Sunday, May 22, 2011

William M. Timlin's One Hit Wonder






And the wonder that it is...

Lot's to discuss here. As many of you know, I have long-standing involvement (on a few levels) with Dover Publications. In the last few years Dover has re-examined the idea of the reprint—out of that, the imprint Calla was born, to bring a selection of the beautiful material we found, crafted so well a century ago, and deliver it in as near a facsimile fashion as we could produce. The line is doing fairly well; there is still appreciation for these volumes out there. With the coming holiday season, Calla has selected 9 new volumes to reprint, seven Golden Age classics, and two modern classics. I'll discuss these seven vintage volumes in the coming weeks, and today I'll start with the book I've been waiting more than two years to talk about, William M. Timlin's (1892-1943) The Ship that Sailed to Mars.

Originally published in 1923, the book saw only 2000 copies printed in England, 250 of those were distributed in the US. it contained 48 color plates, and handwritten text of a fantastic tale, by a British-born South African architect who never produced another comparable book. The Ship that Sailed to Mars has some gorgeous plates. My first encounter with the images was as a young teen, when I found some on notecards. Years later, I found a reprint of the rare book, and scooped it up knowing it was unlikely I'd ever get my hands on a 1923 edition. — even that 1993 reprint now fetches over $100 a copy.

After Dover obtained an original edition to work from, Calla has finally committed to reprinting this stellar work in it's original format. Timlin showed the potential to rival the best illustrators of the period, but this remained his lone statement. It is a supurb collection of images, and Timlin's calligraphy add to the books uniqueness. Until now, it has been nearly unattainable.

Amazon's listing here.

Dying to see the rest of it- catch a peek here-


What? The other 2011 Calla selections? OK, here they are- to be profiled in the coming weeks-
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Illustration by William Heath Robinson
Alice in Wonderland, with 92 color images by Harry Rountree
Oscar Wilde's A House of Pomegranetes, with illustration by Jessie King
Edmund Dulac's Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales
Arthur Rackham's Engish Fairy Tales
Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp in Rhyme by Arthur Ransome, Illustrations by Thomas Mackenzie

The two modern Classics are-
Jan Pienkowski's The Thousand Nights and One Night-, the Arabian Nights done in a traditional style silhouette, with brilliant color backgrounds-
and James Gurney's amazing Dinotopia. How great to have this book back in print. All exciting stuff, happy to bring you the news. All of these, are scheduled to be released in September 2011. Stay tuned for the profiles, and updates.

2 comments:

Heidi Anne Heiner said...

Lovely, every single one. Thanks for helping to make this possible, Jeff!

Jeff A. Menges said...

Heidi—
While I'm not involved in the final decisions, I certainly make a lot of noise in early stages of a project, and sometimes, that may influence which books they decide to run with. I've been pulling for The Ship That Sailed to Mars since Calla was a concept, I'm ecstatic that it's going to happen. I only hope that the public will continue to embrace Calla books, so that we can continue to put them together.