The Definitive Dwiggins no. 174—Tartarin of Tarascon
From 1929 until his death in 1956, W.A. Dwiggins focused on type design and book design. During those years he had three principal clients: Mergenthaler Linotype, Alfred A. Knopf, and the George Macy Companies. The George Macy Companies consisted of a group of imprints, chief among them The Limited Editions Club.  Dwiggins was Macy’s preferred book designer and, after the summer of 1930, his de facto art director, responsible for designing newsletters, stationery, checks, display racks, and other items, including the gold medal for the winner of the George Macy Award. 
The first book that Dwiggins designed for Macy was Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet (1840–1897), originally published in French in 1872 as Les Aventures Prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon. It was part of the First Series of books published by The Limited Editions Club, a new venture that Macy had conceived in late 1928.  His decision to invite Dwiggins to be part of the initial list—alongside illustrators T.M. Cleland, Edward A. Wilson, Rudolph Ruzicka, C.B. Falls, Allen Lewis, and Renè Clarke—was undoubtedly sparked by the fact that, in the fall of 1928, Dwiggins had suddenly become a hot name in the world of fine printing. Between August and November seven limited-edition books designed by him had been published: The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton (printed by The Merrymount Press); Ballades by the Hidden Way by James Branch Cabell, Sonnets: 1889-1927 by Edwin Arlington Robinson, Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey, and Good Morning America by Carl Sandburg, all published by Crosby Gaige; America Conquers Death by Milton Waldman (printed by William Edwin Rudge); and Paraphs by Hermann Püterschein, published by Alfred A. Knopf. This led Publishers’ Weekly (November 3, 1928) to declare, “We believe this to be a Dwiggins year, the year when a distinguished designer seems to have come into his own in trade and public recognition.” 
A Slow Beginning
On February 11, 1929 Macy wrote to Dwiggins to confirm an agreement they had made a few days earlier, probably by telephone, for the latter “to illustrate and design the book [Tartarin of Tarascon] in any way you please”. The agreement also gave Dwiggins the right to supervise the printing of the book which Macy suggested be done by Richard Ellis (1895–1982) of The Georgian Press. Macy offered Dwiggins a fee of $1500 for everything. 
Two days later Dwiggins responded that he couldn’t begin work on the illustrations until after September, but that he could start on the “prelims” (front matter) before then.  He was unable to start on the illustrations because he was still deeply immersed in two books that he had begun working on years earlier: Tales by Edgar Allan Poe for The Lakeside Press since September 1926 and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson for the fledgling Random House since October 1927.  Furthermore, he had just begun work on Metro, his first typeface for Mergenthaler Linotype.
In his response to Macy, Dwiggins also indicated that The Georgian Press as the printer of Tartarin of Tarascon was fine with him. It is unclear how familiar he was with Ellis and his work. The Georgian Press was relatively new, but it had already done work for Random House and had garnered much acclaim for B.R., America’s Typographic Playboy by Carl Purington Rollins, an essay on the work of the book designer Bruce Rogers published in 1927.  Rollins, director of the Yale University Press, was one of Dwiggins’ closest friends. If The Georgian Press was good enough for him, then it was good enough for Dwiggins.
In April Macy wanted to meet with both Dwiggins and Ellis in New York to discuss the book. Dwiggins replied that he was too busy to go to New York and suggested Macy to bring Ellis to his studio in Boston instead. Macy eventually met with Dwiggins in Boston in mid-July, but a three-way gathering never occurred and Ellis and Dwiggins never met separately. Dwiggins was not as interested in a face-to-face meeting with either Macy or Ellis, as he was in finding out what equipment the latter had.  This information was crucial to his planning of Tartarin of Tarascon.
Macy never responded to Dwiggins’ request for information about Ellis’ equipment and there is no surviving correspondence from Ellis on the subject. One clue to what Ellis had in 1929 comes from Will Ransom, author Private Presses and Their Books, who described The Georgian Press thusly, “No printing except books is done and they are usually hand-set, with occasional recourse to Monotype composition, and printed directly from the type, on dampened hand-made paper in most instances.”  There is no mention of the kind of presses that Ellis had, their size or their number.
In mid-August Dwiggins went on vacation. “I’ll be back at the drawing-board the first week in September,” he promised Macy before he left. He had finally finished Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but was still working on the Poe book for Lakeside Press and juggling other jobs.  In mid-July he complained to Elmer Adler of Pynson Printers, “Im [sic] doing an 18 hour schedule now, and this Cleland book calls for more than can be tucked in before one o’clock of nights. I am overworking horribly as it is, and I am just not up to it. Damn sorry. I’m a one-man factory you know.”  Dwiggins wasn’t willing to make room in his schedule to write a review of a book as Adler wanted, but he was willing to do so for Macy. A chance to design and illustrate a book enticed him more than writing about one.  Yet, he was overly optimistic that he would be able to begin drawing illustrations for Tartarin of Tarascon in September.
On September 9 Macy asked Dwiggins if he had begun working on the book. He hadn’t. And as the months went by, there was no word from Dwiggins on his progress with Tartarin of Tarascon. Macy sent him a draft of Jacques LeClerq’s translation in late November. Ellis was ready to print. Where was Dwiggins with the book? Dwiggins responded that he liked the translation: “I am very much stimulated!” In early December, he finally sent off specs for the book to Ellis.  At this point the first two books in the First Series of The Limited Editions had been published.
Macy exhibited extraordinary patience with Dwiggins’ dilatoriness, even going so far as to reassure Dwiggins that he was not upset with the pace of things. On January 9, 1930, he telegrammed Dwiggins: “JUST LIKE PAPER YOU ARE A NECESSARY PART OF THE PICTURE.” The comment was a reference to the long-running slogan of the Strathmore Paper Company. (Dwiggins had been part of the company’s campaign in 1923 and 1924.) Apparently the telegram had been prompted by Ellis showing Macy correspondence he had in which Dwiggins expressed amazement that Macy expected illustrations to be ready by April. A few days later, Macy tried to smooth things over with Dwiggins. He explained that he was trying to overcome Ellis’ habit of procrastination(!) and that he had changed the printing schedule with Ellis. He was willing to give Dwiggins until June to finish the illustrations. Macy then went on to tell Dwiggins that his plans for Tartarin of Tarascon filled him “with delight”. “Your mind does not work along the lines which other typographers find conventional,” he concluded, “and that is why I enjoy your work more than that of any other present typographer.”  Oddly—though prudently—in September 1929, Macy had left Dwiggins’ name out of the The Monthly Letter of The Limited Editions Club, making mention only of LeClerq in announcing Tartarin of Tarascon. 
