San Francisco: Arion Press, 2000. Number 343 of 400 numbered copies. Signed by the artist. From the acclaimed Arion Press: "Cane is regarded as the highest literary achievement of the Harlem Renaissance and a masterpiece of African-American writing. To call it a novel is misleading, for the book is made up of many parts, by turn fiction, poetry, drama, set in rural Georgia, urban Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. To say it was first published in 1923 is misleading, too, for parts were published earlier in magazines. While it may seem at first a collection of writings, it is a highly experimental novel, novel in concept and form, and is a unified artistic whole. Cane was praised when issued but sold few copies. Toomer isolated himself after the book was published, and it was not rediscovered until the 1960s with the rise of academic interest in black history and culture. Jean Toomer (1897-1967) wrote several autobiographies, other fiction, drama, poetry, and essays, but published only one other book, Essentials, a collection of aphorisms, in 1931. Leon Litwack is an eminent historian of the black experience in America. In his essay on Cane, Litwack shows how the book addresses the racial situation in the early twentieth century. 'In coming to grips with the present, Jean Toomer insisted on confronting the past and exploring the heritage of slavery to its very roots, in ways that would avoid both condescension and romanticization. Looking about him, he sensed an agrarian folk culture deeply rooted in the slave experience. There was still time, he thought, to explore that culture, indeed the very soul and spirit of the black South, before urbanization and industrialization rendered it unrecognizable.' Martin Puryear is a leading American sculptor. He read Cane for the first time when he was teaching at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and living in the South for the first time. The book has been important to him ever since. His woodcuts for Cane are on two scales. The seven larger images are abstract portraits of women characters in the book; the three smaller blocks are reinterpretations of the enigmatic arcs that Toomer placed on pages dividing sections in the first edition." Bound in full tan linen over limp boards with brown ties. The text type is Times New Roman composed by Monotype and printed on Biblio mouldmade paper from Germany. The display type is Lucian Bold, composed by hand. The prints are on handmade Kitakata paper from Japan. Oblong measuring 111/2 by 13 7/8 inches. Includes prospectus and box in which mailed. In fine condition. PRIV/091818.
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London: William Heinemann, 1921. Hardcover. Inscribed by Beerbohm with Autograph Letter Signed laid in. The book is inscribed on the half title to S.J. Williams, “Dear Mr. Williams I am so very glad you see to like [And Even Now] and I thank you very much - Max Beerbohm May, 1943.” Laid in is a letter to Williams along with the envelope in which it was sent. The letterhead is “Abinger Manor Cottage, Abinger Common, Nr. Dorking.” In this charming letter Beerbohm writes: “June 15 1943/Dear Mr. Williams/I write to tell you, with many thanks, how proud I am to be the subject of an epigram so perfect in pre-, com-, and incision. Epigrams are usually unkind in wit. Wit and kindness are rather distantly related to each other. But here they seem to be [the word are is crossed out below this] brother and sister, and will abide in my heart as well as in my brain. With kindest regards from my wife and me to Mrs. Williams and to you, I am sincerely and gratefully yours, Max Beerbohm.” The envelope is addressed S.J. Williams, Prof/Queens’ College/Cambridge. The flap of the envelope is affixed to the front endpaper opposite the half title page. There is one fold in the letter otherwise in fine condition. Book is bound in original yellow cloth with paper title label to spine. Soiled and bumped but in very good condition. Interior pages are clean and tight. 320 pages. LIT/042012. Very Good.
London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1897. Hardcover. Scarce First Edition. Rhoda Broughton (1840-1920) was a prolific novelist and short story writer who was very popular in the nineteenth century. She wrote both “women’s” novels and stories of the supernatural, the latter undoubtedly influenced by her uncle, Sheridan Le Fanu. Bound in original cloth with blind-stamped design to front and rear covers and gilt title and author to spine. In very good plus condition with slight bumping to corners. Interior is also in very good condition with a few small brown spots to fore-edge and light off setting to front free endpaper. 400 pages plus 31 pages of ads. LIT/041811. Very Good.
Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2018. Number 7 of 42 copies signed by the printers and the author of the introduction. This is a delightful new edition of Lewis Carroll's famous poem, The Hunting of the Snark. It was produced by a writer, artist, and book designer and printers who are ardent and well-known Carroll admirers. The Cheshire Press was formed by book designer and printer George Walker in 1991. The press began when he and two colleagues produced new editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Edward Wakeling, who wrote the introduction, is an internationally known authority on Carroll. In addition to writing a recent biography of him, Wakeling also created a comprehensive catalogue raisonne of over 1000 photographs taken by amateur photographer Carroll. Byron W. Sewell is a prolific illustrator, author and bibliographer of works associated with Lewis Carroll. For this edition of Snark, Sewell created new illustrations inspired by contemporary carte-de-visit photographs that were so popular in Victorian England. He has one for each character in the poem, adapting images from actual photographs. They are ideal depictions for this fantastic nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, written when he was forty-four years old. Bound in maroon cloth with title in gilt to spine and on cover label. Handprinted in New Caledonia type on Bfk Rives Cream paper. The printing was completed by George Walker and Andy Malcolm, and the book design and layout were by Walker. An original print inscribed and signed by Sewell is inserted in a sleeve on the front pastedown. Housed in a slipcase in the same maroon cloth with gilt title on cover. In fine condition. 6.5 x 10 inches. 72 pages. PRI/010319.
