Bizarre, Eccentric and Strange Books from Garrett Scott
In the 19th century there was a great fascination with little people that led many to become performers. Of course the best known was Tom Thumb, relentlessly hawked by P.T. Barnum, but there were also Princess Wee Wee, Chiquita the Living Doll, Prince Tinymite, Vance Swift the midget xylophonist, and Herdes Bridges, the Nazarene Midget Evangelist. Item 100 is a collection of various photographs, books, pamphlets, postcards and more pertaining to these little people. See the photo on the cover of this catalogue for a sample. $2,850.
Item 27 is I Am; A Novel of Psychotherapy, by Florence Blake-Hedges, published by the Roxburgh Publishing Company of Boston in 1910. This is the story of a baby, rescued from its dying mother, who grows up with clairvoyant powers, eventually ending up in madness. Along the way there is much discussion of neurosis, free will, and the like. In a burst of painful honesty, Scott informs us that this is, "A convoluted, eccentric and nearly unreadable novel, even when judged by the elastic standards of this bookselling concern." $75.
Reverend Silas Blake was not pleased with the woman's suffrage movement when he preached Woman's Rights. A Fast-Day Sermon: Preached in the South Congregational Church, Concord N.H., April 7, 1870. He offers a prayer to God to fence women off from the political arena, all the time assuring us that men have their best interests at heart. However, he is forced into some backtracking based on accusations he had called the women engaged in this movement "harlots." "If people will take the trouble to examine their dictionaries they will see there is a vast difference between a harlot and a harlequin," he explains. Surely there is, but one wonders whether the good Reverend really called them "harlequins" or the other "harl" word. That would surely have been an unusual reference for women, while the other one was quite commonly used. Anyway, Blake assures us that this word, whatever it was, was not used in reference to the leaders of this movement. However, unable to hold back, Blake adds, "Their haste to appropriate it is very suggestive." Item 26. $75.
To Armageddon! by James Miller (1870) is another one of these "printed for the author" books. Miller begins, "It is necessary that I should explain to the reader why an unlearned blind mechanic should undertake the work of pointing out to others the remedy for evils that exist in Christian society." The obvious reason is because no one else was pointing out the truth. Miller explains "that God has decreed that we must drink until we submit to the whole law, as the wine cup is the instrument with which He is overthrowing all his enemies." I'll go along with that, but Miller forgot to mention that God also decreed we eat lots of pizza, cake and ice cream, drive big cars, and run up enormous charges on our credit cards too as part of His plan to overthrow His enemies. Oh well. I'd rather have an "unlearned blind mechanic" preach to me than fix my car. Item 102. $100.