Dwiggins’ plan for Tartarin of Tarascon was to make it a small book. His proposal was a reaction to the trend in the 1920s toward large and lavish books that ostentatiously flaunted their status as exemplars of “fine printing”. Recent examples were The Book of Job (Grabhorn Press, 1926), Candide by Voltaire (New York: Random House, 1928) with 70 illustrations by Rockwell Kent, Divine Comedy (John Henry Nash, 1929) in four volumes, and All the Extant Works of Rabelais (New York: Covici-Friede, 1929) in three volumes. Book historian Megan Benton referred to these books and others like them as “gilded goblets”.  Dwiggins had already registered his opposition to such book monuments a few years earlier when he asked William A. Kittredge to let him make the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe “so much smaller than the usual grand edition.” He explained that
I picture it as a quite personal volume—quite handy and intimate—and not one of the usual kind of limited edition affairs. I think that we can make it rich enough to be quite desirable to the fancy without depending on area. I see it as a compact and quite rich package. 
A few weeks after Macy’s telegram and conciliatory letter, Dwiggins finally began serious work on Tartarin of Tarascon. He wrote to Ellis on February 7, 1930 that he had succeeded in “scheming” the illustrations for the book and expected there to be fifty pages with drawings.
I shall stay inside that number, as, as the make-up proceeds, I can give or take as the conditions require—for example, the way sections end, etc.
I plan to have the chapter sections begin each on a page to itself, either left or right (i.e. not invariably right page) and you can allow 1/4 page for these headings. There will be a 6 page allowance for half-titles—3, with blank behind,—Episode 1 At Tarascon, etc. You have translator’s preface and know what that will make. If we can arrive at a final scheme for type-page for preface and body you can say how much paper the edition will take. Final scheme for pages can be settled as soon as I get trial set-up from you on the basis of the sketches I sent, and have a day or two to mull ’em over.
I should like to know how the paper will bulk, on the final count-up, before saying whether one volume or two. If it makes a chubby volume, and to too chubby, one volume would be better, I think. I wouldn’t mind if it were a trifle fat and chunky. But that will have to wait on the other determinations that depend on the type-page scheme. 
The paper that Ellis and Dwiggins had chosen, and which Macy had assented to, was Praga, a handmade sheet from Czechoslovakia that was imported by the Japan Paper Company.  It later proved to be a stumbling block in producing the book.
A Cursed Book
Once the format of the book had been agreed upon Dwiggins got to work on the illustrations, rapidly completing those for the first 64 pages by the beginning of May. In keeping Macy apprised of his progress, he commented, “…I think the old machine will stand the strain; she will grind right on.” He was referring, as he often did to his body in mechanical terms, but Macy thought he was complaining about a problem with machine-made paper!  There was a problem, but it had nothing to do with paper, either handmade or machine-made.
Macy had apparently shown a page for Tartarin of Tarascon in a recent number of The Monthly Letter of The Limited Editions Club that had Dwiggins worried. He wrote to Macy on May 17, under the heading “REPORT TO GEN. H. Q.”:
Your circular came in yesterday P.M. The imposition of TART [Tartarin of Tarascon] type-page therein was not the same as the one I sent Georgia [Georgian Press]. Type-page imposition as per WAD an important part of design. Vital, in fact, I says to myself: “Is Georgia proceeding upon basis of News Letter exhibit?” Horrible thought.
NOW, if Georgia has run a form as per margins in celebrated Macy-News-Letter-Bulletin! He had my layout quite otherwise. I have copy of same. No exaggeration to say that M-N-L-B margins would ditch book so far as WAD is concerned.
ALL THIS may be typhoon about nothing: Georgia may have followed my layout. But hadn’t you better find out?
Dwiggins hoped that Ellis was not following the page in the newsletter, but his attempts to contact him by mail and telegram to find out had failed. “This morning the West. Union informs me that he [Ellis] has no ‘phone and that they (at Westport) mailed message.” But he still had not heard from Ellis and wanted Macy to find out what was going on. Macy responded that Ellis had a telephone, but that he too had been unable to reach him. Perhaps he was ill. As for the bad margins mentioned in the newsletter, Macy accepted the blame. 
Things seemed to be better a few days later. Ellis sent his first proofs to Dwiggins on May 21 with a cautionary note that he had to take great care in printing due to two things:
(a) the variable thickness of the sheets as per the full sheets sent you—and (b) a considerable number of hard clumps and fibre in the sheet—as on p. 28 of the folded sheet herewith—these blemished—which occur quite frequently—necessitate in many cases [inserted: when they happen in the type page]—stopping the press & changing a letter or so, which has been damaged by them*. The variable weight of the paper makes impression difficult, but we are working that out fairly well. All in all, I think the result is very pleasing—don’t you? It is going to make a delightful book.
*In case one should hit a line of an engraving—no damage would be done, as the zinc is sufficiently hard to withstand it. 
In an undated note Dwiggins commiserated with Ellis, commenting that “Imported paper is the devil.” But in a letter from May 23, he was very positive about Ellis’ proofs as well as the Praga paper, though he found fault with the engravings:
The plain type page is bully, the heading scheme works, and the paper is all that one hoped.
Watch this:—the engraver has blocked the metals without much attention to my levels. I am writing him about it. Where there are vertical lines in a drawing—corners of houses etc,—you can get an idea of my levels—also the pencil frame line is square with the drawing, and the roman numerals in most cases. Plate II for example, has been blocked away off, but luckily it doesn’t matter so much in that one.
Where the engraver has blocked them cock-eyed and you can’t Dutch ’em straight with furniture, you will have to send them back for reblocking.
POWER TO YOUR ELBOW—we will make a dicky little book. 
At this point work on Tartarin of Tarascon seemed to be finally progressing smoothly, though Macy was getting nervous about not yet having a dummy. Without it the book’s bulk could not be determined and that meant that the question of one or two volumes was still unresolved. The issue must have been decided early in June in favor of two volumes with a slipcase because Macy wrote to Dwiggins on June 13 that he liked his plans for the binding and box. He also reassured Dwiggins that, in response to his worries over Ellis’ lack of speed in sending proofs, that he had met with the printer to go over the book’s production schedule. 
