Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Saturday, July 22, 2017

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9 matching items

Browning, Robert & Thomas J. Wise (ed.). Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession. By Robert Browning. A Reprint of the original edition of 1833. London Richard Clay and Sons: 1886. Edition limited to 400 copies. A new edition of Robert Browning's very, very rare first work, reprinted by his friend, bibliographer, and (eventually) a forger of the poet's works, Thomas J. Wise. Thurman Hood in his 1933 book "Letters of Robert Browning, Collected by Thomas J. Wise", notes- "Mr. Wise was a young worshipper at the great man's shrine. He soon became a friend, and, as a member of the Browning Society, often called on Sunday afternoons... Mr. Wise has served as central treasurer of Browning lore, the untiring helper of Browning biographers and scholars. The factual resources of his growing store of letters from the poet to various correspondents have never been exhausted... It thus becomes a tribute to the poet, in consummation of the longest, and in spite of unusual difficulties one of the most successful, bibliophile labors ever spent upon an English poet". It would, of course, have been more of a tribute had it not been revealed a year after the publication of Hood's book that Wise had also been engaged in forging rare Browning pamphlets. But this reprinting of Pauline was before all that, so let us return to happier times... Augustus Muir, in his article in 'Strand Magazine' in September, 1929, recounts the story of Browning, 'Pauline' and Wise- "In the year 1884 Mr. Wise first met Robert Browning and one of his visits to the poet was an exciting one. Dr. Furnivall, a friend of both, went along with him to 19, Warwick Crescent. Browning was in a front room on the ground floor destroying letters and papers. He had dragged from the top of the house an old leather trunk that had once belonged to his father, and was dipping into it. Mr. Wise, to his horror, saw letters of Carlyle go into the fire and a lot of Browning's own early verses... Out from the old trunk came two precious copies of the original edition of 'Pauline'. 'If I had asked Browning for one of them I am convinced he would have given it to me,' Mr. Wise has declared. 'But I let the chance go'. On leaving the Browning house, he told Dr. Furnivall how keen he was to get the book. The good Furnivall was amused at the thrill his friend had got at a glimpse of such a prize in duplicate. 'Write to Browning,' he said, 'and ask him for one of the copies. Offer in return to give to a charity any sum he thinks just'. Delicacy held back Thomas J. Wise, but the story does not end here. A few days later, James Dykes Campbell invited him to dine at his flat in Albert Hall Mansions. Browning was the only other guest. After dinner Mr. Wise and his host sat and smoked, while Browning, who did not smoke, was making a leisurely tour of the bookshelves of the room. 'I see you have everything here of mine,' he said to Campbell. 'No,' replied Campbell, 'I still lack "Pauline".' 'Oh, that gap can soon be filled!' exclaimed Browning. 'The other morning I came across two copies of it. One of them will be sent to you tomorrow'. Here again was a god-sent chance for Mr. Wise to ask for the other. But again he let it slip. Next day, after much wrestling of spirit, he took Dr. Furnivall's advice and wrote to Robert Browning. But he was too late. Browning had already decided to give the other copy to his son." Mr. Wise did eventually get his copy of Pauline after a long hunt, and for a considerable price. Browning inscribed it for him- "I see with much interest this little book, the original publication of which can hardly have cost more than has been expended on a single copy by its munificent Proprietor and my friend -Mr. Wise". And so Wise reprinted the poem. While having an original 1833 edition of your very own might be more satisfying it will cost you a lot of money and so for considerably less there is this Wise edition, which has the added value of the various associations between Browning and Wise -it's almost more fun than an original! O.K., almost... Hardcover. 5"x8", 71 pages, original gray boards with a paper spine label label rubbed, top 1" of spine covering lacking tips bumped.

Inventory #: 5344
Price: $ 200.00       




Carleton, Will. City Ballads. New York Harper & Brothers: 1886. Carleton was also author of "Farm Ballads", Farm Legends", "Farm Festivals", and other books. He certainly relished the role of the city-outsider, and in his preface he notes- "the great drama of metropolitan existence falls most forcibly upon those just from the clear streams and green meadows of the country. Their impressions are deeper, and their feelings more intense than if they were city born and bred". Carleton's form and rhyme scheme seem dated today, but he conveys an intimate, if somewhat biased, view of American city life at the turn of the 19th century. Hardcover. 6.5"x9", 180 pages, b/w illustrations pictorial covers in gilt and black showing a gleaming city hovering surrealistically over country scene. Light soil and scuffing, spotting to the endpapers.

