But they should have been and nearly were! By now you've spotted the images and realize that today's blog will look at Reilly & Lee's 1969 edition of The Sea Fairies and 1970 edition of Sky Island.
It's very unclear why Reilly & Lee didn't issue the books in the "white edition" format - but as you'll see as you read on, they came very close - or at least Dick Martin's contributions came very close.
The 1969 Sea Fairies jacket was designed by Lois Axeman and it was based on John R. Neill's cover of the third edition from 1920.
I had always wondered why Dick Martin hadn't designed the new jacket and, alas, I have no clear-cut answer. Dick did design a Sea Fairies cover for this edition and it closely followed the "white edition" format, yet for some reason Reilly & Lee seems to have rejected it and opted for the bubbly Lois Axeman design. I suspect the publisher simply wanted to try a more modern and contemporary look. Dick's semi-retro art-nouveau cover rough (seen below) is no where near as "groovy" and "with it" as Lois Axeman's design.
|Unused SEA FAIRIES cover design by Dick Martin.|
It's easy to see that Dick intended this new edition to match the "white editions." His design is based on John R. Neill's original Sea Fairies endpaper design from 1911 (below). Dick used both the poses of Cap'n Bill and Trot as well as the red and green color scheme. The fish on Dick's spine is based on the fish on the spine of the first edition.
The following year Reilly & Lee put out a new edition of Sky Island, and this time Dick Martin was allowed to create the cover design.
Like Sea Fairies, though, this book got a dust wrapper and plain cloth - this time the spine being stamped in iridescent blue.
The back panel is based on Neill's color plate showing the Boolooroo with Button-Bright's magic umbrella. The umbrella on the spine is based on the spine vignette used on the first edition.
Unlike the "white editions," Dick Martin and Reilly & Lee made no alterations to the interiors of these editions of The Sea Fairies and Sky Island. They are essentially identical to the first editions (minus the color plates and pictorial endpapers). Both of these reprints have blank endpapers and each has a list of the fourteen Oz books in the forematter.
This really does seem to be the end of "White Edition Wednesday." It has been very popular. As a final little fillip of "white edition" goodness, here are the two advertising brochures that Reilly & Lee prepared. The longer brochure mentions that there are "twenty additional Oz titles available" by other authors. This means six of the forty Oz books were out of print.
I'm curious which six were unavailable and how long Reilly & Lee had any of the post-Baum Oz book in print. I know Merry Go Round in Oz was supposedly available new until the early 1970s. I must thank Michael O. Riley for the scans of the two brochures. Here they are.
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We have one more post in this series, and you can read it here! Have fun!
Next week a new blog series will begin - Map of Oz Monday!