New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, (1983). Wrightson, Berni. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. First edition and first printing with Wrightson illustrations, no. 336 of the limited edition, quarto size, 194 pp, signed by Stephen King and Berni Wrightson, with glassine, dust jacket, and slipcase. Fine / fine. Item #20050502
"Frankenstein", penned by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) at the young age of 21 (it was first published in 1818 and revised in 1831), has captured the minds and imaginations of countless generations. "The Monster...is not monstrous because of physical appearance...but...because he lacks a soul."
This edition brings the story to life with eerily chilling illustrations by Berni Wrightson (1948-2017), who contributed so much to the world of horror and fantasy; creator of "Swamp Thing" with writer Len Wein, illustrator of works by Lovecraft, Poe and Stephen King, including the uncut/limited version of "The Stand". With an introduction by Stephen King (b. 1947) which begins, oddly enough, with him explaining why most people who read Frankenstein for the first time are disappointed; then, in true King style, drawing one in with hints of what makes this work "wonderful"; in addition to introducing the book, he also introduces the artist, and concludes with "I hope you'll enjoy the wild tale that follows and the joyous, energetic representations of life which accompany them...and I think you will."
This the first/limited/signed edition with the Wrightson illustrations; issued in a glassine wrapper and a slipcase, a prior owner has added the dust jacket which covered the first trade edition. This results in one not only enjoying the dust jacket art by Wrightson, but it has also wonderfully protected the original glassine, which is as new.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full black cloth, the title stamped onto the front board in an art-deco calligraphic style in blue and gilt, gilt lettering on the spine, top edge stained blue, blue textured endpapers, limitation page near the front of the book, this no. 336 of 500 numbered copies of the limited first edition (there were also 26 lettered copies NFS and a trade edition), signed on this page by Berni Wrightson and Stephen King, pictorial title page by Wrightson one of the forty-two full-page black-and-white drawings by Wrightson, one double-spread drawing by Wrightson (which served as the dust jacket cover art for the trade edition); quarto size (11 1/8" by 8 3/8"), pagination: [1-5] 6-194 (note that illustrations are included in the pagination). Issued with a glassine wrapper, here present, along with a dust jacket from the trade edition which a prior owner supplied, placing it over the glassine; that jacket with the Wrightson double-spread illustration over a grey ground, lettering in white and red on both the front panel and spine, the jacket has been price-clipped (moot since it was not original to the book), short history of how "Frankenstein" came to be published and mention of King and Wrightson on the front flap, bios of King and Wrightson on the back flap. Housed within the slipcase issued with the signed/limited edition, covered in blue textured paper matching the endpapers.
___CONDITION: Fine, with clean boards, straight corners utterly without rubbing or wear, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, and as new. The original glassine also fine, clean, not toned or sunned, and without wear. The supplied (from the trade version) dust jacket near fine, clipped, with minor edgewear and very faint sunning to the red lettering of the spine. Slipcase near fine, strong and sturdy, with a few light stray marks on one side, and a faint crease at the tail of the "spine". Overall a lovely example of a quintessential collaboration, across time, of text and artwork wonderfully presented.
___CITATION: Clute and Grant, p. 367
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