London: John Lane, n.d. . Hardcover. First illustrated edition. Inscribed by the publisher, John Lane, "Frances Minturn Hall with love from her publisher John Lane Nov 16, 1924. Hall was an American poet, and would have been just 19 years old when she received the book. George Sheringham was best known as a painter and theater designer, but also was a book illustrator. There is a color frontispiece and twenty three full page color illustrations protected by tissue guards. Bound in the original cream cloth, with the front cover elaborately decorated in cream, blues, and pink by Sheringham. Spine faded, corners bumped, and some chipping and marks of handling to covers. Interior pages and illustrations are clean and bright with occasional foxing. 70 pages. LIT/090411. Very Good.
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Toronto: Cheshire Cat Press, 2018. Hardcover. Number 13 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. Fine.
London: Arthur Barker, 1934. Hardcover. First Edition. A masterpiece of historical fiction, ranked in some surveys as one of the best novels of the twentieth century. In very good condition in black cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Light spotting to boards and light wear to edges. Previous owner’s bookplate to front pastedown and note in pencil to front free endpaper. There is offsetting from an article that is no longer present on the front endpaper and front flap of the jacket. Minor foxing to endpapers. There is a foldout family tree at the rear of the book. In blue illustrated dust jacket with white title to spine and front panel. The jacket is in three pieces with small chips to the spine ends, edges, and hinges. Browning to spine of jacket. A nice copy despite noted wear. 494 pages. LIT/052511. Very good in a good dust jacket.
London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1893. Hardcover. First edition. An excellent association copy of one of James's major books of essays. It is his presentation copy to Lucy Clifford, “Mrs. Clifford from her friend & servant Henry James.” Henry James (1843-1916) was one of the most important writers in American letters as well as one of its most productive and influential. Lucy Clifford (1846-1921) was a British novelist and dramatist with a wide circle of literary friends, most notably Henry James. From their letters it is clear that she held a special place in his affections and was one of his closest friends and confidantes. (See “Bravest of women, finest of friends”: Henry James’s Letters to Lucy Clifford, ed. Marysa Demoor and Monty Chisholm, 1999). The essays include pieces on James Russell Lowell, Fanny Kemble, Gustave Flaubert, Henrk Ibsen, and Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Bound in original beige cloth with gilt author and title to spine and front cover, and an Art Nouveau style decoration on front.Light rubbing, bumping, and three ink stains on front cover. Interior pages show slight aging to margins but are otherwise clean. A nice copy in very good condition. Housed in a cream cloth covered clamshell box with black and gilt title label to spine. 320 pages. LIT/011416. Very Good.
Essex, UK: . Three nice handwritten letters from Coulson Kernahan related to publishing matters. Kernahan (1858-1943) was a prolific writer and editor, reading and editing submissions for publisher Ward, Lock & Co. among other efforts. He was their copy editor for Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Two of the three letters are dated 1896 and the third undated one pertains to content in one of the previous letters. All were sent on printed letterhead “Thrums,” Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. The first two-page letter is addressed to Mr. Tickell. In it Kernahan apologizes for taking so long in getting back to him and then turns down an invitation to write a story for a publication he refers to as “BW.” He also writes that one of his works, “A Literary Gent,” is a Ward Lock copyright but says they would probably agree to have it reprinted for “some small sum.” He goes on to talk about manuscripts submitted [does not say where] for a 200 pound prize. The second one-page letter is sent to “Dear Sirs.” Kernahan writes to say that he had expected three manuscripts to be read for his proposed honorarium of 9 pounds, or 3 pounds each. To his surprise he received seven manuscripts and states that the honorarium must be adjusted but instead of asking for 21 pounds, states he would be satisfied with 15 pounds. The third letter of 1.5 pages is a cover letter to a report that he is sending offering his opinions of the stories reviewed. He says that he reads manuscripts for possible publication with two considerations in mind. The first is the literary quality of the work, and the second is for the potential popularity of the piece - ”to put myself, so to speak in the place of the public which buys and enjoys books which the literary [part of word obscured] journals condemn.” The letters are quite legible despite soiling and darkening to paper. The letters appear to have been previously affixed to something, two with glue on the back and one by tape to the left margins, with some remnants still attached. Light creases where folded. 7 x 9 inches. AUTO/113016. Very Good -.
New York: The Century Co., 1885. Hardcover. Includes Twain's "An Adventure of Huckleberry Finn" on pages 268 - 278, "Jim's Investments and King Sollermun" on pages 456 - 458, and "Royalty on the Mississippi" on pages 544 - 567. Also includes chapters from Henry James's "The Bostonians." Bound in the original gold cloth boards with dark brown title to spine and years 1884 - 1885. Decoration to spine and boards. Slight browning to spine and chipping to cloth on hinges and spine ends. Minor wear and rubbing to corners, boards, and edges of boards. Occasional smudges and spots of soiling, but clean overall. Non-archival repaired tear to Portrait of Grant (page 162). Illustrated. 960 pages. PER/060619. Very Good.
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1851. Hardcover. The “Town Ho’s Story” appeared on pages 659-665 in the October 1851 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. It was the first appearance of any part of the great novel Moby Dick and became chapter 54 in the book. A publisher’s note on page 659 says: “From The Whale, the title of a new work by Mr. Melville, now in the press of Harper and Brothers, and now publishing in London by Mr. Bentley.” The chapter concerns a potential mutiny and the appearance of Moby Dick that thwarted the uprising. It was a first report of the white whale while at sea. The volume is bound in contemporary quarter brown leather with marbled paper boards and gilt titling to spine. Light bumping and wear with chipping to edges of paper, but very nice. Interior pages are clean and bright with occasional light foxing and browning. Very good condition. 864 pages. PER/071118. Very Good.
New York: G.P. Putnam and Co., 1855. Hardcover. First edition, first issue (with Chapter 14 misstated as Chapter 16). Rare in the original binding. This novel was 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. The novel includes vivid portrayals of actual battles and events of the American Revolution such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, George Washington's rousing speeches, and spying missions for Benjamin Franklin. Bound in the original blue cloth boards with gilt title to spine and embossed designs to both covers. Head and foot of spine have been expertly repaired with new material added. Darkening to spine. Spots of dampstaining to covers and to margins of most pages, else clean interior. 276 pages. LIT/091218. Very Good.
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1847. Hardcover. First American Edition. (Stated Third Edition on the title page; however, this refers to the two English editions published prior.) This story is based on Melville's adventures and experiences during his years at sea between 1839-1844. It has been rebacked with the original boards and modern cloth spine titled in gilt. The original cover features a gilt ship and embossed decoration. Heavy wear to cloth on edges and corners. Small chip to bookcloth on rear board. Original marbled endpapers. Foxing throughout, but heaviest to first and last few pages. 389 pages plus two sets of advertisements. LIT/101918. 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: C. Arthur Pearson Limited, 1899. Hardcover. First edition. This is the second book (and first novel) by the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which first appeared as a play in 1903 and was later released as a novel. This book is a tale of jewels, intrigue, and high Russian society. It is scarce in this condition. The author, Baroness Orczy (1865 - 1947), was born in Hungary and grew up in London. Very good plus in original tan cloth boards with brown title to spine and front board. Minor wear to edges and spine ends. Light rubbing to boards. A few spots of foxing to the interior, else very clean. Bookplate of book collector, Mark Samuels Lasner, is tipped in on the front pastedown. 288 pages. LIT/050109. Very Good.
