Monday

Acquisitions


Contents:

  1. [22/8/19] - Oxford Myths and Legends (1954- )
  2. [18/8/19] - Norton Annotated Editions (2000- )
  3. [25/5/19] - Katherine M. Briggs: Folk Tales of Britain (1970-71)
  4. [20/5/19] - Juvenal in English (2001)
  5. [14/5/19] - The Folio Society (1947- )
  6. [15/4/19] - The Annotated Tennyson (1969)
  7. [22/1/19] - The Greville Diary (1927)
  8. [9/1/19] - Tolstóy: Centenary Edition (1928-37)
  9. [25/12/18] - Outlaws of the Marsh (2018)
  10. [5/7/18] - Fernando Pessoa: Obras (1985 / 86)
  11. [3/4/18] - Loeb Classics: Greek Historians
  12. [2/2/18] - Ted Hughes' Collected Animal Poems (1995)
  13. [18/1/18] - Billy Budd, Sailor (2017)
  14. [10/6/16] - The Icelandic Sagas (1999 & 2002)
  15. [11/2/16] - The Nonesuch Library (1927-77)
  16. [6/11/13] - The Complete Sagas of Icelanders (1997)
  17. [12/10/13] - The Novel: An Alternative History (2010-13)
  18. [9/5/13] - Royall Tyler's Tale of the Heike (2012)
  19. [9/2/13] - Craig Thompson's Habibi (2011)
  20. [1/11/12] - Chandler's Complete Novels (1989)
  21. [18/10/12] - Sebald's Selected Poems (2011)
  22. [23/9/12] - A True & Strange Story (2009)
  23. [17/9/12] - Dante's Divine Comedy (2003-05)
  24. [4/9/12] - The Civil War Reader (1957-58)
  25. [23/8/12] - Shakespeare's Plays in Quarto (1981)
  26. [20/8/12] - A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-2011)



Note behind counter of local secondhand bookshop
photograph: Michael Steven (2012)







Fritz Müller-Guggenbühl: Swiss-Alpine Folk-Tales (1958)


[Listed 22/8/19]:



Oxford Myths and Legends


When I was at school in the 1970s, one of my favourite things to read were the various volumes in the Oxford Myths and Legends series. Each of them had a different figure on the spine, dressed in some traditional manner - a bagpiper for Scotland, a kimono-clad woman for Japan. To me at the time the utmost felicity imaginable would have been to have a complete set of these books, and to learn about (as I fondly imagined) all the folk traditions in the world in this painless manner.

Everything about them pleased me! I liked Joan Kiddell-Monroe's bold black and white illustrations - I liked the large pages and the clever variations on the same basic story patterns in each volume. Over the years, I've bought any that have come my way, with the result that I now have copies of the following:

  1. Arnott, Kathleen. African Myths and Legends. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1962. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

  2. Downing, Charles. Armenian Folk-tales and Fables. Illustrated by William Papas. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

  3. Birch, Cyril. Chinese Myths and Fantasies. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1961. London: Oxford University Press, 1962.

  4. Reeves, James. English Fables and Fairy Stories. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1954. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

  5. Picard, Barbara Leonie. French Legends, Tales and Fairy Stories. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1955. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

  6. Picard, Barbara Leonie. German Hero-Sagas and Folk-tales. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1958. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

  7. Gray, J. E. B. Indian Tales and Legends. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1961. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

  8. O’Faolain, Eileen. Irish Sagas and Folk-Tales. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1954. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

  9. McAlpine, Helen & William. Japanese Tales and Legends. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1958. London: Oxford University Press, 1960.

  10. Nahmad, H. M. The Peasant and the Donkey: Tales of the Near and Middle East. With Stories by Charles Downing, Nadia Abu-Zahra, Feyyaz Kayacan, & Mary Fergar. Illustrated by William Papas. Oxford Myths and Legends. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

  11. Downing, Charles. Russian Tales and Legends. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1956. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

  12. Jones, Gwyn. Scandinavian Legends and Folktales. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1956. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

  13. Wilson, Barbara Ker. Scottish Folk-Tales and Legends. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1954. London: Oxford University Press, 1955.

  14. Müller-Guggenbühl, Fritz. Swiss-Alpine Folk-Tales. Trans. Katharine Potts. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1958. London: Oxford University Press, 1964.

  15. Picard, Barbara Leonie. Tales of Ancient Persia: from the Shah-Nāma of Firdausi. Illustrated by Victor Ambrus. 1972. London: Oxford University Press, 1993.

  16. Picard, Barbara Leonie. Tales of the Norse Gods and Heroes. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. 1953. London: Oxford University Press, 1958.

  17. Jones, Gwyn. Welsh Legends and Folk-Tales. 1955. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

  18. Sherlock, Philip. West Indian Folk-Tales. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

  19. Ćurčija-Prodanović, Nada. Yugoslav Folk-Tales. 1955. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.




Of course, this list is nowhere near complete. There are a number I remember reading at school which are not there above: condensed versions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, in particular.

Here's another listing from the LibraryThing website (I've marked in bold the ones I don't yet own):



  1. The Adventures of Young Krishna, The Blue God of India, by Diksha Dalal-Clayton
  2. African Myths and Legends, by Kathleen Arnott (1962)
  3. Armenian Folk-Tales and Fables, by Charles Downing (1972)
  4. Chinese Myths and Fantasies, by Cyril Birch (1961)
  5. The Curse of the Ring, by Michael Harrison
  6. Doom of the Gods, by Michael Harrison
  7. Egyptian and Sudanese Folk-Tales, by Helen Mitchnik
  8. El Cid, by Geraldine McCaughrean
  9. English Fables and Fairy Stories, by James Reeves (1954)
  10. French Legends, Tales, and Fairy Stories, by Barbara Leonie Picard (1955)
  11. German Hero-Sagas and Folk-Tales, by Barbara Leonie Picard (1958)
  12. Gilgamesh the Hero, by Geraldine McCaughrean
  13. Gods and Men: Myths and Legends from the World's Religions, by John Bailey
  14. Hungarian Folk-Tales, by Val Biro
  15. The Iliad of Homer, by Barbara Leonie Picard
  16. Indian Tales and Legends, by J. E. B. Gray (1961)
  17. Irish Myths and Legends, by Ita Daly
  18. Irish Sagas and Folk-Tales, by Eileen O'Faolain (1954)
  19. Island of the Mighty, by Haydn Middleton
  20. Ivan: Stories of Old Russia, by Marcus Crouch
  21. Japanese Tales and Legends, by Helen & William McAlpine (1958)
  22. Korean Folk-Tales, by James Riordan
  23. The Odyssey of Homer, by Barbara Leonie Picard
  24. The Peasant and the Donkey: Tales of the Near and Middle East, by H. M. Nahmad (1967)
  25. Renard the Fox, by Rachel Anderson
  26. Russian Tales and Legends, by Charles Downing (1956)
  27. Scandinavian Legends and Folk-Tales, by Gwyn Jones (1956)
  28. Scottish Folk-Tales and Legends, by Barbara Ker Wilson (1954)
  29. Selected Fairy Tales, by Barbara Leonie Picard
  30. Swiss-Alpine Folk-Tales, by Fritz Müller-Guggenbühl (1958)
  31. Tales of Ancient Persia, by Barbara Leonie Picard (1972)
  32. Tales of the Norse Gods and Heroes, by Barbara Leonie Picard (1953)
  33. A Treasury of Turkish Folk-Tales for Children, by Barbara K. Walker
  34. Ukrainian Folk-Tales, by Christina Oparenko
  35. Welsh Legends and Folk-Tales, by Gwyn Jones (1955)
  36. West African Trickster Tales, by Martin Bennett
  37. West Indian Folk-Tales, by Philip M. Sherlock (1966)
  38. When the World Began: Stories Collected in Ethiopia, by Elizabeth Laird
  39. Yugoslav Folk-Tales, by Nada Curcija-Prodanovic (1955)




And here's yet another listing (with illustrations) of 23 titles from the Skullduggery Library:










Leslie S. Klinger: The New Annotated Frankenstein (2017)


[listed 18 August, 2019]:


For a long time now I've been collecting annotated editions of the classics: ever since I found a nice copy of William Baring-Gould's Annotated Sherlock Holmes in the shop-window of David Thomas's shop on Lorne St, for the very reasonable price of $40, I suppose.

There's a nice piece about the series called For Love of Books: Norton Annotated Editions, posted by Erik Beck on 7 August, 2010.

He provides a useful list of the original annotated series published by Clarkson N. Potter, starting with Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice in 1960, and concluding with Michael Patrick Hearn's Huckleberry Finn in 1988:



  1. The Annotated Alice, ed. Martin Gardner (1960)
  2. The Annotated Mother Goose, ed. William S. Baring-Gould & Ceil Baring-Gould (1962)
  3. The Annotated Ancient Mariner, ed. Martin Gardner (1965)
  4. The Annotated Casey at the Bat, ed. Martin Gardner (1967)
  5. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, ed. William S. Baring-Gould, 2 vols (1967)
  6. The Annotated Walden, ed. Philip Van Doren Stern (1970)
  7. The Annotated Wizard of Oz, ed. Michael Patrick Hearn (1973)
  8. The Annotated Dracula, ed. Leonard Wolf (1975)
  9. The Annotated Christmas Carol, ed. Michael Patrick Hearn (1976)
  10. The Annotated Frankenstein, ed. Leonard Wolf (1977)
  11. The Annotated Shakespeare, ed. A. L. Rowse, 3 vols (1978)
  12. The Annotated Gulliver’s Travels, ed. Isaac Asimov (1980)
  13. The Annotated Oscar Wilde, ed. H. Montgomery Hyde (1982)
  14. The Annotated Huckleberry Finn, ed. Michael Patrick Hearn (1988)




I don't know how complete this list actually is. Admittedly, Martin Gardner's Annotated Snark (Lewis Carroll - Bramshall, 1962), Annotated Innocence of Father Brown (G. K. Chesterton - Oxford, 1987), Annotated Night Before Christmas (Clement Moore - Summit, 1991) and Annotated Thursday (G. K. Chesterton - Ignatius, 1999) all appeared from other publishers, so are not strictly part of the canon.

In any case, of these 14, I estimate that I have 6 (Sherlock Holmes, Walden, Dracula, Frankenstein, Gulliver's Travels and Shakespeare) in the original sumptuous hardback editions; three (Alice, Mother Goose and The Ancient Mariner) in paperback reprints; another three (The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol and Huckleberry Finn) in their updated Norton editions; and two (Casey at the Bat and Oscar Wilde) which have so far eluded me.

In 2000, a decade after the original series had gone out of print, W. W. Norton decided to revive it, and started to republish revised versions of some of the original titles, along with new annotated editions of their own, starting with Maria Tatar's Classic Fairy Tales in 2002. This is where they've got to so far:



  1. Carroll, Lewis. The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass. Ed. Martin Gardner. Illustrations by John Tenniel. 1960 & 1990. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2000.
  2. Baum, L. Frank. The Annotated Wizard of Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Pictures by W. W. Denslow. 1900. Ed. Michael Patrick Hearn. 1973. Centennial Edition. Preface by Martin Gardner. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000.
  3. Twain, Mark (Samuel L. Clemens). The Annotated Huckleberry Finn: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). Ed. Michael Patrick Hearn. Illustrations by E. W. Kemble. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2001.
  4. Tatar, Maria, ed & trans. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2002.
  5. Grimm, Jacob & Wilhelm. The Annotated Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. Ed & trans. Maria Tatar. Introduction by A. S. Byatt. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004.
  6. Dickens, Charles. The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose. 1843. Ed. Michael Patrick Hearn. Illustrations by John Leech. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2004.
  7. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, 3 vols (2005-6)
    • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Vol. 1: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Ed. Leslie S. Klinger. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2005.
    • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Vol. 2: The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow & The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. Ed. Leslie S. Klinger. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2005.
    • Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Vol. 3: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear. Ed. Leslie S. Klinger. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2006.
  8. Carroll, Lewis. The Annotated Snark: The Hunting of the Snark – An Agony in Eight Fits. Illustrated by Henry Holiday. 1876. Ed. Martin Gardner. 1962. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2006.
  9. Stowe, Harriet Beecher. The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. & Hollis Robbins. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2007.
  10. Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Annotated Secret Garden, ed. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina (2007)
  11. Tatar, Maria, ed. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen. Trans. Maria Tatar & Julie K. Allen. Introduction by A. S. Byatt. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2008.
  12. Stoker, Bram. The New Annotated Dracula. 1897. Edited by Leslie S. Klinger. Additional Research by Janet Byrne. Introduction by Neil Gaiman. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Inc., 2008.
  13. Grahame, Kenneth. The Annotated Wind in the Willows. 1908. Ed. Annie Gauger. Introduction by Brian Jacques. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2009.
  14. Barrie, J. M. The Annotated Peter Pan: Centennial Edition. 1911. Ed. Maria Tatar. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1911.
  15. Klinger, Leslie S., ed. The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Introduction by Alan Moore. Liveright Publishing Corporation. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2014.
  16. Alcott, Louise May. The Annotated Little Women, ed. John Matteson (2015)
  17. Shelley, Mary. The New Annotated Frankenstein: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. 1818. Rev. ed. 1831. Ed. Leslie S. Klinger. ‎Introduction by Guillermo del Toro. Afterword by Anne K. Mellor. Liveright Publishing Corporation. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Inc., 2017.
  18. Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. & Maria Tatar, ed. The Annotated African American Folktales. Liveright Publishing Corporation. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2018.




