an ethereal poe

by Art Chantry (

here is another really great collection of poe illustrated by one of the giants of 20th century illustration. borzoi books was a subdivision of alfred a. knopf publishing and specialized in fine editions of great literature at a low price. this entire two-volume boxed set of poe was designed by w.a.dwiggins and sold in 1967 (originally published in 1946) for a measely $12.95. the coolest thing of all is that it’s illustrated through out by the amazing e. mcknight kauffer!


e. mcknight kauffer was an american born artist who moved to england soon after leaving school. once there, he became one of the great art deco illustrator/artists in english history, producing thousands of posters, books, illustrations and paintings and pieces of fine art. mcknight kauffer’s work is collected in every major museum in the world. his most famous piece “birds in flight” was originally designed as a london underground (subway) poster back in the 1930′s. he went on to do scores of posters for the london undergound (becoming their most famous and popular artist) and i think he even helped to design their beyond classic logo as well.

this borzoi edition of poe’s complete writings – fiction, poems and critical writings (poe was famous critic in his day) – is perhaps definitive. and the e. mcknight kauffer images are ethereal, even surreal. this image i show you here is simply the image chosen for the slip case. the interior stuff is stunning.

this can also be had cheap. all poe is cheap. collecting cool editions of illustrated poe could be a lifetime effort of fascinating finds.

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