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Original Signed Painted Portrait of an Unidentified Young Woman
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Original Signed Painted Portrait of an Unidentified Young Woman

by Plath, Sylvia

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(Wellesley, Mass): n.p., 1949. Near fine.. An original, bold portrait painted by a 16-year-old Sylvia Plath. Plath made visual art throughout her life in a wide variety of mediums: from collage and oils to watercolor and pastels. Before she settled firmly on poetry in college, she seriously considered majoring in art. This early piece, painted while she was in high school (and, given the inscription on the verso, likely submitted to an art contest or competition), is executed in colorful gouache in a decidedly modern, almost cubist style, and features an unnamed young woman resting her chin in her hand. The approach to this piece speaks to her early experimentation with the kind of art that would inspire her writing as an adult. Plath would later write to her mother, "I feel I'm developing a kind of primitive style of my own which I am very fond of" (August 28th, 1956). In 1958, she wrote that her "deepest source of inspiration" was "the art of primitives like Henri Rousseau, Gauguin and Paul Klee… Read More
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The Amy Winehouse Collection
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The Amy Winehouse Collection

by [Winehouse, Amy]

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Used - About very good overall.
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[Various]: [Various], 2011. About very good overall.. Collection of almost 230 books from the library of legendary singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse - a narrative of her life and career through her personal reading, from her school days through her rise to fame and career. Winehouse was a known reader; both she and her family commented on this aspect of her personality over the years in interviews. These, her own copies of her books, make it easy to recognize the teenager who loved Salinger, the nerd who acquired numerous graphic novels, the training vocalist reading multiple Frank Sinatra biographies, and the touring musician just looking for a good read to pass the time on the road. Among the books are well-read favorites (like Jackie Collins) and gifts from friends (such as a photobook inscribed by Dave LaChapelle, who directed her music video "Tears Dry on Their Own"). Winehouse's annotated copy of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, in which she starred for a school production, shows the 1960s roots of… Read More
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Complete Collection of Tarzan Novels
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Complete Collection of Tarzan Novels

by Burroughs, Edgar Rice

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Used - Very good.
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Various: Various, 1965. Very good.. First edition run of all 24 novels in the Tarzan series, including TARZAN OF THE APES in the rare original dust jacket and five inscribed books - along with Burroughs's rare 1917 AUTO-BIOGRAPHY and two further Tarzan titles. Tarzan is one of the most recognizable pop cultural icons of the 20th century. Beginning with the novels, but quickly translating to film and beyond, Tarzan soon had his own merchandise, piracies, and international adaptations (including Bollywood films and Japanese manga). Tarzan's relationship with the movies - beginning in 1918, during the early years of popular film - was especially rich. One producer of Tarzan films, Sol Lesser, described Tarzan's global market saturation with only slight hyperbole that "there is always a Tarzan picture playing within a radius of 50 miles of any given spot in the world - in Arab villages, African bush theatres and in pampas settlements down the Argentine way" (quoted in Abate & Wannamaker, 3). But Tarzan… Read More
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THE WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD : Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately...
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THE WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD : Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately Excuted [sic] in New-England

by Mather, Cotton

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Used - Very good.
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London: John Dunton, 1693. Very good.. The scarce first London edition of the most famous contemporary account of the Salem Witch Trials. Before the Salem Witch Trials, Cotton Mather had already established himself as a leading voice in the investigation of witchcraft within the New England Puritan community; contemporaries like Robert Calef argued that Mather's 1689 book MEMORABLE PROVIDENCES "conduced much to the kindling of those Flames" of the Trials (MORE WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, 152). Indeed, Mather's description of the Trials reads as a defense of his own religious views, and of the larger Puritan society. He frames their community struggles into an epic narrative of Good vs. Evil, in which the Puritans are uniquely suited to triumph. It is this high-stakes combination of the righteously justified with the unjustifiable that makes Mather's account so perversely compelling: "like a criminal who protests his innocence, the more he scribbled, the more he disclosed" (Miller 201). In the… Read More
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ADMIRANDA NARRATIO FIDA TAMEN, DE COMMODIS ET INCOLARUM RITIBUS VIRGINIÆ
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ADMIRANDA NARRATIO FIDA TAMEN, DE COMMODIS ET INCOLARUM RITIBUS VIRGINIÆ

