Antiquarian Book Blogosphere

“Dear Boys and Girls”: Enid Blyton’s personal brand

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Whether its a debate on whether her novels ought to be updated for the 21st century or a series of parodies for the post-Brexit world, Enid Blyton remains a staple of the cultural canon. Despite dated language and objectionable attitudes to gender, class and race which occasionally mar the fun for a modern reader, her books still largely inform the conception of what British children’s fiction ought to be: plots full of mystery, intrigue and adventure, emphasis on a moral code of courage and friendship and, of course, sumptuous descriptions of tuck shop snacks, picnics and midnight feasts. The enduring popularity of such themes with young readers can be read, for example, in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, which offers an update on the boarding school novel, with a cast of young friends out to foil the plots of wicked adults (albeit with higher stakes and a more complex moral message).

Five on a Treasure Island, 1942. First edition of the first book in the Famous Five series.

It was, perhaps, Blyton too who provided the pattern for the modern day superstar children’s author that Rowling and others such as Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman currently embody – not only the creators of a much-beloved world on the page but also active public figures, engaging with a community of young fans. In a time before social media, and when publishers hadn’t yet developed the sophisticated process of book tie-ins, simultaneous social media campaigning and publicity events deployed on the publication of any significant children’s book now, Blyton was a one-woman marketing team. Blyton lore has it that she answered every piece of fan-mail she ever received, paying attention to feedback from readers and parents and incorporating their wishes into her writing. Short messages printed in her own handwriting and addressed directly to her readers began to appear of the dust jackets of each of her Famous Five novels, explaining for example, that many fans had asked for a novel entitled Five Go Down to the Sea so she had written one for them, or expressing her fervent hope that they will enjoy her latest offering. Blyton herself said, in a radio interview 1963, that “the most important quality I possess is my ability to get right to the hearts of children”.

Five Go to Mystery Moor, 1954.


Five Have Plenty of Fun, 1955.

Her apparent direct line into the child psyche, however, masks the sensibilities of a shrewd business woman. Her immense output – over 400 books in her lifetime – demonstrates an intelligent publication strategy, with different series written to correspond with successive reading stages, inviting children to progress from one to the next as their reading level developed. She was also an early example of an author with an understanding of promoting her personal brand, overseeing the design of each book and ensuring that her distinctive signature, rather than simply a typed author name, was placed prominently on the cover of each book. She started a weekly magazine, Sunny Stories, published between 1937 and 1953, with which she kept her fans fed with a steady trickle of Blyton content and in which she could address them directly in her characteristic cosy tone: “Dear Boys and Girls — … I am going to write your stories for you just as I have always done…What fun we shall have! I want you to help me too.”



From Enid Blyton’s Sunny Stories, No. 39, October 8, 1937 Image c/o The Enid Blyton Society.

She would occasionally reference her own daughters in these little letters to her fans – “Wouldn’t you love to have a secret island of your own? Gillian would, I know” – and her brand was built on her image as the perfect mummy, always in on her children’s games. The reality, it seems, was somewhat different. In 1989 Imogen, Blyton’s youngest daughter, published her memoir, A Childhood at Green Hedges, which paints a picture at odds with Blyton’s carefully cultivated public persona. “The truth is, Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct…As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult, I did not hate her. I pitied her.” Blyton also apparently carefully stage-managed her divorce from her first husband to limit any damage to her reputation, making a deal with him that if he would agree to let her divorce him quietly, she would grant him access to their children. For whatever reason, however, this bargain was not upheld, and neither of the girls had any relationship with their father after the divorce.

Five are Together Again, 1963.
Five Have A Mystery to Solve, 1962.

Speculators have wondered whether Blyton’s ability to communicate so successfully with her young fans and her seeming disinterest in her own family might be a consequence of her own child-like personality. Her books create a childhood idyll of sunny days, bike rides through unspoiled English countryside, low-stakes adventure and plenty of good things to eat – a safe world in which to forget the troubles of real life. Some accounts suggest that Blyton’s escapist narratives were created for herself as much as for her readers – that she preferred dreaming up new japes for Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy than engaging in the escapades of everyday domestic life. Her child-like imagination could apparently sometimes manifest itself as childish impatience and temper.  “Her approach to life was childlike, and she could be spiteful, like a teenager” says Imogen in Green Hedges.

