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

Monday, October 26, 2020

Rand McNally

I’ve posted a number of times in the past about books published by Rand McNally, with cover designs by W. W. Denslow. Recently, I picked up a Rand McNally catalog of Holiday Books from 1898 that features quite a few of these titles.
I enjoy seeing the verbiage used to sell the books - in some cases, like Enoch the Philistine and Romola, Denslow is mentioned as the cover designer. The presence of Denslow's name in connection with the design for Romola is nice, as it confirms that this is indeed a Denslow design. Of his various Rand McNally covers, this one looks the least like one of his works to me!
In others, like Phoebe Tilson, we are given the artist's description of the cover design - although Denslow isn't actually mentioned:
"In the words of the artist's description of the cover design, "Phoebe Tilson" treats of the life of an eccentric maiden lady who is dragging out a drab-colored existence in the gray atmosphere of a quaint New England village, when that existence is enlivened and entirely changed by the advent of a bright little girl child, a waif, left at her door. This child brings cheer and color into the neglected house as does the gay little geranium against the dusty panes of a garret window. The other side of the cover is suggestive of the tender care bestowed upon the "waif", while on the back (spine) is represented the locket which proved her right to her estates and a name beside the "Blossom"that she is."
Illustrations are included from some of his other titles; the only books I'm aware of with interior drawings are An Arkansas Planter, and A Cruise Under the Crescent.
All in all, it's a fun little reference!