published by HP/Nonesuch, but printed at the Lakeside Press.

4Glacierman
Dec 29, 2018, 9:22pm Top

Haven't received it yet, but I have a copy of Flaubert's "Temptation of St. Anthony" (LEC) on the way. That one is hard to find in decent shape and tends to be pricey if in fine condition, so I settled for a nice copy in a worn slipcase. The book tends to show up with spine torn or missing completely and the slipcase is prone to wear easily. The book interior is totally awesome, and I'll be posting some pics after it gets here.

5kdweber
Dec 30, 2018, 2:17am Top

>4 Glacierman: My copy wasn't expensive (~$50) and is in fine condition but the slipcase was heavily worn.

6Glacierman
Edited: Dec 30, 2018, 3:16pm Top

>5 kdweber: That pretty much describes my copy as well; slipcase is worn, but the book is in excellent shape. I paid a few dollars more for mine than you did for yours. Saw one in comparable shape with the Monthly Letter for $95, but felt that $40 was more than I wanted to pay for an ML.

I saw a couple of copies on ABE that blew my mind: both over $300, one has no slipcase and the other doesn't mention one, one says its condition is "Good" (!!) and the other states that the binding is "original cloth (bit soiled, internally fine)." Neither of them have photos. My gosh! I think I'll just push the button and get both copies RIGHT NOW!! *sheesh*

In book hunting, as well you know, patience is a virtue.

-- Richard

P. S.: I use the term "fine" to describe the book AND slipcase, as in my mind the two comprise a single unit; no slipcase when one is expected to be present severely reduces the desireablity of the book for me. If no slipcase is present, I expect the dealer to mention that little fact and price it accordingly, i. e. significantly less that it would fetch with the s/c present. Others, no doubt, do not feel so strongly about that.

7Glacierman
Feb 1, 8:36pm Top

Just added a book to our library that I have wanted for a long time: Xenophon's Anabasis. I read it 50+ years ago, back in my college days, in a Penguin paperback edition. Ever since I found out about the LEC edition, I have lusted after it. Now, thanks to another devotee, my lust has been satisfied: I now possess a superb copy of the Limited Editions Club issue and can say that the wait was worth it. I consider it an LEC masterpiece.

Life is good.

8WildcatJF
Feb 5, 9:21pm Top

I added a standard initial edition of The Song of Songs to my collection today. I had a Sandglass on hand already and the book itself was in relatively good to great condition, so I'm happy! I'd be happier with the fancy one, of course, but at least it's from the original run!

9kdweber
Feb 6, 3:10pm Top

>8 WildcatJF: It's hard to keep all of the different versions straight. The key thing is to get one of the volumes hand illuminated by Valenti Angelo. My copy is the Series A, 1937-1938, red leather-bound edition, minus the signature and extra litho. This edition is in a red slipcase with Sandglass 7A.

10WildcatJF
Feb 6, 8:57pm Top

Yeah, I got one of the hand illuminated editions. It's bound in black, and was printed in 1935.

11Glacierman
Feb 10, 6:00pm Top

Added two more to my reference collection:

History of the Limited Editions Club by Carol Grossman (2017). Got a signed copy at no extra cost.

The Grabhorn Press, A Biography by Roby Wentz. Published by the Book Club of California in 1981 and printed at the Grace Hoper Press in an edition of 750 copies. The book is still readily available. Prices on ABE run from $25 to $200! Fine copies in the plain white d/j can be had for as low as $35.00

Bought the new LEC bibliography earlier, back in December.

12SteveJohnson
Feb 17, 10:04pm Top

"The Histories of Herodotus" and "The House of the Dead", both LECs. I love the Eichenberg illustrations in HOTD.
Plus "Fables by the late John Gay", from The Imprint Society, all three from Atlanta Vintage Books.

And from an estate sale, six books by Howard Pyle, all from Scribners in the early 1920s. Most of these were originally published as individual stories in St. Nicholas or as standalone books in the 1880s, but Scribner's re-published them in the early 1920s, which are the versions I have. The spines are sunned and the cream cloth is dirty, but the ones I found included his four volumes on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, plus The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Otto of the Silver Hand.

Since "Otto" is one of his lesser-known works, I scanned in most of the images, here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3VbA7u8o9uJfg4cR9

PS: I did not know it until I read Wikipedia, but Pyle is credited with creating the modern image of a pirate, complete with the "gypsy" dress, that we know so well from his student N.C. Wyeth, Johnny Depp and others.

PPS: Now that Flikr is charging $100 a year if you want to store more than 1,000 photos, I've moved everything from my LEC and HP spreadsheet over to Google Photos, which seems to me to be a perfectly fine free alternative. You do not get your original full-sized images, as you do on Flikr, but what Google provides seems to me to be more than sufficient.

13Jan7Smith
Mar 27, 5:44pm Top

I finally found a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo Limited Edition Club that I could afford and I am thrilled with the condition. The slipcase is rough around the edges but completely sound otherwise.

14booksforreading
Mar 27, 7:33pm Top

Congratulations! I think that this is one of the best editions of this work in English!

15WildcatJF
Mar 27, 10:51pm Top

A generous fan once again has submitted some duplicates from their library to me to cover on the blog. I've already expressed my appreciation to them privately, but I do wish to say thank you publicly. I'll share a photo of them all once they arrive tomorrow.

16WildcatJF
Apr 7, 8:53pm Top

While in Sacramento I came across a rather good copy of the LEC Revolt of the Angels for $12.50, so I went for it! Lacks the newsletter, but is otherwise complete.

17Jan7Smith
Apr 8, 1:31pm Top

I just received a beautiful copy of the LEC Simplicissimus and other than an inch size ink stamp on the endpaper I would rate fine. Do any of you book experts recommend a safe way to remove it?

18Jan7Smith
Apr 16, 1:27pm Top

Exile's Return and Ferdinand and Isabella are two Limited Edition Club books in fine condition added yesterday. I have so much to read that I will never catch up.

19BuzzBuzzard
Apr 19, 11:50pm Top

My latest purchase is a fine Salammbo. The double spread pictures are mounted on interestingly. Rather than being sewn into the binding they are glued to one of the adjacent pages. This allows them to spread fully without loss of detail. The ML does not address this as either clever or unique but I can’t think of any other LEC done in this way. Am I missing any?

20wcarter
Apr 20, 1:35am Top

>19 BuzzBuzzard:
Enabled and ordered!
Thank you (I think!).

21BuzzBuzzard
Apr 20, 10:50am Top

>20 wcarter: It did not take much, did it? Salammbo is a solid book. Often hard to find with clean binding, but it is worth the wait. About a month ago I got another Bowden illustrated LEC Histories of Herodotus. It is very nice too.

22Jan7Smith
Apr 23, 3:02pm Top

Received two LEC books today - Carmen, which is so beautiful and in fine condition and The Flowering of New England, which is also beautiful and near fine condition. The thrill of adding such wonderful books never diminishes.

23gmacaree
Apr 24, 7:47am Top

Seven Years in Tibet. Naked, alas, but still a good find!

24booksforreading
Edited: Apr 25, 1:44am Top

>23 gmacaree:
Do you mean that the book is naked or that you are now naked because you spent all your last money on it? :)
Or maybe something else?
Sorry! I could not resist! :) :)

25asburytr
Apr 25, 10:37pm Top

I have made a couple exciting acquisitions of late: Rousseau's Confessions, Marguerite de Valois, The Crime of Sylvester Bonnard, The Coverly Papers, Browning's Poems, Ramona, Livy, and the earlier Ivanhoe with its fun chain mail binding. For non LEC I've picked up The Story Classics Rebecca and Rowena as well as three of the nice quarter leather Folio myths and legends books. The France volume is my favorite and I hope to add the matching editions of At the Sign of the Queen Pedaque and Cyrano.

26asburytr
Apr 25, 11:20pm Top

I almost forgot: I also picked up the Heritage van Gogh and Rembrandt albums. I owe WildcatJF and his blog for knowing these existed, and hope to pick up the Heritage exclusive artist biographies at somepoint but have only ever seen the war era editions.

