more on bemelmans

j b krygier jbkrygie at owu.edu
Thu Apr 10 09:12:10 EDT 2003


Gordon Neavill wrote:

> I still can't assign priority to the two Bemelmans jackets.  One has 
> a 278 list, the inside of the other is blank.  Both are on thick paper 
> copies of MY WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES and both indicate "over 250" 
> titles on the back panel.  

I am a bit confused if the reference to 'thick paper' here
is in regard to the book pages or the DJ...

The same day Barry posted the above note, I got a copy of
the 278 title DJ Bemelmans.

I also have a later printing, with 299 titles on the DJ.
Besides the different number of titles, the DJs are identical
and on heavy paper.  But the books differ:

What is different is that the actual 1st (278) is a bit shorter
than the later printing (and shorter than a typical binding 8
book in general), the book pages on the 1st are printed
on substantially thicker paper, and the printing on the 1st is
of much higher quality: in particular, the illustrations on the
later 299 title lack contrast.  I have to assume that the later
printings were printed with a different process (letterpress
vs offset?) on cheaper paper but don't recall which would produce
better illustrations.

In any case, it seems like the first printing of the book
itself was on better paper and used a printing process which
was better at reproducing the illustrations.

I scanned the books to show the difference in sizes and paper
thickness (same number of pages in each):

http://www.owu.edu/~jbkrygie/modernlibrary/bemelmans.jpg

Question: are the book PAGES of the 1st with the blank-back DJ
printed  on thicker paper?  If not, then I would guess that the
DJ with 278 titles is the actual first.

If the blank-back DJ book pages are on thicker paper, then we
are back to not being able to distinguish these two variants
of the actual first.

jk







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