by De Bry, Theodor; Hariot, Thomas; White, John

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Used - Very good plus.
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Mixed first and second issue
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Francoforti [Frankfurt]: Theodori De Bry [Theodor De Bry], 1590. Mixed first and second issue. Very good plus.. First edition of this historic account of Virginia, the Roanoke colony, and its environs, including the landmark map of Virginia and all the famed engravings of Native American life in the 1580s. The first of De Bry's series of great and small voyages, this book is particularly important for its content on the lives of the Native American populations of Virginia and North Carolina in the late 16th century as recorded by a key member of an early expedition. Thomas Hariot, an English polymath fluent in Carolina Algonquin, penned the text on a voyage to Roanoke Island in 1585-6, including direct observations of the Indigenous populations' living arrangements, farming, fishing, and traditional practices. The text is accompanied by illustrations originally made by John White, a member of the same expedition and later famous for his discovery that the colony of Roanoke had vanished - the very… Read More
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Unpublished Autograph Poem: THE SNOWFLAKE STAR
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Unpublished Autograph Poem: THE SNOWFLAKE STAR

by Plath, Sylvia

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Used - Fine.
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[Wellesley, Massachusetts]: n.p., 1945. Fine.. Original autograph manuscript of one of Plath's earliest poems, in a version preceding the 1946 revision published in her junior high school literary magazine and collected nowhere else. "The Snowflake Star" was one of a small cluster of early poems in which Plath first began experimenting with a group of images that would in many ways come to define her later work. In "A Winter Sunset," written around the same time (and published in the same issue of her junior high literary magazine THE PHILLIPIAN), the moon hangs above "the bare, black skeletons of trees." And in "To Miss Cox," from later in 1946, "The winter skies are leaden / The flying snowflakes sting." Plath biographer Heather Clark identifies the beginnings of Plath's "mature poetic voice" in these poems, a voice also heard in "The Snowflake Star." Its opening lines ("On a dark and cloudy day / I wandered in the woods away") point, in all their simplicity, directly ahead to 1956, when Plath… Read More
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Original artwork used in THE KING'S STILTS
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Original artwork used in THE KING'S STILTS

by Seuss, Dr

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Used - Fine.
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n.p.: n.p., 1939. Fine.. Carbon pencil, India ink wash and white gouache painting on illustration board, signed by Seuss. This image illustrates the moment when Eric (the "Everyboy" of the story) reluctantly digs a hole and buries the King's beloved stilts on the orders of the solemn and self important Lord Droon. It appears about halfway through the book. The drawings for this book were reproduced by drop-out halftone and the edges of the light greys came out somewhat raggedy in the first edition. Sometime down the line, when the printers went to re-photograph the original art to improve upon this quality, they discovered that Seuss had given away the original - this very piece. Having lost contact with the recipient, Geisel drew another picture for later editions which differ slightly from this original. (Provenance available upon request.) Since very few published published pieces of Seuss's art from his children's books have ever been available for sale, this is indeed a rarity. 9.25'' x… Read More
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Harry Potter Series: Complete Set of Deluxe Editions
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Harry Potter Series: Complete Set of Deluxe Editions

by Rowling, J.K.

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London: Bloomsbury, 2007. Fine.. Inscribed first printings of the deluxe editions in the fantasy series, all dedicated to the same family, with three additionally signed "Jo." These deluxe editions, slightly larger in format and produced with higher quality materials, were one way Bloomsbury responded to reader demand, especially in the gift market. Unfortunately, the Harry Potter market has been so hot in recent years that her signature is now notorious for its proliferation of forgeries, with even Rowling commenting on the problem (Deadline, "Rowling reveals many books 'signed' by her are fakes"). In such a market, a set like this - inscribed to a single family, friends of the author who called her "Jo," is exceptional. 7 volumes. Each volume in original cloth of various colors with tipped-in illustration, gilt-lettered front boards and spines, original silk ribbon markers. Without dust jackets as issued. Every volume inscribed to the same recipients; Philosopher's Stone, Half-Blood Prince, and… Read More
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TRAGEDY IS NOT ENOUGH
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TRAGEDY IS NOT ENOUGH

