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Laura by Vera Caspary

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on May 3rd, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Laura by Vera Caspary 1
    Source: https://www.betweenthecovers.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    This is Laura’s book, although most of it is told by three men — the three men who knew her best. When the story opens, Laura’s life is ended. — flap jacket text

    Vera Caspary’s Laura (1942, 1943) is a detective novel and Caspary’s best known work. Shortly after the book was released, it was adapted into a successful film of the same name (with Gene Tierny and Dana Andrews as lead actors, and starring Vincent Price). Over time, the novel acquired a certain cult status. If you happen to have a first edition print in your shelves, don’t dispose of it for a dollar or euro in your yard sale — it may sell at a higher price.

    The book was published as a hardcover with an illustrated jacket. The typography uses Lydian Bold for the book title, and Lydian Roman for the other information using sentence case on the cover, all caps on the spine. The text on the book’s back cover, the book cover itself and the title page seems to be set with ATF Garamond.

    On the title page, the title shows Garamond’s distinctive capital R, paddling its foot below the baseline. This approach to the italic R is not exclusive to ATF Garamond. It can also be found in Amsterdamer Garamont, but compared with ATF’s version, the Amsterdamer glyph seems to dive all-in. The author’s name is set with loosely spaced small caps. Houghton Mifflin (and) Company was a partner of “The Riverside Press Cambridge” which is mentioned in blackletter. If the Garamond is type from the American Type Founders, the blackletter could be ATF’s Cloister Black.

    Laura by Vera Caspary 2
    Source: https://www.abebooks.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of the first edition of Laura published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 1943.

    Laura by Vera Caspary 3
    Source: https://www.betweenthecovers.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Title page.

    Laura by Vera Caspary 4
    Source: https://biblio.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.

    Book Club edition, 1943.

    Laura by Vera Caspary 5
    Source: https://biblio.co.uk License: All Rights Reserved.

    Book Club edition, 1943.

    Typefaces

    • Lydian
    • Garamond (ATF)
    • Cloister Black

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