September 2013 Newsletter

For those not on our mailing list, here is a look at our latest newsletter. We’ve also embedded our latest new acquisitions list at the end of the post:

 

Another month has come and gone, and as always we have been busy booksellers. This past weekend we exhibited at the 41st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair. We had more dealers than usual this year, and enjoyed a record turnout of browsers and bibliophiles. Everyone seemed very pleased with the Main Street Armory, the new venue for this year’s event. Here is a photo taken by one of our colleagues of myself and my fiancee Kristine:

Booths were bustling with activity throughout the day as customers inquired about books on display, or asked questions about their own collections. We purchased a number of items ourselves, including a first American edition of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, a set of Shakespeare’s works in an attractive silk-lined publisher’s case, and a small collection of travel literature featuring decorative cover designs by A. & C. Black publishers.

Watch for these, and a number of interesting and scarce items acquired at the end of August, in next month’s newsletter. But first, have a look at what we have been working on for the last month:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

See a few things you like? Enter coupon code S10TWO013 during checkout, and when you buy three books you get another FREE! (Please make sure you have at least four books in your shopping cart, or the discount won’t work.)

Below is one of our favorites from this month’s acquisitions, a limited edition of Shakespeare’s complete works inspired by the famous Shakespeare Head Press edition printed in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon (commonly known as the Stratford Town Shakespeare).

The Works of William Shakespeare, in Ten Volumes – Shakespeare Head Press Limited Edition, #585 of 1000

 

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A hearty helping of Shakespeare

The Works of William Shakespeare, in Ten Volumes

 

We couldn’t wait until our next newsletter to share this gem with our followers:

[The Stratford Town Shakespeare]
Shakespeare, William; Clark, William George; Wright, William Aldis
The Works of William Shakespeare, in Ten Volumes – Shakespeare Head Press Limited Edition, #585 of 1000
Duffield & Company, New York / Shakespeare Head Press, Stratford-upon-Avon 1904. Limited edition, #585 of 1000. Large 8vo. Complete in ten hardcover volumes. Original beige cloth, paper spine labels. Printed on laid paper in a limitation of 1000 copies. This was the first work to be released by the Shakespeare Head Press, which was a fine press in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon which undertook to carry on the sort of printing that the Kelmscott Press made famous. It is to this day the only complete set of his works to be produced in his hometown, and is often called The Stratford Town Shakespeare. This set was reproduced by Duffield & Company of New York in another limitation of 1000, which is the set offered here.

Very good. No jackets. Spine labels toned with loss from two volumes, boards of a couple volumes lightly soiled. Descriptive label tipped in on front endpaper of first volume.

$950

 

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM  Leave a Comment  
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August Newsletter

I thought followers of this blog might enjoy seeing our monthly newsletter, so I have copied our August issue below in its entirety, and embedded a PDF of our most recent highlights catalog. Those interested in receiving our newsletter monthly, please visit our website at www.websterbookstore.com and complete the web form on the homepage.

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Before I get to the usual fix for our loyal bibliophiles, I have some news to announce:

I have officially been accepted as one of the newest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA). This is a respected trade organization which promotes professional and ethical bookselling, and sponsors several of the largest, most respected book fairs in the world. This is a big step in my career, and a bright spot in the history of Yesterday’s Muse Books. Big thanks go out to those who encouraged me to pursue membership, and to the other booksellers who were kind enough to give their time to be my sponsors during the application process.
And now to the rest of this month’s news:

The sidewalk sale we launched last month is going strong – thank you to everyone who has stopped out for great deals. For those who have not heard about the sidewalk sale – every Friday and Saturday through the middle of August, we will be offering bargain books outside our shop. All books are $1 each, or you can fill one of our bags for $8.

A big project we just began work on last month is the Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair, which I am co-organizing this year along with Franlee Frank from Greenwood Books. This year it will be held on Saturday, September 7th at the Main Street Armory. Check out the fair’s Facebook page for more details:

Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair

While you’re at it, drop by the store’s Facebook page to view our This Just In album – check it out regularly to find the latest deals.

Speaking of deals, in addition to the usual in-store coupon we include with our newsletters, here is a coupon for use this month on our website:

Enter coupon code A8TWO013 during checkout, and when you buy three books you get another FREE! (Please make sure you have at least four books in your shopping cart, or the discount won’t work.)

