Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2007 Issue

American Itinerant Ministers and their Odd Works from Garrett Scott, Bookseller

Unusual religious tracts from Garrett Scott, Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

A new collection of odd and eccentric works was recently released by Garrett Scott, Bookseller, a specialist in the unusual. This one is entitled, American Itinerant Ministers, Evangelists & Missionaries, including Conversion Narratives and Controversial Works (With an additional section of material relating to American Spiritualism). That title might seem long, but not by 19th century standards. While not wanting to sound impious, Scott notes that many of these items are similar to circus and other popular entertainment works he has handled in the past. He also notes that some writers stated later edition numbers in their books, evidently attempting to make them appear more in demand, "a demand I hope to reproduce...with this offering." With the clarification that some of these are actually more serious theological works, we will mention, as samples, some of those that are among the more entertaining.

Bertha-Charlotta Doering must have been a heavenly princess, based on the title of her book -- The Romance of a Heavenly Princess as Told by Herself. This item was published by the Trust in God Publishing House of Los Angeles in 1921. The Swedish- born evangelist made her way to Arizona, and while she forgave worldly possessions, she had "millions and millions to my credit in the heavenly Bank." However, she did fear her financial genius would lead others to believe she had "crack-brain" or "loose screw." This was a very reasonable fear. Item 27. $50.

Another personal account is given in the Autobiography of Elder Perrilla Dotson, National Evangelist of the Church of God in Christ, circa 1954. Elder Dotson recalls, "In 1954, I was operated on for a hernia and I was almost cut from side to side, and I had to have my waist line removed." How does one remove a waistline? I guess with God, all things are possible. Despite this rather horrendous sounding surgery, Ms. Dotson assures us that she has been truly blessed. Item 29. $45.

Wadsworth Tuck wrote his Interwoven: Letters from a Son to his Mother under the most unusual of circumstances. He was dead. A spirit medium helpfully intervened to pass these messages back to Mom. Tuck is able to assure his mother of the obvious, that there is life after death, and lets her know that "Father has a white gypsum house building for you, and ornamented with pink gems." Now you know there is gypsum in heaven, so having some expertise in working with this material is a useful skill you can take with you. Item 126, published in 1905. $45.

Item 112 is a startling, though overlooked, religious tract: Truth is a Beacon Light to Heaven...As Intuitively Received and Written by William Brown, of Buffalo, (A Sailor). Brown informs us, "Now God shows me that I am the very one that Jesus of Nazareth prophesized of, and Jesus of Nazareth tells me that I am the very one that he prayed for." What Jesus was doing in Buffalo in 1863 is unclear, but perhaps he wanted to see snow after the heat and deserts of Nazareth. This book is protected by the "Copy-Right Secured by a Progressive Act of God and Nature, and recorded on Nature's Great Eternal, Universal Page of Progression." Reprint this one at your own peril. $125.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: SIGNED. LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, photo-postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions