Tales of Two Countries

Designer: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Alexander Lange Kielland (Norwegian, 1849–1906)

Publisher: Harper & Brothers (American, New York)

Date: 1891

Medium: Dark blue cloth covered boards with silver and gold decoration

Dimensions: Overall: 7 × 10 3/16 in. (17.8 × 25.9 cm)
Front cover: 7 × 4 7/16 in. (17.8 × 11.2 cm)
Front cover and spine: 7 × 5 13/16 in. (17.8 × 14.7 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Gift of Alice C. Morse, 1923, Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.62


A leading New York book-cover designer in the late nineteenth century, Morse studied at the Woman’s Art School of the Cooper Union, then under John La Farge before working for Louis C. Tiffany as a painter and designer of stained glass. In 1887 she began to concentrate on book-covers, fufilling eighty-three commissions for New York commercial publishers by 1905. Complementing the text, she chose imagery ranging from classical, to Renaissance, Celtic, Arabic, Gothic, Rococo, Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. Morse first designed this cover for Harper's, the first title by Guy de Maupassant in "The Odd Number series," published between 1889 and 1899. All are bound in dark blue plain-weave cloth with silver and gold stamping.