27featherwate
Edited: Apr 28, 10:14pm Top

>25 asburytr:
Hurray! Someone else who appreciates the Ivanhoe binding. I love it: one of the LEC's most successful matches of cover design and the story within (one of the few Walter Scott novels still readable today). And I find Allen Lewis's vigorous lino- and wood-cut illustrations more relevant to the period of the novel than Edward A Wilson's for the 1951 LEC, whose Middle Ages, though beautiful, come over as a rather romanticized Victorian/Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. world:

Lewis (whose life is bookended by two suitable locations: Mobile, Alabama, and Basking Ridge, NJ) was also responsible for the layout and the choice of typeface (one that Fred Goudy created for H G Wells's The Door in the Wall which was republished as a Folio Society facsimile a few years ago). George Macy also sensibly employed Lewis's favourite Marchbanks Press to print the book.

28jsg1976
Apr 28, 8:48pm Top

Has anyone done a comparison showing the two different versions of Ivanhoe? I'd like to be able to compare them before I pick one up

30jsg1976
Apr 30, 2:01pm Top

Thanks! Now I just have to decide which one...

31wcarter
Edited: May 4, 1:57am Top

>19 BuzzBuzzard:
Now received, and in very good condition for a US$50 purchase (although postage to Australia was US$69!!!).
See here.

Also found an excellent copy of Sea Wolf at a high quality antiquarian bookshop in Melbourne (one of the very few in this country that stockes any LEC books) for A$195 (US$140). See here.

32BuzzBuzzard
May 4, 12:41am Top

>31 wcarter: So what is your opinion on Salammbo? Pretty penny for US collectors these prices are.

33wcarter
May 4, 1:57am Top

>32 BuzzBuzzard:
I am delighted with it, but obviously have not had time to read it yet.

34Jan7Smith
May 6, 4:00pm Top

I am slowly building a nice collection of LEC and HP books. I added LEC Volumes - The Wall, The Leopard, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge and both versions of the HP Pride & Prejudice, all in near fine condition.

The Wall & The Notebooks did not include the Monthly Letters. If anyone could share those I would appreciate it.

35kdweber
May 6, 4:27pm Top

>34 Jan7Smith: Both Monthly Letters are posted on our Google Drive site.

36gmacaree
May 6, 5:40pm Top

Leopard and M.L.B. are both brilliant editions, both in content and production. Congratulations!

37Jan7Smith
May 6, 6:07pm Top

>35 kdweber: I found The Wall letter, but the only Rilke letter I could find is poems.

>36 gmacaree: Thanks!

38kdweber
May 6, 9:35pm Top

>37 Jan7Smith: You're right. I only checked for The Wall and The Leopard. Unfortunately, I'm missing the Monthly Letter for my copy of The Notebooks as well.

39NYCFaddict
May 6, 9:56pm Top

As am I -- but are we absolutely certain there was an ML for The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge? Does anyone have it?

If it was indeed issued, I believe it would be ML 550.

40kdweber
May 6, 10:12pm Top

>39 NYCFaddict: I'm pretty sure all the LECs had an associated Monthly Letter. Note that Cosi Fan Tutte has a posted Monthly Letter and was published much later. It was the announcements that were dropped sometime in the Shiff era.

41edgeworn
May 8, 11:35am Top

Three recent LEC purchases for me: Martian Chronicles, Aristophanes' The Birds and the jewel-like Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Each very different from the next, but all treasured additions. I had forgotten how amusing Aristophanes can be, despite the passage of millennia.

The Bradbury made a big impact on me when I first read it as a teenager, and I am pleased to be able to have the book in this attractive version. In my view the illustrations are much more sympathetic to Bradbury's style than the recent FS version (which I also have) which are too 'comic book' for me.

42NYCFaddict
May 9, 1:56am Top

Thank you. Does anyone know, for sure, the last LEC to have an Announcement?

43kdweber
May 9, 1:54pm Top

>42 NYCFaddict: We've discussed this topic previously somewhere in this group but I don't remember when or where. My last Announcement is from Exile's Return in 1981.

44NYCFaddict
May 9, 10:03pm Top

You are right that we discussed this a while back (I remember now). Now I have my library spreadsheet in front of me, I can see that at that time I made the following note: "It appears that the publisher's announcement cards were not issued after the forty-fifth series." So the last LEC to have an Announcement card was, I think, Exile's Return (also my last LEC to have an Announcement).

45Jan7Smith
Edited: May 13, 1:29pm Top

I added the LEC The Physiology of Taste. It is a little rough on the exterior but the interior is nice.

Did anyone ever determine if The Notebooks had a Monthly Letter or not?

46kdweber
May 13, 1:33pm Top

>45 Jan7Smith: "I added the LEC The Physiology of Taste. It is a little rough on the exterior but the interior is nice."

Nice pick-up. Though there are a few pristine (and very expensive) copies out there, I gave up and went for a modestly priced copy with a darkened spine.

47Jan7Smith
May 13, 4:50pm Top

>46 kdweber: Ken, The Physiology of Taste is not too awfully big for reading, but Simplicissimus and especially The Leopard are just too BIG to hold and read. Several other LEC editions are a little too heavy for comfort also, but I love them anyway.

48BuzzBuzzard
May 13, 11:36pm Top

I might never read Simplicissimus. Also not sure if the illustrations are printed directly from the block. The Leopard on the other hand is such a wonderful read. And the LEC is really nice. True you can’t hold it in your hands while reading, but it doesn’t matter. I bought a fine copy of Physiology of Taste back in December for $75. It spent months on end on eBay. You just never know with the internet.

49Steve92084
Edited: May 14, 9:02am Top

Hi NYCFaddict - I don't believe the third volume of the Sherlock Holmes set (The Final Adventures) had a Monthly Letter. I'm reasonably sure that my collection of the letters is complete (i.e., the letters are consecutively numbered with no gaps) well past the year The Final Adventures was published and there is no letter in my run. I have also never seen the letter mentioned as being in any of the sets sold through ABE. I hope I am wrong and that the lucky person with that letter is willing to upload it to the shared drive.

50NYCFaddict
May 14, 7:17pm Top

Hi Steve, I believe ML 231 (which I don't have) covers both The Later Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which were issued back to back.

51cronshaw
May 15, 8:35am Top

Unseduced by anything in the latest Folio Society release, I turned to Mr Macy on the secondary market to cheer myself up. I chanced upon the LEC 2-vol. Lavengro which was unusually available in the UK for £30 (nearly $40) including P&P, though sadly without the slipcase. What exquisite typesetting, paper, endpapers and colour lithographs! The LEC has yet to disappoint me.

52Steve92084
May 15, 8:37am Top

Hi NYCFaddict - Yes, you are correct. In the penultimate paragraph of letter 231 there is a a brief description of the The Final Adventures set.

53featherwate
May 16, 9:14am Top

>51 cronshaw:
"What exquisite typesetting, paper, endpapers and colour lithographs!"
Indeed! one of my favourite of all limited editions, not just LECs. My copy came with a separate portfolio of proof copies of Barnett Freedman's lithos.

54cronshaw
May 17, 11:50am Top

>53 featherwate: My copy came with a separate portfolio of proof copies of Barnett Freedman's lithos. How wonderful! Freedman's charming lithographs will definitely enhance my enjoyment of Borrow's work.

55Jan7Smith
May 18, 11:00am Top

My mail this morning included the most pristine LEC I think I have ever seen. The Flounder by Gunter Grass - three volumes with the most well-contructed slipcase of all my cases. My to-read pile is getting overwhelming but if time permits all will get read.
Maybe some of you who have read this can give some thoughts on it!

56Jan7Smith
May 21, 11:14am Top

Very excited to receive a near fine edition of the LEC 1929 Travels of Lemuel Gulliver. There is just a bare touch of darkening of the top & bottom of the spine, otherwise seems to be perfect. The slipcase is completely sound construction wise but a little rough on the spine.
I really wanted this book because it was the first LEC book. They aren't cheap so I think I will pause my buying so my depleted funds can recover a bit.

57jveezer
May 21, 1:43pm Top

Oak Knoll has a copy of the 1942 Leaves of Grass. Sigh. We want's it, precious. But it's too precious at $1500 for this yogiTeamonger...

