San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2012. Stan Washburn. Hardcover. Octavo, 9 3/8" by 6 1/4", 460 pp., types Inland Caslon in Monotype and handset Caslon Bold Condensed and Mediaeval, illustrations printed from photopolymer plates. New. Item #CNAP095
A masterpiece of detective fiction by the inventor of the genre, "The Moonstone" is, in the words of Dorothy Sayers, "probably the very finest detective story ever written". No less demanding a reader than T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels," taking pains to remind us that the genre was "invented by Collins and not by Poe".
"The Moonstone" was first published in 1868, as a serial in Charles Dickens’ periodical "All the Year Round", and in three volumes by Tinsley Brothers, London; a revised edition appeared in 1871. It is the latter text that we have followed. Collins’ prefaces to both are included in the Arion Press edition.
Stan Washburn has made thirty-four scratchboard drawings as illustrations for this book. This technique is done by drawing in ink with pen and brush on a paperboard coated with white china clay. The artist can use a needle or knife to scratch through the dried ink and reveal white lines or areas. The process was developed as a less expensive alternative to wood engraving in the nineteenth century, when photography enabled negatives to be used to expose and etch metal printing plates, known as photo-engravings. Washburn has made nineteen head-and-shoulder portraits of characters in the book and one of the author for the frontispiece. The other fourteen include landscapes, scenes with more than one character, a significant piece of furniture, depictions of key buildings, and an idol.
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