[ModLib] War and Peace

Gordon B. Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Sun Jun 6 23:56:34 EDT 2010

This typo is found in first printings of all three Giants published in fall 1931 -- War and Peace, Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, and Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Giants published in spring 1932 correct the note to "An abridged edition was unthinkable." In fact, an abridged edition wasn't unthinkable: four years before the first Giants were published Cerf had commissioned Herbert Askwith to prepare an abridgment of Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson for the regular Modern Library. He canceled the project when Askwith missed the deadline for submitting the manuscript. Askwith eventually completed the abridgment, but it was never published. The only part of the project that saw the light of day was Asquith's preface, which was used in the 1931 Giant. 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "JOHN PETERSON" <jpetersonlhi at verizon.net> 
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu> 
Sent: Sunday, June 6, 2010 7:38:04 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: [ModLib] War and Peace 

I just picked up a FMLE War & Peace, the first G1 binding I've found (and could afford). 

In looking it over, I'm wondering if there's not an error in the publisher's note which is printed on the verso of the title page. This note, which explains the rationale for the Giant format, states: "...The text was much too long for the usual Modern Library format. An unabridged [sic] edition was unthinkable, and a two volume edition was entirely against the Modern Library's policy." To me, 'abridged' would make more sense in the context of explaining why the regular size ML was no good for this title. Or, am I missing something? Is not the ML War and Peace unabridged? 

John Peterson 
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Gordon B. Neavill 
Associate Professor 
School of Library and Information Science 
Wayne State University 
106 Kresge Library 
Detroit, MI 48202 
313-577-0507; 313-577-7563 (fax) 

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