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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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