Philadelphia: George R. Graham, 1843. Hardcover. Many first printings of Poe's stories, poems, and criticism first appeared in the periodicals, newspapers, and annuals of the time. Volumes 22 and 23 of Graham's Magazine include several first printings of his works. Volume XXII includes the first printing of his poem “The Conqueror Worm" on page 32, as well as the first printing of the criticism “Our Amateur Poets. No. I. – Flaccus [pen name of Dr. Thomas Ward],” on pages 195-198. Volume XXIII includes “Our Amateur Poets. No. III. – William Ellery Channing,” on pages 113-117, and “Our Contributors. No. VIII. – Fitz-Greene Halleck,” on pages 160-163. This volume also contains first printings of Poe’s reviews of the books Brief Account of the Discoveries and Results of the United States Exploring Expedition on pages 164-165, J. F. Cooper’s Wyandotte on pages 261-264, and Robert Tyler’s Death; or Medorus’ Dream, on pages 319-320 (unsigned but attributed to Poe by Mabbott and W. D. Hull). The volumes also include contributions from such major literary figures of the time as Longfellow, Cooper, Bryant, Lowell, and Dana. Both volumes are bound together in three-quarter red leather with brown marbled paper covered boards. Leather is faded, bumped and scraped, and paper boards are scuffed and chipped. First and last signatures pulling away but text block is otherwise tight. Intermittent browning and foxing but pages generally clear and legible. Each volume has a number of engravings that were moved from the original locations when the magazines were bound together into one book. Binder's ticket "Leander Brigham" affixed to front pastedown. Very good minus condition. Volume 22 has 368 pages; Volume 23 has 320 pages. LIT/011018. Very Good.
London: Chaundy & Cox, 1922. Hardcover. INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION. Michael Sadleir (1888 - 1957) was the most noted scholar and bibliographer of Victorian literature of his time. In this work he calls the material included his “notes” rather than an exhaustive bibliography, and speaks of his great love for the Victorian novelists. Those included here are Anthony Trollope (his favorite), Benjamin Disraeli, Frederick Marryat, Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade, G.J. Whyte Melville, Mrs. Gaskell, and Herman Melville. There are several introductory pages on the writing of each author followed by the bibliographical notes. The book is inscribed “To James S. Bain and W. de Coverly for use in the shop if they care to Michael Sadleir May 1922.” Bound in very good black cloth boards with gilt title and author to spine. The interior is clean and bright except for browning to front and rear endpapers and slight aging to margins of pages. 240 pages including an index of titles. BOB/062008. Very Good.
Chicago: Sherwin Beach Press, 1992. Howard Coale. Hardcover. Number 55 of 200 copies. Originally published in The New Yorker in 1980. George Trow was a writer and critic for The New Yorker for more than thirty years. This essay may be his most acclaimed and influential single work. It is about television and its effects on American culture, but more than that, an indictment of the emptiness of modern discourse. It has been described as a work in which Trow foretold his own descent into madness. This is a handsomely designed book with elegant printing and four interpretive illustrations. Bound in black cloth with grey design with a hat on the cover and paper spine label. Printed in Centaur and Arrighi types on Johannot paper. Designed by Robert McCamant, handset and printed by Jennifer Hughes, and bound by Trisha Hammer. Signed by McCamant. In fine condition. 110 pages. PRI/071615. Fine.
London: Jacob Tonson, 1702. Hardcover. A unique copy of a first edition Restoration comedy from the personal library of actor and theater manager John Philip Kemble. The volume is initialed, collated, and pronounced perfect on the title page in ink by Kemble along with the date. John Philip Kemble (1757 - 1823) was an important English actor who also achieved fame as the manager of the Drury Lane and Covent Garden theaters. He was also known for assembling a theatrical library that was unrivaled. After he retired in 1819 he sold his collection of 4000 plays and forty volumes of playbills to Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire. The Devonshire collection is now part of the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The remainder of Kemble's library was auctioned by Evans in Pall Mall over ten days beginning January 21, 1821 (from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) was an untrained but accomplished architect who designed Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in conjunction with NIcholas Hawksmoor. He was a popular dramatist and some of his comedies such as The Relapse and The Provok'd wife are still performed today. For this copy each individual page has been meticulously mounted on slightly large sheets of contemporary white paper. It has been beautifully bound by Riviere and Son in full tan calf with gold tooling and lettering. The spines have five raised bands with gilt decorated compartments and there are two leather labels, one with the play's title and author, and the other stating "J.P. Kemble's Copy." With gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, and all edges gilt, in near fine condition with small split at right top of spine. The pages of the play are lightly browned with occasional spots of foxing and soiling. A very good copy of this volume. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. 62 pages plus 2 page epilogue. DRAMA/011821. Near Fine.
