An oddity

Fri Oct 21 09:16:03 EDT 2005

I've never seen a ML binding without a trace of printing. 
You're right about its being an oddity -- it somehow didn't
get stamped in gold when it was supposed to.  This would have
happened before the printed sheets were bound.

The Brodzky endpaper began to be used in 1919, so this is
clearly the later binding of the two.  I can't be sure about
the printing, since Boni & Liveright generally didn't bind all
copies of a printing at the same time.  Printed sheets tended
to be stored and bound as needed, so it's possible to find the
same printing in more than one binding style.  You can't tell
much from the "second printing Sept 1917" statement either,
since Boni & Liveright often retained such statements through
several printings.

The Unsocial Socialist had three distinct title pages: the
first, in use through several printings, gives the publisher
as BONI AND LIVERIGHT, INC.  The second (circa 1924) omits the
"INC." from the imprint.  The third (1924/25) includes the
monk device on the title page.

Earlier printings include a list of ML titles on the verso of
the half title can be dated by the list.  Later printings of
The Unsocial Socialst don't have a list at the end and are
harder to date.  The gatherings or signatures of earlier
printings consist of 8 leaves (16 pages); gatherings of later
printings consist of 16 leaves (32 pages).  You can see the
individual gatherings when you look at the top or bottom edge
of the volume.  When you open a book to the middle of a
gathering you can see the thread in the gutter that holds the
gathering together, and you can then count the leaves to see
whether it's a gathering of 8 or l6 leaves.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 07:58:37 -0400
>From: Toby G Levy <tobylevy at>  
>Subject: An oddity  
>To: modlib at
>Yesterday I purchased at a bookstore a copy of a
Boni-Liveright Modern
>Library without a trace of any printing on the brown
leatherette cover
>and spine.  It is George Bernard Shaw's "An Unsocial
Socialist."  My
>earlier purchased copy has a black leatherette cover with the
>endpapers. This unmarked one has the Brodzky endpapers.  They
both have
>"second printing Sept 1917"  at the bottom of the first page.
>Has anyone else ever seen anything like this, a "stealth
modern library
>I'll put it up on ebay if you think there would be enough
interest in
>such an oddity.
Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
106 Kresge Library
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (tel); 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at

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