[ModLib] Moby-Dick illustrated by Rockwell Kent

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Mon Feb 24 17:13:29 EST 2014

The Modern Library Giant of Moby-Dick derived from the Random House trade edition, with these illustrations, of 1930. That one in turn is a photomechanical reproduction of the spectacular Chicago Lakeside edition of 1930, in three volumes, in an aluminum case, very large format. Current value depending on condition = $5000-$10,000. This book is one of the few illustrated versions of classic that enhance and do honor to the original text. Moby-Dick was in every serious reader's library by 1930, so there was no need fo another edition (besidws it was already a Modern Library book). The illustrations were the raison d'etre here. They made Kent even more famous so that the illustrations were as sought after as the prose that accompanied them; no one reads Wilderness for the text. These two books were not illustrated, though, for the Modern Library but were conceived of as equal partnerships between author and artist.

My own G64 is signed by Kent (signed in the mid 1960's) who thought it quite normal to be asked to autograph a book he did not write. (Kent's daughter worked at the college I attended.)

Roger Lathbury

From: modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu <modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu> on behalf of Chad Bernu <skinnygypsy at yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 4:52 PM
To: For collectors of Modern Library books
Subject: Re: [ModLib] Illustrator for Heyward's Porgy?

How about G64, Moby Dick, illustrated by Kent? And speaking of Kent, there's Wilderness #182. I do not have G50, Leaves of Grass, but doesn't that one have woodcuts?

On Feb 24, 2014, at 2:58 PM, Scot Kamins <kamins at modernlib.com<mailto:kamins at modernlib.com>> wrote:

Hi Folks,

A number of occasional illustrations appears in 148.2, Heyward's Porgy. Anybody know who did the illustrations?

By the way, as long as we're on the topic, thanks to all who suggested titles for the Illustrated Unillustrated page (in progress). Here are the titles people found so far:

Tortilla Flat

Ancient Man

David Copperfield

Green Mansions

Little Women

My War with the United States

Peter Ibbetson


The Art of Aubrey Beardsley

The Art of Rodin

The Art of Whistler

The Idiot

The Thurber Carnival

The Trial

The War In The Air


Scot Kamins
Keep your karma in good working order. Many dragons lie in wait. -- Wang Wei

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