58SteveJohnson
Jun 3, 10:49pm Top

I shop estate sales but since we moved to the Chattanooga area, there is much less available (we moved from NYC-NJ). But this week I found a sale with about 40 HPs, mainly from 1955-1959. Bought what I didn't already have: Marcus Aurelius, Herodotus (2 vol.), Verne's Mysterious Island, Trollope's Barchester Towers, Hardy's Tess and Madding Crowd, Uncle Remus, Age of Fable, Arabian Nights (1955, 2 vol. with the Szyk illustrations). All for $5 each. No slipcases but most have the Sandglass and are in very good condition. That gets me up to 271 HPs. Long way to go with LECs, however.

59literatefool
Jun 3, 11:43pm Top

Congrats! Especially the Mysterious Island and Arabian Nights.

60Django6924
Jun 5, 7:57pm Top

Yes--nice haul Steve! I actually prefer the 2 vol. HP Herodotus to the single volume LEC, which is a little unwieldy, and the spine of the burgundy-colored buckram binding has a notorious tendency to fade. All of my Jules Verne books are the HPs I got back as a member of the Club and I am very satisfied with them and never felt the need to acquire LEC versions.

61Jan7Smith
Jun 6, 11:57am Top

Another beautiful Limited Edition Club book came this morning. The Magician of Lublin which seems to be in mint condition.
Now I am wondering if the Gentleman From Cracow /The Mirror is as desirable as this one?

62BuzzBuzzard
Jun 6, 12:17pm Top

>61 Jan7Smith: I really enjoyed the magician story and have been tempted to buy The Gentleman From Cracow many time. So far another LEC always trumped it. The Gentleman could be desirable also for the reason that it was the first LEC that was published under Sid Schiff.

63Jan7Smith
Jun 6, 12:41pm Top

>62 BuzzBuzzard: I recently acquired Macy's first LEC book so I think it would be nice to have Schiff's first also! I will put that on my list. I can't afford very many of the Schiff era books, only a few of the early ones. They are all really nice editions but quickly priced out of my range.

64elladan0891
Jun 6, 6:59pm Top

I own The Gentleman From Cracow. I think it's a lesser book than most other Shiff books that followed in terms of production materials. Binding itself is very so-so. However, the paper is nice, letterpress is beautiful, 2-color printing is nice. I also really like the appendix that consists of 20-something full pages of charcoal studies for the watercolor illustrations; I even like the studies more than the final illustrations. And the colophon is signed by Singer, of course. For me, author's signatures are always a great bonus, and signature of a Nobel prize-winning author is always welcome.

So I'd recommend the book, but don't overpay. It should cost significantly less than the Magician of Lublin or The Flounder (unless you got the latter two at a steal). I got my copy of The Gentleman for $22.

65Django6924
Jun 6, 7:40pm Top

The Gentleman From Cracow /The Mirror is not, in my opinion, as desirable as The Magician of Lublin, and if you had to choose between the 2 Singer books, by all means The Magician of Lublin is the one to get. Cracow/Mirror is a rather slight volume, 7 1/2" x 10" and 124 pages (edition of 2000). The spine is gray buckram with grayish paper "Elephant Hide" sides. Ralph Soyer's watercolors are reproduced via offset photo-lithography, and are somewhat murky (this may be an accurate representation of the originals rather than faults in the reproduction process). Lots of demons and unattractive nudes.

There are 12 pages of introductions, Gentleman runs from page 4--36, Mirror from 41--59, and the remainder of the book is taken up with reproductions of Soyer's preliminary pencil sketches for the watercolors--perhaps a nod to Macy's use of preliminary sketches by Matisse for Ulysses and Picasso's for the LEC Lysistrata. I am lukewarm about this method myself, and feel I don't really gain any insight by seeing rough drafts; perhaps were I an artist I might feel otherwise. I like the stories, and some of the illustrations, but on the whole it seems a minor effort.

66Jan7Smith
Jun 6, 9:06pm Top

>64 elladan0891: >65 Django6924: I read this too late. I place an order for The Gentleman From Cracow /The Mirror just before reading this. Maybe I will not be disappointed too much. I paid $35.00 and it is suppose to be as new condition in fine slipcase.

67Django6924
Jun 7, 1:06am Top

>66 Jan7Smith:

In that condition, I don't think you will be too disappointed. What other book of this quality can you get these days for $35? (and it is superior to all but super-expensive private press books). And, as elladan0891 pointed out, a book signed by the Nobel-prize winning author is more icing on the cake.

68Jan7Smith
Jun 11, 11:41am Top

Included in my mail today was a mint Gentleman from Cracow/The Mirror and I just noticed that all of my recent (and lots of my older editions) LECs are not American born. Am I correct that there is not a lot of American writers represented in our lovely books? I know some became citizens at some point but many did not.

69elladan0891
Jun 11, 5:49pm Top

>68 Jan7Smith: I don't have this impression. Even earlier, classics-heavy series always had some Americans. E.g. take the very first series - a third of the books were written by American authors (4/12). But if you're looking for more Americans, then the period you started dipping into - the affordable Shiff years - is a good period to explore. I'd say roughly half of all books published in that period were written by Americans:

Ray Bradbury
Rachel Carson
Willa Cather
Malcolm Cowley
Hart Crane
Charles Finney
William Faulkner
Scott F Fitzgerald (2)
John Hersey
Arthur Miller
Eugene O'Neill
Edgar Allan Poe
Robert Penn Warren
Tennessee Williams

70Jan7Smith
Jun 11, 9:18pm Top

>69 elladan0891: I noticed that of my last 15 or so book purchases at least 90% was either foreign or foreign-born. I have no gripe about it as many of my favorite books are by foreign writers. I am not sure why exactly but the Schiff early era has produced most of my latest purchases. Singer, Isaac Bashevis, Grass, Günter, Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme, Rilke, Rainer Maria, Lampedusa, Giuseppe Di, Merimee, Propser and Grimmelshausen, Johann Jakob Christoffel von are authors of my recent acquisitions. They appeal to me and a few I found at a reasonable price.
I have books by the authors you listed and enjoy most of the books that I have read.
Thanks for your response.

71featherwate
Edited: Jun 13, 7:33am Top

A quick and possibly not comprehensive list of American LEC authors (some of whom had more than 1 book published - I think the record-holder is Mark Twain - and only eleven were women):
1. EMERSON
2. WHITMAN
3. WHITTIER
4. BOOTH TARKINGTON
5. THORNTON WILDER
6. WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS
7. POE
8. WASHINGTON IRVING
9. GEORGE WASHINGTON CABLE
10. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
11. BRET HARTE
12. FENIMORE COOPER
13. MARK TWAIN
14. RALPH WALDO EMERSON
15. W H HUDSON (BORN IN ARGENTINA OF United States settlers of English and Irish origin)
16. O HENRY
17. HELEN HUNT JACKSON
18. HERMAN MELVILLE
19. H D THOREAU
20. LYNN RIGGS
21. JACK LONDON
22. LEW WALLACE
23. EDWARD EVERETT HALE
24. SINCLAIR LEWIS
25. JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS
26. THOMAS BULFINCH
27. MAYA ANGELOU
28. HERVEY ALLEN
29. MARTIN LUTHER KING
30. THE AUTHORS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
31. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
32. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
33. DONALD CULROSS PEATTIE
34. JAMES BRANCH CABELL
35. SHERWOOD ANDERSON
36. RACHEL CARSON
37. HART CRANE
38. F SCOTT FITZGERALD
39. EUGENE O'NEILL
40. RAY BRADBURY
41. CHARLES G FINNEY
42. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
43. JOHN HERSEY
44. WILLA CATHER
45. ARTHUR MILLER
46. WILLIAM FAULKNER
47. ROBERT PENN WARREN
48. MALCOLM COWLEY
49. FRANK O'HARA
50. JOHN ASHBERY
51. LANGSTON HUGHES
52. EDITH WHARTON
53. HENRY ADAMS
54. RICHARD WRIGHT
55. LOUISA MAY ALCOTT
56. EDGAR LEE MASTERS
57. ABRAHAM LINCOLN
58. THOMAS JEFFERSON
59. JAMES MITCHELL
60. EZRA POUND
61. ZORA NEALE HURSTON
62. MARGARET WALKER
63. ERNEST HEMINGWAY
64. THEODORE DREISER
65. JOHN STEINBECK
66. MARGARET MITCHELL
67. (AMERICAN INDIAN LEGENDS)
68. VAN WYCK BROOKES
69. ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER
70. EDWARD BELLAMY
71. LEWIS & CLARK
72. EMILY DICKINSON
73. MASON L WEEMS
74. WENDELL WILKIE
75. BOOKER T WASHINGTON
76. HENRY JAMES X5
77. STEPHEN VINCENT BENET
78. RICHARD H DANA
79. AMBROSE BIERCE
80. ALEXANDER HAMILTON
81. LOUIS UNTERMEYER
82. W C CULLEN
83. WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT
84. THORNTON WILDER
85. STEPHEN CRANE

72Jan7Smith
Jun 12, 11:08pm Top

>71 featherwate: There were close to 600 LEC books published and would be nice to know the percentage of the USA authors vs. other authors. I may try to determine this someday soon. Thanks for your list and as you said there are multiple LEC books by some.