Of these eighteen titles, I have all except The Secret Garden and Little Women - oh, and the version I have of The Annotated Snark is an old Penguin paperback. Only five of them, it should be stressed, are actually reprints: Martin Gardner's two Lewis Carroll books, and Michael Patrick Hearn's three annotated editions of, respectively, L. Frank Baum, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.





The other three 'repeats' - Sherlock Holmes, Dracula and Frankenstein, are all in completely new versions by the terrifyingly prolific Leslie S. Klinger. Whether they're an improvement on their respective originals is a matter of taste. I'd tend to think not, but perhaps that's because I'm still so much in thrall to William S. Baring-Gould's eccentric masterpiece, The Annotated Sherlock Holmes.

The competition can get a bit baroque at times, though. I once wrote a long blogpost on the strange world of the competing annotated versions of Dracula. Leslie S. Klinger's - with its weird convention of pretending that all of the events in the story actually happened - is certainly not the pick of that particular bunch:



  1. Wolf, Leonard, ed. The Annotated Dracula: Dracula by Bram Stoker. 1897. Art by Sätty. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. / Publisher, 1975.
  2. McNally, Raymond & Radu Florescu, ed. The Essential Dracula: A Completely Illustrated & Annotated Edition of Bram Stoker’s Classic Novel. 1897. New York: Mayflower Books, 1979.
  3. Wolf, Leonard, ed. The Essential Dracula: Including the Complete Novel by Bram Stoker. 1897. Ed. Leonard Wolf. 1975. Notes, Bibliography and Filmography Revised in Collaboration with Roxana Stuart. Illustrations by Christopher Bing. A Byron Preiss Book. New York: Plume, 1993.
  4. Stoker, Bram. The New Annotated Dracula. 1897. Edited by Leslie S. Klinger. Additional Research by Janet Byrne. Introduction by Neil Gaiman. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Inc., 2008.




Then there was the knock-down battle of the Winds in the Willows (or should that be The Wind in the Willowses?). Two annotated versions appeared within months of each other - more-or-less in the centenary year of the Kenneth Grahame's immortal masterpiece. For all its faults, I'd have to award the crown to Annie Gauger's version there for sheer inclusiveness, but there is a quiet dignity - though perhaps too great a dependence on dictionary definitions of fairly familiar terms - to the Seth Lerer book:



  1. Grahame, Kenneth. The Annotated Wind in the Willows. 1908. Ed. Annie Gauger. Introduction by Brian Jacques. New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2009.
  2. Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows: An Annotated Edition. 1908. Ed. Seth Lerer. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.




There's always been a small number of odd annotated editions appearing from other publishers, whether or not they could be said to constitute a 'series.' Here's one of my own favourites:



  • White, E. B. The Annotated Charlotte’s Web. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1952. Ed. Peter F. Neumeyer. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994.


And finally there's Douglas A. Anderson's Hobbit double-act. Of this, Erik Beck comments:
As an interesting side note, back in the late 80’s, The Annotated Hobbit was published. It later went out of print, but was re-printed and updated in 2002. It was perfect timing, of course, because interest in Tolkien was peaking due to the films. But, it’s interesting to note that the new version looks curiously like the Norton books, even though it’s printed by Houghton Mifflin.


  1. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Annotated Hobbit: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. 1937. Ed. Douglas A. Anderson. London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.
  2. Tolkien, J. R. R. The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition. 1937. Ed. Douglas A. Anderson. 1988. Rev. ed. 2002. London: HarperCollins, 2003.




There's clearly much more to be said on the subject, and many more - hopefully - of these handsome (and definitely addictive!) tomes to be collected. I'm glad to be able to build on Erik Beck's very useful work nearly a decade on from his original post, however.







Katherine M. Briggs: Folk Tales of Britain: Narratives (2011)


[received 25 May, 2019]:




Katherine M. Briggs: Folk Tales of Britain: Narratives (2011)


  1. Briggs, Katharine M. Folk Tales of Britain: Narratives. 1970. Introduction by Philip Pullman. 3 vols. Illustrated by Hannah Firmin, Peter Firmin & Clare Melinsky. London: Folio Society, 2011.

  2. Briggs, Katharine M. Folk Tales of Britain: Legends. 1971. Introduction by Kevin Crossley-Holland. 3 vols. Illustrated by Hannah Firmin, Peter Firmin & Clare Melinsky. London: Folio Society, 2011.


Katherine M. Briggs: Folk Tales of Britain: Legends (2011)


This is how the two of them look inside:



Katherine M. Briggs: Folk Tales of Britain: Legends (2011)


And this is the original edition:



Katherine M. Briggs: A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales (4 vols: 1970)


I do have this, but only as a giant two-volume paperback:



  1. Briggs, Katharine M., ed. A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language, incorporating the F. J. Norton Collection. Part A: Folk Narratives. 1970. London & New York: Routledge, 2003.

  2. Briggs, Katharine M., ed. A Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language, incorporating the F. J. Norton Collection. Part B: Folk Legends. 1970. London & New York: Routledge, 2001.


Here are some other fascinating books I have by Katharine M. Briggs (by no means a complete collection, but the older ones turn up more rarely):

    Katharine Mary Briggs (1898–1980)



    Katherine M. Briggs: Hobberdy Dick (1955)


  1. Briggs, Katharine M. Hobberdy Dick. 1955. Illustrations by Scoular Anderson. A Puffin Book. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.



  2. Katherine M. Briggs & Ruth Tongue, ed.: Folktales of England (1965)


  3. Briggs, Katharine M., & Ruth Tongue, ed. Folktales of England. Foreword by Richard M. Dorson. Folktales of the World, ed. Richard M. Dorson. 1965. Chicago & London: Chicago University Press, 1968.



  4. Katherine M. Briggs: The Fairies in Tradition and Literature (1967)


  5. Briggs, Katharine M. The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. 1967. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977.



  6. Katherine M. Briggs: A Dictionary of Fairies (1976)


  7. Briggs, Katharine M. A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies and Other Supernatural Creatures. 1976. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977.



  8. Katherine M. Briggs: British Folktales and Legends: A Sampler (1977)


  9. Briggs, Katharine M. British Folktales and Legends: A Sampler. 1977. London: Paladin, 1977.



  10. Katherine M. Briggs: Nine Lives: Cats in Folklore (1980)


  11. Briggs, Katharine M. Nine Lives: Cats in Folklore. Illustrations by John Ward, RA. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.






Martin M. Winkler, ed.: Juvenal in English (2001)


[Ordered from betterworldbooksltd (19/4/19) - received 20/5/19]:


One of my 2007 notes on Ovid's Metamorphoses on The Imaginary Museum reads as follows:
The book I borrowed this extract from, Ovid in English, is one of the excellent Penguin Poets in Translation Series. To date the following volumes have appeared. If you see them in a secondhand shop near you (strangely enough, they seem to go out of print almost as soon as they appear), don't buy it - leave it for me instead ...

I've marked in italics the ones I don't yet own (and have therefore had to consult in library copies):

  1. Homer in English, ed. George Steiner & Aminadav Dykman (1996)
  2. Horace in English, ed. D. S. Carne-Ross & Kenneth Haynes (1996)
  3. Martial in English, ed. John P. Sullivan & Anthony J. Boyle (1996)
  4. The Psalms in English, ed. Donald Davie (1996)
  5. Virgil in English, ed. K. W. Gransden (1996)
  6. Baudelaire in English, ed. Carol Clark & Robert Sykes (1998)
  7. Ovid in English, ed. Christopher Martin (1998)
  8. Seneca in English, ed. Don Share (1998)
  9. Catullus in English, ed. Julia Haig Gaisser (2001)
  10. Juvenal in English, ed. Martin M. Winkler (2001)
  11. Dante in English, ed. Eric Griffiths & Matthew Reynolds (2005)
  12. Petrarch in English, ed. Thomas P. Roche (2005)
  13. [Rilke in English, ed. Michael Hofmann (overdue from 2008)]
Subsequently, in 2018, I wrote a far more extensive post, listing and picturing all the volumes in the series I could obtain information about.



Juvenal: Sixteen Satires (1967)

Juvenal. The Sixteen Satires. Trans. Peter Green. 1967. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980.

By the by, the parcel containing this last volume in the series arrived with the following address details. It gave me quite a glow of pride!






[* = originally owned by Mary Maclean Ross]:


I've just put up a post about my grandmother's long love affair with the Folio Society of London over on The Imaginary Museum. I guess for her their catalogues constituted a kind of home away from home. In any case, her beautiful glass-fronted bookcases were filled with their books.



When it came time for Grandma to move into the Northbridge rest-home where she lived out her last years, she chose the unusual expedient of giving one each of her bookcases (contents included) to my father and my uncle. She rejected their idea of dividing up the books between them, claiming that it would cause too much bad blood, so each family ended up with approximately half of her collection! Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

I've marked with an asterisk all the ones which previously belonged to her (one of them, Surtees' Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities, must have been ordered as a present for my father, as it's signed by him instead of her).



  1. Addison, Joseph, Sir Richard Steele, & Eustace Budgell. Sir Roger de Coverly. Ed. John Hampden. With Wood Engravings by Richard Shirley Smith. London: The Folio Society, 1967.

  2. Apollonius of Rhodes. The Voyage of Argo. Trans. E. V. Rieu. 1959. Rev. ed. 1972. Introduction by Lawrence Norfolk. Illustrations by Daniel Egnéus. London: The Folio Society, 2014.

  3. Bage, Robert. Hermsprong: or, Man As He is Not. 1796. London: The Folio Society, 1960.

  4. Barber, Richard. Legends of King Arthur. 2000. Illustrated by Roman Pisarev. 3 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2001.
    1. Arthur
    2. Tristan
    3. The Holy Grail

  5. Barber, Richard. British Myths and Legends. 1998. Illustrated by John Vernon Lord. 3 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2002.
    1. Marvels and Magic
    2. Heroes and Saints
    3. History and Romance

  6. Beevor, Antony & Artemis Cooper. Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949. 1994. Rev. ed. 2007. London: The Folio Society, 2012.

  7. Bierce, Ambrose. The Realm of the Unreal and Other Stories. ['The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce', vols. II, III & VIII of 12, 1909-12]. Introduction by Will Self. Illustrations by Nathan Sissons. London: The Folio Society, 2009.

  8. Briggs, Katharine M. Folk Tales of Britain: Narratives. 1970. Introduction by Philip Pullman. 3 vols. Illustrated by Hannah Firmin, Peter Firmin & Clare Melinsky. London: Folio Society, 2011.

  9. Briggs, Katharine M. Folk Tales of Britain: Legends. 1971. Introduction by Kevin Crossley-Holland. 3 vols. Illustrated by Hannah Firmin, Peter Firmin & Clare Melinsky. London: Folio Society, 2011.

  10. Burton, Richard F. The Source of the Nile. The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration. 1860. Introduction by Ian Curteis. London: The Folio Society, 1993.

  11. Chandler, Raymond. The Complete Novels. Introduction by Frank MacShane. 7 vols. London: The Folio Society, 1989.
    1. The Big Sleep (1939)
    2. Farewell My Lovely (1939)
    3. The High Window (1943)
    4. The Lady in the Lake (1944)
    5. The Little Sister (1949)
    6. The Long Goodbye (1953)
    7. Playback (1958)

  12. Chekhov, Anton. The Island of Sakhalin. 1895. Trans. Luba & Michael Terpak. 1967. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

  13. Chekhov, Anton. The Collected Stories. 1888-1903. Trans. Ronald Hingley. 1965-1971. 4 vols. Introduced by James Lasdun. Illustrated by Laura Carlin. London: The Folio Society, 2010.

  14. Churchill, Winston S. The World Crisis. Introduction by Martin Gilbert. 2005. London: The Folio Society, 2007.
    1. 1911-1914 (1923)
    2. 1915 (1923)
    3. 1916-1918 (1927)
    4. The Aftermath (1929)
    5. The Eastern Front (1931)

  15. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Selected Poems. Ed. Richard Holmes. 1996. Engravings by Miriam Macgregor. The Folio Poets. London: The Folio Society, 2003.

