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Bakchesarian Fountain

Bakchesarian Fountain

by PUSHKIN Alexander LEWIS William D.

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1849. First Edition . PUSHKIN, Alexander. The Bakchesarian Fountain. By Alexander Pooshkeen. And Other Poems, by Various Authors. Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1849. 12mo, original tan printed paper wrappers respined and recornered; 72 pp. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6200.First edition in English of Pushkin's popular third book.This translation of Bakhchisaraiskii Fontan (Moscow 1824) is one of the poet's first appearances in English, published 12 years after his death in a duel, preceded by G. Borrow's translation of The Talisman published in St. Petersburg in 1835. This edition stands as an important early example of American interest in Russian literature, interest which would blossom in the next half-century with the publication of works by Tolstoy, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and others. Translator William Lewis lived and worked in Russia in the early 1820s; during that time he became the friend of Nikolai Ivanovich Grech, editor of the Syn Otechestva (a weekly magazine), who… Read More
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Ballad of Reading Gaol

Ballad of Reading Gaol

by WILDE Oscar

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1898. First Edition . WILDE, Oscar. The Ballad of Reading Gaol by C.3.3. London: Leonard Smithers, 1898. Slim octavo, original half cream cloth with cinnamon cloth boards, uncut. $3600.First edition, one of only 800 copies printed on handmade paper.Inspired by his prison experience and comprised in part by a plea for penal reform, The Ballad of Reading Gaol was the last work Wilde completed before his death in 1900. ""In his comedies the miscreants were always pardoned, but in the Ballad, while ultimately forgiven, they are treated vindictively by their fellows, who are equally guilty… There is no doubt that Wilde had once again touched a great subject and left his fingerprints on it… once read, it is never forgotten"" (Ellmann, 532-34). Mason 371. A few pinholes to two preliminary leaves, interior otherwise fine. One tiny inkspot to front cover, spine slightly toned. A handsome, extremely good copy of this scarce first edition.
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Basilika: The Workes of King Charles

Basilika: The Workes of King Charles

by CHARLES I ROYALTY

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1662. First Edition . CHARLES I. Basilika: The Workes of King Charles, The Martyr. With a collection of Declarations, Treaties, And other Papers concerning the Differences Betwixt His said Majesty and his Two Houses of Parliament. London: Printed by James Flesher for R. Royston, Book-seller to His Most Sacred Majesty, 1662. Thick folio (10 by 14-1/2 inches), contemporary full brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, red morocco spine label; pp. (16), 120, (2), 458, (12), 733, (7). $10,500.First folio edition of the works of King Charles I—the enormously popular (and vainly suppressed) testament to the executed monarch's political principles and spiritual devotion—the first edition directly approved by Charles II, beautifully printed with three magnificent double-page copper-engraved plates, engraved frontispiece (by Hollar) and title page, in lovely morocco-gilt with the king's coat of arms stamped in gilt on the covers.In late 1647, with tensions between… Read More
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Ben-Hur. A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur. A Tale of the Christ

by WALLACE Lew

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1892. Signed. WALLACE, Lew. Ben-Hur. A Tale of the Christ. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1892. Two volumes. Octavo, original vellum boards, yapp edges, uncut. $3200.Limited “Garfield Edition,” number 131 of only 350 copies, profusely illustrated with 20 photogravures and numerous marginal line drawings, adorning virtually every page. With an autograph letter signed by Wallace laid in.""The romance Wallace is most famous for, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, is second only to Uncle Tom's Cabin as the most popular American fiction of the 19th century and, indeed, in its various cinematic versions""—most famously, the 1959 epic starring Charlton Heston, with its dramatic chariot race—""is one of the most popular works of all time"" (ANB). Ben-Hur ""offers much to inspire an artist's pencil… To Mr. Arthur B. Turnure of New York City belongs the credit of conceiving the plan of making a new edition… with marginal… Read More
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Biblia Hebraica

Biblia Hebraica

by HEBREW BIBLE

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1814. First Edition . HEBREW BIBLE. Biblia Hebraica, Secundum Ultimam Editionem Jos. Athiae, a Johanne Leusden, Denuo Recognitum, Recensita Variisque Notis Latinis Illustrata, ab Everardo Van Der Hooght. Editio Prima Americana, Sine Punctis Masorethicis. Philadelphia: Printed by William Fry for Thomas Dobson, 1814. Two volumes. Octavo, modern full dark brown calf, raised bands, old red morocco spine labels. $28,000.Very rare first edition of the first Hebrew Bible published in America, of major importance in the field of American Judaica, handsomely bound.The publisher of this edition, Thomas Dobson, explained: ""In the year 1812, Mr. [Jonathan] Horowitz had proposed the publication of an edition of the Hebrew Bible, being the first proposal of the kind ever offered in the United States. The undertaking was strongly recommended by many clergymen… and a considerable number of subscriptions for the work were obtained by him… Horowitz, recently arrived from Amsterdam with a font of… Read More
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Birds of America

Birds of America

by AUDUBON John James

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1856. AUDUBON, John James. The Birds of America from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories. New York: V. G. Audubon, 1856-57. Seven volumes. Royal octavo, publisher's full brown morocco, elaborately decorated in blind, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $58,500.Second octavo edition, the first edition with fully colored backgrounds, containing 500 superb hand-colored plates.One of the most spectacular series of ornithological prints ever produced and a landmark attempt to document the birds of North America. Identical to the first octavo edition, printed in 1840-44, except that the prints have tinted lithographic-wash backgrounds. The royal octavo edition, which Audubon referred to as the ""petit edition,"" contained new species of birds and plants not included in the folio edition, with the birds grouped in an orderly scientific manner. ""His first objective was to observe birds in their native habitat, to see their behavior, their… Read More
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Blues Paperbacks