73WildcatJF
Jun 12, 11:34pm Top

For funsies, let me resurrect my most published authors by both the LEC and Heritage Press from my blog:

Limited Editions Club:

1) William Shakespeare, with 41 individual releases! I’m counting each book in the LEC Shakespeare as its own entity.
2) Mark Twain, with 12 individual releases.
3) Charles Dickens, with 9 individual releases.
3) Robert Louis Stevenson, with 9 individual releases.
5) Fyodor Dostoevsky, with 8 individual releases.
5) Alexandre Dumas, with 8 individual releases.
5) Joseph Conrad, with 8 individual releases.
8) James Fenimore Cooper, with 6 individual releases.
8) Nathanial Hawthorne, with 6 individual releases.
10) Gustave Flaubert, with 5 individual releases.
10) Leo Tolstoy, with 5 individual releases.
10) Oscar Wilde, with 5 individual releases.
10) Anatole France, with 5 individual releases.
10) Victor Hugo, with 5 individual releases.
10) Jane Austen, with 5 individual releases.
10) Jules Verne, with 5 individual releases.
10) William Makepeace Thackeray, with 5 individual releases.
10) Sir Walter Scott, with 5 individual releases.

Heritage Press:

This is not as simple to document, as there remains an incomplete bibliography of the Heritage Press output. But, relying on the research I’ve done here, I’ll do my best. I’ll only be doing a Top 5 due to the less frequent original publications of this Press.

1) Charles Dickens, with 14 individual releases!
2) William Shakespeare, with 5 individual releases.
3) Mark Twain, with 3 individual releases.
4) Anatole France, with 2 individual releases.
5) Henry James, with 2 individual releases.
5) Washington Irving, with 2 individual releases.
5) Charles Lamb, with 2 individual releases.
5) Homer, with 2 individual releases.
5) Nathaniel Hawthorne, with 2 individual releases.

OVERALL:

1) William Shakespeare, with 46 books to his name in the canon!
2) Charles Dickens, with 23 books.
3) Mark Twain, with 15 books.
4) Robert Louis Stevenson, with 9 books.
5) Fyodor Dostoevsky, with 9 books (I’m including the Heritage Crime and Punishment as a separate release).
6) Alexandre Dumas, with 8 books.
6) Joseph Conrad, with 8 books.
6) Nathanial Hawthorne, with 8 books.
9) Anatole France, with 7 books.
10) James Fenimore Cooper, with 6 books.
10) Leo Tolstoy, with 6 books.
10) Oscar Wilde, with 6 books.
10) William Makepeace Thackeray, with 6 books.

74kdweber
Jun 13, 12:11am Top

>73 WildcatJF: The Heritage Press printed the four LEC books by Thomas Hardy plus the HP exclusive The Return of the Native leaving us with five HP Hardy titles. Are you not counting HP versions of LEC titles?

75Jan7Smith
Jun 13, 12:16am Top

>73 WildcatJF: Wow!That is a lot of great writing by a small number of authors. I would love to have every book by the authors you listed. I have quite a few but many that I don’t yet own. Thanks for sharing this information.

76WildcatJF
Jun 13, 8:58am Top

74) I didn't count reprints of the LEC editions by the Heritage Press in my tallies.

It's possible I accidentally counted Dumas and Dumas fils as the same person, so I need to double check that.

77Jan7Smith
Jun 14, 2:17pm Top

Today I received Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities 1932 LEC. I am always amazed by the books of such an age that have never been read. The pages of the book are uncut and the book is 87 years old. I will have to change the uncut situation as I intend to read it.

78Glacierman
Jun 17, 1:42pm Top

Yesterday I scored a very nice (say, VG+/NF) copy of the 1935 HC edition of The Song of Solomon in red leather w/slipcase and Sandglass for $17.50 on e-Bay. Adding in the shipping brings the total to $21.29.

I'm smiling.

79Jan7Smith
Jun 17, 2:04pm Top

Just added The Diary of Samuel Pepys Limited Edition Club 10 vol. set. These multi volume books have wiped out my shelf space.

80Glacierman
Jun 17, 2:19pm Top

>79 Jan7Smith: That's the downside of sets, isn't it? *smile*

81Jan7Smith
Jun 17, 5:26pm Top

>80 Glacierman: "That's the downside of sets"
Yes, and I have another 8 vol. set ordered!!! I do not know where I am going to put them. Under the bed...maybe. Nooo... my wife has that space filled with plastic containers full of shoes, etc.

82Glacierman
Jun 17, 6:50pm Top

>81 Jan7Smith: You are a bookaholic. There is no cure. And here you sit, surrounded by enablers. Your fate is sealed. I pity you.

So, move over, dude and make room for me!

83wcarter
Jun 17, 9:41pm Top

>81 Jan7Smith:
If you only order a new book when your wife buys new shoes, your book buying may increase significantly ;-)

84Jan7Smith
Jun 17, 10:43pm Top

>82 Glacierman: Enablers have almost ruined me financially!
>83 wcarter: Another book is always a joy, but I don't know why one needs so many shoes.

85featherwate
Jun 18, 10:58am Top

>81 Jan7Smith:
Théophile Gautier, the very large 19thC bibliophile and man of French letters (so to speak) took to heart the saying that 'books do furnish a room' and used them to replace chairs and other items of furniture:
“ Gautier disliked octavos, because when stacked up on the floor they made less successful footstools than folios; and taken separately, octavos were less suitable than folios for putting under children who would not otherwise be able to sit at table—besides which, as Gautier pointed out, a good, big folio volume makes an admirable book press for flattening out creased and rumpled engravings.” Terry Belanger, 'Lunacy and the Arrangement of Books', Oak Knoll Books, 1985 (Second Printing)
Visual confirmation of Gautier's pragmatic solution to the book over-supply problem is hard to come by, although it may just possibly be apparent in the highlighted area of the photograph below:

Certainly I used to find the Folio Society's massive Herefordshire Pomona topped by a pillow and underpinned by the LEC's oversize Jurgen made a tolerably comfortable stool when sorting through volumes in lower bookcase shelves.

86Jan7Smith
Jun 18, 1:25pm Top

>85 featherwate: I may have to resort to using my books as footstools to fit them in the space available. I just wish I had a dedicated library room like the of pictures some of our George Macy devotees posted. My books are all over the house and garage. All are in air conditioned areas to prevent heat and humility from damaging them...BUT I need more space...may have to throw out some furniture!

87Django6924
Jun 20, 12:13am Top

>85 featherwate:

Jack, the first folio-sized book I ever owned was, coincidentally, Mademoiselle de Maupin. I bought it my first year in college from an antiquarian bookseller in Kansas City and was quite proud of owning a real "rare" book, and a title which was highly regarded but hard to find. It was quite heavy and had to sit on my end table as my bookshelves then barely held a large quarto. I admit I was a little puzzled by the wide margins around the type--almost 3 inches in the non-gutter margins.

Alas, the weighty tome was a little too weighty for the binding and within a year, after being read by my wife and myself, front and rear boards detached. By that time I found the Nonesuch edition of Mademoiselle de Maupin and much preferred it (still have it). I traded the behemoth to a friend for some of his 78rpm recordings of Bennie Moten and his Kansas City Orchestra.

