Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2015 Issue

Modern Literature from Peter Harrington

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Modern Literature A-K.

Peter Harrington has issued a catalogue of Modern Literature A-K. The “A-K” indicates the initials of the authors' last names, the implication being that we shall see at least one more catalogue in this vein. What we have here is 20th century literature, heavy in first editions, many copies signed or inscribed. With a few exceptions, the books are in the English language. Certain authors are represented by many books, such as Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner. You need to be an active writer to so qualify. Others are represented by few or only one, including those authors who did not write many books. In all, 255 books are offered, something, undoubtedly, for everyone who collects modern literature. Here, now, are a few examples.

 

Item 51 is Breakfast at Tiffany's, a novella accompanied by three short stories from Truman Capote. This 1958 book likely would have remained somewhat obscure were it not for the movie adapted from it a few years later. It is hard to picture the lead character as anyone other than Audrey Hepburn. This copy has been inscribed by Capote, which Harrington notes is quite uncommon. It was inscribed to Martha Hunt Robertson, an art teacher from Alabama (like Capote) who married another Alabaman, journalist and novelist William Bradford Huie, who was a friend of the author. Priced at $18,800.

 

Here is another inscribed copy of a book made even more famous by the film of the same name. Catch-22 is not only the book and film title, but has become an expression for any sort of situation where conflicting rules make it impossible to achieve a desired goal. Author Joseph Heller inscribed this 1961 book within a few weeks of publication to Everett Hoffman. He writes, “With all good wishes from a copywriter at McCall's to a copywriter at Cunningham & Walsh...” Item 194. $14,600.

 

Here is a book that was not made into a movie – Some Like It Hot. Wait a minute! Isn't that one of Marilyn Monroe's best known films? Yes it is, but not this Some Like It Hot. This is a steamy novel, written by Dorothy Herzog and published in 1930. Ironically, that is the time setting of the other Some Like It Hot. Dorothy Herzog was a newspaper columnist who gave novel writing a try, and wasn't particularly successful at it. However, this risqué novel did get the attention of officials in her hometown of Memphis. They censored her book. This copy has been inscribed by the author to the Danish-born actor Jean Pierre Hersholt. Item 204. $700.

 

This next book comes from an extremely prolific writer, but no ever thinks of him as a novelist. Rather, he was one of the great historians of the 20th century, a great historian because he was also one of the century's most important leaders. Winston Churchill led Britain through the dark days of the Second World War and then wrote a thorough account of it. He also wrote histories of numerous other events, both historical and of events in which he participated. However, he only wrote one novel. He wrote it as a young man, on his way to do battle in India. He finished it later and the book was published in 1900. The title is Savrola, that also being the name of the lead character. He is involved with a revolution in a fictional Mediterranean country. He ends up with the wife of the dictator who is finally overthrown, though the pair is forced to flee. The book was no more than a modest success, but it made Churchill some money on his way to much bigger things. Item 78. $1,900.

 

Item 127 is an obscurity by a very famous author – William Faulkner. The title is The Marble Faun, not to be confused with the book of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is actually a book of poetry, and those who have read it tend to describe it as rather amateurish, the work of a young man destined to be a great novelist, not a poet. It is quite rare. Only around 500 of a projected print run of 1,000 were printed, and most of them appear to have been either discarded or destroyed in a fire. Published in 1924, this was Faulkner's first book. He has inscribed it “To Dink from Bill Faulkner.” There is a mystery to that one as the bookseller has been unable to identify who “Dink,” was, though obviously they must have been on familiar terms. Faulkner later used a character named “Dink” in The Town. $101,300.

 

Item 38 is a first edition of Jorge Luis Borges' short stories and essays entitled Labyrinths. Published in 1962, it is Borges at his unusual best, stories of situations one might think of as Alice in Wonderland for adults. This is imagination and intellect intertwined, insanity that somehow sounds reasonable. $500.

