Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

Great Writers, Actors, Crooks and More from James Pepper Rare Books

Pepper186

Catalogue 186 from James Pepper Rare Books.


By Michael Stillman

James Pepper Rare Books has issued Catalogue 186 in a familiar series. The Santa Barbara bookseller generally features literature, science and detective fiction, and items related to film and the theater. While there will always be an exception or two from these parameters, what we have this time is what we expect to see in a Pepper catalogue. So, we will take a look at some of this month's specific offerings.

Item 114 is a rare and remarkable Eugene O'Neill piece. In the early 1940s, O'Neill contracted a neurological disorder which caused his hands to shake uncontrollably. Though he tried dictating, O'Neill was unable to write unless he put pen to paper, thus his writing came to an end. Fortunately, he had written drafts of what would become his four most notable plays, including Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh. By this time, O'Neill was estranged from his three children, had divorced two wives and had a rocky relationship with his third. Fortunately, he seems to have had a good relationship with his step-daughter, who typed and probably helped correct his manuscripts, perhaps saving some of his greatest works. When A Moon for the Misbegotten, the last play he wrote, and the last one published during his lifetime, was released, O'Neill inscribed this copy to his daughter-in-law, Cynthia Chapman Stram, as follows: "For Cyn, whom I regard as a collaborator in this opus - which I wish were better! - (think of those days of typing!) - with as always, love and understanding: Your admiring Step-Pop, Gene, August 1952." Though Cynthia lost her job as O'Neill's typist, that was at the behest of her mother, a troubled woman, not her troubled stepfather, who obviously maintained good feelings toward her. While O'Neill tried his best to sign and inscribe copies of his books, this became increasingly difficult as the years went on. By the time Moon was published, such inscriptions, even to family members, became rare, making this inscribed copy exceptional. He died the following year. Priced at $15,000.

Withdrawal from writing was forced upon O'Neill by illness, but here is a writer who withdrew voluntarily. J.D. Salinger was a critically acclaimed, but not very well-known author when he published The Catcher in the Rye in 1951. It was an enormous success, its off-color language making it controversial for its day, only further enhancing its popularity. Schools ever since have never known whether to include the book in their curriculum or ban it. However, fame did not suit Salinger well. He began to withdraw from society, writing less and eventually refusing all interviews. Therefore, item 127 is unusual. It is a broadside published in advance of his Nine Stories in 1953. It's headed, J.D. Salinger's Own Words, where he discusses things about his personal life and writing, things you would not expect to hear him discuss. Item 127. $4,500.

If you believe what you see on the silver screen, then this archive of material is related to Jimmy Stewart's mother. Beulah Bondi was never a siren of the screen. She did not begin getting roles until she was in her 40s, and then regularly played the role of the star's mother. That would most often be the case with Stewart. She played his mother in four films, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It's a Wonderful Life. Item 15 is an archive of letters, clippings, photographs (including a large still from Mr. Smith), and other ephemeral items related to the talented character actress. Ms. Bondi received two Oscar nominations for best supporting actress, and an Emmy for her last role, as a guest in television's The Waltons in 1976. She died in 1981 at the age of 92. Item 15. $450.

Speaking of Oscars, here is a notable film contract from 1946. The film named in this 20-page contract is Katie For Congress, and the actress who was hired and signed this document was Loretta Young. The film would be renamed The Farmer's Daughter, and it won the Oscar for Best Actress of 1947 for Miss Young. Item 47. $950.

Here is the unexpected item for a Pepper catalogue. It is a Statistical View of the United States, Embracing its Territory, Population - White, Free Colored, and Slave - Moral and Social Condition, Industry, Property, and Revenue... This 1854 government publication based on census data is inscribed "With Respects of W.M. Tweed." Tweed was a one-term congressman from New York, serving from 1853-55, but this is not what he is remembered for. He would go on to be the most famous of political bosses ever, the infamous "Boss Tweed" of Tammany Hall. He would control New York City's government by 1870. The corruption was stunning. Along with ballot box stuffing the "Tweed Ring" skimmed off enormous amounts of money, possibly $1 billion or more in today's dollars. However, Tweed was also a very personable man and knew how to ingratiate people with kind words and favors. Unfortunately for him, the corruption was just too great. He was arrested in 1871, convicted in 1873, sent to prison, from which he escaped to Spain, was caught ten months later and died in prison in 1878. Item 138. $950.

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.
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Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 817. Bellin's complete five-volume maritime atlas with 581 maps & plates (1764). $24,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 325. An early and important map of the Republic of Texas (1837). $11,000 to $14,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 45. De Bry's early map of North Pole depicting Willem Barentsz' expedition (1601). $3,500 to $4,250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 154. Poignant map of the United States documenting lynchings (1931). $250 to $325.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 457. Extremely rare matching set of pro-German propaganda from WWI (1914). $2,000 to $2,400.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 815. Homann's world atlas featuring 110 maps in contemporary color (1751). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 60. Miniature pocket globe based on Herman Moll (1785). $3,500 to $4,500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 8. Visscher's rare carte-a-figures world map (1652). $14,000 to $16,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 158. Matching satirical maps of the US by McCandlish: "Ration Map" & "Bootlegger's Map" (1944). $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 820. One of the finest English atlases of the early 19th century (1808). $4,750 to $6,000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 59. Important milestone in preparation for 1969 moon landing (1963). $750 to $900.
    <b>Old World Auctions (Feb 8):</b> Lot 805. Superb bible leaf with image of crucifixion of Jesus with gilt highlights (1518). $800 to $950.

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