Oak Knoll Books Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Old library lists can be particularly fascinating for bibliophiles as they let us see which books were deemed important in an earlier time. Item 300 is a Librarian's First Report to the Books Subcommittee on the Formation of the Library, June 30, 1851, with Lists of Books Suggested for Purchase. A new free library was being constructed for the people of Manchester, England, and Edward Edwards was asked to create a list for their reference department. He recommends 4,582 works, including four by Charles Darwin, who had not yet written "The Origin of the Species." $250.
Item 197 is a private press edition of Rudyard Kipling's With the Night Mail. A Story of 2000 A.D. This Arion Press printing is a bit unfair. Kipling wrote his portrait of a far-distant future world in 1905. However, Arion's edition was published in 1998, just two years before the story supposedly took place, and it was clear that Kipling's 2000 would bear little resemblance to the actual 2000. $300.
Item 444 is My Life's History, an autobiography by Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as "Grandma Moses." Mrs. Moses lived a rather ordinary life as a farmer's wife, raising five children, and spending her free time embroidering. However, as she grew old, arthritis made this difficult, so at the age of 78, she took up painting. Her work was first discovered in the window of a small, upstate New York drugstore in 1938, and within a few years, she became a celebrated, primitive artist, her work generally depicting rural scenes. She would go on to enormous popularity, not only in America, but Europe and Japan as well. One might think that an artist who started painting at age 78 would have a limited portfolio, but Grandma Moses proved to be a prolific painter, aided by the fact that she lived to be 101. She never stopped painting. This biography was published in 1952, when "Grandma" was still a mere 92 years old. It is signed and dated by the artist/author. $350.
Oak Knoll Books may be found online at www.oakknoll.com or phoned at 302-328-7232.