Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2011 Issue

A Miscellany from Michael Thompson Books

Thompson96

A miscellany from Michael Thompson Books.

Michael Thompson Books' latest catalogue comes with the title Autumn Miscellany Consisting of 100 Books, Mostly Recent Acquisitions, or List 96. We don't mean to be picky, but their last list of 100 books contained 101, this one 99. Mathematical precision aside, this catalogue presents a variety of material hard to pinpoint except with words like… "miscellany." That part of the title is spot on, so we will look inside and present a few of the miscellaneous items offered by way of sample.

 

There are several books in this catalogue that will interest those who collect in the field of women's rights. Item 13 is a look at the rights, or lack there of, of women in India in the first half of the 19th century:  Hindoo Female Education, by Priscilla Chapman, published in 1839. While this was pre-official British rule, the British East India Company was the effective ruler of much of the Indian subcontinent. This book was promoted by the Ladies Society for Promoting Female Education in India, a Liverpool based organization founded in 1821 to alleviate "the degraded and neglected state of females in India." It covers such topics as male-female relations, medicine, bathing, polygamy, and the condition of the poor. Plates show a school, orphanage, and village scene. Priced at $750.

 

Not that conditions were that great for women back in England at the time either. Item 18 is Selections from the Letters of Caroline Frances Cornwallis. Published in 1864, a few years after her death, these letters reveal the reformist principles of Ms. Cornwallis, a distant relative of the General who lost the American Revolution. She argued for the rights of the poor, slaves, and women. She believed that women were treated similarly to black slaves and called for their emancipation. $300.

 

One field in which women definitely did not participate in the early days was the great explorations. It probably wouldn't have been fun anyway being stuffed for years in a cramped, unsanitary, disease-ridden ship with a bunch of not very well-behaved men. One of the earlier female travelers was Ida Pfeiffer, an Austrian woman who undertook a couple of remarkable trips around the world. She did not begin traveling until after her husband had died and her children were grown, now in her mid-40s. The first of her two 'round the world trips came when she was 50. Item 71 is her A Lady's Travels Round the World, published in 1852. Mrs. Pfeiffer contracted a disease in Madagascar in 1857 and died the following year. $350.

 

What book has been printed in more copies than any book other than the Bible? The answer is Mao zhuxi yulu, and it has done quite well since the leader had a couple millennia head start. In English, this book is titled Quotations of Chairman Mao, though it is more commonly known as Mao's "Little Red Book." It is filled with the Chairman's wisdom, or whatever it was he promulgated. It was first published in 1964, and it quickly became required reading for the hundreds of millions of residents of China, hence its great popularity. Over a billion copies of this book have been printed, though it no longer is anywhere near as popular as it was during his lifetime, and it is dubious that it will continue to be a bestseller a couple of millennia hence. Item 52 is a copy of the first edition in its earliest state, with the endorsement of Lin Piao (or Biao). Lin was a skilled military commander who accompanied Mao on the Long March. In 1964, he had this book of quotations from Mao published, providing the book's endorsement. However, his endorsement was later removed or blotted out of most copies when he was accused of plotting to overthrow Mao. Lin died in a plane crash while attempting to escape the country. His name became the symbol of everything counterrevolutionary and evil in Communist China. This copy comes with the earliest state off-white cover, ironic for the "Little Red Book." $15,000.

 

Item 53 is the same book, also from 1964, with the second state cover. This one has the red vinyl binding from whence came the name "Little Red Book." $18,000.

 

Item 98 is Charlotte Yonge's What Books to Lend and What to Give… published in 1887. Yonge was a very popular and prolific writer of the 19th century who has been mostly ignored or forgotten in modern times. She was a devoutly Christian woman whose religious views influenced many of her writings, this one included. Here she argues for a parish school to have a good library, as "a library is an almost indispensable adjunct to a school, if the children are to be lured to stay at home instead of playing questionable games in the dark." Perhaps, but I don't think the library has been invented that young people would prefer to "playing questionable games in the dark." $450.

 

Michael Thompson Books may be reached at 323-658-1901 or mrtbksla@pacbell.net. Their website is www.mrtbooksla.com.

 

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.

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