Catalogue Review:<br>James Cummins Bookseller

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Catalogue Review:<br>James Cummins Bookseller


There are several other important signatures within this offering. Item 19 is a signed letter from Charles Darwin saying no thanks to someone looking to translate his writing into German. $5,000. Item 21 is a thank you letter from Charles Dickens to someone who sent him a book. $1,250. And returning to France, item 41 is a letter from King Louis XIV acknowledging the resignation of the state treasurer in 1715. It’s signed simply “Louis,” but in 1715 France, everyone would have known who “Louis” was. $2,000.

Item 31 is a bit unnerving. It’s Joseph Glanvill’s Sadducismus Triumphatus: Or, full and plain Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions. This book argues that witches are real as is their capacity to do supernatural evil. Glanvill was a major influence on Cotton Mather and the hysteria that overcame Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. However, his aim was more benign. He believed that if witches were shown to be real, then this would surely prove that angels and God were real too, while doubt of the existence of witches could lead one to doubt other supernatural beings as well. Offered is a fourth edition from 1726. $800.

Among other items in this catalogue is a collection of twenty Haitian documents, including the signatures of eleven presidents who ruled between 1812 and 1916. Item 34. $5,000. Item 38 is Henry Luce’s copy of a volume created especially for retiring Life Magazine editor Dan Longwell in 1954. Longwell had served as editor since 1936 when Life adopted its current format. Forty-one full-page photographs are included in this tribute album, and Luce’s copy was the only one other than Longwell’s created. $8,000. Item 35 is a first edition of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ first book, The Common Law. This copy belonged to Judge Harold Medina, ironic since while Holmes was a champion of free speech, Medina presided over the major “red scare” trials in 1949. $1,500.

James Cummins Bookseller can be reached by phone at 212-688-6441, or by email at cummins@panix.com.