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Riverrun Books & Manuscripts

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Autograph letter signed twice, to “Bookfriends at The Hallen School”, circa 1977-78

Written on the printed leaflet titled "Meet Judy Blume," 8 1/2 x 11 7/8 inches, black-and-white photo of Judy Blume on cover, listing Blume's books on the back, issued by Bradbury Press and E. P. Dutton & Co., the inner pages printing Blume's reminiscences on writing that she included as an epilogue in later editions of her book 'Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself.' Blume has written the text of her letter in the margins of the front and back pages. Some light creasing and soiling, but generally clean. In black ball point pen, Blume writes: "Hi Bookfriends at The Hallen School - Thanks so much for your wonderful letters! I'm glad you're reading & talking about my books. Sorry it's taken me so long to answer but [arrow directing to the back page] I've been away and no longer live at the address to which your letters were sent. I'm finishing a sequel to 'Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing' right now, then hope to write a novel about a teenaged girl. Keep on reading! Love, Judy." She additionally signs in red felt tip on E. Hamilton-West's portrait photograph: "love, Judy Blume." As the first of the titles listed on the back is 'Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself,' published in 1977, this promotional piece was published after that. Blume refers to writing 'Superfudge' (published 1980), one of the sequels to 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing', and possibly 'Tiger Eyes,' her young adult novel about a 15-year-old girl attempting to cope with the unexpected death of her father (published 1981). In 1986, Blume published 'Letters to Judy: What Kids Wish They Could Tell You," collecting letters written to her by children and her responses. Manuscript material by Blume is scarce.
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Autograph letter signed (“James G. Drake”) to W. Elliott Woodward, being an account of the life of Samuel G. Bishop; Boston, 8 June 1866

3 1/4 pages, 8vo, a bifolium on pale bluish-green paper. Evidence of folds, a marginal tear not affecting text, scant remains of former mounting on last page. The American antiquarian and historian Samuel G. Drake (1798-1875) writes to William Elliot Woodward (1825-1892), the numismatist, New England genealogist, and publisher, about the life of Samuel G. Bishop. Drake opened one of the first antiquarian bookstores established in the United States and was one of the founders, in 1847, of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Woodward reprinted an edition of Bishop's Eulogium on the Death of George Washington in the year of this letter's writing, presumably the prompt for requesting biographical details from Drake. Reading: Boston, 8 June 1866 Agreeably to your request, in conformity to my promise, I have undertaken this letter to give you some facts in the life of Samuel G. Bishop, the author among some of fugitive work, of an Eulogy of Gen. Washington [Gilmanton, NH: E. Russell for the author, 1800]. My letter will be brief, for the very good reason that there is not much of general interest respecting him. Mr. Bishop was a native of some part of Connecticut, but of what branch of the Bishop family I never learned. According to his own account his father's name was "Billie" Bishop who died previous to the year 1800. He had a fair education, but how he obtained it is not known. He first appears in New Hampshire at what is usually called Great Island, near the mouth of the Pascataqua [sic]. Here he was a preacher of the orthodox persuasion, & gained considerable popularity. Whether regularly settled there I am unable to state. He preached also at various other places in that part of the state. At Rye he became acquainted with a very beautiful young lady, Miss Abigail Tucke, whose father, the Rev. John Tucke, had died in the service of his country in the time of the Revolutionary war [Drake's mother was born Love Muchmore Tucke, presumably making him related to his subject by marriage]. To this lady he was married on the 19th of March, 1800 [Josiah Carpenter celebratory sermon at the event was published as 'The importance of right views in matrimony,' Gilmanton, NH: s. n., 1800]. Not long after his marriage he gave up preaching & entered into land speculations; & finally made large purchases of wild land on or about the head waters of the Connecticut river, in what was called the Upper Coos. In these purchases he invested all his means, thinking to meet with a ready sale of farms to actual settlers. But about this time the current of emigration began to set towards the interior of New York & other parts adjacent, & Mr. Bishop was left with his Coos Lands on his hands, & he could not dispose of farms at any price. He therefore resolved to settle in that then wild region himself. After his removal there a succession of cold seasons occurred, & no crops of any account could be raised. Mr. Bishop was a man of strict integrity, but he found himself among a set of borderers, some of whom would stick at nothing that lay in the way of what they conceived to be their interest. Difficulties arose respecting bounds of land & other less important matters, & Mr. Bishop was drawn into one lawsuit after another, & it was about the same whether he recovered or lost a case, as his antagonists had no means of indemnification in either event. In this way what he could not get from his land was dissipated. And eventually, through certain knavish limbs of the law he was in debt in Large sums, & thrown into jail at Lancaster, & was kept there some or two or three years. While this cruelly treated, Mr. Bishop wrote, & in the year 1821 published a pamphlet of some sixty six pages, giving a detailed account of his experiences of border life, & exposing some of the prominent individuals who had been the cause of his reactions. At length, about the year 1832, Mr. Bishop had the good fortune to be able to leave the Coos Country. He went on land in
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Remarks on Some Fossil Impressions in the Sandstone Rocks of Connecticut River by John C. Warren, M. D.

