Happy 100th Birthday
My favorite copy of my favorite childhood story turned 100 this year and I almost missed it. Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea captivated me as a kid. It fueled my endless fascination with the ocean and the variety of life contained within. This particular copy is a first edition out of the University of Chicago's Windermere series. It's in exceptional condition and I've owned it for many many years. It was published in 1922 making this year its 100th birthday (or print-day if you will). The image above is a fabulous illustration done by Chicago artist Milo Winter, and one of my all-time favorite illustrations ever. It had a heavy influence on my Logo if you weren't able to tell already!
I have yet to see another copy of this book which features this particular illustration on the front cover. Even other first editions I come across feature a different illustration from within, so I consider myself lucky. I was a lover of old books long before I became a lover of typewriters. I was, in essence, a strange kid. Books were my world, they were the reason I got out of bed every morning (or tried to stay in bed). They were both the reason I had no friends, and the reason I didn't care to make any.
Both the ocean, and consequentially this book, had a profound impact on my childhood and on my current interests. Though I no longer long to become a marine biologist, I will continue to scoop up any antique oceanic book that catches my eye and allows me to retain my limbs and internal organs (they can get pretty pricey, like my Holy Grail book: an 1890s copy of Kunstformen Der Natur by Ernst Haeckel, which features the most gorgeous chromolithographs I've ever laid eyes on.)
Anyway, I'd hate to be a bore. Appreciate books. There is little more powerful, maybe even nothing, than the written word.