By the Western Sea

Last week’s spotlight was the final book ever published by Paul Elder & Company; this week’s is the very first. The new firm of “D. P. Elder and Morgan Shepard” published By the Western Sea in 1898. The green cloth cover features an ocean wave design that wrapped around the spine onto part of the back cover. I find the design very attractive, but it appears that Elder never used that effect again on a book cover I know of only one other example of wraparound cover art in the Elder catalog. The book was printed at the Murdock Press, a firm that often printed Elder & Shepard’s publications before the creation of the Tomoye Press in 1903.

Samuel Marshall Ilsley was a Santa Barbara poet and playwright. Elder and Shepard knew him through Shepard’s wife, Mary Putnam. Ilsley was a friend of Mary and her sister Katharine Hooker (author of Wayfarers in Italy), and accompanied Katharine and her daughter Marian on a long trip to Europe in 1896.

Cover of "By the Western Sea"
Cover of “By the Western Sea”, with wraparound decoration
Title page of "By The Western Sea"
Title page of “By the Western Sea”

2 thoughts on “By the Western Sea”

  1. hi,
    just bought ” by the western sea”, really like the cover. any information as to who designed that cover?

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