Tales From Tolstoy

This is the first book published by the Folio Society. There are 6 short stories/novellas. The earliest is  “The Raid”, written when Tolstoy in his mid twenties, and the last, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” when he was in his late fifties. The other stories are “Two Hussars”, “Three Deaths”, “Polikushka” and “Two Old Men”

Although my book has seen better days, it is wonderful to have a copy of the first book from the Folio Society. It and its dustjacket have long parted and the cover has a moderate case of sunburn on its upper extremities.

Amongst Tolstoy’s themes in these stories are bravery, integrity, honour, honesty, piety, weakness, fate and self doubt.
The illustrator was Elizabeth MacFadyen. To the best of my knowledge these was her first and last illustrations for the Folio Society. Although I did not particularly like them at first I have come to appreciate them more. There is a wonderful sense of lighting in most of them.

I’ll put the list of illustrations and then the illustrations themselves.

And a page of the text


Folio Society Books – Introduction

The Folio Society was a vision of Charles Ede. A booklover from childhood, his aim was to make fine books available at a reasonable price. That he tried to do this in the immediate aftermath of World War Two in England showed how determined he was. The first books were published in 1947.  My focus will be on the early books but I’ll wander elsewhere from time to time.  For each book I’m planning to post a photo/scan of the cover and some of the illustrations. There will be some information about the book. Most of this will be derived from FOLIO 60, which is a comprehensive bibliography of the books from 1947 to 2006.

This blog was originally hosted on typepad.com, but I’ve transferred it across to wordpress (from Jan 24 2012). I’ll try to update, and rearrange each post so the appearance to a dog’s breakfast is reduced.