Rare Book Monthly
Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue
Literary Firsts, Histories, and Letters from Manhattan Rare Book
Here is a book that is easier to collect than to read. It is James Joyce's Ulysses. This is a rare first edition, one of 1,000 copies printed, and one of 750 on handmade paper. It is in unusually good condition for this edition, and comes with an early prospectus laid in. $40,000.
For all of you computer geeks out there, here is a classic manual. It is the first textbook on computer programming, published in 1951. The electrifying title is The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer. Written by Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler, and Stanley Gill, this first edition is signed by Wilkes. Wilkes foresaw the importance of programming skills at a time when most people were focused almost entirely on hardware. Wilkes developed EDSAC, regarded as the first electronic programmable computer in 1949. The enormous machine was capable of conducting 650 instructions per second. Slow, perhaps, by today's standards, but that was amazing speed when compared to that of human calculations. Today, the 92-year-old Wilkes lives in England and serves as a Professor Emeritus at Cambridge University. $1,900.
You may peruse the inventory of the Manhattan Rare Book Company online at www.manhattanrarebooks.com or reach them by phone at 212-326-8907.