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

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Under the Ban

It's been a while since I've had a Rand McNally book with a cover by W. W. Denslow to feature. Here's Under the Ban, a South Carolina romance from 1898. I think this is one of Denslow's most streamlined and graphic covers!

This is the third variation of this cover that I'm aware of. It is a later printing of the design - two earlier versions (seen below, courtesy of Cindy Ragni) carry Denslow's hippocampus signature at the bottom of the woman's skirt, and use gold ink on the title, author's name, the woman's hair, and her bow. What appears to be the earliest version also features a blue background at the top of the cover, where the book title appears, and carries the design to the rear cover.

On the copy I'm showing, the seahorse is gone and the author's name is now stamped in white ink, along with the woman's hair and bow. Also, the rear cover is blank. I'm quite surprised by how difficult these titles can be to find, when they clearly went through a number of printings!

As it happens, I've also run across another Denslow cover, this time a paperback. This one is "There Is No Devil", and it features a cover design that could easily double as a poster for the book. This is one of a number of titles published in paperback by Rand McNally that don't seem to exist in hardcover versions with Denslow covers.


Jim Meadows said...

Is that edition of "There Is No Devil" a book, or something more like a magazine? I see the title "Oriental Library" at the bottom, along with a date, volume and issue number and the phrase "published quarterly". It seems to be from the 1890s, but I have trouble reading the date exactly. Meanwhile, I found the 1891 Cassell edition of the novel at openlibrary.org. Perhaps this is Rand McNally's own reprint of the book in its series of "Oriental" titles. Did Denslow do covers for other issues of the "Oriental Library"?

The series sounds like something that would be distributed along the lines of pulp magazines ---- I've seen magazine-like series editions of genre novels from later years (for mystery and science fiction). The ones I saw were usually in pulp digest format, and were mostly from the 1950s and 60s, but that's just a reflection of the eras I was seeing pulps from.

Bill Campbell said...

It's a paperback book, of the "dime novel" variety. The date on this one is January 1898, and it's number 16 of the series. The cover states that it's a quarterly, and is entered at the Chicago Post Office as second class matter. I also have a copy of "A Modern Corsair", which is number 43 in the series.

Denslow did covers for the "Globe" library, the "Rialto" series, and the "Oriental" library, all published by Rand McNally.