16 March, 2016

Poe: Stories and Poems (Easton Press Deluxe Illustrated Edition)

BY Edgar Allan Poe
Book Information1Thus/1/2*/US/EP/2014/1,200  •  book:290x245x37  case:301x243x42  •  book:1,655  case:347 

While we are on the topic of limited editions from fine press, here's "Poe: Stories and Poems", a 2014 Easton Press publication, limited to 1,200 copies, illustrated and signed by John Jude Palencar. Easton Press is an American publisher, based on Connecticut, that prints and sells leather bound books.

Edgar Allan Poe is the famed American Gothic fiction master of, along with the likes of Coleridge, Shelley (Mary, not Percy), Hawthorne and Melville, the "Dark Romanticism" school. His stories focus on the fallibility of man, including his tendency to sin, on death and macabre, and on the malevolence of Nature, typically portrayed as defeating and treacherous. This is in contrast with Emerson and Walden's Transcendentalism, which emphasizes the goodness in man and a benevolent Nature that is preferred to over organized social living. Poe abhorred the transcendentalists, deriding them as "Frogpondian". 

Apart from his tales of macabre, Poe also started, or at least provided the impetus for the subsequent popularization of detective fiction with his creation of C. Auguste Dupin, whose first appearance in the 1941 short story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", is herald as the genesis of modern detective fiction, and to whom Sherlock Holmes was compared to by Doyle, through Watson, in "The Study in Scarlet" where Holmes first appeared in 1887.

This book has all the typical features of a Easton Press Deluxe edition: leather binding, inlaid 22-karat gold on spine, all edges gilt, satin ribbon book marker, and a customized slipcase. This one is aesthetically beautiful - with a harrowingly stunning slipcase featuring the Raven and eight splendidly rendered colored plates by John Jude Palencar - but suffers from impoverished content in its scant inclusion of merely eight stories and three poems. With a selling price of over $200, surely it is not too much to ask for a more fecund selection?





































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