[ModLib] War and Peace

JOHN PETERSON jpetersonlhi at verizon.net
Mon Jun 7 07:22:20 EDT 2010

Thanks Barry and Eric.  Interesting!  

John Peterson
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Gordon B. Neavill 
  To: For collectors of Modern Library books 
  Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 11:56 PM
  Subject: Re: [ModLib] War and Peace

  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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