London: Macmillan & Co., 1891. Hardcover. First Edition. Lanoe Falconer was the pseudonym of Mary Elizabeth Hawker (1848-1908), the English novelist and short story writer. This scarce book was a very popular supernatural novel in its day. In very good condition in original dark blue cloth boards. Light bumping to corners and chipping to spine. Interior pages clean with some splitting to signatures but text block is holding. 197 pages plus 44 page classified catalogue. LIT/031511. Very Good.
London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1893. Maurice Greiffenhagen. Hardcover. First Edition of this Aztec romance. Author's Presentation Copy, inscribed "To Andrew from his affec brother H Rider Haggard 1894." Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was the author of a number of adventure novels set in exotic locales. His books, including She and King Solomon's Mines, are still popular today. Haggard traveled to Mexico in 1891 to do research for this book and sadly his young son died while he was away. The book describes the first interactions between the Spanish and South American natives, as well as murders, shipwrecks, and slavery. Colonel Andrew Haggard, who had a distinguished military career - he was one of he first British officers to command in the Egyptian army - was also a successful novelist, travel writer and poet. It is known that Andrew helped Rider with the writing of Dawn and he likely played an important role in helping his younger brother with the several bestsellers which revolved around Egypt and mummies. There are 25 black and white illustrations by the British painter and illustrator Maurice Greiffenhagen. He was Haggard's friend, which led him to illustrate several of his adventure books, starting with She in 1889. Bound in the original publisher's blue-green cloth with gilt author and title to front cover and spine. Light bumping, small chip to bottom of faded spine. Hinges a bit tender but text block is tight. Interior pages are clean. Bookplate of collector Mark Samuels Lasner to front pastedown. Very good condition. 325 pages plus 24 page publisher's catalog. LIT/012016. Very Good.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company; The Riverside Press, 1900. Hardcover. 258 of 500 copies of the Autograph Edition, signed in the first volume by the author's daughter, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, who provided the introduction, and by the publisher. FRONTISPIECE OF EACH VOLUME IS SIGNED BY THAT VOLUME'S ILLUSTRATOR. This beautiful and important set is illustrated by some of the foremost illustrators from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They include several of the artists of the Brandywine School such as Howard Pyle, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Frank Schoonover and Anna Whelan Betts. Other illustrators include the famed American impressionist artist, Child Hassam. The volumes are signed as follows: Anna Whelan Betts (Volume I); Emlen McConnell (II); Sarah S. Stilwell (III); Jessie Wilcox Smith (IV); Mary Lewis Ayer (V); Eric Pape (VI); Maud Cowles (VII); B. West Clinedinst (VIII); Alice Barber Stephens (IX and X); E.C. Peixotto (XI); Frank T. Merrill (XII); Howard Pyle (XIII); A.I. Keller) (XIV); Frederick McCormick (XV); F.C. Yohn(XVI); Albert Herter (XVII); Harry Fenn (XVIII); Childe Hassam (XIX); Edmunc H. Garrett (XX); Jules Guerin (XXI); and Ross Turner (XXII). Beautifully bound in publisher's deluxe binding of three quarter blue morocco, marbled boards, and gilt decorated spine with titles and floral ornaments betweeen raised bands. Marbled end pages, t.e.g.. In fine condition. LIT/072310 This set may require an extra shipping fee. Fine.
Dublin: P. Wogan, 1805. Hardcover. Scarce Edition. This is a later issue of Elizabeth Hervey's interesting novel of 1796 on the politics of Ireland, and it displays her sympathy for the United Ireland cause. Hervey (1748-1820) wrote at a time when it was quite unusual for a woman to write on political issues. Bound in contemporary full brown leather with red title label and brown volume number label to spine. The binding is mottled, with bumping and boards of volume 2 starting to split from spine. The binding is still solid, however, and the text blocks are tight. Browning and some foxing to the interior pages otherwise very good. Bookplate affixed to front pastedown to volume 1 and ink ownership signature on title pages of both volumes. Volume 1: 287 pages; Volume 2: 284 pages. LIT/012910 This set may require an extra shipping fee. Very Good.
