Straight Jackets: the Art of the Book Jacket University of Otago Straight Jackets: the art of the book jacket

The 'blurb' is a brief descriptive paragraph or note of the contents or character of a book, printed as a commendatory advertisement, on the jacket of a newly published book. These puffs or 'write-ups' developed about 1910, with the origin said to have been in 1907 when in a comic book jacket Gelett Burgess facetiously dubbed the drawing of a beautiful young lady as Miss Blinda Blurb. (See Mencken, American Language Supplement. I.329). Kurt Enoch's Albatross Books was established in Hamburg in 1931. His printed jacket of D.H. Lawrence's The Lovely Lady contains a blurb in English, French and German as well as a colour guide to the types of titles produced. All are set within a clean, dignified framework. Enoch's enterprise was so successful that it enabled him to buy out the well-known publishing firm of Tachnitz.

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