  16. Colón, Don Fernando. The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand. Trans. Benjamin Keen. 1959. London: The Folio Society, 1960.

  17. *Conrad, Joseph. Two Tales of the Congo: Heart of Darkness & An Outpost of Progress. Copper-Engravings by Dolf Rieser. London: The Folio Society. 1952.

  18. *Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. Ed. John T. Winterich. With Civil War Photographs. London: The Folio Society, 1951.

  19. *Crébillon Fils. The Sofa: A Moral Tale. Trans. Bonamy Dobrée. Etchings by Robert Bonfils. London: Folio Society, 1951.

  20. Defoe, Daniel. The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honourable Colonel Jack. 1722. Wood Engravings by John Lawrence. London: The Folio Society, 1967.

  21. Defoe, Daniel. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. 1724-26. Ed. G. D. H. Cole. 1974. 3 vols. Introduction by Pat Rogers. London: The Folio Society, 1983.

  22. de la Mare, Walter. Ghost Stories. Lithographs by Barnett Freedman. 1956. London: The Folio Society, 1960.

  23. De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. 1856. Illustrations Engraved on Wood by Blair Hughes-Stanton. London: The Foilo Society, 1948.

  24. Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. 1929. Ed. Noel Polk & Stephen M. Ross. 2012. London: The Folio Society, 2016.

  25. Freile, Juan Rodríguez. The Conquest of New Granada. Trans. William C. Atkinson. Engravings by Harold Bennett. London: The Folio Society Ltd., 1961.

  26. Gibbon, Edward. The History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. 1776-88; 1910. Ed. Betty Radice & Felipé Fernández-Armesto. 8 vols. London: Folio Society, 1983-90.
    1. The Turn of the Tide. Ed. & with an introduction by Betty Radice (1983)
    2. Constantine and the Roman Empire. Ed. & with an introduction by Betty Radice (1984)
    3. The Revival and Collapse of Paganism. Ed. & with an introduction by Betty Radice (1985)
    4. The End of the Western Empire. Ed. & with an introduction by Betty Radice (1986)
    5. Justinian and the Roman Law. Ed. & with an introduction by Felipe Fernández-Armesto (1987)
    6. Mohammed and the Rise of the Arabs. Ed. & with an introduction by Felipe Fernández-Armesto (1988)
    7. The Normans in Italy and the Crusades. Ed. & with an introduction by Felipe Fernández-Armesto (1989)
    8. The Fall of Constantinople and the Papacy in Rome. Ed. & with an introduction by Felipe Fernández-Armesto (1990)

  27. *Gorky, Maxim. The Artamonovs. 1927. Trans. Alec Brown. Woodcuts by Peter Pendry. London: The Folio Society, 1955.

  28. Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths. 2 vols. 1955. Rev. ed. 1958. Rev. ed. 1960. Introduction by Kenneth McLeish. Illustrations by Grahame Baker. 1996. London: The Folio Society, 2000.

  29. Henderson, Philip, ed. The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë. London: The Folio Society, 1951.

  30. Hibbert, Christopher. Italian Cities. London: The Folio Society, 1997:
    1. Venice: The Biography of a City (1988)
    2. Rome: The Biography of a City (1985)
    3. Florence: The Biography of a City (1993)

  31. *Hogg, Thomas Jefferson. Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff. 1813. Introduction by Sidney Scott. Engravings by Douglas Percy Bliss. London: The Folio Society, 1952.

  32. Holinshed, Raphael. Chronicles. Introduction & Selection by Michael Wood. 1577 & 1587. London: Folio Society, 2012.

  33. Holt, Thaddeus. The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War. 2004. Rev. ed. 2007. Introduction by Michael Howard. 2 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2008.

  34. *Homer. The Odyssey. Translated in Selection by F. L. Lucas. Illustrations by John Buckland-Wright. London: The Folio Society, 1948.

  35. Hudson, Roger, ed. Coleridge among the Lakes & Mountains: From His Notebooks, Letters and Poems 1794-1804. London: The Folio Society, 1991.

  36. Hyde, Edward, Earl of Clarendon. The History of the Great Rebellion. Ed. Roger Lockyer. London: Oxford University Press / The Folio Society, 1967.

  37. Ihara Saikaku. Five Japanese Love Stories (Koshoku gonin onna). Trans. William Theodore de Bary. London: The Folio Society, 1958.

  38. Johnstone, the Chevalier de. A Memoir of the ’Forty-Five. 1820. Ed. Brian Rawson. London: Folio Society, 1958.

  39. Kipling, Rudyard. The Collected Short Stories. Illustrated by Philip Bannister. 5 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2005.
    1. Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) / Soldiers Three and other stories (1888)
    2. Wee Willie Winkie and other stories (1888) / Life's Handicap (1891)
    3. Many Inventions (1893) / The Day's Work (1898)
    4. Traffics and Discoveries (1904) / Actions and Reactions (1909) / A Diversity of Creatures
    5. A Diversity of Creatures, cont. (1917) / Debits and Credits (1926) / Limits and Renewals (1932)

  40. Lawrence, T. E. Crusader Castles. 1910. Ed. A. W. Lawrence. 2 vols. 1936. Introduction by Mark Bostridge. London: The Folio Society, 2010.

  41. Lewis, Bernard. The Assassins: A Radical Sect in Islam. 1967. Preface by the Author. 2003. London: The Folio Society, 2006.

  42. Luo Guanzhong. Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel. Trans. Moss Roberts. 1991. Introduction by Ma Jian. 4 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2013.

  43. Magnusson, Magnus, ed. The Icelandic Sagas. Vol. 1 of 2. Illustrated by Simon Noyes. 1999. London: The Folio Society, 2000.
    1. Au∂un’s Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson (1971)
    2. Grænlendiga Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1965)
    3. Eirík’s Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1965)
    4. The Tale of Thorstein Stangarhögg (Staff-Struck), trans. Hermann Pálsson (1971)
    5. Egil’s Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (1976)
    6. Hrafnkel’s Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson (1971)
    7. Eyrbyggja Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (1972)
    8. Vopnfir∂inga Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    9. Bandamanna Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson (1975)
    10. Gunnlaug’s Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    11. The Tale of Thi∂randi and Thórhall, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    12. Njál’s Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1960)

  44. Magnusson, Magnus, ed. The Icelandic Sagas. Vol. 2 of 2. Illustrated by John Vernon Lord. London: The Folio Society, 2002.
    1. Ívarr’s Tale, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    2. Gísli’s Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1999)
    3. Ölkofri’s Tale, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    4. Laxdæla Saga, trans. agnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1969)
    5. Gunnarr Thi∂randabani’s Tale, trans. Alan Boucher (1981)
    6. Fóstbrœ∂ra Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1999)
    7. Hrei∂arr’s Tale, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    8. Vatnsdæla Saga, trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999)
    9. Hænsa-Thórir’s Saga, trans. Hermann Pálsson (1975)
    10. Grettir’s Saga, trans. Denton Fox & Hermann Pálsson (1974)

  45. *Malory, Sir Thomas. The Romance of Lancelot & Guinevere, Taken from Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Morte D’Arthur’. Illustrated by Lettice Sandford. London: The Folio Society, 1953.

  46. Marvell, Andrew. Poems. Ed. H. M. Margoliouth. Introduction by C. V. Wedgwood. London: The Folio Society, 1964.

  47. Mathers, E. Powys, trans. Arabian Love Tales: Being Romances Drawn from the Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Rendered into English from the Literal French Translation of Dr. J. C. Mardrus. Illustrated by Lettice Sandford. London: The Folio Society, 1949.

  48. *Melville, Herman. Typee. 1846. Introduction by Robert Gibbings. Drawings by Jacques Boullaire. London: The Folio Society, 1950.

  49. Melville, Herman. The Complete Shorter Fiction. Introduced by Jay Parini. Illustrated by Bill Bragg. London: The Folio Society, 2012.

  50. *The Newgate Calendar. Ed. Sir Norman Birkett. With Contemporary Engravings. 1951. London: The Folio Society, 1952.

  51. The Newgate Calendars, ed. Lord Birkett. London: The Folio Society, 1993:
    1. The Newgate Calendar. With Contemporary Engravings (1951)
    2. The New Newgate Calendar (1960)

  52. *Nievo, Ippolito. The Castle of Fratta. Trans. Lovett F. Edwards. Illustrated by Eric Fraser. London: The Folio Society, 1954.

  53. Orwell, George. Complete Novels. Ed. Peter Davidson. 1998. 5 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2001.
    1. Burmese Days (1934)
    2. A Clergyman's Daughter (1935)
    3. Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)
    4. Coming Up for Air (1939)
    5. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

  54. Ovidius Naso, Publius. Ars Amatoria. Trans. B. P. Moore. Drawings by Victor Reinganum. London: The Folio Society, 1965.

  55. Petronius Arbiter. Satyrica. Trans. Frederick Raphael. London: the Folio Society, 2003.

  56. Pliny the Elder. Natural History. CE 77. Introduction by Anthony T. Grafton. 5 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2012.
    1. Preface; Books 1-7, trans. H. Rackham (1938 & 1942)
    2. Books 8-16, trans. H. Rackham (1983 & 1968)
    3. Books 17-23, trans. H. Rackham & W. H. S. Jones (1950 & 1969)
    4. Books 24-32, trans. W. H. S. Jones (1980 & 1963)
    5. Books 33-37; Index, trans. H. Rackham & D. E. Eichholz (1952 & 1962)

  57. *Prévost, Abbé. The History of the Chevalier des Grieux and of Manon Lescaut. 1731. Trans. Helen Waddell. Essay by Edward Sackville-West. Wood Engravings by Valentin Le Campion. London: the Folio Society, 1950.

  58. Sherman, William T. From Atlanta to the Sea. 1875. Ed. B. H. Liddell Hart. 1961. London: The Folio Society, 1962.

  59. Shi Nai’an. Outlaws of the Marsh: The Water Margin. Trans. J. H. Jackson. 1937. Introduction by Frances Wood. Illustrations from the Rong Yu Tang edition. 2 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2018.

  60. Stape, J. H., ed. Conrad’s Congo. Preface by Adam Hochschild. London: The Folio Society, 2013.

  61. Stendhal. The Charterhouse of Parma. 1839. Trans. C. K. Scott-Moncrieff. Wood-engravings by Zelma Blakely. London: The Folio Society, 1977.

  62. Stephen, Leslie. Hours in a Library. 1874, 1876, 1879 & 1892. 3 vols. Introduction by Jonathan Steinberg. London: The Folio Society, 1991.

  63. Surtees, Robert. Jorrocks’ Jaunts and Jollities. 1838. With Colour Plates by Henry Alken. London: The Folio Society, 1949.

  64. *Symons, A. J. A. The Quest for Corvo: An Experiment in Biography. 1934. Introductions by Sir Norman Birkett & Sir Shane Leslie. London: The Folio Society, 1952.

  65. Tey, Josephine. Brat Farrar. 1949. Introduction by Ruth Rendell. Illustrated by A. Richard Allen. London: The Folio Society, 2010.

  66. *Tolstoy. Tales. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude ('The Raid' & "Two Old Men'), & Constance Garnett ('Two Hussars', 'Three Deaths', 'Polikushka' & 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich'). Illustrations by Elizabeth MacFadyen. London: The Folio Society, 1947.

  67. Tolstoy, Leo. The Collected Stories. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude with J. D. Duff, Sam A. Carmack & David McDuff. Introduction by John Sutherland. Illustrated by Roman Pisarev. 3 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2007.

  68. *Trollope, Anthony. The Parson’s Daughter and Other Stories. Engravings by Joan Hassall. Introduction by John Hampden. London: the Folio Society, 1949.

  69. Tucker, James. Ralph Rashleigh. Ed. Colin Roderick. 1952. Drawings by Nigel Lambourne. London: The Folio Society, 1977.

  70. Twain, Mark. Collected Stories. 1929. Introduction by Robert McCrum. Illustrations by Roger Fereday. 3 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2011.

  71. Waddell, Helen. Songs of the Wandering Scholars. 1927, 1929, 1933, 1976. Ed. Dame Felicitas Corrigan. Wood-engravings by Joan Freeman. London: The Folio Society, 1982.

  72. *Walton, Izaak & Charles Cotton. The Compleat Angler, or The Contemplative Man's Recreation. 1653 & 1676. Illustrated by Lynton Lamb. London: The Folio Society, 1949.

  73. *Ward, Ned. The London Spy. 1698-99, 1703. Ed. Kenneth Fenwick. Engravings by Hogarth and Others. London: The Folio Society, 1955.

  74. *Warner, Oliver, ed. An Account of the Discovery of Tahiti: From the Journal of George Robertson, Master of H.M.S. Dolphin. Wood Engravings by Robert Gibbing. London: The Folio Society, 1955.