Nevertheless, Blyton’s books seem to capture something essential in the imaginations of children and the basic ingredients of her books – escapism, fantastical and idealised worlds, adventure, a lack of adult supervision – still form the mainstays of children’s fiction. An attempt to deal with some of the weightier criticisms of her work – her outdated language and attitudes – saw her current publisher, Hodder, make plans to overhaul the text, which would have seen “housemistress” becoming “teacher”, “awful swotter” becoming “bookworm”, “mother and father” becoming “mum and dad” and “tinker” becoming “traveller”. However, these plans were abandoned due to the negative feedback they received from readers on the updated versions and Blyton’s original text, warts and all, has prevailed.

Five Go Adventuring Again, 1943.
Five Go Down to the Sea, 1953.

The book huntresses: Women Bibliophiles

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -


In his 1930 work on book collecting, Anatomy of Bibliomania, Holbrook Jackson claimed that “book love is as masculine (although not as common) as growing a beard.” Times have changed; the recent inauguration of a new book collecting prize by New York bookseller Honey & Wax, “an annual prize of $1000 to be awarded to an outstanding book collection conceived and built by a young woman”, is possibly the final nail in the coffin of the idea that bibliophilia is a man’s pursuit.

It is of course true that, historically, the best-known libraries have belonged to men. Book collecting as a hobby gained popularity in the late seventeenth century and, through the next two hundred years, was pursued as avidly as any sport by men of learning. These ‘book hunters’ were celebrated publicly for their collections, discussing and trading books in clubs, coffee houses and academic spaces – forums from which women were mostly excluded. It is only in the last century or so that women, broadly speaking, have gained access to the financial, social and academic freedom required to become collectors in their own right, and even more recently that their passions and efforts as collectors have been given credence in the male dominated narrative of bibliophilia. Yet, it would be misleading to believe that female collectors were an entirely unheard-of phenomenon in the past. Despite the odds being stacked against them, numerous women have risen to pre-eminent positions in the history of book collecting, though their names or pursuits may not be readily remembered.

Frances Mary Richardson Currer, John James Masquerier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From Fatima al-Fehri, who founded what is now the world’s oldest functioning library in 859 CE, to Queen Elizabeth I, whose passion for books saw her lavishly hand-embroider several of her own collection, historical role models for women collectors are present, if not abundant. But perhaps one of the earliest British bibliophiles whose collection received some of its due recognition in her day was Frances Mary Richardson Currer.

Declared by the Times in 1906 to be “the greatest woman book collector” no less, Currer had inherited a substantial library, but its expansion and curation was clearly a labour of love throughout her life.  She lived at Eshton Hall in Yorkshire, not far from the Brontës at Haworth, and was known in the area as a social philanthropist. She was the generous patroness of the local school attended by the Brontë sisters and there is evidence to suggest she aided the family through a time of financial hardship. It is likely that Charlotte Brontë’s pen name, Currer Bell, under which she first published her poems and novels, acknowledges this debt of gratitude.

BRONTË, Charlotte. Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. By Currer Bell. London Smith, Elder & Co., 1848

Currer’s library was, according to W. Roberts in his 1895 book on collectors The Book Hunter in London, “especially strong in British history” and was “also rich in natural science, topography, and antiquities.” She added to it extensively over her lifetime, and was a prolific reader of new titles. Her collection was deemed by eminent bibliophile Thomas Frognall Dibdin to be one of the finest domestic libraries in Europe, surpassed only in England by less than a handful of old established collections. Currer was in contact with many famed bibliophiles of the period: Thomas Phillips, who amassed a collection of manuscripts which numbered over 60,000; Richard Herber, one of the founders of the Roxburghe Club, one of the first ever book clubs; and with Dibden himself. Dibden regularly produced almanacs listing notable bibliophiles of the era and detailing their collections. However, Currer is notably absent from all these, as well as from most similar lists of collectors which appeared around the time. While the elision of women’s contribution to one area of history or another is a sad but inescapable fact, it seems that Currer herself was a collaborator in her own anonymity. Dibden, with whom she enjoyed a lengthy and fond correspondence, regularly begged her to let him include her library in his almanacs. On his specific request for a portrait of her to include in a forthcoming book entitled Bibliomania, she responded ‘I don’t doubt the book will be an amusing one — and to have the Portraits of Gentlemen in it is very proper, but I don’t think it would be pleasant for me to be in the gallery — the only Lady — so very conspicuous!…Moderate notoriety is by no means desirable for a woman’.