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1893. Hardcover. FIRST EDITION, very uncommon. American author, Pearl Craigie (1867 - 1906), published several novels including this one in Fisher Unwin's Pseudonym Library series. Near fine in original beige cloth with green title to spine and front board. Minor foxing to end pages, else the interior is clean. Top edge in gilt. Nice condition. 249 pages plus 8 pages of ads. LIT/012109. Near Fine.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981, 2018. Karen Hanmer’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays that intertwine history, culture, politics, science and technology. She utilizes both traditional and contemporary book structures, and the work is often playful in content or format. Karen was the winner of the Jury Prize for Binding in the 2009 Helen Warren DeGolyer American Bookbinding Competition. One of only ten graduates of the American Academy of Bookbinding’s Fine Binding program, she has studied with many notable fine binders. She exhibits widely, and her work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to UCLA and Graceland. Her masterful bindings wed the ancient art of book binding with the high tech use of the computer to aid her process. Karen designed and constructed this exquisite unique signed binding for this first trade edition of the famous Arion Press's 1979 edition with its striking illustrations by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Her binding is based on the non-adhesive “clip-on cover” structure developed by UK binder Kathy Abbott. To create this binding the text block is disbound, the outer folios guarded and then sewn with long stitch using blue linen thread into the calf vellum wrapper, covered in limp calf vellum case, with tabbed corners. Hand titling to spine is done in 22k moon gold, with a blue acrylic line applied through stencil along the bottom edges of the front and rear covers. The endpapers are of handmade Ruscombe Mill pale wove paper in a single folio with hooked flexi endleaf. The top edge of the text block is covered with graphite. Karen writes: "The pale vellum references the white whale, and the blue line a turbulent sea. The stark contrast between these elements mirrors the horror steadily building in anticipation of the Pequod’s encounter with Moby Dick. Use of blue inside and out also references the color of the initial caps in the Arion Press and Deluxe California editions of this text." This is an impressive binding that beautifully pays honor to one of the great American novels. Book measures 10.5 x 7 x 1.5 inches. Housed in a dark blue clamshell box with a white gilt and blue title label to spine. In fine condition. FINEBINDING/080618.
[The Hague] a la Haye: Pierre de Hondt, 1758-1759. Hardcover. This remarkable "Historical Dictionary," offers critical and literary memoirs about the life and works of various distinguished persons, particularly in the republic of letters, This book was done as a complementary work to the famous early 18th century dictionary of Pierre Bayle. Prosper Marchand (1678-1756) was a Huguenot refugee who became a bookseller, bibliographer, and publisher in the Netherlands. Marchand died before the manuscript was complete, but he had commissioned his friend and executor, Jean Nicolas Sebastien Allamand, to review and publish it. Allamand spent four years putting Marchand's notes in order. They were mostly written on confused and scattered scraps of paper. In his introduction, Allamand describes all the pains he had to take to restore these notes and to supplement the omissions of Marchand. The result is this monumental bound folio with two painstakingly printed volumes on on seemingly everyone and everything literary. Printed in double columns with numerous shoulder footnotes on most pages. At the end of Volume II are an alphabetical list of articles, a table of subjects, and a catalog of books published by Pierre de Hondt. Bound in three quarter brown leather with decorated brown paper boards. Six raised bands to spine with brown leather title label in second compartment. Chipping and small tears to leather as well as to paper covers. Interior pages show light aging but are otherwise clean and bright. Offsetting on free endpapers from leather borders on pastedowns. Previous owner bookplate to front pastedowns and small stamp on title page of volume I "Holstein-Holsteinborg." In very good condition. Volume I: 330 pages plus publisher catalog; Volume II: 328 pages plus lists and publisher catalog. FRE/042415. Very Good.
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1898. Hardcover. FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. This is Maugham's uncommon second book. He apparently did not hold the book in high regard and tried to suppress its republication. It is an historical novel that takes place in Italy, and concerns itself with the weaknesses of the human condition. One sad quote: “One does not really feel much grief at other people's sorrows; one tries, and puts on a melancholy face, thinking oneself brutal for not caring more; but one cannot and it is better, for if one grieved too deeply at other people's tears, life would be unendurable; and every man has sufficient sorrows of his own without taking to heart his neighbour's.” In the original green cloth with gilt title to spine. Minor rubbing to boards and minor wear to spine ends. The text and endpages are slightly browned as is usual with this book. Includes bookplates of three previous owners to front endpage: A.S. Alexander, Eleanor Jacott, and Mark Samuels Lasner. Very good condition 303 pages plus 8 pages of ads. LIT/042108. Very good.