  75. *Williams, Emlyn. Readings from Dickens. London: The Folio Society, 1953.

  76. Zayas y Sotomayor, Maria de. A Shameful Revenge and Other Stories. 1637 & 1647. Trans. John Sturrock. Illustrated by Eric Fraser. London: The Folio Society, 1963.






Christopher Ricks, ed.: The Poems of Tennyson (1969)


[bought at Dominion Books, Jervois Rd, Auckland: - Monday, 15 April, 2019]:


The Longmans Annotated English Poets series is an excellent one - very useful for teachers and students, but also for the general reader.

The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly their Tennyson, though. It was edited by Christopher Ricks, and designed to be as complete as he could make it without being allowed to quote from the large body of Tennyson's manuscripts held by his alma mater, Trinity College Cambridge.

Sometime after it had appeared, however, the College changed its mind, and decided that it would no longer insist on an embargo "in perpetuity" of the contents of these vital papers. Ricks's face must have been a sight to see when that bombshell descended!



Christopher Ricks, ed.: The Poems of Tennyson, 2nd ed. (3 vols: 1987)


Nothing daunted, he decided to re-edit the whole thing, with the help of the new manuscript evidence. Unfortunately it could no longer be made to fit into one monster volume, so the new, 1987, edition was divided into three.

There's a certain undeniable fascination about that original edition, though. The second edition is undoubtedly the more reliable research source, but for sheer heft and gravitas this mighty single-volume Tennyson takes some beating. One added source of interest is the fact that the book once belonged to well-known New Zealand writer Bill Pearson, author of Coal Flat, 'Fretful Sleepers' and other classic texts.



Tennyson: The Poems (1969)


Here are the other volumes in the Longmans - or 'Longman' - the publisher's name seems to have changed sometime in the 1970s - series I happen to own myself:


    Matthew Arnold: The Poems (1965)


  1. Matthew Arnold, The Poems. Ed. Kenneth Allott. Longmans Annotated English Poets. London: Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd., 1965.



  2. William Blake: The Complete Poems (1971)


  3. William Blake, The Complete Poems. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. W. H. Stevenson. Text by David V. Erdman. 1971. London: Longman / Norton, 1972.



  4. John Donne: The Complete Poems (2010)


  5. John Donne, The Complete Poems. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. Robin Robbins. London: Routledge, 2010.



  6. Thomas Gray, William Collins, & Oliver Goldsmith: The Poems (1969)


  7. Roger Lonsdale, ed. The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, Oliver Goldsmith. 1969. Longman Annotated English Poets. London: Longman Group Limited, 1980.



  8. John Keats: The Poems (1970)


  9. John Keats, The Poems. Ed. Miriam Allott. Longman Annotated English Poets. London: Longman, 1970.



  10. Andrew Marvell: The Poems (2003)


  11. Andrew Marvell, The Poems. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. Nigel Smith. 2003. Revised Edition. Pearson Longman. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited, 2007.





  12. John Milton: Paradise Lost & Complete Shorter Poems (1968)


  13. John Milton, Paradise Lost. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. Alastair Fowler. 1968. London: Longman Group Limited, 1974.
    • John Milton, Complete Shorter Poems. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. John Carey. 1968. London: Longman Group Limited, 1971.





  14. Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene (1977 & 2001)


  15. Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. A. C. Hamilton. 1977. London: Longman Group Limited, 1980.
    • Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. A. C. Hamilton. 1977. Revised Second Edition. 2001. Text edited by Hiroshi Yamashita & Toshiyuki Suzuki. Edinburgh Gate, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2007.



  16. Christopher Ricks, ed.: Tennyson: A Selected Edition (1989)


  17. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Poems of Tennyson. Longmans Annotated English Poets. Ed. Christopher Ricks. London & Harlow: Longman, Green and Co, Ltd.. 1969.
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Tennyson: A Selected Edition. Longman Annotated English Poets. Ed. Christopher Ricks. 1969. Revised ed. 3 vols. 1987. Selected Edition. 1989. Pearson Longman. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited, 2007.




Mind you, the saga doesn't seem to be over yet. New volumes in the series continue to appear from time to time:



    Robert Browning: Selected Poems (2013)


  1. Robert Browning - a selection from a multi-volumed edition in progress: 4 volumes (of an eventual 6?) have already been published (1991-2012)



  2. John Dryden: Selected Poems (2007)


  3. John Dryden - a selection from the complete 5 volume edition (1995-2005)



  4. Alexander Pope: The Complete Poems (2019)


  5. Alexander Pope - the first instalment of a multi-volumed edition in progress (2019- ).



  6. William Shakespeare: The Complete Poems (2017)


  7. William Shakespeare (complete)



  8. Shelley: The Poems (2000)


  9. Percy Bysshe Shelley - volume 2 of a multi-volumed edition in progress: 4 volumes (of a projected 5) have already been published (1989-2013)


    In fact, the only person I can think of who's missing is Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He is mentioned on an early list of projected titles, but nothing appears to have come of it (so far, at least):


    Tennyson: The Poems (1969)


  • category - English Poetry: pre-1900






The Greville Diary (1927)


[Acquired: Tuesday, 22 January, 2019]:

On the one hand, it's always very sad when a much respected colleague decides to retire. On the other hand, if they have a lot of books, they often have a bit of an office clear-out. Which can result in the most desirable finds suddenly going begging. I remember getting some real treasures (Thomas Love Peacock, Sir Philip Sidney, Lewis & Short's complete Latin Dictionary) when Peter Dane retired from the English Department at Auckland University.

Professor Peter Lineham is retiring from Massey. His notorious book-buying habits have reached such a scale that he simply can't fit the ones in his office into the massive collection at home. As a result, I've become the proud owner of a beautiful six-volume edition of the Works of Scottish historian William Robertson, three volumes of Ranke's History of the Popes, Gibbon's Journal, books by Churchill, Christopher Hill, and a bunch of others - including this one:

Greville, Charles. The Greville Diary, 1817-1860: Including Passages Hitherto Withheld from Publication. Ed. Philip Whitwell Wilson. 2 vols. London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1927.


I'd just been reading about this book in a massive history of the events that led up to WWI: Dreadnought, by Robert K. Massie. It consists of extensive extracts from the diary of Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville (1794-1865), a British aristocrat and political insider who seems to have seen it as his duty to provide a kind of Pepsyian record of all the peccadilloes of the ruling class during the early to mid nineteenth century.



When it was first published, in eight volumes, between 1874 and 1887, it caused huge offence to Queen Victoria (among many others). She wrote that she was:
horrified and indignant at this dreadful and really scandalous book. Mr Greville's indiscretion, indelicacy, ingratitude, betrayal of confidence and shameful disloyalty towards his Sovereign make it very important that the book should be severely censured and discredited ... The tone in which he speaks of royalty is unlike anything which one sees in history, even of people hundreds of years ago, and is most reprehensible ... Of George IV he speaks in such shocking language, language not fit for any gentleman to use.
As you can imagine, it was extremely popular at the time. People rather liked his disrespectful tone, both in Britain and America, where it went through numerous editions.

This 1927 edition has been criticised for "poor editing and ... inaccurate statements," but beggars can't be choosers. I don't know that I'd ever have the patience to work my way through the whole thing, so this unexpurgated, thematically arranged set of selections from it will have to do - for the moment, at least.



Dora Carrington: Lytton Strachey (1880-1932)


Interestingly enough, Bloomsbury insider Lytton Strachey spent his final years editing, with Roger Fulford, a massive 8-volume edition of The Greville Memoirs, 1814-1860, which was billed as the "first complete and unexpurgated edition," and appeared a few years after Strachey's death, in 1938.



Lytton Strachey & Roger Fulford: The Greville memoirs (1938)







Louise & Aylmer Maude: The Centenary Edition of the Works of Tolstóy (1928-37)


[Volumes 15 & 20 bought at Dead Souls Bookshop, Dunedin: - Monday, 9 January, 2019]:

The Centenary Edition of the Works of Tolstóy, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude, and published for the Tolstóy Society by Oxford University Press (1928-37), consisted of 21 volumes. Their contents were as follows:
  • I. Aylmer Maude. The Life of Tolstóy: the First Fifty Years. With 'In Lieu of an Introduction' by George Bernard Shaw.
  • II. Aylmer Maude. The life of Tolstóy: Later Years. Introduction by Professor G.R. Noyes.
  • III. Childhood, Boyhood and Youth. Introduction by William Lyon Phelps.
  • IV. Tales of Army Life. Introduction by Shane Leslie.
  • V. Nine Stories: 1855-63. Introductions by Robert Hichens and Rebecca West.
  • VI-VIII. War and Peace. Introduction by Hugh Walpole.
  • IX-X. Anna Karénina. Introduction by the Hon. Brand Whitlock.
  • XI. A Confession and The Gospel in Brief. Introduction by the Hon. Mrs. Alfred Lyttelton.
  • XII. On Life and Essays on Religion. Introduction by Lady Sybil Smith.
  • XIII. Twenty-Three Tales. Introduction by Madeline Mason-Manheim.
  • XIV. What Then Must We Do?. Introduction by Jane Addams.
  • XV. Iván Ilých and Hadji Murád. Introductions by Stephen Graham and Prince D. Mirsky.
  • XVI. The Devil and Cognate Tales. Introduction by St. John Ervine.
  • XVII. Plays. Introduction by Harley Granville-Baker.
  • XVIII. What is Art? and Essays on Art. Introduction by Aylmer Maude.
  • XIX. Resurrection. Introduction by H. G. Wells.
  • XX. The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays. Introduction by Gilbert Murray.
  • XXI. Recollections and Essays. Introduction by Hamlin Garland.

I now own two of these (vols. 15: Iván Ilých and Hadji Murád & 20: The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays) in their original form. The rest I've collected as individual - sometimes updated - volumes of Oxford University Press's 'World's Classics' series:



Aylmer Maude: The Life of Tolstóy (1953)


  1. Maude, Aylmer. The Life of Tolstóy. 1908-10. Centenary Edition I-II. 1928-37. The World’s Classics, 383. 1930. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1953.

  2. Tolstóy, Leo. Childhood, Boyhood and Youth. 1852, 1854 & 1857. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1930. Centenary Edition III. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 352. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1930.

  3. Tolstóy, Leo. Tales of Army Life. 1852-89. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1916. Centenary Edition IV. 1928-37. Editor's Note by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 208. 1935. London: Geoffrey Cumberlege / Oxford University Press, 1946.

  4. Tolstóy, Leo. Nine Stories: 1855-63. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude. 1934. Centenary Edition V. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 420. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1950.

  5. Tolstóy, Leo. War and Peace. 1869. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude. 1922-1923. Centenary Edition VI-VIII. 1928-37. Illustrated by Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur. 3 vols. London: Heron Books / J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., n.d.

  6. Tolstóy, Leo. Anna Karenina. 1877. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude. 1918. Centenary Edition IX-X. 1928-37. Introduction by John Bayley. The World’s Classics, 210. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.

  7. Tolstóy, Leo. A Confession, The Gospel in Brief and What I Believe. 1882, 1883, 1884. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1921. Centenary Edition XI. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 229. 1940. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.



  8. Tolstóy, Leo. On Life and Essays on Religion. 1887-1909. Trans. Aylmer Maude. Centenary Edition XII. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 426. 1934. Milton Keynes: Lightning Source UK Ltd., n.d.



  9. Leo Tolstóy: On Life and Essays on Religion (1934)

  10. Tolstóy, Leo. Twenty-Three Tales. 1872-1906. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude. Preface by Aylmer Maude. 1906. Centenary Edition XIII. 1928-37. The World’s Classics, 72. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1947.

  11. Tolstóy, Leo. What Then Must We Do? 1886. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1925. Centenary Edition XIV. 1928-37. Editor's Note by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 281. London: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1950.

  12. Tolstóy, Leo. Iván Ilých and Hadji Murád. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. Centenary Edition XV. 1928-37. Editor's Note by Aylmer Maude. Introductions by Stephen Graham & Prince D. Mirsky. For the Tolstóy Society. London: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1934.

  13. Tolstóy, Leo. Iván Ilých and Hadji Murád and Other Stories. Trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude. Centenary Edition XV. 1928-37. Preface by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 432. 1937. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

  14. Tolstóy, Leo. The Kreutzer Sonata, The Devil and Other Tales. 1859-1898. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1924. Centenary Edition XVI. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 266. Rev. ed., with 'Family Happiness,' trans. J. D. Duff. 1940. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1950.

  15. Tolstóy, Leo. Plays: Complete Edition Including the Posthumous Plays. 1886, 1889, 1910. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude. 1923. Centenary Edition XVII. 1928-37. Preface by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 243. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1950.

