B & B Rare Books, Ltd.

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Grandmother; The Story of a Life That Never Was Lived

Grandmother; The Story of a Life That Never Was Lived

Richards, Laura E. Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill. First edition. Publisher's light blue cloth and blue-gray paper-covered boards, designed by Amy Richards (author's daughter, unsigned binding) with Madonna lilies stamped in dark blue to upper cover and spine, title and author stamped in gilt, top edge gilt, rough cut edges, with frontispiece and three full-page black and white illustrations by Merrill; in original dust jacket designed to match the binding, tan jacket stamped in dark blue. Near fine book with light toning to edges of boards, very light rubbing to bottom corner of upper cover, former owner gift inscription to front pastedown; in a good jacket, missing the lower half of the spine, with chipping to head of spine, a few chips to corners and edge of front panel, vertical stain to front panel, some creasing. Overall, a nice example of the exceptionally scarce dust jacket, designed by one of the top book artists of the time period, who is also the daughter of the author. American author Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards (1850 - 1943) wrote over 90 books, including a biography of her mother, which won her the Pulitzer Prize. Richards' mother was Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the lyrics to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and her father was abolitionist Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Richards wrote many biographies, as well as poetry and stories for children. Laura Richards' daughter, Amy Richards (fl. 1896 - 1918) was an artist and designer of decorative book covers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries during the height of artistic trade bindings. Along with her contemporaries Sarah Wyman Whitman, Margaret Armstrong, and Alice Cordelia Morse, Richards is an example of how the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements at the time provided new opportunities for women's employment in the arts. While publishers intended them to be a means of advertisement, the decorative bindings usually look more like artwork in and of themselves. Although today little is known of her personal life, Amy Richards is regarded as an expert in her field and is credited as the designer of at least 85 bindings.
Slapstick

Slapstick

Vonnegut, Kurt First edition, first printing. Signed by author on front free endpaper. Publisher's black cloth; in the original dust jacket designed by Paul Bacon with a clown's face to front panel, photo of Vonnegut by Jill Krementz. Fine book; in a very good unclipped dust jacket, with just some offsetting to front panel, free of any chips or tears. Overall, a sharp copy, signed by the author. An autobiographical meditation posed as fiction, this sci-fi novel grasps at the grim realities of Vonnegut's own life, told through the fictional autobiography of his protagonist, Dr. Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain. In the novel's prologue, Vonnegut explains that his sister died from cancer in 1958, just two days after her husband was killed in a train accident. Of the three children they left behind, two were adopted by Vonnegut, while the third was raised by other relatives. Like much of Vonnegut's work, Slapstick weaves together a critique of government and society with themes of estranged families and fears of loneliness in a dystopian world. The novel tells of Dr. Swain and his twin sister, Eliza, who are born deformed and deemed mentally challenged by their caretakers and parents, who keep them isolated from society because of their strange behavior. Though unremarkable as individuals, when their bodies connect, the twins activate the full extent of their extraordinary mental abilities. While Eliza is sent to live in a mental institution, Dr. Swain goes on to become highly educated, and is eventually elected President of an albeit fractured and chaotic United States, seeking to end the widespread loneliness he sees in the world. Notably, the book was not well received by critics, and Vonnegut's later works would stray from his characteristic sci-fi style in favor of more ordinary series of events.
Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Eliot, George Eight volumes. First edition, first printing. Modern navy cloth with gilt lettering and ruling to spine. An excellent set, bound with the half-titles, former owner inscription to first blank, some very faint spotting, else fine. Overall, a bright and clean set. Middlemarch is the seventh novel by Mary Anne Evans, a top writer of the Victorian Era who chose to write under a male pseudonym so that her works would be taken more seriously. In addition to writing novels, she edited and contributed to the left-wing journal The Westminster Review as one of the only female editors of her time. Her novels were praised for being socially and politically conscious and for their realistic depictions of country life. Set in the fictional town Midlands in Middlemarch (thought to be based on Coventry) in the early 19th century, Middlemarch tells the interwoven stories of three couples' marriages, which are unhappy for a range of romantic and financial reasons. Throughout the text, Eliot references contemporary political events, including the death of George IV, the Reform Act of 1832, and the Industrial Revolution. The novel is divided into eight parts, reflecting its initial serial publication; Volume I contains "Miss Brooke" and "Old and Young," Volume II has "Waiting for Death" and "Three Love Problems," Volume III has "The Dead Hand" and "The Widow and the Wife," and Volume IV contains "Two Temptations" and "Sunset and Sunrise." Middlemarch is widely considered Eliot's masterpiece; when she was asked her opinion on the novel, her contemporary Emily Dickinson responded, "What do I think of Middlemarch? What do I think of glory - except that in a few instances 'this mortal has already put on immortality.'" Indeed, Virginia Woolf praised Middlemarch as the "magnificent book, which with all its imperfections, is one of the few English books written for grown-up people."
Young Pandora

