Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2008 Issue

Unpublished Faulkner and Marx (Groucho) Highlight Latest from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper172

Unpublished Faulkner and Marx (Groucho) highlight James Pepper’s latest catalogue.



By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued their Catalogue 172. It is their latest collection of items mostly either associated with film or theater, or first editions of literary works. Many of these items are signed, and a few include comments or inscriptions. Particularly interesting are a couple of works by well-known writers that never were published. Here are a few selections from this most recent catalogue.

Item 143 is a signed first edition of one of the greatest American plays of the 20th century. It is A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, a not-so-happy tale of a Southern family published in 1947. Pepper comments that this book is "rarely encountered signed." The play, starring Marlon Brando, opened on Broadway later that year, and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1948. Brando would reprise his role in the movie released in 1951. Priced at $25,000.

Item 46 is an unfinished 12,000-word screenplay created by William Faulkner in 1933. At the time, Faulkner was struggling to make a living off of his novels, and figured he could better support his family with some Hollywood work. The screenplay is entitled Louisiana Lou - Bride of the Bayou. Faulkner was writing for director Tod Browning of MGM. We are not certain what happened to Louisiana Lou, but MGM released Lazy River, set in New Orleans, the following year, and some sources say Faukner provided an uncredited screenplay for this film. Faulkner also recounted traveling to New Orleans at the time to work on a film for MGM. We suspect Louisiana Lou and Lazy River are very similar. This signed typescript is part of an archive that also contains a letter from Faulkner to Browning concerning the project and a couple of telegrams from MGM to Faulkner. Priced at $45,000.

Here is another manuscript that never made it to the printer. It was meant to be a revised edition of Groucho Marx's Many Happy Returns! An Unofficial Guide to Your Income Tax Problems. Groucho's book was published in 1942, but in the 1950s, he wished to provide an updated version. Marx wrote several new chapters for the book, and made revisions to others. Among the new chapters were, "The Author Is Investigated," "Warning to Rich Cats and Dogs," "The New Television-Deep Freeze Tax," "The Marx Tax Plan," and "How To Keep a Diary." Pepper notes the 43-page manuscript "has some very hilarious Groucho humor, all of which has never been seen before." Included is an envelope from Simon and Schuster, who published the first edition, postmarked April 2, 1956. Perhaps they weren’t satisfied, but while Groucho and the Marx Brothers' film career had fairly well wound down by then, Groucho was riding high on TV with his "You Bet Your Life" quiz show. Item 88. $15,000.

Item 87 is Room Service. A Play by John Murray and Allen Boretz. This is an advance review copy of the 1937 play which opened that year on Broadway. A year later, it was made into a film, starring Groucho and his brothers and a young actress named Lucille Ball. $650.

Here is an autograph you should look at very closely to decide what you see. Item 109 is a signed letter from psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach, of Rorschach test fame, to a fellow in the trade, Eugen Bleuler. It contains his diagnosis of a patient. This was one of the last writings by Dr. Rorschach. He died just eleven days later at age 37 of appendicitis. $7,500.

James Pepper Rare Books may be found online at www.JamesPepperBooks.com, telephone 805-963-1025, email pepbooks@aol.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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