  16. Tolstóy, Leo. What is Art? and Essays on Art. 1898. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1930. Centenary Edition XVIII. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 331. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1955.

  17. Tolstóy, Leo. Resurrection: A Novel. 1899. Trans. Louise Maude. 1916. Centenary Edition XIX. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 209. London: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1926.

  18. Tolstóy, Leo. The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays. Trans. Aylmer Maude. Introduction by Gilbert Murray. Centenary Edition XX. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. For the Tolstóy Society. London: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1935.

  19. Tolstóy, Leo. The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1936. Centenary Edition XX. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 445. London: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1951.

  20. Tolstóy, Leo. Recollections & Essays. 1890-1910. Trans. Aylmer Maude. 1937. Centenary Edition XXI. 1928-37. Introduction by Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 459. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.



Leo Tolstoy: Works (1) (World's Classics)


Leo Tolstoy: Works (2) (World's Classics)


As well as these, there are two other collections worth noting. First, there's this initial volume in an earlier attempt at a collected works of Tolstoy:



Leo Tolstoy: Essays and Letters (1903)

Tolstoy, Leo. The Works of Leo Tolstoy. I: Essays and Letters. 1888-1903. Trans. Aylmer Maude. The World’s Classics, 46. London: Grant Richards, 1903.


Leo Tolstoy: Essays and Letters (1903)

Second, there's this collected edition of the short stories included in the Maude translation of his works (with the notable exceptions of Childhood, Boyhood and Youth (1852-57), and his short novel The Cossacks (1863), both available separately in Everyman's Library editions):





Leo Tolstoy: Collected Shorter Fiction (2001)

Tolstoy, Leo. Collected Shorter Fiction. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude & Nigel J. Cooper. Introduction by John Bayley. 2 vols. Everyman's Library, 243. A Borzoi Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.


Leo Tolstoy: Collected Shorter Fiction (2001)


This is very similar - though not identical - to the Folio Society's very slightly less complete edition of 2007:
Tolstoy, Leo. The Collected Stories. Trans. Louise & Aylmer Maude with J. D. Duff, Sam A. Carmack & David McDuff. Introduction by John Sutherland. Illustrated by Roman Pisarev. 3 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2007.


Leo Tolstoy: The Collected Stories (2007)


  • category - Russian Literature: Prose






Shi Nai’an: Outlaws of the Marsh (2018)


[Acquired: Christmas Day - Tuesday, 25 December, 2018]:

My Christmas presents this year will include the book below:
Shi Nai’an. Outlaws of the Marsh: The Water Margin. Trans. J. H. Jackson. 1937. Introduction by Frances Wood. Illustrations from the Rong Yu Tang edition. 2 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2018.


But how can I know that, ahead of opening all the packages on Christmas morning? Well, because for some time now our family has adopted the approach of telling each other what to buy (within a preset budget, that is). While this may sound a bit prosaic, as well as eliminating the happy serendipity of the perfect, unexpected gift, it does have the advantage of stopping us wasting our money on things which other people don't want. All that anxious cogitation has been replaced by simple expediency.



That's not to say that the element of surprise is entirely avoided. There will always be some spontaneous gifts we don't known about in advance, but they're now in the minority. I would have hesitated to buy something as sumptuous as the book above for myself, but I'm very happy indeed to have it bought for me.



One explanation for this uncharacteristic restraint is because I already own no fewer than four complete English translations of the Shui Hu Chuan (including the one selected for the Folio Society edition):


The Water Margin [Shui Hu Chuan]
(late 14th century)



    Pearl Buck, trans.: All Men are Brothers (1933)


  1. Buck, Pearl, trans. All Men are Brothers [Shui Hu Chuan]. 2 vols. New York: The John Day Company, 1933.



  2. J. H. Jackson, trans.: All Men are Brothers (1937)


  3. Shih Nai-an. Water Margin. Trans. J. H. Jackson. 2 vols. 1937. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, 1963.



  4. Sidney Shapiro, trans.: Outlaws of the Marsh (1980)


  5. Shi Nai’an & Luo Guanzhong. Outlaws of the Marsh. Trans. Sidney Shapiro. 3 vols. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1980.



  6. John & Alex Dent-Young, trans.: The Marshes of Mount Liang (1994-2002)


  7. Shi Nai’an & Luo Guanzhong. The Marshes of Mount Liang. Trans. John & Alex Dent-Young. 5 vols. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1994-2002.
    • Vol. 1: The Broken Seals (1994)
    • Vol. 2: The Tiger Killers (1997)
    • Vol. 3: The Gathering Company (2001)
    • Vol. 4: Iron Ox (2002)
    • Vol. 5: The Scattered Flock (2002)

Do I need any more copies of it? No, probably not. Do I want any? Well, I'm afraid, when they're as beautiful as this, I'm afraid that I definitely do.

I suppose that the real reason for this profligate behaviour, though, is the fact that I already have a copy of the sumptuous Folio Society edition of the Three Kingdoms, the first of the four great classic novels in Chinese tradition (the other two are Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West (better known as Monkey) and Cao Xueqin's Red Chamber Dream (aka A Dream of Red Mansions or The Story of the Stone):



Luo Guanzhong: The Three Kingdoms (2013)


Luo Guanzhong. Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel. Trans. Moss Roberts. 1991. Introduction by Ma Jian. 4 vols. London: The Folio Society, 2013.
In that case, the only other translation of the novel I have is C. H. Brewitt-Taylor's San Kuo, or Romance of the Three Kingdoms (2 vols. Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1925). It did occur to me, though, that perhaps the Folio Society is planning a long-term project of reprinting illustrated versions of all the classic Chinese novels. Such things go out of print fairly fast, so it seems best to start collecting them from the word go.

Or is that just the usual kind of collectors' rationalisation for adding yet another expensive white elephant to one's hoard? They are very, very pretty, though.



Folio Society: Press Release (2018)







Bronwyn Lloyd: Modo de Ler Bookshop (2018)


[Acquired: Thursday, 5 July, 2018]:

Bronwyn and I visited Portugal last month. To say that the place is saturated with Fernando Pessoa merchandise, artefacts, and other impedimenta would be to put it mildly.

Here are a few of the books I bought:

    Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa (1888-1935)

  1. Pessoa, Fernando. Obra Poética e em Prosa. Ed. António Quadros & Dalila Pereira da Costa. 3 vols. Porto: Lello & Irmão - Editores, 1986.

  2. Pessoa, Fernando. Obras Escolhidas. Ed. António Manuel Couto Viana. Illustrated by Lima de Freitas. 3 vols of 4. Edição Comemorativa do Cinquentenário da Morte do Poeta. Lisboa & São Paulo: Editorial Verbo, 1985.
    1. Poesia lírica & épica
    2. Traduções de poesia & prosa / Teatro e ficção / Ensaio e crítica / Cartas
    3. Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis & Bernardo Soares



As well as these two sumptuous Portuguese editions, I also cannily stocked up on a few translations - as well as an edition of his own poems in English:
  1. Pessoa, Fernando. Poems of Fernando Pessoa. Trans. Edwin Honig & Susan M. Brown. 1971 & 1986. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1998.

  2. Pessoa, Fernando. A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems. Ed. & trans. Richard Zenith. Penguin Classics. London: Penguin, 2006.

  3. Pessoa, Fernando. English Poetry. Ed. Richard Zenith. Documenta poetica, 154. Assírio & Alvim. Porto: Porto Editora, 2016.
  • category - Spanish and Latin-American Literature: Portugal





Bronwyn Lloyd: Hard-to-Find Bookshop (2018)


[Acquired: Tuesday, 3 April, 2018]:

Bronwyn and I visited the Hard-to-Find Bookshop in Onehunga on Tuesday, and I made a bit of a beast of myself among the Loeb Classics. In fact, the bookshop staff applauded as I left with my cardboard box of tattered treasures. ONe of them remarked: "Looks like we'll get paid this week."

The bookshop may well be moving soon: possibly to St. Benedict's Street off Upper Symonds Street. Let's hope it doesn't, but it's one more reason for not feeling too guilty about my excesses. The fact is, you don't often see complete sets of Loeb classics, since they're just so useful to anyone who's at all classically inclined.

These, then, are the books I bought:



Diodorus Siculus

Diodorus of Sicily (fl. 1st century BC):
Diodorus Siculus. The Library of History. 12 vols. Loeb Classics. London: William Heinemann / Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1976, 1977, 1989.
  • Books I-II: 1-34, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1936)
  • Books II: 35-end, III, IV: 1-58, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1935)
  • Books IV: 59-VIII, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1939)
  • Books IX-XII: 40, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1946)
  • Books XII: 41-XIII, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1950)
  • Books XIV-XV:19, Trans. C. H. Oldfather (1954)
  • Books XV: 20-XVI: 65, Trans. Charles L. Sherman (1952)
  • Books XVI: 66-95, XVII, Trans. C. Bradford Welles (1963)
  • Books XVIII-XIX: 1-65, Trans. Russel M. Geer (1947)
  • Books XIX: 66-110, XX, Trans. Russel M. Geer (1954)
  • Books XXI-XXXII, Trans. Francis R. Walton (1967)
  • Books XXXIII-XL / Index, Trans. Francis R. Walton & Russel M. Geer (1967)



Josephus

Yosef Ben Matityahu / Titus Flavius Josephus (37–c.100 AD):
Josephus. Works. 9 vols. Loeb Classics. London: William Heinemann / Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961, 1966.
  • The Life / Against Apion, Trans. H. St. J. Thackeray (1926)
  • The Jewish War, Books I-III, Trans. H. St. J. Thackeray (1927)
  • The Jewish War, Books IV-VII, Trans. H. St. J. Thackeray (1928)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books I-IV, Trans. H. St. J. Thackeray (1930)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books V-VIII, Trans. H. St. J. Thackeray & Ralph Marcus (1934)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books IX-XI, Trans. Ralph Marcus (1937)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books XII-XIV, Trans. Ralph Marcus (1943)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books XV-XVII, Trans. Ralph Marcus & Allen Wikgren (1963)
  • Jewish Antiquities, Books XVIII-XX / General Index, Trans. Louis H. Feldman (1965)



Polybius

Polybius (c.200 – c.118 BCE):
Polybius. The Histories. Trans. W. R. Paton. Introduction by Col. H. J. Edwards. 6 vols. 1922, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927. Loeb Classics. London: William Heinemann / Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967, 1968, 1972.



Why? Why did I want to own these books? In the case of Diodorus, it's because his Library of History was an early attempt at a universal chronicle - extracted from many now-lost sources - of world events from the Egyptians and Mesopotamians up to his own times.

It's not that his book is particularly accurate, or even that brilliantly written in itself, but rather the traditions it hints at: the lost knowledge of classical writers about the cultures that had preceded them.

Only parts of it survive, but even those parts are surprisingly voluminous.



Josephus was not a particularly likeable or admirable character. He was a turncoat in the Jewish wars which led to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, and an active collaborator thereafter with the Romans.

His work gives amazing insights into the Middle East around the time of Christ, but from a completely non-Christian viewpoint. Can you trust him implicitly? No. He always has an axe to grind. But then, what historian doesn't? At least with Josephus his biases and assumptions are all there on the surface. And his knowledge of the past and present of the Roman province of Palestine is profound.

True, I already own a copy of the more recent Penguin Classics translation of The Jewish War:



Josephus. The Jewish War. Trans. G. A. Williamson. 1959. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960.

Not to mention Whiston's 1737 translation of Josephus's complete works:



Josephus. The Works. Trans. William Whiston. London: Ward, Lock & Co., n.d.

I still feel the Loeb one has an indispensable place beside them, though.



And what of Polybius? It's not as if he's really up there with Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch and Xenophon - the Greek historians everyone's heard of any who we all know we should read at some point.

That doesn't make him uninteresting, though. His account of the wars between Rome and Carthage, as well as those between Rome and Greece, are designed to give a picture of how the Romans achieved domination over this entire region.

Whatever subsequent commentators may have said, there was nothing inevitable about this process. There was a lot of luck involved, as well as good management (and a fair share of ruthlessness). Polybius was there, and he gives a fascinating account not just of what he himself witnessed but of what he could find out in the research libraries of classical antiquity.

Like Josephus, he was to some extent an apologist for Roman expansionism. He first went there as a hostage, but left as a kind of colonial official. His work must be read with a grain of salt, but his respect for objective reporting makes him one of the few classical historians who can be compared to Thucydides.

Do any of these volumes overlap? Well, of course. Some poems are included in more than one of them (somewhat unpredictably at times). Probably one could get away with just the two above - but it would be a shame to miss out on this wonderful piece of book design (for that matter, the true purist will want a copy of Hughes's Selected Translations also: some of his best work was done in this genre).