88Jan7Smith
Edited: Jun 23, 12:11pm Top

>69 elladan0891: >71 featherwate: I counted the Limited Edition Club books written by American authors and including Polish American Isaac Singer and Argentine-born Hudson totaled 142 which is 23.9% of the 594 listed by Bill Majure. Mark Twain was a big boost with his huge number of books added.
I wish I could have every title in my collection regardless of the author's location.

Edited to add 5 Henry James books to the American total. Though most of his books were written as a British citizen he was American born. This raised the total to 24.7 %.
I don't know why this was a thing I needed to know but odd questions come to my head occasionally.

89varielle
Jun 22, 4:02pm Top

Today I picked up the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym for all of $10 at an antiques mall. No Sandglass. It looks like until recently it had a slipcase because it’s clean except for the spine which is yellowed as if it’s been around smokers. Doesn’t smell. Suggestions?

90elladan0891
Jun 22, 9:59pm Top

>89 varielle: Sunning. Nothing you can do.
Sun not only fades color, but also yellows and darkens light color.

91Django6924
Jun 23, 7:50pm Top

>89 varielle:

As elladan0891 states, sunlight turns white spines (especially leather) yellow--and even brown. I have a copy of the LEC A Sentimental Journey that is in flawless condition--except the spine is almost brown instead of the color of fresh cream.

Phyllis, considering you got it for about a quarter of the lowest price I've seen on the internet, you should be congratulating yourself!

92Jan7Smith
Jun 26, 10:09pm Top

My latest LEC editions added are Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans and Colette's Break of Day. I think they will be fun to read though the 8 volume Plutarch may take quite some time with 3443 pages to read.

93varielle
Jun 28, 3:17pm Top

>91 Django6924: Good to know. I only went to the antiques mall because best beloved was looking for material to make a table out of. I had to keep myself occupied. :)

94Django6924
Jun 29, 4:04pm Top

>93 varielle:

As my role model (Prof. Harold Hill) says ""Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground."

95Glacierman
Jul 1, 7:41pm Top

LEC: Egyptian Book of the Dead and an interesting variant of Popol Vuh: The Book of the People about which I am posting separately.

96SteveJohnson
Jul 4, 10:00pm Top

I have a lovely friend who gave me a $50 gift certificate for Amazon as a birthday present and I found Livy's History of Early Rome, with slipcase. Typesetting and printing are excellent.

97SteveJohnson
Jul 4, 10:04pm Top

If it makes you feel any better, at one point I got hooked on bound editions of 19th Century magazines such as Harpers, The Eclectic, Godey's Ladies Book and St. Nicholas. They are wonderful books, but the shelf space! I've moved them twice and my back hurts just at the thought of it.

98featherwate
Jul 5, 12:09pm Top

>96 SteveJohnson:
Congratulations! I'm glad you posted this. I can't imagine how it happens that I never realised there was an LEC edition of Livy :(.
"Typesetting and printing are excellent" - I'll bet they are! How about the paper? That's usually of high quality in anything coming out of the Stamperia Valdonega.
I could find only one of Scorzelli's illustrations, which presumably shows the historian scraping away at his wax tablets:

I rather like it. It seems to leap over nearly two millennia to another great historian of Rome, Edward Gibbon. I wonder if Livy too had some passing aristocrat peer over his shoulder with a gruff Itaque aliud est esse magnum situla repleti detestabilis cartis diu! Semper scribere scribere, scribere! Eh! O Tite Livi?*

*Google translation (mutatis mutandis) of Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr Gibbon?. (Vocative endings taken from Eleanor Dickey's O Egregie Grammatice: The Vocative Problems of Latin Words Ending in -ius The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 2 (2000), pp. 548-562)

99Django6924
Jul 5, 5:04pm Top

Jack, the paper used for Livy is very fine; I don't have a ML so I have no particulars, but it is a lovely laid-finish paper which feels all-rag.

The style of the illustrations remind me a lot of Tegetmeier's etchings for A Sentimental Journey; they are certainly technically accomplished, but I often wonder if some illustrators carefully read the text they are illustrating: the illustration of Mucius (afterwards Scaevola) thrusting his hand in the fire shows a wrinkled, geriatric when the text states the Porsena was shocked "by the young man's bravery."

100featherwate
Jul 5, 8:28pm Top

>99 Django6924:
Thank you, Robert. I'll keep an eye out for a copy in the UK/Europe. The Mucius illustration sounds as irritating as Ardizzone's peculiar Magwitch for the HP Great Expectations, and the failure of the designer whose striking 'art binding' for a copy of Hardy's Tess included a large image of Tess milking a cow. Unfortunately it's of the wrong breed...

101Django6924
Jul 5, 10:08pm Top

>100 featherwate:

Could have been worse, Jack: it might have been a bull....

102featherwate
Jul 6, 9:50am Top

>100 featherwate:
Why, Mr Robert, you surely do know how to bring a blush to an old man's cheek...

103Django6924
Jul 6, 10:39am Top

>102 featherwate:

Actually that's a riff on an old joke from the movie "Hatari!"

104Jan7Smith
Jul 8, 12:08pm Top

Just receive a magnificent copy of Georges Bernanos' The Diary of a Country Priest. The only thing that prevented it from being perfect is a bookplate attached to the front endpaper and a price and date written on the corner of the letter. Even the slipcase is magnificent, solid and inside covered with a velour-like lining.
I have wanted this book for quite some time but the price was too daunting. Luck was with me as this was $95.00 + $6.39 shipping. For now, this is my favorite LEC edition.

105Glacierman
Jul 8, 7:41pm Top

Just added a very nice copy of Quarto-Millenary to our library. Tickled to get it and at a very reasonable price ($60).

106kdweber
Jul 8, 9:30pm Top

>105 Glacierman: Great price and a must have for any LEC devotee.

107Jan7Smith
Jul 9, 4:46pm Top

Delivered today: The Shaving of Shagpat
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Canterbury Tales 2 Vol.
All Limited Edition Club Editions which I have desired for a long time.
That is IT, no more! I have nowhere to put more nor any money to buy more. I will just have to get excited seeing everyone else adding books to their collections! I am enabler proof now....

108kdweber
Jul 9, 8:03pm Top

>107 Jan7Smith: Quite the haul! Do you have the matching Troilus and Cressida?

109featherwate
Jul 9, 9:10pm Top

>107 Jan7Smith:
Nice finds, although I prefer the Heritage Press Sentimental Journey. George W Jones's Canterbury Tales is a triumph of typographic design and fine printing, but less popular among GMDs than the Arthur Szyk LEC, despite the high price the latter seems to command. Still, à chacun son goût as the old man said when his doctor advised him to drink less port.
>108 kdweber:
You naughty enabler, you!

110booksforreading
Jul 9, 9:20pm Top

>107 Jan7Smith:
I have similar issues, but it unfortunately does not stop me. :)
Congratulations on your fine acquisitions!

111Jan7Smith
Jul 9, 9:56pm Top

>108 kdweber: Ken, did you see what I wrote? (I am enabler proof now....)
>109 featherwate: I do have the HP edition but not in the condition I prefer, badly faded spine.
>110 booksforreading: Thank you and glad you can keep adding books. I enjoy seeing others finding and buying fine books.

112Django6924
Jul 10, 8:40pm Top

>109 featherwate: >111 Jan7Smith:

I too prefer the HP Sentimental Journey, although as the ML for the LEC version states, it is an entirely handmade book (well, within certain qualifications). The type was designed for the book and handset, the illustrations are original etchings, even the all-rag paper has not been machine-trimmed and exhibits a wild variation of deckle. Despite all that, the HP is the version I treasure, as I feel Sauvage's illustrations do more justice to the spirit of Sterne than Tegetmeier's technically fine work. I also prefer the French tricolor binding of the HP to the somewhat over-elaborate LEC binding.

