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Welcome to the first post of our new and ongoing Series on The Limited Editions Club (LEC) and the beautiful books published by this famous publisher.
Before we start to explore the wonderful books published, we need to go back to New York 1929 where it all started with a 29-year-old George Macy. In total the LEC published 589 books in 58 series between 1929 – 2010, this excludes some of the special editions and publications that also happened from time to time. The concept was simple, they reissued many of the world’s greatest works in limited edition formats, initially...
Before each series the Limited Editions Club released a prospectus with the books planned for that particular series. Naturally the first prospectus is likely the most important of all released, introducing not only the first 12 books but the Club and what it will stand for. These were very much marketing tools to generate excitement and importantly fill all 1500 available subscriber spots. Of course George Macy knew very well that the first publications will be absolutely crucial for the success of this new venture and he was determined to make sure that they stand up to his high standards...
Gulliver was published in October 1929 and marked the first book of over 600 titles in the 80 years of LEC publications.
A lot of thought went into all aspects of LEC books, including the text used for their books. For Gulliver Macy decided to use the original text. He wanted to represent a book that was close to what Swift intended. It’s been adapted into many editions of children books, but at its heart it was an adult tale with a sometime darker side, and this is the version that was published.
George Macy had no doubt that...
Leaves of Grass was issued in November 1929 as the 2nd book published by the Limited Editions Club.
The text used for this edition, was a reproduction of the first edition, issued in Brooklyn by Walter Whitman in 1855.
This is one of the few LEC books released without illustrations, but with a portrait of Walter Whitman and introduced by Carolyn Wells a well known collector and authority on Whitman.
George Macy’s thoughts on Leaves of Grass as published in Quarto-Millenary:
“I made two serious mistakes in the planning of this book. The first was that I prepared an inadequate...
Issued in December 1929, The Travels of Baron Munchausen by Rudolphe Erich Raspe (and others) was the third book published by The Limited Editions Club. The book is a collection of the tall stories of Baron Munchausen, which have grown over time, entertaining generations of Germans and Europeans.