At this point, with Dwiggins having only three drawings left to do, Macy suddenly began to have qualms about them. He was worrying that the LEC subscribers wouldn’t understand Dwiggins’ idea of treating the illustrations as if they were loose pen-and-ink sketches in an artist’s notebook. “Don’t fret about the pictures,” Dwiggins wrote back. “They’ll grow on you. They look so easy that you are afraid the customers will think that we are soldiering on ’em. What? But you wait. Give ’em time to get their licks in and you will find that it is a pretty snifty little album.” Furthermore, he told Macy not to worry that Tartarin of Tarascon was not going to be showy enough or “having more lines to the square inch to impress ’em…but you wait ’till [sic] the poison begins to work.” 
Dwiggins apparently assuaged Macy’s misgivings about the illustrations, not that there was much that could be done about them at this stage of production. However, Macy felt that the book had a “hoodoo cast upon it”. He wrote to Dwiggins on June 17 that the Praga paper had arrived from Czechoslovakia late—and that it was the wrong size! The page dimensions of the book would have to be changed to something shorter and a little more square. That meant that forms had to be reprinted, new binding dies had to be made, and the slipcase had to be redone. Dwiggins was surprisingly calm in the face of this news. “The paper was a jinx and I am sorry I picked it,” he wrote back. “But it’s the right paper.” He was not too upset by the shortened page since it did not affect his illustrations. 
Printing of the first volume of Tartarin of Tarascon was completed by the end of June 1930. In sending a bound dummy to Dwiggins, Macy remarked that the title page was fine but the printing less so and that there had been trouble with the binding die. Despite these complaints, he felt the result was a “warm package”. He was sending the colophon sheets to Dwiggins to be signed, but worried that the train carrying them would be wrecked since the book was cursed. Because he was dissatisfied with Ellis’ printing, Macy told Dwiggins that The Marchbanks Press was going to handle the second volume. 
Macy sent Dwiggins a check for $1000, the final payment of his fee, on July 1 and reiterated that he was delighted with the whole book “despite the fevers attendant upon its manufacture.” Dwiggins agreed that it came out well despite its troubles. “What happened to him [Tartarin] was nobody’s fault but my own—so whattaell,” he told Macy. “It was good fun anyway—except for Georgia [The Georgian Press] and the Japan Paper Co.” He expected the book to look better in a year. 
Dwiggins’ illustrations for Tartarin of Tarascon are unlike most others he did for books. They are loose, sketchy, unframed, and in black-and-white. Their antecedents include an illustration (see below) he made for a fictitious edition of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds published in Transactions of The Society of Calligraphers Bulletin No. 1, Part II in January 1924 and, to a lesser extent, a desolate tree drawn for the opening of Part II, Chapter II of My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926). However, the sketchiness of the latter is severely muted by the pale green tint placed over it.  As for the drawing for The War of the Worlds Dwiggins called it a symbol rather than a picture.
The sketchiness of the drawings for Tartarin of Tarascon strongly contrasted with those Dwiggins had just completed for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and for Tales by Edgar Allan Poe even though all three books, with a few exceptions, were illustrated in black-and-white. The illustrations for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were drawn in a manner deliberately suggesting nineteenth-century wood engravings. The figures are stiff; tight hatching is used to suggest volume, the folds of clothing, and shadows; and each illustration is enclosed in a red-ruled box. Some figures are depicted entirely through hatching.  On the other hand, the illustrations for the Poe book were made with an ink spatter process that gave many scenes a dusky effect.
Alphonse Daudet’s narrative of Tartarin’s adventures is comic, but Dwiggins’ illustrations are not. He deliberately avoids depicting Tartarin as buffoonish or caricaturing any of the people or animals in the book that he meets, such as the camel that tries to follow him back to France from Algeria. This is surprising for someone who has often been characterized as whimsical. But here Dwiggins has restrained himself and allowed Daudet to delineate the absurdity of Tartarin’s quest to kill a lion. The illustrations are objective records of what happened to him as his adventures unfolded, devoid of commentary. This sets the illustrations of Tartarin of Tarascon apart from those Dwiggins subsequently did for two other humorous books, Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais (New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1936) and The Bomb that Wouldn’t Go Off: And Other Fables from Moronia by John Phillips (Boston: Bruce Humphries, 1941).
Dwiggins’ illustrations for Gargantua and Pantagruel are actually tiny vignettes, some from the past and some, incongruously, from the 20th century. Some are broadly comic, while others are mildly amusing, but none of them illustrate the text. Instead they amplify it. The fact that they are in color has no bearing on their content. Dwiggins used color to add sparkle to the otherwise dense text pages. 
The small illustrations that Dwiggins made for the fables of his friend John Phillips are deliberately humorous. They are entirely in keeping with the spirit of stories whose protagonists include animated trolley cars, cement mixers, smokestacks, and book worms, alongside self-involved or obsessive humans. Although the illustrations—Dwiggins called them pictographs—are casual, they are more deliberately drawn than those of Tartarin of Tarascon.
Dwiggins’ illustrations for Droll Stories by Honorè de Balzac (New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1932), his second book for Macy, are in stark contrast to those of Tartarin of Tarascon. They are highly stylized and printed in bright color (anticipating those of Gargantua and Pantagruel). Furthermore, most of them are simply heads or upper torsos (see above); only a few depict a scene with more than one person.
Another way in which Tartarin of Tarascon differs from other limited edition books illustrated by Dwiggins is in how and where he has placed illustrations within the story. All of the sketches are positioned either at the bottom of a text page (always a verso) or are placed on a page without text. None are used as headpieces to a chapter and none are run-in to the text as was common in nineteenth-century illustrated novels.  The illustrations essentially provide a break between chapters, emphasizing the episodic nature of Tartarin’s adventures. The illustrated double-page spreads—there are thirteen of them within the book, with most occurring in Volume II—function as breaks for the reader. Their multiple scenes provide the reader with a quick, visual summary of Daudet’s verbal narrative. The illustrations never break up the text. This is subtly indicated by a lack of folios on the illustration-only pages. Furthermore, the absence of folios reinforces the sketchbook air that Dwiggins sought to impart to Tartarin of Tarascon.
Dwiggins’ interpretation of Daudet’s picaresque novel is significantly different from nineteenth-century versions such as the Flammarion edition of 1887, illustrated by Jules Girardet (1856–1938), Louis Montégut (1855–1906), Thomas de Myrach, Georges Picard (1857–1946), and Rossi.  Compare Chapter V from the Flammarion edition of Tartarin of Tarascon and the one from The Limited Editions Club; and the cap shooting scene in both. (Dwiggins’ version of the latter is at the top of the page.) The lightness of his sketchy drawings is much more appropriate to Daudet’s comic tale than the precise cross-hatching of the French illustrators. There is plenty of white space in the Flammarion edition, but it is merely a frame rather than an active part of the layout. Also note the predictable placement of the images vis a vis the text in the 1887 book. In sum, Dwiggins’ Tartarin of Tarascon is a “modern” interpretation—even though the style of his illustrations may not seem so.