by [Plath, Sylvia]; Jaspers, Karl

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Used - Near fine in very good plus jacket.
Edition
First UK edition
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London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1953. First UK edition. Near fine in very good plus jacket.. Sylvia Plath's annotated copy, read in her first year of study for the Tragedy Paper at Cambridge, with marginal notes connecting the text to her own 1953 breakdown immortalized in THE BELL JAR and a prophetic description of Ariel as a poet. In 1955, barely two years removed from her catastrophic breakdown, 23-year-old Sylvia Plath rolled into Newnham College, Cambridge on a Fullbright scholarship, eager to hurl herself at two thousand years of literature in a course of study she deliberately designed around her areas of least proficiency, seemingly tailor-made to aggravate any intellectual anxieties she brought with her and generate some new ones besides. "I would never have put a first-term student onto the Tragedy paper like that," her contemporary Jean Gooder later observed; "It was a crazy way to begin." In this book, Plath has left marginalia and ink trails of evidence for her progress through this… Read More
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THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
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THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED

by Fitzgerald, F. Scott

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Used - Fine in very good plus jacket.
Edition
First edition
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New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922. First edition. Fine in very good plus jacket.. Rare first printing of Fitzgerald's second novel, a sharply satirical portrait of a Jazz Age couple very like the Fitzgeralds. Fitzgerald's second semi-autobiographical novel, holding an outstanding place in the literature on what it is to be young, beautiful, gifted, drunk, and useless. A rich boy sent to Harvard because "there was no other logical thing to be done with him," the cheerful, pleasant Anthony Patch sees his inner foundations slowly corroded by the sure expectation of coming into great wealth; while Gloria Gilbert, who likes to talk about her legs "as though they were a sort of choice bric-à-brac," fulfills the prophecy given her before her birth: "You will find much that is bogus. Also, you will do much that is bogus." Anthony and Gloria find each other, fall in love, and stylishly fall apart as the Jazz Age dawns and the Great War looms. A beautiful copy in the uncommon dust jacket. 7.25'' x… Read More
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THE THREE MUSKETEERS
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THE THREE MUSKETEERS

by Dumas, Alexandre

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Used - Very good plus.
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London: Bruce and Wyld, 1846. Very good plus.. Rare first complete English translation of the classic swashbuckling adventure - the most acclaimed and influential of the early translations. First published in Paris in 1844, THE THREE MUSKETEERS appeared in England and America soon thereafter in a variety of shortened and serialized adaptations: first in two US translations, then serialized and abridged in the UK by Vickers. Barrow's version here, published as part of the Library of Foreign Romance series, is traditionally labeled the earliest complete English translation because Vickers omits "the account of the dinner at Maitre Coquenard's" plus "much of the original French version is compressed"; further, "an entirely new chapter which Dumas had not written is gratuitously interpolated before the final one" (Munro, 80-1). But most importantly, Barrow's translation was the most widely read, among the best for a century and more, handled with verve and a charming touch of literalism. Yet it must be… Read More
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TALES
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TALES

by Poe, Edgar Allan

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Used - Very good plus.
Edition
First edition
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New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1845. First edition. Very good plus.. Rare first printing of this selection of Poe's tales, including "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Included in these twelve tales are the pieces that are often anointed as the first modern detective stories: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Purloined Letter," all featuring his famed character C. Auguste Dupin. It is item number 1 in QUEEN'S QUORUM, which spares no fanfare: "the first important book of detective fiction, the first and the greatest, the cornerstone of cornerstones in any readers' or collectors' guide, the highest of all highspots." The works were selected out of Poe's various magazine publications for printing as the second number in Wiley & Putnam's Library of American Books. Despite the author's private complaints and general grumbles (Poe lamented the number of "analytic" stories in the collection as unrepresentative of his full capacities),… Read More
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THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
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THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ

