Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2010 Issue

A New Miscellany from Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller

Karmiole28

There are some very old books in Kenneth Karmiole's latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, has printed a New Miscellany #28. A miscellany it certainly is, which makes it difficult to otherwise classify what may be found. There are quite a few very antiquarian books in Latin, 16th and 17th centuries, even an item of incunabula. However, there are a great many not quite so old books that cover just about anything, so you will need to see this catalogue to know what type of material it contains. Nevertheless, here are a few excerpts.

Item 26 offers some advice for those who find one wife to be insufficient: Reflections upon Polygamy, and the Encouragement Given to that Practice in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, by Phileleutherus Dubliniensis (actually, Patrick Delany). Delany was a respected Irish preacher who wrote on Old Testament issues. Contrary to the implication of the title, Delany does not come down in favor of the practice of multiple wives. He is against it, but not for moralistic reasons as might be expected of a churchman, but for practical reasons, believing it is harmful for children and families. Delany was a good friend and supporter of his fellow Irish church leader and author of Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift. Priced at $500.

Item 78 is a copy of the massive Spanish history, The Generall Historie of Spaine... This title doesn't represent bad spelling, just the antiquity of this book. It is a first English edition of a history written in French by Louis Turquet de Mayerne. Mayerne covered Spanish history up to 1583, but translator Edward Grimstone then continued the book "up to these times" (1612). These would be particularly interesting times with regard to Spain from an English point of view as the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the changing balance of power it signaled, came a few years after Grimstone took over. $4,500.

Item 113 is an interesting look at genetics, such as they were in 1839: Intermarriage: or, The Mode in Which, and the Causes Why, Beauty, Health and Intellect, Result from Certain Unions, and Deformity, Disease and Insanity, from Others... We will not be so rude as to inquire into the parentage of author Alexander Walker, but he evidently was not quite as insightful as, say, Charles Darwin, who was developing a different theory at this time. Walker concluded that the forehead, sense organs, and "nutritive" organs of the body were passed down from one parent, while the other parent passed along the back of the head, brain, and locomotive organs. Queen Victoria was offered as proof. She had her father's forehead but her mother's mouth, or at least so said Walker. Anyway, this book was offered as a guide to selecting a mate, though it never managed to replace "natural" selection as a means of making that choice. $150.

Item 82 might be called a "Catholic captivity," the equivalent of many Indian captivities, horrible, sensational, and completely false. It is the Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of Her Sufferings During a Residence of Five Years as a Novice, and Two Years as a Black Nun, in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal. Maria Monk burst onto the scene in New York in 1836 (the year this tome was published), supported by some anti-Catholic ministers just as the first wave of Catholic immigrants was arriving. She told of her horrors in a Catholic convent in Montreal. Essentially her story was that the nuns had to travel through an underground tunnel to a seminary where they were forced to submit to the sexual demands of the priests. They were told that the priests were making great personal sacrifices, giving up marriage and family, so that the nuns could be saved, so this was the least the sisters could do in return. When babies were born of these illicit relationships, they were immediately baptized and then strangled. It made a sensational story, but when newspapermen and others investigated her claims, they found them wanting. Monk's description of the nunnery was totally inaccurate, and it turned out she had previously been committed by her mother to an asylum for insanity. Meanwhile, several anti-Catholic clergy battled for the profits from the book she had supposedly written. A dozen years later, long since discredited, Monk died in prison, arrested for theft and prostitution. $375.

Item 110 is Argonautica, a 1548 edition of this ancient classic by Gaius Valerius Flaccus. This is based on an ancient Greek tale, and is not the better-known version by Apollonius, the Greek librarian. It, too, is an epic poem, and not terribly original, bearing a resemblance to the earlier epic of the tale, but perhaps Flaccus' version was better suited for first century Rome where it was written. Flaccus' poem ends abruptly and early, leading to the belief that he probably died before his only surviving work was completed. Those unfamiliar with Argonautica may know it by its more recent film edition, Jason and the Argonauts. $675.

Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller, Inc., may be reached at 310-451-4342 or Karmbooks@aol.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions