THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII, by E.G.Bulwer-Lytton; Kurt Craemer - 1956 [ills. Signed Lt Ed]


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The Last Days of Pompeii

by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

intro by Edgar Johnson

illustrated by Kurt Craemer 

Limited Edition 1165/1500, signed by the illustrator and printer. Verona, Italy: Limited Editions Club at the Officina Bodoni, 1956.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD condition, in a VERY GOOD DJ and slipcase.

  • Handsome presentation, with illustrated cloth and simple DJ housed in a slipcase, all gently aged with minimal wear.
  • Boards are strong and attractive with illustrated cloth and firm corners. Spine features a red title block with bright gilt, and square ends.
  • Binding is secure.
  • Illustrations are bright and clear.
  • Interior is free of writing and intentional marks. Inside pages are an elegant parchment color with uncut edges.
  • Text block edges were well-preserved in slipcase, with little-to-no signs of wear. Head is inked in light yellow, with untrimmed fore and foot edges.
  • Plain white DJ has title printed on spine, some overall toning, and a sunned spine with minimally bumped ends, and a couple minor random marks near ends.
  • Slipcase exhibits aging and shelf wear, with toning around perims. Paper cover has .25" x .5" chip near head of book front, with .75" scrape leading to head, along with a scattering of smaller chips along edges. (See photos)
  • All slipcase corners are rubbed with varying amounts of exposed board. Corners of case opening are split up to 1" or starting. 
  • Sun-darkened spine of case sports a pasted title block. Shoulder near head shows a dampstain that extends into spine, 1" at largest width and is about 3" long with a 1/2" scrape. (See photo)
  • CR2020.1015

513 pages. 7.5 x 11.5 inches.

Printed cloth over boards houses fine grade Italian paper with uncut edges fore and foot. This is wrapped in a plain jacket, all housed in a gently aged slipcase. Woodblock illustrations in black, gray and/or red are distributed throughout, both full page and at some chapter starts and ends.

Originally published in 1834, this story was inspired by Karl Briullov's painting "The Last Day of Pompeii" (1833, Russian). In it he tries to show the meeting of cultures, the decadence of Rome, corruption of ancient Eastern religions, and the latest cultural trends. It ends with an escape from Pompeii amid the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE, and the characters' eventual conversion to Christianity.

This classic story has been adapted for film, theater and television.

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) was an English writer and politician of note. His writing was prolific, and he published a wide range of material including historical fiction, mystery, romance, the occult and science fiction. His works sold well and helped finance his extravagant lifestyle. His legacy exists in English "turns of phrase" that made a lasting impact on our culture, having coined the following: "the pen is mightier than the sword";  "pursuit of the almighty dollar"; "the great unwashed"; and "dweller on the threshold." He also penned the "seminal archetypal example of florid, melodramatic fiction writing" with the opening phrase to his book Paul Clifford"It was a dark and stormy night" (perhaps best known for it's use by Snoopy in the Peanuts comic). [Wikipedia]

EDITION POINTS: Signed by printer Giovani Mardersteig and illustrator Kurt Craemer on the colophon page at end of book. Limited Edition numbered as 1161 of 1500 printed.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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