Inventory #: 2592
Price: $ 40.00       




Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York The Heritage apr•s: 1945. A fine Heritage Club edition, with an Introduction by John Livingston Lowes. Hardcover. 8"x11", 61 pages, color illustrations by Edward A. Wilson.

Inventory #: 35289
Price: $ 25.00       




Corbin, Harold. Counting: II. Ten Poems by Harold Corbin. Salisbury Three Ravens Press: 1987. Limited to 500 signed and numbered copies. Softcover. 5.5"x9", 16 pages, warmly inscribed on the titlepage with a postcard promoting the chapbook laid in at the front, and a signed typescript of the poem "Concerto Scored for Spring" laid in at the back. Except for a small soil spot on the cover, a fine copy.

Inventory #: 2239
Price: $ 35.00       




Des Pres, Terence. Praises & Dispraises. Poetry and Politics, the 20th Century. New York Viking: 1988. "At the heart of the book is a bold and controversial manifesto about poetry itself -that poetry can and should offer more than a closed or private vision that it needs to acknowledge the priority of political experience in a world that is too much with us". Hardcover. 6"x9", 246 pages, dj light wear remainder mark.

Inventory #: 6369
Price: $ 10.00       




Pulleyn, William. Church=Yard Gleanings, and Epigrammatic Scraps: being a collection of remarkable Epitaphs and Epigrams... London Samuel Maunder: nd (1830). "Compiled from the most ancient as well as modern sources, foreign and domestic, serious and facetious to which are annexed some observations on churches, church-yards, rites of sepulture, tombs, and mausoleums with instructions for ascertaining the dates of ancient monuments." An early English collection, half epitaphs and half other epigrams. The engraved frontispiece, showing the author (?) hard at work in the middle of a graveyard, is quite charming. Hardcover. 4.5"x8", i-iv, vii-xxiii, 264 pages engraved frontispiece. Bound in old boards with a plain leather spine, covers somewhat worn and soiled a little internal spotting.

Inventory #: 9736
Price: $ 175.00       




Pulleyn, William. Church=Yard Gleanings, and Epigrammatic Scraps: being a collection of remarkable Epitaphs and Epigrams... London Samuel Maunder: nd (1830). "Compiled from the most ancient as well as modern sources, foreign and domestic, serious and facetious to which are annexed some observations on churches, church-yards, rites of sepulture, tombs, and mausoleums with instructions for ascertaining the dates of ancient monuments." An early English collection, half epitaphs and half other epigrams. The engraved frontispiece, showing the author (?) hard at work in the middle of a graveyard, is quite charming. Hardcover. 4.5"x8", i-iv, vii-xxiii, 264 pages engraved frontispiece. Bound in period (original?) plain boards. Covers with some soil and wear spine heavily chipped at the base and top, with about a half inch of loss at the top and a quarter at the bottom. Hinges chipped and split, with the two covers held in place by several of the binding cords. A bit of soil internally.

Inventory #: 9740
Price: $ 100.00       




Swinburne, Algernon S. "Mr. Whistler's Lecture on Art" -A Facsimile of Mr. Swinburne's Essay. np nd. (but evidently St.Louis, ca. 1912/3). The publication of Whistler's stylish "Ten O'clock" lecture led his long-time friend, the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne, to write a critical review for the "Fortnightly" in June, 1888. The manuscript of that review is reproduced here in facsimile. Whistler did not take criticism from anybody very well, and he certainly wasn't expecting it from old friends. He wrote Swinburne a blistering reply which included the lines "Who are you...that you should insult my Goddess with familiarity?". Swinburne and Whistler never spoke again. 9"x13" folding cloth folder enclosing 15 loose sheets of Swinburne's manuscript printed on purple paper, and a cover sheet printed with the crest of the Bibliophile Society. A typed letter also included from W.K. Bixby to D.P. Kinglsey, presenting him with this copy, explains that the Bibliophile Society of Boston reprinted a limited number of facsimiles from the manuscript which Bixby owned. Bixby then printed a few more for presentation purposes, and here is one. Contents fine, clot

Inventory #: 5254
Price: $ 75.00       




[Thorne Collection.] The Blake Collection of Mrs. Landon K. Thorne. New York Pierpoint Morgan Library: 1971. Catalog by G.E. Bentley, Jr., with an introduction by Charles Ryskamp. Softcover. 8"x11", 65 pages plus 30 b/w plates. A fine copy.

Inventory #: 00418
Price: $ 30.00       



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