Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, by Siegfried Sassoon, Limited Editions Club (1977)

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) is best known as one of the leading poets of the First World War. Sassoon enlisted in the Army for the war, though soon became horrified at the realities he witnessed. He protested against the continuation of the war which landed him in a military psychiatric hospital, where he was to meet and become a mentor to Wilfred Owen. His strong and public anti-war actions were courageous and should be … Continue reading Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, by Siegfried Sassoon, Limited Editions Club (1977)

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)

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)

It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season as your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers, while I sheepishly admit lifting the introduction from the holiday article of last year. … Continue reading It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

Billy Budd and Beneto Cereno, by Herman Melville, Limited Editions Club (1965)

{Ed. Note: The next post will likely be 2-3 weeks from now as I focus on the annual ‘Support the Fine/Private Press Eco-System‘ article. In the meantime, please make extensive use of the Index of Book Reviews to catch up or re-acquaint yourself with the hundreds or reviews on Books and Vines.} Herman Melville (1819-1891) was a novelist, poet and short story writer that many consider … Continue reading Billy Budd and Beneto Cereno, by Herman Melville, Limited Editions Club (1965)

A Tribute to Cavafy, by Constantine P. Cavafy, Limited Editions Club (2003)

Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933) is generally considered to be the greatest Greek poet of modern times and one of the most influential poets of the previous century. As stated in the Limited Editions Club (LEC) prospectus for their 2003 edition of A Tribute to Cavafy: Greek poetry did not die 2,500 years ago with Sappho, Pindar, and Theocritus. For Greek poetry was reborn in the mid-twentieth century … Continue reading A Tribute to Cavafy, by Constantine P. Cavafy, Limited Editions Club (2003)

Camille, by Alexandre Dumas, fils, Curwen Press (1937) and Garamond Press (1955) for the Limited Editions Club

La Dame aux Camélias (Camille), by Alexandre Dumas, fils, is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most famous of love stories in the Western canon. As mentioned by the Limited Editions Club (LEC) Monthly Letter (ML), “the story is simple enough. It is that of an enamored courtesan who, not to ruin the life of the man she loves, gives him up and dies of a broken heart.” As Henry James aptly says … Continue reading Camille, by Alexandre Dumas, fils, Curwen Press (1937) and Garamond Press (1955) for the Limited Editions Club