by Baum, L. Frank

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Used - Very good plus.
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Chicago: George M. Hill, 1900. Very good plus.. First edition of the book that gave Americans their own fairy tale, with all the textual points of the first state and a mixed state B/C of the plates. Although it was only one of four books Baum published in 1900, THE WIZARD OF OZ was his most ambitious as a publication: he and illustrator W.W. Denslow envisioned an elaborate production of color-printed plates to reflect the role that color plays in the story. The expense turned publishers away until Baum and Denslow took the gamble to pay for the printing costs themselves. Their instinct was right: the book quickly became the fastest selling children's book in the United States, and was soon turned into a sensation at the theater. Denslow and Baum would soon part acrimoniously over the share of the profits (Denslow purchased, no joke, an island from his); the rest of the Oz books in Baum's lifetime were illustrated by John R. Neill. Baum has a complicated legacy: he was also a newspaperman whose… Read More
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LIVE AND LET DIE
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LIVE AND LET DIE

by Fleming, Ian

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Used - About fine in near-fine jacket.
Edition
First edition
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London: Jonathan Cape, 1954. First edition. About fine in near-fine jacket.. First impression, first issue of the 2nd James Bond novel, a lovely copy in the rare first-state dust jacket. LIVE AND LET DIE was the second Bond book but the first to be banned (by the Republic of Ireland), which naturally led to higher sales. Its polarized reception would become characteristic of the series, with those decrying the latest installment facing those who admitted helplessness in the face of the fast-paced intrigue and violence that Fleming so skillfully composed. As an early Bond novel, its first issue print run was significantly smaller than later books in the series: fewer than 5300 copies, with only a portion of those including the first-state dust jacket as here. Increasingly difficult to find in this condition. 7.25'' x 4.75''. Original black cloth, gilt-stamped central coin vignette on front board, gilt-lettered spine. In original unclipped (10s. 6d. net) magenta dust jacket with yellow letterforms, no… Read More
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The Pooh Books: WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG; WINNIE THE POOH; NOW WE ARE SIX; THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER
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The Pooh Books: WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG; WINNIE THE POOH; NOW WE ARE SIX; THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER

by Milne, A.A.; Shepard, Ernest H.

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Condition
Used - Overall fine in near-fine jackets.
Edition
First editions
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London: Methuen, 1928. First editions. Overall fine in near-fine jackets.. Complete set of first editions of the Pooh Books, all in original dust jackets, with WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG signed by Milne and Shepard. In 1933 Compton Mackenzie described the publication of the first Pooh Book, WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG as marking "an epoch as positively as any children's book has ever marked one. It is not extravagant to surmise that a distant posterity may find in that volume of children's verse a key with which to unlock the present more easily than with any contemporary novel, poem, or play" (quoted in Thwaite). The series is an evocative reflection of English childhood in the 1920s, yet transcends the time and place of its making for each new generation to discover - and fall for. As the first book in the series, WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG is the most difficult to find signed, making this an especially desirable set. 4 volumes, 7.5'' x 5'' each. Original blue, green, red and pink cloths. In original color… Read More
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THE BELL JAR
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THE BELL JAR

by Plath, Sylvia; Lucas, Victoria

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Used - Near fine in near fine jacket.
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London: Heinemann, 1963. Near fine in near fine jacket.. Rare true first edition of Plath's only novel, a modern classic, published in London under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" and unpublished in the US until after her death. Plath's self-described 'potboiler' was damned with dismissive praise in its own day as a sort of girl's CATCHER IN THE RYE. (Though, as Heather Clark notes, if Esther Greenwood has a male antecedent, it is not Holden Caulfield but Joyce's Stephen Dedalus.) Harrowingly personal and famously autobiographical, THE BELL JAR is also overtly political: an "indictment of the fifties in America," an adolescent girls' book "written by a woman who has been to hell and back and wants to revenge herself on her tormentors. It is a girls' book filled with poison, vomit, blood, and volts of electricity" (Malcolm). A lovely copy, almost always found in inferior condition. 8'' x 5.5''. Original black paper boards, gilt-lettered spine. In original unclipped (18s) color pictorial dust jacket… Read More
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Collection of Volumes from the Personal Library of Mary Mapes Dodge
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Collection of Volumes from the Personal Library of Mary Mapes Dodge

by [Dodge, Mary Mapes]

