"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
Esquire’s handbook for hosts
New York: Grosset & Dunlap, © 1953. 8vo. Frontis., 288 pp.; illus.
Brown, Culinary Americana, 3337 (for first ed.). Publisher’s black cloth, front cover with eggplant- and gilt-stamped vignette of a mustachioed man hoisting a drink tray, spine with eggplant-stamped stripes and gilt-stamped title; dust jacket lacking, minor shelfwear to extremities and lower edges.
It is notable that despite its light theme and touch, this book offers serious instruction to men wanting seriously to achieve real competence in its era’s arts of entertaining. Those seeking a gamesmanship guide suggesting ways merely to appear competent, or those cheerfully assuming that it is charming for men to be incompetent in this realm, had best look for support elsewhere.
Nouveaux Voyages en Zigzag a la Grande Chartreuse, Autour du Mont Blanc…
Rodolphe Töpffer, 1854.
B-A Note: Additional Info on the author:
Töpffer is credited with being the “father of comics”. Excerpt from Britannica: “The heir to the experiments of the English caricaturists and the father of the comic strip in its modern sense was Rodolphe Töpffer, a schoolmaster of Geneva who was active in the 1830s and ’40s. Largely exempt from the preoccupations of the English caricaturists, Töpffer created a species of absurdist antiheroes who struggled desperately, fruitlessly, and farcically against the…”
Voyages chronicles the adventures of a Swiss schoolteacher and his students. According to Bibliomaven, they were translated and republished in the late 1800’s for an English-speaking market.
Greybeards at Play. Literature and Art for Old Gentlemen
Gilbert Chesterton. R. Brimley Johnson, 1910
B-A Note: This just made me grin, so I had to find out more. You can read the poems and see the wonderful sketches/illustrations here at the University of Notre Dame’s archives..
The Famous Stories of Baron von Münchausen
Rudolphe Erich Raspe. Amsterdam, Schalekamp & Van de Grampel 1827.
Rare Dutch translation of the famous stories of Baron von Münchausen after the fifth English edition by Rudolph Erich Raspe.The Munchhausen burlesques originate from Germany. Under the title M - h -s nsche Geschichten, between 1781 and 1783 some crazy anecdotes were published in the Vade Mecum für Lustige Leute, edited by August Mylius. The reader recognized in these impossible stories the legendary boasting qualities of the German nobleman Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720-1797), who had been a cavalry officer in Russian service and then lived on his country estate in Hannover. This character was used by Rudolph Erich Raspe (1737-1794) in order to make some money by publishing an easy bestseller.
A Book of Nonsense
Edward Lear (ca 1875 James Miller edition)
The limerick form was popularized by Edward Lear in his first Book of Nonsense (1845) and a later work (1872) on the same theme. Lear wrote 212 limericks, mostly nonsense verse. It was customary at the time for limericks to accompany an absurd illustration of the same subject, and for the final line of the limerick to be a kind of conclusion, usually a variant of the first line ending in the same word.
Chevallier, Gabriel. [Paris]: Flammarion, © 1934. 4to (28.1 cm, 11.1”). , 11–338,  pp.; col. illus.
First edition thus: A much-celebrated (and twice-filmed) French satire of small town life, here with over 100 color-printed comic scenes, some bawdy, rendered by cartoonist and illustrator Albert Dubout. The illustrations are charming, now quaint, and très “French.”
The limitation statement asserts that a total of 1250 copies were produced — but the present example is stamped “Exemplaire no. 12392.”
The Complaisant Companion or New Jests; Witty Reparties; Bulls; Rhodomontados; And pleasant Novels
Richard Head. H.B., 1674.
*** A striking illustration of how humour has changed over the centuries.
Bricktop’s Comic History of America New York, M.J. Ivers & Co, 1893.
An illustrated and comical history of America. 62 pp. Many illustrations within text, color lithograph front wrapper. 22.8x14.7 cm. (9x5¾”), wrappers.
Poets’ wit and humour Wills, William Henry, ed.
New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1861. 8vo (22.8 cm, 9”). , 278,  pp.; illus.
First U.S. edition: “Illustrated withone hundred engravings from drawings by Charles Bennett and George H. Thomas.” The work was edited by a friend and collaborator of Charles Dickens; from Chaucer to Swift to “Saint Anthony’s Sermon to the Fishes,” Wills’s comic selections are delightfully entertaining, and their wood-engraved illustrations equally amusing.
Example of illustrations:
A satire on quack doctors.
Medicina Flagellata, or the Doctor Scarify’d, additional title with engraved vignette, both titles with ownership stamp, some browning, ink inscription ‘Lieut. Walsh, Navy, 1784’ to front free endpaper, contemporary panelled calf, covers detached, corners worn, rubbed and scuffed, [Wellcome IV, p.101; Waller 6421], 8vo, for J. Bateman and J.Nicks, 1721. via Bloomsbury Auctions
Ha ha - scarified or scare-ified?