Wednesday 6 July 2011

Nineteenth-Century Dust Jackets

My copy of Script & Print arrived while I was neck-deep in marking last week, so I have only just started to read it. The first piece I looked at was Keith Maslen's review of volume 58 of Studies in Bibliography, which sent me off in search of the second part of G. Thomas Tanselle's study of "Book-Jackets of the 1890s."

Now that I am no longer editor of Script & Print I miss out on receiving, gratis, the latest issue of Studies in Bibliography, The Library, PBSA and Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, and I haven't either got around to joining all these societies so that I can receive their journals, or got into the habit of browsing the latest issues as they arrive at Monash. (Something I will now no longer be able to do since the library has decided to discontinue print subscriptions of journals we have electronic access too. Grrr.) Anyway, since I wasn't sent Studies in Bibliography 58, I hadn't realised what I had missed out on in this issue (or "volume" I guess).

"Book-Jackets of the 1890s" is, like everything else by Tanselle, thorough and, although his list is likely to be quickly superseded, it is as complete a list as scholars and collectors can hope for now. I was prompted by Tanselle's first article—and the plans he announced in it to publish a list of dust jackets from the 1890s (the present article)—to contact him about the one nineteenth-century wrapper I have (more of which anon).

Not long afterward I heard from Mark R. Godburn concerning his plans to write a book under the title Nineteenth Century Dust Jackets: An Illustrated History—which prompted me to commission from him an article on the subject for Script & Print. In due course, Godburn's article appeared in Script & Print and this article and my nineteenth-century wrapper are both referenced in Tanselle's latest article. In the course of discussions concerning his proposed article Godburn requested some photos of my nineteenth-century wrapper, a few of which he published on his site. When he moved sites to his present blog these images were lost so I thought I'd repost them here with updated information from Tanselle's article.

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(G. Thomas Tanselle, "A List of Examples, 1891–1900, of British and American Publishers' Printed Book- Jackets, Boxes, and other Detachable Coverings" in "Book-Jackets of the 1890s," Studies in Bibliography 58 (2007–8 [issued 2010]), pp. 224–304, item 96.88:

Macmillan (London). Thomas Love Peacock, Gryll Grange, ill. F. H. Townsend and introduction by George Saintsbury. Jacket reproduces illustration on p. 173. [Collection of Patrick Spedding, 2007.]

What is not mentioned here is that this is a volume from Macmillan's "Illustrated Standard Novels" series, which is known in the trade as the "Cranford Series." [For a list of titles in this series, see my next post.]

I included the bookmark that was in the book when I purchased it. The list of titles on the bookmark matches that on the wrapper: suggesting the bookmark was picked up at the time of purchase, placed in the volume, and never moved.

[front cover and front of book mark]

[front cover of book and wrapper side-by-side]

[front cover of wrapper and illustration it duplicates side-by-side (the volume in the fore-ground is another from the same series)]

[rear cover and verso of book mark]

[UPDATE: 11 July 2017. For my posts on the Macmillan's New Cranford Series and Illustrated Standard Novels, see here and here]

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