Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2016 Issue

Canadiana, Ireland, Antiquarian and More from Patrick McGahern Books

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Canada, Ireland, Antiquarian, Travel & Bibliography.

Patrick McGahern Books has issued a catalogue of Rare, Scarce and Interesting Canadiana, Ireland, Antiquarian, Travel, Bibliography, their Catalogue 242. There is certainly a wide selection of Canadiana, McGahern being located in Ottawa, but the other topics appear as well. Additionally, there are items that pertain to Canada's large neighbor to the south. There is much here collectors will enjoy, from the familiar to the obscure. Here are a few samples.

 

If you wanted to travel through America and Canada in the middle of the 19th century, this is the book you wanted: Appletons' Railroad and Steamboat Companion. Being a Travellers Guide through the United States of America, Canada... It specifies the northern, middle and eastern states, and specifically lists places like Niagara Falls, the White and Catskill Mountains, Saratoga and Virginia Springs. This was a railroad and steamboat guide, and when it was published in 1848, few railroads or steamboat lines went west of the Mississippi (except some steamboats on the Missouri). You visited the eastern half of the nation unless you had the courage to take a covered wagon out the Oregon Trail. The guide includes segments on the development of the railroads, then less than three decades old, and describes their routes, along with presenting numerous maps. Item 77. Priced at CN $350 (Canadian dollars, or approximately $272 U.S. dollars).

 

Here is a place where you still need to ride the rails if you wish to pay a visit. There are no highways to Churchill, Manitoba. Located on the west side of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, it is one very cold place, bitter through its long, dark winters, cool during its relatively brief summer. Item 36 is The Founding of Churchill. Being the Journal of Captain James Knight, Governor-in-Chief in Hudson Bay, from the 14th of July to the 13th of September, 1717. Knight's tale was edited by James F. Kenney and published in 1932. If you are wondering why Knight settled this distant, inhospitable place, it was to serve as a fort and trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. Europeans wanted fur, and some people were willing to put up with extreme conditions to fill the demand of those who lived in luxury far away. CN $125 (US $97).

 

The U.S. and Canada had many visitors from England in the early 19th century, some of whom wrote books. Not all were complimentary, to say the least, at least not about the United States. Captain Basil Hall recounts his visit in Travels in North America, in the Years 1827 and 1828. Published in 1829, Capt. Hall was surveying the U.S. and Canada to make recommendations to British emigrants. He did some extensive traveling in Canada and liked much of what he saw, particularly in Upper Canada (culturally British like himself). Hall was a bit upper crust and was not so impressed with the U.S. The Dictionary of National Biography writes, "His frank criticism of American customs excited the utmost indignation in the United States." Item 17. CN $900 (US $701).

 

Carl David Arfwedson visited America a few years later, and his impression was better, but then again, he was Swedish, not British, so perhaps he had less tendency to look down on country relatives with whom they had already engaged in two wars. Item 1 is Arfwedson's The United States and Canada, in 1832, 1833, and 1834. Like his French contemporary, de Toqueville, Arfwedson surveyed America's penal system, discussed its social and economic institutions, visited the Shaker community in Lebanon Springs, and crossed into Canada for further exploring. There he noted some unease and predicted principles of freedom emanating from the south would one day lead to rebellion. Three years later it happened, but the revolution was far weaker than the one in the U.S. and was quickly put down by the British. A contemporary reviewer in the Monthly Review spoke more favorable of his book, saying, "We are pleased with this work, it shall be our guide if ever we visit the United States. It steers clear of the aristocracy of Captain Hall, the flippancies and sneers of Mrs. Trollope, and the narrow-mindedness of a host of other travellers..." Mrs. Frances Trollope was another Britisher who looked down her nose at the unwashed rubes who populated the former colonies. CN $1,200 (US $936).

 

Once that rebellion of 1837 was put down, the British had to figure out what to do with some of those who participated. The answer was to get them out of their hair, or more precisely, ship them off to their penal colony in Australia. They transported 141 men there, nine of whom wrote books. This may be the rarest of them: Recollections of Life in Van Dieman's Land; By William Gates: One of the Canadian Patriots. It was published in 1850. Gates describes his time in Australia, which the prisoners did not much enjoy. Most, like Gates, were allowed to return home around 1845. Item 56. $10,000.

 

Patrick McGahern Books may be reached at 613-230-2277 or books@mcgahernbooks.ca. Their website is www.mcgahernbooks.ca.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.
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    <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.

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