Here are links to our usual new acquisitions lists:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

This month we were lucky enough to acquire a signed first edition of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged, as well as a sumptuously bound copy of Thomas A Kempis’s Of the Imitation of Christ. We also cataloged a few examples of early stock market material, a set of Theodore Roosevelt’s works, numerous books dealing with book arts and decorative arts, and a science fiction serial featuring the first appearance of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo Award winning Ender’s Game.

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Below is the full highlights list:

View this document on Scribd

This Just In – Hand-Painted Chinese Portraits; Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books; Etc.

Here is today’s crop of new books, which includes two very interesting items – if you’d like any of these, comment to claim them! Prices and other details are listed in the captions – click the image to zoom.

The first image shows some of our usual bargain fare. The sets of pictures following it are of two particularly interesting items, just acquired today.

The first is a set of Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books, a scarce collection of facsimiles of the notebooks of a ten-year-old girl, originally discovered in her father’s files. She was a contemporary of Freud, and these formed the basis of some of her psychoanalytical studies of girlhood. Our price is $325.

The second is a collection of hand-painted portraits of Chinese women, some notable historical figures, others noted for their beauty. They are excellent examples of Chinese art, all done on fine silk mounted on sturdier backings and bound in the accordion style popular for collections of eastern art. The covers are wood, with a carved emblem on the front board. Our price is $300.

 

Jonathan Smalter, Bookseller
President, Yesterday’s Muse Books
Vice President, IOBA
Sellers of fine books in all categories, with specialties in:
Castles & Military Fortifications; Dystopian Literature
32 W Main St Ste 1
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: (585) 265-9295
www.websterbookstore.com
https://musebooks.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/yesterdaysmuse
www.twitter.com/ymbookseller
http://pinterest.com/yesterdaysmuse/
www.linkedin.com/in/yesterdaysmuse/

 

$5 each (buy 2 get 1 free)

$5 each (buy 2 get 1 free)

Photo Jul 12, 3 42 41 PM

Page from Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books

 

Page from Marie Bonaparte's Five Copy Books

Page from Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books

Photo Jul 12, 3 41 33 PM

Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books, shown with publisher’s slipcase

Photo Jul 12, 3 41 45 PM

Page from Marie Bonaparte’s Five Copy Books

 

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Page from Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Cover of Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

Cover of Famous & Beautiful Chinese Ladies

This Just In

Here is today’s crop of new books (lots today!) – if you’d like any of these, comment to claim them! Prices and other details are listed in the captions – click the image to zoom.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

$5 each

$5 each

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

$3 each (front cover of Dubus volume creased)

$3 each (front cover of Dubus volume creased)

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

$5 each, or $50 for the stack

$5 each, or $50 for the stack

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

$30

$30 (signed)

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Top two $3, others $5 each.

Top two $3, others $5 each.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

Individually priced - please inquire for details.

Individually priced – please inquire for details.

July 2013 Newsletter

At Yesterday’s Muse Books, we are in the habit of releasing a monthly newsletter detailing goings-on at the shop, and highlighting our most recent acquisitions. Below is our most recent newsletter:

 

This month’s newsletter comes a bit later – we wanted to make sure everyone had the time to relax and enjoy the July 4th holiday weekend.

This has been a great month for us. We revived our Musings blog, acquired some exceptional and important first editions, and launched our local weekend sidewalk sale.

For those who have not heard about the sidewalk sale – every Friday and Saturday through the middle of August, we will be offering bargain books outside our shop. All books are $1 each, or you can fill one of our bags for $8.

Our commitment to better book images has paid off by allowing us to better promote our stock on social media, our blog, and through catalogs. If you have yet to see our This Just In album on Facebook, check it out to find the latest deals.

For those interested in collecting, and purchasing books online in general, we have posted a number of helpful resources on our blog:

Condition Definitions

Identification of First Editions

 

Here are our usual new acquisitions lists, followed by a few samples to whet your whistles:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

This month we were lucky enough to acquire first editions of the two books shown below – the first the very first book published by the inimitable Dr. Seuss; the second is is a Pulitzer Prize winning play that inspired an award winning Broadway production. We also cataloged a nice collection of Rockwell Kent titles, and close to a dozen Philo Vance mysteries by S.S. Van Dine (mostly first editions). Have a closer look at the lists, as there is far too much to enumerate here…

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street First Edition

Death of a Salesman First Edition

 

