The Nibelungenlied is an epic poem, the work of an anonymous poet from sometime around 1200 A.D. (though the story is based on oral traditions from the fifth or sixth century), in Middle High German. A very tragic work, the story tells of Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, his murder, and of his wife Kriemhild‘s revenge. It has a very bloody conclusion, leaving little room for hope. The Nibelungenlied unifies actual historical figures and myths/legands and from the distant past into an epic poem that is quintessentially German in character; so much so that imagery from The Nibelungenlied has often found itself woven into German nationalism. The Nibelungenlied served as source material for Richard Wagner‘s famous Der Ring des Nibelungen.
The Limited Editions Club (LEC) edition of The Nibelungenlied is fabulous. Published in May of 1960, it includes 23 line and wash drawings by Edy Legrand, fantastically reproduced with hand-coloring through stencils that makes the color jump from the page. Legrand illustrated ten books for the LEC, with this certainly being one of the best. The LEC uses the translation by Margaret Armour and includes and excellent introduction by Franz Schoenberner. As this can usually be found in fine condition for under $100, it is a generally affordable example highlighting the excellent work of the Limited Editions Club.
About the Edition
- Illustrations by Edy Legrand
- Translation from the German by Margaret Armour
- Introduction by Franz Schoenberner
- Made at the ancient printing house of Joh. Enschede En Zonen in Haarlem-Holland from the typographic plans of Jan Van Krimpen (his eighth and last for LEC)
- Romulus, 14 point size on 16 point base on Simili Japon paper produced at the Royal Paper Mill by Van Gelder & Zonen N.V. of Ansterdam – Holland
- Title and Initials drawn by S.L. Hartz
- Illustrations reproduced by The Photogravure & Color Company in New York and hand-colored through stencils in the studio of Walter Fischer
- Binding designed by Arnold Bank; done by Russell-Rutter Company of New York on Rache-black fabric stamped in rust and gold
- 7 3/4″ x 11 3/4″, 312 pages
- Limited to 1500 copies, mine is #447
- Signed by Legrand
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