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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
By Jules Verne
Scribner Series for Young People Edition, 1925
DESCRIPTION: In an age of Kindles and digital books, it seems one of the things that is rapidly disappearing are the giant sets of reprinted backlist titles most publishing companies were maintaining by the beginning of the 20th century, often done under one massive design scheme to both save money and to give the books a uniform look when on a shelf. Take for example the “Scribner Series for Young People,” which definitely ran throughout the 1920s if not before and after as well, which collected up hundreds of titles and ran them through the “publishing machine” to get them uniformly ready for output; and this particular title from the series for sale today, Jules Verne’s Victorian classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, is about as institutionalized as a book like this gets, with the poor in-house artist of the cover and four interior illustrations (one in color, three grayscale) not even listed by name, and a large ad for other books in this series being the main thrust of the entire front matter. To be frank, a book like this will never end up being worth much to a full-time collector; but at nearly a hundred years old now and still in relatively great shape (but see “Condition” below for more), this is a highly affordable conversation piece for any book lover’s home, not just an ode to Victorian science-fiction but also the Modernist Era’s rediscovery of it, when so many of these fantastical ideas first started becoming true in real life.
CONDITION: Text: Good Plus (G+). In general still in great shape for a book its age, but there are discolorations on the back cover which bring down its rating quite a bit, fabric crinkles on both edges of the spine, and a bit of wear and tear on the frontispiece color cover. Ex-libris bookplate on inside front cover, children’s design signed “Otto Wm. Schur, 1245 Glenlake Ave.” Issued without a dust jacket. Stated date of “1925” on title page, but it’s difficult to tell the actual publishing date of these mass-run backlist titles, because no detailed records were kept of their print runs.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP on September 2, 2013, at the Oak Park Book Fair.
CURRENTLY ON AUCTION AT EBAY: FINISH DATE, NOVEMBER 3RD
MINIMUM BID: US$15 / BUY THIS MOMENT FOR $30 / FREE SHIPPING