Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Poetry Books

Reilly & Britton started a series of small books featuring American poets in 1909. These were lovely little books, elaborately produced with metallic ink on the cover labels, and illustrated by John R. Neill. Four volumes were published between 1909 and 1910 - Snowbound, by John Greenleaf Whittier, Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hiawatha, again by Longfellow, and The Raven and Other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe. Also shown in the photo at left are another copy of Snowbound, this time in a deluxe suede binding, and a copy of The Uncrowned King by Harold Bell Wright. This is an allegorical poem, also from 1910, but published by The Book Supply Co.

I have an original piece of art from The Raven, showing the narrator of the poem (a portrait of Poe) being tormented by his lost Lenore. In the book, the illustrations were printed with a blue wash.

The other books of this series used the same technique, in various colors - yellow for Snowbound, pink for Evangeline, and green for Hiawatha. The only other existing piece of published art from this series that I know of is a plate from Snowbound.

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