Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2010 Issue

A Miscellany including Printing History, Bibliography, from Michael Thompson Books

Thompson94

101 books from Michael Thompson Books.


By Michael Stillman

Michael Thompson Books has published a Spring Miscellany Consisting of 100 or So Books, Mostly Recent Acquisitions, including a large selection of titles on printing history and bibliography. We can be even more specific. There are exactly 101 books in this catalogue. Otherwise, we will go with Thompson's description as it stands. However, we will add a few examples of the books being offered.

Item 18 is A List of the Writings of Lewis Carroll (Charles L. Dodgson) in the Library at Dormy House, Pine Valley, New Jersey (1928) along with A Supplementary List... (1933). One would not necessarily expect to find the finest collection of Carroll material in New Jersey, but that is where it was in the 1930s (and mostly still is, now at the Princeton Library, to which it was willed in 1944). Dormy House was the home of Morris Longstreth Parrish, a businessman and stockbroker, obviously quite successful if not well remembered today. He put together major collections from Victorian novelists, Carroll being one of them. His collection would expand a few years later when Parrish acquired the mathematical manuscript collection of Professor Dodgson, that being Carroll's real name and primary occupation when he was not writing his novels. An aged Alice Hargreaves, the Alice of Carroll's writings, stayed at Dormy House in 1935 on a trip to America to celebrate the author's 100th birthday (a bit late). Parrish left not only his book collection, but also the furnishings of Dormy House when he died in 1944 so that its main room could be recreated in the Princeton Library. This copy of his bibliography (only 66 were printed) has been inscribed to Dickens bibliographer Thomas Hatton. Priced at $2,000.

We will now transition from the collection at Princeton University to one of its first presidents, Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was a great mind and one of America's foremost theologians, most associated with the First Great Awakening in the 18th century. His preaching was a bit to the fire and brimstone side compared to mainline religion today, and even then, he could be controversial. What may not be as well remembered about him is that he had a deep interest in science, believing that it displayed God's rules, rather than contradicting them. Of particular interest to Edwards were spiders, though I have no idea why. Item 35 is Edwards' Spider Letter, published in 2009 (two and a half centuries after he died). Written in 1723 to Judge Paul Dudley, a friend of his father, the young Edwards discusses arachnids, a subject that fascinated him as a youth. $475.

Item 16 is the great work of the Spanish scientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal: Textura del sistema nervioso del hombre y de los vertebrados. It is a look at the nervous system of vertebrates. It was Cajal who discovered the basic structures of the nervous system, neurons or nerve cells. He then studied how they interacted, recognizing the presence of small gaps, or synapses between the cells. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1906 for his discoveries. This rare first edition of his book, two volumes with hundreds of original illustrations, was published in 1899-1904. $25,000.

Francis Parkman's account of The California and Oregon Trail remains the most noted book about this region from the early days of travel across it, though Parkman did not get farther than Wyoming on his journey. This Boston Brahmin was an excellent storyteller as well as adventurer, though his descriptions of the savages at times display his ethnocentric opinions. Offered is a first edition, second printing of this notable work, along with a letter from Parkman to fellow writer William Leete Stone. $6,500.

Item 81 is an intriguing item for booksellers and collectors: Slightly Foxed - but Still Desirable: Ronald Searle's wicked world of Book Collecting, published in 1989. This is one of 150 specially bound copies signed by Searle. It is a compilation of cartoons depicting various bookseller's terms, such as "cracked, but holding," "neat underlining," and "a little dog-eared but otherwise acceptable." $950.

Michael Thompson Books may be reached at 323-658-1901 or mrtbksla@pacbell.net. Their website is www.mrtbooksla.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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