The following chapters were written during a series of years as one aspect after another of the Book engaged the writer's attention. As they are now brought together, the result is not a systematic treatise, but rather a succession of views of one many-sided subject. In consequence there is considerable overlapping. The writer hopes, however, that this will be looked upon not as vain repetition but as a legitimate reinforcement of his underlying theme, the unity in diversity of the Book and the federation of all who have to do with it.
had a final edition of the great romance it would not remain final for our children's children. Every age will make its own interpretations of the classics and will demand that they be embodied in contemporary design. Thus every age in its book design mirrors itself for future admiration or contempt.
Obviously, in giving form to a single work a designer is freer than in handling a series by one or by various authors. In such cases he must seize upon more general and therefore less salient characteristics. The designer of "Hiawatha" or "Evangeline" has a fairly clear task before him, with a chance of distinct success or failure; but the designer of an appropriate form for the whole series of Longfellow's works, both prose and poetry, has a less individualized problem, and must think of the elements that run through all,--sweetness, grace, gentleness, dignity, learning. Yet, though general, these qualities in a series may be far from vague. We have only to consider the absurdity of a handy-volume Gibbon