LEE, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia and New York: J.B. Lippincott, (1960). Octavo, original half green cloth, brown paper boards, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $20,000.First edition, first printing, of Harper Lees masterpiece, in rare first-issue dust jacket.Harper Lee's portrayal of life in a small Alabama town captured the essence of the South at one of its most trying times. To Kill a Mockingbird became an immediate bestseller and won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is "an authentic and nostalgic story which in rare fashion at once puts together the tenderness and the tragedy of the South. They are the inseparable ingredients of a region much reported but seldom so well understood" (Jonathan Daniels). First printing, without listing of subsequent impressions, in first-issue dust jacket with photo of Lee by Truman Capote on back panel. Book with one small mark to front panel, dust jacket with expert restoration. A lovely copy.
"PRIESTLEY, Joseph. An History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ, Compiled from Original Writers; Proving that the Christian Church Was at First Unitarian. Birmingham: Printed for the Author, By Pearson and Rollason, 1786. Four volumes. Octavo, original half cream paper and original blue-gray paper boards, uncut and largely unopened; pp. 402; 450; 444; 400. Housed together in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $5800.First edition of Priestley's "most widely known work," substantially triggering Britain's 1791 "Church-and-King" riots that set his home ablaze, prompting his exile in America where he was welcomed by Jefferson, who owned a personal copy of this four-volume work and deemed Priestley one of the "few lives precious to mankind," a rare uncut, largely unopened copy in original boards.Britain's Joseph Priestley, the controversial theologian, philosopher and scientist especially famed for his discovery of oxygen, was also a "laissez-faire theorist in economics a founder of the modern Unitarian movement" and a vocal supporter of the American Revolution who counted Franklin and Jefferson as close friends (Kramnick, Religion and Radicalism, 507). In History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ, deemed his "most widely known work," Priestley's view of Christ and prayer, and his focus on "a serious and rational investigation of the Scriptures and history," proved so provocative that it sparked a "widespread public perception of him as an enemy to both church and state"leading to Britain's notorious 1791 "Church-and-King riots" (Haykin, Socinian and Calvinist Compared, 179-87). There, over a period of several days, mobs attacked and set fire to Priestley's "house, his library, laboratory and papers and his life was saved only because he had fled" (ANB).When Priestley was forced to leave England for exile in America, his "champion" was Jefferson, who often noted that it was Priestley and his writings that formed his "educational, theological and political attitudes Through Priestley, Jefferson came to philosophical materialism and notions of the materiality of the soul But it was more than just specifics that Priestley and Jefferson shared. It was an entire worldview, an unabashed appreciation of modernity" (Kramnick, 18th Century Science, 2). Jefferson, who had a personal copy of this four-volume edition of History of Early Opinions in his library, declared that Priestley's "antagonists think they have quenched his opinions by sending him to America, just as the pope imagined when he shut up Galileo in prison" (Hayes, Road to Monticello, 463). "Nothing pleased Priestley more during his last ten years in America than Jefferson's election to the presidency in 1800. It marked a personal milestone for Priestley. He wrote, 'I now for the first time in my life find myself in any degree of favor with the government of the country I which I have lived.'" Yet more than "the discoverer of oxygen or one of Jefferson's 'few lives precious to mankind,' Priestley was the quintessential reformer-scientist lifting the weight of mystery and tradition from both the universe and the polity" (Kramnick, 18th Century Science, 6, 30). During Jefferson's tenure as president, Priestley died in Pennsylvania in 1804. Vol. I with folding "Biographical Chart" as frontispiece. Volume IV with Account of the Editions of the Ancient Writers Quoted in this Work at rear, and publisher's six-page advertisement. ESTC T36365. Sowerby 1527. Each volume with bookplates of the Howard family, Earls of Suffolk & Berkshire. Spines numbered and titled in early unidentified cursive.Text fresh with minimal edge-wear, soiling to original boards. An exceptional near-fine copy, uncut and unopened in original boards."
