The Cloister and the Hearth, Charles Reade, Limited Editions Club (1932)

The Cloister and the Hearth is one of the greatest historical novels ever written.  Unfortunately, like many of our great works, it finds itself mostly ignored today, taking its place in the growing dustbin of literature that previously provided the foundation for Western civilization. This classic, by English author Charles Reade (1814-1884), was very popular in the nineteenth century. Reade has never been highly admired by critics, so I suppose it is not a huge surprise … Continue reading The Cloister and the Hearth, Charles Reade, Limited Editions Club (1932)

The Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus, Limited Editions Club (1943), also Essex House Press (1901)

[5/15/2015 Ed Note: Added some information and pictures of an edition from 1901 of The Praise of Folly from Essex House Press, thanks to Books and Vines Contributor Dlphcoracl. Scroll of the bottom of the article, past the LEC pictures.] I have not enjoyed a book more, certainly if enjoyment is measured by the amount of times I laughed out loud, than that of the … Continue reading The Praise of Folly, by Desiderius Erasmus, Limited Editions Club (1943), also Essex House Press (1901)

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, Limited Editions Club (1938) and The Folio Society Limited Edition (2008)

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The story follows the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean on his lifetime journey to attain redemption; mostly a personal forgiveness for a life of hardness thrust upon him by an unforgiving society. Les Misérables focuses a microscope on those at the bottom of the social and economic order, highlighting their struggles with poverty, crime, ignorance and … Continue reading Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, Limited Editions Club (1938) and The Folio Society Limited Edition (2008)

Affordable Treasures and Pleasures #4: ‘Clear Sky, Pure Light: Encounters with Henry David Thoreau’, The Penmaen Press (1978)

{Ed. Note: This is the 4th installment of the Books & Vines Affordable Treasures and Pleasures series which looks at nicely done and affordable fine press books.  For this installment, Books and Vines contributor DlphcOracl presents ‘Clear Sky, Pure Light:  Encounters with Henry David Thoreau’, compiled and edited by Christopher Childs, with an introduction by Walter Harding and wood engravings by Michael McCurdy.} Are you tired of visiting … Continue reading Affordable Treasures and Pleasures #4: ‘Clear Sky, Pure Light: Encounters with Henry David Thoreau’, The Penmaen Press (1978)

The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Limited Editions Club, 1965

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a prolific writer producing many works of lasting value and immense entertainment.  Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are extremely well known classics in the core of the Western Canon. Besides these, he wrote numerous other popular and well thought of novels including The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses and The Master of Ballantrae; many short stories such … Continue reading The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Limited Editions Club, 1965

Frankenstein, Centipede Press Limited Edition & Deluxe Limited Edition

There are many editions of Mary Shelley’s classic gothic tale Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus  for discerning readers to choose from.  Many consider the finest illustrations ever done for Frankenstein to be the wood engravings by Lynd Ward (1905-1985). Ward is considered one of the founders of the American graphic novel and was a pre-eminent illustrator of books in the early to mid twentieth century, especially known for his … Continue reading Frankenstein, Centipede Press Limited Edition & Deluxe Limited Edition