Horrible Book Covers.

mdRfW30We might want to revise that age-old saying about judging books by their covers.
The TerribleBookCovers subreddit has a few recommendations for you.
Highlighting the best of the worst in book design, title choice and overall presentation, the subreddit features a stunning collection of bad photoshop, creepy models and — err — niche hobbies.
From guides on knitting with dog fur to novel-length manifestos about the endless benefits of leeches, these books are basically impossible to not judge.
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Take a look through some of our favorites below, coming to a bookstore hopefully nowhere near you (The Hobbit notwithstanding, of course).

 

See the other Images via 11 Terrible Book Covers to Scare You Off Reading.

Russian Fairytales, trans. Robert Bain (1915).

Russian fairy tales from the Russian of Polevoi, by R. Nisbet Bain, illustrated by Noel L. Nisbet; 1915; Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York.
A collection of Russian fairytales translated from the Russian of Nikolai Polevoy, a notable editor, writer, translator in the early 19th century.
The translations were made by Robert Nisbet Bain, a British historian who worked for the British Museum, and a polyglot who could reportedly speak over twenty languages fluently.
He famously taught himself Hungarian in order that he could read the works of Mór Jókai in the original after first reading him in German, going on to become the most prolific translator into English from Hungarian in the nineteenth century.
Source: Russian Fairytales (1915) | The Public Domain Review

The Chronicle of Crows, c.1848.

cawcaworchronic00rmrmiala_0005Caw! Caw! Or the Chronicle of Crows, A Tale of the Spring Time, 1848. By R.M.; Grant & Griffith in London.
A rather sad tale, told in rhyme, of a group of crows who lose some of their family members due to a farmer who decides to rid himself of the birds.
The title page of the book only gives the author’s initials as R. M., and the illustrator as J.B.

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We’ve little information on the author, but the illustrations are most likely the work of the Scottish artist Jemima Blackburn (1823-1909).
Jemima, also known as Mrs Hugh Blackburn, was a friend of the Victorian artist Sir Edwin Landseer who was known for his paintings of animals and who admired Blackburn’s talents.
She became particularly known for her bird illustrations and in the 1860s published Birds Drawn from Nature which received much praise.
Her work was said to be second only to Thomas Bewick’s (1753-1828) engravings in A History of British Birds, published in two volumes in 1797 and 1804.
Source: Caw! Caw! or The Chronicle of Crows (ca. 1848) | The Public Domain Review

Craws and Flaws, a Satirical Work of James Gillray.

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James Gillray (1757-1815) was among the most popular, prolific, revered, and reviled print satirists of the golden age of English caricature, the late eighteenth century.
He took special delight in attacking the excesses of the royal family.
Here, he caustically depicts King George III, Queen Charlotte, and the Prince of Wales (later George IV) gorging themselves on the national treasury, labelled “John Bull’s Blood.”
The title, “Monstrous Craws,” refers to the rapidly expanding gullets dangling from the royal necks, probably inspired by the recent public display in London of three “wild-born human beings,” who apparently exhibited such features.
The Library acquired this print with almost 10,000 other English satires from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle in 1921.
via Online Exhibition – Monstrous Craws and Character Flaws | Exhibitions (Library of Congress).

Chromatic Wood Type and Borders 1874.

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type and Borders (1874)
Some select pages from the exquisite Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. (1874), a specimen book produced by the William H. Page wood type company.
Chromatic types, which were made to print in two or more colours, were first produced as wood type by Edwin Allen, and shown by George Nesbitt in his 1841 Fourth Specimen of Machinery Cut Wood Type.
It is William H Page’s book, however, that is considered to be the highpoint of chromatic wood type production.
As well as providing over 100 pages of brilliantly coloured type, the book can also be seen, at times, to act as some sort of accidental experimental poetry volume, with such strange snippets as “Geographical excursion knives home” and “Numerous stolen mind” adorning its pages.
One wonders whether the decisions about what words to feature and in what order were entirely arbitrary.
Thanks to the wonderful Bibliodyssey blog where we came across the book: visit the post there for more info on the book and a great list of related links.

Source: Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type and Borders (1874) – The Public Domain Review

‘Death and the Eternal Forever’ by Ron English.

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Ron English has bombed the global landscape with countless unforgettable images: on the street, in museums, in movies, in books and on television.
Coining the term ‘POPaganda’ to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones; from superhero mythology to totems of art history, his work is populated with a vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters.
English featured in the hit movies Super Size Me and Exit Through the Gift Shop, and hosted Britain’s The Other America series on Sky TV; he has also made numerous television appearances worldwide.
He is the subject of the award-winning 2006 documentary POPaganda: the Art and Crimes of Ron English and the 2009 documentary Abraham Obama.
He has exhibited worldwide in numerous prestigious galleries and his work resides in the permanent collections of Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO), Paris’s Museum of Modern Art, amongst others.
English continues to create art that propels unstated cultural norms just beyond the bounds of comfort into a disconcerting realm simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
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Death and the Eternal Forever is available online via http://www.koreropress.com,
Read on via ART PICS: Ron English ‘Death and the Eternal Forever’ Art Book Launch @AtomicaGallery Thursday 31st July, 6-8pm | FADWEBSITE.