"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
Geoffrey Chaucer: The Works,
Shakespeare Head Press, 1928-1929
8 vol., NUMBER 58 OF 375 COPIES, on handmade paper, printed in red, blue and black, illustrations (many hand-coloured) by Hugh Chesterman, duplicate spine labels loosely inserted, publisher’s quarter cloth, uncut and unopened, some spotting on spines and edges, 4to,
“A thousand tymes have I herd men telle,
That ther is Ioye in heven, and peyne in helle;
And I acorde wel that hit is so;
But natheles, yit wot I wel also,
That ther nis noon dwelling in this contree,
That either hath in heven or helle y-be,
Ne may of hit non other weyes witen,
But as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen;
For by assay ther may no man hit preve.
But god forbede but men should leve
Wel more thing then men han seen with ye!
Men shal nat wenen every-thing a lye
But-if him-self hit seeth, or elles dooth;
For, god wot, thing is never the lasse sooth,
Thogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see.
Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde!” ~Prologue
The Frankeleyns Tale
Geoffrey Chaucer. Pittsburgh: Bentley Press, 1931.
Attractive printing of the Canterbury tale, “set up and printed on a hand press by Harvey Wilder Bentley (con amore!),” as per the colophon. This was a limited edition of only 234 copies produced by Bentley, who more often published under the Archetype Press imprint.
A Yale graduate, Wilder then worked at Porter Garnett’s Laboratory Press at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, from 1930 to 1933, and it is clear that both his Yale experience and that gained at the Laboratory Press squarely fixed him in the American fine printing movement of the 1920s and 30s. In this work he was also clearly inspired by William Morris’s neo-medievalism and the English private press revivalist aesthetic of the 1890s, as well as by a personal drive towards small-scale, handcrafted “character and distinction” (as the prospectus here puts it).
The Complete Poetical Works…now first put into Modern English by John S.P. Tatlock and Percy MacKaye.
Geoffrey Chaucer. New York, Macmillan. 1912.
FIRST GOBLE EDITION, 32 colourprinted plates by Warwick Goble, captioned tissue-guards, pp. 608,  (adverts.), royal 8vo., orig. dark blue cloth, backstrip gilt lettered, the front cover with a gilt design of a ship surrounded by a rose and thorns border also gilt blocked and repeated on the backstrip, illustrated endpapers, t.e.g., others untrimmed.
The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer, illustrated by William Russell Flint.
London, Riccardi Press, 1913.
3 volumes. With 36 mounted color plates by William Russell Flint; printed tissue guards. 26x20 cm. (10½x7¾”), original full limp vellum lettered in gilt, ribbon ties, top edges gilt, others untrimmed. No. three of 12 copies printed on vellum by Charles T. Jacobi in the Riccardi Fount, of which ten were for sale.
Beautiful issue of the Flint Canterbury Tales from the Riccardi Press, printed on vellum. Exceptionally rare - no copies printed on vellum have sold at auction over the last 35 years, according to American Book Prices Current.