"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
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
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.
Joyce, James and Matisse, Henri. Ulysses. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935.
Large quarto, original gilt-stamped pictorial brown cloth, uncut, original acetate, custom slipcase with original spine laid down. First illustrated edition. Number 976 of 1500 copies signed by Matisse.
“One of the most arresting collaborations in 20th-century literature. “It was a great idea to bring them together; celebrities of the same generation, of similar virtuosity” (Wheeler, 15). The 26 beautiful full-page illustrations by Matisse accompany the text of Joyce’s Ulysses, including six soft-ground etchings with reproductions of the sketches on blue and yellow paper.”
It Catches my Heart in its Hands Bukowski, Charles. Loujon Press, 1963.
SIGNED/LIMITED EDITION of 777 copies. This copy is in excellent condition without the ubquitous wear found on most copies for sale on the net. This copy is sharp, clean, and signed by Bukowski is silver ink. Overall, a fantastic copy of this beautifully bound book for even the most discerning collector.
Neverwhere Ltd: The Author’s Preferred Text Gaiman, Neil. William Morrow & Co, 2010. Via Powell’s Rare Books.
A painstakingly produced limited edition of a beloved classic by #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman. Limited to a single edition of just 1,000 copies, the limited edition of Neverwhere is an example of bookmaking at its finest.
- Each volume is hand-numbered — limited to 1,000 copies
- Each volume is signed by the author
- Each volume and its accompanying slipcase is hand-bound i n rich midnight blue cloth
- Volume front case and spine are gold-stamped
- Slipcase features a die-cut aperture through which is seen the gold-stamped door illustration on volume front case
- Elegant two-color interior design
- Printed endpapers feature map of the London Underground, faithfully reproduced from the book’s original trade edition
- Large 7” X 10” format
- Text is the “Author’s Preferred Text”; this volume includes a special introduction to the book by the author
- Special addendum to this limited edition: “The Neverwhere Files” — material from the author’s files that give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the evolution of Neverwhere
- Each volume comes in its own protective cardboard case — labeled with title, author, price, publisher information, and barcode
Lady Chatterley’s Lover Lawrence, D.H. Designed by Sir Paul Smith. London, Penguin, 2006.
Octavo 16 x 24 cm. 363pp. Limited edition one of 1000 numbered copies. Full purple cloth in an embroidered silk dust jacket. Ribbon marker sewn in. Housed in the original plexiglas slipcase. Designed by esteemed British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith this was one of six titles published as limited editions to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Penguin Classics in 2006.