GallimardLa bibliothèque de la Pléiade (1931)
Created in 1931 by Jacques Schiffrin, the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade is a French series of books with reference editions of the complete works of classic authors in a pocket format. André Gide took an interest in this project and brought it into Gallimard, under which it is still published. The Pléiade has a strong emphasis on works that were originally written in French, but the collection also includes some classics of world literature. The entry into the Pléiade is considered a major sign of recognition for an author in France, and it is extremely rare that a living author is published in the Pléiade.
All the books are high quality appearance-leather bound, with gold lettering on the spine and bible paper, which allows the books to contain a high number of pages. The covers of the books are colour-coded according to period: 20th century literature comes in tobacco leather, 19th century in emerald green, 18th century in blue, 17th century in Venetian red, etc. The books are sold in a transparent dust jacket, and inserted in a white printed cardboard slipcase.
In 1992, Gallimard and Einaudi began a similar series of literature in Italian, the Biblioteca della Pléiade. The Library of America series, launched in 1979, is a similar project in the United States inspired by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. In the Netherlands, the Russian Library (1953) bundles the complete works of classic Russian authors in a similar fashion.
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