Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2016 Issue

Canadiana and Antiquarian Books from Patrick McGahern Books

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Canadiana & Antiquarian Books.

Patrick McGahern Books has published a catalogue of Rare, Scarce and Interesting Canadiana & Antiquarian Books. That does sum up what you will find. Everything will qualify as antiquarian, and a large number are in some way related to Canada as well. Some are not. The United States and Scotland get their due. Here are some items available from the Ottawa bookseller.

 

We start with Three Years in Canada: An Account of the Actual State of the Country in 1826-7-8, published in 1829. The author, Scotsman John MacTaggart, was not an explorer or a tourist. He was a civil engineer who came to Canada for specific purpose. He was hired to be the Clerk of the Works for the construction of the Rideau Canal. The canal covers 160 miles of what was then back country, running from Ottawa city to Kingston, on the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It combines various existing lakes and waterways with canals in a network which runs from Lake Ontario to the Ottawa River in Ottawa. Through the Ottawa River, it then created a water route from Montreal to Lake Ontario. Since there already is a water route from Montreal to Lake Ontario – the St. Lawrence River – it might seem superfluous. It was. However, the British were concerned that in case of another war with the U. S. (the War of 1812 still fresh on their minds), they feared the Americans could block shipping of arms on the St. Lawrence which forms part of the border. The Rideau provided an alternative. It turned out, the U. S. and Canada never went to war again, so the canal was not needed for military purposes. It was used for commercial shipping for awhile as it was a smoother route than the St. Lawrence until locks made that more direct river route the better choice. Today, the Rideau Canal is still open, used more for tourist travel. You might wonder how the canal can operate. Doesn't the water freeze? Of course it does. It's Canada. It is open for boating May-October. However, in the winter, five miles of it in Ottawa becomes a long skateway, used for recreation or even for commuters working in the city. Icy weather may make the roads dangerous for commuting, but not the Rideau Canal Skateway. As for Mr. MacTaggart, he became ill in 1828, either from drinking, the malaria which killed so many construction workers, or both, and returned to England, where he wrote his account, but died in 1830, two years before the canal was completed. Item 30. Priced at CAD $1,100 (Canadian dollars, or approximately $839 in U.S. currency).

 

Here is a man not generally associated with Canada, and yet Canada appears in the title of Henry David Thoreau's important collection of essays: A Yankee in Canada, With Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers. It was published in 1866, four years after Thoreau's death, edited by friend Ralph Waldo Emerson and others. Many of the essays had appeared in magazines, or were lectures Thoreau had given. The book's title comes from an 1853 magazine article entitled An Excursion to Canada. He had visited Quebec, and writes about his visit, what he saw, and the French Canadians. It is an entertaining essay, though not one of his heavyweight pieces. Most notable in this collection is an essay that originally appeared in 1849 under the title Resistance to Civil Government, but now renamed Civil Disobedience. In it, he expounds on his view that we are to follow our conscience, not government directives, when we believe the government is wrong. Thoreau believed that not even democratic governments should be blindly followed, as democratic governments could be just as wrong as any other form if the majority was in error. At one point, Thoreau implemented his principle by not paying a tax on the grounds that it was used to support a government that enforced slavery, and had acted as an imperialist power in conducting the Mexican War. He spent a night in jail until someone paid his tax for him. Thoreau's principles would become motivations for Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the next century, though they also are followed by some on the right end of the spectrum these days who deny government authority. Item 54. CAD $1,200 (US $915).

 

Item 2 provides a biography and a travel account of Arctic explorer Salomon August Andree: Andree And His Balloon, by Henri Lachambre and A. Machuron. Andree was a Swedish engineer who became fascinated with balloon travel. He also was interested in scientific exploration in the far north, in which he participated. He combined the two to plan for a balloon mission to the North Pole, which no one had reached when he first set out in 1896. However, high winds forced the mission to be canceled. The following year he set out again, and once more climatic conditions were less than ideal. This time, with all the backing and interest he had generated, Andree felt he could not back down. He and two companions set out. They immediately had trouble with the ropes that were supposed to drag on the ground, serving as a rudder. They had no control, other than to follow the wind, which was not leading them to the pole. Within three days, the balloon came down on the pack ice, perhaps intentionally as they were going the wrong way. They were well supplied and headed east, but the movement of the ice was greater than their progress and they drifted west. They changed directions and eventually made it to White Island, a far northern part of Norway. However, they were exhausted, and for reasons not entirely clear, perhaps disease, perhaps being worn out, they all died within two weeks. The outcome was unknown to the authors of this 1898 biography, which focuses on Andree's earlier life and missions. It was not until 1930 that their bodies, along with a diary and photographs, were found. Item 2. CAD $200 (US $152).

 

Catherine Parr Traill grew up in genteel society in England, but in 1832, she, her sister, and their husbands emigrated to Canada. It was a harsher life than they expected. Traill was a writer and wrote several books about roughing it in Canada, and a guide for newcomers. Item 55 is a different type of book. She also loved nature and excelled at writing detailed descriptions of it. This book is Canadian Wild-Flowers. Traill provided the copy while her niece, Agnes Fitzgibbon, provided the paintings and lithographs of the wildflowers. They are displayed on ten hand-colored plates. This is the 1869 issue of the book first published in 1868, which quickly sold out. CAD $1,500 (US $1,146).

 

Patrick McGahern Books may be reached at 613-230-2277 or books@mcgahernbooks.ca. Their website is www.mcgahernbooks.ca.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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