"(JOHNSON, Samuel) BOSWELL, James. Boswell's Life of Johnson, including Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a Journey into North Wales. Oxford: Clarendon, 1887. Six volumes bound in eleven. Octavo, contemporary full navy morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt, uncut. $11,000.First George Birkbeck Hill edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson and Johnson's travels, extra-illustrated with 1153 finely engraved portraits, views, maps and facsimiles (including many proofs on India paper), and facsimile of handwritten note by Hill tipped in. Handsomely bound in full morocco by Riviere & Son.Hill was a renowned Johnsonian scholar; when the Clarendon Press brought out this six-volume set in 1887, "the edition was accepted as a masterpiece of spacious editing. The index, forming the sixth volume, is a monument of industry and completeness" (DNB). "The fascination of [Boswell and Johnson's] dialogue, that dialogue of mind, heart and voice round which Boswell organized his great Life, is that it is not merely between two very different men but between two epochs. In its pages, Romantic Europe speaks to Renaissance Europe, and is answered" (Wain, 229). Due to the profusion of added plates, portraits and facsimiles, each of the five text volumes were divided into two volumes, for a total of 11 volumes (the index volume is not extra-illustrated). Interiors and added plates clean and fine. Volume I, Part I and Volume III, Part I expertly rebacked with original spine neatly laid down, a few other joints slightly tender or with minor reinforcements, bindings sound. A very handsome and lavishly extra-illustrated set in excellent condition."
EISENHOWER, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. Garden City: Doubleday, 1948. Thick octavo, original tan linen, cartographic endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut; custom slipcase in imitation of the original, housed in a custom chemise and slipcase. $6500.Signed limited first edition, number 1340 of 1426 copies signed by Eisenhower at the bottom of a facsimile of his D-Day message to Allied troops.Eisenhower's memoir provides an important and unique perspective on the difficult command-level decisions that decided the outcome of World War II. Included are numerous battlefield and theater maps (a number in color), as well as photographic illustrations selected by Edward Steichen. Without original acetate and slipcase. Interior clean and fine, slight rubbing to spine. A near-fine signed copy.
"(CONSTITUTION) UNITED STATES CONGRESS. Journal, Acts and Proceedings of the Convention which Formed the Constitution of the United States. Boston: Thomas B. Wait, 1819. Octavo, contemporary brown sheep, rebacked with original spine laid down, red morocco spine label. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $10,500.First edition of the Journals, Acts and Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, held May 14 to September 17, 1787, one of only 1000 copies, printed by order of Congress, breaking the "seal of secrecy" and revealing publicly for the first time "the Secret Journals of the Acts and Proceedings, and the Foreign Correspondence," the first and earliest obtainable account of the Constitutional Convention. This exceedingly rare association copy contains the owner signature on the title page of Caesar Augustus Rodney, the nephew and namesake of Caesar Rodney, signer of the Declaration of Independence and prominent leader of the Stamp Act Congress, an exceptional copy in contemporary sheep, housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box."The Congress of the Confederation had empowered the Philadelphia Convention to recommend amendments to the Articles of Confederation, not to write a constitution for the nation. The Convention decided, however, to discard the Articles and to devise an entirely new government. When the framers were done they bypassed the Congress and submitted the new Constitution directly to the states, which were called upon to organize popular conventions to ratify their actions and adopt the Constitution. The framers appealed to the people directly, rather than to the state legislatures, to ensure that the new Constitution would be regarded as a higher law, more fundamental than normal legislation The framers believed that only the people themselves could compact together to ordain the Constitution" (Lutz & Warren,A Covenanted People 47). Sixty-five delegates had been chosen by the legislatures of 12 of the original 13 states. George Washington was elected president of the Convention, which also included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. The Constitution was adopted and signed by the Convention on September 17, 1787 and submitted to the Continental Congress on September 28, 1787, with the suggestion that it should be submitted to the individual states for their assent and ratification (which was accomplished before the close of 1791). The Convention itself had worked in absolute secrecy by vote of a majority of its members. No official records were kept. Sentries were posted around the building and windows and doors were shut up tight. This secrecy was so