One of the most astute commentators on Dwiggins as a book designer was Paul Johnston (1899–1987), publisher of The Book Collector’s Packet. In an article written before the publication of Tartarin of Tarascon, he described Dwiggins’ illustrations as “quaintly sober and conservative”. He went on to say that, “These illustrations, I think, are the key to Dwiggins’ other work, for they prove him to be, in the face of his modernistic designs, a most retiring conservative. Dwiggins is an experimentalist in technique, not in pictorial arrangement.”  Although The Travels of Marco Polo, One More Spring and other limited edition books designed by Dwiggins after 1930 contradict this characterization of his illustrations as conservative, Johnston was on target in recognizing that Dwiggins changed his style to fit both the text and the design of the book he was illustrating. Thus, Dwiggins’ decision to make loose sketches for Tartarin of Tarascon was both a response to Daudet’s account of the misadventures of the quixotic Tartarin and a means of fitting a large number of illustrations into a small format. Equally important, it was also a practical way for Dwiggins to complete a large number of illustrations in a short period of time while juggling other work, including books for the Lakeside Press, Random House, Rimington & Hooper, and William Edwin Rudge. 
“I have been in a pretty tight hole for the past six weeks—as you may have guessed,” Dwiggins wrote to his friend Carl Purington Rollins on June 11, 1930. “Macy’s book that was to precede mine blew up on him, and I had to jump into the gap. I have one more day to spend on him, and then forward with Wine.” He went on to report that he was feeling “Fairly well, considering a 20 hour day for 40 days! I had to do Macy on top of a scad of other things that matured all at once. Some sweat-shop.”  The 67 illustrations that Dwiggins drew for Tartarin of Tarascon were the most he made for any book project in his career. According to John Goss, his studio mate in Boston, at the time, Dwiggins worked on the drawings at his home in Hingham, Massachusetts in the evenings—”sitting in a comfortable chair by the Franklin stove, holding his drawing pad on his knee.” 
The Fate of the Illustrations
“Now that the late trouble is only a dull pain,” Dwiggins wrote to Ellis in late July of 1930. “I venture to ask you to send me the drawings that caused a part of it—namely—what pen-and-ink sketches you have in hand that relate to a book called Tartarin.”  Dwiggins wanted his original drawings back because Macy was eager to hang them on the wall of his office. But even before Macy made his request, Dwiggins had given away some of the original drawings for Tartarin of Tarascon to Philip Hofer (1898–1984), at that time the Advisor to the Spencer Collection at the New York Public Library. Hofer had been collecting Dwigginsiana for a few years and had pestered Dwiggins for his original art for Tales of Edgar Allan Poe in February 1930. Dwiggins was surprisingly laissez-faire about his original artwork, telling William A. Kittredge of The Lakeside Press that selling his drawings was not something he considered important: “The whole matter has been largely ‘extra business’ and I am not concerned to catch pennies.”  Hofer ended up with the original pencil sketches for 36 of the 67 illustrations. Macy subsequently received artwork for 24 pen-and-ink drawings. Somehow Ellis held onto the final artwork for three illustrations, including the two drawings for the stencil portrait of Tartarin. Oddly, there is only a little overlap between the Hofer pencil sketches and Macy/Ellis inked artwork. The whereabouts of the remaining drawings—both pencil roughs and pen-and-ink final artwork—are unknown. 
It is fortunate that Hofer asked Dwiggins for his pencil roughs for Tartarin of Tarascon. If he hadn’t they would likely have ended up in the wastebasket or fireplace. The roughs provide a clue to Dwiggins’ method for preparing the illustrations and reveal that the loose sketches were more carefully planned out than they appear to be.
Dwiggins described the drawings he gave Hofer as “rubdowns” but there is no evidence that he used the graphite transfer method or a similar process. There is no trace of graphite, carbon, chalk or any other material on the backs of the sheets; and there are no indentations on their fronts indicating the roughs were retraced. Furthermore, the pencil roughs are flopped (mirror image) from the ink sketches and the latter are more detailed. I suspect Dwiggins drew his roughs with a soft pencil, flipped the paper over, and then rubbed the back with his hand or a spoon to transfer the drawing to another sheet of paper. Then he redrew his illustration on top of the pencil image with ink and, when finished, erased the pencil transfer. This method allowed him to plan out an illustration carefully and yet retain the spontaneity of a quick sketch. It also gave him the opportunity to alter and refine his original layout. This is evident when one compares the pencil roughs to their final inked counterparts or the printed illustrations in the book. A number of the roughs have elements that Dwiggins has simplified or removed altogether from the final design. In each of these instances, he has made the overall composition of individual sketches airier and more vibrant.
Below are three roughs owned by Hofer paired; two paired with an illustration from the printed book and the other paired with the inked drawing owned by Macy. The pencil rough for illustration IV is much more crowded than the final printed version. Dwiggins has removed the two men in the second row next to the two heads (and fleshed out the caption “Castecalde”); and deleted the two men standing in the third row. In the final arrangement the heads provide counterpoint to the standing figures.
The final printed version of illustration XXVI is busier but also better balanced than the pencil rough. Dwiggins added a building in the upper vignette so that it was clear that the figures were townspeople of Tarascon.
In the pencil rough for illustration LV the soldier at the right has his right arm raised with what appears to be a cigarette holder in his hand; and, at the bottom of the sheet, there are three grouped figures to the left of the person in a fetal position. In the inked version these figures have been removed and the soldier’s right arm is gone.
The Design of Tartarin of Tarascon
The meat of Dwiggins’ design of Tartarin of Tarascon is the illustrations. The two-volume edition lacks the fireworks that the designer brought to his more celebrated book designs. The title page, although entirely hand lettered, is staid. There is only one illustration in color—the large portrait of Tartarin in his hunting garb stenciled in brown and rose on the same page with illustration XXVII—and there are no ornaments inside the book. The only decoration is a restrained stencil pattern that graces the binding of the volumes. The slipcase is red with a simple label pasted on.
The paper for Tartarin of Tarascon is handmade Praga. Its deckle edge was retained in the production of the book. In the fine printing world this was one of the signifiers of quality along with handset type and use of the handpress. But Dwiggins, unlike his contemporaries, had no reverence for such things. He was not only willing but eager to produce books with machine-made paper, machine composition (especially from the oft-maligned linotype), and power presses. The choice of the Praga paper was not his, but he accepted it. I think he liked the way that its surface texture and especially its deckle reinforced his conceit of the illustrations as part of a sketchbook. In this instance the deckle was not pretentious.
