"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
Melville, Herman. Grasse, Prometheus Press, 1982.
One of five copies signed by artist Frederic Prokosch
 + 1 blank leaf +  pp. With hand-painted frontispiece illustration, signed with artist’s initials. 15.8x11 cm. (6¼x4¼”), saddle-sewn blue wrappers, paper cover label, clear jacket. Number “alpha” of 5 copies, printed on Guerimand paper.
Typee: A romance of the South Seas
Herman Melville. New York: Pr. by John S. Fass at the Harbor Press for the Limited Editions Club, 1935.
Melville’s account of life among the cannibals of the Marquesas Islands, with an introduction by Raymond Weaver, his first biographer, and with watercolor illustrations byMiguel Covarrubias, who signed the colophon. This is numbered copy 1012 of 1500 printed on Worthy Paper Co. rag paper, bound by George McKibbin & Son in full East Indian tappa cloth with the spine stamped in black and green in a design by Covarrubias also used on the slipcase.
“But these reflections now seldom obtruded upon me; I gave myself up to the passing hour, and if ever disagreeable thoughts arose in my mind, I drove them away. When I looked around the verdant recess in which I was buried, and gazed up to the summits of the lofty eminence that hemmed me in, I was well disposed to think that I was in the ‘Happy Valley’, and that beyond those heights there was naught but a world of care and anxiety. As I extended my wanderings in the valley and grew more familiar with the habits of its inmates, I was fain to confess that, despite the disadvantages of his condition, the Polynesian savage, surrounded by all the luxurious provisions of nature, enjoyed an infinitely happier, though certainly a less intellectual existence than the self-complacent European.” ~Chapter XVII
Moby-Dick, or, The Whale.
Herman Melville. Arion Press, San Francisco, 1979.
(Initial publication 1851)
Printed in blue and black on handmade paper bearing a whale watermark. 100 woodcut illustrations by Barry Moser. Folio, full blue Moroccan goatskin, spine slightly but evenly darkened, joints and ends lightly rubbed; internally clean; blue cloth slipcase, unevenly faded and with some surface marks.
One of 250 unnumbered copies of the first trade edition of the Arion Press edition, designed by Andrew Hoyem. One of the greatest achievements in modern bookmaking.
“Warmest climes but nurse the cruellest fangs: the tiger of Bengal crouches in spiced groves of ceaseless verdure. Skies the most effulgent but basket the deadliest thunders: gorgeous Cuba knows tornadoes that never swept tame northern lands. So, too, it is, that in these resplendent Japanese seas the mariner encounters the direst of all storms, the Typhoon. It will sometimes burst from out that cloudless sky, like an exploding bomb upon a dazed and sleepy town.” ~Chapter cxix
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.
Herman Melville. London: Nonesuch Press, 1926.
Numbered copy 932 of 1650 printed on grey Van Gelder paper at the Curwen Press. Publisher’s red cloth, spine with gilt-stamped title, in black-printed dust-wrapper.
“First edition thus: Based on events recounted in Delano’s 1817 Narrative of Voyages and Travels, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, this much-debated, enigmatic novella tells the story of a black slave revolt at sea. Illustrated by American artist Edward McKnight Kauffer (noted for his influential poster designs) with a frontispiece and six plates in hand-stencilled color, the text was reproduced from the 1856 first edition of The Piazza Tales.”
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Herman Melville, New York: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, 1851.
First American edition, in scarce lovely unrestored original cloth, of Melville’s rare classic. Octavo, original stamped green cloth, orange-brown endpapers. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
“Arguably the greatest single work in American literature, Moby-Dick was initially “a complete practical failure, misunderstood by the critics and ignored by the public; and in 1853 the Harper’s fire destroyed the plates of all his books and most of the copies remaining in stock (only about 60 copies of Moby-Dick survived the fire)…”
Moby Dick or The Whale
Herman Melville. Illustrated by Rockwell Kent.
The Lakeside Press, Chicago, 1930.
3 volumes. Illustrated with 280 reproductions of pen, brush and ink illustrations by Rockwell Kent. 11x8, original black cloth stamped decoratively in silver, top edges stained black, pages unopened and untrimmed, original acetate covers, housed in the publisher’s aluminum slipcase. First Kent Illustrated Edition. One of 1000 sets printed under the supervision of William A. Kittredge for R. R. Donnelley & Sons.
Inscribed by Rockwell Kent in the first volume. Magnificent Rockwell Kent renderings for this major American novel. Includes the often-lacking original publisher’s aluminum slipcase. Rockwellkentiana p. 62. Provenance: From a private collection.