Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2009 Issue

Important Letters and Signed Documents from Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books

Hemingwaygellhorn

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn.


Jefferson was not the only person with a lot of questions about the competition. Robert Fulton is noted as, if not the inventor, then at least the developer of the first successful steamboat. However, he had a keen eye on the competition, and in 1813, he wrote to John D. Delacy to inquire about problems encountered by rival Oliver Evans. Evans' engine had suffered a failure, and Fulton wanted to know, "what was the cause was it because there was not sufficient steam, how was the boiler made...what was the diameter of the cylinder, and length of the stroke...how much was paid for the engine, where is it now, was it to pump water? If so from what depth and how much..." And so on. Item 3. $8,000.

Item 85 is an unusual letter from Ernest Hemingway to his third mother-in-law, Edna Gellhorn. Mrs. Gellhorn's daughter, Martha, a war correspondent as was Hemingway, married the writer in 1940, but it was not a suitable marriage. Martha was devoted to her career as a journalist, spending long periods of time away from home reporting on the war. She was not one to live in anyone's shadow. Hemingway, on the other hand, was not one to share a spotlight, and was looking for his wife to fill a more traditional role. This letter was written in 1945, and it is a friendly letter to his mother-in-law despite the fact that Hemingway writes of his impending divorce from her daughter. According to Hemingway, it was Martha who wanted the split, and he was trying his best to accommodate her in a way as not to be hurtful to either party. Hemingway writes that he is trying to make it look as if he wanted the divorce, though it was the other way around, so as it make it easier for her. "I love you and respect you very much, Mother," writes Hemingway, "and it is not any particular fun to have to divorce Marty when the ordinary and normal thing, when she wanted her marriage terminated for whatever reason, would have been for her to divorce me." Presumably Mrs. Gellhorn was an understanding woman, either that or Hemingway was even more obtuse than we imagine, as he mentions his future fourth wife in the letter - "Mary has been helping me wonderfully..." $10,000.

Thornton Wilder did not appreciate his plays being performed in abridged versions. Apparently, such a version of Our Town was performed in Hamden, Connecticut, in 1950, and Wilder whips off a letter to a Mr. Van Delinder: "I don't believe novels or plays should ever be presented in fragment and if you were an author you'd feel so also. Please don't write and explain and defend yourself. There is no explanation or defense..." Item 149. $500.

Thomas A Goldwasser Rare Books may be reached at 415-292-4698 or mail@goldwasserbooks.com. The website is found at www.goldwasserbooks.com.

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother (horizontal),</i> silver print, 1936. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Group of 32 WWII-era identification badges for manufacturing & military-related companies, 1940-50s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Julia Margaret Cameron, <i>Alfred, Lord Tennyson,</i> albumen print, 1869. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Arnold Genthe, <i>Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt,</i> silver print, circa 1908. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Edward Curtis, <I>Oasis in the Badlands,</I> toned platinum print, 1905. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Francis Frith, three volumes, approximately 140 photographs, 1860-70s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Eugène Atget, <i>20 Photographs,</i> gold-toned silver prints by Berenice Abbott, 1898-1927. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Neil Leifer, <i>Muhammad Ali,</i> chromogenic print, 1965. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b><br>A group of approximately 50 Photomatic selfies of the same man taken over a period of time, 1940s. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). <i>The Pastures of Heaven.</i> New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). <i>Tender is the Night.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STOKER, Bram (1847-1912). <i>Dracula.</i> Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> GOLDING, William (1911-1993). <i>Lord of the Flies.</i> London: Faber and Faber, 1954. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> SALINGER, J. D. (1919-2010). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). <i>The Torrents of Spring.</i> New York: Scribner's, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HUXLEY, Aldous (1894-1963). <i>Brave New World.</i> London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Time Machine, an Invention.</i> New York: Henry Holt, 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> DAHL, Roald (1916-1990). <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HERBERT, Frank (1920-1986). Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> KESEY, Ken (1935-2001). <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.</i> New York: The Viking Press, 1962. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. (1922-2007). <i>Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade.</i> New York: Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press, 1969. $2,000 to $3,000.

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