8vo (231 x 141 mm). 54 pages, plus a folding photographic frontispiece, being an original salt print of a Greenfield, Massachusetts trackway slab with dinosaur tracks, executed by George M. Silsbee, and with two additional engraved vignettes in the text. Original blue cloth blocked in blind and lettered in gilt. First edition. John Collins Warren (1778-1856), surgeon and member of the Harvard Medical School faculty, performed the first operation using ether as an anesthesia (in 1846). John Warren also collected fossil tracks, with the help of his colleagues, from the Jurassic rocks of the Connecticut River Valley. 'Remarks on Some Fossil Impressions' is based upon a talk he gave at the Boston Society of Natural History on the fossil slab depicted in the frontispiece photograph. He states in the text, "we are indebted to photography for enabling us to represent the remarkable slab from Greenfield, and its numerous objects, in a small space, yet with perfect accuracy." This landmark book is generally considered to be the first American scientific book illustrated by a photograph and just the second American photographically illustrated book overall. Truthful Lens 181 states: "the image, generally faint, depicts a rock displaying fossil remains. Appearing shortly after the Homes of American Statesmen, this volume is the second American publication illustrated with a photograph." The photograph was made by Mr. Silsbee as stated on p. 52 (probably George M. Silsbee, active Boston, 1852-57). Truthful Lens 181; Burns. American Medical Publications with Photographs, p. 1250. Minor fading to spine, minor wear at top and tail. Frontispiece a bit faded as usual and with minor chipping along one edge
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A New Method of teaching the Italian Tongue to Ladies and Gentlemen. Wherein all the Difficulties are explain’d, in such a Manner, that every one, by it, may attain the Italian Tongue to Perfection, with a marvellous Facility, and in a very short Time