London: Samuel Briscoe, 1697. Hardcover. A unique copy of a first edition Restoration comedy from the personal library of actor and theater manager John Philip Kemble. The volume is initialed, collated, and pronounced perfect on the title page in ink by Kemble along with the date. John Philip Kemble (1757 - 1823) was an important English actor who also achieved fame as the manager of the Drury Lane and Covent Garden theaters. He was also known for assembling a theatrical library that was unrivaled. After he retired in 1819 he sold his collection of 4000 plays and forty volumes of playbills to Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire. The Devonshire collection is now part of the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The remainder of Kemble's library was auctioned by Evans in Pall Mall over ten days beginning January 21, 1821 (from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) was an untrained but accomplished architect who designed Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in conjunction with NIcholas Hawksmoor. He was a popular dramatist and some of his comedies such as The Relapse and The Provok'd Wife are still performed today. For this copy each individual page has been meticulously mounted on slightly large sheets of contemporary white paper. It has been beautifully bound by Riviere and Son in full tan calf with gold tooling and lettering. The spines have five raised bands with gilt decorated compartments and there are two leather labels, one with the play's title and author, and the other stating "J.P. Kemble's Copy." With gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, and all edges gilt, in near fine condition The pages of the play are browned and foxed but text is still quite legible. In addition to Kemble's notes on the title page someone has apparently practiced handwriting with words "given me by," "Dear brother," and "September 12." On the page with the list of characters and actors is a note probably by Kemble: "Mr. Dogget (one of the actors) did not succeed in the character of Lory - after the second presentation, it was given to Mr. Pinkettman - see [??] apology - 8th 1750 - p. 187" Still a very good copy of this play. Measures 6.5 x 9 inches. 106 pages. DRAMA/012021. Very good +.
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987. Hardcover. Signed by both Eudora Welty and Barry Moser on the title page. First edition thus of Welty's debut novel, published in 1942. Eudora Welty (1909-2001) is a famed author and photographer who wrote about the American south. This novel was inspired by a story by the brothers Grimm. Moser's evocative black and white illustrations capture the romantic nature of the story.Bound in cream paper covers with a tan linen spine with titling to both cover and spine. In a dark blue pictorial dust jacket with Moser illustrations on both covers. Book and jacket are in fine condition. Measures 6 x 9.5 inches. 134 pages. LIT/112120. Fine / Fine.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1897. Hardcover. First Edition. An excellent presentation copy. Inscribed by William Butler Yeats to his friend Clement Shorter: " Clement Shorter from W B Yeats June 23 1899." William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), the famous Irish poet, was one of the most important figures in twentieth century literature. and was key figure in Ireland's nationalist movement. Clement Shorter (1857-1926) was a British journalist and critic who was also an avid collector of books and manuscripts, particularly of the Brontes. He was the editor of the Illustrated London News and in 1893 founded the periodical Sketch. The fourth story in this short story collection, "Where There is Nothing, there is God," was first published in Sketch in October 1896. The stories blend Irish with Rosicrucian themes and characters. Bound in the original blue cloth with the famous cover design done for Yeats by Althea Gyles stamped in gilt on covers and spine. At its center is a four-petalled rose joined to a cross. The boughs of the tree resemble a serpent; among them, just above the rose, are the kissing faces of a man and a woman, With six black and white illustrations by William's father, John Butler Yeats. The binding is bright and beautiful with very slight bumping to corners. Interior pages are quite clean with just a trace of aging to margins. Housed in a cream cloth covered clamshell box with black and gilt title label to spine. Near fine condition. LIT/011816. Near Fine.