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

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Along the Bosphorus

Last weekend was our local annual book fair. This was the 19th year, and I've attended every one - and I've managed to find a number of items over the years. There was a good amount of Oz related material this year, particularly a number of later reprints in dust jackets.

Here I'm showing a copy of Along the Bosphorus, which is yet another example of a Rand McNally cover design by W. W. Denslow. This is a much more delicate design than some of his other covers, and really gives an excellent sense of moonlight on the water. This copy doesn't bear his seahorse signature. The book is a collection of pieces written by Susan Wallace, the wife of Lew Wallace; he was a general in the Civil War, and the author of Ben-Hur. He was also U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire in the 1880s. Susan Wallace was an author of a few books as well, and several of the pieces in this book relate to this time period.

It's interesting to compare this cover to another title from 1898, A Cruise Along the Crescent. Both are set in exotic locales, and the covers have many similarities. Along the Bosphorus is more refined, but the same crescent moon and turrets can be seen in both examples. I think the exotic architecture brings to mind Denslow's illustrations of the Emerald City.

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