Young Pandora

Chidester, Ann First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Chidester to Irma Wyckoff, secretary to Maxwell Perkins: "With best wishes to Miss Wyckoff, Sincerely, Ann Chidester". Additionally laid in to this copy are a typed letter signed and typed postcard signed, also to Irma Wyckoff. Publisher's pale blue-green cloth; in original blue dust jacket with an illustration by Cleon. Near fine book; in very good unclipped dust jacket with some wear and shallow nicks to corners, a few small closed tears to head of spine, 1" closed tear to top edge of rear panel near the spine, a few small tears to bottom of rear panel, front panel bright and fresh. Overall, a pleasant copy, with an interesting association. Young Pandora is Ann Chidester's first novel. It is autobiographical in nature, featuring a young girl from the Midwest who falls in love, travels, and begins a writing career. Chidester wrote five novels and many short stories, focusing on women's issues and the plight of the poor. She was close friends with her publisher at Scribner's, Maxwell Perkins, who famously published F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe. This copy of Young Pandora was inscribed by Chidester to Irma Wykoff, Perkins' devoted secretary. Also included are a typed letter and postcard. In them, she discusses their mutual acquaintance Marian, an editor at Mademoiselle, and Chidester's recent move to Taos. She also talks about the new book she is writing, Mable Dodge Luhan's literary colony, and refers to Perkins as "my friend, Mr. God."
400 Miles from Harlem. Courts

400 Miles from Harlem. Courts, Crime, and Correction.

Wylie, Max First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Wylie on front free endpaper: "For Rosalind- The good witch who brought nothing but luck, much laughter, fine weather on the Cape- and the most productive interval in my short life. From her friend, Max Wylie / N. Truro - June 22, '73." Publisher's black cloth; in the original dust jacket designed by Alan Peckolick. Book with toning to edges; dust jacket with some light staining to edges of front endpaper, dampstain to bottom edge of rear panel, 1" chip to bottom edge of front panel, more shallow chipping to edges and corners, rear panel toned, front panel bright. Overall, a good or better copy, warmly inscribed by the author. Max Wylie was a writer, producer, and director, who created "The Flying Nun" television series. He was also brother to American writer Philip Wylie, who penned the novel Generation of Vipers (1942). Outside his career, Max Wylie became known as the father of Janice Wylie, who was murdered at age 21, along with her roommate in their Upper East Side apartment. After Janice's murder, Wylie joined the auxiliary police and wrote and lectured on crime prevention. 400 Miles from Harlem discusses a reform of New York's prison system, its title referring to Attica prison in upstate New York. A collection of essays, it details family court, shows Attica from the guards' points of view, and analyzes the career of Anna Kross, New York City Commissioner of Correction from 1954-66.
A Ball Player's Career. Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscences of Adrian C. Anson

A Ball Player’s Career. Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscences of Adrian C. Anson

