Much Loved Books – James O’Donnell Bennett (1932)


Much Loved Books – James O’Donnell Bennett (1932)


An exquisite fine binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, of a volume containing essays on some of the greatest works of literature ever written.

Title: Much Loved Books: Best Sellers of the Ages

Author: James O’Donnell Bennett

Publisher: Liveright, 1932.

Condition: Fine binding, full calf. Very good. Very slight rubbing to leather. Raised bands to spine, gilt border. Bright gilt to all edges. Marbled endpapers, with the Sangorski & Sutcliffe stamp. Text clean, binding tight. A beautiful book. Overseas shipping will cost extra.

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About Sangorski & Sutcliffe (from Wikipedia):

Sangorski & Sutcliffe is a firm of bookbinders established in London in 1901. It is considered to be one of the most important bookbinding companies of the 20th century, famous for its luxurious jeweled bindings that used real gold and precious stones in their book covers.

Sangorski & Sutcliffe was established by Francis Sangorski (1875–1912) and George Sutcliffe (1878–1943). They had met in 1896 at a bookbinding evening classes taught by Douglas Cockerell at the London County Council’s Central School of Arts and Crafts.

They quickly revived the art of jewelled bookbindings, decorating their sumptuous multi-colour leather book bindings with gold inlay and precious and semi-precious jewels. They were commissioned to create a most luxurious binding of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the front cover of which was adorned with three golden peacocks with jewelled tails and surrounded by heavily tooled and gilded vines, that was sent on the ill-fated RMS Titanic in 1912. The book, known as the Great Omar, sank with the ship and has not been recovered. Shortly afterwards, Sangorski drowned.

Sutcliffe continued the firm, which became recognised as one of the leading bookbinders in London. The bindery moved to Poland Street, and managed to survive through the First World War, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and post-war austerity. In this period, it undertook work for the Ashendene Press, Golden Cockerel Press and the J. & E. Bumpus bookshop. It also created miniature books for Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.

About the book (from Goodreads):

THE little papers now collected under the title Much Loved Books were first printed serially in the Chicago Tribune under the title Best Sellers of the Ages. With the Tribunes cordial per mission they now are used in book form. The idea of a series of brief, unassuming articles which should emphasize the deathless news value of great books of ancient and modern times had its origin with the editors of the Tribune. That idea was worked out along the lines of an assignment to a newspaper reporter. In revising the articles for book form an effort has been made not to blur the thought which was the reason for the assignment the thought that the songs of Homer and the meditations of Thoreau still are good news.

Includes essays on books such as:

The Bible
Treasure Island
Pride & Prejudice
Plutarch’s Lives
Les Miserables
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Goethe’s Faust
Don Quixote

….and more..