Arion Lyre

95. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins, with illustrations by Stan Washburn

The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins, with thirty-four illustrations by Stan Washburn, September 2012.

'Cuff' Illustration by Stan WashburnThe Arion Press is proud to announce the publication of a deluxe illustrated limited edition of Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone. A masterpiece of detective fiction by the inventor of the genre, it is, in the words of Dorothy Sayers, “probably the very finest detective story ever written”. No less demanding a reader than T. S. Eliot called it “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels,” taking pains to remind us that the genre was “invented by Collins and not by Poe”. The Moonstone was first published in 1868, as a serial in Charles Dickens’ periodical All the Year Round, and in three volumes by Tinsley Brothers, London; a revised edition appeared in 1871. It is the latter text that we have followed. Collins’ prefaces to both are included in the Arion Press edition.

Stan Washburn has made thirty-four scratchboard drawings as illustrations for this book. This technique is done by drawing in ink with pen and brush on a paperboard coated with white china clay. The artist can use a needle or knife to scratch through the dried ink and reveal white lines or areas. The process was developed as a less expensive alternative to wood engraving in the nineteenth century, when photography enabled negatives to be used to expose and etch metal printing plates, known as photo-engravings.

'Rachel' Illustration by Stan WashburnWashburn has made nineteen head-and-shoulder portraits of characters in the book and one of the author for the frontispiece. The other fourteen include landscapes, scenes with more than one character, a significant piece of furniture, depictions of key buildings, and an idol.

More about the novel, the author, and the artist.

THE BOOK

The book is octavo in format, 9-3/8 by 6-1/4 inches, 460 pages. The types were chosen for their Victorian authenticity. They are Inland Caslon, 10 point, leaded 4 points, for the text, and Caslon Bold Condensed and Medieval for display. The blackletter had its origin in the Gothic Revival, of the period when the book was written. The thirty-four illustrations are printed from photopolymer plates. All printing was done by letterpress on a Miller TW two-color cylinder press, the second unit used for the illustrations to ensure proper inking. A second color, blue, is used for the Medieval type.The paper is Mohawk Letterpress. The binding is full blue cloth with silver foil stamping for titling, pale yellow endpapers, and blue and yellow headbands. The book is enclosed in a slipcase with a Swarovski crystal “Moonstone” on the spine. It was designed by Andrew Hoyem, with the assistance of his associates at Arion Press, named in the colophon.

THE EDITION

This is the ninety-fifth publication of Arion Press. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution. All copies are signed by the artist. The price is $600. Available.

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Edition: The book is octavo in format, 9-3/8 by 6-1/4 inches, 460 pages. The binding is full blue cloth, enclosed in a slipcase with a Swarovski crystal “Moonstone” on the spine. The book is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. All copies are signed by the artist. The price is $600.

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Purchase the book securely online now:

Reserve book and pay offline:

Reserve your copy


More about the novel, the author, and the artist.