7 The Last Battle

15.00
The Last Battle, 1st edn 1956 (C S Lewis - Narnia)The final title of the Narnia series was The Last Battle, published in 1956.

The 1st issue jacket is missing the Carnegie Medal text which was added from the 2nd printing onwards. Later issues adopted the Bodley Head's red and mauve phases in a similar manner to The Magician's Nephew. The jacket was redesigned entirely in 1972 to coincide with the Bles titles passing to the tender care of Collins and enjoying a 2nd edition. The Bodley Head pair themselves passed to Collins in 1986.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #24-A-1, size 203.7x478mm.
15.00
The Last Battle, 1st edn 1958 (2nd printing) (C S Lewis - Narnia)Not much has changed -- we have the Carnegie Medal announcement on spine and front panel, and a change of publisher's address on the back flap. The bronze inking is slightly misregistered on the artwork.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #24-B-1, size 203.1x480mm.
15.00
The Last Battle, 1st edn 1961 (3rd printing) (C S Lewis - Narnia)Five years after publication and the jacket is still essentially the same except for the back flap, whose design has been modernized. There is a tiny change to the front panel illustration -- a small twig on the extreme right which had appeared to be suspended in mid air on the first two printings has now vanished. The colour misregistration of the 2nd printing has been corrected.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #24-C-1, size 202.3x481mm.
15.00
The Last Battle, 1st edn 1966 (5th printing) (C S Lewis - Narnia)Well, the jacket has been simplified and overcome with a fortified orange-juice. The artwork is now reduced to line drawings. Fortunately this design was relatively short-lived...

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #24-E-1, size 202.7x497mm.
15.00
The Last Battle, 1st edn 1968 (6th printing) (C S Lewis - Narnia)The final impression of the first edition was in 1968, and the orange jacket with brutal fonts reverted to blue with a more sensitive typeface. It was also issued in mauve, though!

For the typeface geeks: this is Albertus, designed by Berthold Wolpe in the 1930s. Stanley Morison commissioned the face for Monotype in England and named it after Albert the Great, medieval scientist and philosopher. Wolpe based the type on the lettering he did on bronze tablets. Such inscriptions were made by cutting back the ground around the letters and shaping them from the outside of their forms, rather than the inside, as incised letters in stone are done. Wolpe said his technique made for bold simplicity and reduced the serifs to a bare minimum. This sharp chisel stroke at the terminations of the main strokes was said to make the alphabet stand midway between classical letters and the modern sans serif. If it looks vaguely familiar, it may be because a modified version was used for the original TV series The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan.

After this printing, Bodley Head issued a new edition to coincide and be uniform with the earlier Bles titles issued in a new edition by Collins.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #24-F-1, size 201.9x491mm.