Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2012 Issue

The First Occasional List from John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller

Windle1

Occasional List One from John Windle.

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller has published Occasional List Number One. English Books, Fine Printing and Bindings. Windle is hardly new to catalogues, but this is a first of a planned “unknown number” of occasional lists. These are to be collections of around 50 items to be published on a regular basis. As the title notes, this catalogue is focused on English books and fine printing, either of which leave it open to an unlimited variety of topics. Here, then, are a few samples from this list number one.

Item 9 is a book designed to bring botany to the masses, in a manner of speaking. It is Erasmus Darwin's The Botanic Garden. It consists of two poems, Part I being The Economy of Vegetation, Part II The Loves of Plants. Offered is the third (preferred) edition of Part I with the Tornado plate engraved by William Blake, Part II a fourth edition (1794-95). Darwin was a scientist, physician, and poet, and though not nearly so well remembered as his grandson, Charles Darwin, he was a very popular figure in his day. Erasmus also developed a theory of evolution, but unlike his grandson, he never understood what made it tick (natural selection). These poems, especially the Loves of Plants, added an almost human element to their lives, giving the book the popular appeal necessary for Darwin to provide his readers with a certain amount of scientific instruction. Priced at $3,750.

Here is another book of poetry that received none of the popular acclaim achieved by Darwin's book when it was first released, but which fared much better the second time around. The title is Poems, by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, and it was first published in 1846. Those names may not be familiar, but that is because they were pseudonyms for the soon to be famous Bronte sisters. One thousand copies were printed by Aylott and Jones, but two years later, 961 copies remained unsold (only two or three copies actually sold, the other few given away). The sisters wisely turned to novel writing instead. In 1847, all three sisters would have books published, and they quickly ascended from unknown to popular authors, though at first still shrouded by pseudonymous identities. The result of their success was that Smith, Elder grabbed the unsold material and re-released it with a new cover and title page in 1848. This time the book sold. Sadly, the sisters had little time to enjoy their success. Emily died in 1848, Anne in 1849, and Charlotte, the last survivor, in 1855. Item 14 is a copy of the 1848 Smith, Elder edition of their poems (the 1846 one is essentially unobtainable). $1,250.

Item 49 is the biography of Mary Wollstonecraft by her husband, William Godwin: Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Wollstonecraft was a woman ahead of her time. Already an author of various books, including one on educating daughters, it was her Vindication if the Rights of Woman that garnered the most attention. She argued that women should receive an education comparable to that received by men, and should have the same fundamental rights as their male counterparts. She was hardly a radical feminist by today's standards. She explained that providing a greater education for women was useful as it would make them better companions for men. Nonetheless, her views were radical and far ahead of time in 1792. In 1797, Wollstonecraft gave birth to a daughter, also named Mary, and died ten days later from complications. Her daughter would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. After her death, Mary's husband, William Godwin, would write this biography of her. Wollstonecraft had led an unusual lifestyle for her era, including a couple of affairs and close relationships with women that shocked turn of the 19th century sensibilities. Godwin, a radical and anarchist not troubled by her history, believed in telling her story as it was, not as a sanitized fiction. The result was that her reputation was seriously tarnished, and it would take a century before she would be reexamined and her contributions to the rights of women again recognized. Offered is a second edition of Godwin's biography, the “corrected” edition of 1798 (same year as the first), designed to be slightly more acceptable than the first. $1,750.

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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