"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
Objects of Pity
Bazzett Michael Haggard. Amsterdam, 1892.
Presentation copy from the author, author’s ink corrections to text, small damp-stain to head, upper hinge weak, original stiff wrappers, original glacine jacket with gilt lettering.
Bazzett Michael Haggard, brother of Henry Rider Haggard, British Land Commissioner in Apia, Samoa. Objects of Pity was conceived as a response to An Object of Pity, written by Robert Louis Stevenson and others, in which Haggard featured as the central character. Stevenson himself features pseudonymously as Tusitala ‘The Writer of Tales’ in the present work. ‘Stevenson insisted on having it printed and took it to Sydney and had it printed. I was riled at being called “an object of Pity” rather; so set to and gave them a Roland for their Oliver.’ - Bazzett M. Haggard. The book appears to have been taken to the printers rather prematurely and all copies appear with the author’s autograph corrections.
The Natural History of Humbugs
Reach (Angus B.) 1847
Wood-engraved frontispiece and illustrations, 12pp. advertisements at end, original pictorial wrappers,
Auction lot also includes: The Natural History of ‘Stuck-Up’ People, The Flirt, The Natural History of the Gent, The Natural History of the Ballet-Girl, and The Natural History of the “Hawk” Tribe.
Anatomy of an Antiquarian Bookseller
Ronald Searle. Colour offset lithograph, one of 50 copies printed on handmade paper and signed and dated in pencil by the artist, framed and glazed, c.710 x 520mm., 1976.
B-A Note: This is wonderful! I hope I can track down a print or copy, at least, for my wall - since this original is a little outside my discretionary spending fund.
Punch, Brothers, Punch! and Other Sketches
Twain, Mark. New York, Slote, Woodman & Co., 1878
First edition, with Twain’s name in Roman on title page versus facsimile autograph of second edition; first state of rear wrapper with illustration of scrapbook measuring 2-7/8x2”. BAL 3378.
Conductor, when you receive a fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare,
A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Punch, brothers! punch with care!
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Les Présomptions des femmes
Guillaume Coquillart. “Rouen: Abraham Cousturier,” nd [i. e., later 18th century]
Manuscript in french, written in roman hand in brown ink, 27 lines, recto and verso, on vellum. 8 leaves, including title with hand-drawn vignette and border. 152x94 mm, late 18th-century red straight-grain morocco gilt, blue silk doublures and endleaves; contents clean.
Manuscript facsimile attributed to the 18th-century calligrapher F. F. Fyot, copied from an undated edition printed circa 1600. The text is a verse satire on women excerpted from the author’s legal parody Droitz Nouveaulx.
Or an Oxford Love Story. With a Foreword and Illustrations by Osbert Lancaster.
Max Beerbohm. (Shakespeare Head Press.) Oxford. 1975
Description: 475/750 COPIES signed by the artist, 2 colourprinted plates, reproductions of 5 pencil character sketches by Beerbohm within preliminaries, initial letter at the beginning of each chapter and the shoulder-titles printed in dark cerise, the title-page printed in black and cerise, pp. xvi, 190, sm.folio, original qtr. Oxford-blue morocco, gilt lettered backstrip with gilt blocked Lancaster drawing, ‘Bullingdon’ blue and white vertically striped board sides, t.e.g., blue cotton-marker, sunned board slipcase with Lancaster illustration and title, near fine
That old bell, presage of a train, had just sounded through Oxford station; and the undergraduates who were waiting there, gay figures in tweed or flannel, moved to the margin of the platform and gazed idly up the line. Young and careless, in the glow of the afternoon sunshine, they struck a sharp note of incongruity with the worn boards they stood on, with the fading signals and grey eternal walls of that antique station, which, familiar to them and insignificant, does yet whisper to the tourist the last enchantments of the Middle Age.
De tien vermakelikheden des houwelyks. Spotsgewijze
Rare early edition of a very popular erotic satire on the pleasures of marriage, from the courting to the wedding and the festivities around the first-born, with a long poem on the “labyrinth of marriage” by Jan de Mol added at the end. Hieronymys Sweerts (1627-1696), was a book printer and publisher at Amsterdam, and also a poet and popular author of merit. On title of the main work a small woodcut of 2 sheep is present, and the title of the second work is adorned with a large woodcut vignette with fruits and flowers.
Caricatures of Twenty-Five Gentlemen
Max Beerbohm. FIRST EDITION, 25 plates, Leonard Smithers, 1896.
Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen consists of portraits of many of the prominent writers and artists of the 1890s, including Richard Le Gallienne, Frank Harris, Rudyard Kipling, Aubrey Beardsley and George Bernard Shaw.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. With Illustrations by the Author, A SQUARE
Edwin A. Abbott. London, Seely & Co, 1884.
viii, 100 pp. 8½x7, pictorial parchment wrappers. First Edition. Scarce first edition of an influential work of satire and mathematical fiction. A tale of a two-dimensional world.
B-A Note: Oh, how I would love to get a look at this!
The Most Delectable History of Reynard the Fox. Printed by T. Ilive, for Edward Brewster, 1701.
Reynard the Fox, ‘hero of several medieval European cycles of versified animal tales that satirize contemporary human society. Thojugh Reynard is sly, amoral, cowardly, and self-seeking, he is still a sympathetic hero whose cunning is a necessity for survival. He symbolizes the triumph of craft over brute strength, usually personified by Isengrim, the greedy and dull-witted wolf. Some of cyclic stories collected around him, such as those telling of the wolf or bear fishing with his tail through a hole in the ice, are found throughout the world; others, like that of the sick lion cured by the wolf’s skin, are derived from Greco-Roman sources. The cycle arose in the area between Flanders and Germany in the 10th and 11th centuries when clerks began to forge Latin beast epics out of popular tales…The main literary tradition of Reynard the Fox descends from the extant French ‘branches’ of the Roman de Renart (about 30 in number, nearly 40,000 lines of verse). The facetious portrayal of rustic life, the camel as a papal legate speaking broken French, the animals riding on horses and recounting elaborate dreams all suggest the atmosphere of 13th-century France’ (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).
Uzanne, Octave. Son altesse la femme. Paris: A. Quantin, 1885.
When this work appeared, Uzanne (1852–1931) was in full stride as a leader of the Paris circle of men and women interested in handsomely illustrated, printed, and bound works of literature. Son altesse la femme essays most satirically the position of women in society from the medieval to the author’s time. The chapters are: Le vray mirouer de sorcellerie, La mie du poete, La précieuse, La caillette, La citoyenne française, Les galanteries du directoire, Sous la restauration, L’amour aux champs, La parisienne moderne, and Mulieriana.