E. C. Rare Books

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Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Holmes. Richard R. Holmes, Richard R. Queen Victoria. Boussod, Valdon and Co. London. 1897. Limited, Numbered Edition, this volume being #235/350. Heavily illustrated with plates printed and engraved in Paris by Boussod, Valdon and Co. This volume features contemporary newspaper review (dated Nov. 6, 1897), along with a facsimile letter from Balmoral Castle, written by Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur John Bigge in praise and thanks for the quality and care put into the publication. This biography of Queen Victoria is in a full red levant, spectacularly bound by Zaehnsdorf. Elaborate gilt designs, including common wealth crests framing the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, top edge gilt and binder s signature on inner front board. Interior features cream moire silk doublures and silk endleaves. Queen Victoria is one of the most notable monarchs in world history, making her a popular subject for biographers, but few have had the insight of Richard R. Holmes. One of Holmes more notable works, this biography of the Queen begins with ancestry and spans the life of the monarch until present day, 1897. Little did the author know that this life and reign would come to an end, four short years later. A noted archivist, Holmes began his career unofficially, working in the British Museum with his father until 1854. Following his father s death, Holmes began work as an assistant in the manuscript department. After 14 years of service, Holmes had gained enough experience to become acting archaeologist for the Abyssian Expedition. During the last days of Magdala, Holmes had collected hundreds of artifacts to be taken back to England. Among these was a sixteenth-century gold chalice, a gold crown and hundreds of manuscripts. The purchase/collection of these items was seen as sacrilege and their removal was highly controversial. This cemented Holmes reputation and despite public disagreement, these items are still on display in halls and museums throughout England. This biography was praised both publicly and privately, even receiving a letter directly from the Balmoral Castle. The facsimile letter included with the piece reads: Sir, I am commanded to convey to you the thanks of the Queen for the first copy of Mr. Holmes Queen Victoria , which you were kind enough to forward for presentation to her majesty. The Queen is much pleased with the beautifully reproduced illustrations and with the general manner in which the work has been brought out. I am Sir [ ] faithfully, Arthur Bigge Throughout history, only an elite few have made their way into England s Privy Council, but Private Secretary Arthur Bigge was able to accomplish this with not one, but two monarchs. Arthur Bigge was born into aristocracy, spending his life in the upper eschaton of British society during his youth. A decorated military man, Bigge fought in the Anglo-Zulu war before returning to an appointment at Balmoral Castle. From here, Bigge served as groom-in-waiting and assistant to the private secretary before receiving the full title in 1895. Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, Bigge was transferred to the position of Private Secretary to the Duke of Cornwall and York, of whom was later appointed Prince of Wales. Following his ascension to the throne, King George V retained Bigge as private secretary, favouring his council. Bigge is said to be partially responsible for the decision to change the family name to Windsor, in light of anti-German sentiments. This distance from Eastern European routes would ultimately play a role in the refusal to house Tsar Nicolas II and his family during the Bolshevik Revolution, leading to the infamous murder of the family Romanov.
Moby Dick; or

Moby Dick; or, The Whale

Melville, Herman MOBY DICK; OR, THE WHALE / MELVILLE, HERMAN (1863) RARE THIRD PRINTING, 9,500.00 Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Melville, Herman (1863) 9,500 USD Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Melville, Herman. New York. Harper & Brothers. 1863, short run of 253 copies. xxiii, [1], 634, [1] pp. (8vo) 19x12.5 cm (71⁄2x5") original blind-stamped Black cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Third printing / Edition. Preceded by the first edition 1851 and 1855 and a later edition 1871 of 277 copies. Sympathetically restored binding using original cloth of the correct age and pattern for repairs. Features original yellow surface paper ends, of the period. A very nice copy of a rare printing. Whilst traveling and low on funds due to lack of popularity in his writings, Melville had Harper run a small 1855 printing, and numerous monthly render- ings of prose and verse. Then in 1862 he was broke and returned to New York as a tax inspector, effectively re-starting his writing with a re-printing of The Whale in 1863. Melville had a modest revival of popularity in England when readers rediscovered his novels in the late nineteenth century. A series of poems inspired by his early experiences at sea, with prose head notes, were published in two collections for his relatives and friends, each with a print run of 25 copies. Some chapters of Moby-Dick are no more than two pages in standard editions, and an extreme example is Chapter 122, consisting of a single paragraph of 36 words. The skill- ful handling of chapters in Moby-Dick is one of the most fully developed Melville-ian signatures, and is a measure of his masterly writing style. The first printing of Moby Dick by Harper's in 1851 numbered 2915 copies, approximately 300 copies were destroyed in a ware- house fire in 1853 and as late as 1854 copies of the first edition were still avail- able from the publisher. A second printing of 250 copies was issued in 1855, and this copy in 1863, the third printing was issued, consisting of 253. A very scarce early issue. BAL 13664 (for first printing) Tanselle Thomas 1976 Newberry Library (for all printings).
Millions of Cats.

Millions of Cats.

