Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 Books A Day: #51

The Annotated Sherlock Holmes...Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ann. William S. Baring-Gould...Wings Books

The Annotated Christmas Carol...Charles Dickens, Ann. Michael Patrick Hearn...Avenel Books

The Annotated Dracula...Bram Stoker, Ann. Leonard wolf...Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

The Annotated Frankenstein...Mary Shelley, Ann. Leonard Wolf...Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

The Annotated Ancient Mariner...Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ann. Martin Gardner...Bramhall House

The Annotated Mother Goose...Ann. William S. Baring Gould & Cecil Baring-Gould...Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

Lewis Carroll's The Hunting Of The Snark: A Centennial Edition...Ann. Martin Gardner...William Kaufman, Inc.

The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition...Lewis Carroll, Ann. Martin Gardner...Norton

The Annotated Huckleberry Finn...Mark Twain, Ann. Michael Patrick Hearn...Norton

The Annotated Brothers Grimm...Ed. & Ann. Maria Tatar...Norton

The Annotated Wizard Of Oz, Centennial Edition...L. Frank Baum, Ann. Michael Patrick Hearn...Norton

I love a good annotated edition. I remember the first one I ever read, which was Dracula, in high school. I had always found the book somewhat impenetrable before, but Leonard Wolf's kindly guidance, insight, and illustrations for unfamiliar objects opened the door and made me an avid proponent for Stoker ever since.

This is the beauty and necessity of annotations. Many classic works, and certainly most listed here, are over a hundred years old, and phrases and objects that were everyday commonplaces at the time have become covered in puzzling obscurity. Annotations discreetly answer your questions right on the page where they arise, and allow you to follow the prose with as little difficulty as possible.

I wonder how many "up-to-date" modern novels will still be read a hundred years from now, and what will have to be explained to future readers.

The last four volumes listed are particularly beautiful books, with gilded covers and full reproductions of all original illustrations. The Brothers Grimm has picture from all the greatests illustrators who have tackled the tales, from Arthur Rackham to Walter Crane to George Cruikshank. And of course, another edition of The Wizard Of Oz.

Book Count: 645.

1 comment:

John said...

I imagine the Stephen King novels will need plenty of annotations to explain all of the many pop references he overemploys to immerse us in a "real world" Or who knows, Lucky Charms and Twinkies may still be around a hundred years from now...