Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2007 Issue

Cinema and Literature from James Pepper Rare Books

The latest collection from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books
has issued its Catalogue 166 of "literary first editions, mystery and detective fiction, rare cinema material, and assorted unusual offerings." This catalogue will not surprise, but will certainly please those familiar with Pepper's offerings. The material is similar to other catalogues, but new. It is filled with the names of writers and actors, books and films, that everyone knows. Here is a look inside.

Item 22 is a most interesting first edition of the Cole Porter classic Kiss Me, Kate -- A Musical Play, from 1953. It contains a lengthy inscription from actress Patricia Morison, explaining how she got the leading role. Writes Ms. Morison, "I had been in films for years, and wasn't known as a singer... My manager Wynn Rocamora drove me to Cole Porter's home on Rockingham, telling me that it wasn't really an audition, just to let me get used to singing in front of people. In front of Cole Porter! I was terrified, and sang Rodgers and Hammerstein. He jumped up from the piano and handed me the score of 'Kiss Me, Kate' and 'take it home and learn it' he said. It was a special moment in my life." Special indeed. She sings Rodgers and Hammerstein in front of Cole Porter and gets the job anyway. Ms. Morison's role as "Kate" on Broadway is surely her most notable one in a long career (while no longer acting, she still attends theatrical functions at age 92). Priced at $3,000.

Item 100 is a rare signed and inscribed copy of Eugene O'Neill's last work, A Moon for the Misbegotten. It was published in 1952, the year before he died. This copy is inscribed to his stepdaughter, who assisted him by typing up his manuscript for the play. Writes O'Neill, "For Cyn, whom I regard as a collaborator in this opus...Your admiring Step-Pop, Gene, August 1952." O'Neill's writing career was stopped by a neurological condition which caused his hands to shake violently. Despite this, he managed to sign limited editions of some of his works. However, he was unable to do so with his last book, so that only a few signed copies, inscribed to those closest to him, are to be found. $15,000.

Item 72 ties together one of the greatest writers and film directors of the 20th century. The writer is Sinclair Lewis, author of notable works such as "Elmer Gantry." Offered is a first edition of his 1925 book Arrowsmith. It's the story of a small-town doctor who balances his desire to serve humanity with personal ambitions and opportunities for wealth as he makes important scientific discoveries. It is inscribed to the great director, John Ford, who produced the film adaptation of Lewis' tale. Pens Lewis, "To John Ford, who made the best picture I have ever seen -- 'Arrowsmith' I think it was called." $5,500.

Now it's time to balance the sublime with the tacky. Item 105 is Andrew Morton's Monica's Story, signed by the heroine, Monica Lewinsky. Whatever was Bill thinking? $275.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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.
  • 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

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