The sunned spine on the HP is ubiquitous and it's almost impossible to find one that hasn't been bleached. I say "almost" because when I was haunting a 2nd hand store several years ago, I saw a slim volume in a slipcase wedged on a shelf of travel books. The spine appeared to have been so severely nicotine-stained it was unreadable, and I almost passed it by when idle curiosity made me pull it out to see what was in the slipcase. It was the HP Sentimental Journey in the original glassine wrapper which had yellowed and become opaque. The spine retained the original blue and red as the covers. Needless to say, I didn't try to negotiate but paid the full price--$5! I rank this as one of my greatest finds, as Mr. Sterne's little book is one of my all-time favorites.

113featherwate
Jul 11, 9:12am Top

>112 Django6924:
"idle curiosity made me pull it (the book) out" Maybe, or maybe the book chose you...

114booksforreading
Jul 12, 11:18am Top

Last week, I got A Code for the Collector of Beautiful Books - a little book published by the Limited Editions Club in 1936. I picked it up from a shelf last night and read it, and I think that it contains some wise advice on what to look for when buying and examining fine books, as well as some nice summaries of information about paper, bindings, publishing business, illustrations/illustrators, etc.

Probably there is nothing in there that most of us would find as a new information, but the book is full of nice and concise reminders about important things to consider when building a library.
If you come across this book offered at an inexpensive price - and there are many cheap copies of it on the market, I recommend it for your occasional reading pleasure. I confess that I got it for free as a package deal with another book, and I might not have spent money on it by itself, but now that I have it, I unexpectedly really enjoyed it.

115BuzzBuzzard
Jul 12, 4:29pm Top

>114 booksforreading: I think this is in the same vein as “The Ideal Book” - two essays. These small LEC publications are joy to read.

116Django6924
Jul 12, 9:02pm Top

>113 featherwate:

Jack! Honestly.................

117featherwate
Jul 13, 9:05am Top

>116 Django6924: Context is all.

118SteveJohnson
Jul 13, 5:53pm Top

You are among enablers. Here are some ideas for more shelving at a low cost, giving you more $ to spend on more books. Can't vouch for whether I would trust my LECs on any of them though. https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/25-awesome-diy-ideas-for-bookshelves

119EclecticIndulgence
Jul 26, 8:03pm Top

Not many LEC's make it north of the border, but I just experienced a book lover's thrill that I have NEVER yet experienced.

Amongst my 20 volume jackpot, I purchased 12 volumes from the LEC.

The Complete Andersen (6vol)
The Argonautica
Plato's The Trial and Death of Socrates
Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain'd
Notre Dame De Paris
Oedipus the King (sadly, sans slipcase)
Erewhon

My first Marsteig and a John Henry Nash in one place? CLOUD.. 10!

I'm curious about their being two sets of Andersen, as I previously had the 2 volume Kredel version. Anyone know the history of these decisions?

120Django6924
Jul 26, 9:53pm Top

>119 EclecticIndulgence:

The 1942 edition in 2 volumes contains a biographical sketch of Andersen and a selection of his correspondence with his American publisher, Horace Scudder, along with the 13 stories first published in America in Scudder's magazine "The Riverside Magazine for Young People." The 2nd volume contains 29 more stories making a total of 43 stories in all, with illustrations by Kredel hand-colored by the studio of Charlize Brakeley. Macy later said (probably with the prompting of Jean Hersholt, the leading Andersen expert in the US), that he had made a mistake not providing all 168 of Andersen's stories, hence the 1949 volume, which contains them all. It was this translation by Hersholt of the complete stories that was later used by the Folio Society in their 2-volume Complete Andersen, without Kredel's illustrations.

121Jan7Smith
Jul 27, 5:50pm Top

I have always neglected reading Oscar Wilde's books for some unknown reason. I just received a 10 vol. set of the Complete Writings of Oscar Wilde - Nottiingham Society Limited Edition - Limited to One Thousand sets 1907. Not fine press or fine condition but the insides seem to be in excellent condition. Bright text very good on the eye. Maybe now I can see what all the fuss is about Mr. Wilde, especially his novel Dorian Gray. I do love the older books!

122WildcatJF
Edited: Aug 3, 10:17am Top

Picked up a few older editions on a trip to Berkeley yesterday:
Fables of Jean de La Fontaine/Rudolph Ruzicka
The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne/Carl Strauss
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio/T.M. Cleland
The Jaunts and Jollities of Mr. John Jorrocks by R.S. Surtees/Gordon Ross

All of them are in very good condition and with their slipcase, with a couple slight issues here and there (the worst being two of the books had bookplates erode off, leaving a garish brown stain on the endpaper). Three came with letters (only the Marble Faun did not, and given its size I'm not too surprised), and are all from the same limitation number! Plus I didn't look over the checklist until I got home but I accidentally scooped up two more from Series 1, one from 2 and one from 3! So that's pretty neat!

123Django6924
Aug 3, 3:11pm Top

>122 WildcatJF:

"Pretty neat" is an understatement, Jerry! Quite a haul--all from the first three series and 3 with MLs!

Two of these acquisitions are very sought-after by fans of fine printing in the US: The Fables of Fontaine and Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities, both from the legendary D.B. Updike and his Merrymount Press. I find the Jorrocks volume to be a real treasure: the all-rag paper, the hand-set type, and the amazingly well-reproduced illustrations from Gordon Ross's watercolors make the book one I use to show people the difference between a true fine press book and books touted as "fine press" today.

124EclecticIndulgence
Aug 6, 2:56am Top

>120 Django6924:
Thanks, Robert. I'm on the fence whether I should now rid myself of the 2 vol set or if there is any benefit to keeping it either than completeness sake (assuming one had the time/funds to collect the entire LEC ouvre - a glorious achievement I will not have the time or budget for).

I picked up Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge yesterday and I see the limitation was only 800. Was this common practice during the Shiff era? I believe there was a dust jacket, but mine is missing this as well as the monthly letter. There is no signature in my volume (not illustrated) - I find it odd that Mitchell (translator) or the designer or the printer from Stamperia Valdonega did not sign the volume. Any indication as to why in the Grossman book or the monthly letter? Incidentally, my copy is a number GREATER than 800. I've seen office copies or GM (Macy) copies, but never a limitation number over the limitation.

125WildcatJF
Aug 6, 8:46am Top

124) Shiff greatly reduced the limitation count of his editions over his duration. The first few series under his watch continued Cardevon's 2000 count, but by the time the Club ended in 2010 it was down to 500 on average.

Also, the Club always did more than the maximum allotment to my knowledge; they printed select copies especially for individuals connected to the book, Macy had his own copy, and I believe they also sent extras to high profile libraries. Robert may know more than I do in this case.

126Django6924
Aug 6, 10:52am Top

>121 Jan7Smith:

Jan, Wilde is an interesting author--as I believe Somerset Maugham characterized himself as "in the first rank of the second rate," I believe Wilde is also one of the very best of minor writers. Why is he a minor writer and not a major writer? I believe Wilde's narrow concerns with the social class in which he moved, as well as his preoccupation with himself are his limitations as an artist, as well as his strength. I always use Shakespeare as the example of the greatest of artists because his concerns are so universal that he simultaneously is all the characters he creates and not someone apart and distinct from them. Wilde, on the other hand, is almost always recognizably Wilde. I think his plays are wonderful--great comic dialog--and the "Ballad of Reading Gaol" and "De Profundis" are very moving. Dorian Gray, despite its intriguing concept and stylistic excellence is, for me, a bit too affected to be wholly satisfying.

>124 EclecticIndulgence:

I'd keep the earlier Andersen for the biographical material and correspondence. It isn't an easy volume to find in Fine condition. (But I tend to keep too many things, and I fear one day I may regret this tendency.)

>125 WildcatJF:

Jerry, I believe in Macy's time, it was the custom to print additional bound office copies as well Macy's own copy and I believe a few extra for his family (I have seen copies with both the stamped initials "G.M." and "H.M." as well as copies with initials I suspect to be the designer's copy or printer's copy--these are unnumbered, of course). There is also in one of the Monthly Letters a statement that it was customary to print an additional 50 unbound copies of each issue, which were unnumbered and unsigned, and in that letter Macy stated the idea of sending these copies to various binders throughout the world with the proposal that each binder do their best work and the results would be entered in a contest for a rather large cash prize for the winner(s). That was a project that never came to fruition. (I believe Jack had some further information about that contest and why it never came to pass.)

