Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - July - 2014 Issue

Fiction and the American Southwest from Back of Beyond Books

8fa87961-8204-4c98-9323-356cb140fe49

Fiction and the Southwest.

Back of Beyond Books recently released their Rare Book Catalogue No. 13. Back of Beyond generally specializes in books relating to their corner, or four corners, of the world. That is the four corners region of the American Southwest. However, this catalogue is different. It is focused mostly on fiction. There is a section of nonfiction, but most books come from the library of Milo McCowan. His collection was that of a “completist,” one who seeks everything possible from a particular author. In this case, the primary author was southwestern writer Edward Abbey, but the collection also covered writers who were friends of Abbey and others whose works are often associated with those of Abbey. Here are a few of these books, and some others in this latest catalogue from Back of Beyond.

 

We start with Mr. Abbey, a hard man to peg. Item 9 is his first novel, and the only one not at least partly centered in the Southwest. Abbey grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania before heading west. His first novel, Jonathan Troy, is about a young man growing up in small town Pennsylvania, though it is not autobiographical. It didn't take long for Abbey to come to despise his first work. He found it amateurish, filled with uses of others' styles. It was published in 5,000 copies in 1954 and never printed again. The result is it is not easy to locate. This copy is inscribed by Abbey to Cynthia Farah, who wrote a book about Southwestern writers. Priced at $6,500.

 

Item 3 is a signed first edition of Abbey's second book, The Brave Cowboy. It is a story about a modern-day cowboy who wishes to live as those of old. In it, the values that directed Abbey's life become evident. The cowboy rejects fences, modern technology, and most of all government authority, refusing to carry government identification or register for the draft. It gets him in deep trouble with authority, from which he tries to escape. This 1956 book was made into the film Lonely are the Brave, starring Kirk Douglas in the title role, in 1962. $5,000.

 

Item 14 is Abbey's best-known work, a first edition, first printing of The Monkey Wrench Gang. It was published in 1975, with this copy being inscribed by the author. It is a novel about a few eccentric characters who seek to protect the environment from those who would destroy it. Their most notable target is the Glen Canyon Dam, a massive project that dammed the Colorado River near the Utah-Arizona border, flooding much of the pristine canyon. Abbey sought to protect the desert wilderness from all comers, which makes him hard to peg by current political standards – he fought both government and industrial intrusion into the land. $2,750.

 

This next book also comes from a western writer, but of a different sort and from a different time. Zane Grey was a writer of what were traditionally known as “westerns.” He was the most notable of all such writers, especially during the first half of the 20th century. Grey was a dentist who loved the outdoors, like Abbey. He managed to turn his writing skills into a very different and successful career. Grey's first book was an historical novel, set in the Ohio Valley during the American Revolution. The title is Betty Zane. Betty was his great-great aunt. She risked her life to bring gunpowder to soldiers fending off attacks by Indians allied with the British. This copy has been signed by Zane (Grey, not Betty). Item 22. $3,500.

 

Here is a book that has as little to do with cowboys and the American West as any I can imagine: Eloise in Moscow. Eloise, of course, is the little girl in the children's books (meant for adults) by Kay Thompson. In this adventure, the resident of the Plaza Hotel in New York brings her havoc to the city of Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Item 102. $150.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION, Chicago, 1968). <i>Collection of papers of John M. Bailey, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, concerning the convention</i>. Various places, 1968.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (ARMSTRONG, NEIL.) VERNE, JULES. <i>A Trip to the Moon.</i> New York: F. M. Lupton, September 9, 1893. Signed by Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions