"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
The Works of H.G. Wells
Atlantic Edition. London: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., 1924-27.
One of 620 hand-numbered copies for the U.K., and signed by the author, this being set 313; rarer than the American sets in cloth-backed green boards. Twenty-eight octavo volumes (8 11/16 x 6 inches; 221 x 153 mm.).
Photogravure frontispieces with tissue guards. Printed on pure rag paper watermarked “HGW.” Publisher’s original dark red buckram. Gilt lettering. Top edges gilt. Beveled edges. A very fine set in the original cream dust jackets printed in red. The best and most desirable edition of Wells’s works, with the author’s revisions to the texts, special preface to each volume, and general introduction to the set. Extremely scarce in the original printed dust jackets in fine condition.
B-A Note: Oh, the things I would do to own this set…
The War of the Worlds
Herbert George Wells. London: William Heinemann, 1898.
Original gray cloth stamped in black. Faint toning, hinges partially cracked, cloth somewhat rubbed at joints and extremities, a few stray marks, spine slightly darkened. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with 16-page Autumn 1897 publisher’s catalogue inserted at rear. Currey pp 526-7.
B-A Note: Trivia: As many of you know, Orson Welles directed a radio drama in 1938 based on this book. It had a news-bulletin format and aired without commercials, leading many to believe it was a real news alert. Per wiki: “In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage and panic by certain listeners who had believed the events described in the program were real. The program’s news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast. The episode secured Welles’s fame.”
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.
- Opening Paragraph, The War of the Worlds
The First Men in the Moon
H.G. Wells. Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1901.
title page printed in black and red, original pictorial navy blue cloth, front panel stamped in gold and blind, spine panel stamped in gold.. Early owner’s name and date (“Xmas, 1908”) in ink on front free. endpaper, a truly fine copy with brilliant cover stamping in the. original first state pictorial dust jacket (printed in dark blue on. buff paper stock) with “Bowen / Merrill” imprint at base of spine. panel. The dust jacket has shallow chips from crown and tail of spine. panel (no lettering affected), some shelf wear at corner tips, and a. scrape to the surface of the front panel along the lower edge which. affects “ELL” of “WELLS” and extends up slightly into the lower blue. background of the illustration. Still an attractive example of a rare. jacket. Although book and jacket are mixed states, they have not been. married (there is faint ghosting from the flap copy of this jacket on. the fore-edges of the free endpapers); we surmise the book was. distributed with this jacket by the publisher who changed their name. from Bowen-Merrill to Bobbs-Merrill in January 1903, some 15 months. after the book was published in late September or early October 1901. (it was listed Publisher’s Weekly 5 October 1901). The size of the. edition is not known, but the book was apparently not a big success. and unsold sheets of the first printing were later sold to Grosset &. Dunlap. This is the second known copy of this edition in the original. jacket. (#9451). First edition, second state binding with “Bobbs / Merrill” at base of spine panel. Preceded the British edition by approximately one month. The two editions have minor textual differences. “… a gripping adventure story as well as a historic milestone in modern science fiction.” - Survey of Science Fiction Literature II, pp. 782-86. “The last and most complex [of Wells’s early scientific romances] is THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON.
Wells (H.G.) The War of the Worlds
First edition, 16 pp. advertisments at end, dated 1897, occasional spotting, book label of Samuel Gurnery on paste-down and name on free endpaper, original grey cloth, little rubbed, ends of spine knocked, 8vo, 1898.
Edward Gorey cover.
I didn’t know - great catch! Thanks!Originally posted by rubbleandruin
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells. Heinemann, 1895.
First edition, half-title with advertisements on verso, 16-page publisher’s catalogue at end, a little light browning of endpapers, ownership inscription in ink on front free endpapers, publisher’s oatmeal cloth, lettering and sphinx device in purple, Unusually bright copy. [Wells 4], 8vo,
Wells (H.G.) The Invisible Man, A Grotesque Romance, first edition, 1897.
2pp. advertisements at end, old ownership name to endpaper, margins browned, front and central hinges cracked, slightly cocked, original pictorial cloth, usual browning to spine, corners rubbed, [Wells 11], 8vo. via Bloomsbury Auctions
The Island of Doctor Moreau Wells, H.G. London, Heinemann, 1896.
Decorated tan cloth. First Edition. First binding with publisher’s monogram in blind on rear cover. 32-page catalogue with page  headed “The Manxman” inserted at rear. Wells’s evolutionary fantasy about a shipwrecked naturalist who becomes involved in an experiment to ‘humanize’ animals by surgery, producing in the end only quasi-human monsters.
The rare, first American edition of “The Time Machine” is on the right, next to a first London edition of the H.G. Wells classic
The Eaton Collection at the University of California, Riverside acquired a rare, first American edition in January, becoming one of only 25 repositories in the world to own a copy. The purchase was made possible with a $10,000 grant from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation. Because the London edition was the source of all subsequent printings, fewer copies of the American edition survive. via UC Riverside
T’is good to be back amongst yee lads and lasses of true hearts and minds..
The Down from the Shevles Photo of Book Cover file sends this one along.
I had taken this one with me for a few days sojourn away from the madding crowds — my father left me this book and I love to re-read it when time allows.