127featherwate
Edited: Aug 6, 2:52pm Top

>126 Django6924:
(I believe Jack had some further information about that contest and why it never came to pass.)
Jack isn't quite sure about that but says he will cudgel what's left of his brains in the hope something relevant falls out.
But he has a feeling it might have been a contribution from BuzzBuzzard.

128BuzzBuzzard
Edited: Aug 6, 3:45pm Top

>127 featherwate: Confessions of an English Opium Reader has 20 extra copies that were unbound and supposedly bound by famous binders. The official limitation is 1,520. I have not seen any of these except Don’s copy. Now Macy had an idea to organise a binding contest with a latter book (I want to say O’Henry Stories but am not positive and can’t check right now) but admitted that the idea was abandoned because someone else (who this might be?) had just done it.

129featherwate
Aug 6, 9:46pm Top

>128 BuzzBuzzard:
Buzz, all I can recall of this/these contest/s was that one of GM's proposed 'battles of the binders' was pre-empted by a French publisher launching a similar competition. But which book/which publisher for the moment escapes my mind - if indeed it ever existed. :(

130Jan7Smith
Aug 6, 10:12pm Top

>126 Django6924: Robert, thanks for the very good info about Oscar Wilde. I haven't had time to read my books by him yet, but I enjoy reading some of his quotes. Some make me laugh and some make me say that is so true. Like many authors he died much too young to reach his full potential.

131Django6924
Edited: Aug 6, 11:33pm Top

Jack's brains didn't need much cudgeling: Thanks to a sleepless night last night, I found the thread called " Mystery Solved" and it contains the following:

one of George Macy's enterprising projects was to offer 50 unbound copies of The Life of Benvenuto Cellini (printed at the Officina Bodoni) to "50 leading binders in the world to bind according to their genius." The results would then be on exhibition and the three bindings considered most successful would be awarded prizes.

Alas, like several other of Macy's intriguing enterprises, this one came a cropper, as I learned thanks to David (NYCFaddict) who has provided me with a flawless Monthly Letter for Of Human Bondage. In that ML, I learned that a publisher in Paris was doing exactly the same thing and Macy "decided there was no reason for duplication." (It isn't mentioned which book that Parisian publisher was having those binders bind.)

So, Plan B:

"...we now have on our hands 50 copies of Cellini...and therefore make this announcement now, that we will have these copies bound by hand by the three or four best hand binders in America, provided that fifty of our members will want them."


I mentioned also that the solution to the mystery of the unbound Cellini's had been provided by astronauteric 8 years earlier--but I'll be d----- if I can find THAT thread.

132Django6924
Aug 6, 11:49pm Top

>130 Jan7Smith:

One of the amazing things about Wilde was his ability to toss off memorable epigrams seemingly as if it were second nature.
Many are found in his writings, but apparently he was imminently quotable in everyday conversation:

When on coming to America, a customs official asked if he had anything to declare: "I have nothing to declare but my genius."

After a hostile reaction to a play: "The play was a great success but the audience was a disaster."

And my own personal favorite, spoken while near death in a cheap hotel room in France after his exile from England: "Either this wallpaper goes or I do."

Were they spontaneous or had he prepared them in advance as some critics contend? Who cares? They are still brilliant.

133featherwate
Edited: Aug 7, 12:39pm Top

>131 Django6924:
Robert, astronauteric's contribution was in this thread: A Mystery, but essentially his/her information is the same as yours since it too came from the Of Human Bondage ML. Still, kudos to astronauteric as first finder.
As ever, the solution may lie in the Harry Ransom vaults, where Manuscript Collection MS-1580 houses the Macy collection. The Cellini autobiography section includes the following:
Container 14.14: 1936-1937 Binder’s Contest
Container 14.15: Binding Contest Letters
Container 14.16: 1936-1937 Thomas Craven*
Container 14.17: 1938 Special Bindings, Binders
Container 14.18: 1938 Special Bindings, LEC Members
Of course, even these may not name either the French publisher or the book...

*Thomas Craven, the son of Union general and a close friend of John Steuart Curry (the son of confederate general) was an art critic, novelist and collector of cartoons. He was one of the first people to see (and approve of) Curry's initial sketches for the LEC The Prairie, and also wrote favourably in Scribner's of Grant Wood's illustrations for the imminent Main Street LEC. As well as the binding competition, he was involved with the Grapes of Wrath (1940); the third competition in book illustration (1944-45); The Book of E A Wilson (n.d.); and Quarto Millenary (1950). A useful man for Macy to cultivate!

134Django6924
Aug 7, 5:31pm Top

Thank you, Jack. I trolled back and found that, and based on the dates I was probably out of the country on a job when astronauteric solved the mystery. It must have been a hectic time because going back to that thread, I just now have seen your post about your acquisition of a copy of The Mayor of Casterbridge with a signed proof by AMP. VERY NICE! As you know, I'm not a big Hardy fan but I think Ms. Parker's illustrations are wonderful.

135featherwate
Aug 7, 6:19pm Top

>134 Django6924:
Yes, just about the luckiest book purchase I've ever made. Of course, my ungrateful alter ego bemoans the fact that Jude was 'only' an HP volume, to which all I can say in reply is that if it had been a full-blown LEC +signed proof it would probably never have ended up in the hands of an inexperienced dealer who didn't realise the true value of what they were selling.
Looking through those earlier posts I noticed you asked to see the cover David Gentleman drew for the Penguin edition of a Passage to India. This one dates from 1964:

136Django6924
Aug 7, 7:55pm Top

>135 featherwate:

Well, Gentleman is a talented artist--no doubts about that--but I still think he is wrong for A Passage to India. I almost would prefer the book without illustrations, but the only kind I can imagine I might find acceptable, and perhaps even desirable, would be portraits of the main characters in the style of Grant Wood's illustrations for the LEC Main Street (still my favorite illustrated LEC). Of course finding the artist to pull that off would be daunting: Wood lived among people who were perfect types for the characters in Sinclair Lewis' satire of Midwestern small towns in the first quarter of the 20th century. It seems much more difficult to find the right artist who would be able to capture, not just superficial characteristics, but also the conflicted inner lives of characters as disparate as Dr. Aziz, Adela, Fielding, and Mrs. Moore. The more I think about it, the more likely I would prefer a beautifully printed, but unillustrated version. (Although, perhaps some ornaments might be employed that don't depict any characters or incidents in the story, but are emblematic of the period; that requires some research....)

137Glacierman
Edited: Aug 12, 3:16pm Top

Being a fan of legends, folk tales and mythology, I was very pleased to be able to pick up a copy of Irish Folk Tales ed. by W. B. Yeats in pristine condition in virtually intact glassine wrapper w/the ML & prospectus. It looks to have been unpacked, stuck on the shelf and forgotten.

It is from the Cardavon Press era, thus the limitation was 2000 and the binding & slipcase are a plain Irish green buckram. The Ogham on the spine, however, is a nice touch. Nice book, but not a great production, but then I am more interested in the contents anyhow.

The book does have the bookplate of the former owners, but that is not a problem for me. The price was quite reasonable.

I have not had the time to peruse it yet, but that will come in due time.

Too bad LEC didn't do any Icelandic sagas. Njalssaga would have been great. Alas! They did not.

138featherwate
Aug 8, 12:21pm Top

>136 Django6924:
I agree, Robert. I wouldn't want to see this or any of Forster's novels illustrated by David Gentleman (or even as you suggest by any other artist). But his cover work for Penguin Books was a breath of fresh air in the 1960s and made their Modern Classic series stand out from the opposition. I like the minimal style of them; his line here is as spare as Forster's prose but still manages to convey the absurdity - or fragility - of the English in India, protected only by their parasols, picnic rug, elegant teapot, tiny tea-cups and hats more suitable for Royal Ascot or a Thames regatta, none of them aware of the two small dark figures talking in the half-distance or of the distant clouds and the mountain with blobs that might indicate a landslide gathering speed...
DG, now in his 90th year, is one of the few survivors of the Helen Macy/John Dreyfus era of the LEC. The last work I have of his are the illustrations he drew for the recent FS poems of Edward Thomas.

