Synopses & Reviews
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcoversfeaturing cover art by Jessica Hische
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany and Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.
W is for Whitman. When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his life, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but the 1855 original marked Whitmans fresh and bold arrival, greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as the beginning of a great career.” This volume specially compiled for Penguin Drop Caps will also include a range of additional popular poems including selections from "Calamus," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," and "Drum-Taps," as well as Whitmans 1855, 1856 and 1976 prefaces and Democratic Vistas.”
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers and Books
Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award
Praise for Leaves of Grass:
"I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. . . . I rubbed my eyes a little to see if this sunbeam were no illustion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because theyre beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hisches fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austens A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Brontes B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
This deluxe 150th anniversary edition of Whitman's masterwork features the complete text of the 1855 poem in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by bestselling critic Harold Bloom.
The publication of Leaves of Grass in July 1855 was a landmark event in literary history. Ralph Waldo Emerson judged the book "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Nothing like the volume had ever appeared before. Everything about it--the unusual jacket and title page, the exuberant preface, the twelve free-flowing, untitled poems embracing every realm of experience--was new. The 1855 edition broke new ground in its relaxed style, which prefigured free verse; in its sexual candor; in its images of racial bonding and democratic togetherness; and in the intensity of its affirmation of the sanctity of the physical world.
A deluxe edition of Whitman's crowning achievement, with an introductory essay by Harold Bloom
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his great career, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but as Harold Bloom reminds us, the book that matters most is the 1855 original. In celebration of the poems 150th anniversary, Penguin Classics proudly presents the 1855 text in its original and complete form, with a specially commissioned introductory essay by Harold Bloom.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A deluxe edition of Frosts early poems, selected by poet David Orr for the centennial of The Road Not Taken”
For one hundred years, Robert Frosts The Road Not Taken” has enchanted and challenged readers with its deceptively simple premisea person reaches a fork in the road, facing a choice full of doubt and possibility. The Road Not Taken and Other Poems presents Frosts best-loved poem along with other works from his brilliant early years, including such poems as After Apple-Picking,” The Oven Bird,” and Mending Wall.” Award-winning poet and critic David Orrs introduction discusses why Frost remains so central (if often misunderstood) in American culture and how the beautiful intricacy of his poetry keeps inviting generation after generation to search for meaning in his work.
About the Author
(18191892) was born on Long Island and educated in Brooklyn, NY. He served as a printers devil, journeyman compositor, and itinerant schoolteacher, edited the Long Islander, and in 1846 became editor of The Brooklyn Eagle, a position from which he was discharged for political reasons. After a period in New Orleans, considered seminal in shaping his philosophy, he returned to Brooklyn. Although he had earlier affected the mien of a dandy, he now dressed as a rough,” and became prominent among the bohemian element of New York. In 1855 he published the first of many editions of Leaves of Grass
. The Civil War found him working as an unofficial nurse to Northern and Southern soldiers in army hospitals in Washington D.C. After the war he became a clerk in the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior, from which he was shortly dismissed by the Secretary on the grounds that LEAVES OF GRASS was an immoral book. During his last nineteen years he lived in Camden, New Jersey. Among his works are Drum-Taps
(1865), Democratic Vistas
and Passage to India
(1871), and Specimen Days
Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, typographer, and web designer. She currently serves on the Type Directors Club board of directors, has been named a Forbes Magazine "30 under 30" in art and design as well as an ADC Young Gun and one of Print Magazines "New Visual Artists". She has designed for Wes Anderson, McSweeney's, Tiffany and Co, Penguin Books and many others. She resides primarily in San Francisco, occasionally in Brooklyn.