so. i love these covers and i love the titles. i wish you could see the tables of contents inside some of them or read these funny, mystifying stories. there is something charming and amusing and so odd about American and British culture at the turn of the last century and into those first decades. it is a quality that seems totally lacking in our world now. i don't know what it is. all i know is that i absorb a little bit of it each week at work as i dive back into the book culture of the time in search of sympathetic methods of repairing these little buddies. and in search of tidbits about book manufacturing of the time that fascinate me.
while the practical demands of my workplace cannot be met by approaching the zillions of books that come our way with a strict, conservation/restoration approach, it's a shame to me to lose these covers: these books in their whole, original form--and especially through their cover designs and materials--preserve and communicate so much about the world that created them.
so, take a look. thanks to the call number stickers, you can see the publication date on most these titles. any titles without a date in the call number are first editions. the last few titles come from the tale-end of the last awesome and ever-so-eclectic phase of the victorian publisher's binding-o-rama. i like these the best of the lot, but i'll wait to say which is my favorite until i hear from some of you which are your faves....
the following are identical editions but with very different covers.