Engraving of Eshton Hall Library, produced for a catalogue of her collection that Currer had printed in 1833.

That Currer should be so aware of the cultural bias against women bibliophiles as to foresee damage to her reputation to be thus ‘outed’ is, of course, regrettable, and is indicative of an attitude which, along with wilful exclusion, sheds some light on why accounts of women as book collectors have been so rare historically. Currer was, however, by no means the first, and certainly not the last, and there are many names which deserve recognition. In the 11th century Countess Judith of Flanders collected and commissioned a great number of illuminated manuscripts which she bequeathed to Weingarten Abbey. Several well-known historic figures, including Marguerite of Navarre, Madame du Barry, Marie Antoinette, Mary Stuart and Catherine de Medici, were passionate collectors of books and manuscripts, though this fact is rarely remembered in the generally received accounts of their lives.

Perhaps one of the most significant figures in 20th century women’s book collecting is Belle da Costa Greene. Turning her passion into profession, Greene was the librarian to J. P. Morgan for 43 years and, when the private collection was incorporated by the State of New York as a library for public uses, was appointed the first director of the renowned Pierpont Morgan Library.

Belle da Costa Greene. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Greene was the daughter of Richard Theodore Greener, an attorney and the first black graduate of Harvard University. Her parents had an unhappy marriage and, after their separation, Belle and her siblings changed their name to distance themselves from their well-known father. In a climate of racial prejudice, Belle invented a false Portuguese ancestry for herself, concealing her African-American heritage and passing as white for most of her life. In 1906, his collection having exceeded the size of his large study, the financier John Pierpont Morgan was looking for a librarian to organise and expand his personal library. Fortuitously, Belle, who was barely twenty but had nurtured a passion for books and illuminated manuscripts from her youth, was introduced to Morgan and engaged her as librarian. She undertook her task with zeal, aiming to make Morgan’s library “pre-eminent, especially for incunabula, manuscripts, bindings, and the classics.” With the significant resources of Morgan’s fortune at her disposal, Belle became one of the most powerful figures in the New York book world, and helped build one of the finest libraries in the world.

As the books acquired by Greene for Morgan are largely still held in trust by the Pierpont Morgan library, it would be extremely rare for one appear on the market. Currer’s library at Eshton Hall, however, was dispersed in 1919 and many of her books, bearing her heraldic bookplate, do come up for sale every so often. We are lucky to have a few currently amongst our stock.

The bookplate of Frances Mary Richardson Currer


(RHETORIC.) QUINTILIANUS, M. Fabius. De Institutione Oratoria libri duodecim ad codicum veterum fidem recensuit et annotatione explanavit Georg. Ludovicus Spalding A.M. 1798.

This large paper copy of the best edition of Quintilian on rhetoric is the outstanding work of the German philologist Georg Ludwig Spalding. The binder John Clarke was “one of the best and most prolific London binders of the period” (Ramsden), who was binding from about 1820 to 1859. He joined in partnership with Francis Bedford in 1841 and they worked together until 1859, from when Bedford worked on his own. Nothing is recorded of Clarke after this date. Originally from the library of Theodore Williams and with his supralibros stamped on the cover of each book, Currer has added her bookplate to the front inside boards.


EDGEWORTH, Maria. Tales of Fashionable Life. 1809.

First edition of both series of tales, which feature stories in which a woman’s life is the predominant theme. Maria Edgeworth was the leading Irish intellectual woman and the most commercially successful novelist of her age, vying with Jane Austen in terms of contemporary critical esteem. Currer’s bookplates appear in each volume of the set.


LAYARD, Austen H. Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; 1853

Sir Austen Henry Layard was a leading nineteenth century British archaeologist specialising in ancient Mesopotamia and Assyrian civilisation. This book, part travel writing, part archaeological study, follows Layard’s second British Museum exhibition which yielded many important discoveries about Assyrian culture. The original cloth binding is particularly decorative and bears and image of the Winged Bull of Nineveh across the spine and boards.


HAFIZ, Shams al-Din Muhammad.  Specimen Poeseos Persicae, 1771.

