A couple of further questions from Mark Godburn.
Most of you will know and will have come across the A. & C. Black Colour Books published in the early years of the last century. The first of them, Mortimer Menpes’ “War Impressions” – the text by his daughter, Dorothy Menpes – was published in May 1901 and is generally regarded as the first British book to make use of the recently developed “three-colour” process to furnish the full-colour plates. Hundreds of further titles followed, all richly illustrated in the same manner.
We know a great deal about these handsome productions from Colin Inman’s 1990 bibliography and collectors’ guide. We know about the authors, like Dorothy Whistler Menpes. We know about the illustrators, like her father, Whistler’s former studio assistant, Mortimer Menpes. We know about Richard Bagot and Ella Du Cane who combined to produce “The Italian Lakes” in 1905. We know about Albert Angus Turbayne and his colleagues at the Carlton Studio, who produced many of the distinctive and stylish cover designs. We know quite a bit about the printers and the print-runs. But what we do not appear to know is who actually manufactured the cloth binding cases. The answer is most likely to be found in the A. & C. Black Archive at the University of Reading – but Mark lives in Connecticut – so his question is, “If anyone knows who was the bindery for the A&C Black Colour Books in the 1900-1920 period, please email me”.
“Also, a follow up to an earlier post about early jacketed books that are unlocated today, someone saw the Charles Dickens “Edwin Drood” (London, 1870) in jacket back in the 1980s in a display case, apparently in California. They thought it was at the Huntington Library, but the Huntington doesn’t have it. If this jogs anyone’s memory about where the book might actually be today, I’d like to hear from you”.
Many thanks, Mark Godburn
North Canaan, CT