Very Good. Item #6694
Edinburgh and New York: The Limited Editions Club / R. & R. Clark, 1940. Number 889 out of limited issue of 1500. Octavo; Vol I lxix+369pp, Vol II vi+381pp, Vol III vi+391, Vol IV iv+383pp, Vol V iv+351pp, Vol VI iv+341pp, Vol VII iv+359pp, Vol VIII iv+383pp, with numbered issue limitation page.
The Limited Editions Club has issued Casanova's memoirs twice: first in 1940, unabridged in 8 volumes, without illustrations, but introduced by Havelock Ellis; the second time in 1972, abridged in one volume, with illustrations, but without Havelock Ellis. Ours is the 1940 edition.
The volumes were designed by Frances Meredith Meynell, founder of the Nonesuch Press. Rose cloth spines with gilt stamping and block-print boards. Textblocks in écru laid paper; slipcases in coated black paper with metallic lettering.
Spines show only the faintest sunning. Textblocks are nearly pristine, unmarred and unmarked, seemingly unread. The slipcases—ahimè—have seen better days: all edges are scuffed, an area about 2cm x 7cm has been skinned off the 2nd slipcase spine and its top horizontal panel is missing altogether. That said, all joints have been newly reinforced and the cases are solid qua cases. Fortunately, their infirmities are not transmissible. Thus unlike Casanova's.
This copy includes two laid-in issues (124 and 125, May and July 1940) of the witty, learned, and informative Monthly Letter of the Limited Editions Club, offering background on the contributors to the publication. Arthur Machen's translation has long been a standard one in English. Havelock Ellis was at the height of his middlebrow notoriety in the United States when the Club asked him—in an elegantly mischievous gesture—to revise an earlier Casanova essay as the Introduction.
The story of a sex-fiend who became a librarian is inherently gripping for booksellers, and (we surmise) for those who frequent booksellers' websites.