Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is one of history’s greatest writers whose works are amongst the most read in the world today. While in the intellectual craziness of the twentieth century his literary reputation waned, works such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ensured that sanity would prevail and Stevenson would again be critically recognized for his immense contribution to the Western Canon.
Despite his short life, Stevenson was a prolific writer producing many works of lasting value. Besides the above mentioned stories, he wrote numerous other novels, including The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses and The Master of Ballantrae; many short stories such as New Arabian Nights and The Beach of Falesá (of which Limited Editions Club published a beautiful edition that will be reviewed soon); a slew of travel writings such as The Silverado Squatters and Travels with a Donkey; and poetry, such as A Child’s Garden of Verses.
A Child’s Garden of Verses was written in 1885. Though written for children, it has remained popular with parents for generations. It includes 65 or so poems, such as The Lamplighter, Bed in Summer, My Shadow and The Swing. In 1944, the Limited Editions Club (LEC) published a fantastic version of the poems with hand colored illustrations wonderfully capturing the spirit of childhood embodied in the poem. The endpapers and cover design are also excellent matches in their gaiety and lightness, making this one of the more sought after LEC releases.
This edition is more limited than normal (1,100 copies versus the more standard LEC release of 1,500). The poems and illustrations provide many nights of enjoyable reading to one’s children, while stoking memories of your own childhood.
About the Limited Editions Club (LEC) Edition
- Printed at the shop of The Marchbanks Press in New York in 1944
- Illustrations colored by hand at the studio of Charlize Brakely from the drawings of Roger Duvoisin (1904-1980)
- Limited to 1,100 copies, of which this is 660.
- Signed by Roger Duvoisin
- Introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner William Rose Benet
- I do not have the monthly letter, so am missing more information on this edition!
Pictures of the Limited Editions Club Edition