Paris: [multiple], [1797 - 1801]. Hardcover. An interesting compilation of five dramatic or comedic plays published in the last years of the French Revolution and the establishment of the First Republic. Three of the works were published by Chez Barba, a bookshop that specialized in the theater. It was founded by Jean-Nicolas Barba, a bookseller and sometimes actor. All of the plays are complete. They were printed on various types of paper, and some have browned considerably while others are clean and bright. They were apparently printed quickly and not that carefully, with upside or incorrect page numbers. Bound in tan cloth boards that are bumped, stained and rubbed. A torn paper title label is affixed to the spine. Free front endpaper has a piece cut out, removing a signature. The front pastedown has an ownership signature dated 1846. and a small piece of paper affixed along the top of the hinge. A good minus anthology of 18th century plays. Measures 5 x 7.75 inches. Pages: 56, 64, , 28, 40, 24. FRENCHLANG/072523. Good +.
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Norwich: J. Crouse, 1777. Hardcover. First Edition in English. Greek playwright Aeschylus (525/524 - 456/455 BCE) is considered to be the father of tragedy. Only seven of plays have survived and this volume collects all of them: Prometheus Chain'd, The Supplicants, The Seven Chiefs Against Thebes, Agamemnon, The Choephorae, The Furies, and The Persians. Bound in full tan leather boards with maroon and gilt title label to spine. Raised bands and gilt devices to spines. Marbled endpapers and speckled edges. Cracks to leather along both hinges; although, binding remains tight. Wear to corners and edges of boards, bumps to bottom edges of both boards, rubbing and minor discoloration to boards. Bookplate of Henry Drury Esq. to front free endpaper. Bumping to top corners of pages, creasing to several page corners, light dampstaining to bottom edges of a few pages, and occasional smudge marks and spots of soiling. Clean and bright overall. Includes half title page, title, 28 page preface, names of subscribers, 519 pages. CLA/020323. Very Good.
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1886. Hardcover. First edition of the first book of criticism by Archer (1856-1924), a prominent literary and drama critic of his day. Bound in original dark red cloth with gilt title and author to spine and front cover. Some bumping and rubbing, slight chipping to spine corners otherwise in nice condition. Front and rear hinges are somewhat cracked and there are a few loose signatures. Light foxing throughout. Includes full page illustrations of some famous actors of the time such as Henry Irving, Edward Terry, Mary Anderson, and Sarah Bernhardt. 350 pages including index. DRA/071709. Very Good.
London: Richard Bentley, 1839. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction record 21. Includes seven extra portraits, including a proof portrait of Mrs. Bannister and a mezzotint portrait of Charles Bannister, after a painting by R. Dighton. English actor and theater manager, Bannister (1760 -1836) was considered to be the best low comedian of his day. Later in his life, he managed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in Covent Garden. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Clean interiors overall with occasional spots of soiling to margins and foxing to first few pages of both volumes. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Auction record laid into front of first volume. Volume I: 399 pages; Volume II: 368 pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
Boston: The Cornhill Company, (1917). Hardcover. SCARCE. Very good in brown cloth backed and beautifully illustrated black and tan paper covered boards. Gilt title to spine and black title to front board. Wear to exterior includes minor fading to spine, two very small holes to cloth at front hinge, bumping to spine ends and corners, and minor rubbing. Previous owner's book plate to front paste down. A few light spots of foxing to first and last few pages. Else is clean and bright. 73 pages. Drama. DRA01/12099. Very Good.
New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., . Hardcover. Inscribed by the playwright. First edition of this well-received Broadway play, which ran in New York between November 1931 and February 1932. Berhman (1893-1973) was a prolific playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his “high comedies” which were so popular in the 1930s. This copy was inscribed to Dame Nellie Burton, Berhman’s landlady when he stayed in London. Miss Burton ran a famous lodging house on Half Moon Street, where lived, among other notables, Siegfried Sassoon and Robbie Ross, the latter being one of Oscar Wilde’s closest friends. The inscription reads “For Miss Burton, with love from her devoted Sam, London Apr. 1932.” Laid in is a typed letter to Berhman from the Stanley Rose bookstore, informing him that the copy of Brief Moment he had sent to Miss Burton at her address on Half Moon Street was returned to sender, “party gone away.” Bound in red cloth with title and author in black on front cover and spine. The interior is bright and clean with some light spotting to fore-edge. The jacket has small tears to top and bottom of spine. In near fine condition with very good jacket. An extremely nice copy with an interesting association. DRA/042011. Near Fine.