Anson, Adrian "Cap" First edition, first printing. From the library of former major league baseball player, Eugene "Gene" DeMontreville. Original publisher's green cloth, spine lettered in blue, front cover with ball player illustration of Anson and lettering in blue. A very good copy with wear and rubbing to the extremities, a few small scattered stains and light soiling to cloth, hinges repaired, plate facing page 46 with tape repairs to verso, and the signature of baseball player, Eugene DeMontreville and "B B B Club" notation to the front pastedown, Eugene "Gene" DeMontreville played professional baseball from 1894-1904 at second base and shortstop, playing on 8 different teams in his 11 year career. DeMontreville was a former teammate of Hall of Famers Kid Nichols, Billy Hamilton and Vic Willis for the 1901-1902 Boston Beaneaters (later Boston Braves), and Connie Mack for the 1894 Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played on the 1900 National League Champion Brooklyn Superbas (later Brooklyn Dodgers). His 36 game hitting streak for the Washington Senators from 1896-1897 ranks as the 10th longest in Major League Baseball history. A Ball Player's Career is considered the first baseball biography ever published in book form, where Anson recounts his professional baseball career and international goodwill tours. Anson led Chicago to six National League pennants in the 1880's, and still holds several Cubs franchise records, while being the only Cub in the 3,000 hit club. He was also one of the first 19th century baseball players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1939).
Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

Dreiser, Theodore First edition, first printing. Published in a small print run of 1,008 copies, approximately half of which were remaindered. Original publisher's red buckram cloth, lettered and ruled in black. A very good or better copy with some light wear and rubbing to the extremities, a few small and faint stains to the front cover, spine ends a touch frayed, former owner's bookplate to front pastedown, former owner's signature to front endpaper, rear hinge repaired, otherwise a bright and attractive copy. A much nicer copy than usual. Sister Carrie tells the story Caroline Meeber, a young woman from Wisconsin who dreams of living a glamorous life in the city. After she moves to Chicago, Carrie becomes the mistress of two wealthy businessmen, through whom she is able to transform herself into a stylish urban woman. After moving to New York City, Carrie is able to fulfil her dreams of becoming a famous actress, but only to realize that material wealth does not elicit true happiness. Although today considered one of Dreier's best novels, Sister Carrie was initially met with mixed critical reviews and was not commercially successful. While the protagonist's lack of Victorian moral values all but ensured that there would be some negative criticism, much of Sister Carrie's initial lack of success was due to the publisher's distaste for the novel; after Dreiser made publication arrangements with Walter Page, his partner Frank Doubleday attempted to cancel the publication, but, being legally prevented from doing so, appeased himself by refusing to market the text properly.
Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

Milne, A. A. Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. First edition, first printing, first state dust jacket with "117th Thousand" to rear flap. Signed by Milne and Shepard to the title page. Publisher's dark green cloth, decorated in gilt to front board with an illustration of Christopher Robin and Pooh, lettered in gilt to spine, top edge gilt, illustrated map endpapers; in the original tan pictorial dust jacket printed with Shepard's illustrations in black. An excellent copy with only some very minor rubbing to the spine ends and slight offsetting to the endpaper; in the jacket with some toning to the spine and some chipping with minor loss to the spine ends, else very good. Overall, a very attractive copy, exceptionally scarce signed by both author and illustrator. Winnie-the-Pooh is the second in Milne's series of children's books featuring the adventures of the teddy bear character Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Each telling an individual and complete story, the chapters of Winnie-the-Pooh can be read independently of one another. Milne created the story of Winnie the Pooh for his son Christopher Robin, who had a teddy bear named Edward Bear. In his introduction, Milne explains how Edward Bear became Winnie the Pooh, although he notes that "we can't remember whether Winnie is called after Pooh, or Pooh after Winnie." The name "Winnie" comes from a bear that the Milnes saw at the London Zoo, while the name "Pooh" is from a swan whom the fictional Christopher Robin encountered in When We Were Very Young (1924).
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