Why Dwiggins inserted a single two-color stenciled illustration of Tartarin near the end of Volume I is not clear. There is no mention of it in the correspondence between him and Macy or between him and Ellis. The only evidence of his thinking is a note on the pen-and-ink sketch of illustration XXVII: “In this space, if there is time I want to work a figure in 3 or 4 colors. If there is not time we can use one color, such as ochre. This can be done after all the black forms are run.” 
Dwiggins used stencils to design the elongated hexagon-and-clover repeat pattern for the binding side-paper. The rose and green color scheme is the only touch of brightness in the entire book. The paper, mercifully, has no connection to nineteenth-century French cartonnage designs. There is no precedent for Dwiggins’ pattern, yet it suggests the romantic adventures contained within the book. 
A little over a year after the publication of Tartarin and Tarascon, Macy asked Dwiggins for the celluloid stencils he used to make the patterned binding. He wanted them for an exhibition titled “Fine Printing on Three Continents” that was scheduled to be held at the Art Center in New York City from October 5 to 17, 1931. His intent was to educate the public about Dwiggins’ stencil process. 
Stencils were also used to make the laurel leaves at the top of the spine of the binding of each volume and the pattern at the bottom of them. As is typical of much of Dwiggins book work he made no attempt to match the style of lettering on the spine to that on the title page. He was more concerned with fitting the title and author in a narrow space, though he did not create separate artwork for each volume as he did several years later for Gargantua and Pantagruel (1936). And, as he did throughout his career, Dwiggins hyphenated the spine text at will.
The title page of Tartarin of Tarascon is entirely lettered. Originally, the title was drawn in Roman upper-and-lowercase letters in a “transitional” style and Daudet’s name written in a French-looking script. But Dwiggins changed his mind and redid both. The final design is quiet with the title, author, and translator in Dwiggins’ version of classical Roman capitals. The only bit of liveliness is the addition of a lion “medallion”, a hint of Tartarin’s obsessive quest.
There are two places in the book where Daudet’s original publisher typographically interpreted the text. The first instance was for a brass nameplate on a trunk Tartarin ordered; and the second was for two warning signs. Dwiggins took these moments as an opportunity to show off his mimetic lettering skills. He loosely alluded to nineteenth-century engraving for the nameplate and to amateurish “printing” for the signs.
Despite Macy’s forebodings, LEC subscribers liked Tartarin of Tarascon—or, at least, that is what he told Dwiggins. Only one person complained, saying that the book was too small. No one was upset by the sketchy illustrations. And no one seemed to notice the change in paper size or the discrepancies in its color.  The translator Jacques LeClerc was delighted by Dwiggins’ interpretation of Daudet’s text, telling Macy that it rivaled any of the French illustrated editions. He thought that Dwiggins had perfectly captured the author’s spirit. 
“Title-pages and many small sketches are admirably done; Mr. Dwiggins as an illustrator excels in such unconventional, almost offhand, drawing,” wrote the anonymous author of The Compleat Collector column in The Saturday Review of Literature. However, his overall assessment of Tartarin of Tarascon was tepid, describing the book as “decidedly satisfactory.” 
Tartarin of Tarascon has often been overlooked by book and printing historians as well as Dwiggins enthusiasts in favor of splashier efforts such as The Time Machine, The Travels of Marco Polo, One More Spring, Gargantua and Pantagruel, and The Treasure in the Forest. Those who have noted it, have had contradictory opinions about its illustrations. David Bland, author of A History of Book Illustration, felt that Dwiggins’ illustrations often “degenerated into whimsy.” However, he made an exception for those done for Tartarin of Tarascon which he considered to be Dwiggins’ best work. Librarian and printing historian Rollo Silver was also positive. He fully understood Dwiggins’ intentions, declaring in his lecture “William A. Dwiggins: Six Points of an American Nonpareil”, that “he made the sketches as if he were making the journey with the author”. But Ruari McLean, in a later lecture on Dwiggins, said that he much preferred the 1939 French edition of Tartarin of Tarascon illustrated by Albert Dubout. And Claire Badaracco, author of Trading Words, tartly concluded that, “The drawings in Tartarin appear unfinished; faces and figures meld without seeming to refer to one another or the reader.”  She seems to have completely missed their purpose.
What is a Dwiggins Book?
It is often said that it is easy to spot a Dwiggins book. The expectation is that a Dwiggins book is identifiable by the presence of a stencil-designed ornament on its cover or binding. This view is largely based on the roughly three hundred books he designed for Alfred A. Knopf, reinforced by the more famous of his limited edition book designs such as The Treasure in the Forest (1937). Tartarin of Tarascon fails to fit the Dwiggins stereotype. It has no jazzy binding, no tour de force title page, no stencil decorations inside, no colorful illustrations. It is outwardly dull. But, as I hope has become clear in this essay, it is a typical Dwiggins book in the thoughtful way each of its elements has been planned; and in how they are all made in response to their content.
Dwiggins was not a predictable commodity like Rockwell Kent (1882–1971), E.A. Wilson (1886–1970) , T.M. Cleland (1880-1964),or Bruce Rogers (1870-1957). In his work on limited edition books he changed his mode of illustration, typography, and design from project to project. Tartrain of Tarascon, published after Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and before Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and The Time Machine, is the perfect example of his unpredictability.
Addendum on The Limited Editions Club “Three Readers” Mark
In 1929, early on in his venture, Macy commissioned a mark and stationery from Clarence P. Hornung (1899–1997) for The Limited Editions Club. The mark, a stylized rendition of three men holding books within a circle in the manner of Wilhelm Deffke (1887–1950) and Karl Schulpig (1884–1948), the German designers often credited with inventing the modern reductionist logo, was an immediate success. Dwiggins called it “spiffy”.  It became known as “The Three Readers”.
But within months Macy was dissatisfied with Hornung’s design. Although he liked it, he felt that it was incompatible with the typography of many of the LEC books. “Our present mark is done by Clarence Pearson Hornung; it is so definitely modernistic in flavor, so reminiscent of Bernhard and the Germans, that it isn’t possible for us to get it on to our various type pages,” he explained to Dwiggins. He wanted a new mark.  For a month and a half Dwiggins struggled to create a mark that would be sophisticated and not something in the style of Aldus Manutius’ famous anchor-and-dolphin design. Macy suggested he try a monogram using the LEC initials. But all of Dwiggins’ experiments were rejected by Macy. In mid-August 1929, Dwiggins told Macy he was giving up. “They all come out duds,” he said of his efforts. “The device needs to be a stroke of wit, otherwise it is flat, and even ridiculous.” He urged Macy to stick with type for the time being. 
There the matter seemed to end until June 1930 when Dwiggins, nearing completion of Tartarin of Tarascon, told Macy he wanted to use the mark Macy had rejected the summer before for the book’s title page but that he couldn’t find the artwork. Macy didn’t have it and suggested Dwiggins redraw it. Instead Dwiggins replaced the Three Readers with a lion within a circle of laurel leaves. 
1. In addition to The Limited Editions Club, there was The Heritage Press, The Heritage Club, The Junior Heritage Club, The Heritage Illustrated Bookshelf, The Readers’ Club, and The Nonesuch Press. For more on George Macy (1900–1956) and the history of The Limited Editions Club and Macy’s other book ventures see The History of The Limited Editions Club by Carol Porter Grossman (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2017).
2. For the first year of The Limited Editions Club’s existence Frederic Warde (1894–1939) was Macy’s “Typographic Consultant,” though his responsibilities went beyond typography to include suggesting and arranging for artists and printers to illustrate and produce books for LEC. See George Macy to Frederic Warde 21 June 1929 and 17 July 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 107, Folder 20.
3. For the origins of The Limited Editions Club see Chapter 2 of The History of The Limited Editions Club by Carol Porter Grossman (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2017). Tartarin of Tarascon is LEC First Series (1929–1930), no. 9
4. “So These Are Dwiggins” by Jacob Püterschein in Publisher’s Weekly vol. CXIV, no. 18 (November 3, 1928), pp. 1896–1904. The pseudonymous author of the article was Laurance B. Siegfried, Dwiggins’ cousin. Articles, reviews, and advertisements about each of these books reinforced the notion that Dwiggins had joined Bruce Rogers, Daniel Berkeley Updike, and T.M. Cleland in the first rank of American practitioners of “the book beautiful.” See for instance “The Crosby Gaige Imprint and Its Value” by Robert Gunn in Publishers’ Weekly vol. CXIV, no. 14 (October 6, 1928), pp. 1471-1473; “Outstanding Books of the Fall Season” advertisement by Random House in Publishers’ Weekly vol. CXIV, no. 20 (November 17, 1928) which singled out Dwiggins as the designer of the Crosby Gaige books; and “An Expert Typographer Resets the Universe” by Elmer Adler (review of Paraphs) in The New York Times 23 December 23 1928. In addition to those books, Layout in Advertising by Dwiggins was published in October 1928. And in September 1928 Dwiggins’ decorative work had been extolled in “On Decorative Printing in America” by Paul Beaujon [Beatrice Warde] in The Fleuron vol. VI (1928), pp. 69–93.
5. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 11 February 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. Although Macy was not aware of it, his offer to allow Dwiggins to supervise the printing of Tartarin of Tarascon was largely meaningless since Dwiggins had severely curtailed his travel following a diagnosis of adult onset diabetes in 1922. Even though The Georgian Press’ location in Westport was relatively close to Boston, there is no evidence that Dwiggins ever visited it.
6. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 13 February 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
7. For the beginning of Tales by Edgar Allan Poe see William A. Kittredge to W.A. Dwiggins 27 September 1926 and Dwiggins to Kittredge 29 September 1926. Dwiggins was still creating drawings for the Poe book as late as the end of February 1930. See Dwiggins to Kittredge 1 March 1930. For these letters see The Newberry Library, William A. Kittredge Papers, Box 2, Folder 30 and Folder 37 respectively. For the beginning of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde see W.A. Dwiggins to Elmer Adler 27 October 1927 in Princeton University, Special Collections, Elmer Adler Collection, Box 402, Folder 10; and Adler to Dwiggins 28 October 1927 in New York Public Library, Pynson Printers Collection, Box 18, Random House Folder. Dwiggins sent the last illustrations for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Adler at the beginning of May 1929. See Dwiggins to Adler 2 May 1929 in Princeton University, Special Collections, Elmer Adler Collection, Box 402, Folder 10.
8. The beginning of The Georgian Press is a matter of debate with several different years (1923, 1924, 1925 and 1927) all being suggested. Publishers’ Weekly in a 1933 article on Ellis’ hiring by Haddon Craftsmen says 1923; Temple University, home to Ellis’ archives, says 1924; Megan Benton, author of Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000) says 1925; and Will Ransom says 1927. “The Georgian imprint first appeared in 1924 on a few small pieces printed “under direction,” but the true record begins [in 1927] with the present establishment housed in an old building remodelled for the purpose.” in the entry for The Georgian Press in Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1929), p. 291. The press was housed in a restored eighteenth-century barn in Westport, Connecticut. Fittingly, Ellis’ work was characterized by allusive eighteenth-century typography. See Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America by Megan Benton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 94. For more on Ellis see “Richard W. Ellis: Builder of Books” by R. Critchell Rimington in Publishers’ Weekly vol. CXVI, no. 18 (November 2, 1929), pp. 2207-9, 2211-12; and Praise Past Due: A Memoir of Richard Ellis, Designer and Printer 1894–1982 by Frank G. Harrington (Francestown, New Hampshire: Typographeum, 1991).
9. For the back-and-forth discussion of where to meet see George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 13 April 1929; Dwiggins to Macy 17 April 1929; Macy to Dwiggins 22 May 1929; Dwiggins to Macy 24 June ; and Macy to Dwiggins 10 July 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31; and typescript “WAD and LEC” by Helen Macy in Box 24, Folder 24.
10. Private Presses and Their Books by Will Ransom (New York: R.R. Bowker Company, 1929), p. 291.
11. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published in late June. See “Dr. J and Mr. H” review in Saturday Review of Literature vol. 5, no. 50 (6 July 1929), p. 1169.
12. See W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 14 August 1929 and Dwiggins to Macy 16 August 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31; and Dwiggins to Elmer Adler 19 July 1929 in Princeton University, Special Collections, Elmer Adler Collection, Box 323, Folder 2. Adler wanted Dwiggins to review The Decorative Work of T.M. Cleland (New York: The Pynson Printers, 1929) for The New York Times.
13. Not only was Dwiggins still making drawings for the Poe book, but in September 1929 he began negotiating with Random House to design and illustrate The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. See W.A Dwiggins to Bennett Cerf 28 September 1929 in Columbia University, Rare Book and manuscript Library, Random House Files, Box 165.
14. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 9 September 1929; Macy to Dwiggins 26 November 1929; Macy to Dwiggins 4 December 1929; and Dwiggins to Macy 6 December 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
15. Telegram from George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 9 January 1930; and Macy to Dwiggins 11 January 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
16. The Monthly Letter of The Limited Editions Club no. 4 (September 1929), p. 1 announced Tartarin of Tarascon. The absence of Dwiggins’ name was unusual since prospectuses and advertisements for finely printed and limited edition books tended to emphasize the illustrators, designers, and printers involved rather than the translators. See Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America by Megan Benton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 122 on “brand name book design”.
17. Beauty and the Book: Fine Editions and Cultural Distinction in America by Megan Benton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 114–121. Especially see her chart on p. 118. Also see The World’s Best Books: Taste, Culture, and the Modern Library by Jay Satterfield (Amherst and Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002), p. 100. The ultimate oversize book of the time was the Grabhorn Press folio edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (Random House, 1930) published the same year as Dwiggins’ Tartarin of Tarascon.
18. W.A. Dwiggins to William A. Kittredge 5 November 1926 in The Newberry Library, W.A. Kittredge Papers, Box 2, Folder 30.
19. W.A. Dwiggins to Richard Ellis 7 February 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
20. An undated specimen sheet of Praga designed by Rudolph Ruzicka describes the paper as Cream Laid Antique in color and texture. It was available in 17″x26″ sheets and bulked 2 1/2 inches to 500 sheets. Apparently Dwiggins was unaware of this information. Macy agreed to buy the engravings, paper, and binding for the book, while Ellis was responsible for purchasing the Monotype composition which would then be billed to The Limited Editions Club. LEC would pay Ellis a maximum of $2500 for his printing, to be paid in three installments between April and July of 1930. See George macy to Richard Ellis 13 February 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
21. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 2 May 1930 and Macy to Dwiggins 5 May 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
22. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 17 May , Macy to Dwiggins 19 May 1930 and telegram Macy to Dwiggins 19 May 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. Also see George Macy to Richard Ellis 19 May 1930—”I have a rather hysterical letter from Dwiggins this morning, saying that he wrote you, telephoned you and wired you last weekend.” in Box 97, Folder 33.
23. Richard Ellis to W.A. Dwiggins 21 May 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
24. W.A Dwiggins to Richard Ellis (no date) in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 2, Folder 2-36. The folder includes several proofs of 16-up page signatures. The one for “Episode I: At Tarascon” is probably the one referred to by Ellis in his letter about the difficulty of printing on the Praga paper.
25. W.A. Dwiggins to Richard Ellis 23 May 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
26. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 27 May 1930, telegram Macy to Richard Ellis 7 June 1930, Dwiggins to Macy 11 June 1930, and Macy to Dwiggins 13 June 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
27. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 11 June 1930, Macy to Dwiggins 13 June 1930, and Dwiggins to Macy 16 June  in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. In the June 16 letter Dwiggins adds, “I am paying for 17 masses to be sung for Georgia [his nickname for Ellis] to get him out of Purgatory.”
28. George Macy to W.A Dwiggins 17 June 1930 and Dwiggins to Macy 18 June  in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. Also George Macy to George Nelson (Japan Paper Company) 8 July 1930 in Box 97, Folder 34. After Tartarin of Tarascon was printed Dwiggins wrote to Ellis, “Considering everything, it didn’t come out as bad as it should have. No. I shan’t use Praga again.” See W.A. Dwiggins to Richard Ellis 21 July 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
29. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 20 June 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. The role of The Marchbanks Press in printing the second volume of Tartarin of Tarascon is not noted in The Books of WAD: A Bibliography of the Books Designed by W.A. Dwiggins by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge: The Press of the Nightowl, 1974), item 30.01. See George Macy to Hal Marchbanks 2 July 1930 and Marchbanks to Macy 22 July 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 34. The troubles with Tartarin and Tarascon did not end once printing was done. The binder found himself short of sheets for the first volume. and Ellis had to print more. See George Macy to Richard Ellis 8 July 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 33. Neither this letter nor The Books of WAD indicate who the binder was.
30. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 1 July 1930 and Dwiggins to Macy July 12  in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
31. Only one of the illustrations (Part I, Chapter V) in My Mortal Enemy is of a scene involving people which sets the book apart from Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Tartarin of Tarascon, and Tales. All of the others are of objects or people-less scenes.
32. With the exception of the red-ruled box, these comments also apply to the six illustrations printed on colored paper in Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
33. There are only 25 of these vignettes in the five volumes of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Dwiggins reuses them, changing color, from volume to volume. This reuse makes it clear that they are independent of the tales related by Rabelais.
34. A “run-in” illustration is one that is placed partially within the text block.
35. Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet (Paris: Ernest Flammarion, Éditeur, 1887). George Routledge and Sons published an English-language translation of the illustrated Flammarion edition the same year. Only the last names of the illustrators are listed on the title page and most of the illustrations are unsigned.
36. “Modern Fine Book Printing in America” by Paul Johnston in American Printer vol. 90, no. 3 (February 1930), p. 39. Johnston is best known as the author of the opinionated Biblio-Typographica: A Survey of Contemporary Fine Printing Style (New York: Covici-Friede, 1930). Unfortunately, it was published the same year as Tartarin of Tarascon and thus there are no references to the latter.
37. Dwiggins did 67 illustrations for Tartarin of Tarascon between mid-February and early June of 1930, with the bulk of them finished by early May. Although he had completed the illustrations for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the summer of 1929, he did not send out the last of his illustrations for Tales of Edgar Allan Poe until March 1, 1930. See W.A. Dwiggins to William A. Kittredge 1 March 1930 in The Newberry Library, William A. Kittredge Papers, Box 2, Folder 37. Meanwhile, Dwiggins had already agreed in the summer of 1929 to design and illustrate The Time Machine by H.G. Wells for Random House; and in 1930 was at work, in various degrees, on Beau Brummell by Virginia Woolf (New York: Rimington & Hooper, 1930), Wine Making for the Amateur by R. Selden Rose (New Haven: Printed for members of the Bacchus Club, 1930), and his own Form Letters: Illustrator to Author (New York: William Edwin Rudge, 1930). For the beginning of The Time Machine see Bennett Cerf to W.A. Dwiggins 18 June  and W.A. Dwiggins to Donald Klopfer 16 June 1930 at Columbia University, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Bennett Cerf Manuscript Collection, Box 165. Dwiggins was also busy designing the format for the “Inner Sanctum Dollar Novels” for Simon & Schuster and bindings for five books for Alfred A. Knopf.
