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“It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being": First Edition of F. Scott's Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise; With a full page inscription by Him
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920.
First edition of Fitzgerald’s first novel, with an initial printing of only 3,000 copies, which sold out in three days. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper with a full page inscription in the year of publication to James H. Douglas, a fellow member of the Princeton Cottage Club, “Under whose beneficent patronage I have spent a useless month, cheered only by seeing him sling pregnant words at impressionable sophomores. F. Scott Fitzgerald (the W.K. author), Cottage Club, Princeton, N.J. March 27th, 1920.” In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
“Life's single lesson: that there is more accident to it than a man can ever admit to in a lifetime and stay sane": First Edition of Thomas Pynchon's First Book V.; Inscribed by Him
Philadelphia and New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1963.
First edition of Pynchon’s first book. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Herb Yellin- I’ve been reading this over. It’s not such a terrific book, is it? Thomas Pynchon.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket with some of the usual rubbing to the extremities. Jacket design by Ismar David. Books signed and inscribed by Pynchon are notoriously rare. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy": First Modern Library of The Great Gatsby; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
New York: The Modern Library, 1934.
First Modern Library edition of the author’s masterpiece, with the first appearance of Fitzgerald’s new introduction. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the half title page, “For Lillian Abercrombie at the beginning of a tour of work F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities and some small chips. Housed in a full custom morocco box. The first Modern Library edition of The Great Gatsby was a resounding commercial failure, and many copies were remaindered with the caption “discontinued title” printed on the jacket’s front panel. The present copy represents one of the earlier, non-remaindered copies, and like all of the first Modern Library editions of The Great Gatsby, features Fitzgerald’s new introduction, with his own, now-famous take on his masterwork: “I think it is an honest book, that is to say, that one used none of one’s virtuosity to get an effect, and, to boast again, one soft-pedalled the emotional side to avoid the tears leaking from the socket of the left eye, or the large false face peering around the corner of a character’s head. If there is a clear conscience, a book can survive — at least in one’s feelings about it. On the contrary, if one has a guilty conscience, one reads what one wants to hear out of reviews. In addition, if one is young and willing to learn, almost all reviews have a value, even the ones that seem unfair.”
"The rarest of them all": First Edition of the First Catholic Bible to be printed in America and the First Quarto Edition Printed
The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Other Editions, in Divers Languages; and First Published by The English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly Revised, and Corrected, According to the Clementine Edition of the Scriptures. With Annotations for Elucidating the Principal Difficulties of Holy Writ.
Philadelphia: Carey, Stewart, and Co, 1790.
First edition of the first Catholic Bible printed in America, “the rarest of them all” and the first quarto edition Bible printed in America. Quarto, bound in full calf. Two volumes bound in one, title page to volume one, not title page of volume two as issued, two leaves of subscribers’ names. In very good condition with some of the usual toning to the text. An exceptionally rare work, most desirable.
Harry Potter Series Complete Deluxe Set. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows.
London: Bloomsbury, 1997-2007.
First editions of the deluxe edition of each book in Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Octavo, 7 volumes, original decorative cloth as issued. Each volume is signed by J.K. Rowling and were collected in person by the previous owner. The Prisoner of Azkaban is inscribed. In fine condition. No dust jackets were issued for these volumes. Scarce and desirable.
"The Greatest Story Ever Told": First Edition of The Double Helix; Signed by James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins
New York: Atheneum, 1968.
First edition of Watson’s ground breaking work regarding the discovery of DNA for which the author, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962. Signed by all three laureates on the title page, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. Octavo, original blue cloth, with numerous diagrams and photographic illustrations. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Jeanyee Wong. Foreword by Sir Lawrence Bragg. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. We have never seen another example signed by all three contributors; exceptionally rare.
Venice: Aldus Manutius, September, 1502.
Rare first edition of Herodotus‘ history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher. Folio, bound in contemporary vellum, woodcut title in Greek and Roman letter, verso with dedication in Latin, text in Greek letter throughout with spaces for capital letters, woodcut device on title and last page. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the ‘Florentine’ codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer’s copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 , pp. 263-273). The History was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. Ahmanson-Murphy 50; Isaac 12782; Laurenziana 64; Renouard, Alde 35:8; Sansoviniana 67. In excellent condition with light rubbing and wear, bookplates to the pastedown, some light toning to the text, occasional Greek and Latin annotations in a c.17th-century hand, small repairs to the final four leaves. An exceptional example of this landmark work, rare and desirable in contemporary vellum.
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
"However closely we live together, at whatever time of day or night we sound the deepest thoughts in one another, we know nothing": Rare First Edition of the John Le Carres First Book; Signed by Him
London: Victor Gollancz, 1961.
First edition of the author’s first book, which introduced the world to the recurring protagonist, George Smiley. Octavo, original red cloth. Signed by John le Carre on the title page. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example.
London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1943.
