Frieda Lawrence's Copy in the Alvin Lustig Dust Jacket

    Alain-Fournier. The Wanderer (Le Grand Meaulnes). [New York: New Directions Books, 1946].

    New Classics edition. Frieda Lawrence's copy. Small octavo. 306 pages.

    Publisher's green cloth over boards with gilt spine titles. Alvin Lustig dust jacket has minor chipping and small tears at extremities. Back panel of jacket advertising New Classics series has closed tears and wrinkling to top of panel. A nice copy of a scarce dust jacket in any condition. Frieda Lawrence--wife of D. H.--has signed the front pastedown with her characteristic script and tailing squiggle.

    Alvin Lustig has been having something of a renaissance lately with the long-overdue publication of the first monograph on his influential mid-century design. The illustration for The Wanderer is on the front cover of the Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig along with two other New Classics covers. James Laughlin, the publisher of New Directions, noted that "these jackets have enormously increased the sale of the New Classics Series. About eight books were in print before Lustig came into the picture. They were jacketed in a very conservative, 'booky,' way. Sales were pretty dreary. Then we brightened the books up with the Lustig covers. Immediately, they began to move. [...] His beautiful designs are helping to make a mass audience aware of high quality reading." The only complete novel by Alain-Fournier is this twentieth-century coming-of-age classic dressed up in mid-century fashion by Alvin Lustig.

    James Laughlin, Bookjackets by Alvin Lustig for New Directions Books, Gotham Book Mart, 1947.

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