Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2009 Issue

Primarily English Firsts from I.D. Edrich's "Study"

From the


By Michael Stillman

I.D. Edrich of the U.K. has followed up with its catalogues from various rooms with The "Study" Catalogue of Mainly Modern Firsts. As they explain, these are books housed in their so-called "study" (the last Edrich catalogue featured items from the "Bridge" room). Since I cannot ascertain why books are housed in one room versus another, we will content ourselves with their description that most of the books in this catalogue are "first English editions." Of course, "first English" can be tricky, as it could mean first edition published in the English language, or first edition published in England. In perusing the over 600 items being offered, I would say there are some of each, but that the overwhelming majority qualify under both definitions of "first English." So, let's take a look inside for some samples of what is available.

Here is a book that definitely qualifies as first English only in the sense of the first edition published in the U.K. It is Henry David Thoreau's tale of rural solitude concisely titled Walden. First published in the U.S. in 1854, it took until 1886 for a British edition to make its way to the shelves. By that time, Thoreau was long gone, and Walden Pond was on its way to becoming part of the Boston suburbs. Offered is the rare first printing of this British edition. Item 479. Priced at £365 (British pounds, or approximately $540 U.S. dollars).

For those who collect, if not live in an Orwellian universe, Edrich has first editions of George Orwell's two most familiar works. Item 44 is a copy of Animal Farm, published in 1945. It starts out as a utopian farm when the animals overthrow their human masters, but this socialist ideal world falls apart as the animals' "human" nature takes over. £1,500 (US $2,220). Item 45 is a first of Nineteen Eighty-Four, a then future world (the book was published in 1949) when a supposedly beneficent totalitarian regime exerts total control over its people. £900 (US $1,331).

Item 326 is a tale of farm life in the late 19th century: The Story of an African Farm. This, too, is a fictional farm, but a little more believable as the main characters are humans. Olive Schreiner grew up on farms in South Africa, and she uses her experience to introduce feminist concerns long before that was popular. However, in a bow to the times, her book was published pseudonymously under the name "Ralph Iron." The book was finally made into a film a few years ago, but that movie, like the book, is a bit obscure. Offered is a first edition from 1883 of a book considered quite rare. Item 326. £1,200 (US $1,775).

Item 24 is a look at the United States in 1833 by Prince Achille Murat. Murat was a Crown Prince of Naples, nephew of Napoleon, who had been exiled from his kingdom. He settled in Florida, where he lived out his life, publishing his letters home in the form of a book: A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States of America in 1833. He provides a look at the country at the time, but perhaps his most notable opinion was his defense of southern slavery. This was a great exception for visitors from Europe where slavery was already outlawed. Murat makes an argument that society should hold up relationships, such as he sees slavery, that are good for it, though acknowledging that the slave is not obligated to recognize the relationship. In other words, rebel if you will, but don't expect any help, or any moral approbation to be directed toward your master. Besides which, he claims, the power and luxury, including freedom to spend time appreciating the arts, rather than working the fields, makes "...the southern planter one of the most perfect models of the human race." £785 (US $1,161).

Item 334 is an interesting title: The History of Corporal Punishment. This book is described as, "A survey of flagellation in its historical, anthropological and sociological aspects." I might feel better about the serious educational purposes of author G.R. Scott were there not other books written by him offered in this catalogue with the titles Phallic Worship and The Sex Life of Man and Woman. Offered is a second edition published in 1938. £35 (US $52).