Am I crazy? No doubt. But they do look very handsome there on my classical studies bookshelf. And it's not as if there are going to be any more eye-witness descriptions of the destruction of Carthage anytime soon ...






Ted Hughes: Collected Animal Poems (1995)


[Acquired: Friday, 2 February, 2018]:



Lisa Flather: Cover Illustration


Hughes, Ted. Collected Animal Poems. 4 vols. London: Faber, 1995.
  • Volume 1 - The Iron Wolf. Illustrated by Chris Riddell
  • Volume 2 - What is the Truth? 1984. Illustrated by Lisa Flather
  • Volume 3 - A March Calf. Illustration by Lisa Flather
  • Volume 4 - The Thought-Fox



I first saw this truly beautiful set of Ted Hughes's collected animal poems sitting behind the counter at Auckland's Jason Books. Unfortunately, it had already been set aside for someone else, so I couldn't even give it a quick once-over. It stuck in my mind, though, and when I ran across one or two of the odd volumes in paperback, I wondered how difficult it was to get. The answer is, not very. They must have printed an awful lot of them, because it's not even all that expensive.

I'd have to recommend it as a good way of coming to terms with the best aspects of Ted Hughes' work without too many of its more self-serving elements. In that respect, it's possibly even better than the equally beautiful Collected Poems for Children which came out ten years later, after his death. The Raymond Briggs illustrations in that, though, make it almost equally indispensable (as well as rather more acessible than his massive Collected Poems):



Ted Hughes: Collected Poems for Children (2005)


Ted Hughes: Collected Poems (2003)


Do any of these volumes overlap? Well, of course. Some poems are included in more than one of them (somewhat unpredictably at times). Probably one could get away with just the two above - but it would be a shame to miss out on this wonderful piece of book design (for that matter, the true purist will want a copy of Hughes's Selected Translations also: some of his best work was done in this genre).








Herman Melville: The Complete Shorter Fiction (2012)


[Acquired: Thursday, 18 January, 2018]:



  1. Melville, Herman. Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings: Billy Budd, Sailor; Weeds and Wildlings; Parthenope; Uncollected Prose; Uncollected Poetry. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, Robert A. Sandberg & G. Thomas Tanselle. Historical Note by Hershel Parker. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 13. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 2017.

  2. Melville, Herman. The Complete Shorter Fiction. Introduced by Jay Parini. Illustrated by Bill Bragg. London: The Folio Society, 2012.

  3. Melville, Herman. Pierre, Israel Potter, The Piazza Tales, The Confidence-Man, Tales & Billy Budd. 1852, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1922 & 1924. Ed. Harrison Hayford. The Library of America, 24. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1985.

  4. Melville, Herman. Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative). Edited from the Manuscript with Introduction and Notes. 1891 & 1924. Ed. Harrison Hayford & Merton M. Sealts, Jr. 1962. A Phoenix Book. Chicago & London: The University Of Chicago Press, 1970.



Herman Melville: Complete Fiction (Library of America, vol. 3)


Today I bought a beautiful Folio Society Edition of Herman Melville's Complete Shorter Fiction in Devonport. Earlier this month I received the last remaining volume of the Northwestern Newberry edition of Melville's complete works in the post, vol. 13, his unpublished works. These supplement the earlier versions of Billy Budd and the Piazza Tales which I had in the 1962 Hayford/Sealts edition and the Library of America, respectively.



Do I need all of them? Well, clearly the three-volume Library of America edition of his complete fiction is indispensable. But then so are the various supplementary volumes of the Northwestern-Newberry edition of his poetry, letters and journals, which I list below. The Hayford/Sealts edition of Billy Budd is a landmark, the first really authoritative attempt to make sense of a very complex, unfinished manuscript. So, yes, I need that, too (even the Northwestern-Newberry editors have not departed very far from the Hayford/Sealts text - though they have expanded on it in some respects). What about the Folio Society edition of the short stories? That will have to get by on its sheer beauty. Textually, it represents no advance on the presentation of the stories in the Library of America.

The Writings of Herman Melville. The Northwestern–Newberry Edition. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1968-2017.
  1. Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1968)
  2. Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1968)
  3. Mardi, and a Voyage Thither (1970)
  4. Redburn: His First Voyage (1969)
  5. White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War (1970)
  6. Moby Dick, or The Whale (1988)
  7. Pierre, or The Ambiguities (1971)
  8. Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1982)
  9. The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860 (1987)
  10. The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1984)
  11. Published Poems: Battle Pieces; John Marr; Timoleon (2009)
  12. Clarel: a Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1991)
  13. Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings (2017)
  14. Correspondence (1993)
  15. Journals (1989)

[I've marked in bold the ones I have]



  1. Melville, Herman. Mardi, and A Voyage Thither. 1849. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker & G. Thomas Tanselle. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 3. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1970.

  2. Melville, Herman. The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860. 1856. Historical Note by Merton M. Sealts, Jr. 1981. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, G. Thomas Tanselle et al. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 9. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1987.

  3. Melville, Herman. Published Poems: Battle Pieces; John Marr; Timoleon. 1866, 1888 & 1891. Ed. Robert C. Ryan, Harrison Hayford, Alma MacDougall Reising & G. Thomas Tanselle. Historical Note by Hershel Parker. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 11. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 2009.

  4. Melville, Herman. Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land. 1876. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, Hershel Parker & G. Thomas Tanselle. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 12. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1991.

  5. Melville, Herman. Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings: Billy Budd, Sailor; Weeds and Wildlings; Parthenope; Uncollected Prose; Uncollected Poetry. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, Robert A. Sandberg & G. Thomas Tanselle. Historical Note by Hershel Parker. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 13. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 2017.

  6. Melville, Herman. Correspondence. Ed. Lynn Horth. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 14. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1993.

  7. Melville, Herman. Journals. Ed. Howard C. Horsford & Lynn Horth. The Writings of Herman Melville: the Northwestern–Newberry Edition, vol. 15. Evanston & Chicago: Northwestern University Press & The Newberry Library, 1989.



Herman Melville: The Complete Shorter Fiction (2012)


  • category - North American Fiction: Authors





Magnus Magnusson, ed.: The Icelandic Sagas (1999 & 2002)


The Icelandic Sagas (1999 & 2002)
[Acquired: Friday, June 10, 2016]:



    Simon Noyes, illus.: The Icelandic Sagas (vol. 1: 1999)]


  1. Magnusson, Magnus, ed. The Icelandic Sagas. 2 vols. Volume 1: Au∂un’s Saga; Grænlendiga Saga, Eirík’s Saga; The Tale of Thorstein Stangarhögg (Staff-Struck); Egil’s Saga; Hrafnkel’s Saga; Eyrbyggja Saga; Vopnfir∂inga Saga; Bandamanna Saga; Gunnlaug’s Saga, The Tale of Thi∂randi and Thórhall; Njál’s Saga. Trans. Hermann Pálsson (1971), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1965), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1965), Hermann Pálsson (1971), Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (1976), Hermann Pálsson (1971), Hermann Pálsson & Paul Edwards (1972), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Hermann Pálsson (1975), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1960). Illustrated by Simon Noyes. 1999. London: The Folio Society, 2000.



  2. John Vernon Lord, illus.: The Icelandic Sagas (vol. 2: 2002)]


  3. Magnusson, Magnus, ed. The Icelandic Sagas. 2 vols. Volume 2: Ívarr’s Tale; Gísli’s Saga; Ölkofri’s Tale; Laxdæla Saga, Gunnarr Thi∂randabani’s Tale; Fóstbrœ∂ra Saga; Hrei∂arr’s Tale; Vatnsdæla Saga; Hænsa-Thórir’s Saga; Grettir’s Saga. Trans. Magnus Magnusson (1999), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1999), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1969), Alan Boucher (1981), Magnus Magnusson & Hermann Pálsson (1999), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Magnus Magnusson (1999), Hermann Pálsson (1975), Denton Fox & Hermann Pálsson (1974). Illustrated by John Vernon Lord. London: The Folio Society, 2002.



Simon Noyes (1999)]


Given that the previous entry in this list celebrated my purchase of a complete version of the Icelandic Family Sagas, this very substantial (and beautifully bound and illustrated) selection would seem to be a bit unnecessary. And yet, I've spent so many years collecting the various versions translated by Hermann Pálsson and his various collaborators: Magnus Magnusson, initially, then my old friend Paul Edwards, as well as various others, that persuading myself to buy this collected set wasn't really much of a stretch. What's more, there's a certain authenticity to Magnusson's approach which is in some ways preferable to the more massive project commemorated below.

To be honest, I wouldn't be without either of them. This one would probably provide a better initial introduction to the minutiae of the saga world, though. And, really, a new version of one of the greatest bodies of literary work ever created by human beings - who wouldn't want to give it shelf-space?

And, if you're curious, here's a link to the best attempt I can locate online to provide a complete listing of Folio Society books, from 1947 to the present day.



The Icelandic Sagas (1999 & 2002)


  • category - Scandinavia & The Netherlands: Iceland





William Hazlitt: Selected Essays (1930)


[The last in the series to be issued - Shelley (1951) - acquired in Whangarei 11/2/16]:




Blake: Poetry and Prose (1927)

For many years, since I first acquired Geoffrey Keynes's wonderful Nonesuch Blake as a teenager, I've been attempting to complete a set of these books. There's an excellent account of them given on the Series of Series website:
The Nonesuch Library consists of a series of 15 single volume editions compiling key literary works of major writers and poets published beginning in 1927. These titles were part of the publisher’s “unlimited” (as opposed to limited edition) publications. While cheaper and less extravagant, the unlimited titles published by Nonesuch had a very high quality of editing and production.

The anonymous author points out that, while the series originated in England, at the Nonesuch Press (founded by Francis and Vera Meynell, with their friend David Garnett, in 1923), "in 1926 the Nonesuch Press formed an agreement with Bennett Cerf, of the Modern Library (and, in 1927, Random House), to distribute Nonesuch titles in the US." This was just the beginning of a complex set of manoeuvrings between publishers, owners, and distributors on both sides of the Atlantic, which resulted in some of the later books (notably De Quincey, Jonson, Lewis Carroll & Pushkin), emanating from the US rather than the UK:
The 15 titles in the unnamed / Compendious / Nonesuch Library series are difficult to sort out bibliographically for several reasons: the earlier books were printed in the UK and some copies (starting 1926) were shipped to the US where they were bound and jacketed by Random House. Later, it seems that Random House printed some of the books themselves. Some of these may have been sold in the UK as well as the US. The jacket designs (like the series name) are not consistent and special jackets (say for the centenary of an author’s birth date) may have been used on particular printings of a title. Book titles also varied from book to jacket in some cases. Thus we have a series with varying names, printed in the UK and sold in the UK and the US, or printed in the US and sold in the US (and maybe the UK for specific titles) often with multiple dates and in inconsistent bindings and jacket designs with varying titles for the same book in some cases. For a fancy press, Nonesuch was not very consistent with this series.
Here are the titles I've managed to collect so far:


  1. Blake, William. Poetry and Prose: Complete in One Volume. Ed. Geoffrey Keynes. 1927. The Centenary Edition. London: the Nonesuch Press / New York: Random House, 1948.
  2. Carroll, Lewis. The Complete Works: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; The Hunting of the Snark; Through the Looking Glass; Sylvie and Bruno; Sylvie and Bruno Concluded; All the Early and Late Verse, Short Stories, Essays, Phantasmagoria. Games, Puzzles, Problems, Acrostics, and Miscellaneous Writings. Illustrated by John Tenniel. Introduction by Alexander Woollcott. 1939. Modern Library Giant. New York: The Modern Library, n.d.
  3. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Select Poetry & Prose. Ed. Stephen Potter. 1933. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1950.
  4. De Quincey, Thomas. Selected Writings. Ed. Philip Van Doren Stern. London: The Nonesuch Press / New York: Random House, 1939.
  5. Donne, John, Dean of St. Paul’s. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose. Ed. John Hayward. 1929. The Compendious Series. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1962.
  6. Hazlitt, William. Selected Essays: 1778-1830. Ed. Geoffrey Keynes. Centenary Edition. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1930.
  7. Morris, William. Stories in Prose / Stories in Verse / Shorter Poems / Lectures and Essays. Ed. G. D. H. Cole. 1934. Centenary Edition. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1946.
  8. Pushkin, Alexander. Poems, Prose and Plays. Ed. Avrahm Yarmolinsky. 1936. A Modern Library Giant. New York: The Modern Library, 1943.
  9. Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works: The Text and Order of the First Folio with Quarto Variants & a Choice of Modern Readings Noted Marginally: To Which are added Pericles and the First Quartos of Six of the Plays with Three Plays of Doubtful Authorship: Also the Poems according to the Original Quartos and Octavos. Ed. Herbert Farjeon. 1929. Introduction by Ivor Brown. 4 vols. London & New York: The Nonesuch Press & Random House, 1953:
    1. The New Nonesuch Shakespeare: The First of Four Volumes: Comedies, with the Prefatory Matter from the First Folio, the Note on the Text by Herbert Farjeon and a New Introduction by Ivor Brown.
    2. The New Nonesuch Shakespeare: The Second of Four Volumes: Histories, and Troylus and Cressida, According to its Placing in the First Folio.
    3. The New Nonesuch Shakespeare: The Third of Four Volumes: Tragedies, and Pericles. With Three Plays of Doubtful Authorship Namely: Two Noble Kinsmen; Edward III; Sir Thomas Moore.
    4. The New Nonesuch Shakespeare: The Last of Four Volumes: Poems: Venus and Adonis; The Rape of Lucrece; The Sonnets; A Lovers Complaint; The Passionate Pilgrime; Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Musicke; The Phoenix and the Turtle.
  10. Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Selected Poetry, Prose & Letters. Ed. A. S. B. Glover. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1951.
  11. Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels and Selected Writings in Prose & Verse. Ed. John Hayward. The Compendious Series. London: The Nonesuch Press / New York: Random House, 1934.
  12. Whitman, Walt. Complete Poetry & Selected Prose and Letters. Ed. Emory Holloway. 1938. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1964.
Strictly speaking, one would have to admit that the Shakespeare does not really form part of the series - but given that there is a Shakespeare Anthology (ed. Herbert Farjeon, 1935) included, I thought it fair enough to include it.

