Rating: 5 stars
To begin with, I'd like to say that I own many of Jeff Menges' books, and while I love them all, I've been trying not to be too biased in favor of his work, so I've had to pace myself with these reviews. There are many others I'm eager to review next, but it may not be for a while, as I have many other books I'd like to review as well.
Needless to say, this is another book of his that I really enjoyed, not only for the expertise and visual content, but also because of its exploratory nature in dealing with illustrated books by one author, in this case Edgar Allan Poe.
I haven't read very much by Poe, but I have read enough of his material to be intrigued by the variety of treatments that these illustrators have lent to his work over the years, and although this book is not as encyclopedic as 101 Great Illustrators of the Golden Age, (also by Menges), it's clearly not meant to be.
While the bulk of this book is visual content, the information on each illustrator and their editions of Poe's work is very insightful and gives an interesting glimpse into their inner relationship with Poe as well as how that relationship bridged the gap between their world and his, (he died 25 years before the first illustrated edition of his work was published.)
All in all, I think this book serves its highly specific purpose quite well. This is not an exhaustive text by any means, but once you understand that this book's purpose is to explore a very narrow area within the broader history of book illustration, you will most likely enjoy it every bit as much as I did.
Disclaimer: I do not earn commissions on sales of books I review at this time. This may change in future, but it will never affect the integrity of my reviews.