Gag, Wanda Complete with Original Wood- Engraving MILLIONS OF CATS Gag, Wanda Published by Coward-McCann, New York, 1928 Wood-Engraving Signed by the Artist-Author The Limited Edition of Millions of Cats Containing an original wood-engraving signed by the artist-author, is limited to two hundred and fifty copies, THIS IS COPY NUMBER 210. This copy is quite incredible such a normally fragile children s book, and just 8 years shy of its centennial publication, yet this copy still has its wood-engraving, plastic dust-jacket as issued and apart from the pictures I took it appears to have never been opened, the slip case is complete with some mild chipping but completely un-restored, and now housed in a beautiful red Morocco clamshell box with leather on-lay and blind tooled images of cats taken from the artists images in the book. An incredible piece of American literary history. Millions of Cats is a picture book written and illustrated by Wanda Gág in 1928. The book won a Newbery Honor award in 1929, one of the few picture books to do so. Millions of Cats is the oldest American picture book still in print. The man wants to bring home the most beautiful of all the cats, but he is unable to decide. Each seems lovely, so he walks back home with all of the cats following him. His wife is dismayed when he arrives, realizing immediately what her husband overlooked: they will not be able to feed and care for billions and trillions of cats. The wife suggests letting the cats decide which one should stay with them, asking "Which one of you is the prettiest?" This question incites an enormous cat fight, frightening the old man and woman, who run back into the house. Soon, all is quiet outside. When they venture out, there is no sign of the cats: they had apparently eaten each other up in their jealous fury. Then, the old man notices one skinny cat hiding in a patch of tall grass. It had survived because it did not consider itself pretty, so the other cats hadn't attacked it. The couple take the cat into their home, feed it and bathe it, watching it grow sleek and beautiful as the days pass: exactly the kind of cat they wanted. Wanda Gag pioneered the double-page spread in this book. Writer and reviewer Anita Silvey explained, "She used both pages to move the story forward, putting them together with art that sweeps across the entire page spread: her favorite illustration fell in the center of the book - with the old man carrying cats against the rolling hills. Wanda Gág March 11, 1893 June 27, 1946) was an American artist, author, translator, and illustrator. She is best known for writing and illustrating the children's book Millions of Cats, the oldest American picture book still in print. Gág was also a noted printmaker, receiving international recognition and awards. Growing Pains, excerpts from the diaries of her teen and young adult years, received widespread critical acclaim. Some of her books have been awarded Newbery Honors and Caldecott Honors. In 1927 Gág's illustrated story Bunny's Easter Egg was published in John Martin's Book magazine for children. Gág's work caught the attention of Ernestine Evans, director of Coward-McCann's children's book division. Evans was delighted to learn that Gág had children's stories and illustrations in her folio and asked her to submit her own story with illustrations. The result, Millions of Cats, had been developed from a story that Gág had written to entertain the children of friends. It was published in 1928.
Malakand Field Force

Malakand Field Force

Churchill Winston MALAKAND FIELD FORCE The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War Winston S. Churchill Published by Longmans, Green and Co., London (1898) Housed in a beautiful recent Cosway style clamshell box Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt within blind panel, front cover lettered in gilt on recessed panel, black endpapers. Half-tone portrait frontispiece with tissue-guard, 6 maps, of which 2 folding and in colour. With 32 pp. publisher's catalogue at rear (stated by Cohen to be of no significance for priority). First edition, first state with errata slip, home issue in the "apple green cloth" (Woods), which is particularly prone to fading and mottling. Minimal foxing throughout, typical fading of the spine and a very light resemblance of possibly a library label at some point. No inscriptions or marking to blanks or text. A wonderful copy with exceptionally light wear. Housed in a beautiful full red morocco clamshell box silk lined and extra gilt. Made to the same style as a Cosway Style Binding, with a miniature of Churchill in full uniform, a young cavalry officer still serving in India. The year 1897 saw Sir Bindon Blood lead a military siege on the North-West frontier and it is he to whom Malakand Field Force is dedicated. During this time, Churchill acted as a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, recounting tales from the military campaign. On campaign s end, Bindon Blood was appointed the title of Major-General in command of the Meerut district, while Churchill returned to Bangalore, where he began work on what would be his first book. It took full days of writing, but Churchill was able to consolidate his field reports into book form, submitting the manuscript to his mother during the last days of 1897, to be published three months later. During this period, the author was still stationed in India, leaving the responsibility of publication to his Uncle. This first edition was riddled with errors ranging from event details to spelling, resulting in later editions being outfitted with errata slips. In addition to detailed accounts of military expeditions, this copy comes with it s own provenance, once belonging to Godfrey Charles Morgan (1830-1913). Morgan was the 2nd Baron Tredger and acted as a captain for the 17th Lancers. With less than 2,000 copies bound, first editions are a rare find.
Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind

Mitchell, Margaret GONE WITH THE WIND Mitchell, Margaret Published by New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936 With a 3 paragraph letter from Margaret Mitchell on her letterhead paper. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936. Hard Cover. Condition: Near Fine. First edition, first printing, with "May, 1936" to copyright page. Publisher's gray cloth, stamped in teal to front board and spine. A near fine copy with a touch of rubbing to extremities, small closed tears to the center of each spine end, light toning to page edges; lacking the original dust jacket. Overall, a beautiful copy. Housed in a full grey Morocco clamshell box. Upon publication, Ms. Mitchell was inundated with books, waiting to be signed. Despite her efforts, she was unable to keep up with the demand for her autograph. Instead, in keeping with her sense of humor, the author included a personalized letter, typed and signed. The letter is addressed to My Dear Mrs. Watson and goes on to describe how time-consuming book signing really is. This letter provides its readers with a quick glimpse into the mind of a best-selling author and a remarkable woman. Gone with the Wind won Margaret Mitchell both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Perhaps best described as a work of historical fiction. The novel tells of archetypal Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara as she grows from a young woman into maturity against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Like many of the early 20th century Southern writers, Mitchell portrays an idyllic image of the antebellum South. While it can be legitimately criticized for its insensitivity to the treatment of African Americans who were enslaved, Mitchell's novel demonstrates how the South was decimated by the Civil War and continued to suffer under the Northern-sanctioned Restoration. It is also the basis of the 1939 Academy Award-winning movie, the conflicted love story of rebellious Scarlett and Rhett Butler remains an American classic.