The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, Limited Editions Club (1932, 1953), Heritage Press, Easton Press DLE

One of the most popular novels ever written is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. First published in 1844 and never out of print since, the story has been retold countless times in about every popular culture form one can imagine.  Set in the 17th century, it follows the adventures of d’Artagnan as he goes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He soon befriends AthosPorthos, and Aramis, very close friends who are the “Three Musketeers” of the title. Their motto is the famous “all for one, one for all” (“tous pour un, un pour tous”).

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), the grandson of a French nobleman and a Haitian slave, is one of the most popular and widely read French authors in the world. His novels, such as The Count of Monte CristoThe Three MusketeersTwenty Years After, The Man in the Iron Mask (which is part three of The Vicomte de Bragelonne), The Queen’s Necklace and The Black Tulip are riveting historical fiction; usually long books that read very quickly. Book and Vines readers will be glad to know that Dumas was a gourmet and expert cook, even writing Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine (Great Dictionary of Cuisine) in 1873 — which almost certainly means he would indulge in the glory of the vine. His son, Alexandre Dumas, Fils, was also an extremely successful playwright, whose Camille was reviewed here.

What follows is edition information and pictures from a number of editions of The Three Musketeers. Two editions (1932, 1953) from the Limited Editions Club (LEC); one edition from Heritage Press, and an Easton Press Deluxe Limited Edition, itself a facsimile of a famous 1894 edition.

About the 1932 LEC Edition

  • 34 full page illustrations by Pierre Falke, who also signs the edition
  • Illustrations are hand colored by stencil
  • Designed buy A.A.M. Stols and printed by him at the Halcyon Press in Maastricht
  • Paper all rag by The Pannekoek Mills in Holland, with a watermark designed by Falke
  • 12 point Bembo type, 3 points leading
  • Bound in bright yellow clothe with a bright blue flours-de-lys pattern, and title stamped in pure gold
  • 7″ x 10″, two volumes, 840 pages total
  • Limited to 1500 copies

Pictures of the 1932 LEC Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Slipcase Spine
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Books in Slipcase
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Covers
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Sample Text
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1932, Colophon

Pictures of the 1953 LEC Edition

  • Illustrations drawn by Edy Legrand, who also signs the edition
  • Composition of the text by Peter Beilenson
  • Printing of the text done at the George Grady Press
  • Printing of the illustrations by the Photogravure & Color Company and then hand-colored through stencils in the studio of Walter Fischer
  • Paper made made Curtis Paper Company
  • Binding done by the Russell-Rutter Company
  • Limited to 1500 copies
  • The Heritage Press and Easton Press 100 Greatest editions also shown below come from this 1953 LEC edition
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Book in Slipcase
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Cover
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Character Illustrations #1
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Character Illustrations #2
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Sample Text #1
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Three Musketeers, LEC 1953, Colophon

Pictures of the Heritage Press Edition

The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Book in Slipcase
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Cover
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Character Illustrations #1
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Character Illustrations #2
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Character Illustrations #3
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Sample Text #1
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Three Musketeers, Heritage Press, Sample Illustration #3

Pictures of the Easton Press Deluxe Limited Edition (photos from LibraryThing user toddhidharma).

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

  • Facsimile of the 1894 edition
  • 250 Illustrations by Maurice LeLoir
  • Engraved on wood by J. Huyot
  • Mohawk Innovation II text paper from Mohawk Fine Papers, Cohoes, New York
  • Marbled endpapers match those from the 1894 edition
  • Cowhide leather imported from Italy by Cortina Leathers of New York, New York
  • Lithography by Falcon Press, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Slipcase and custom binding by BindTech, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Limited to 400 copies
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Books in Slipcase
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Cover and Side
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Books and Slipcase
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Limitation
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Marbled Endpapers
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Original Title Page
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Original Title Page
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Sample Illustrations #1 with Text
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Sample Illustrations #2 with Text
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Sample Illustrations #3 with Text
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Sample Illustration #4 with Text
The Three Musketeers, Easton Press DLE, Colophon Information

8 thoughts on “The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, Limited Editions Club (1932, 1953), Heritage Press, Easton Press DLE

  1. I must say, I see orb-to-orb with Robert Bailey on this one. I greatly prefer the 1932 LEC edition to the 1953 edition and it illustrates how important book design is. The typeface, page layout, and long thin text columns imprisoned by vertical and horizontal lines in the 1953 LEC have a cold, clinical look and feel more appropriate to a science fiction novel or one cautionary tale of the future, e.g., 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, etc. I actually prefer the less accomplished, somewhat cartoonish illustrations in the earlier LEC as well — their playfulness works well with a swashbuckling fantasy.

    The surprise for me is the elegant Easton Press DLE publication. In general, I am not a huge fan or a collector of Easton Press or Heritage Books (?book snob?) but this is indeed an attractive set. As With Robert Bailey, I am taken by the innovative way the illustrations are intermingled with the text. The Maurice Leloir illustrations are simply wonderful and there are many of them to boot, which really bring this tale to life.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I bought a “Three Musketeers” book at a used booksale, but I can’t seem to find any information on it. It says it’s “Edition de Luxe Limited to One Thousand Copies”, and it’s copy number 73. I can’t find a date it in. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you 🙂
    Sandi

  3. Legrand’s work is extraordinary – I’d love to own this someday. For some reason the Heritage editions of Legrand’s books go for insane prices over in my neck of the woods, so I’ve just only been able to collect the LEC Twenty Years After and Heritage Nibelungenlied. Heritage copies of Don Quixote and the Three Musketeers tend to go for $30+ around me – I suppose the proprietors feel they have something super special (and they do in a way!).

    Thanks for the comparison Chris – I’ve not seen the 1932 LEC edition before.

  4. Great post, Chris! I have both the LEC versions, and much prefer the production of the 1932 version, though I think on the whole I like Legrand’s illustrations better–especially in the colored version LEC version. It’s a shame the Heritage and EP versions couldn’t reproduce the colors.

    That being said, I have to say I REALLY like the classic Leloir illustrations–not just for their style, but how they are integrated with the text. It’s difficult to see how well they are reproduced and to determine the print quality, but this looks like a very desirable set.

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