Encyclopaedia Britannica – The Scholar’s Edition

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (I will call it EB from this point for brevity’s sake) is synonymous enough with the word ‘encyclopedia’ that when one is able to call it simply ‘Britannica’, with the first word of the name implied. Since it’s first appearance in the mid-18th century, it has risen to a stature enjoyed by few reference works (possibly only two others, Webster’s Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, could be called its equals). This was likely due to the pioneering decision to arrange its entries by subject, something previous works had not done. It was a sad day, then, when it was announced just last year that no further print versions of the work were to be released, making the 2010 fifteenth edition the last – remaining copies of this set sold out about a month after the announcement. Current and subsequent editions will now be available in digital form only by payment of a subscription fee.

While many of us are familiar with the EB as it is today, its size and format were not always such. In fact, it has changed drastically since its birth. During its evolution, EB grew from a modest three volumes to an imposing thirty-two, the bulk of this growth occurring during the first 60 years of its life (the sixth edition of 1826 was 20 volumes). It is also interesting to note that, though each successive edition was still dubbed the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the editorship and authorship changed significantly throughout its history, and many editions did not resemble previous or subsequent editions, except in general structure. Surprisingly, a separate general index was not added until the release of the seventh edition. This of course made locating specific articles much quicker.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Scholar’s Edition

Two editions of the EB still stand out as prominent examples. The ninth edition, still referred to as The Scholar’s Edition, is considered the pinnacle of the EB’s career as a scholarly work. The articles were meticulously researched, and some are the length of short books, many quite beautifully written by well-known intellectuals of the day (e.g., Robert Louis Stevenson, John Muir, Algernon Swinburne, etc.). As a result, this edition is not only useful as a reference, but can be read continuously (and enjoyably) as one would a magazine or a work of nonfiction. The same can be said of the eleventh edition, which was the last edition for which all article submissions came from experts in their fields.

Little has been done in our time to promote the importance, and highlight the material differences, of the various editions of the EB. Those who dismiss its contents as outdated or compare its accessibility negatively to a Google search are missing a rather large point. It used to be that, when faced with a question, we referred to information compiled by the brightest minds available, whose contributions were edited by judicious men who took pride in their work. The wild frontier that is the internet, on the other hand, seems to be ruled by those who can shout the loudest.

The EB, and other works similar to it, have displayed the arc of human thought over an extremely important period in the history of mankind, encompassing the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the birth of globalization, and much more. While I certainly understand (though sometimes reluctantly) that not everyone has within them the desire to preserve our collective intellectual heritage, I still personally believe it to be eminently worthwhile, especially in such obvious incarnations as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Early Imprints

As an antiquarian bookseller, I have occasion to own, at least temporarily, a number of very old books. Today I thought I would feature some of these, and give a bit of background about the significance of early printed works.

Many reading this already know that the first major book produced in the West using movable type was the Gutenberg Bible, published in the 1450s. This was a huge achievement in the world of printing, and led to the rapid adoption of Gutenberg’s style of printing press. The change in speed and range of mass communication make this one of the most important occurrences in modern history, comparable to the advent of the internet in the number of possibilities it opened up.

Up to this point, books were reproduced either by manuscript (i.e., copied by hand), or by woodblock print. Both were very time-consuming, and thus implicitly limited the level of production. Woodblock printing, as compared to printing using movable type, was also quite costly, as it required the fashioning of a completely new printing block for every page to be reproduced.

As a result of its historical and scholarly significance, the Gutenberg Bible is highly collectible. Because only four dozen are known to still exist, and fewer than half of these are complete, prices realized for this work continue to climb – though the last complete copy sold for $2.2 million at auction in 1978, current auction estimates are in the eight-figure range.

Of course, few of us can afford such extravagance. The good news is, following Gutenberg’s triumphant creation of his printing press there was an explosion of interesting printed material, much of which still survives today. Some of this has vast literary and historical significance (e.g., Shakespeare’s 1623 ‘First Folio‘); other material is of little interest in terms of subject matter, but show us important things relating to the evolution of printing, binding, paper-making, typography, language, etc.

The Geneva Bible

The Geneva Bible

And of course, some volumes are interesting for both reasons. A good example is the Geneva Bible, also called the ‘Breeches’ Bible. It is symbolic of 16th century Protestantism, preceding the now-ubiquitous King James version by 51 years; it was the Bible used by Shakespeare; a copy was even taken to America on the Mayflower. It is also considered the first study Bible, in that it includes introductions to each book, and other additional material making it well suited to more incisive examination of the text. Copies were produced as early as 1560, and continued until around 1644. I am currently privileged to have a 1606 copy in the shop’s inventory, pictured here, which is completely original (i.e., the binding has not been replaced or refurbished).

