Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Bradford Exchange, Book 2
A couple weeks ago, I received my second Oz book from the Bradford Exchange. A question was raised in my earlier posting for this series, as to why I would bother buying this set of books since I already have the series in first editions. As to that, facsimiles fascinate me, partially due to the fact that they're never quite the same as the original thing.
A very nice job has been done with The Marvelous Land of Oz. In the comments for my posting on the first book in the series, David Maxine of Hungry Tiger Press pointed out the lesser quality in the color printing of the book, and it's true that the color plates were not quite the flat, bright images they should be. I have to say that there is a certain rough, grainy quality to the color plates in this title as well.
On the right is a comparison - a first edition plate on the left and a facsimile on the right.
But these are the best facsimile versions I've seen done - the only other attempt that I'm aware of are the Books of Wonder series, which do a very nice job of presenting the original material - but there are some deletions and certain editorial changes which have caused controversy, and the bindings are not true facsimiles of the originals. However, they are a very nice set of hardcover color-plate books available at a lower price point than the Bradford Exchange series.
Bradford is working hard to create the real heft and feeling of the original books - the stamped fabric covers have been very well done. With Wonderful Wizard, a decision was made to reproduce the book in its earliest state, with several misprints and details that were changed in later printings. Marvelous Land is a hybrid of the earliest state binding, with no silver outline to the title, but the second state text - some swapping of illustrations and a publishers line added to the copyright notice. I'm not sure why they didn't follow the same first state idea for this volume. Anyway, these are quibbles and the books are quite attractive. In the end, the only way to have a true first edition Oz book is to buy a first edition Oz book - but these make a very decent substitute.
Posted by Bill Campbell