"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
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.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
H.P. Lovecraft. Everett, Pennsylvania: Visionary Publishing Co., 1936.
Original black cloth, front and spine panels stamped in silver.. Spine panel a bit creased at spine ends, else a fine copy in very. good pictorial dust jacket with shelf wear and slight loss at spine. ends and corners, several short tears at upper edges of spine and. front panels with internal tape mend, and general dust soiling to. front, spine and rear panels.
A superior copy of this book with. distinguished provenance. (#114482). First edition. A highly important presentation copy with a signed inscription by Lovecraft to August Derleth on the front free endpaper: “To Auguste- Guillaume, Comte d’Erlette, / whose encouraging opinion of this / tale is responsible for its present / appearance in (mis) print. / A reasonably corrected copy, with / the grateful compliments of the / perpetrator — / H. P. Lovecraft / Christmas, MDCCCCXXXVI.”
Lovecraft’s first published book, preceded by THE SHUNNED HOUSE (1928) that was printed, but not circulated beyond a tiny circle of Lovecraft’s friends. Publisher William H. Crawford has stated that approximately 400 copies were printed, of which about 200 were bound, the remainder destroyed at a later date. Binding and typography were dreadful and a handful of the earliest copies had corrections in Lovecraft’s hand. This copy has a dozen or so corrections by Lovecraft, including a line of missing text handwritten on page 72.
A Lovecraft Interlude
I admit, this intrigues me. I think I’ll order the hardcopy because I’m not very good at reading on my computer. Click picture for link.
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.
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.
The Shadow over Innsmouth
H.P. Lovecraft. Shinsuke Minegashi., artist. Heavenly Monkey Press, 2005.
Number XI of XXV copies signed by the artist, printed on Nideggen paper and with additional proofs, the “Ichthyic” issue, from an edition limited to 175, folding frontispiece with map on verso, wood-engraved illustrations by Shinsuke Minegishi after Hieronymus Bosch, with additional proofs on gampi.
The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath H.P. Lovecraft. Buffalo: Shroud Publishers, 1955. First edition / First printing, Octavo, Hardcover.
One of 12 copies specially bound by famed science fiction collector Gerry de la Ree, this being number 4. “In 1972, fantasy collector/dealer Gerry de la Ree specially bound 12 copies in black cloth stamped in gold. These copies have a label affixed to the colophon page reading # [inserted] of 12 specially bound copies of THE DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH.” (Currey 261)
Publisher’s black cloth with gilt lettering on the spine and front board with the second state of the dust jacket present. Light bump to head edge of spine. Textblock is in remarkably clean, seemingly unread, condition. Dust jacket shows very minimal edge wear. The spine is ever so slightly faded, with two vertical, fairly unnoticeable creases running its length; two more very slight vertical creases can be seen near the flap folds.
A fine copy of the scarcest binding of The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath. A superior copy of this extremely scarce, highly collectible edition.
The Outsider and Others Lovecraft, H.P. Sauk City: Arkham House, 1943.
Tall 8vo, original gilt-lettered black cloth; dust jacket, illustrated by Virgil Finlay, wear to spine panel ends and folds, cellotape repairs mostly on verso, but one at head of spine recto and rear fold. First edition of the first collection of Lovecraft’s writing and the first book published by Arkham House. One of only 1200 copies printed.
via Swann Galleries