Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics
This is today's find and it doesn't bode well for the pocket nor the strain on the shelves. I don't normally pay much attention to 'pocket-editions' of classic or not-so-classic novels but I recently became aware for the first time that there is a significant collector base out there for The Everyman Series of pocket-sized editions, published by J. M. Dent in a number of formats these were the original and, some would say, the best of all the pocket editions. So, as I was looking through a few Everymans, with a view to putting them up for sale, I'm come across this pocket sized edition of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. It actually takes a little bit of searching to discover that the series is in fact the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics because they don't actually mention the illustrated bit except on the back flap.
So this one has the most delightful woodcuts by Helen Monro, a name I couldn't discover much more about. This title is no. 91 in the series so obviously, first order of the day tomorrow will be to see if I can find any more and see what the illustrations might be like.
One of the nice things about the series is the way that Collins paid attention to detail and obviously attempted to create books of some distinction even though they were only 'pocket-editions'. Hence the description on the back flap of the jacket: "Now, in deference to changing tastes and standards, we are issuing the library in a new format. Still in the handy pocket size, the books will be bound in natural-finish fadeless cloth, with real gold titling and blind ornament. Endpapers designed by Eric Gill, coloud jackets and coloured tops complete this dignified binding, which should appeal to all who appreciate the finer points of modern book production" - oh yeah! ::sigh::
PS. Good to see you back Jim D. hope you can keep up :-) ! John C., I hadn't seen Felix D'eon's Flickr sets that you pointed out and I think I'm going to have to do a bit of 'highlighting' of him at some point given the extremely sexy nature of some of those pictures. Karl, thanks for being in touch about Willard Price and I'm sorry I couldn't help more.