Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2016 Issue

Peter Harrington Offers Modern Literature

Modern Literature.

Peter Harrington has issued a catalogue of Modern Literature. There really isn't much more you can say in terms of a description of this catalogue. Those two words say it all. Perhaps a brief explanation of "modern" will help. The books and occasional manuscripts are from the twentieth century. With that, we really can't add much else, so let's take a look at a few of the items found inside.

 

We begin with a work of science fiction. This one combines science with the strange and the humorous, one of the more successful books of its genre. Item 1 is The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is the true first edition, first impression, the paperback that preceded the first hardback edition. It has been inscribed by author Douglas Adams. The story tracks the last human on earth, rescued by an alien friend shortly before the earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar highway. That alien works for a travel guide with the same title as Adams' book. It then describes their experiences and the various beings they meet. It also recounts earth's role in finding the meaning of life. The answer to that eternal question, in case you're wondering, is 42. However, the price of this copy is £2,000 (British pounds, or roughly $2,581 in U. S. dollars).

 

One good destroyed earth deserves another. Here is another work of science fiction that also starts with the premise of earth being destroyed. However, in this case, a colony escapes to settle Mars (and do unto the Martians what happened to the earthlings). Item 23 is a first edition, first printing of The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury, published in 1950. Bradbury had actually written a bunch of short stories, but no publisher was interested in them until one suggested he tie the stories together to make it something of a novel. £1,500 (US $1,936).

 

Item 150 is an autobiography (sort of) by a man not noted for being an author, or for anything else nice. It is My Autobiography by Benito Mussolini. He became Prime Minister in 1922 and ruled Italy with increasing dictatorial authority until 1943. After two years of conflicting leadership in Italy, Mussolini, still tied to the now collapsing Nazi regime in Germany, was captured by Italian partisans and executed. However, none of these dark days for the Fascist dictator are covered in this autobiography as it was published in 1928, as Mussolini was consolidating his power. It was published in English in New York, a propaganda piece by Mussolini recounting his career. We described it as "sort of" an autobiography as the "author" actually dictated it to his brother, who then had the book written by ghostwriters. It was first published earlier that year as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post, but this is the first edition, first printing in book form. It was not published in Italy at the time, and only published in his homeland in 1971. £875 (US $1,129).

 

Speaking of magazines, here's an item that fooled me at first. It is an inscribed gun magazine by Hunter Thompson, the fearful and loathsome but most entertaining writer. It was inscribed on July 4, 1985, at his residence near Aspen, Colorado – Owl Farm – and also says "Good Shooting" and something else whose meaning I can't decipher. When I saw the description "signed gun magazine" I figured it was a copy of Guns & Ammo or something like that. However, this is not a paper magazine, but the device that holds the ammunition in a gun. It has been spent so it is safe. Item 208. £2,250 (US $2,904).

 

Here is a book with a very formal inscription that belies the intrigue beneath. It is a reprint of the 1914 Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is inscribed, "To Mrs Dearholt, with kindest regards, Mr Burroughs. February 3, 1935." Mrs. Dearholt was actress Florence Gilbert. She married fellow actor Ashton Dearholt and retired to private life. In 1934, Ashton Dearholt went into the film business with Burroughs, and led an expedition to Guatemala to film The New Adventures of Tarzan. Dearholt both filmed and acted in this masterpiece. When he returned home, he brought along costar Ula Holt and insisted to his wife that she be allowed to move in with them. Mrs. Dearholt was not pleased. She was seriously not pleased, divorcing her husband instead, who promptly married Ms. Holt. However, not all was lost for Mrs. Dearholt. Two months after Burroughs formally inscribed this book to Mrs. Dearholt, he married her. He had recently divorced his first wife. Presumably, all was forgiven between the Burroughs and Mr. Dearholt as they remained in the film business together for a few more years until their studio was shut down for financial reasons. Item 30. £3,750 (US $4,843).

 

Peter Harrington may be reached at 020 7591 0220 (USA 011 44 20 7591 0220) or mail@peterharringtonbooks.com. Their website is www.peterharrington.co.uk or www.peterharringtonbooks.com (for U.S. customers).

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions