The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

Aesop’s existence, while likely, is not completely certain, though writings about him are found in such sources as Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. Apparently he lived in ancient Greece around 600 BC. It was long said that he was a slave who won his freedom by his cleverness. No direct writings of his survive, though many tales over the centuries and across cultures have been attributed to him. In fact, as … Continue reading The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

The Saint John’s Fragment – Against the Odds, David Annwn, Foolscap Press (2015)

Books and Vines readers know the high esteem in which I hold Foolscap Press. Their designs are always well thought out and extremely interesting to behold. See here, here, here and here as examples. I was so excited and enamored with their Story of a Fisherman that I somewhat overlooked a smaller work that was published at about the same time: The Saint John’s Fragment – Against the Odds. … Continue reading The Saint John’s Fragment – Against the Odds, David Annwn, Foolscap Press (2015)

Odyssey and Iliad, by Homer, Limited Editions Club (1931)

Books and Vines often gushes oodles of love when gazing at the marvelous illustrations that typically enhance fine press books. This one will not!  Instead, we take a quick look at one of the great typographical works of the twentieth century, the 1931 Limited Editions Club (LEC) editions of Homer‘s Iliad and Odyssey, both designed and printed by one of the 20th centuries master typographers, Jan van Krimpen. Jan van … Continue reading Odyssey and Iliad, by Homer, Limited Editions Club (1931)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Limited Editions Club (1933 and 1942 editions)

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 – 1910), better known as Mark Twain, is one of the greatest of all American novelists/writers (perhaps only Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne come close to being in the same league critically, none come close in terms of popularity) and is certainly the most quintessentially American. Twain is synonymous with the American Heartland in the latter 1800’s. The image most American’s have of the … Continue reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Limited Editions Club (1933 and 1942 editions)

The Circus of Dr. Lao, by Charles Finney, Janus Press (1984); Also, The Limited Editions Club edition (1982)

One would think, having lived in Arizona for 43 years, that I would be more familiar with Charles G. Finney‘s modern classic The Circus of Dr. Lao which takes place in a fictional small town in Arizona named Abalone. Alas, I have never read it. I intended to do so prior to writing this article, but I remain buried in higher priority reading. None-the-less, the fine press editions … Continue reading The Circus of Dr. Lao, by Charles Finney, Janus Press (1984); Also, The Limited Editions Club edition (1982)

The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, Gwasg Gregynog (1988)

The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane (1871–1900), is an influential American classic war novel which explores themes of heroism, cowardice and the deep, harsh reality of war (the idealism of such versus the reality).  Told in third person, from a psychological ‘inner-experience’ perspective, the novel uses color imagery and symbolism to paint a realistic portrait of war, especially the intense struggle with fear that each individual must tackle when facing … Continue reading The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, Gwasg Gregynog (1988)