Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2013 Issue

The C.E.S. Wood and Sara Bard Field Collection from Back of Beyond Books

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The C.E.S. Wood and Sara Field collection.

Charles Erskine Scott Wood was a very unusual individual – an Indian fighter whose radical politics would make him a great supporter of their cause. Wood graduated from West Point in 1874, and served as an officer in the U.S. Army during the Nez Perce War of 1877. He was present when Nez Perce Chief Joseph finally thew in the towel after a long, brave resistance against overwhelming odds. It was Wood who wrote down the Chief's words at the final surrender, including the sad but memorable line, “I will fight no more forever.”

Wood went on to be a great friend of Chief Joseph. He also would become a friend to many other radical and liberal thinkers, including Clarence Darrow, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, Robinson Jeffers, Ansel Adams, Langston Hughes, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain. He later moved to Portland, Oregon, where as an attorney, he regularly supported labor and similar causes. His friendship with Mark Twain would be based on their both being ardent opponents of imperialism, making them opponents of the otherwise progressive president, Theodore Roosevelt. Later on, Wood left his wife for a much younger woman, Sara Bard Field, who shared his political ideals. They had been introduced by Darrow. The two settled in California, where he resided until he died in 1944 at the age of 91.

Back of Beyond Books recently issued a brochure of A Charles Erskine Scott Wood & Sara Bard Field Collection. It includes numerous writings by the two. She is Sara Field rather than Sara Wood as they were not married until Wood reached 85 years of age. He was unable to get a divorce from his first wife, so marriage was not possible until after she died. Wood and Field were both prose writers and poets, and Wood was an artist as well. Here are a few of their items from this collection.

Poems from the Ranges. This compilation came from the pen of C.E.S. Wood (he frequently used initials rather than his full name). They are poems set in the eastern desert of Oregon. It was published in 1929 in a run of 450, with the first 50 copies numbered and signed. This is #27 of the signed copies. The signed copies sold for $12.50 in 1929.

The Poet in the Desert. The previous item was not Wood's first work from Oregon's eastern desert. This one is a long poem that relates some of the problems Wood saw in society at the time of its publishing in 1915.

Selected Poems of Charles Erskine Scott Wood & Sarah Bard Field. This is a selection of poems by both of the writers, ones they chose themselves. The introduction describes it as “a tribute to a loving friendship of more than twenty years.” It was published in 1937, the year before they were finally able to marry, and Sarah Bard Field obtain a fourth name too. This was printed in a limited run of 250 copies by the noted fine printer, the Grabhorn Press.

The Beautiful Wedding. This is not about the authors' late in life wedding. This is Wood and Field's description of the wedding of her daughter, Kay, in 1930. It is “lovingly inscribed by The Chroniclers – Their Mother and Pops in the full belief that they will find it pleasant reading all their lives...” It was privately printed by the Grabhorn brothers.

Speech of Sara Bard Field. February the Fifteenth MDCCCCXXI at Washington D.C. That would be 1921. Women had finally been granted the right to vote the previous year, and Field was speaking for the presentation to Congress of the marble busts of suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. This copy is inscribed by Ms. Field. It was printed by another San Francisco fine printer, John Henry Nash.

The complete collection is priced at $5,700.

Back of Beyond Books may be reached at 435-259-5154 or andy@backofbeyondbooks.com. Their website is found at www.backofbeyondbooks.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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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