“WHERE ARE THE SNOWS OF YESTERYEAR?”: FINE LIMITED EDITION OF VILLON’S COMPLETE WORKS, ILLUSTRATED BY ALEXANDER KING— VINCENT STARRETT’S COPY
VILLON, François. The Complete Works… Translated with an Introduction and notes by J.U. Nicolson. Illustrations by Alexander King. New York: Covici, Friede, 1928. Two volumes. Tall, thick octavo, original red cloth gilt, uncut, original dust jackets. $450.
Limited illustrated edition of Villon’s complete works, number 523 of only 960 copies signed by Nicolson, with ten striking full-page illustrations by Alexander King. This copy is signed on the half title by detective novelist, book collector and Chicago Tribune book columnist Vincent Starrett, with his gift inscription.
“One of the most famous poets of medieval literature,” Villon was a 15th-century rogue who spent much of his life either in exile or in prison (Hollier, 118-24). In 1461, in a fit of despair caused by ill health, destitution and remorse, he composed his Grand Testament, a poem of some 2000 lines. “By its mingled bitterness, melancholy and humor, its sincerity and deep feeling, it contrasts strikingly with the insipid lyrics of his predecessors and with the moralizings of those who followed” (Harvey & Heseltine, 748-49). This splendid limited edition of Villon, designed by Douglas McMurtrie, is illustrated by renowned Austrian-born artist and author Alexander King. Recognized for his illustrations of O’Neill’s Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape, Flaubert’s Salammbo, and Bulliet’s Venus Castina, King served as an associate editor of Life Magazine, and was a close friend of such writers as e.e. cummings, Isak Dinesen and Henry Miller. He was a regular on Jack Parr’s late night TV show. Bookplates of Vincent Starrett and Fridolf Johnson.
Books fine, with only lightest rubbing to bottom edges and torn corner to half title of Volume II, dust jackets chipped along top edges.