well enforced that even personal correspondence between the closest friends could not reveal anything of the nature of the debates. We now know about these debates only through a handful of documents that were preserved by the Convention and deposited by President Washington at the Department of State in 1796, before he left office, as well as Madison's journal.This publication, the first and earliest obtainable account of the Constitutional Convention, was published by order of Congress in 1818. Edited by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, the Journal is based on those State Department documents and the now-famous "secret" journal of James Madison, as well as material obtained from other members of the Convention. This account of the Constitutional Convention gives us extraordinary access to the creation of our nation's founding document and has had immense influence on our modern understanding of the framers' original intent. In 1820 a four-volume edition, also published by Wait, was issued to further record the events of the 1787 Convention. Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ford 85. Harvard Law Catalogue II:805. Sabin 15557. Shaw & Shoemaker 49802. This is the personal copy of Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824), with his signature, dated 1822, on the title page. A prominent statesman who served as Attorney General for both Jefferson and Madison, he supervised the government's prosecution of Aaron Burr in the controversial 1802 trial. Named after his uncle, Caesar Rodney, brother of his father Thomas, Caesar Rodney was a leading figure in the Revolution. He "represented Delaware in the Stamp Act Congress, where he enthusiastically supported a petition (which some members would not sign) insisting on the right to trial by jury and taxation only with the agreement of their own assemblies, as well as threatening an embargo on all but the most necessary British goods until the Stamp Act was repealed." Described by John Adams as "the oddest looking Man in the world [yet with] Sense and Fire, Spirit, Wit and Humour in his Countenance" (ANB), Rodney joined John Dickinson in taking "leading roles in the subsequent pre-revolutionary agitation" (Morgan, 367).In 1776 Rodney played a crucial role when the Continental Congress took up the subject of independence on July 2nd. With the Delaware vote divided and Rodney away in Lewes, investigating a Tory uprising, he was urgently called to Philadelphia in order to cast the deciding vote. "He rode 80 miles through the night of 1-2 July 1776 and arrived at the Pennsylvania state house, 'tho detained by Thunder and Rain,' in time to join [fellow assemblyman] McKean in casting Delaware's vote for independence A justification of this action, in the form of the famous Declaration of Independence, was adopted without any recorded vote on July 4." Subsequently Rodney, along with his fellow "Delaware delegates signed the Declaration [when] a fine copy was available in August." That same month Rodney called for a special session of the Delaware assembly, "the first in America with the specific function of writing a state constitution." Rodney was later made President of the Delaware militia and during the dangerous months of the war, "with a British army in Philadelphia and a British fleet on the Delaware River, Rodney did all in his power
"CHANDLER, Raymond. Farewell, My Lovely. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1940. Octavo, original red wrappers. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9200.First edition, Advance Review Copy, of Chandler's scarce second novelan exceptional copy of this premiere work by "one hell of a writer" (George Higgins)in original ARC wrappers."Show me a man or woman who cannot stand mysteries and I will show you a fool, a clever foolperhapsbut a fool just the same." With these words, written by Chandler in 1949, the man who redefined the American crime novel acknowledged what his own writing made evident. It was barely a decade earlier that Chandler began to achieve some success. With the popularity of his first novel The Big Sleep in 1939, Chandler began working on Farewell, My Lovely in April that same year, completing a first draft by September and finishing the novel in the summer of 1940. To many, Farewell, My Lovely, the second Philip Marlowe novel, remains Chandler's premiere achievementglittering with lines such as "All she did was take her hand out of her bag, with a gun in it. All she did was point it at me and smile. All I did was nothing" (265). W.H. Auden calls Chandler's works "serious studies of a criminal milieu, the Great Wrong Place, and his powerful but extremely depressing books should be read and judged, not as escape literature, but as works of art" (ANB). Or, as George Higgins noted, "Chandler is fun to read one hell of a writer, and those are hard to find" (Bruccoli & Layman, 82-3). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. A Haycraft Queen cornerstone. Bruccoli A2.1.a. Hubin, 75. Johnson, 60. Owner signature dated year of publication.Text fresh and fine, mild rubbing, scant edge-wear mainly to spine of ARC original wrappers. An excellent near-fine copy."
ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. Lithographic broadside, "D-Day Prayer." Washington: No publisher, Christmas 1944. Broadside (14 by 21 inches), printed in black gothic type, capital letters and portions of the heading in red and blue ink, one large capital "A" in blue and gold, a single sentence in red ink. Mounted on stiff card. Matted and framed, entire piece measures 19 by 25 inches. $18,000.Limited edition of this rare broadside of the "D-Day Prayer," one of very fewbelieved to be only 50exquisitely printed copies issued by President Roosevelt for his close friends, handsomely printed in gothic type with red- blue- and gold ink textual embellishments.The text of the broadside, now known as the "D-Day Prayer," was originally titled "Let Our Hearts Be Stout." On June 6th, 1944, while American and Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, Roosevelt released the text of a prayer in the afternoon which he then delivered by radio to the nation at 10:00 p.m., Eastern time. It is estimated, according to Andrew Malcolm, that as many as 100 million people listened to it. "The prayer does not invoke one faith, but the appeal to God is bold and unapologetic. The D-Day Prayer was an extraordinary event in U.S. religious history" (Malcolm).The D-Day Prayer reads, in full: "Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far. And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer: Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without restuntil the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for an end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. And for us at homefathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with themhelp us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in their hour of great sacrifice. Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. Give us strength, toostrength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting momentlet not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose. With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peacea peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just reward of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen. Christmas1944from F.D.R." Lithographed sheet mounted on stiff card. Beautifully framed.
LINCOLN, Abraham. Inaugural Address of the President of the United States on the Fourth of March, 1861. Special Session. Senate. Executive Document No. 1. [Washington: Government Printing Office], March 8, 1861. Slim octavo, modern three-quarter black morocco and marbled boards; pp. 10. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8800.Rare second printing of Lincoln's important first inaugural address, printed by order of the Senate four days after its delivery.On the morning of March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was escorted with little fanfare to his inauguration. Anticipating violence, General Winfield Scott had stationed riflemen on housetops along the parade route, as well as platoons and cavalry in the streets. On the platform erected at the Capitol's east portico, "Lincoln put on a pair of steel-bowed spectacles and began reading his inaugural address in a clear, high-pitched voice that carried well out to the crowd of 25,000. The address was a document of inspired statesmanship. He reminded the South of his pledge not to interfere with slavery, but he firmly rejected secessionthe Union was 'unbroken.' Finally he issued a grave warning [undiluted by his advisors, who recommended that Lincoln soften his martial tone]: 'In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.' Abraham Lincoln was resolved to be President of the whole Union" (Bruce Catton). The address contains some of Lincoln's most famous words: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." Monaghan 102. Small inked numbering at lower margins not affecting text.A fine copy, handsomely bound.
