Do you want to see one of my birthday presents? Or at least the illustrations contained within.
The book is Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm – for a change it is a book I’ve always intended to read – and the illustrations are by George Him. So of course they are wonderful. As is Mr Crownfolio, who gave it to me.
The book itself, however, is less easy to classify. It’s published by the Heritage Press (who even write about their edition here), but with a slip case that makes it look like something issued by the Folio Society, which is why I haven’t bothered to show it on here. Why bother when I can fill the page with illustrations like these instead?
Puzzle one is that the book does not appear on the bibliography on the George Him website. None of which matters, but is all a bit odd.
A further mystery is that when you have a look at the Wikpedia page on Zuleika Dobson (should you, say, happen to be Googling that book along with George Him), the illustration is of a 1961 Penguin Classics version of the book, cover design also by George Him.
There must have been a craze for both the book and Him round about them. Understandable, but still a bit peculiar.
All of which does rather frustrate my googling though and means that I may never be able to find out exactly what this copy is doing and why. But never mind, because it is absolutely delightful to look at.
(There are loads more illustrations, by the way, but I didn’t want to crush my lovely copy on the scanner. Sorry about that.)
“The book itself, however, is less easy to classify.”
What do you mean?
The answer to your question is in the following cut and pasted entry from the Library of Congress online catalogue –
Zuleika Dobson, or, An Oxford love story / by Max Beerbohm ; preface by Douglas Cleverdon ; illustrations by George Him.
Published/Created: Baltimore : Printed for the members of the Limited Editions Club at the Garamond Press, 1960.
Description: xvi, 277 p.,  leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Ah, all I meant to say was that it was wonderful, but finding out any more practical details about it was proving difficult. Although not for other people, clearly. Thank you for that!
And thanks to you I now know something about the Limited Editions Club which produced some remarkable books as Google revealed in seconds.
By they way I should also like to add how much I enjoyed ‘1950s Modern.’
Heritage Press made a speciality of issuing classics illustrated by modern illustrators. David Gentleman did one or two for them. Beautiful, sumptuous productions.
The Limited Editions Club issued well designed & illustrated classics, more often than not printed in UK & using UK illustrators. These editions were usually limited to 1500 copies & were signed by the illustrator. They then issued a more affordable ‘trade’ edition of the title under their Heritage Press imprint.
Incidentally if anyone wants the signed version of Zuleika, I have one in stock
Proof that with age comes wisdom: I got older, I received a book, I now know more about it thanks to you. I might even have to go and look for some more of them.
Thank you also for the kind words about the book; if anyone wants anything else writing, I am here, ready and willing!