The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, Limited Editions Club (1955)

Diving deeply into Anthony Trollope’s The Warden is like time traveling to the middle of the Victorian era. The pace, the settings, the characters and the mood all contribute to immersing the reader into this oft thought of time and place. While the story is not exciting, overly deep or page-turning, its value comes from its aura of familiar commonality; it’s ability to convey what Henry James called ‘the usual’, the sense of detail about day to day Victorian life that allows the reader to actively understand and feel the setting. Perhaps that is why the imaginary county of Barsetshire is so real, as is the the time, place and characters who weave their way in and out of Trollope’s stories.

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) in many ways personifies Victorian England through his portraiture of the era in his successful set of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope’s work is well respected and remains very popular today. Though he had written a number of books previously, The Warden, first published in 1855, brought Trollope his first critical success. It was followed by Barchester Towers which cemented his growing reputation as a novelist to take seriously. A couple years later his Framley Parsonage added popular success to his proven critical stature. The Way We Live Now, published late in his career, in sometimes considered his greatest work.

The Limited Editions Club (LEC) edition of The Warden is classic in design, easily readable in size and simple yet elegant in appearance. It has nice, softly textured Curtis Rag paper that wonderfully displays the type and marvelously hand colored narrative-based illustrations by the great Fritz Kredel. The introduction is by noted English/Australian novelist Angela Thirkell (1890-1961), whose novels often take place within Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire.  This LEC can often be found in very good or better condition at amazingly low prices considering the quality and is therefore highly recommended.

About the Edition

  • Designed by Richard W. Ellis
  • Illustrations by Fritz Kredel, colored by hand in the studio of Martha Berrien
  • Introduction by Angela Thirkell
  • Type is Monotype Bell, composed by Westcott and Thomson on Curtis Rag paper
  • Printed at the Marchbanks Press
  • Binding by Frank Daniel Fortney of English bookbinder’s linen treated to a silk finish, stamped in gold leaf
  • Limited to 1500 copies, signed by Kredel

Pictures

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The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Slipcase Spine
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Book in Slipcase
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Spine
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Cover
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Cover
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Side View
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Title Page
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Title Page
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Contents
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Sample Text #1 (Introduction)
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Sample Text #1 (Introduction)
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Text
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #3 with Text
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #4 (Macro)
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Colophon
The Warden, Limited Editions Club, Signature

7 thoughts on “The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, Limited Editions Club (1955)

  1. There are Victorians; then, there are Victorians! Having just plowed my way through 1300 plus pages of Thackeray (The Newcombs) and Eliot (The Mill on the Floss), perhaps Trollope would be a welcome relief from such tedious works. I read both The Warden and Barchester Towers in the 60s in Heritage Press editions, and enjoyed them immensely. Now I can read them in the LECs I possess. Masterpiece Theatre combined both books into an excellent dramatisation.

    The illustrations for the Warden were hand colored, or so it says in the LEC bibliography. Artists who worked in studios in those days must have been very low paid if all illustrations were hand colored for 1500 copies.

    I have Fine copies of the HP editions if anyone is interested in buying them.

  2. I love this book, and I love Fritz Kredel, but though the illustrations are beautiful in and of themselves, I feel they lack a certain clinical meticulousness that seems better suited to Trollope. Though he does quite well with his portraits of Septimus, his portraits of John Bold and Tom Towers are lacking in character insight, in my opinion.

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