The Odyssey

IMG_0001One of the foundation stones of literature, The Odyssey was published in 1948, and is the 11th publication from The Society.

It is a selection from the epic. Over the years the society has published this work in other editions and translations. This particular edition is in series with The Iliad (item 26)  which was published in 1950.

The Book

Printed by Waterlow and Sons with engravings reproduced in  collotype by Van Leer of Amsterdam. The illustrated pages are thicker than the textual pages, which has also been noted in other books where Van Leer were involved, for instance the 1949 edition of Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollities.

The Poet

Homer is traditionally regarded as the creator of the The Iliad and The Odyssey. When and whether he existed is another matter.

The Translator

F.L. Lucas was a Cambridge academic. He was also a teacher, writer, critic, and essayist and led a most interesting life.

The Illustrator

John Buckland-Wright originally provided these copper engravings for another publisher (possibly the Golden Cockrel Press), but that book was never published and the Folio Society acquired them. Buckland-Wright was a prolific illustrator in a variety of media

A synopsis of his life and career and copies of many of his works is here . It’s well worth a read.

Criticism

The Odyssey is over 2000 years old, and has been studied and analysed to death. I doubt that I can bring any new insights.

The Illustrations

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was the next book published, illustrated by Mervyn Peake. I’m looking forward to reading it and posting some of the illustrations. However it may not be the next book in the blog as I am reading Cover Your Face at present, and will probably make that the next post.

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