Here are the ones I haven't yet found:



W. S. Gilbert: Plays & Poems (1932)

  1. Gilbert, W. S. Plays & Poems: Including the Complete Texts of the Fourteen Gilbert & Sullivan Operas, Three Other Gilbert Plays and All the Bab Ballads. Illustrations by the Author. Preface by Deems Taylor. New York: Random House, 1932.
  2. Milton, John. Complete Poetry and Selected Prose. Ed. E. H. Visiak (1938)
  3. Jonson, Ben. Selected Writings: Plays, Poems, Masques, Criticism. Ed. Harry Levin (1939)
  4. Byron, Lord. Selections from Poetry, Letters and Journal. Ed. Peter Quennell (1949)
Again, the Gilbert is a somewhat anomalous inclusion, as the anonymous author of the 'Series of Series' post explains:
While not officially part of the unnamed / Compendious / Nonesuch Library series, The Plays and Poems of W.S. Gilbert was advertised with that series and the book, at least, was of similar size and design. The jacket, below (missing its front flap) advertised other Random House titles including the Modern Library.
.


W. S. Gilbert: Plays & Poems (1932)

Another, somewhat analogous series, is The Reynard Library (1950-71). Again, there's an excellent account of this on the Series of Series website.



Dr. Johnson: Prose and Poetry (1950)

The fact that it was issued by Rupert Hart-Davis, a firm co-founded by David Garnett, in partnership with Harvard University Press, makes it clear that it was in some sense regarded as a successor to the Nonesuch compendious series (no new titles came out from the latter after 1951, though the original 15 continued to be reprinted well into the 1970s).

Here is their list of titles:


  1. 1950: Browning: Poetry and Prose (Simon Nowell-Smith, ed.)
  2. 1950: Goldsmith: Selected Works (Richard Garnett, ed.)
  3. 1950: Dr. Johnson: Prose and Poetry (Mona Wilson, ed.)
  4. 1950: Sterne: Selected Works (Douglas Grant, ed.)
  5. 1952: Dryden: Poetry, Prose and Plays (Douglas Grant, ed.)
  6. 1952: Macaulay: Prose and Poetry (G.M. Young, ed.)
  7. 1954: Matthew Arnold: Poetry and Prose (John Bryson, ed.)
  8. 1955: Carlyle: Selected Works, Reminiscences and Letters (Julian Symons, ed.)
  9. 1955: Wordsworth: Poetry and Prose (W. M. Merchant, ed.)
  10. 1957: Newman: Prose and Poetry (Geoffrey Tillotson, ed.)
  11. 1962: FitzGerald: Selected Works (Joanna Richardson, ed.)
  12. 1968: Cowper: Poetry and Prose (Brian Spiller, ed.)
  13. 1970: The Letters of William Blake (Geoffrey Keynes, ed.)
The 'Series of Series' author casts doubt on the validity of the last-named in the series (which also, somewhat ominously, brings it to 13!) but is forced to included it since it is "listed several places as a Reynard Library title published by Harvard University Press."

As you can see from the list below, in this case I own only seven of the 13 books in the series (that is, if one can count Blake's Letters among them):



Dr. Johnson: Prose and Poetry (1950)

  1. Keynes, Geoffrey Kt., ed. The Letters of William Blake with Related Documents. 1956. 2nd edition. 1968. 3rd edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.
  2. Dryden, John. Poetry, Prose and Plays. Ed. Douglas Grant. 1952. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1964.
  3. Fitzgerald, Edward. Selected Works. Ed. Joanna Richardson. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1962.
  4. Goldsmith, Oliver. Selected Works. Ed. Richard Garnett. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1950.
  5. Johnson, Dr Samuel. Prose and Poetry. Ed. Mona Wilson. The Reynard Library. 1950. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1963.
  6. Newman, Cardinal. Prose and Poetry. Ed. Geoffrey Tillotson. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957.
  7. Sterne, Laurence. Memoirs of Mr. Laurence Sterne; The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey; Selected Sermons and Letters. Ed. Douglas Grant. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1950.







Vidar Hreinsson et al., ed.: The Complete Sagas of Icelanders (1997)]


[Acquired: Wednesday, November 6, 2013]:

The Complete Sagas of Icelanders (including 49 Stories). General Editor: Viðar Hreinsson, Editorial Team: Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz & Bernard Scudder. Introduction by Robert Kellogg. 5 vols. Iceland: Leifur Eiriksson Publishing Ltd., 1997.
  1. Vinland / Warriors and Poets
    • Foreword
      1. By the President of Iceland
      2. By the Icelandic Minister of Education, Culture and Science
      3. By the Former Director of the Manuscript Institute of Iceland
      4. Preface
      5. Credits
      6. Publisher's Acknowledgments
      7. Introduction
    • Vinland and Greenland
      1. Eirik the Red's Saga
      2. The Saga of the Greenlanders
    • Warriors and Poets
      1. Egil's Saga
      2. Kormak's Saga
      3. The Saga of Hallfred the Troublesome Poet
      4. The Saga of Bjorn, Champion of the Hitardal People
      5. The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue
    • Tales of Poets
      1. The Tale of Arnor, the Poet of Earls
      2. Einar Skulason's Tale
      3. The Tale of Mani the Poet
      4. The Tale of Ottar the Black
      5. The Tale of Sarcastic Halli
      6. Stuf's Tale
      7. The Tale of Thorarin Short-Cloak
      8. The Tale of Thorleif, the Earl's Poet
    • Anecdotes
      1. The Tale of Audun from the West Fjords
      2. The Tale of Brand the Generous
      3. Hreidar's Tale
      4. The Tale of the Story-Wise Icelander
      5. Ivar Ingimundarson's Tale
      6. Thorarin Nefjolfsson's Tale
      7. The Tale of Thorstein from the East Fjords
      8. The Tale of Thorstein the Curious
      9. The Tale of Thorstein Shiver
      10. The Tale of Thorvard Crow's-Beak

  2. Outlaws / Warriors and Poets
    • Outlaws and Nature Spirits
      1. Gisli Sursson's Saga
      2. The Saga of Grettir the Strong
      3. The Saga of Hord and the People of Holm
      4. Bard's Saga
    • Warriors and Poets
      1. Killer-Glum's Saga
      2. The Tale of Ogmund Bash
      3. The Tale of Thorvald Tasaldi
      4. The Saga of the Sworn Brothers
      5. Thormod's Tale
      6. The Tale of Thorarin the Overbearing
      7. Viglund's Saga
    • Tales of the Supernatural
      1. The Tale of the Cairn-Dweller
      2. The Tale of the Mountain-Dweller
      3. Star-Oddi's Dream
      4. The Tale of Thidrandi and Thorhall
      5. The Tale of Thorhall Knapp

  3. Epic / Champions and Rogues
    • An Epic
      1. Njal's Saga
    • Champions and Rogues
      1. The Saga of Finnbogi the Mighty
      2. The Saga of the People of Floi
      3. The Saga of the People of Kjalarnes
      4. Jokul Buason's Tale
      5. Gold-Thorir's Saga
      6. The Saga of Thord Menace
      7. The Saga of Ref the Sly
      8. The Saga of Gunnar, the Fool of Keldugnup
    • Tales of Champions and Adventures
      1. Gisl Illugason's Tale
      2. The Tale of Gold-Asa's Thord
      3. Hrafn Gudrunarson's Tale
      4. Orm Storolfsson's Tale
      5. Thorgrim Hallason's Tale

  4. Regional Feuds
    • Regional Feuds
      1. The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal
      2. The Saga of the Slayings on the Heath
      3. Valla-Ljot's Saga
      4. The Saga of the People of Svarfadardal
      5. The Saga of the People of Ljosavatn
      6. The Saga of the People of Reykjadal and of Killer-Skuta
      7. The Saga of Thorstein the White
      8. The Saga of the People of Vopnafjord
      9. The Tale of Thorstein Staff-Struck
      10. The Tale of Thorstein Bull's Leg
      11. The Saga of Droplaug's Sons
      12. The Saga of the People of Fljotsdal
      13. The Tale of Gunnar, the Slayer of Thidrandi
      14. Brandkrossi's Tale
      15. Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson's Saga
      16. Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson's Tale
      17. Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson's Dream
      18. Egil Sidu-Hallsson's Tale

  5. Epic / Wealth and Power
    • An Epic
      1. The Saga of the People of Laxardal
      2. Bolli Bollason's Tale
    • Wealth and Power
      1. The Saga of the People of Eyri
      2. The Tale of Halldor Snorrason I
      3. The Tale of Halldor Snorrason II
      4. Olkofri's Saga
      5. Hen-Thorir's Saga
      6. The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi
      7. The Saga of the Confederates
      8. Odd Ofeigsson's Tale
      9. The Saga of Havard of Isafjord
    • Religion and Conflict in Iceland and Greenland
      1. The Tale of Hromund the Lame
      2. The Tale of Svadi and Arnor Crone's-Nose
      3. The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled
      4. The Tale of Thorsein Tent-Pitcher
      5. The Tale of the Greenlanders
    • Reference Section
      1. Maps and Tables
      2. Illustrations and Diagrams
      3. Glossary
      4. Cross-Reference Index of Characters
      5. Contents of Volumes I-V




I've been coveting this rather monstrous tome for quite some time. As you can see, it's intended as a kind of one-stop shop for all things Icelandic saga-related. For a fanatic such as myself, I'm afraid that it only becomes a matter of time before one has to get it. Luckily it's my birthday today ...




  • category - Scandinavia & The Netherlands: Iceland





Steven Moore: The Novel: An Alternative History (vol. 2: 2013)


[Acquired: Saturday, October 12, 2013]:

Moore, Steven, The Novel: An Alternative History, Beginnings to 1600. New York & London: The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010.

Moore, Steven, The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600 to 1800. Bloomsbury Academic. New York & London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2013.

The above cover image comes from Hermann Fenner-Behmer's Der Bücherwurm [The Bookworm] (1906) - rather a change from Carl Spitzweg's mid-nineteenth century picture of the same name:



Carl Spitzweg: The Bookworm (1850)


It seems to be rather a consistent theme with Steven Moore. Here's the cover of volume one: a fine reproduction of Jean-Jacques Henner's La Liseuse [The Reader] (1880-90):



Steven Moore: The Novel: An Alternative History (vol. 1: 2010)


"I just thought I'd slip my kit off so I could catch up on my reading ..."

If there's a volume three, following the story from 1800-2000-odd (say), I wonder what other images might be appropriate? How about this one:



Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952): Nude Woman Reading


or this one:



Leon Kroll (1884-1974): Naked Woman Reading


or this one:



Théodore Roussel (1847-1926):
Lesendes Mädchen [The Reading Girl] (1886-7)


or even this one?



Who would have thought it was such a theme for fine artists down the ages? Seriously, though, Steven Moore's is a majestic work, long in the inception, and hitting pretty much all the right themes for me.

I salute him as a master as well as a kindred spirit (trash-talking, irreligious, fundamentally dirty-minded, and - above all - addicted to complex experimental fiction), and would therefore highly recommend both of his volumes: but particularly the first ...






[Royall Tyler, trans.: The Tale of the Heike]


[Acquired: Thursday, May 9, 2013]:

The Tale of the Heike. Trans. Royall Tyler. Viking Penguin. London: Penguin, 2012.