First edition of any substantial part of the Hafiz corpus in the original Persian, compiled by Austro-Hungarian diplomat and Persianist Count Karl Emmerich Reviczky (17371793). Hafiz is said to represent “the zenith of Persian lyric poetry” (Encyclopaedia Iranica). this volume bears both Currer’s bookplate and that of her maternal grandfather Matthew Wilson, indicating that it is one she inherited with the rest of the library.


If you would like to make an enquiry about selling a book, please fill out the form which can be found here.


The Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo and Paper Fair4 – 5 October 2017

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Date: 4 – 5 October 2017 Location: Pasadena Center, Pasadena, California Website: Many quality exhibitors will participate in The Pasadena Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo and Paper Fair, for two days only at the Pasadena Convention Center’s Exhibit Hall B. new balance dziecięce Exhibitors will display and offer for sale a wide variety of Antiquarian rare and modern first edition books, prints, posters, vintage photographs, autographs, fine graphics, maps, manuscripts and many unique pieces of ephemera. Peyton Manning Jerseys The seasoned enthusiast, beginning collector or someone just browsing should not miss this extraordinary opportunity to experience so many fine collections all in one location. Nike Air Max 2016 Heren zwart The Pasadena Antiquarian Book, Print, Photo & Paper Fair, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm General Admission $8. Maglie Phoenix Suns Senior Citizens (62+ years) $5.00. new balance 1400 invincible Children under 12 free. Nike Air Max 1 Heren Free Return Privileges. New Balance 999 hombre The Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA. Soldes Chaussures Nike Ample parking is available. Adidas NMD Dames beige The Pasadena Convention Center’s telephone number for general Information is (626) 793-2122…Read more.

Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair8 – 10 September 2017

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Date: 22 – 23 Apr 2017 Location: Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin St, nike air jordan 13 mujer Greenpoint, adidas tubular damskie Brooklyn, NY. Website: Friday September 8th 5-9pm Saturday September 9th 11am – 7pm Sunday September 10th 11am-5pm

One of the country’s largest regional antiquarian book fairs comes to Brooklyn each fall. Derrick Henry Jerseys The fourth edition of BABF will bring 100 quality antiquarian book and ephemera dealers along with a new “Works on Paper” gallery featuring top dealers of prints, Nike Air Max 2017 Dames drawings, Adidas Superstar Heren etchings, nike air max 2017 pas cher femme engravings, Solde yeezy boost lithographs, adidas superstar damskie and photography from all over the country, Asics Gel Nimbus 18 Dames Canada and Europe. The new Brooklyn Expo Center is easily accessible from all parts of Brooklyn, nike tn requin pas cher Manhattan and beyond.

Melbourne Rare Book Fair7 – 9 July 2017

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Date: 7 – 9 July 2017 Location: Wilson Hall, nike air max 2016 online The University of Melbourne Website: Leading Australian and international antiquarian booksellers will bring a rich and diverse array of books together that cater for all who genuinely love print on paper and who share a passion for books. nike air max 1 ultra moire donna Subjects including early printed books, maps, historical accounts of travel and exploration, Air Jordan 13 (XIII) prints, Nike Air Max 2017 Heren grijs literature, Soldes Asics 2017 art, air max pas cher militaria, children’s books, and ephemera will be offered for sale at prices to suit all levels of collecting. Nike Air Max Très pas cher Whether you already have your own personal library and wish to add to it, nike scarpe italia or would like to know more about the world of book collecting, Asics Tiger męskie this is your opportunity to explore the world of books with experts in their fields…Read more.

