Affordable Treasures and Pleasures – The Folio Press Fine Editions (1987 – 1991), Part III

{Ed.Note: This article is from Books and Vines contributor DlphcOracl.}

Over the past month, Books and Vines contributor DlphcOracl presented part I and part II of a series looking at The Folio Press Fine Editions, a fine press type collection produced by The Folio Society from 1987-1991. Part III, the final installment of this series, now looks at:

The Folio Press Fine Editions was FS’s first attempt to publish high quality letterpress books on a sustained basis, books that would be comparable to fine private press books published by much smaller publishers and printers costing hundreds of dollars. Quoting from Folio 60, the FS’s bibliography book covering 1947 – 2006: “The series was initiated to celebrate the Society’s 40th anniversary.  The aim was to produce slim volumes to the highest standard, using mould-made paper and letterpress printing, bound (with gilt top edges) and, where appropriate, illustrated in the private press tradition.”  These books can now be found on eBay or online marketplaces for fine & private press books (AbebooksviaLibri, etc.) and almost always be purchased for between $50 to $100 (40 to 65 GBP), the same or less than the cost of current FS publications.

{Ed. Note: I agree with DlphcOracl’s assessment of this series. While not astounding by any stretch of the imagination, these books are nicely done letterpress works with thoughtful type choices and design, with the involvement of many well known to the fine press crowd (such as Stamperia ValdonegaSebastian Carter, etc); use of fine press materials (such as Magnani mould-made paper, binding with Fabriano Ingres patterned paper, etc); illustrations (including wood engravings by Jane Lydbury, lithographs by Edward Piper and Peter Forster, engravings by Brian Hanscomb and Hannah Firmin, etc) and introductions by the likes of Kevin Crossley-HollandBel MooneySue Bradbury and J.D. McClatchy. They are reasonably inexpensive to track down and purchase, and for fans of The Folio Society especially, a very attractive set of books representing an interesting foray by The Folio Society into the fine press world (or one could say back to their roots akin to many of their early publications). Like DlphcOracl, I remain a fan of The Folio Society today, both for their often spectacularly done Limited Editions, but also for their much more affordable ‘standard’ editions, which remain nicely selected and usually very well thought out.}

Love PoemsRobert Graves

Robert Graves (1895-1985) was a prolific English poet and novelist best known for his historical novels and translations of classical Greek works. Scores of his poetry collections have been published over the years, the first in 1916. He became known as one of the great ‘Love’ poets of the English language.  It is such love poetry that is included in this edition from The Folio Society. As for this edition:

  • Selected and Introduced by Sue Bradbury
  • Printed in Dante type at Stamperia Valdonega
  • Magnani mould-made paper
  • Bound by Legatoria Torriani, Milan in quarter cloth and patterned paper sides printed on Fabriano Ingres
  • Typography by Sebastian Carter

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. 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 or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

Love Poems of Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Spine and Slipcase
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Spine and Slipcase
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Cover
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Cover
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Title Page
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Title Page
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Contents
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Contents
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #3
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #3
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Sample Text #4
Love Poems by Robert Graves, The Folio Society, Copyright and Colophon

 

The Aspern Papers, Henry James

Henry James (1843-1916) was an American born author (though he spent most of his adult life in London) who is considered one of the most important authors of his time period. He is especially known for writing in a style called literary realism.  His novels were mostly focused on the social interaction of Americans and Europeans: their style, manners and approach to life.  He often writes from the point of view of a character within a story itself.  His writing is a definite part of the Western Canon, though his overall general popularity has always seemed a bit limited.  The Aspern Papers, first published in 1888, is well thought of as one of his many excellent short stories. As for this edition from The Folio Society:

  • Text from The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Macmillan and Co., 1908
  • Lithographs by Edward Piper
  • Lithographs printed at The Senecio Press, Oxfordshire, England
  • Printed in Dante type at Stamperia Valdonega
  • Magnani mould-made paper
  • Bound by Legatoria Torriani, Milan in quarter cloth and patterned paper sides printed on Fabriano Ingres
  • Typography by Malcolm Harvey Young

