Manon Lescaut – The Abbé Prévost (Doubleday, 1960-1961)

When i started my book collection i found it a little bit tricky to find good information on which dust jackets Warhol actually had designed. So far there is no book about these that i know of and no list like Richard Forrest’s excellent list on the record covers on rateyourmusic. There are a few pretty good articles here and there but it soon became obvious that these didn’t cover all of his work in this area. This particular book i had never seen mentioned anywhere until Guy Minnebach tipped me off to it’s existence.

As with The Red and the Black this wasn’t incredibly difficult to find once i started looking for it. And the way of action was pretty much the same – find about 10 different editions on Amazon or abebooks, email a bunch of sellers and wait for some images while you keep your fingers crossed. Surprisingly this method has proven to work quite well so far. But of course you need to find some listings in order to have something to investigate. And pretty soon i’ll be stuck with just a few holes on my collection that will be hard to fill using this approach. Guess i’ll have to come up with a new strategy after the summer vacation…

Anyways, i thought i got this from Amazon but i can’t find it in my order history so i guess it must have been from abebooks. I also can’t remember when it was exactly or what i payed for it but it’s been on the shelf for quite some time, and i remember that i thought i made a great deal. Up until just now i actually thought the title was The Abbé Prévost and that the authors name was Manon Lescaut. But it seems it’s really the other way around. As it turns out Manon Lescaut appears to be a short novel by the french author Antoine François Prévost, there is also an opera with the same name by Giacomo Puccini based on the novel. I chose to blame my ignorance on the fact that i’m not particularly into opera and/or novels from the 18th century. I also don’t think i’ve ever seen an author namned with the definite article – “the”. Maybe this was common back in the day?

As with The Red and the Black this was published by Doubleday and on what i think i’ve now learned is called an imprint that was called Dolphin book, or maybe just Dolphin? It also seems to be some uncertainty as to what year this was published, there is no year stated in the actual book and my (among many other things) “book mentor” Guy Minnebach has the year put down as 1960(?) and on this listing on Biblio they claim that it was published in 1961. So who knows, i’ll go with 1960-1961 just to hedge my bet a little bit. To me it has the same “feel” as both The Red and the black and The Grand Mademoiselle which were both published in 1960 so it can’t be that far off.

In my book (pun intended) there is not much to say about the condition. For a paperback that’s over 50 years old i think it’s in excellent shape. There are some tiny, tiny smudges on the front cover and some minor foxing or other discoloration to the top. It’s also a little beaten up along the edges and so on, but i think the front drawing is still nice and clear. So all in all nothing to complain about.

Warhol is of course credited with the drawing and this other guy namned George Giusti is credited with the general cover design. I tried to find some information on him and it seems he did quite a few covers for Doubleday and others, here’s a few examples. I had never heard of him before but right away this cover caught my interest and for a moment i once again thought i had found “my” Warhol cover, but it seems i’ll have to keep looking…

Oh, and thanks again for all your help, Guy!

Manon-Lescaut-Warhol-1 Manon-Lescaut-Warhol-2 Manon-Lescaut-Warhol-3


5 thoughts on “Manon Lescaut – The Abbé Prévost (Doubleday, 1960-1961)

  1. Another lovely book to add to your collection. The reason you got mixed up with author and title could be that you didn’t recognise “Abbé” as a title rather than a nanme. Abbé is the head of a monastery – thus The Abbé’s name is (or rather was) Prévost.

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