8vo. [2], iv, [2], 102 pages. Contemporary panelled calf. Provenance: ownership inscription of Edw. Chamberlayne. First and only edition, very rare, the only publication by Casotti, 'Italian Minister, and Professor', dedicated to Henry Petty, Baron Shelburne, (1675-1751) but printed at the author's expense. A pronunciation guide and simplified grammar is followed by Familiar Words and Phrases (pp. 63-72), fifteen Dialogues (pp. 72-97) and twelve 'pleasant and facetious stories' (pp. 98-102). The Dialogues includes one between and Italian gentleman and an English coachman ('Will you take Eighteen Pence? / Indeed I cannot. 'Tis not enough.); one on how to enquire about news ('There's talk of a Siege. They speak that the Duke of Marlborough has beaten the French Army'); one between two English girls learning Italian ('Is not the Italian tongue very fine? . / 'Tis very Modish among the Nobility / All the Ladies, in this time learn Italian'; and one between two English travellers, discussing Rome and Venice. A gentleman in one dialogue is studying with Casotti - 'a good Master, a very able Man in his Profession'; and Casotti appears himself in another, discussing the merits of England and her Queen with a pupil. Henry Petty, son of Sir William Petty, and later first Earl of Shelburne, was apparently a former pupil of Casotti, of whom we can find only scattered record. In 1711 he was advertising in The Spectator for a five-o'clock Sunday service in Italian conducted by him in the Oxenden Chapel near Haymarket. If the New Method proved successful (it clearly did not), Casotti promised here 'another Piece of my Labours' (unspecified) and 'after that a Great Dictionary in two Parts'. Neither were published. ESTC list two copies only: BL and Christ Church Oxford. Alston XII, Italian 36. Slightly browned, marginal wormtrack at the end, touching a few words; several lines scratched out on p. 69, perhaps where the content ('Expressions of Kindness') was deemed inappropriate; else a very good copy, the binding rubbed, joints cracked
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Illustrations of China and its people

Four volumes, folio (472 x 345 mm; 18.5 x 13.5 inches). 222 photographs on 96 plates, produced by the Autotype Mechanical Printing Process of Spencer, Sawyer, Bird and Co., London; with guards. Letterpress titles and descriptions. Original black cloth, gilt-lettered and decorated on covers, each front cover with central gilt block of the Confucian Temple, Peking, all edges gilt. First edition of volumes 2-4, second edition of volume 1, of this important photographic record of China, made by the pioneering Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921), one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East. Thomson documented the people, landscapes, art, and artifacts of the Chinese culture. He established a studio in the Commercial Bank building in Hong Kong in 1868, and spent the next four years traveling extensively into many regions, some remote and unpopulated. "His iamges display a genuine interest in Chinese customs and seem influenced by traditional Chinese painting, as exemplified by his treatment of the landscape in 'Wu-Shan Gorge, Szechuan' (pl. no. 138)" (Rosenblum, A World History of Photography, 3d ed., p. 125). While earlier portrait photographs had made it to the West, Thomson's series offered the first actual views of street life. While some, like 'Itinerant Tradesman, Kiu Kiang Kiangsi' (pl. 192) may have been staged, "its sharpness and detail were meant to convince 19th-century viewers of the reality of a scene happened upon by accident" (ibid., p. 172). Ultimately, Rosenblum describes it as "perhaps the most completely realized result of a kind of curiosity about the way people live. the work attempted to make an arcane and exotic way of life understandable and acceptable to the British public by showing industrious and well-disposed natives interspersed with unusual architectural and natural monuments. In doing so, Thomson helped create a style and format for documentation that carried over to projects concerned with social inequities" (ibid., p. 346). Thomson traveled from the southern trading ports of Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Canton) to the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, to the Great Wall in the north, and deep into central China. From 1870 to 1871 he visited the provinve of Fujian, venturing up the Min River by boat with the American Protestant missionary Rev. Justus Doolittle, and then visited Amoy and Shantou. His travels were often perilous, and many of the people he visited had never seen a Westerner, nor a bulky wooden view camera, before. His subject matter ranged widely, from beggars on the street to Mandarins, Princes and government officials; from remote monasteries to Imperial Palaces. Nearly 700 of his photographs were acquired by the collector Henry Wellcome, and are now preserved in his venerable collection in London: glass-plate negatives coated with collodion. In the words of Françoise Heilbrun, Thomson possessed "an ethnographic and journalistic turn of mind, impeccable technique, original vision, and an admirable sense of composition" ("Around the World: Explorers, Travelers, and Tourists" in: 'A New History of Photography,' ed. Michel Frizot, p. 164). Skilful repairs to spines and corners, some uneven toning to vol. 1; some intermittent pale spotting (mainly to prelims), one leaf in vol. 2 with upper corner irregularly trimmed by binder, upper outer corners lightly bumped