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at +44 020 7591 0220 or mail@peterharrington.co.uk. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Chinese School. Album of Chinese rice paper paintings of St Helena and Napoleon, circa 1830s/1840s. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Speed (John).<i> The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine...,</i> 1676. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Laroon (Marcellus). <i>The Cryes of the City of London drawne after the Life,</i> 1st edition, 1688. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Thomas Sedgley binding. <i>The Holy Bible,</i> London, 1701, large folio. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Kipling (Rudyard). The Sussex Edition of the <i>Complete Works in Prose and Verse,</i> 1937-1939. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Dodgson (Charles). <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,</i> 1886, presentation copy. £500 to £800.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> German tarot cards. Napoleon tarock, Leipzig: Johann Gottfried Herbert, circa 1808. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Milne (A.A.). <i>The House at Pooh Corner,</i> 1928, inscribed limited deluxe edition of 20. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peter Pan. A unique 13.5m (44ft) long needlework nursery frieze, by Helen Stebbing M.R.S.T., 1936. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peak (Bob, 1928-1992). <i>U.S.A,</i> a mural produced for Trans World Airlines (TWA), 1971. £200 to £400.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Pride and Prejudice: a novel,</i> 3 volumes, 2nd edition, London: T. Egerton, 1813. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Hughes (Ted). Crow, 1st edition, London: Faber and Faber, 1970, signed presentation copy. £400 to £600.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books:<br>At Auction June 22, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann June 22:</b> George Mivart, <i>A Monograph of the Lories, or Brush-Tongued Parrots, Composing the Family Loriidae,</i> London, 1896. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann June 22:</b> Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr, <i>Atlas Coelestis in Quo Mundus Spectabilis et in Eodem Stellarum Omnium Phoenomena Notabilia, Homann Heirs,</i> 1742. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann June 22:</b> John Fisk Allen; & William Sharp, <i>Victoria Regia; or the Great Water Lily of America,</i> Boston, 1854. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann June 22:</b> Schenk & Valk, <i>America Septentrionalis,</i> Amsterdam, circa 1694. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann June 22:</b> Robert Burton, <i>The English Empire in America…Illustrated with Maps & Pictures,</i> London, 1685. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hobbes (Thomas). <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme & Power of a Common-Wealth,</i> first edition, first issue, 1651. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> [Burton (Robert)] "Democritus Junior". <i>The Anatomy of Melancholy,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, 1621. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fletcher (Giles). <i>Of the Russe Common Wealth,</i> first edition, Printed by T[homas] D[awson] for Thomas Charde, 1591. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Fraunce (Abraham). <i>The Lawiers Logike, exemplifying the praecepts of Logike by the practise of the common Lawe,</i> first edition, 1588. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fireworks.- Babington (John.) <i>Pyrotechnia or, A discourse of artificiall fire-works…,</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., first edition, Thomas Harper for Ralph Mab, 1635. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Gardening.- [Bonnefons (Nicolas de)]. <i>The French Gardiner instructing how to cultivate all sorts of Fruit-Trees and Herbs for the Garden, translated by John Evelyn,</i> third edition, 1675. £3,500 to £4,500.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Witchcraft.- F. (H.) <i>A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches…,</i> first edition, 1645. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Science.- Boyle (Robert). <i>The Origine of Formes and Qualities (According to the Corpuscular Philosophy),</i> first edition, Oxford, H. Hall for Ric: Davis, 1666. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Massinger (Philip). <i>The Unnaturall Combat. A Tragedie,</i> first edition, Printed by E.G. for John Waterson, 1639. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Plastic Surgery.- Read (Alexander). <i>Chirurgorum Comes: or the Whole Practice of Chirurgery,</i> first edition, Printed by Edw. Jones, for Christopher Wilkinson, 1687. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hall (Edward). <i>The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancaster & Yorke…,</i> [by Richard Grafton], 1550. £2,200 to £2,500.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Cosmetics.- Jeamson (Thomas). <i>Artificiall Embellishments. Or Arts Best Directions How to Preserve Beauty or Procure it,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by William Hall, 1665. £1,000 to £1,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Cool Hand Luke" | Paul Newman Academy Award® Nomination Plaque. USD$2500 - $3500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Hud" | Bound presentation script incorporating photographic stills. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "The Long, Hot Summer" | Movie Poster. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Joseph Heller | "Catch-22," inscribed to Woodward & Newman by author. USD$500 - $800
    <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> George H. W. Bush | Typed Letter Signed, Issuing a "Pardon" to Paul Newman. USD$1500 - $2000
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> William Jefferson Clinton | Inscribed Color Photograph. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Ken Kesey | Typed letter to “Paulnewman,” asking for further compensation for "Sometimes a Great Notion". USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "They Might Be Giants" | Costume sketches by Edith Head. USD$1000 - $2000

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