Tyler, Royall, trans. Before Heike and After: Hōgen, Heiji, Jōkyūki. 2012. Lexington, KY: An Arthur Nettleton Book, 2013.

I can't count how many times I've picked it up and tried to read it, always in vain. For someone who's a rabid fan of the Tale of Genji and who's therefore read more than his fair share of medieval Japanese literature in translation, the Heike Monogatari looks like a dead cert. But it always seemed so dead on the page: so lacking in visual as well as narrative appeal - in the earlier translations I tried, at any rate:



Hiroshi Kitagawa & Bruce T. Tsuchida, trans.:
The Tale of the Heike (1975)




Helen Craig McCullough, trans.: The Tale of the Heike (1988)


The second of the two pictured above is actually an extremely accurate rendition of the original - or so Royall Tyler told me. I met him, you see. It was at a translation conference in Melbourne in July 2011, while he was putting the finishing touches on this book.

He gave a fascinating paper on the performance tradition associated with the Heike, which is still - just - continuing in modern Japan. I couldn't resist complimenting him on it afterwards, and taking the opportunity to ask him a few things about his earlier translation of the Tale of Genji.

When I mentioned that I had two copies of his version - one (hardback) at home, the other (paperback) in the office for quick reference - I think he realised that he was dealing with a bona fide fan (or do I mean monomaniac?). The colleague he was with, Meredith McKinney, herself the author of a lovely version of Sei Shōnagon's classic Pillow Book, was even more impressed when she heard that I'd tracked down a copy of Ivan Morris's complete, two-volume translation of Sei Shōnagon, rather than being content with the abridged Penguin edition.



Royall Tyler, trans.: Atsumori (1992)


It was quite a weird encounter, actually. I don't think they could understand somebody who was so evidently enthusiastic about Japanese literature, and yet had not felt inspired to plunge into immediate study of the language itself. I can see their point. It doesn't really make sense to me either. The fact remains, though, that just as in the case of the classic Chinese novels, these English translations exist, and continue to proliferate, and I get so much pleasure from reading and comparing them and imagining what their distant originals must be like ...

Anyway, whether that makes sense or not, that's the way it is, and the main thing I got from our talk was a strong disposition to check out Tyler's "opera libretto" arrangement of the Heike text as soon as it became available, in the hopes of finally getting to the end of it.

As an added bonus, though, it's nice to see that he's also issued a companion volume of translations of the various chronicles which supplement and complete the Heike story:



Royall Tyler, trans.: Before Heike and After (2012)


  • category - Japanese Literature: Prose: Classical





[Craig Thompson: Habibi]


[Acquired: Saturday, February 9, 2013]:

Thompson, Craig. Habibi. Pantheon Books. New York: Random House, Inc., 2011.

Bronwyn and I went into town yesterday to go to Renee Bevan's artist talk for her new show "Stream of Thoughts" at the Gus Fisher Gallery. I thoroughly recommend it - contemporary jewellery as conceptual art. For me (at least) a real revelation:



Renee Bevan: The World is a Giant Pearl
(Photograph: Caryline Boreham)


After a nice chat with Renee and curator Karl Chitham, we wandered off afterwards to check out Real Groovy Records, which I hadn't visited for years. It still seems to be going strong: lots of hipsters, vinyl, but also an immensely quirky selection of books and DVDs.

There I saw this book: Habibi, by Craig Thompson, author of Blankets (2004). Now, I know that a lot of comics-fans thought that Blankets was overpraised, but I really enjoyed it myself. Perhaps it's being brought up a fundamentalist Christian that makes me feel a certain kinship with Thompson and his bitter-sweet account of childhood and first love. For me it reads as an intensely emotional story rather than a sentimental one, but I accept that there's a thin line between the two. Perhaps the distinction will always be a subjective one.

I was very pleased to hear that he was moving into Islamic themes with his next major book. Thompson has caught the intoxication of Arabic script, and the beauty of some of his line drawings beggars belief. As a life-long Arabian Nights obsessive, too, his choice of a Scheherazade-like narrator for a long intertwined tale of love and violence was never going to be a hard sell for me (although I see it has been critiqued by some for exhibiting "self-conscious Orientalism"; possibly so - but I think it's important to respect the author's genre intentions here. After all, the same could easily be said of various of Salman Rushdie's novels and - especially - his two children's books).



I was in two minds about simply going home and ordering it online, but there it was, in the flesh, in the shop, and Bronwyn reminded me that our beautiful local bookshops will simply cease to exist if we don't buy from them. So I did. and here it is.

It reminds me a little of walking through the streets of Kochi, in India, and hearing the muezzin from a local mosque, and feeling a sensation of pure joy at the beauty of the sound: the profound aesthetic harmony of architecture, music, and the moment, all together at once ...







[Raymond Chandler: The Complete Novels]


[Acquired: Thursday, November 1, 2012]:

Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. 1939. Introduction by Frank MacShane. The Complete Novels, 1. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. Farewell My Lovely. 1939. The Complete Novels, 2. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. The High Window. 1943. The Complete Novels, 3. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. The Lady in the Lake. 1944. The Complete Novels, 4. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. The Little Sister. 1949. The Complete Novels, 5. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. The Long Goodbye. 1953. The Complete Novels, 6. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

Chandler, Raymond. Playback. 1958. The Complete Novels, 6. London: The Folio Society, 1989.

The Unicorn Bookshop in Warkworth has a long shelf of Folio Society editions of various classic books, and this one caught my eye when I was in there with David Howard a few weeks ago. This time I couldn't resist it. I love Chandler's stylised and mannered prose, and admire - above all - his ability to constantly reinvent himself.

There's no mention of an illustrator for the various prints and embellishments in this set, which seems a bit careless. It's certainly very styly, though. I see that there's an accompanying volume of short stories, but I already have those in other forms.

And here's a link to a fascinating list of all the Folio Society series (i.e.: sets of five books or more) to date.



[Raymond Chandler (1888-1959)]

  • category - North American Fiction: Fiction





[W. G. Sebald: Across the Land and the Water]


[Acquired: Thursday, October 18, 2012]:

Sebald, W. G. Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001. 2008. Trans. Iain Galbraith. Hamish Hamilton. London: Penguin, 2011.

Maud Cahill of Jason Books in central Auckland sends out regular bulletins on what she has in stock. I was therefore able to get down on this new Sebald book before someone else snapped it up. I've read almost all of his work that has so far appeared in translation, I think: the four major prose works, the two posthumous books of essays, the long poem After Nature (1988), so it's great to have this one as well.

He was such a gloomy, introspective character that I must confess I've always feared that his death was not altogether an accident. I'm glad to hear that this is quite erroneous, though. This is what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
Sebald died in a car crash near Norwich in December [14] 2001. The coroner's report, released some six months later, stated that Sebald had suffered an aneurysm and had died of this condition before his car swerved across the road and collided with an on-coming lorry. He was driving with his daughter Anna, who survived the crash.

Quotes:
'To perceive the aura of an object we look at,' wrote Walter Benjamin, referring more to works of art than to landscapes, 'means to invest it with the ability to look at us in return.' [Iain Galbraith, 'Introduction,' pp.xi-xxiii {p.xxii}. - referencing the essay "Some Motifs in Baudelaire" (1939)]




[W. G. Sebald (1944-2001)]

  • category - Germanic Literature: Prose





[Audie M. Pennefather: A True & Strange Story]


[Acquired: Sunday, September 23, 2012]:

Pennefather, Audie M. A True and Strange Story: The Life of Teuane Ann Tibbo - Artist, 1895-1984. Vermont South, Victoria, Australia, 2009.

Bronwyn gave a talk on Teuane Tibbo last Sunday, at the Home AKL show which is currently up in the Auckland Art Gallery:
Writer, curator, and tutor at the School of English and Media Studies, Massey University (Albany), Dr Bronwyn Lloyd discusses the art of self-taught Samoan artist Teuane Tibbo (1895 - 1984).

Tibbo, who only began painting at the age of 71, had a brief but influential career, exhibiting with a number of mainstream established artists such as Colin McCahon, Michael Illingworth, Pat Hanly, and Tony Fomison.

Bronwyn organised an exhibition of Tibbo's works at Lopdell House Gallery in 2002, which played a considerable role in bringing her back to everyone's attention. I couldn't resist buying a copy of this rather eccentric, self-published biography of Tibbo by her daughter.


  • category - Art (NZ & International): Artists





[Sandow Birk: Dante's Divine Comedy]


[Acquired: Monday, September 17, 2012]:



Birk, Sandow, & Marcus Sanders, trans. Dante's Inferno. Illustrated by Sandow Birk. Preface by Doug Harvey. Introduction by Michael F. Meister. 2003. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004.







Birk, Sandow, & Marcus Sanders, trans. Dante's Purgatorio. Illustrated by Sandow Birk. Preface by Marcia Tanner. Introduction by Michael F. Meister. 2004. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005.







Birk, Sandow, & Marcus Sanders, trans. Dante's Paradiso. Illustrated by Sandow Birk. Preface by Peter S. Hawkins. Foreword by Mary Campbell. Introduction by Michael F. Meister. 2005. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005.







Birk, Sandow. Dante's Divine Comedy: The Complete Paintings. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005.

I found this beautiful (and rather weird) boxset sitting in the Unicorn Bookshop in Warkworth. The main idea of it seems to be as a showcase for the paintings and drawings of Sandow Birk, done in direct imitation / competition with Doré's nineteenth century illutrations for the Divine Comedy. The text has been adapted / translated by Birk and his collaborator Marcus Sanders. It's not exactly poetic, but the updating is quite interesting as well. I love this kind of eccentric project, I must say. Why not dream big, if you're going to dream at all?








[Richard B. Harwell: The Civil War Reader]


[Acquired: Tuesday, September 4, 2012]:

Harwell, Richard B., ed. The Civil War Reader: The Union Reader / The Confederate Reader. 1957-1958. Smithmark Civil War Library. New York: Smithmark Publishers Inc., 1994.

I found this in an Vintage Shop in Paeroa, which is now reinventing itself as the Antiques capital of the North. It's a combined reprint of two 1950s collections, The Confederate Reader (1957) and The Union Reader (1958). I actually prefer some of those old 1950s books about the American Civil War. I also bought a book called The Day Lincoln Got Shot (1955) on the same occasion. Anyone who's read my blog post on the The Literature of the Civil War knows that I'm pretty obsessive on the subject. "A lot of reading there," said the lady in the shop as she sold it to me. "That'll keep you out of mischief for a while."

"That's true," I agreed. "And I promise not to try and start any civil wars ..."

She looked a bit doubtful at that, but gave an uneasy smile, as if to concede that it must have been meant in a good-humored way.







[Acquired: Thursday, August 23, 2012]:


Allen, Michael J. B., & Kenneth Muir, ed. Shakespeare’s Plays in Quarto: A Facsimile Edition of Copies Primarily from the Henry E. Huntingdon Library. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.



This is a truly massive book, presumably intended as a companion volume to Charlton Hinman's 1968 facsimile edition of the First Folio. It comes in a handsome slipcase, and includes photographic reprints of all of the quartos (good, bad, and indifferent) in the list above. I've coveted it for quite some time. I was a bit surprised, though, when I first opened my copy, to find the letter reproduced below. It turns out that this copy was sent to the book designer by one of the other members of the production team. I now have it placed between Hinman and the 1987 Oxford Shakespeare: three huge tomes in a row ...



[Czeslaw Gricz: Letter to Paula Schlosser (15/7/82)]






[George R. R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire]


[Acquired: Monday, August 20, 2012]:

Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones. A Song of Ice and Fire, 1. 1996. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

Martin, George R. R. A Clash of Kings. A Song of Ice and Fire, 2. 1998. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

Martin, George R. R. A Storm of Swords, 1: Steel and Snow. A Song of Ice and Fire, 3. 2000. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

Martin, George R. R. A Storm of Swords, 2: Blood and Gold. A Song of Ice and Fire, 3. 2000. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

Martin, George R. R. A Feast for Crows. A Song of Ice and Fire, 4. 2005. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011.

Martin, George R. R. A Dance with Dragons, 1: Dreams and Dust. A Song of Ice and Fire, 5. 2011. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012.

Martin, George R. R. A Dance with Dragons, 2: After the Feast. A Song of Ice and Fire, 5. 2011. Harper Voyager. London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012.

I'm afraid that when I saw this huge boxset sitting in the local bookshop in Mairangi Bay, it was only a matter of time before I bought it. Like most other people, I converted to these books after having watched the first season of A Game of Thrones. Waiting for the second series was taking just too long, though, so I'm now ploughing my way through the books instead. The G. R. R. Martin / J. R. R. Tolkien rhyme is a bit too close to ignore, but I do like the fact that Martin's interest is far more in politics and statecraft, and far less in ethics and magic.


  • category - Fantasy Literature: Authors





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