Friday, May 31, 2013

F. Scott Fitzgerald collection by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Considering the recent Gatsby fever that took over most of May in cinemas and beyond (a "Gatsby" line at Tiffany & Co.? Really?), I thought it might be timely to feature some of the nicest editions I've seen of Fitzgerald's work. This series was published by Penguin in the UK in 2010 and designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith (responsible for a number of beautiful collections of Penguin classics, from gothic horror to adventure novels to Jane Austen). In my opinion it's the best set she's done, particularly because she's working with a specific author and not a genre. This feels much more controlled or curated, and not like there are endless iterations available for subsequent volumes. (Strangely enough, a seventh volume was released after the initial six, which is Six Tales of the Jazz Age. All those stories are inside the black-and-gold Flappers & Philosophers.)

Here are how the six volumes look spread out:

The jackets all include a perforated bookmark that features quote from the novel in some nice art deco typography. Not that I'd ever tear them out...

 And here they are, lined up on my shelf:

At this point, these are not too difficult to find, and I think still around $20 a volume. If one slips out of print, though, completists will bump the value up substantially (I've got copies of Bickford-Smith's now-out-of-print Madame Bovary and Crime and Punishment which have since become highly coveted items).

Currently reading:
Julian Barnes, Levels of Life

Currently listening to:
Moon Duo, "Mazes

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