New York: Robert M'Dermut, 1806. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown. Early edition. Bookplate of Franklin Johnston to facing page. "Master Betty" (1791 - 1874) was a famous English child actor, before leaving the stage at age 17 to attend college. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Heavy chipping to head of spine. Dampstaining to boards and interior. Tears to a few pages. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Includes three illustrations. Auction record number 230 written in pencil to front endpaper with note "Augustin Daly Collection;" however, record is not present. 140 pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
[Chicago]: Langworthy & Stevens / Blue Sky Press, 1902. Hardcover. 67 of 400 copies on paper. This one act play was written by Browning in 1853, and was the last play he authored. The Blue Sky Press was founded in 1899 by Thomas Wood Stevens and Alden Charles Noble. During its eight years, multiple books, literary magazines, and stationary were produced. Dark blue cloth over grey paper covered boards with gilt title to front board and tan paper label to spine. Rubbing and wear to edges of boards, spine ends, and corners. Lovely two page title spread with blackberry vine border and some red hand lettering. The design was clearly influenced by William Morris. Text is printed in black and red ink. Bookplate of Lucy White Williams to front pastedown. Long poetic inscription in pen to front free endpaper, dated 1902. Pages are unopened and clean with deckled edges. Blue endpapers with elaborate decoration. 65 pages. PRI/011623. Very Good.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2020. Pat Sweet describes herself as creating illuminated miniature books of curiosity, humor, and delight. She creates both miniature (under 3 inches) and macro-miniature (under 1 inch) books. This book is from a small open edition, which is signed by the artist. According to the book artist: " " inches. ARTB/091123. Fine.
Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2019. Number 4 of 20. At his height, Henry Irving (1838 - 1905) was the greatest actor in the world (and the first to be knighted). He was much more than an actor, he was an actor-producer, which in those days meant that he was responsible for everything, what we would call the artistic director, the director, the production manager, the production designer, and also the lead actor. And the scale of his productions at the Lyceum Theater in London were gorgeous and spectacular, using the latest technology in staging and special effects. Irving led the English theater for over thirty years, and died as he would no doubt have wished, still acting. I came upon his obituary in the Times, and it was a wonderful piece of writing, but also a very good valuation of his art and his place in theatrical history, which isn't so easy to do so near an actor's own time. The old joke used to run that he was an actor who would never play Faust when he could play Mephistopheles. He changed the status of the theater forever, bringing it from the shady demimonde of the 18th century to the height of a recognized and respected form of art. Everyone at the Lyceum called him the Guv'nor, a term of both affection and a well-founded wariness of his perfectionism. If in a former life I had worked as a costumer in his company, I would have been proud to do the same. This miniature book is bound in a gray paper with horizontal slubbed gold lines, and a black and gold marbled paper that wraps around the back to form a small pocket inside filled with theater memoribelia: programs, autographs, advertising posters, and other souvenirs. 2 7/8" x 2", 64 pages. Fine.
London: Constable and Co Ltd, 1933. Hardcover. Author's Presentation Copy. First Edition. Inscription reads: "To the Revd H.M. MacLeod of Killearn, in remembrance of his sympathy and support during the dark hours of August 1st to 4th 1947. with the affectionate regards of Gordon Bottomley. Easter: 1948. Gordon Bottomley (1874-1948) was a notable figure known for his verse drama. He was greatly influenced by the Victorian romantics. In a beautiful dark red morocco binding by binder, E. Garrett with his stamped signature to the rear turn-in. Garrett was associated at the turn of the century with the Municipal School of Art. Hand stamped gilt title and author to spine and front board with raised bands to spine. Gilt rules, gilt chalice, gilt flowers, and embossed leaves to boards. Printed endpapers and full edges gilt. The binding is lovely despite the tooling being awkward in places. The interior is clean overall with occasional spots of foxing, which are most prevalent on first and last few pages. Black and white photographic frontispiece. 85 pages. DRA/011221. Very Good.
München [Munich]: Bremer Prese, 1926. A four-page prospectus for the Greek language edition of Prometheus from the esteemed Bremer Presse. It shows the title page,two pages of text accompanied by two woodcuts done by German artist Ludwig von Hofmann. The rear page of the prospectus describes in English the creation of this book and the participants, along with the number of copies and prices. Printed in black ink on brown paper. There is a three inch split along the fold, otherwise in very good condition. PRI/042123. Very Good.
New Haven / London: Yale University Press and Oxford University Press, 1915. Hardcover. An Elizabethan era comedy. Elizabethan Club Reprints - from the copy in the library of the Elizabethan Club of Yale University compared with the Chatsworth copy now owned by Henry E. Huntington, Esq. Includes notes and appendices. Printed at the Chiswick Press. Cream cloth over blue paper covered boards with paper title label to spine. Minor foxing and browning to boards. Wear to edges and corners of boards. Occasional smudge marks, but clean and bright overall. Size: Thin Quarto. 90 pages. DRA/011623. Very Good.
