Calla Editions: Books of Distinction for the Contemporary Bibliophile

The Calla imprint from Dover brings beautiful books to all.

The Knave of Hearts

You can own gorgeous books. It’s possible with this premium imprint from Dover, which features works from the golden age of illustration, magnificent photo collections, and illustrated classics both familiar and undiscovered. Each Calla Edition recalls a time when bookmaking was an art form. You can hold that art in your own hands and share it with those you love.

With a collection of over 70 titles, it’s hard to pick out just a few, but here are some examples:

The Ship that Sailed to Mars

The Ship that Sailed to Mars by William Timlin, with an introduction by artist and designer John Howe. Dover’s Calla Editions make hard-to-find masterworks available to all and this book fulfills this aim with an edition that combines beautiful illustrations with an engaging story. Dover excels in bringing forgotten titles like these out of semi-obscurity and making them available. The author, William Timlin, was a South African architect whose imaginative story is presented with calligraphy in his own hand, as well as 48 of his illustrated color plates. This book has been called “the most original and beautiful children’s book of the 1920s,” by Richard Dalby, author of The Golden Age of Children’s Book Illustrations.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe, with illustrations by Harry Clarke. A gorgeous anthology featuring 29 tales of the fantastic and macabre by Poe. The volume includes such well-known tales as “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” along with lesser known gems. The stories are accompanied by 8 full-color plates and 24 full-page drawings by Harry Clarke, an Edwardian artist whose work compares favorably with contemporary Aubrey Beardsley, and brings to life the dark beauty of Poe’s stories.

Faust

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by John Anster, and illustrated by Harry Clarke. When his Faust was first published in 1808, Goethe was already a well-known literary figure and statesman throughout Europe and beyond. Goethe’s Faust is a poetic drama enacting the familiar legend of Dr. Faust, a scholar whose ambition for worldly fame and fortune drives him to a bargain with the devil so that he might obtain his desires in exchange for his soul. The play, however, is also a brilliant exploration of social, psychological and philosophical themes that are present in late 18th century humanism. Many readers and critics consider Faust to be the author’s masterpiece and the greatest work of German literature. The Calla edition of Faust features John Anster’s English translation, which is acclaimed for its truth to the original German verse.

The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights by Rene Bull , originally published by Constable & Company, Ltd., in 1912. The Irish illustrator Rene Bull produced 20 full-color plates and 100 black-line illustrations to accompany the fanciful tales told nightly by the protagonist Scheherazade to the Sultan so that he might let her live for one more day. This edition is abridged from the original collection of tales in A Thousand and One Nights, and thus would be a suitable gift for younger readers.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast by Hon. Eleanor Vere Boyle, originally published by Sampson Low, Marston, and Searle, London, 1875. Inner character triumphs over outward appearance in this tale of the power of love. Beauty and the Beast continues to fascinate generations of readers: the story has inspired a series of written versions, as well as film adaptations, ranging from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 masterpiece to the popular blockbuster from 2016, which was directed by Bill Condon. The gorgeous Calla edition features 10 full-color plates and numerous black and white images which first appeared in Boyle’s 1875 publication. Boyle was a noted Victorian era author and artist whose memorable illustrations enhance her story: the Beast, for instance, is depicted as a saber-toothed panther.

Art Nouveau Graphic Masterpieces

Art Nouveau Graphic Masterpieces: 100 Plates from “La Decoration Artistique” by Henry Guedy. This Calla Edition, reprints 100 plates from la Decoration Antique, c. 1904–10. Designers, collectors and aficionados will treasure this collection of 100 decorative, full-color graphics. The plates are reproduced from the hard-to-find periodical La Decoration Artisque, which was published in Paris in the decade before World War I. Images include storefronts for bakeries and cafes; decorative friezes of theatrical masks; stenciled decorations for fire screens; and corner and ceiling elements. This volume is essential for any library or collector of Art Nouveau graphics; the collection provides a lasting source of inspiration.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Indulge in forever with these titles from Dover, for yourself or for those who need a great and glorious book!