Blues Paperbacks

by OLIVER Paul

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Paperback
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1970. First Edition . OLIVER, Paul (series editor), et al. Eleven ""Blues Paperbacks"" [in hardcover]. London: Studio Vista, 1970-71. Eleven volumes. Small octavo, original boards, original dust jackets. $3500.First editions—scarce and desirable hardcover issues—of 11 of Paul Oliver's iconic music series on the origins and influence of the Blues from 1970-71, each volume richly illustrated. Though referred to as the ""Blues Paperbacks"" series, these 11 volumes are all in boards with scarce original dust jackets.This fascinating collection includes series editor Paul Oliver's own contribution, Savannah Syncopators, 1970, an authoritative study of the African sources of jazz and blues, based on the author's extensive field studies in West Africa. Tony Russell's Blacks Whites and Blues (1970) is a historical examination of the complex relationship between black and white folk music traditions, and the importance of the Blues to both.… Read More
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Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer

by BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

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1723. BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments. London: John Baskett… and the Assigns of Thomas Newcomb and Henry Hills, 1723. Tall folio (10-1/2 by 16 inches), contemporary full mottled calf expertly rebacked with original spine neatly laid down, corners and spine panels with gilt device of the crown of King George I, raised bands, renewed endpapers, all edges gilt. $8250.Beautiful early 18th-century tall folio edition of the venerable Book of Common Prayer— the treasury of ritual, prayer and Scripture that has indelibly shaped the piety and literature of the English-speaking world—with fine engraved frontispiece, handsome in nicely restored contemporary calf featuring the gilt device of King George I in the corners and spine panels.Born of Thomas Cranmer's desire for liturgical texts upon which all of Europe's Protestant, English-speaking churches could agree, the beautiful and dignified language of the Book of Common Prayer, first… Read More
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Book of American Negro Spirituals

Book of American Negro Spirituals

by JOHNSON James Weldon

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1925. First Edition . Signed. JOHNSON, James Weldon. The Book of American Negro Spirituals. New York: Viking, 1925. Quarto, original brown cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6500.First edition, presentation copy, of the Harlem Renaissance classic, inscribed to a famous sports columnist and short story writer: ""For Ring W. Lardner with sincere regards—James Weldon Johnson.""Poet, novelist, civil rights leader, lawyer and lyricist, James Weldon Johnson edited The Book of American Negro Spirituals. Johnson, who also signed this first edition, initially explored the legacy of African American music in 1900 when he co-wrote the classic ""Lift Every Voice and Sing"" with his brother John Rosamond Johnson, who provided this volume's musical arrangements. After the two brothers became successful songwriters James Weldon Johnson's life took a turn as he became active in civil rights, publishing the autobiographical novel, Autobiography of an… Read More
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Boston Slave Riot

Boston Slave Riot

by SLAVERY BURNS Anthony

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1854. First Edition . (SLAVERY) (BURNS, Anthony). Boston Slave Riot, and Trial of Anthony Burns. Boston: Fetridge, 1854. Slim octavo, modern half calf and marbled boards. $3000.First edition of a seminal pre-Civil War pamphlet on the 1854 arrest and Boston trial of fugitive slave Anthony Burns, whose return to his Virginia slave owner at the order of the Boston court sparked public fury and ""set Boston on its ear in the spring of 1854,"" inspiring Whitman to write his Boston Ballad and Thoreau to deliver his speech, Slavery in Massachusetts, to a July 4, 1854 antislavery rally.The trial of fugitive slave Anthony Burns, which ""set Boston on its ear in the spring of 1854….[was] nothing less than a pocket revolution"" (Von Frank, Trials of Anthony Burns, xii). The arrest and trial in Boston of Burns, whose Virginia slave-owner Suttle followed him there, was ""one of the most dramatic and famous incidents in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave… Read More
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Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia

by PATERSON Katherine

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First Edition
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Hardcover
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1977. First Edition . Signed. PATERSON, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, (1977). Octavo, original navy cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $12,000.Most exceptional first edition of the quintessential children's book about loss, signed by Katherine Paterson and specially annotated by her with over 1300 handwritten words describing the writing process and her experiences after publication, all intended to bolster this copy's value for a Christie's auction to benefit the PEN/American Center.""Paterson, who has already earned regard with her historical fiction set in Japan, proves to be just as eloquent and assured when dealing with contemporary American children—and Americans of very different backgrounds at that. Jess, from an uneducated family in rural Virginia, has been practicing all summer to become the fastest runner at school—a reputation more desirable than his present image as 'that crazy little kid who… Read More
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Brooklyn Gang

Brooklyn Gang

by DAVIDSON Bruce

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Hardcover
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1998. First Edition . Signed. DAVIDSON, Bruce. Brooklyn Gang. (Santa Fe): Twin Palms, 1998. Square quarto, original black cloth, original photographic dust jacket, original black cloth clamshell box. WITH: Gelatin silver print, measuring 5-1/2 by 8 inches, matted; total piece measures 11 by 10 inches. $6000.Signed limited first edition, number 9 of only 150 copies signed by Davidson, and one of only 50 to include a matted gelatin silver print of young men outside a tattoo parlor from the book, also signed by Davidson, in pencil on the verso, featuring 71 sheet-fed photogravure plates.In book form for the first time, this is the ""most memorable"" of Bruce Davidson's early photo essays, ""the grainy, cinematic record of the time he spent hanging out with a Brooklyn teen gang called the Jokers"" during the late 1950s (Roth, 196). Brooklyn Gang reflects Davidson's award-winning reputation as a ""poet of transition, drawn to places and moments on… Read More
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