139EclecticIndulgence
Sep 8, 3:22am Top

Picked up Comus yesterday in LEC format to replace my HP edition. Both have beautiful marbled boards and are printed by Cambridge. The LEC is slightly taller with a 1/4 vellum spine while the HP uses cloth/buckram. The end papers on the HP have beautiful gold flakes that the LEC does not possess. The paper used in the LEC is whiter and heavier than the HP compatriot. There is barely any difference in colour saturation of the wonderful Dulac illustrations. The LEC, like the HP, is unsigned since Dulac passed away prior to release.

Since I no longer need the HP, if anyone is interested in it send me a PM. Has a sunned slipcase, but the book is fine and has the Sandglass. Located in Canada. Perfectly willing to trade as well.

140Django6924
Sep 8, 9:41pm Top

I never felt the need to replace my HP Comus with an LEC version: the HP is pretty great.

141EclecticIndulgence
Sep 9, 10:09pm Top

>140 Django6924:

Agreed, I did so with a local seller... was not on the hunt for it, but he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

142Glacierman
Sep 14, 1:28pm Top

Just picked up another LEC Greek title: Thucydides' The Pelopennesian War.

All that's left is Herodotus.

143booksforreading
Sep 18, 10:54pm Top

I have just received and read the LEC Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman (a book that I have wanted to add to my library for a while), and I agree with earlier posts elsewhere by dlphcoracl - the abstract photographs by Aaron Siskind of tar patches on roads work perfectly somehow with Whitman's poem and with the overall book design!
A beautiful edition of the poem!

144Django6924
Oct 5, 11:14pm Top

I'm very excited! I went to a book fair in Los Angeles today, and made my first LEC acquisition in some time: All Men Are Brothers, a book I have wanted for years but almost had given up ever owning. The condition is Fine for the books (which appear unread), the chemise, and the slipcase. The original paper (?) wraps are missing, but I would have removed them anyway, as they would just get torn with minimal handling (as have some of my Mardersteig books). I have owned an HP version of this since the 1970s, and it is a beautifully-produced book, but of course doesn't feature the unique binding of the LEC.

If I decide to re-read Shui Hu Zhuan some day, I will probably read the HP version again, as my experience of searching for the LEC for many years tells me this is not the most durable of bindings, but it is a thing of beauty (and what did Keats say about that?) and I'm very glad to finally add it to my library.

PS: If anyone has an extra Monthly Letter for this, please PM me!

145UK_History_Fan
Oct 6, 6:36am Top

Congratulations Robert! So satisfying to get a long sought after book and in such great condition is icing on the cake.

146Jan7Smith
Oct 6, 10:38am Top

>144 Django6924: Your library continues to grow more impressive!

147MobyRichard
Oct 6, 12:30pm Top

>144 Django6924:

Careful with that one. Cover is very easy to rip off. Found that out to my sorrow :(

148Glacierman
Oct 6, 5:27pm Top

Just got a very nice (Fine) copy of Boswell's A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides With Samuel Johnson in Fine slipcase with ML & prospectus for $34.00. Methinks the price is fair.

149literatefool
Oct 7, 11:56am Top

Congratulations!

150featherwate
Edited: Oct 8, 8:00pm Top

>148 Glacierman:
And it's a really good read, although at first sight it should be anxious one: the tour takes place in autumn, a time of unpredictable weather, and Johnson is approaching 65, overweight, still frequently shaken by convulsive cramps, beginning to go deaf and with weak eyesight (although, as Boswell ruefully admits, there is nothing wrong with his sense of smell - on a night-time ramble past the open sewers of Edínburgh Old Town Johnson grumbles teasingly in his ear "I smell you in the dark."). But when their boat hits rough weather, it is Boswell who is discomposed, while the irrepressible Johnson delights in the fact that he is now sailing the Atlantic in an open boat...what a man!

151Django6924
Edited: Oct 9, 1:30am Top

One of the delights of getting a Masters Degree in English Literature is discovering works that might have otherwise remained unknown; primary among those from the 18th century are Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, and James Boswell's Journals (sadly neither of these treasures except for the Tour of the Hebrides were given LEC or HP versions).

A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides is somewhat different from the 13 volumes of private journals, which I find even better reads! The Hebrides volume was intended for publication during the author's lifetime, and is rather more sanitized and discreet than Boswell's London Journal, Boswell in Holland, the 2 volumes of Boswell on the Grand Tour, Boswell for the Defense, and Boswell in Search of a Wife. (These are deliciously gossipy and often ribald, and are more along the lines of Samuel Pepys' Diary. There are several more which have been published under the editorship of Frederick Pottle and his compatriots, and one day I hope to acquire and read the others.

152BuzzBuzzard
Oct 9, 10:36am Top

The marbled boards of this Heritage Press edition of Manon Lescaut are simply beautiful.

153WildcatJF
Oct 9, 9:02pm Top

152) Aren't they though? I love them.

154Django6924
Oct 9, 9:14pm Top

>152 BuzzBuzzard:

Indeed! This is the first Heritage printing with superior reproduction of the illustrations and the unique frontispiece signed by Brissaud. I acquired this version several years after I had bought a later printing, which had somewhat dull, red and brown marbled paper sides, and reproductions of the illustrations which are not in the same class as the first printing.

155BuzzBuzzard
Oct 9, 10:55pm Top

>153 WildcatJF: >154 Django6924:

Collecting Heritage Press books is so much fun! In fact, Robert this is the 9th book of the first series A, copyrighted 1938 for the members of the Heritage Club. As such it lacks the signed illustration. The printing was done by the press of A. Colish and is very good. Just like you I had the later printing as well but being disappointed by it gave it away. Of the edition with the signature I have seen at least two versions with marbled boards that are different that the one pictured by me. So many variants!

156kdweber
Oct 10, 1:18am Top

>154 Django6924:, >155 BuzzBuzzard: When I saw >152 BuzzBuzzard: post, my first thought was that's not what my copy looks like. Indeed, I have the unexciting 1949 reprint with the red/brown marbled paper. The only great thing about my edition is the original bill for $3.30 (I paid $12). Time to add the 1938 original to my wish list.

158Jan7Smith
Edited: Oct 15, 4:24pm Top

I just received the 6 volume set of - The Book of The Thousand Nights and A Night - Limited Edition Club. The best condition I could find in my price range. They are in such great condition for 85 year old books. A little darkening in a few place on the spines and the interiors which are in fine condition. I don't know that I will ever read all of the 3,975 pages.

159Jan7Smith
Edited: Oct 15, 11:28am Top

160booksforreading
Oct 15, 4:26pm Top

>158 Jan7Smith:
Congratulations! I really like this set! I have recently acquired it myself, also in an excellent condition, and, though the font is relatively small, I have enjoyed reading some of the stories. I find the illustrations appropriate and think that they contribute nicely to overall reading enjoyment of the book.

161Jan7Smith
Oct 15, 5:04pm Top

>160 booksforreading: The font size is the reason I wasn’t sure I could ever read all of it. I am glad to add it to my collection anyway.

162Django6924
Oct 15, 9:20pm Top

Congratulations, Jan! I love this set as well and have been hoping to one day acquire a set in a condition such as yours, for a price in my range. The only reason I haven't acquired it by now is that when my income was greater, I could not give this set preference over so many other LEC editions, and because I have kept over the years my HP set of this, which I got as an introductory offer to entice me to join the Heritage Club (I was in high school still). I did not read all the pages of that set, as I found Burton's prose very stilted, and I tended to get waylaid by the footnotes. Many years later, I DID read all of the LEC Arabian Nights Entertainments, with Szyk's illustrations, which I really like, but I realize there is a wide division of opinion about Szyk.

One day I want to read all the extant 1000 Nights and a Night, but I have found that of all translations, I like the recent translation by Ursula and Malcolm Lyons best, the Mardrus and Mathers used by the Folio Society second best, and Burton's the least favorite. But when it comes to design and the use of illustration, the LEC is a winner by a wide margin. (Valenti Angelo's little illustrations seem just about perfect, in my opinion.)

163Jan7Smith
Oct 15, 11:43pm Top

>162 Django6924: Robert, I read a few pages of the book and I think I am going to like it. I don’t know if my eyes will allow me to read other than short periods of time. I love the books in most every way other than the font size. I had about given up on finding a set this nice that I could afford.

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