Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2011 Issue

A Fish Story:  1906

Eddyville at its peak: 1840

Diminutive size has its advantages or had its advantages, when the smaller than small town of Eddyville in Ulster County, New York in the shadow of Rondout [now deceased] decided to conceal from public view and the prying eyes of nearby newspapers and neighborhood gossipmongers, facts that unvarnished might have damaged the budding reputation and dampened the ambitions of a community seeking to become the fishing capital of the world.  Such is the price of ambition that conspiracies may emerge on the wings of best intentions, born to flight by the prospect of profit, the much-maligned footman to the wealthy.  Almost to a man the male residents of the town owned frontage on the noble Rondout Creek, to hear it explained locally, a Riviera like France’s, only better.  Local pride knew no bounds; neither did the need for ready money that was in short supply as misbegotten Americans, immigrants and tourists increasingly failed to appreciate the mystic power of the place.   As luck would have it, as all eyes shifted west, a gory story threatening the prospects and property values of this little berg, unfolded: the disappearance of swimmers and the sighting of a monster during a peaceful summer swim in the mighty Rondout.

Disasters have a way of focusing the mind and potentially undermining the appeal of a community whose virtues had long gone unremarked except by clients of Longshore’s Saloon where a thirsty man could replenish fluids and retail gibberish.  There, in the clouded awareness of the inebriated, the virtues of Eddyville went uncontested while distant places were damned, diminished and declared underrated.  A visitor could be forgiven for feeling lost in time for if one asked for directions all references given were to the sixty year old Burr maps of Ulster County of the 1840s that showed Eddyville as the equal or better of most of the burgs, in fact a dominant place and veritable giant compared to the snip of a whistle stop Poughkeepsie just a few miles southwest.  One had to go north to Albany or south to New York to find something more extravagant.  Later maps would shrink and then drop Eddyville altogether, an insult and, to local minds, evidence of incompetence.  As locals were wont to say, “they aut’ta knew better.”  As a consequence, in the gathering sundown in Eddyville each night, the resurrection bruited on Sundays at the First Baptist found its confirmation on earth in the liquor-lubricated prospect that this little Lazarus would rise again.  Again you ask?

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
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    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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