"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
An Outcast of the Islands
Joseph Conrad. New York, D. Appleton, 1896.
4], 335,  +  ad pp. Original green cloth with decorative vignettes, spine lettered in gilt. First American Edition. The author’s second book. With several textual differences from the English edition.
KIPLING, RUDYARD. 1865-1936.
1. Wee Willie Winkie. Allahabad: A.H. Wheeler & Co., . Original wrappers. Custom cloth chemise, morocco-backed slipcase. Toned, wrappers with repair to spine and one corner of back wrapper. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE. Livingston 43.
2. The Light That Failed. London: Ward, Lock, Bowden, & Co., . In: Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, January, 1891. Original wrappers. Custom cloth chemise and morocco-backed slipcase. Some restoration to wrappers at spine, a few chips, front fold partially cracked. Early periodical appearance.
Those who have watched till the morning know how the last hour before the light lengthens itself into many eternities. It seemed to Dick that he had never since the beginning of original darkness done anything at all save jolt through the air. Once in a thousand years he would finger the nailheads on the saddle-front and count them all carefully. Centuries later he would shift his revolver from his right hand to his left and allow the eased arm to drop down at his side. From the safe distance of London he was watching himself thus employed,—watching critically. Yet whenever he put out his hand to the canvas that he might paint the tawny yellow desert under the glare of the sinking moon, the black shadow of a camel and the two bowed figures atop, that hand held a revolver and the arm was numbed from wrist to collar-bone. Moreover, he was in the dark, and could see no canvas of any kind whatever. -The Light that Failed, ch.XV
Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
Louisa May Alcott. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1967.
8vo. viii, , 428,  pp.; 14 plts. (2 double). The beloved classic, here with an introduction by Edward Weeks and monochrome and wash drawings by Henry C. Pitz, hand-colored at Walter Fischer Studio. The volume was designed by Bert Clarke, set in monotype Walbaum, printed by Clarke and Way, and bound by Russell-Rutter in cream, gold, and green floral brocade with a gilt-stamped green leather title-label.
B-A Note: Beautiful binding, and beautiful illustrations. Just lovely.
“Jo was the first to wake in the gray dawn of Christmas morning. No stockings hung at the fireplace, and for a moment she felt as much disappointed as she did long ago, when her little sock fell down because it was crammed so full of goodies. Then she remembered her mother’s promise and, slipping her hand under her pillow, drew out a little crimson-covered book. She knew it very well, for it was that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived, and Jo felt that it was a true guidebook for any pilgrim going on a long journey. She woke Meg with a Merry Christmas, and bade her see what was under her pillow. A green-covered book appeared, with the same picture inside, and a few words written by their mother, which made their one present very precious in their eyes. Presently Beth and Amy woke to rummage and find their little books also, one dove-colored, the other blue, and all sat looking at and talking about them, while the east grew rosy with the coming day.”
~ Part One, Chapter 2
François Marie Arouet de Voltaire. [Cohen-de Ricci p.1026], 8vo, Paris, la Veuve Duchesne, Saillant, Desaint, Panckoucke & Nyon, Imprimerie Barbou, [1769-70].
Engraved frontispiece and title incorporating medallion portrait of Voltaire, 10 engraved plates and 10 vignettes as chapter headings, all by De Longueil after Eisen, a few spots and small stain to one plate and final leaf of vol.1, otherwise a very good copy in fine contemporary red morocco, boards with triple gilt rule border, spines gilt in compartments with five raised bands, g.e., very slightly rubbed at edges, spines a little darkened,
The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman
New York, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1902.
10 volumes. (8vo) original vellum-backed boards, spines gilt, top edges gilt, original printed cloth jackets. No. 408 of 500 sets of the Book-Lover’s Camden Edition, signed in print by the publisher.
Volumes 1 through 3 contain Leaves of Grass, Volumes 4 through 10 comprise his miscellaneous prose works.
Franz Kafka. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig: 1915]
First edition of “Metamorphosis”, 8vo (210 x 128mm.), 3 leaves of publisher’s advertisements at end, dust-jacket illustrated by Ottomar Starke (dated 1916 as usual), rebound in marbled boards preserving upper wrapper, binding worn, spine detached
Irving, Washington. . London: 1876.
Illustrated by Ralph Caldecott. 8vo. Full green levant gilt by Kelliegram, morocco onlays to upper and lower covers depicting vignettes after Caldecott illustrations (from p.157 and p.26, respectively), all edges gilt.
The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, New York, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1943.
First edition, first issue, with the Fourth Avenue address to dust-jacket, translated by Katherine Woods, illustrations by the author, ownership inscription to pastedown, original pictorial cloth, spine ends bumped, dust-jacket, light surface soiling, spine a little browned, spine chipped at head, 4to,
Published before the French-language edition due to the Nazi occupation of France.
Moby Dick, or, The Whale
Herman Melville. NY: The Artist’s Limited Edition, 1975.
Illustrated with paintings by LeRoy Neiman. Preface by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Folio. 509 of 1500, signed by Neiman & Cousteau. Morocco, slipcase.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Princeton & London, Limited Editions Club of Princeton Univ. Press, 1942
Introduction by Sinclair Lewis. Illustrated with lithographic images by Lynd Ward. 10x6¾, duo-tone cloth, spine stamped in gilt, top edge gilt, publisher’s slipcase. No. 1254 of an unspecified number of copies (approximately 1500), designed by Elmer Adler and P.J. Conkwright.
Signed by the artist, Lynd Ward, in the colophon.
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens. Illustrated by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz). London, Chapman & Hall, 1859.
254 pp. Illustrated with 16 etched plates by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz), including the frontispiece & added title. (8vo) period brown half morocco and marbled boards, spine decorated and lettered in gilt. School arms in gilt on a circular morocco label on front, prize bookplate on front endpaper. First Edition, First Issue.
Sketches by “Boz,” Illustrative of Every-Day Life, and Every-Day People
Charles Dickens. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. London, Chapman & Hall, 1839.
Half-title present. Illustrated with 40 etched plates by George Cruikshank, including frontispiece and additional illustrated title. (8vo), full tan polished calf, spine gilt, black leather spine label, all edges marbled. “New Edition, Complete”, first combined edition.
The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens. Binding by Riviere & Sons. London, Bombay, & Sydney: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., (1930)
16 color plates reproducing paintings by C. E. Brock. Half-title. Large 8vo, navy morocco richly gilt by Riviere & Son with large pictorial panel of multi-colored morocco onlays on front cover after the illustration facing page 134 (” ‘Take this little villain away,’ said the agonised Mr. Pickwick”), and centerpiece of wreath enclosing bust portrait of Dickens on rear cover.
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, & Fields, 1850.
First Edition. Binding: Full red crushed morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (signed on the lower front turn-in). Round spine, five raised bands, front cover with a black shield bearing ascarlet “A” outlined in g(u)ilt, the shield surrounded by a gilt wreath. Gilt double-rule on board edges and gilt inner dentelles. Top edge gilt.
Mervyn Peake. Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1946.
First Edition. Footnote: Copies complete with the first impression dust-jacket are scarce.
B-A Note: Have I mentioned how much I love the Gormenghast Trilogy? Yes? Only every time I post one of the books? Okay…