The History of Oliver and Arthur, Riverside Press (1903)

The History of Oliver and Arthur is a charming mediaeval romance known to us through a 1521 German translation by Wilhelm Liely from the Old French (which in turn was likely based on a Latin original from even earlier). Liely’s work, only a few specimens of which are known to exist today, includes his translation of a better known tale, Valentine and Orson, along with Oliver and … Continue reading The History of Oliver and Arthur, Riverside Press (1903)

Winter, The Salvage Press (2016)

{Ed Note: This article is from Books and Vines contributor dlphcoracl, and includes photos of two editions of the work from dlphcoracl and myself. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Murphy a couple times and am thrilled to finally have work of his in my collection. As you will see in this article, his work is outstanding!} Winter is the most recent publication from The … Continue reading Winter, The Salvage Press (2016)

Carmen, by Prosper Merimee, Limited Editions Club (1941)

Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870) was a French writer best known for Carmen, a splendid edition of which from the Limited Editions Club (LEC) being reviewed here. Mérimée was quite an accomplished man: he was fluent in five languages, he was the first translator of various works of Russian literature in France (including works from Pushkin,  Gogol and  Turgenev), and was an accomplished archaeologist and historian. Mérimée wrote Carmen in 1845 and it was published in that same year. It became the basis of Bizet‘s … Continue reading Carmen, by Prosper Merimee, Limited Editions Club (1941)

Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part VII – The Four Gospels, Golden Cockerel Press (1931)

{Ed. Note: This is part VII of an on-going series by dlphcoracl looking at the greatest illustrated private/fine press books of all time. See Part I, II, III, IV, V and VI for the previous articles.} The Four Gospels is one of a trilogy of works illustrated with wood engravings by Eric Gill for the Golden Cockerel Press (GCP), including The Canterbury Tales and Troilus … Continue reading Great Illustrated Private Press Books, Part VII – The Four Gospels, Golden Cockerel Press (1931)

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

The comedy Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, written in 1598 or 1599, is generally considered one of his best as it “combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honour, shame, and court politics” (see here). In the preface to the play (in the prospectus to this edition), German philosopher Hermann Ulrici (1806-1884) further describes the tenants underlying the surface level humor in the play: …as in most … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1939)

A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, The Officina Athelstane (2016)

Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) has a well deserved place as one of the greatest prose satirists of all time, if not the greatest. His A Modest Proposal, in which he advocates that Ireland’s dire economic situation be solved by the poor selling their children as food for the rich, is simply astonishing in its powerful irony. His matter of fact description of the starving poor, followed by his stating “A young healthy child … Continue reading A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift, The Officina Athelstane (2016)

Moon as Bright as Water, by Qin Guan, Chester River Press (2016)

Qin Guan (1049-1100) was a Chinese poet, most famous for his love poems written within the classical Chinese tradition in a lyric poetry style known as ci (also known as t’zu) which was particularly popular during the Song Dynasty. You can think of ci as essentially a song lyric, or “words for music” used in what would today be called cabaret songs. William McNaughton mentions in the introduction to this new … Continue reading Moon as Bright as Water, by Qin Guan, Chester River Press (2016)