"(BILL OF RIGHTS) UNITED STATES SENATE. Journal of the First Session of the Senate of the United States of America. Begun and Held at the City of New-York, March 4th, 1789, and in the Thirteenth Year of the Independence of the Said States. New-York: Thomas Greenleaf, 1789. Folio (8-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches), modern paper covers with the original title-wrapper laid down, uncut; pp. 172. Housed in custom clamshell box. $95,000.The exceptionally rare and important first edition of the 1789 Journal of the Senate, the record of the crucial start of our new government under the Constitution, containing one of the earliest official printings of the proposed Bill of Rightsthe original twelve amendments to the Constitution proposed by Congress, of which only ten were later ratified by the states. This is the official account of the daily proceedings of the first session of the United States Senate from March 4, 1789 to September 27, 1789, one of only 700 copies printed for members of governmentan uncut copy.On March 4, 1789, the U.S. Constitution took effect, the new government began, and the first Congress convened in New York City. The first Congress had a crucial role to implement and interpret the new Constitution and pass the seminal legislation to establish and run the new government. At the close of the first session, this Senate Journal was printed by order of Congress, documenting these historically important proceedings. Foremost among these was the proposed Bill of Rights. The Journal contains one of the earliest official printings of the 12 amendments passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification (pages 163-164), as well as the 17 amendments originally proposed by the House of Representatives but rejected by the Senate (pages 103-106). Numerous references to the Bill are made throughout pages 107-160. This volume also contains a number of other notable items, including the tally of electoral votes in the first presidential election, President Washington's first address to Congress, the first rules of the Senate, the debate on the Judiciary Bill, and other important "firsts" in legislation.The Constitution ordered that the Senate and the House each "shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and, from time to time publish the same ." On May 28, 1789, Congress passed a resolution directing that "600 copies of the Acts of each session, [and] 700 copies of the Journals of each house, [be printed and] distributed to the members and to the executive, judiciary, and heads of the departments of the United States government, as well as the executive, legislative and judicial branches of every state. This would practically exhaust the 600 and 700 copies, you will note, in official distribution, and leave none for public purchase" (Powell, The Books of a New Nation, 85).The final text of the proposed Bill of Rights appeared in two official 1789 printings, this Journal of the First Session of the Senate (printed by Thomas Greenleaf) and the Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States (printed by Childs and Swaine). Both were published in October 1789, shortly after the close of the first session, in very small editions for government use, and both are of exceptional rarity and importance."The Constitution is not a self-executing document. Even before they won the struggle for ratification, the Federalists confronted the staggering task of putting the new system of government into effect and making it work The new national government faced a daunting array of old problems and new challenges. It would have to find some way to deal with the crushing national and state debts dating back to the earliest days of the Revolution, and to create a national revenue system and a national system of trade regulation and customs duties. It would have to flesh out those parts of the structure of government deliberately left vague or incomplete in the Constitution the executive departments, which would become the roots of a federal administrative structure, and, for the first time in American history, a federal court system. And it would have to take action on the Federalists' campaign pledge that in several states had been the price for ratifying the Constitution: the proposing of constitutional amendments, including a declaration of rights " (Bernstein, Are We To Be A Nation?, pp. 243-267). "The decision to omit a federal bill of rights almost proved fatal to the new Constitution [and it] became the single most important issue during the year-long debate over ratification of the Constitution. Federalists primarily justified the lack of a bill of rights by arguing that the Constitution created a federal government with strictly delegated powers [so] rights would not be endangered. Federalists also argued that bills of rights were necessary against kings, but not in republics where the people could elect new representatives, senators, and even a new president if these government officials threatened liberties. Parchment barriers, Federalists asserted, provided no protections Furthermore, if certain rights were in fact protected in the Constitution, that would indicate that the government had implied powers over these rights, and that any right not listed might be considered as unprotected Antifederalists drew on history and human nature to justify the need for a bill of rights. The corrupting nature of power required written protections for liberties specifying the boundaries which government could not cross Antifederalists argued that the Constitution would create a government with dangerous, infinite powers" (Schechter, Roots of the Republic, p. 425-7). Some states refused to ratify the Constitution without the promise of a bill of rights, and though he had previously opposed it, Madison promised during the ratification debate that he would work for the adoption of a bill of rights. "Madison had been swayed by Thomas Jefferson's appeals for the adoption of a bill of rights, which Jeffers
