Monday, January 13, 2014

A Puritan's Wife - Everything Now Makes Sense

Max Pemberton
A Puritan's Wife
New York: Dodd Mead & Co., 1896
Printer: University Press: John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.
Signed AM, under the blossom below the title on the front cover
Dimensions: 18.2 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm.

The binding for A Purtian's Wife (Dubansky entry 01-1), never made sense to me. I found two adaptations, but never the original cover. Recently, Richard Minsky sent me a photograph of it, but thankfully, I've just found a copy for my Morse collection. For more information see the previous post on this title.

Bound in golden-tan linen finish plain-weave cloth, possibly a reverse cloth. It is stamped in olive green and a dull red, with gold lettering. The endleaves are plain off-white laid paper. Top edge gilt, foredge and tail are untrimmed.

House and Home Illustrated

Morse’s book cover design for Stevenson’s Ballads was featured in two nearly identical woman’s guides, published by Scribner’s in 1894-1896. Both include chapters on occupations for women, principles of housekeeping, the art of travel, house building and decoration, and books and reading. The Woman's Book and its successor, seen here, The House and Home, introduced Morse as an excellent example of the successful woman designer. In P. G. Hubert Jr.’s chapter titled “Occupations for Women,” the field of book-cover design was recommended as a viable occupation for women. The author buttressed his point by printing color illustrations of two woman-produced book covers: Morse’s Stevenson’s Ballads (Dubansky, 90-8); and Songs About Life, Love and Death, designed by Margaret Armstrong.

The House and Home. A Practical Book (in 2 volumes)
Multiple authors (beginning with Dr. Lyman Abbot)
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons

The binding for The House and Home is an adaptation of The Woman's Book. In this cover, the border and probably some of the spine motifs are Morse's design. To see the design as originally intended and read more about this entry click here.

Buy a copy of The Proper Decoration of Book Covers: The Life and Work of Alice C. Morse