Dickens, Charles Illustrations by Robert Seymour, Robert William Buss, and Hablot Knight Browne. First edition, first printing, three of the first issue points called for by Smith: "S. Veller" uncorrected on p. 342, "this friends" on p. 400, and "OF" imperfect on heading of p. 432. Contemporary full red polished calf with five raised bands and two spine labels in dark green, spines lettered and beautifully decorated in gilt, all edges gilt, blue and red marbled endpapers. A beautiful copy with only some light scattered foxing and the usual toning to the plates, early former ownership signature to second blank. An excellent and extremely bright copy in a fine binding. Smith I, 3. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club was originally published serially in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly installments from April 1836 - November 1837. This first edition was published shortly after on November 17, 1837. The project was originally conceived by illustrator Robert Seymour, who envisioned a series of humorous stories about the adventures of amateur Cockney sportsmen. Chapman and Hall employed Dickens to create a cohesive narrative that provided a background story for the illustrations. However, the bold young writer purportedly wrote with little regard to the illustrations, even making suggestions for their alterations at times, much to Seymour's displeasure. After the second installment was completed, Seymour committed suicide and was replaced in the Pickwick project by Robert Buss. However, Dickens found Buss' work unfavorable, and Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"), who would continue to illustrate many of Dickens' subsequent novels, took over as the Pickwick illustrator. Smith comments on the complicated history of Pickwick's illustration: "The history of the creation of the plates is perhaps as complex as that of the printing of the text, and different states of a plate and different plates for the same subject may vary from one bound copy to another seldom, in fact, are all of the plates located in copies in the original cloth or rebound ones," which he partially attributes to the lack of a list of illustrations.
Base Ball: The History

Base Ball: The History, Statistics and Romance of the American National Game From Its Inception to the Present Time

Church, Seymour R. Church, Seymour R. Base Ball: The History, Statistics and Romance of the American National Game From Its Inception to the Present Time. San Francisco: Seymour R. Church, 1902. Volume I, 1845-1871 (volume II never published). Illustrated with color illustrations and black & white photographs. First edition. Original publisher's red pebbled cloth, lettered in gilt to the front cover. An excellent copy with only some mild wear and rubbing to the extremities and several small scattered scuff to the covers, hinges tender. A very bright and attractive copy of an extremely scarce early baseball book. Written and published by San Francisco historian Seymour R. Church, this book details the history and origins of baseball, from the formation of the New York Knickerbockers in 1845 through the establishment of the first professional league in 1871. It features numerous portraits of notable figures, including George Wright, shortstop for the Chicago Red Stockings, the country's first professional team. Though intended as the first part in a larger series, later volumes were never published. Notably, Church, who also worked as a salesman for the Muirkirk iron foundry, was widely regarded as the foremost authority on baseball in the western United States, and had previously published a four-volume series called Base Ball Schedule and Memorandum Book, which was well-received and popular among baseball fans at the time.
Constitution and Playing Rules of the Associated Base Ball Clubs of Chicago.

Constitution and Playing Rules of the Associated Base Ball Clubs of Chicago.

Litzinger, Edward R.] First edition. Original publisher’s cream wrappers, lettered and decorated in black with a Spalding bicycle advertisement to the rear. An excellent copy with some light soiling and the stamp of "Edward R. Litzinger" to the front cover. A well preserved example of an early baseball publication. Bearing the ownership stamp of the organization’s president, Edward R. Litzinger, this guide to the rules and regulations of the Associated Baseball Clubs of Chicago (ABC) was published shortly after the ABC took over the role of governing body for Chicago’s semi-professional baseball clubs in 1898. A role previously held by the Chicago Amateur Baseball Association, the governing body was primarily responsible for scheduling games around the city. Notably, the ABC represented both black and white teams in this racially segregated sport, and was responsible for settling disputes that arose between clubs that were known to have powerful rivalries. Mentioned in this publication is William S. Peters (1867-1933), an American entrepreneur and baseball player who served as treasurer of the ABC. Peters was manager and played first base for the all-black Chicago Unions team, later continuing on to run his own team until 1923, the Peters Union Giants, widely regarded as a predecessor of the Negro Leagues. Notably, this booklet was published by A. G. Spalding & Bros, a sporting goods company founded in 1976 by Albert Goodwill Spalding, a prominent baseball player and executive in the earliest days of the sport. Now known simply as "Spalding," the company is still around today.
The Little Prince

