Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2008 Issue

A Miscellany from Forest Books

Forest3

Miscellany Three from Forest Books.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from Forest Books of Redmile, Nottinghamshire, England, is their Miscellany Three. A "miscellany" is hard to describe, since it can contain just about anything. For an American reader (though perhaps not a British one), a common thread is the material is mostly quite old, many 18th to early 19th century works, some even older. Indeed, it starts with a book from Naples not young even by incunabulan standards (is that a word?). It is a printing of St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei from 1477. Other books offered are not quite so antique, and most are in English, so they are easier for this writer to describe. Now, here are a few descriptions.

Item 20 recounts a spectacular 45-mile voyage through the air, in just two hours and fifteen minutes. That may not sound so impressive today, but the year was 1784, within a year of the first manned balloon flight. Jean Pierre Blanchard's account was published that year in An Exact and Authentic Narrative of M. Blanchard's Third Aerial Voyage, from Rouen in Normandy, on the 18th of July, 1784. Blanchard and American Dr. John Jeffries would make the first successful flight across the English channel the following year, and Blanchard would visit America a decade later, where his flights would be viewed by George Washington and many other of America's early leaders. He also made America's first airmail delivery during his visit. Blanchard even demonstrated the first successful parachute jump, though the actual leap was performed by an unwitting animal rather than Blanchard himself. Priced at £875 (British pounds, or US equivalent of roughly $1,773).

Item 53 is an amazing tale of the dangers faced by seafarers of another generation. The title says it all: A Faithful Account of the Distresses and Adventures of John Cockburn, Mariner, and Five other Englishmen; Who were taken Prisoners by a Spanish Pyrate, treated in the most Inhuman Manner, set on Shore, on a Uninhabited Island, Naked and Wounded, and obliged to Travel over Land from the Gulf of Honduras to the Great South-Sea, being 2400 Miles. This was a story so fanciful as to be unbelievable, but Sabin, quoting Lowndes, tells us it was true – "A curious and authentic narrative, and appeared so extraordinary as to be looked upon as little better than a romance." Cockburn was an ordinary seaman who, with a few crewmates, was left on an uninhabited island by pirates. They eventually made their way to shore in Mexico and proceeded on their long journey through Central America to find transport back home. Along with recounting the terrible sufferings of these men, the book provides much information about the natives and natural history of a land not well known to the outside world in the early 19th century. Offered is a 1740 edition of a story published in many editions under different titles beginning in 1735 (the journey took place in 1730-31). £895 (US $1,813).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions