Gothic Literature - Box Sets

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Gothic Literature - Box Sets

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1Matthew1956
feb. 27, 2018, 8:47am

Does anyone know of any recent, good quality (i.e. Folio Society or Easton Press - quality) book box sets of any of the following Gothic classics? Folio Society has released versions of these but it has been like 40-50 years since then. As such, it would be great if there are hardcover, high quality editions of these books published elsewhere, which are new and not used:

1. Ann Radcliffe - Complete Novels
2. Bronte Sisters - Complete Novels
3. Jane Austen Horrid Novels - 7 books
4. Horace Walpole - Castle of Otranto
5. Beckford - Vathek

2alaudacorax
Editat: feb. 27, 2018, 10:16am

I have the Folio Society's The Complete Novels of Mrs Ann Radcliffe (1987) and I think it's quite nice - depends on your taste, of course. The paper's a little thin so that you can just see the type showing through from the other side, but it doesn't bother me. It's a little more restrained a design than some of the FS's stuff, but for me that's a bonus - personal taste again. Depends on you finding a nearly mint set, of course.

3housefulofpaper
feb. 27, 2018, 7:52pm

Centipede Press published Vathek in 2015. I haven't seen a copy of that edition, and it quickly went out of print. There's a brief description on the Centipede Press website.

4Matthew1956
feb. 27, 2018, 10:05pm

Thank you all for this; I'm aware of these sets, but in terms of books currently available, all there appears to be online are paperback versions, rather than nice gift sets with hardcover like Folio Society. Has anyone tried contacting FS and ask them why they have not released another Castle of Otranto book, or Jane Austen Horrid Novels

5housefulofpaper
març 1, 2018, 8:02am

I haven't asked FS to republish those particular books; I've been fortunate enough to find copies of them all on the second-hand market (even the Horrid Novels - it's not in mint condition, though!).

Their recent editions of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were unmistakably Gothic in design.

6Matthew1956
març 1, 2018, 10:00am

housefulofpaper - Can you provide pictures of what the Horrid Novels look like? I see them online, and they are all banged up and charge 650 dollars for them!

It seems that after the editor in charge of the Radcliffe, Maturin, Bronte, and Jane Austen Horrid Novel collections left the Folio Society, they no longer printed large quantities of Gothic literature, let alone complete sets again. And it's so weird because their gothic books are always the first to sell out.

7housefulofpaper
març 1, 2018, 5:41pm

>6 Matthew1956:

Here are some pictures. As you can see it's quite an austere set and, very rarely for a Folio society publication, it is not illustrated. In fact this lack of illustration goes against the Folio Society's founding principles. That might be part of the reason that the set was put out under the Folio Press imprint.

From the preface one gathers that it was very much Devendra P. Varma's project, building upon the work of distinguished predecessors including Herbert Read and Michael Sadlier.

Two photos of the whole set:





"Castle of Wolfenbach" half-title page



Editor's preface to the whole series (from "Castle of Wolfenbach"). Each volume has its own introduction by the editor.



Example of text pages



Volume without glassine cover



Title page to "The Mysterious Warning"


8Matthew1956
març 2, 2018, 10:34am

housefulofpaper - Wow - Magnificent. Thank you for this; That is probably the nicest condition of the book box set out there. It seems that after Devendra P. Varma left the Folio Society, they stopped putting in a major focus on Gothic literature. There are no more boxsets of the Bronte sisters, Ann Radcliffe, and even Gothic works like Melmoth the wanderer, the Monk, etc.

Also, what is the significance of these glassine slips? Is that how FS used to package their books? I'm afraid I'm rather new to Folio Society, and do wish I found these books much, much sooner as all the Gothic books I like are nearly impossible to find in good condition and not 100 times the retail price.

9housefulofpaper
març 2, 2018, 4:01pm

>8 Matthew1956:

As far as I'm aware the use of glassine covers is pretty rare for FS books. As you may know, they started publishing their books with printed dust jackets, but moved over to using slipcases fairly early on.

The glassine covers are themselves simply a primitive type of dust jacket. Some publishers, primarily private presses, continued with them (if not for all, then for some of their publications) long after trade publishers had made the switch to printed paper jackets.

They tend not to survive. Even if previous owners didn't immediately discard them, they are quite fragile.

In my own collection, apart from the Horrid Novels, I've got one of the printer to Cambridge University Press's "Christmas books" which had some scraps of glassine still round it when I bought it; and my LEC Les Fleurs du Mal has the covers on both volumes all present and correct (although, if someone had replaced the original glassine with some greaseproof paper from their kitchen, I'm not at all sure that it would be noticeable!)