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Used - Overall very good.
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[Various]: [Various], 1932. Overall very good.. Over 80 volumes from the personal library of author and influential editor Mary Mapes Dodge, with many of the volumes inscribed to Dodge by the authors. The impressive literary career of Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge didn't begin in earnest until after the disappearance and death of her husband in 1858. To support herself and her two young sons, she went to work for her father, the agricultural chemist and inventor James J. Mapes, at his periodicals. Her contributions (published under a variety of pseudonyms) to WORKING FARMER and UNITED STATES JOURNAL ranged from poetry, to serials, to advice on the liberation of women, and introduced Dodge to the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of running a magazine. Dodge soon realized that working for her father (who was perpetually broke in spite of his professional successes) would never offer sufficient income, and so she quickly branched out to writing for other magazines and publishers. From warm-hearted juvenilia… Read More
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UNCLE TOM'S CABIN
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UNCLE TOM'S CABIN

by Stowe, Harriet Beecher

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Condition
Used - Very good plus.
Edition
First printing
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Boston / Cleveland, Ohio: John P. Jewett & Company / Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, 1852. First printing. Very good plus.. First edition of arguably the most influential novel in US history, in the scarce publisher's extra gilt binding. Well educated in a large, abolitionist family, Stowe was already involved in anti-slavery activities by her early 20s, including participation in the Underground Railroad. With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the "number of kidnappings and forcible re-enslavements of black people was growing almost daily" (Hedrick, 205), and Stowe chafed at the tepid response of those around her: "You don't know how my heart burns within me at the blindness and obtuseness of good people on so very simple a point of morality as this [...] I feel as if my heart would burn itself out in grief and shame that such things are" (1 Feb 1851 letter to Henry Ward Beecher, quoted in Hedrick, 204-5). Having already written a few well-received anti-slavery pieces for THE NATIONAL… Read More
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The Complete Nonesuch Dickens
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The Complete Nonesuch Dickens

by Dickens, Charles; Meynell, Francis; Waugh, Arthur; Walpole, Hugh

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Condition
Used - Fine overall.
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Bloomsbury: Nonesuch Press, 1938. Fine overall.. Uncommonly complete and exquisitely preserved set of the landmark Nonesuch Press publication, one of the most fully realized and beautifully executed Dickens collections ever produced - this with the original packing material and documents and in the rare original dust jackets. "[P]ortable and handy enough even for those who like to read their Dickens in bed; imposing enough for those to whom a shelf of fine books is the most pleasant of pictures": such were Francis Meynell's goals when he designed the Nonesuch Dickens. Meynell had a hand in all the aesthetic decisions that make this set an achievement, from the choice of paper (which "delights the paper fancier") to the typeface ("of conscious 'beauty' it is happily free") to the cloth chosen for the bindings ("a brave array of reds and yellows and blues and browns"). The Nonesuch Dickens includes classic titles such as OLIVER TWIST, NICHOLAS NICKELBY, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and BLEAK HOUSE, as well… Read More
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MAN RAY PHOTOGRAPHS 1920-1934 PARIS
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MAN RAY PHOTOGRAPHS 1920-1934 PARIS

by Man Ray

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Condition
Used - Near fine.
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1
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Hartford, CT: James Thrall Soby, 1934. Near fine.. First edition, second issue of Man Ray's extraordinary first monograph - association copy inscribed to friend and muse Joella Bayer, whose portrait appears in the book. Man Ray's photobook of "sensuous, often dreamlike" photographs and rayographs, inscribed to Joella Bayer, daughter of poet and artist Mina Loy and wife of designer and photographer Herbert Bayer (whose signature and thumbprint are also present). Joella Bayer knew Ray most of his life, having been introduced to the artist by her mother in Paris in the 1920s and then growing closer through her first husband, the gallerist Julien Levy, who frequently exhibited Ray. Ray portrayed or photographed Joella Bayer a number of times during his life, most famously in this book, where her solarized portrait appears as plate 47. Arranged in five thematic sections, PHOTOGRAPHS includes laudatory essays and poems from Ray's surrealist contemporaries André Breton, Paul Éluard, Rrose Sélavy… Read More
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