First edition of the final novel in Lewis’ acclaimed Space Trilogy. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by C.S. Lewis to fellow writer and journalist George Orwell and his wife (Eric and Eileen Blair) on the front free endpaper, “To the Blairs, with kind regards, C.S. Lewis Aug. 1945.” This is the review copy used in George Orwell’s literary review of the book which was published in the Manchester Evening News on August 16th 1945. Also with three hand-corrections to the text in Lewis’ hand which he made in all review copies before personally sending to critics. Although Lewis and Orwell were not close friends, both were employed as radio journalists by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during WWII, an era that transformed both religious broadcasting (in which Lewis became a primary figure) and war correspondence (Orwell’s experience as a correspondent working out of the basement of the BBC during wartime was a major inspiration for his masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four). Very good in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morrocco clamshell box. A remarkable association.
"Whatever In Creation Exists Without My Knowledge Exists Without My Consent": First Edition Of Cormac McCarthy's Masterpiece Blood Meridian; Inscribed by Him to Close Friend John Sheddan in the Year of Publication
New York: Random House, 1985.
First edition of the author’s fifth novel. Octavo, original half red cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author in the month of publication on the front free endpaper, “For John Sheddan At Saxon Oaks Manor In April of 1985 All the best, old friend Cormac.” The recipient John Sheddan was a close friend of McCarthy’s. “Some of McCarthy’s friends claim that the character Gene Harrogate (a character in McCarthy’s novel, Suttree), or at least his watermelon venture, was based in some way on John Sheddan, “scholar, schemer, hustler, melon paramour” (Gibson 23)… However in a letter of response to Gibson’s article, Knoxvillian Buzz Kelley writes that Sheddan was “probably McCarthy’s best and most loyal friend from the Knoxville crowd,” holder of two master’s degrees, and not at all “a violator of vegetables nor one to fornicate with fruits” (Dianne C. Luce, Reading the World: Cormac McCarthy’s Tennessee Period). Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light wear. Jacket design by Richard Adelson. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Next to the dedication copy, this is the best association possible.
“Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man”: exceptionally rare sixteenth century printing of Homer's Odyssey in Latin
Odissea Per Raphaelem Volaterranum in Latinum Conversa (The Odyssey of Homer translated by Raphael of Volterra in Latin).
Rome: Per Lacoubum Mazochium, 1510.
One of the earliest Latin translations of Homer’s epic poem, translated from the Greek by Roman Hellenic scholar Raphaello Maffei (Raphael of Volterra). Quarto, bound in contemporary vellum, rebacked, woodcut titles and printer’s device to the title page and at end of text. From the library of Robert R. Dearden, Jr. of Philadelphia with his bookplate to the front panel. American bibliophile and author Robert R. Dearden was known for his extensive rare bible collection with a focus on early editions of American Bibles. He authored the book The Guiding Light on the Great Highway (1929), elaborately illustrated with photographs of his collection. Minor wear and a few small repairs to the title page. A very good example of this important work which has survived over five centuries.
"And he no longer cared to tell which were things done and which dreamt": First Edition of Cormac McCarthys First Book The Orchard Keeper; Inscribed by Him To Close Friend John Sheddan
New York: Random House, 1965.
First edition of McCarthy’s first book. Octavo, original half cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author in a contemporary hand on the front free endpaper, “To John Sheddan Cormac McCarthy.” The recipient John Sheddan was a close friend of McCarthy’s. “Some of McCarthy’s friends claim that the character Gene Harrogate (a character in McCarthy’s novel, Suttree), or at least his watermelon venture, was based in some way on John Sheddan, “scholar, schemer, hustler, melon paramour” (Gibson 23)… However in a letter of response to Gibson’s article, Knoxvillian Buzz Kelley writes that Sheddan was “probably McCarthy’s best and most loyal friend from the Knoxville crowd,” holder of two master’s degrees, and not at all “a violator of vegetables nor one to fornicate with fruits” (Dianne C. Luce, Reading the World: Cormac McCarthy’s Tennessee Period). Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association.
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything": First Edition of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World; Signed by Him
London: Chatto & Windus, 1932.
First edition of Huxley’s masterpiece. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Jesse Meyers his book Aldous Huxley 1955.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing and wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed trade editions of Brave New World are scarce.
"With best wishes of a fellow Celt": First Edition of Tender Is the Night; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.
First edition of the work which Fitzgerald considered to be his finest. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper “For Lillian Abercrombie with best wishes of a fellow Celt F. Scott Fitzgerald.” In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell and chemise box.
"A road map for investing" (Warren Buffett): Rare First Edition Of Graham and Dodds Security Analysis; Signed by Buffett
New York: Whittlesey House/ McGraw Hill, 1934.
