28 April, 2015

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby Franklin-Oxford Edition



--- "Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete."

I recently acquired a few rather nice copies of leather books by the Franklin Library. I'm not an expert of the publisher's history, but it seems to have a pretty good run over 27 years from 1973 to 2000. Of the many series it produced, I think the 50-title full leather Oxford Library of the World's Greatest Books series is of the highly aesthetic quality. There is a quarter-leather version that is not as good; this is confirmed because I have a copy from this version. Curiously there seems to be a third full leather version of the same series. I have seen such listings on ebay but cannot comment on the quality since I don't own a copy.


The bookporn here is a full leather copy of The Great Gatsby, which must surely be one of the undisputed Great American Novels. The book is in full leather. The cover design and the edges are accentuated in 22k gold. There is also a satin (or silk?) sewed bookmark. It feels and looks better than the first edition, and is well worth the price for its aesthetics and durability.



The cover, in full leather, features a debossed image of Jay and Daisy ( I imagine). Notice how soft the leather looks, and the gilt in 22k gold. This book was printed in 1982 but still look timeless and gorgeous after 33 years.

The edges are also gilded with 22k gold. This helps preserved the leaves from foxing and dust. Part of the sewed silk or satin bookmark can be seen near the spine.

Marbled paper is used for the front and back free end papers.


The book contains illustrations by Bruce Dean, an illustrator who is now based in LA.

"We backed up to a gray old man who bore an absurd resemblance to John D. Rockefeller. In a basket swung from his neck cowered a dozen very recent puppies of an indeterminate breed."


"The nature of Mr. Tostoff's composition eluded me, because just as it began my eyes fell on Gatsby, standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes."

"When Jordan Baker had finished telling all this we had left the Plaza for half an hour and were driving in a Victoria through Central Park."

"To young Gatz, resting on his oars and looking up at the railed deck, that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world."

" Daisy went to the mirror and stood with her back to us, fixing her hair."


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