Very Good. Item #5773
New York: Covici-Friede Publishers, 1929. "Privately Printed for Subscribers Only." "This edition is limited to thirteen hundred numbered copies of which this is copy number 1387"--a numerical impossibility which may indicate over-subscription or acknowledged over-run. Folio; Vol I xl + 515pp; Vol II extends pagination through p. 865; Vol III extends pagination through p.1274. Illustrations by Jean de Bosschère include B&W plates throughout and a few full-color tipped-in plates; final volume includes full-page medieval reproductions. Brown paper boards with green canvas spines and pasted-on spine labels. Deckle-cut fore-edge on textblock with gilded top edge. Heavy wove paper.
Boards are soiled and stained without any liquid damage. Board edges scuffed here and there; corners abraded. Green spines faded to brown; spine labels now illegible. Joints on all three volumes solid; hinges slightly loosened. Despite external cosmetics, contents are clean, unmarked, and nearly as new apart from even age-toning of sheets.
The irrepressibly racy and merrily blasphemous humor of Rabelais is here presented in irrepressibly racy and merrily blasphemous American English by the distinguished scholar Samuel Putnam, who would later become the renowned translator of Don Quixote. Belgian painter Jean de Bosschère worked in a highly eroticized Art Nouveau style influenced by Aubrey Beardsley, and he calibrates carefully what he can allow himself to depict for the prudish American audience while illustrating the jolly carnality of Rabelais. Putnam's linguistic scholarship, in general, and scholarly notations and appendices for Rabelais, in particular, are admirable. Fay ce que vouldras.