The Little Prince

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de Illustrated by Saint-Exupéry. Translated by Katherine Woods. First edition, first printing, first issue with a 5-line colophon. Publisher's pictorial pale orange cloth, with an illustration of the Little Prince to the front board in burgundy, lettered in burgundy; in the original first issue dust jacket, with $2.00 price to front flap and the publisher's 386 4th Avenue address to the front flap, illustration of the Little Prince on Asteroid B-612 to the panels, lettered in black and blue. Near fine with some slight rubbing to the extremities; in an unclipped jacket with toning to the spine, chipping to the spine ends with some slight loss to the lower spine. Overall, a very good copy of an exceedingly scarce book. The Little Prince is a beloved children's novella that tells the story of a little boy from the tiny Asteroid B612 who falls to Earth and meets a pilot who has been stranded in the desert, based loosely on Saint-Exupéry's own experience in the Sahara Desert. The text is complimented by the author's watercolor illustrations, which add to its dreamlike quality. The Little Prince was first published in the United States while Saint-Exupéry, a native of Lyons, was living in self-imposed exile in North America after France signed an armistice agreement with Nazi Germany. The text was published simultaneously in English with Katherine Woods' translation and in the original French under the title Le Petit Prince. Translated into over 250 languages and selling nearly 2 million copies per year, The Little Prince is indeed, as the dust jacket proclaims, one of the "few stories which in some way, in some degree, change the world forever for their readers."
Camp-Fires and Guide-Posts

Camp-Fires and Guide-Posts

Van Dyke, Henry First edition. Publisher's dark blue cloth designed by Margaret Armstrong (unsigned); in the scarce original dust jacket, light green laid paper stamped in dark green, a simple design, not matching the binding. Very good or better book, text block uniformly toned and with some darker foxing to endpapers and prelims, small nick to rear free endpaper at top edge, some very light wear to corners, cloth bright and clean; in a very good unclipped dust jacket, with some toning to spine, light scattered foxing and soiling most notably to rear panel, shallow chipping to head of spine and two small holes near middle of spine. Overall, an attractive book in an excellent example of the extremely scarce dust jacket. Camp-Fires and Guide-Posts is a collection of essays and reflections by Henry Van Dyke, minister, diplomat, and professor of English at Princeton University. Specifically, it includes "Fishing in Strange Waters," "Japonica," "Firelight Views," "A Certain Insularity of Islanders," "Sympathetic Antipathies," and "Interludes on the Koto," among others. In addition to his essays, this volume also includes what Van Dyke calls interludes, which he says, "may be taken as talks by the camp-fire," as well as several tributes to fellow beloved travelers. Notably, this volume is one of many bindings that are part of a uniform set of Van Dyke's novels, published from 1895-1926. Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944) was a renowned artist and designer. Along with her contemporary Sarah Wyman Whitman (1824-1904), Armstrong is an example of how the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements at the time provided new opportunities for women's employment in the arts. After beginning her career with A. C. McClurg, Armstrong worked primarily for Scribner's and specifically focused on the works of a few authors. Armstrong's style, which was influenced by the floral patterns of Art Nouveau and the lines and shapes that are characteristic of the Arts and Crafts movement, made her bindings distinct, which was useful in terms of advertisement and branding an author's works as a unique set.