The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, Foolscap Press (2019); Also, The Voiage and Travail of Sir John Mandeville, Grabhorn Press (1928)

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, the latest publication from Foolscap Press, is one of the most beautifully done private press works in years. The publication exudes an aura of just about everything a private press work should be in terms of intent, spirit, craftsmanship and artisanal excellence. Happily for private press collectors, a 1928 version of Mandeville’s travels, published by … Continue reading The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, Foolscap Press (2019); Also, The Voiage and Travail of Sir John Mandeville, Grabhorn Press (1928)

The Book of Ruth, Grabhorn Press (1926) and Limited Editions Club (1947)

The Limited Editions Club (LEC) Monthly Letter (ML) for their wonderful 1947 edition of the Book of Ruth says of the story that it is “delightful“, “charming” and “great.” The ML goes on to quote the early twentieth century American educator and author Mary Ellen Chase saying: The ‘Book of Ruth’ is one of the most graceful and charming of short stories not only in ancient literature but … Continue reading The Book of Ruth, Grabhorn Press (1926) and Limited Editions Club (1947)

King John, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

William Shakespeare wrote King John in the 1590’s, probably after Richard II but before Henry IV, Part I. It was first published as part of the First Folio in 1623. Along with Richard II, King John is one of only two plays by Shakespeare written entirely in verse. While it was very popular in the Victorian era, it is now one of Shakespeare’s least familiar and least performed works. None-the-less, the realization that … Continue reading King John, by William Shakespeare, Limited Editions Club (1940)

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 Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Illustrated & Hand-Illuminated by Valenti Angelo, Limited Editions Club (1935); Also, The Folio Society Limited Edition from 2009 with Illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat

{Ed. Note: 07/13/2014, Thanks to a Books and Vines reader, I have added some pictures of the also very nice Limited Edition of the The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from The Folio Society with wonderful illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat. See at the bottom of this article, after the pictures of the Limited Editions Club edition}. After Books and Vines contributor Dlphcorcl’s recent articles highlighting some of the greatest fine press editions … Continue reading The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Illustrated & Hand-Illuminated by Valenti Angelo, Limited Editions Club (1935); Also, The Folio Society Limited Edition from 2009 with Illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat

Leaves of Grass, by Walter Whitman, Arion Press (2014)

{Ed. Note: Originally published June 2, 2014 and subsequently updated on August 14, 2014. The updates were to add a link to a PBS News Hour segment on Arion Press and the making of this edition, and also I have added a number of quotes from the book after a careful reading.} Arion Press has just released their 100th publication, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. A huge … Continue reading Leaves of Grass, by Walter Whitman, Arion Press (2014)

Vathek, An Arabian Tale, by William Beckford, Limited Editions Club (1945)

The Limited Editions Club (LEC) Monthly Letter for Vathek, An Arabian Tale, tells us: There are books in the vast archives of the great world’s literature — and they are among the most delighting of all books–in which there is so much beauty that they have not been lost in the dark oblivion of forgotten books, yet they have not emerged into the limelight with bathes … Continue reading Vathek, An Arabian Tale, by William Beckford, Limited Editions Club (1945)