Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2007 Issue

Texas and Outlaws from Maggie Lambeth Rare Books

Lambeth54

Texas and Some Outlaws from Maggie Lambeth.


By Michael Stillman

Maggie Lambeth Rare Books
has issued a new and extensive catalogue of Texas and Some Outlaws. There is also a bit of New Mexico in here, but perhaps they are unreconstructed Texans who still believe in those old boundaries which placed most of New Mexico within the borders of the Lone Star state. Offered are 425 items, few very expensive, and yet many fairly obscure and providing information that will be hard to find elsewhere. For example, there are numerous county histories available. Texas has a lot of counties, and you will not find information about them all that easy to obtain. County histories tend to be short-run printings with limited distribution, but Maggie Lambeth manages to come up with several that will appeal to those focused upon a particular region in this large state. Here are a few of the items from this latest catalogue, which provide samples though hardly an overall view of the varied subjects these books cover.

John Lomax was the premier preservationist of America's folk music. Along with his son Alan, he traveled the American South during the 1930s, using relatively new portable recording equipment to record rural folk musicians. He especially focused on prisons, where he found many black folk and blues singers whose art was still mostly uninfluenced by jazz and more modern musical trends. His recordings, gathered for the Library of Congress, preserved countless examples of traditional American music that otherwise would have been lost. However, long before he packed up his car with recording equipment and hit the road, John Lomax was already preserving traditional music, especially from his home state of Texas. One of these contributions is the 1919 book Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp. This is a moo-ving tribute to the music of the real cowboys, before they were co-opted by the Hollywood singing "cowboys." Item 239. Priced at $125.

Here is the story of one of those outlaws: Rube Burrow; King of the Train Robbers. Burrow was an Alabama native, an apparently law abiding son of a respectable family who set off for Texas as a young man to become a cowboy. Somewhere along the way of his cow-poking career, Burrow decided to go for the bigger and easier money afforded by train robbing. His first heist came in 1886 when he robbed $300 from a train in Bellevue, Texas. This was followed by a more successful $4,000 haul, which in turn led to a long string of robberies. His modus operandi was to sneak into the cabin at a stop, and force the engineer to halt the train somewhere out of town. Burrow developed something of a reputation as a Robin Hood as he only stole from the rich. Well…duh. He apparently did help out some people in need, particularly family when he returned to Alabama. On a less pleasant note, he is believed to have killed a postmaster and perhaps a few others. In 1890 he was captured, escaped, but shot and killed by one of the men who had captured him. Carl Breihan's 1981 book about Burrow is item 67. $100.

For those with an interest in cookbooks, here is an unusual title: Mrs. Rasmussen's Book of One-Arm Cookery. The book was written by Mary Lasswell in 1946 and carries her inscription. Ms. Lasswell believed a cook should be able to prepare a meal in one pot over an open fire. The book and its strange title were named for a lady who supposedly cooked with only one arm so that her other hand would be free to hold a beer. This really sounds more like a cookbook for men. Item 122. $60.

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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