This was acquired in a consignment of early and decorative bindings from a private collection, some of which also appear in this post. Of particular interest to me is the presence of ink notations detailing family history (christenings, births, etc.) at several points within. While normally such notations detract from value, to me this is an exception – I enjoy thinking about these words being recorded by a careful hand four hundred years ago.

Four other books from the same collection are interesting mainly for their bindings.

Custom-Bound Wedding Gift

Custom-Bound
Wedding Gift

The most notable is a custom-bound collection of four religious devotionals. It is an excellent example of late 17th century binding design. As our listing states, it is ‘contemporary dated custom full morocco with five raised spine bands, gilt cherub and grape decorations with red flowers on front & rear panel, gilt page ridges, red endpapers with gilt design. Leather device on front paste-down reading ‘James & Mary Metcalfe Octob:15 1700′, which suggests this volume was specially bound as a wedding gift.’ While each work alone is not particularly notable, the four bound together is a unique thing (in the true sense of the word ‘unique’; i.e, one-of-a-kind). It is a particularly well-preserved volume, and must have been commissioned to an expert based on the level of detail of the work — at this point in the history of bookbinding, the decorative work mentioned was all done by hand, and thus achieving the symmetry and exactitude shown here was quite difficult. This ranks as one of the favorite fine bindings I have held in inventory during my bookselling career.

If the following has piqued your interest, we have a number of other examples you can peruse on our website, many of which are pictured below. Simply use the following link to visit the Early Imprints catalog:

Early Imprints

You can also click the image of any of the works featured in this blog to view our full catalog listing. Other highlights include: the earliest book in our inventory (1567); a 1584 religious work bound in German blind tooled pig skin; and a 1688 treatise on fortifications bound in vellum.

1831083 1826270 1815114 1668387 1663137 1663130 1662764 1659688

Jonathan Smalter, Bookseller
President, Yesterday’s Muse Books
Vice President, IOBA
Sellers of fine books in all categories, with specialties in:
Castles & Military Fortifications; Dystopian Literature
32 W Main St Ste 1
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: (585) 265-9295
www.websterbookstore.com
https://musebooks.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/yesterdaysmuse
www.twitter.com/ymbookseller
http://pinterest.com/yesterdaysmuse/
www.linkedin.com/in/yesterdaysmuse/

Identification of First Editions

One of the basic skills the novice collector (not to mention the novice bookseller) needs to learn is how to properly identify first editions. Depending on the book, and the publisher, this can be a very simple task, or quite complicated. Within this article I will do my best to provide a series of steps you can use to verify the edition of the book(s) in question. I’ll also recommend a number of handy references that you’ll want to acquire if you are serious about collecting or bookselling.

First, look at the book. It seems obvious, but you would be surprised how often books are bought based on a belief that they are something they, in fact, are not, simply because the buyer did not look closely enough at the book. I can say this without any fear of appearing judgmental, because I have been a good example of this phenomenon numerous times myself. In the words of one of my colleagues with a knack for brevity, “We all allow our hearts to get the best of our heads every now and then.”

And so, I say again, look at the book. Are there any indications that this is a reprint, or a book club edition? (More on this later.) Statements such as ‘the bestselling novel, now with a new introduction’ or ‘over 1 million copies sold’ on the dust jacket are dead giveaways (though it is rarely this easy). Who is the publisher, and what date is listed on the copyright page? Based on the general appearance of the book, does this date make sense? Many reprint publishers simply reuse the printing plates from other editions, without adding information about when the reprint occurred. Other reprint publishers list no date at all. Still others produce facsimiles of original editions, sometimes providing separate information about the reissue on a different page; sometimes not. With some practice handling books on a regular basis, you will learn which publishing companies were reprint outfits (Grosset & Dunlap; Henry Altemus; M.A. Donohue; John Lovell), and which tended to release originals (Macmillan; Putnam; Scribner; Little, Brown). As with most rules of thumb, there are exceptions to these tendencies, but it is far more efficient to learn the exceptions than to discard the rule.

I mentioned book club editions earlier. These are hardcover editions reprinted either by the original publisher, or by special arrangement between this publisher and another. These are often a slightly stockier format than trade edition hardcovers, and are not considered collectible editions except in very limited circumstances. ‘Book clubs’ or ‘BCEs’ often bear certain distinguishing characteristics: 1) lack of a list price on the jacket, sometimes accompanied by a statement of Book Club Edition on the front jacket flap; 2) inexpensive boards [generally paper over boards instead of cloth]; 3) a small blind stamp on the corner of the rear board [often a square or a circle, which is sometimes colored in]. Some book clubs masquerade very convincingly as trade editions, though, so make sure to follow the other steps in this article even if your book does not match these criteria.

If the book passes muster so far, step two is to check it against references. I find Bill McBride’s A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions (pictured below) an invaluable resource. In a compact 142-page paperback, he supplies identifying characteristics of first editions for hundreds of publishers. And, despite a peculiar tendency of ‘pocket’ guides to be anything but, this one will fit quite easily in one’s back pocket, so there’s no excuse not to have it on-hand when shopping at bookstores, antique malls, or book fairs. It will pay for itself quickly by saving you money on mistakes. We offer copies for sale at our shop, and it can also be ordered directly from the author quite easily. Common identification points listed here range from obvious designations (e.g., ‘states first edition on copyright page’; ‘states First published in <year>’) to rather complex uses of jargon (e.g., one publisher uses a two-digit code to represent month and year). You will find yourself memorizing the simple ones if you use the guide frequently.

A check of what is now in the trade simply called McBride’s should let you know that either 1) it’s not a first edition; 2) you don’t have enough information to determine this definitively. Again, there are exceptions to rules. In addition, there are sometimes states within an edition that make identifying true first editions a bit more difficult. So, just because the conventions stated in McBride match does not necessarily mean it is a first edition in every case. I could get into a larger discussion about states, but this is a subject unto itself, so sufficed to say that sometimes identification points for first editions can get complicated. Two useful references to consult  in these instances are www.fedpo.com, and another guide by McBride entitled Points of Issue (pictured below). These often provide minutiae related to particular titles that can be used to authenticate a first edition. For Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, there are several typographical errors in the text that indicate a first edition. Sometimes the price listed on the jacket is a point of issue (i.e., a detail that helps differentiate a first edition from other imprints).

If these references do not provide enough information to make a definitive assessment, it may be necessary to locate a bibliography that treats the work specifically. A number of subject-based bibliographies, and bibliographies of specific authors, are available, and these often differ quite a bit in format. Some are basically checklists, and provide little information regarding bibliographic details or differentiation of editions. Others, collectively known as descriptive bibliographies, are exhaustive publication histories of known versions of works on certain subjects, or by certain authors. These are often the best available reference, and as a result bibliographies for particularly sought-after authors and subjects can be quite expensive. Again, though, they make up for this cost by helping us avoid acquiring books that are not, in fact, first editions, though represented as such (and in today’s world of online bookselling, this is a valid concern, as many transactions are happening sight-unseen, between individuals that have not met one another).

The first edition of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street we featured in our blog recently was authenticated using a bibliography of Dr. Seuss’s works written by Younger & Hirsch. This is a work that is readily available in various reprints, but sought after by collectors because it is Seuss’s first book.

If you determine that the book you have is a first edition, then your assessment of value should involve comparing it against other first editions. Other factors (e.g., author signature; condition; lack/presence of dust jacket; etc.) may play a role in this as well. But generally, determining whether you have ‘the real thing’ is one of the largest steps towards figuring the value. If you do your research online, you will of course need to apply again some of the steps detailed above to make sure that other people offering first editions for sale have actually done their homework. Do not simply trust websites to return only first editions because you clicked the ‘First Edition’ box when searching. Watch out for phrases like ‘First book club edition’ (which is on the edge of being deliberately misleading). ‘First thus’ is another one that can trip you up here, but this generally refers to the first printing of a work that was published previously, but has been updated to include new information or features (e.g., illustrations), or sometimes to the first appearance of a work in book form (as distinct from appearance in serial form – think Charles Dickens).

So, to summarize:

1) Look at the book – is it a reprint or a book club edition?

2) Check your references – does it follow the conventions that publisher used to designate first editions?

3) Invest in a bibliography.