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. 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 or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Front Cover
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Front Cover
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Title Page
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Title Page
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #3
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #2
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Copyright and Colophon
The Aspern Papers, The Folio Society, Copyright and Colophon

 

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854-1890) was an Irish poet/writer whose works remain immensely popular today. His best known works are The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Importance of Being EarnestLady Windermere’s FanSalome, The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis, reviewed hereWilde’s wit and humor are legendary, as is the controversy surrounding his life.

Statue of Oscar Wilde in Dublin, Photo from Chris Adamson
Statue of Oscar Wilde in Dublin, Photo from Chris Adamson

Wilde was convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and was sentenced to two years hard labour.  He was incarcerated in Reading Gaol from November 1895 until May 1897. He wrote De Profundis (translates to “from the depths”) while at the prison. Following his release and ‘exile’ to France he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (a beautiful edition of which reviewed here). De Profundis is a prose letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, the aristocrat with whom Wilde had an intimate relationship with which resulted in his prison sentence. Wilde analyzes their lifestyle and relationship in the first part of the letter (Wilde says that he does not defend his conduct, only explains it). The second part focuses on Wilde’s spiritual growth while in prison (“the secret of life is suffering“).

  • Edited and Illustrated by Edward Forster
  • Printed in Van Dijck at the Stamperia Valdonega
  • Magnani Mould-made paper
  • Bound by Legatoria Torriani, Milan in quarter cloth and patterned paper sides designed by Peter Forster

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. 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 or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

De Profundis, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Cover
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Cover
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Title Page and Frontispiece
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Title Page and Frontispiece
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Copyright
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Copyright
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #3
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #2
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Colophon
De Profundis, The Folio Society, Colophon

 

Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) is now considered one of American greatest poets, though that reputation did not blossom until well into the twentieth century. In her lifetime, she was thought quite eccentric (such as seemingly only wearing white) and was very reclusive.  She was extremely prolific, having written close to 2000 poems, though only a very small number (around 10) were published in her lifetime and nobody had any real idea that she had been writing and storing aside such a wealth of poetry. Her first collection was published four years after her death, and it was not until 1955 that her full collection of poetry was published. As for this edition from The Folio Society:

  • Selected, edited and with an introduction by J.D. McClatchy
  • Wood engravings by Jane Lydbury
  • Printed in Centaur type at the  Stamperia Valdonega
  • Magnani Mould-made paper
  • Bound by Legatoria Torriani, Milan in quarter cloth and patterned paper sides designed by Jane Lydbury and printed on Fabriano Ingres
  • Typography by Bernard Roberts

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided, under fair use, to highlight and visualize the review/criticism of the work being reviewed. A side benefit, hopefully, is providing education on the historical and cultural benefits of having a healthy fine press industry and in educating people on the richness that this ‘old school approach’ of book publishing brings to the reading process. Books and Vines has no commercial stake or financial interest in any publisher, retailer or work reviewed on this site and receives no commercial interest or compensation for Books and Vines. 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 or material found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Spine and Covers
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Spine Macro
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Cover
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Cover
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Title Page
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Title Page
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Title Page
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Copyright
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Copyright
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #1
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #2
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #1
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #2
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #4 with Text
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Illustration #3 with Text
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #3
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Sample Text #3
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Colophon
Woman In White, Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Folio Society, Colophon

One thought on “Affordable Treasures and Pleasures – The Folio Press Fine Editions (1987 – 1991), Part III

  1. I decided I wanted to try one of the books from this series based on how nice they looked in these blog posts. My copy of The Aspern Papers arrived today and I could not be more pleased! It really is such a nice little book and I look forward to rereading one of my favorite of James’s shorter fictions in such a nice format! Illustrations are even nicer in person, and I shall have to pursue another title

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