New York: G.P. Putnam & Col, 1854-1855. Scarce. The first appearance of Israel Potter, Melville’s novel about the Revolutionary War, was published in six parts in Putnam’s Magazine between July 1854 - March 1855. It was published in book form in March 1855. Loosely based on a real person, Israel Potter recounts the life of a young American who fights in the Revolution, is captured at sea by the British Navy, and has a series of adventures in England involving King George III, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, and Ethan Allen. The work ends sadly, with Potter exiled in poverty in England for fifty years, finally returning to America shortly before his death. The book was a commercial failure in its time but garnered critical appreciation. Volume IV also includes Melville’s “The Lightning-Rod Man.” Both volumes are bound in the original green cloth with embossed designs to covers and gilt titling to spine. Volume IV is stained, bumped, and rubbed, with faded gilt design and titling to spine. Remnants of spine label, hole in back cover not affecting interior and small tears to joint. Ownership stamp of D.F. Tillinghast to front and rear pastedowns. Interior pages clean and bright with age darkening to some pages. Covers of Volume V have soiling and bumping. Foxing to endpapers and occasional light foxing to text pages but otherwise clean and bright. Overall in very good condition. Volume IV: 672 pages; Volume V: 668 pages. LIT/.
London: Leonard Smithers & Co, 1899. Hardcover. First Edition, second issue (issued by Grant Richards with his name at the foot of the spine) of this scarce title. Vincent O’Sullivan (1868-1940) was an American-born short story writer, poet, and critic. He was part of the Decadent group of the 1890s, and a friend of Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, and Leonard Smithers. He has been described as a writer of the macabre, such as seen in the story “Will” found in this volume. Bound in original brown cloth with title and author in gilt to spine. Some chipping and bumping to spine ends and corners otherwise in very good condition. Typical offsetting to free endpapers, and one or two gatherings slightly pulled away, but still in very good condition. Undated ownership signature of [?] Baptiste O’Sullivan. 113 pages. LIT/051011. Very Good.
London: Macmillan and Co, 1890. Hardcover. Third impression. Bound for George Allison Armour by the Doves Bindery in 1894. Armour (1856 - 1936), a Princeton grandee, was a prominent book collector. Very good in full green morocco with gilt title, gilt clover decoration, and five raised bands to spine. Browning to spine and edges of boards. Minor rubbing to hinges, corners, and bands. Decorative dentelles and full edges gilt. Offsetting to endpapers and slight toning to margins of pages, else clean and bright. 274 pages. LIT/052715. Very Good.
London: Chatto & Windus, 1894. First Edition. Hardcover. Signed Presentation Copy. 8vo. In original dark blue cloth. An extraordinary association copy, inscribed "Mary C. J. Leith from her affectionate cousin A.C. Swinburne Nov. 8, 1894." Mary Gordon, later Mrs. Leith, was Swinburne's first cousin and by far the most important woman in his life apart from his mother. Herself a poet and novelist, Mary Gordon's intimacy began in childhood when they lived in neighboring houses on the Isle of Wight. Later their relationship became literary, Swinburne providing the poems that appear in Gordon's anonymously issued "The Children of the Chapel" in 1864, and Gordon appearing as Clara in Swinburne's own novel, "A Year's Letters," first serialized in The Tatler in 1877. It was published in book form in 1905 as "Love's Cross-Currents." In her memoir, Gordon wrote that Swinburne [was] to me as an elder brother, a loved and sympathetic playmate, and in later years a loyal and affectionate friend. Although there is no direct evidence, recent scholarship has identified Gordon as most likely Swinburne's sole romantic attachment, which ended in traumatic rejection. This book was probably inscribed after Gordon visited Swinburne and Watts-Dunton at The Pines in the fall of 1894. In 1899, Swinburne dedicated his last major poetic work, "Rosamund, Queen of the Lombards," to Mrs. Disney Leither. Swinburne is better known for his lyric poetry, but he was also a prolific and well regarded literary critic. The collection of some of his critcal writings include essays on Sir Walter Scott, Wilkie Collins, Beaumont and Fletcher, Whitman, and more. Bound in publisher's original dark blue cloth with gilt rule to front cover borders and title and author in gilt to spine. Light offsetting to free endpapers otherwise near fine condition. LIT/101304. Near Fine.
New York: Charles L. Webster & Co., 1892. Hardcover. First edition, second state of this collection of seven short works by Twain. It has the patterned endpapers of the first state but also the inserted frontispiece portrait of Twain called for in the second (BAL3435). Issued as part of the publisher’s projected series of works by American writers to be called the “Fiction, Fact, and Fancy Series.” Bound in grey-green cloth with titling in gilt to front cover and spine and stamped ornament to front surrounding Fiction Fact and Fancy Series. Light bumping. Front hinge tender, interior pages clean and bright. Bookplate on front pastedown of Jacob Bunn (1814 – 1897) an important Illinois industrialist, financier, and close friend of Abraham Lincoln. Light stamp to free front endpaper “J. Bunn Library Springfield Illinois.” A nice copy in very good condition. 210 pages plus seven pages of advertisements. LIT/091208. Very Good.