First edition of Graham and Dodd’s seminal work, considered the Bible of modern financial analysis. Octavo, original red cloth. Boldly signed by Warren Buffett on the front free endpaper, Graham and Dodd’s most well-known adherent. Laid in is a 1993 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Metting Admission Card. “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville” is a 1984 article by Warren Buffett promoting value investing, which was based on a speech given on May 17, 1984, at the Columbia University School of Business in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Security Analysis. Using case studies, the speech and article challenged the idea that equity markets are efficient. Buffett brought up 9 investors whom he considered direct protegés of Graham and Dodd, and using their finances, then argued that “these Graham-and-Doddsville investors have successfully exploited gaps between price and value,” despite the inefficiency and “nonsensical” nature of the pricing of the overall market. Buffett concluded in the 1984 article that “some of the more commercially minded among you may wonder why I am writing this article. Adding many converts to the value approach will perforce narrow the spreads between price and value. I can only tell you that the secret has been out for 50 years, ever since Ben Graham and Dave Dodd wrote Security Analysis, yet I have seen no trend toward value investing in the 35 years I’ve practiced it. There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult. The academic world, if anything, has actually backed away from the teaching of value investing over the last 30 years. It’s likely to continue that way. Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace, and those who read their Graham & Dodd will continue to prosper.” In excellent condition with very light rubbing to the cloth. Examples of the first edition are known to exist both in black cloth binding, with “Whittlesey House-McGraw Hill” in gilt at the foot of the spine and in red cloth binding, with “McGraw-Hill Book Company” in gilt at the foot of the spine, as with this example. No priority of issue has been established. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed by Buffett.
"Its just that Id rather die of drink than of thirst": First edition of Ian Fleming's Thunderball; Inscribed by Fleming to OSS and CIA Agent Charles Jackson
London: Jonathan Cape, 1961.
First edition of the ninth novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, original black cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To C.D. Jackson who says nice things! from Ian Fleming.” The recipient Charles Douglas Jackson joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1943 and the following year he was appointed Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and it was during this time Fleming, working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division, likely would have met Jackson. After the war, Jackson worked for Life Magazine, and at the time of Thunderball‘s publication, had become the magazine’s publisher. Several years after Jackson’s death in 1964 it was revealed that he had been a CIA agent since 1948. An exceptional association of two important figures in the British/American nexus of World War II and Cold War intelligence operatives given its fullest embodiment in the popular imagination through Fleming’s enduring spy avatar James Bond. Gilbert A9a (1.1). Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of shelfwear. Jacket art by Richard Chopping.
"In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time": Large Signed Portrait Photograph Signed by Charles Dickens
Large oval portrait photograph measures 20 inches by 16 inches. Matted in a contemporary frame which measures 25.5 inches by 29.5 inches. Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Boston Sixth March 1868.” In 1867, Charles Dickens began his second American reading tour at Boston’s Tremont Temple, where an enthusiastic audience delighted in some of his most notable works, members of the audience included legendary literary stars such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although Dickens was in declining health, he embarked on an ambitious travel schedule across the United States. Dickens returned to Boston once more before concluding his U.S. tour in New York City. When Charles Dickens arrived in Boston on November 19, 1867, the celebrated English author spent several days at the Parker House hotel recuperating from the voyage. As conscientious a performer as he was a writer, Dickens had prepared diligently for his performances, redrafting and memorizing key passages from his books especially for these engagements. He used a book only as a prop; he was so familiar with the material that he could improvise with ease. However, during his 1867-1868 tour he was plagued with Flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and an inflammation of his foot, which forced him to walk with a cane. During his last tours in 1868, Dickens confined much of his performances to the New England area. Dickens was grateful for the income he desperately needed from his readings, which generated $140,000, close to $2,000,000 today; but he longed for home. On April 8, 1868, Dickens gave the last performance of the tour. Prolonged applause followed the reading. He closed by telling the audience, “In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time… Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell.” He died two years later, having written 14 novels, several of which are considered classics of English literature. A desirable piece of Victorian literary history.
“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat": Rare First Edition of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich; Signed by Him
CT: Ralston Society, 1937.
First edition of this classic bestseller, which has sold over 100 million copies. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by Napoleon Hill on the front free endpaper. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. This is the first example of a first printing we have seen signed. Rare and desirable.
"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect": First Edition of Gone with the Wind; Inscribed by Her to Her College Roommate
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1936.
First edition, first issue with “Published May 1936” on the copyright page of the author’s classic novel. Octavo, original gray cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the title page in the year of publication, “To Virginia Morris, my room mate at Smith College, my friend for many years With love Peggy Margaret Mitchell Atlanta, GA Dec. 14, 1936.” Mitchell and Morris lodged together at 10 Henshaw Avenue, a college approved boardinghouse, where Mitchell was one of its most vibrant and engaging tenants. During her tenure there, Mitchell was already offering colorful discourses on the Civil War, its conflicts seeming to possess her more than “the current unpleasantness in Europe.” After finishing her freshman year at Smith, and following the death of her mother, Mitchell went back to Atlanta to take over the household for her father and never returned to Smith College. Black and white photograph of the members of Mitchell’s freshmen class at Smith College, with “Peg” kneeling in foreground and two Confederate bills. Owner’s name to the half-title page, near fine in a very good first issue dust jacket, with Gone with the Wind listed in the second column of the booklist on the back panel, with $3.00 cost on the front flap, which shows considerable wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A significant association copy.