"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
Spells and Philtres
Clark Ashton Smith, Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1958.
First edition / First printing. Octavo. Hardcover. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket. One of 519 copies. Jacket art by Frank Utpatel. Jaffery, Horrors and Unpleasantries #51.
A Hornbook for Witches
Leah Bodine Drake. Sauk City: Arkham House, 1950.
8vo, publisher’s black cloth, spine gilt-lettered, endpapers browned from oxidation of binder’s glue as usual; dust jacket designed by Frank Utpatel, some light edgewear and mild tanning; bookplate of Rev. Alfred J. Miller on front pastedown.
First edition, from an original printing of 553 copies, in scarce unclipped jacket. From this small print run, Drake herself received 300 copies from the publisher due to the fact the she helped subsidize the production costs.
SOMETHING ABOUT CATS And Other Pieces.
H.P. Lovecraft. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1949.
First edition. Only 3,000 copies printed. Fantasy, horror and science fiction stories, poetry, and essays by and about Lovecraft. Near fine in dust jacket.
Bradbury, Ray (b. 1920),. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1947
First edition with first issue dust jacket over gilt-lettered black boards, 8vo, (very minor edge chipping and spotting to jacket and very light fading, else fine).
B-A Note: I posted recently about a limited-edition release of this book, but this is the first-issue dust jacket and the artwork is great.
Ray Bradbury. Springfield, PA: Gauntlet Press, 2001.
First limited edition, Leatherbound hardcover edition in traycase. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket.
Collects the twenty-seven short stories that comprised the original 1947 Arkham House release. With an Afterword by Clive Barker. Includes a new introduction by Bradbury, two short afterwords written by Bradbury (in addition to the Barker afterword), a one page essay titled “The Winged Bat,” in which Bradbury tells how he came to write Dark Carnival and “A Child’s garden of Terror,” a proposal Bradbury wrote to himself for Dark Carnival. Numerous other bells and whistles, including an audio CD interview of Bradbury talking off the cuff about events which took place over fifty years ago.
SIGNED lettered edition limited to 52 copies, this being letter YY. Signed by both Bradbury and Barker on a special limitation page.
An as new copy situated in a beveled leather traycase with a drawer and handle with the original U.S. and U.K. covers inset on the front and back of the traycase.
A truly historic collection and representation.
Genius Loci and Other Tales
Clark Ashton Smith. Sauk City: Arkham House, 1948.
First edition / First printing, Octavo, Hardcover. A near fine copy in a near fine dust jacket.
Jacket art by Frank Wakefield. Jaffery, Horrors and Unpleasantries #35. Black cloth marked, spine stamping dull. Front panel of jacket bright and clean, spine a bit dull with very minor wear at top and bottom. A very nice copy.
The Shunned House
H.P. Lovecraft. Athol, Massachusetts: W. Paul Cook - The Recluse Press, 1928.
First edition / First printing, Unbound sheets housed in a specially made oatmeal cloth clamshell case.
First edition printing of Lovecraft’s first book. This is one of approximately 50 sets of unbound sheets, from a total print run of approximately 300 sets of sheets. The convoluted publishing history of this most famous Lovecraft work is described in detail by Roy A. Squires in Jaffery’s “Horrors and Unpleasantries,” #62. By 1961, Arkham House had acquired 150 sets and bound 100 of them, leaving 50 unbound sets available for sale as sheets only. This is one of those sets and contains the Arkham House copyright paste-over label, with book titles printed in bold, as described by Squires.
B-A Note: This is by far the highest price - $14,000! - that I’ve seen on any Lovecraft book. Given the description and the “convoluted publishing history” I guess I can understand why. All in all, though, a lovely presentation.
Side note - I am extremely interested in reading “Horrors and Unpleasantries” now, and can only daydream about having a month free to peruse the Jaffery Collection at BGSU with fellow horror aesthetes ghoulnextdoor and ontheborderland. Maybe someday.
Skull-Face and Others
Robert E. Howard. Sauk City: Arkham House, 1946.
First Edition. Dust jacket designed by Hannes Bok,
At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1964
First edition, first printing. Limited to 3000 copies. Original black cloth-covered boards with gilt stamped spine. Gray endpapers. Unclipped dustjacket illustrated by Lee Brown Coye.
Dagon & Other Macabre Tales
H.P. Lovecraft. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1965.
First edition, first printing. Limited to 3500 copies. Original black cloth-covered boards with gilt stamped spine. Gray endpapers. Unclipped dustjacket illustrated by Lee Brown Coye.
A Hornbook For Witches
Leah Bodine Drake. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1950. First edition / First printing, Octavo, Hardcover.
One of 553 copies printed (of which 300 were purportedly given to the author), making this one of the rarest of books published by Arkham House. Collects 47 poems by Drake.
An audiobook by the same name was released in 1976, featuring Vincent Price reading four of Drake’s poems along with other material. (wikipedia)
Roads, Virgil Finlay cover, 1948 via
Virgil Finlay. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1948. First edition. Only a little over 2,100 copies printed. Classic Christmas novella, tracing the origins of Santa Claus from the beginning of the Christian era. Illustrated by Virgil Finlay—Arkham’s first illustrated book.
B-A Note: A beautiful addition to the Virgil Finlay collection.