Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne, The Plantin Press for the Limited Editions Club (1962)

There seems to be an occasional bias, in some cases perhaps well-founded, that a work of literature is suspect if it happens to actually be entertaining. To some, unless a book is as perplexing as Ulysses or The Sound and the Fury, literary merit is disparaged. What else can explain that Jules Verne (1828–1905), at least in the English speaking world, has often been considered second tier, not quite a … Continue reading Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne, The Plantin Press for the Limited Editions Club (1962)

The Spy, by James Fenimore Cooper, Limited Editions Club (1963)

The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground, the second novel of  James Fenimore Cooper, was first published in 1821. The novel was a huge success around the world and was quickly translated to a number of languages. As the first American novel to win large world-wide acclaim, its romantic style was influential for many years to follow. The setting of the novel is Westchester … Continue reading The Spy, by James Fenimore Cooper, Limited Editions Club (1963)

The Nibelungenlied, Translated by Margaret Armour, Illustrations by Edy Legrand, Limited Editions Club (1960)

The Nibelungenlied is an epic poem, the work of an anonymous poet from sometime around 1200 A.D. (though the story is based on oral traditions from the fifth or sixth century), in Middle High German. A very tragic work, the story tells of Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, his murder, and of his wife Kriemhild‘s revenge. It has a very bloody conclusion, leaving little room for hope.  The Nibelungenlied unifies actual historical figures … Continue reading The Nibelungenlied, Translated by Margaret Armour, Illustrations by Edy Legrand, Limited Editions Club (1960)

The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, Limited Editions Club (1932, 1953), Heritage Press, Easton Press DLE

One of the most popular novels ever written is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. First published in 1844 and never out of print since, the story has been retold countless times in about every popular culture form one can imagine.  Set in the 17th century, it follows the adventures of d’Artagnan as he goes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He soon befriends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, very close … Continue reading The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, Limited Editions Club (1932, 1953), Heritage Press, Easton Press DLE

Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, Limited Editions Club Editions from 1951 and 1940

Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, published in 1819, is a historical novel set in twelfth century England. The story follows one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It is set after the failure of the Third Crusade. The theme is one of reconciliation, the coming together of two societies to create a united whole. Besides Ivanhoe being immensely popular when published, it is credited … Continue reading Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, Limited Editions Club Editions from 1951 and 1940