"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
Mock Beggar Hall
Robert Graves. Hogarth Press. 1924.
First Edition. Original dark grey boards, the imposing overall front cover design is by William Nicholson and printed in black, Simon Nowell-Smith’s book label, untrimmed.
O, why judge Myrrhina
As though she were a man?
She obeys a dark wisdom
(As Eve did before her)
Which never can fail,
Being bound by no pride
Of armorial bearings
Bequeathed in tail male.
And though your blood brother
Who dared to do you wrong
In his greed of Myrrhina
Might plead a like wisdom
The fault to excuse.
Myrrhina is just,
She has hanged the vain rogue
By the neck from her noose.
Two Stories [Three Jews; The Mark on the Wall]
Written and Printed by Virginia and L.S. Woolf, Richmond, Hogarth Press, 1917.
First Edition, Limited to 150 copies. ‘Publication No. 1”’ at the Hogarth Press as stated on the title-page. Containing a story each by Leonard and Virginia Woolf (The Mark on the Wall being the latter’s second published work), the 150 copies were entirely hand-printed and hand-bound by the Woolfs, following a small subscription notice which generated 134 orders. Dora Carrington was commissioned to illustrate the work with woodcuts, and copies were bound in an ad hoc fashion as and when needed, the material for the wrappers in this case being a rather rough rafia-like blue paper.
“Perhaps it was the middle of January in the present that I first looked up and saw the mark on the wall. In order to fix a date it is necessary to remember what one saw. So now I think of the fire; the steady film of yellow light upon the page of my book; the three chrysanthemums in the round glass bowl on the mantelpiece. Yes, it must have been the winter time, and we had just finished our tea, for I remember that I was smoking a cigarette when I looked up and saw the mark on the wall for the first time. I looked up through the smoke of my cigarette and my eye lodged for a moment upon the burning coals, and that old fancy of the crimson flag flapping from the castle tower came into my mind, and I thought of the cavalcade of red knights riding up the side of the black rock. Rather to my relief the sight of the mark interrupted the fancy, for it is an old fancy, an automatic fancy, made as a child perhaps. The mark was a small round mark, black upon the white wall, about six or seven inches above the mantelpiece.”
~Opening Paragraph of ‘The Mark on the Wall”