"Decline and Fall" query

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Mon Jun 25 12:46:40 EDT 2001

We need to distinguish first ML editions (the first printing of the first
appearance of a particular title in the series) from first printings of any
particular variant a collector is interested in.  Most collectors look for
first ML editions; a large number collect variant jackets (look at the
prices that jacketed copies of non-first imitation leather and balloon cloth
volumes fetch on eBay); some want variants such as the 3-volume Gibbon or
the 6-volume Shakespeare.  And one of the symptoms of the disease is that
most collectors want the earliest manifestation of whatever they collect.
My own interest is to document how the ML as a whole and individual titles
in the series evolved over time.  This means collecting not only first
printings of ML titles but variant jackets, new translations and
introductions, reset texts, etc., and trying to ascertain when these changes
took place.  In my experience ML collectors are a wonderfully disparate
bunch.  They have different priorities, different interests, and many
different approaches to shelving their books.  The best collectors are
pioneers (like Joe Hill) who have the vision to see the significance of
whatever they collect when most people take it for granted.  They're the
ones who document a field and put in on the map for collectors who follow.
And those who follow may in turn find significance in things still being
taken for granted--perhaps even 6-volume Shakespares!


----- Original Messag e -----
From: "JOSEPH HILL" <GOODBOOKS at webtv.net>
To: <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 3:06 AM
Subject: Re: "Decline and Fall" query

> Let's just hold it here a bit and not get carried away over First
> Editions and DJ numbers.
> We do not think of the six volume Shakespeare as being a First Edition.
> Therefore why the three volume Gibbon?  If you wish to use that line of
> thinking then check DJ numbers of Shakespeare  1-3A and 2-7 and give all
> three sets a First Edition status!

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