Once you have followed these three steps, you should have a good idea whether you have a first edition. If it is a book you own, congratulations! If it is a book you intend to buy, do some research to see whether the price is reasonable; if so, and you can afford it, and it matches any other guidelines you generally follow when collecting… buy it! If it is a book you would like to sell, visit your local secondhand book shop to see if they would be interested in purchasing it, or try to sell it yourself. Make sure not to misrepresent what you have, though, and be sure to mention your research.

If the above still leaves you wondering what you have, contact a local bookseller, or consider inquiring with one of the trade organizations associated with collectible books. These are the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America) and IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association). For those located outside the United States, try ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) – this is the worldwide organization of which the ABAA is the American chapter. Booksellers are, in large part, very congenial and helpful in this regard. And if you find that the one you choose to contact is not, worry not… There are plenty of us, so just try the next one on the list; it is important that those you deal with in the book trade are people with whom you feel comfortable, and who display that they are trustworthy.

Jonathan Smalter, Bookseller
President, Yesterday’s Muse Books
Vice President, IOBA
Sellers of fine books in all categories, with specialties in:
Castles & Military Fortifications; Dystopian Literature
32 W Main St Ste 1
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: (585) 265-9295
www.websterbookstore.com
https://musebooks.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/yesterdaysmuse
www.twitter.com/ymbookseller
http://pinterest.com/yesterdaysmuse/
www.linkedin.com/in/yesterdaysmuse/

Worth every penny.

Worth every penny.

poi

Assorted Edgar Allan Poe

1828773

Tales of Mystery and Imagination,
with Harry Clarke illustrations

Edgar Allan Poe was a prolific writer in the nineteenth century, well-known for his macabre and mysterious works of short fiction and poetry. He is considered by many to be the inventor of the detective fiction genre, paving the way for other writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dashiell Hammett. Most of us immediately recognize his most famous poem, The Raven, by just one word – nevermore. This came 18 years after Poe’s first foray as a published author, with his first work Tamerlane and Other Poems (a work that is now eminently collectible – one of the greatest book scouting stories of the 20th century centers around the location of an original copy in a barn in New Hampshire in 1988).

Poe had a unique knack for horror and suspense – who can forget the beating of that tell-tale heart? – and influenced many writers who came after him. He was also a prominent literary critic, known for his biting reviews of other works of literature. As a result, though his own writings were popular, he was not generally well-liked. His own character seems to match the mood of his stories – darkly romantic, enigmatic, but nonetheless compelling.

I have compiled here for your literary enjoyment a group of Poe volumes we currently have in inventory. Many of these were purchased as part of a small collection focusing on Poe, and as a result some interesting editions are represented. To the right is pictured a well-known edition of his Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which includes wonderful illustrations by Harry Clarke. This imprint was originally released with a dust jacket, as well as a collector’s box, both of which are often missing (as is the case here).

Below are two editions of Poe’s poems, both issued by The Roycrofters (Elbert Hubbard’s Arts & Crafts group, based in East Aurora, NY, and known for their high quality book designs and printing). These are just two versions of many that were released in the same year (for a wealth of information relating to this and other titles published by The Roycrofters, this website is invaluable: Roycroft Books).

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Suede Spine Over Boards

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Suede Spine
Over Boards

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Half-Leather

Poems: Roycrofter Edition, Half-Leather

Poe’s first novel (and his only complete one), written more than ten years after his first poetic works, was The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, first released in 1838. It would be an influence on the nautical fiction of Herman Melville (Moby Dick) and Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). The Gold Bug was a short story, also in the adventure fiction category, which proved very popular during Poe’s lifetime.

A number of multi-volume sets of Poe’s complete works have been released (though, it is useful to note, many that purport to include his complete works do not – check those tables of contents!). Numerous decorative and collector’s editions are also available, and the serious collector can seek out original publications of his work, much of which was first printed in serial form in various literary magazines. In short, those interested in compiling a collection of Poe will find it difficult to grow bored.

For more information on the titles pictured here, click the image to view our full descriptions of these titles, and the specific editions.

 

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Arthur Gordon Pym: A Romance

Arthur Gordon Pym: A Romance

1845206

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe,
in Ten Volumes

1844965

Prose Tales

1830994

The Gold-Bug

1829519

The Bells

1829518

The Bells

Complete Poems: Easton Press Leatherbound Edition

Complete Poems:
Easton Press Leatherbound Edition

Published in: on June 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM  Leave a Comment  
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