"WILDE, Oscar. The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Illustrated by Walter Crane and Jacob Hood. London: David Nutt, 1888. Quarto, original full Japan vellum over beveled boards, uncut. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $48,500.Large-paper limited first edition, number 21 of only 75 copies on handmade paper, signed by Oscar Wilde and the publisher David Nutt. Extraordinarily rare."Wilde's reputation as an author dated from the publication of The Happy Prince and Other Tales He presents the stories like sacraments of a lost faith Their occasional social satire is subordinated to a sadness unusual in fairy tales" (Ellmann, 299). Wilde wrote these tales for his own children. He told Richard La Gallienne that "It is the duty of every father to write fairy tales for his children." His children later wrote of their father's "never-ending supply" of fairy tales and tales of adventure, which he often told them to calm them down. Many of his stories were never put to paper, unfortunately, but the ones that do survive are considered to be examples of his most creative writing. In addition to the title story, this collection includes "The Nightingale and the Rose," "The Selfish Giant," "The Devoted Friend," and "The Remarkable Rocket." Wilde commented that he intended these stories "partly for children, and partly for those who have kept the child-like faculties of wonder and joy, and who find in simplicity a subtle strangeness" (Hart-Davis, Letters of Oscar Wilde, 219). With three pen-and-ink line cuts by Art Nouveau illustrator Walter Crane, each in double suite (black and brown) on mounted India paper, and with intricate head- and tailpieces by Jacomb Hood, also on India paper. Mason 314. Plates and text fine, light foxing to endpapers, slightest soiling and very mild toning to extremities of boards, far less than usual, and small bump to lower corner. A most superior copy, about-fine, of a delicate and rare production."
"ROOSEVELT, Franklin D. Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt President of the United States from July 19, 1940 to January 20, 1941. Washington: The White House, Christmas 1941. Quarto, original half parchment, paper spine label, uncut, original slipcase. $25,000.Signed/limited first edition of FDR's 1941 Christmas book, number 53 of only 75 copies hand-numbered by him, additionally inscribed to his son and daughter-in-law: "For Franklin Jr. & Ethel with a Happy Christmas and Love from Franklin D. Roosevelt."This is one of FDR's Christmas books, which FDR presented to family and friends. This particular book includes many of his speeches from the last six months of 1940 through January 20, 1941. The Christmas books are notoriously difficult for bibliographers due to FDR's decision to print them privately and the very small limitations used for each work (generally 50-100 copies). "These books contain previously published addresses or messages by FDR and were privately printed from large type on Worthy Hand and Arrows paper for him, and at his own expense, by the Government Printing Office Every copy issued by FDR was numbered and signed by him, and as a rule, he also inscribed each book with an appropriate Christmas greeting to the recipient" (Halter, 193 (Appendix B)). According to Halter, only 75 copies of this Christmas book were published. This copy is inscribed to Roosevelt's son, Franklin Jr., and his daughter-in-law, Ethel du Pont. Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. was FDR's third son. Having come of age at the outbreak of World War II, Franklin Jr. became a decorated naval officer earning the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and Purple Heart. After the war, Franklin Jr. went on to work in private legal practice, before eventually turning to politics. After a brief stint on Truman's Committee on Civil Rights, Franklin Jr. ran for the House, serving for six years as a member of the Liberal Party. Franklin Jr. lost two gubernatorial races, before finding a home back in DC as Kennedy's Under Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce and Johnson's Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ethel du Pont was a prominent socialite as well as an heiress to the Du Pont Corporation. Franklin Jr. and Ethel had a rocky, decade-long marriage that produced two children. Ethel committed suicide at age 49 after a lengthy mental health struggle. Franklin Jr. went on to marry four more times and died of lung cancer at age 74.Book extremely good, with a bit of foxing to endpapers and minor discoloration to parchment spine, slipcase expertly repaired. An attractive copy with most desirable provenance."
