Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2017 Issue

Radical Causes from Lorne Bair Rare Books

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Lorne Bair's Catalog 28.

Lorne Bair Rare Books has issued their Catalog 28. Bair specializes in radical literature, mostly from the left. Minority and workers' rights, economic justice, and similar causes dominate the material. This catalogue has been divided into four sections: African American History, Literature & Culture; Radical, Social & Proletarian Literature; Social Movements & Radical Thought; and Graphics, Art & Photography. These are a few of the items offered.

 

The 1930s was a high period for radical causes. Socialists, Communists, and unions found more receptive audiences, the result of the terrible poverty caused by the Great Depression. This book is not from one of the more radical movements, but did more than almost any other such writing to reach the mainstream with its portrayal of economic injustice and poverty experienced by so many ordinary Americans. It is a tale of a family of "Okies," Oklahomans forced from their farms by the Dust Bowl, seeking meager survival in the California farm fields. This book is, of course, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. The travails of the Joad family are well-known. Those who didn't read the book almost surely saw the movie, Henry Fonda playing the lead. The book was published in 1939, and this copy is a first edition, first printing, a fine copy with comparable dust jacket, not even price clipped. It is a good as they come. Item 97. Priced at $7,500.

 

Item 182 consists of a carte-de-viste captioned Mrs. Tennie C. Claflin, Broker, along with an autographed card of Miss Claflin (despite the "Mrs" in the carte-de-viste, she was unmarried). Tennie C. was a radical feminist, of sorts, though certainly not in the image of Susan B. Anthony. She wrote a book promoting women's rights, along with such things as free love, which probably didn't endear her to the movement. She and her sister, Virginia Woodhull, opened the first Wall Street brokerage run by women, and Ms. Woodhull was the first woman to run for President (she lost decisively, to say the least, to Ulysses Grant in 1872). On the other hand, the Claflin sisters were also known as scam artists. Among Tennie's other professions was giving spiritual readings, and who better to have intrigued by your readings, and perhaps other things (Tennie C. was quite attractive), than the aged Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the world's richest man? Well into his 70s, the Commodore provided the financial backing for the sisters' brokerage firm. When he died, Vanderbilt's son gave the sisters a healthy sum of money to move to England. Tennie C. hooked up with another wealthy elderly gentleman (though not on the Vanderbilt level) and became a Viscountess. $600.

 

Less removed in time is the Vietnam War era. The nation became sharply divided over a war that the government waged, and many, particularly older people, supported. On the opposite side, others, including a large portion of younger people, those who would be asked, and then forced, to go to war, sharply dissented. They at best saw the Vietnam War as serving no purpose, if not being an evil attempt by America to impose its will on others through violent force. Item 228 is an example of the latter point of view, a circa 1967 poster. It throws back an iconic moment in American history at America. It depicts a Vietnamese person riding a horse past a home in the dead of night, only the moon lighting the way, another person watching and listening from the door. Playing on Paul Revere's midnight ride, the caption states, The Americans Are Coming. $300.

 

Next we have a very bizarre comic book from Ovid P. Adams. Published in 1970, the title is The Adventures of Black Eldridge the Panther. It is a fictionalized tale of the life of Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver. On the cover, Cleaver is depicted with the severed head of a white man in his hand (in a sense appropriate for a man named "cleaver"). In the story, Cleaver is exiled in Algeria, which was accurate. After being involved in a shoot-out with police, Cleaver fled first to Cuba and then Algeria. While there, he broke with other Panthers who he felt had become too accommodating with whites. However, in this story, Cleaver covertly returns to the U.S. after hearing of a Black artist killed by a White racist in Utah. In revenge, he decapitates the leader of the conservative Mormon Church. There is great irony in this story that Adams could not have imagined in 1970. When he left Algeria, Cleaver went to France, where he became a born-again Christian and began manufacturing pants meant to make men look more manly. When he returned to America, he made his peace with the law and moved farther and farther to the right. He joined up with Sun Myung Moon's conservative Unification Church, and then, in the ultimate irony with this tale, became a Mormon. Continuing to move right, he became a conservative Republican, unsuccessfully seeking the party's nomination for senate in California. Cleaver died in 1998. Item 1. $850.

 

Item 98 is a compilation of early writings by H. G. Wells with a brief, but most intriguing, inscription. Wells grew up in a struggling family. His father, Joseph Wells, was not a successful man. A modest inheritance enabled him to open a shop, but it was no more successful than his other endeavors. Joseph set his son up with some apprenticeships. They did not work out. The result was Wells was a disappointment to his father, who was not much impressed by his son's interest in books and learning. In the early 1890s, Wells began writing short stories and essays for magazines, many of them humorous. He was a prolific writer, with some of these later culled to create this volume entitled Certain Personal Matters, dated 1898 (actually 1897). They were popular, and in 1895, he published his first novel, The Time Machine. While he had not yet reached his peak of recognition at this point, Wells was already reasonably successful and supporting his parents. This copy of Personal Matters has been inscribed by Wells to his father, with the brief words, "from his unworthy son." While it might be just a case of extreme self-effacement, it may also be a bit of a dig, as his father had made him feel unworthy, but by this time, Wells was far more successful than his father ever had been. $4,500.

 

Lorne Bair Rare Books may be reached at 540-665-0855 or info@lornebair.com. Their website is www.lornebair.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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.

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