London: Richard Bentley, 1841. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, auction number 2610. First Edition. Includes two frontispiece portraits and two additional inserted portraits. These volumes detail the lives of George Colman the Elder (1734 - 1794) and George Colman the Younger (1762 - 1836). Both were playwrights and owners of the Haymarket Theatre in London. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Foxing to first and last few pages including frontispieces. Occasional spots of foxing to margins, but clean overall. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. Auction record tipped into rear of first volume. Volume I: 432 pages; Volume II: 454 pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
New York: American Art Association, 1900. Hardcover. SCARCE. American auction catalog for part of Augustin Daly's enormous collection. An auction in 1880 disposed of much of his collection but this auction still includes several thousand items. There were many autographs as well as manuscripts and books. Augustin Daly (1838 –1899) was one of the most influential men in American theatre during his lifetime. Drama critic, theatre manager, playwright, and adapter, he became the first recognized stage director in America. He was dramatic critic for several New York papers from 1859, and he adapted or wrote a number of plays, Under the Gaslight (1867) being his first success. In 1869 he became the manager of the Fifth Avenue Theatre on 24th St. and in 1873 the Fifth Avenue Theatre on 28th. In 1879 he rebuilt and opened Daly's Theatre at Broadway and 30th Street in New York, and, in 1893, Daly's Theatre in London. Daly formed a permanent company in New York and opened Daly's Theatre in New York in 1879 and a second one in London in 1893. At Daly’s Theatre he assembled a company of players headed by well-known actress Ada Rehan. Some of the best actors of the time owed their training and early successes to him, including John Drew Jr., Maurice Barrymore, Maude Adams, Mrs. Gilbert, Tyrone Power, and Isadora Duncan. Bound in three quarter brown morocco over marbled paper covered boards. Gilt title and raised bands to spine. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Minor wear to edges of boards and corners. Rubbing to boards. Bookplate of Franklin Johnston to front endpaper. Frontispiece portrait of Daly. Pencil annotation on free endpaper says that this was the copy of Douglas Taylor. In very good condition. Measures 8 x 10.5 inches. 381 pages plus 23 page listing of prices realized. BOB/060220. Very Good.
London: Grant Richards, 1904. Hardcover. First Edition. Interesting presentation copy from the author to Lyster Ryle, the manager of the Imperial Theatre, where the play was first produced in 1901: “To Lyster Ryle with kind regards from John Davidson ‘Now, a truce to your reproaches.’” This line was said by the character Don Caesar in the first act. Bound in original red cloth with title and author in gilt on spine and front cover. Lightly bumped corners but in very good condition. Some scattered foxing and offsetting to endpapers but otherwise very nice. 111 pages plus 3 pages of ads. DRA/121911. Very Good.
Glasgow: Frederick W. Wilson and Brother, 1888. Paperback. First Edition. 300 copies printed. SCARCE PRESENTATION COPY of Davidson’s fourth book, inscribed “To Mrs. John A. Cramb with kind regards from John Davidson.” John Davidson (1857-1909) was a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist. His chief talent was as a poet, and his work influenced early Modernists such as T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. Due to personal and financial problems, Davidson ultimately committed suicide. The recipient and her husband, a student, were among Davidson’s closest friends when he attended Edinburgh University. They followed Davidson to London in the early 1890s hoping also for successful literary careers. In the end, John Cramb returned to academic life, becoming professor of Modern History at Queen’s College, London. Cramb had a crucial influence on Davidson’s later works (in particular The Testaments of John Davidson) through his book, The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain (1900). In the original parchment wrappers, which are browned and lightly soiled, but otherwise in very good condition. Interior pages are clean and bright, with very light rippling caused by tight signatures. Enclosed in red cloth folder, which is inserted into a red cloth slipcase with quarter leather spine. Gilt title, author, date, and “presentation copy” to spine. 82 pages including publishers catalogue. DRA/051111. Very Good in Wraps.
Paris: Calman Levy, editeur, 1885-1887. First Edition. Dumas fils was the illegitimate son of Alexandre Dumas, who later legally recognized him. He was a prolific author and playwright, with published novels and plays from 1847 to 1887. Denise was one of his later plays, published in 1885. Francillon was his last published work in 1887. Both plays are from their first year of publication. This appears to be a contemporary binding of both plays. Octavo. Marbled paper-covered boards with brown leather spine. Gilt title and raised bands to spine. Binding remains in one piece; however, it has become detached from the text block along the front hinge. Wear to edges of boards, with a few small scratches to leather on spine. Marbled endpapers with top edge gilt. Former owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Pages of Denise are slightly browned, with minor foxing. Pages of Francillon are browned and heavily foxed. 145 pages for Denise; 153 pages for Francillon. FRELANG/082422.
New York: Boni and Liveright, 1927. Hardcover. Limited Edition. Number 625 of 650 copies. Facsimile signature of Duncan on front free endpaper. This book was published posthumously on the basis of Duncan’s handwritten text and illustrated with 24 black and white photographs of her (two by Arnold Genthe). As one of the great free spirits of the early 20th century, Duncan’s account of her life was as uninhibited as her career. This is one of the “presentation copies” published as a limited edition for authors and other friends of Boni and Liveright. In black cloth boards with red leather label titled in gilt on spine. Light rubbing to boards, wear to spine ends, and chips and tears to title label. Cracked hinges although text block is still tight. Clean interior. Very good. 359 pages. DRA/081022. Very Good.