Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2009 Issue

The Latest in Film, Literature and Mystery from James Pepper Rare Books

Literature, film and mystery from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

We have received the latest collections of books and related items for sale from James Pepper Rare Books: Catalogue 82. Pepper's catalogues feature literature, items related to film, and mysteries, along with a few items outside of their primary specialties. Many contain signatures or inscriptions. New catalogues arrive on a regular basis, but are still filled with items we have not seen before. Here are some samples from this latest group of 150 works.

Item 117 combines literature with film. It is an inscribed copy of Mario Puzo's The Godfather to longtime actress Virginia Grey. Grey first appeared in films when she was 10 years old, a silent version of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Between then and her retirement, she appeared in over 100 talkies, but few were classics or long-remembered. Her bigger roles came in forgettable films, and her roles in better films were minor. She was also a frequent performer in television series, though never as a regular. Perhaps the closest she came to the top of the film business was her romantic involvement with the very major star Clark Gable in the 1940s. However, it seems she was more involved with him than he with her. Gable married another; the disappointed Miss Grey never married. While neither Gable nor the public fully appreciated Miss Grey, it appears that the writer Puzo did. He has penned into this 1969 book, which would spawn one of the most successful movies and series of movies ever, "For Virginia, who I fell in love with in at least 10 movies. I hope you like the book as well as I liked your movies." Grey retired from the movies in 1970, two years before Puzo's book was converted to film. In addition to Puzo's inscription, the book contains Grey's signature. Priced at $1,500.

Here is another book inscribed by a famous man, about as personable as the Godfather, to an actor. Item 106 is a copy of the 1980 first edition of The Real War, by Richard Nixon. The recipient was actor Randolph Scott, who also appeared in more than 100 films, but generally had better roles. While he played in many genres of film, he was best known for his westerns, and as his career evolved, such roles dominated his appearances. Evidently, the former President liked westerns, as he was a great fan of Scott, and the two were friends. Nixon has inscribed this book to Scott on his bookplate. $2,500.

One 1970s president deserves another. Here is a book from Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, and John R. Styles: Portrait of the Assassin. This book was published in 1965, in the days when no one expected Ford would rise above being a congressman from Michigan. Ford was a member of the Warren Commission, which was called on to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. Part of his responsibilities for the commission was preparing this biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, whom Ford believed to be the lone assassin. This book is signed on a label affixed to the front pastedown, and is obviously a later signature as it notes he was the 38th president. Item 80. $950.

Item 41 is the first appearance of William Faulkner in print. It's not what you might expect. Rather than a story about life in the South, or anywhere else for that matter, it is a drawing. Of course, Faulkner would become known as a writer, not an artist, but his contribution to the Ole Miss Yearbook 1916 - 1917 was to put his pen to an image rather than words. $7,500.

Item 124 is a classic of mystery and terror: Donovan's Brain, by Curt Siodmak. It is the story of a dying man whose brain is preserved in a jar, or some such container, from which he increasingly and terrifyingly gains control over his keeper. Originally published in 1942, this is a 1971 British edition, which Siodmak has inscribed to fellow writer John Ball. Ball is best known for his book, later converted to a film and television series, In the Heat of the Night. $500.

James Pepper Rare Books may be reached at 805-963-1025 or pepbooks@aol.com. Their website is www.JamesPepperBooks.com.

You will find many of James Pepper's books listed in "Books For Sale" on this site.
Click here.

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
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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