WUTHERING HEIGHTS.

(New York: Limited Editions Club, 1993). 420 x 315 mm. (16 1/2 x 12 1/2"). 3 p.l., 208 pp., [2] leaves.With an afterword by Balthus. No. 15 OF 300 COPIES SIGNED by the artist.

Publisher's sage-green crushed morocco, upper board with title stamped in brown, smooth spine. In the original linen clamshell box. With 15 lithographs by Balthus. Colophon with small embossed armorial stamp. Prospectus laid in at front. In mint condition.

Printed on beautifully thick paper, this impressive oversized production brings together an intense 19th century gothic novel and the work of a major modern artist, both inspired by the power and rugged beauty of the Yorkshire moors. "Wuthering Heights" was first published in 1847 under the pen name Ellis Bell, and it was to be Emily Brontë's first and only novel. Though many contemporary reviewers found the story strange and disturbing, her potent language and enthralling characters have secured it a place among the classics of English literature. The modern (and sometimes controversial) artist Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (known as Balthus) wouldn't seem a likely choice to illustrate this work; in fact, the two could hardly be more different. Brontë (1818-48) was a parson's daughter who spent most of her life in an isolated village in northern England, while Balthus (1908-2001) was a famous cosmopolitan painter whose friends included Pablo Picasso and Albert Camus. But the pair had at least one thing in common: a deeply felt connection to the Yorkshire moors. In Bathus' own words, recounting a visit to northern England made when he was a young man, "the wild beauty of the moors around Haworth . . . left an indelible impression on me." Years later, in 1933, still inspired by what he had seen, Balthus made a series of 15 drawings to accompany the novel that is practically synonymous with the moors. Compelling, moody, and a little wild, these drawings are a formidable complement to Brontë's words. The LEC Newsletter, introducing the present work, notes the "incisive linear quality" of the black & white drawings; Balthus' biographer and critic, Jean Leymarie, is also quoted, describing the work as "lit up with something of the book's flame and storm-flashes." It is also worth noting that this impressive production marks the first time these 15 illustrations appear alongside the text that inspired them--60 years after Balthus completed them.
(ST16342)