38. W.A. Dwiggins to Carl Purington Rollins 11 June  at Yale University, The Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Carl Purington Rollins Papers, Series II, Box 2.
39. For Tartarin of Tarascon Dwiggins drew 29 sketchy illustrations for Volume I and 37 for Volume II; and one two-color stencil for Volume II. “Sharing a Studio” by John Goss in Postscripts on Dwiggins: Essays and Recollections edited by Paul A. Bennett (New York: The Typophiles, 1960), Typophiles Chap Book 36, Vol. 2, p. 150.
40. W.A. Dwiggins to Richard Ellis 21 July 1930 in Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 79, Folder 79–67.
41. W.A. Dwiggins to William A. Kittredge 20 February 1930 in The Newberry Library, William A. Kittredge Papers, Box 2, Folder 37. Although there is no record for what happened to the Poe drawings, 36 of the Tartarin of Tarascon drawings ended up in Hofer’s possession. “For Hofer as a Spring Greeting, and to recompense him for the three Lakeside Press imprints Mar 16, 1930 Rubdowns and scribbles Tartarin of Tarascon” reads the notation on the mailing envelope accompanying them. See Harvard University, Houghton Library, Typ 970.30.3180a. On Hofer’s goal to create a “WAD Museum” see Philip Hofer to W.A. Dwiggins 9 April 1930 in Boston Public Library, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 12, Folder 1. He didn’t give up his idea until 1967 when Dorothy Abbe arranged for the Boston Public Library to be the repository of Dwiggins’ artistic estate.
42. The drawings given to Hofer are now at Harvard University, Houghton Library, Typ 970.30.3180a; those given to Macy are at the University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Company Art Collection, Item 22.214.171.124–26. Also see George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 20 September 1930 and Macy to Dwiggins 26 September 1930 in the George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. The drawings retained by Ellis are at Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 2, Folder 2-36.
43. The artwork (one drawing apiece for each color) is at Temple University, Samuel Paley Library / Special Collections Research Center, Richard W. Ellis Papers, Box 2, Folder 2-36. Four hand-stenciled versions of the large figure of Tartarin exist in different two-color combinations. They may have been color tests. See Dartmouth College, Rauner Special Collections Library, George Macy Papers, Item 975 809, 1:5; and Rochester Institute of Technology, Melbert G. Cary Collection, Dwiggns Box No. 2; and Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 59. The RIT print is notated: “No. 1 of an edition of 4 printed in these colors and the type [?] distributed. This copy for Melbert B. Cary Jr. WAD” 44. The repeat pattern is very subdued compared to those Dwiggins designed for other books in the same years. It has no pictorial elements like those for Layout in Advertising (1928), The Complete Angler (1928), or Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1929) it has no pictorial elements. nor any floral or botanical features like those for Elizabeth and Essex (1928) or Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (1930). It anticipates the patterned papers that Dwiggins designed for Knopf in the late 1940s as part of a project to rethink cover designs.
45. See George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 28 August 1931, Dwiggins to Macy 8 September 1931, Macy to Dwiggins 17 September 1931, Macy to Dwiggins 23 September 1931, and Macy to Dwiggins 23 October 1931 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 30, Folder 1. The Art Center was located 65–67 East 56 Street. It had six galleries and space for fourteen studios. “The Art Center is incorporated to advance the Decorative Crafts and the Industrial and Graphic Arts of America by banding together the seven constituent societies: Art Alliance of America, Art Directors Club, American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York Society of Craftsmen, Pictorial Photographers of America, Society of Illustrators and the Stowaways.” Quoted in Bulletin of the Art Center of New York vol. 1, no. 1 (July 1922), p. 1.
46. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 14 July 1930 in Box 97, Folder 31.
47. LeClerq praised Dwiggins’ Tartarin of Tarascon on several occasions. See Jacques LeClerq to George Macy 22 August 1930 and LeClerq to Macy 15 November 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 32; and George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 6 September 1930 in Box 97, Folder 31.
48. Review by R. of Tartarin of Tarascon in The Compleat Collector column in The Saturday Review of Literature (September 13, 1930), p. 131. R. was Carl Purington Rollins, Dwiggins’ close friend, who shared the column with George Parker Winship and Gilbert McCoy Troxell. “[The] illustrations by Mr. Dwiggins are in a sketchy style characteristic of many of the finer illustrations which Mr. Dwiggins has made.” from review by AFM in The New England Printer vol. VII, no. 7 (July 1930), p. 300.
49. A History of Book Illustration: The Illuminated Manuscript and the Printed Book
David Bland (Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company, 1958), p. 389. The typescript of “William A. Dwiggins: Six Points of an American Nonpareil” (1970) by Rollo Silvers is in Brown University, John Hay Library, Rollo Silver Papers, Box 1, Folder B1, F37. The typescript of “W.A. Dwiggins” by Ruari McLean (The Stanley Morison Memorial Lecture 13 October 1981) is in Boston Public Library, 2001 Dorothy Abbe Collection, Shelf 35 in an envelope from McLean to Abbe. Trading Words: Poetry, Typography and Illustrated Books in the Modern Literary Economy by Claire Hoertz Badaracco (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), p. 170. McLean’s comparison between Dwiggins and Dubout was unfair in that the latter’s 66 illustrations were in full-color pochoir. See Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet (Paris: A l’Emblème du Secrétaire, 1939). I would disagree with McLean. In my view Dwiggins’ illustrations better capture the quixotic nature of Daudet’s story than do Dubout’s. They are amusing without being cartoonish. Intriguingly, Richard Ellis made no mention of Tartarin of Tarascon in his discussion of Dwiggins in Book Illustration: A Survey of Its History and Development… (Kingsport, Tennessee: Kingsport Press, 1952), p. 43.
50. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 13 February 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
51. George Macy to W.A. Dwiggins 10 July 1929 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
52. See W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 23 July 1929, Macy to Dwiggins 24 July 1929, Dwiggins to Macy 26 July 1929, Dwiggins to Macy 5 August 1929, Macy to Dwiggins 8 August 1929, Dwiggins to Macy 12 August 1929 in in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31.
53. W.A. Dwiggins to George Macy 11 June 1930 and Macy to Dwiggins 13 June 1930 in University of Texas, Harry R. Ransom Humanities Research Center, George Macy Companies Collection, Box 97, Folder 31. For both Droll Stories by Honorè de Balzac (New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1932) and Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais (New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1936) Dwiggins drew his own trio of readers. Other designers followed suit.