Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2012 Issue

Books from a Signed, Western Collection from Back of Beyond

Backbeyondhapnewyear

A collection from a Western collector.

Back of Beyond Books has issued... not quite a typical catalogue. It comes with the heading Happy New Year!, but we believe this is more a salutation than a title. Inside, there are listings with brief descriptions, rather than the typical more detailed, illustrated offerings. Back of Beyond promises a more standard catalogue will be on its way next month.

For now, this is a selection of a large group of books recently obtained from a collector. It is focused, like Back of Beyond, on the American West, and includes both fiction and non-fiction. Most of the books are signed and are in fine condition. This is a substantial collection, and most of the books are appropriately priced for collectors of any financial means. Here are just a few of these newly acquired works.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of short stories from Native American writer Sherman Alexie, drawing on his own experiences. Published in 1993. $35.

Next is number 85 of the 250-copy 1985 tenth anniversary edition of Edward Abbey's most noted work, The Monkey Wrench Gang. This tale of resistance at the time of the building of the Glen Canyon Dam is signed by Abbey and includes a laid-in signed print by R. Crumb. $1,100.

Here is a mystery tale by Brad Dimock, published in 2001: Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde. The newlywed Hydes set off down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1928. Glen hoped to set a speed record running through the Grand Canyon, and Bessie hoped to be the first woman documented to have made the trip. They are known to have made it to the Grand Canyon, as they hiked up the Bright Angel Trail and had their pictures taken. That was the last anyone saw of them. Their boat was later found, but no trace of the Hydes was ever located. Most believe they were swept away by the rapids. $60.

Andrea Peacock published an unhappy story about a small, rural town in 2003: Libby, Montana: Asbestos & the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation. Mining of asbestos began in the early part of the 20th century in Libby, when everyone thought the substance was an excellent fire retardant with no downside, but as it became more and more obvious that the substance was killing the people of Libby, the mine owner seemed more interested in protecting itself than the townspeople. $25.

Here is a crime-related story: Butch Cassidy, My Brother, by Lula Parker Betenson. Cassidy's real name was Robert Leroy Parker. Most people believe that the famed gunman was gunned down in South America in 1908, but Mrs. Betenson maintained that he came to a family reunion in 1925 and lived until 1937, though she did not see him again. Her book was published in 1975, and if you are wondering why the sister of a man most believed died in 1908 was still writing books in 1975, she was 18 years younger than “Butch” and lived to be 96. $50.

It may not be obvious, but postcards can tell us a lot about history. These are the images people would send home to friends about the places they visited, back in the day when postal mail was the major form of communication. Charles Harbert prepared a limited edition (250 copies) book in 2006 entitled Colorado History...Insights and Views Through Postcards. $150.

Next we have Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields, a 2010 book by Charles Bowden. The “global economy” that runs through Juarez, sadly, is the drug trade. As an aside, you can stand in El Paso, which justifiably advertises itself as the safest city in America, and look across the Rio Grande at Juarez, probably the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere, where murders go on every day at a frightening pace. It is hard to understand. $50.

Back of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is found at www.backofbeyondbooks.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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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