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La Robe de Laine

Henry Bordeaux

This is the tenth of 11 novels in the Collection Nelson with a dust jacket designed by Blampied. This design was commissioned in a letter from Edwin Jack dated 5th May 1920 in which he described what was wanted:

Herewith I am sending you two French books La Robe de Laine and Figures et chose qui Passaient. Will you be good enough to send me sketches for wrappers in colour for these two volumes at your early convenience. I have asked our French house to suggest subjects which they think will appeal to French readers and enclose their list. I hope you may find one or other of their suggestions suitable for your purpose. For these French novels I rather like the vignetted style of design. The delicacy of such wrappers appeals to the French public but I must leave the working out to you. The size to which these drawings will be reduced is 4” x 6 3⁄8". The lettering to go on consists of title, author’s name, we usually have at the top price 3 French Francs and the word Nelson. No design is required for the book. I know that you have plenty of work in hand for us but it is sometimes a relief to an artist, is it not, to turn to from one kind of work to another.

On 22nd May Jack wrote again to Blampied:

We are returning herewith the drawings for Figures et Chose qui Passaient and Le Robe de Laine. Will you kindly finish these and let us have them at your early convenience. Note to keep the price off the side. Enclosed we hand you a note received from our Paris house suggesting one or two small alterations. Please note to keep the author’s name at the top as is the French custom.

Henry Bordeaux (English) (French) (1870-1963) was a lawyer, novelist and member of the Académie française. La Robe de Laine was first published by Plon-Nourrit in Paris in 1910.

First edition thus

Bibliography code: NED-20.5

Publisher: Nelson Editeurs, Paris

Series: Collection Nelson 175

Year: [1920]

Format: 16 mo

Pages: pp 288

Binding: cream cloth decorated in green and purple design with author and title in green in roundel on cover; title, author and decoration in green and purple with N in middle, and publisher in green at base

Size: 160 x 110 mm

Dust jacket signed: Blam, lower left

Internal illustrations: none

Price: Original price not known; later edition 4 francs 50

Printing history: editions dated 1933, 1936, 1954, 1958 known

Printed by: Imprimerie Nelson, Édimbourg, Écosse

Image of front panel and spine of dust jacket

Front panel and spine of dust jacket of later edition (click to enlarge)