DAHL, Roald. The Gremlins. A Royal Air Force Story by Flight Lieutenant Roald Dahl. New York: Random House, (1943). Slim quarto, original half red cloth, pictorial boards, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. Housed in custom pictorial clamshell box. $13,500.Presentation first edition of Dahl's rare first book, with 14 vibrant full-page illustrations by Walt Disney Productions, twice inscribed by him: on the half title, "To Joe and Steve with love from Roald Dahl 10/5/47," and opposite the half title, "One by one a cow came by/ Howling around for the moon/ They asked me where the hell it was/ I said it's gone you dopesyou're much too soon. R." An exceptionally elusive and desirable Dahl first edition in any condition, particularly in the original dust jacket and inscribed by him.Dahl was sent to Washington in 1942 as an assistant air attaché for the British Embassy. After having a story published anonymously in the Saturday Evening Post, he was encouraged by C. S. Forester. He produced The Gremlins, a children's story expanding on a mythical creature enshrined for years in RAF lore (notwithstanding Dahl's claims to have invented the word) and sent it to Sidney Bernstein, the head of the British Information Service, who sent it on to Walt Disney. Disney decided to make it into a movie, at one point bringing Dahl to Hollywood to work on the screenplay. The story was published in Cosmopolitan in December of 1942, and as a book by Random House six months later. The film project, however, was sidelined and has never been produced. The story was received positively: Eleanor Roosevelt read it to her grandchildren, and invited Dahl to the White House. There are three existing editions: American, British and Australian; this, the American edition, is the first. According to Connolly, "This book is virtually unknown" (Modern First Editions, 90); Dahl chose never to republish The Gremlins. Text with two small ink corrections, probably in Dahl's hand.Book nearly fine, with one small rub to front cover. Scarce dust jacket with two small chips and minor rubbing to extremities. A beautiful, near-fine copy.
"SHERMAN, William Tecumseh. Memoirs of General William T. Sherman by Himself [Volume One only]. New York: D. Appleton, 1875. Volume One only (of two). Octavo, publisher's full brown morocco, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5500.First edition of the first volume (of two) of this invaluable Civil War autobiography by "one of the most famous generals of the war," signed "W.T. Sherman, General" on the verso of the front free endpaper, in publisher's scarce full morocco. "Penned with intelligence and passion, [Sherman's Memoirs] cover the periods of birth to the Meridian Expedition early in 1864 (Volume I) and the remainder of the war to the commander's first decade following the war (Volume II) The Memoirs frankly describe the rights and wrongs of the Civil War campaigns Sherman experienced, without regard to stepping on the feelings of others. The work is not unduly harsh, but is unwaveringly honest (as the author viewed these events) The writing in this work is enjoyable, more so than the average soldier's memoirs, and the enlightened opinions of the second-ranking Federal officer on a multitude of operations make the work invaluable" (Eicher 576). "One of the most famous generals of the war, Sherman wrote as he fought: dynamically and bluntly" (Nevins II:89). Without Volume II, published and issued concurrently. Dornbusch II:2429. Contemporary ink gift inscription.Interior clean, publisher's morocco near-fine and handsome, with just a few minor scuffs along spine. Scarce and desirable signed by Sherman."
TOOLE, John Kennedy. A Confederacy of Dunces. Baton Rouge and London: LSU Press, 1980. Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $12,500.First edition of this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, one of only 2500 copies printed, inscribed by the author's mother in the year of publication, "Nov. 2, 1980. Appreciation and Regards from John Kennedy Toole's mother, Thelma Ducoing Toole."This novel has a sad history behind it. The author sent it to every publisher in America, all of whom rejected it. After the final rejection (by Knopf) Toole committed suicide. He was only 32. His mother gave the manuscript to Walker Percy, who secured its publication by Louisiana State University Press, and it was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. Its virtues have now been universally recognized" (Anthony Burgess, 99 Novels, 125). Toole's motherbroadly portrayed in the novel as Miss Trixie, Ignatius P. Reilly's motherwas intensely involved in her son's life and equally intensely promoted the recognition of his genius after the publication of the book, once proclaiming "I walk in the world for my son." First state of the dust jacket, without the Chicago Sun-Times blurb on the rear panel. Book fine. Dust jacket with tiny nick to spine head. A very nearly fine copy, desirable inscribed by the authors mother.