I.D. Edrich may be reached at 020 8989 9541 or idedrich@idedrich.co.uk. Their website is found at www.idedrich.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Piccolomini's De La Sfera del Mondo (The Sphere of the World), 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Vellutello's Commentary on Petrarch, With Map, 1525.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Finely Bound Definitive, Illustrated Edition of I Promessi Sposi, 1840.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Rare First Edition of John Milton's Latin Correspondence, 1674.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Giolito's Edition of Boccaccio's The Decamerone, with Bedford Binding, 1542.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of the First Biography of Marie of the Incarnation, with Rare Portrait, 1677.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Aldine Edition of Volume One of Cicero's Orationes, 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Bonanni's Illustrated Costume Catalogue, with Complete Plates, 1711.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Important Incunable, the First Italian Edition of Josephus's De Bello Judaico, 1480.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Jacques Philippe d'Orville's Illustrated Book of the Ruins of Sicily, 1764.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Incunable from 1487, The Contemplative Life, with Early Manuscript.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Ignatius of Loyola's Exercitia Spiritualia, 1563.
  • Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 546. Christoph Jacob Trew. Plantae selectae, 1750-1773.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 70. Thomas Murner. Die Narren beschwerung. 1558.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 621. Michael Bernhard Valentini. Museum Museorum, 1714.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 545. Sander Reichenbachia. Orchids illustrated and described, 1888-1894.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1018. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella Futurism - Comprehensive collection of 35 Futurist manifestos, some of them exceptionally rare. 1909-1933.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 634. August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof. 3 Original Drawings, around 1740.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 671. Jacob / Picasso. Chronique des Temps, 1956.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1260. Mary Webb. Sarn. 1948. Lucie Weill Art Deco Binding.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 508. Felix Bonfils. 108 large-format photographs of Syria and Palestine.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 967. Dante Aligheri and Salvador Dali. Divina Commedia, 1963.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1316. Tolouse-Lautrec. Dessinateur. Duhayon binding, 1948.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1303. Regards sur Paris. Braque, Picasso, Masson, 1962.
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: McCarthy (Cormac). Cities of the Plain, N.Y., 1998, First Edn., signed on hf. title; together with Uncorrected Proof and Uncorrected Advance Reading Copies, both signed by the Author. €800 to €1,000.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Stanihurst (Richard). De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quattuor, sm. 4to Antwerp (Christi. Plantium) 1584. First Edn. €525 to €750.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Fleischer (Nat.) Jack Dempsey The Idol of Fistiana, An Intimate Narrative, N.Y., 1929, First Edn. Signed on f.e.p. by Rocky Marciano. €400 to €600.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Smith - Classical Atlas, Lond., 1820. Bound with, Smiths New General Atlas .. Principal Empires, Kingdoms, & States throughout the World, Lond. 1822. €350 to €500.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Rare Auction Catalogues – 1856: Bindon Blood, of Ennis, Co. Clare: Sotheby & Wilkinson. €320 to €450.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Mavor (Wm.)] A General Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 28 vols. (complete) Lond., 1810. €300 to €400.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Mc Carthy (Cormac). Outer Dark, N.Y. (Random House)1968, Signed by Mc Carthy. €250 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Three signed works by Ted Huges - Wodwo, 1967; Crow from the Life and Songs of the Crow, 1970; and Tales from Ovid, 1997. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: The Garden. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches, 7 vols. lg. 4to Lond. 1877-1880. With 127 colored plates. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
    24th April 2024
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Procter (Richard A.) Saturn and its System: Containing Discussions of The Motion (Real and Apparent)…, Lond. 1865. First Edn. €160 to €220.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Ashe] St. George, Lord Bishop of Clogher, A Sermon Preached to the Protestants of Ireland, now in London,... Oct. 23, 1712, London 1712. Second Edn. €130 to €180.
  • Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Choice Selections from the Eric C. Caren Collection
    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [RUTH, George Herman “Babe” (1895-1948)]. Signed photograph. Circa 1930s. 191 x 248 mm. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HARRISON, Benjamin. Document signed (“Benj Harrison”) as governor of Virginia, certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a Black Revolutionary soldier. $6,000 to $9,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: ONE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: FIRST PRINTING OF LINCOLN’S IMMORTAL GETTYSBURG ADDRESS. $4,000 to $6,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: HIGHLY IMPORTANT MORMON ARCHIVE. ALLEY, George. Archive of 23 Autograph Letters Signed by Mormon Convert George Alley to His Brother Joseph Alley. $10,000 to $20,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [AVIATION]. [ARMSTRONG, Neil A.] Aviation Hall of Fame Gold Medal MS64 NGC, Awarded to Neil Armstrong in 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Part IX
    Starting 10AM CST
    April 18, 2024
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: NEWLY DISCOVERED FIRST PRINTING OF "WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE... " FROM THE ONLY NEWSPAPER ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURAL PROCESSION. $4,000 to $8,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: THE MOST IMPORTANT GEORGE WASHINGTON DOCUMENT IN PRIVATE HANDS; GEORGE WASHINGTON’S COMMISSION AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 1775, ONE OF ONLY TWO ORIGINALS. $150,000 to $250,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: A VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF BLACKBEARD’S DEATH AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIRATE ITEMS EXTANT. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Potter & Potter Auctions
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    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: EDISON, Thomas. Patent for Edison’s Improvements on the Electric-Light, No. 219,628. [Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent Office], 16 September 1879. $2,000 to $3,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: [VIETNAM WAR]. The original pen used by Secretary of State William P. Rogers to sign the Vietnam Peace Agreement, Paris, 27 January 1973. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Potter & Potter, Apr. 18: SONS OF LIBERTY FOUNDER COLONEL BARRÉ ANNOTATED TITLE-PAGE, “WHICH OUGHT TO ROUSE UP BRITISH ATTENTION”. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Sotheby’s
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
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    Modern First Editions
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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