Infernal Method: William Blake Facsimiles from The Trianon Press

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite. air max pas cher This I shall do by printing in the infernal method by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid. – William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Engraver by profession and prophet by vocation, William Blake was opposed to print publishing, believing that the mechanisation of the industry was reducing art to a mass commodity. fjällräven kånken Klassiska Reviving the illuminated manuscript, Blake produced his own works through a painstaking method of etching onto copper plates with corrosive acid. Nike Air Max 2016 Dames blauw These were never intended for general sale and were necessarily limited to extremely small numbers by reason of his labour intensive methods, and thus few of the original illuminated books made in the late 18th and early 19th century have survived. New Balance 247 męskie Those that have are largely held by libraries and thus not easily accessible. new balance 574 damskie In one of the most remarkable literary projects of the 20th century, the William Blake Trust established the Trianon Press with the intention of creating faithful reproductions Blake’s works, in order that the consumer might experience them as their maker had originally intended. Cheap Nike Trainers UK These exceptional facsimiles were issued throughout the 1950s and 60s by the Trianon Press. Maglia Chris Paul Sir Geoffrey Keynes, one of the trustees, had seen at an exhibition in Boston some extraordinary facsimiles of Cezanne’s watercolours, and the idea to reproduce Blake’s works as closely as possible in quality and form to the originals was born between himself and Arnold Fawcus, the Press’ founder. sac a dos fjallraven soldes Hand-stencilled and hand-coloured, the books were produced at great expense and with great attention to detail, and printed on Arches pure rag paper, made especially to match that used by Blake. Sac Kanken These are just a few highlights from our collection of Trianon Press facsimiles. Asics Pas Cher Many of the items in our stock were Fawcus’ own personal.

The Economy of Nature: Conservationist writers

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Nature writing, it seems, is more popular than ever. Books about getting back to the natural world, from which technology and modern urban living have estranged us, have dominated the non-fiction bestseller charts for the last couple of years, elevating writers such as Robert Macfarlane and Cheryl Strayed to near-celebrity status. stan smith adidas dames Criticisms of the authenticity and motivation behind writing about nature has long been a part of its reception: John Clare accused Keats of an urban sentimentality towards the countryside, which caused him to portray “nature as she … appeared in his fancys & not as he would have described her if he had witnessed the things he describes”. The recent profusion and success of ‘new nature writing’ has similarly caused some to question its effectiveness in inspiring positive social and political change in attitudes towards the environment, fearing instead that it has the potential to be merely a form of “bourgeois escapism”. Whatever their reception, contemporary nature writers inherit a formidable literary tradition which includes Gilbert White, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and the Romantic poets, whose audacious project was to write not of man’s relationship to man, but man’s relationship to the ground on which he stood. Not all nature writing is conservationist writing, of course. Nick Marshall – Auburn Tigers Jerseys However, a more thoughtful relationship with the natural world, such as that which might be inspired by literature, does tend to lead to a more thoughtful attitude towards how human activity may negatively impact the non-human world. The writers in this list are those whose conservationist sentiments are not only evident in the pages of their books but often went beyond them, and who have helped to shape the face of modern environmentalism.   Beatrix Potter, Deluxe Editions (London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1902) Few writers can be credited with having more directly shaped a landscape than Beatrix Potter. Not only do her “little books” continue to inspire generations of children to curiosity about nature through her anthropomorphic animal characters, but Potter dedicated the fortune she made from their success to conserving the little clutch of Cumbrian hills and valleys she came to call home. Potter was a woman of many interests: natural history, mycology, botany, archaeology, fossils and farming all fascinated her. Since her childhood holidays in the Lake District and Scotland she recorded what found in watercolours and sketches. Vêtements Armani Pas Cher Her studies of mushrooms eventually numbered over 250, and in 1897 she presented a paper entitled ‘On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae‘. (There is a common misconception that this paper was rejected by the society. In fact, it was read on her behalf in April of that year, Potter being prohibited from attending the meeting in person because she was a woman).

Beatrix Potter by Charles G.Y. King (1854-1937)
Hill Top Farm, Near Sawrey, Cumbria by Marion Dutcher

Hirneola Auricula-Judae by Beatrix Potter, 1898. Courtesy of the Armitt Trust, The Armitt Museum and Library, Ambleside.

Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, the first secretary and founding member of the National Trust, was Potter’s long-time friend and mentor. She shared his views on the conservation of landscapes and the protection of traditional Lakeland crafts and farming methods. She and her husband, William Heelis, became partners with the Trust in buying up farmland, forest and fell to safeguard them from developers. Potter was a shrewd business woman, often using her contacts and influence to acquire land before its sale was made public, which earned her a certain amount of criticism. new balance 530 homme soldes Her legacy, however, has been instrumental in the formation of the modern-day Lake District National Park. The 4,000 acres of land in her possession on her death left to the National Trust, along with several farms, cottages and all her sheep and cattle. Chaussure Asics Gel Noosa Tri 11

Gene Stratton-Porter, photographed in the boots and breeches that so scandalised her neighbours

Gene Stratton Porter, Moths of the Limberlost (Garden City, New York Doubleday, Page & Company, 1916) Another writer of fiction firmly linked to the landscape she helped to protect, Stratton-Porter is best known for her novel A Girl of the Limberlost. Like Potter, Stratton-Porter was also a keen naturalist, specialising in the birds and moths of Limberlost Swamp which she called home for several years. She also became an early wildlife photographer, to better document the ecosystems of the swamp. The popularity of Stratton-Porter’s novels brought financial success and notoriety and, like Potter, she used her fortune and position to emphasize her conservationist views, contributing articles and photography to wildlife magazines and publishing numerous books on natural history. She was destined, however, to witness the gradual ecological destruction of her beloved swamp by encroaching industry and agriculture, and the eventual draining of the swampland in 1912. Saddened by the destruction of the swamp’s natural habitats, Stratton-Porter and her family moved away. fjällräven kånken big However, she journeyed the surrounding Indiana swamps extensively, collecting samples of wildflowers to preserve before they were destroyed by development, and it is her work that has ensured the endurance of many of these wildflower types. She also lent her support to the group which opposed the draining of the Mississippi Bottom lands for use a farm land, writing to President Coolidge to express the futility of the project from a scientific point of view.

Images from Moths of the Limberlost

Stratton-Porter did not live to see the restoration of the Limberlost Swamp which allowed water back onto the land and replanted many native trees and shrubs in 1997.  

Rachel Carson, official photo as FWS employee. c. 1940.

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962) Rachel Carson is perhaps one of the most influential figures in modern-day environmentalism. Silent Spring, her treatise of the harmful results of the use of synthetic pesticides, spurred a revolution in American policy on their use and led to a nationwide ban of DDTs and ultimately to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson first became aware on the negative impact humans could have on plant and animal life through her work as a marine biologist. Her books on the sea, The Sea Around Us (1951) and The Edge of the Sea (1955) we internationally successful, raising awareness about the environmental challenges which threated marine habitats. By the time she came to write Silent Spring, most of the facts about the impact of chemical pesticides we well-known amongst scientific communities, but Carson’s project was to bring these facts to the attention of the general public. The book didn’t only set out the case against the use of certain chemicals, however, but questioned the fundamental human assumption of mastery over nature, sparking a wave of grassroots environmentalism.

Rachel Carson conducts Marine Biology Research with Bob Hines — in the Atlantic (1952). By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This copy bears a particularly interesting association, being inscribed to Dr. Joc Pederson Authentic Jersey A D Pickett, a pioneer of alternatives to chemical pesticides who is mentioned in the acknowledgements of the book.

Gary Snyder.Photo by Festival of Faiths.

Gary Snyder, Regarding Wave. 1970 Snyder’s career has been long and varied; he was connected with the Beat poets, the San Francisco Renaissance, and was influenced by his practice of Zen Buddhism and study of Native American tribes. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Snyder was horrified by the mass deforestation he witnessed. Believing that language and culture shape the way humans relate to the natural world, he has written extensively on the environment and has been called the ‘poet laureate of Deep Ecology’. Adidas NMD Goedkoop Deep Ecology differentiates itself from what it identifies as ‘shallow ecology’ – viewing nature in the context of its utility to human life – by investing the natural world with intrinsic value. In his poetry, Snyder has explored the natural world extensively, experimenting with new ways of employing language in order to place nature, not man, at the centre of his work. Maglia Michael Jordan The critic Richard Wallace wrote that Snyder’s poems gave voice “to the ferocious energy of nonhuman beings”. Snyder’s 1990 collection of essays The Practice of the Wild is considered one of the most influential environmental works of the last 50 years. Of himself, Snyder wrote: As a poet I hold the most archaic values on earth. They go back to the late Paleolithic: the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth; the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times. Regarding Wave, Snyder’s 1970 poetry collection, was heralded as a new achievement in his project to explore the interconnectedness of all things, both human and non-human. It brings together religion, ecological thought and Snyder’s personal relationships, putting the “precarious balance among forces and species” at the thematic centre of the collection.

If you would like to make an enquiry about selling a book, please fill out the form which can be found here.

Harry potter and the Literary Allusions: J. K. Rowling’s influences

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

For those of us who treasure vivid childhood recollections of queuing up at midnight on an almost-yearly basis to receive the next instalment of the Harry Potter series into our eager hands, the fact that The Philosopher’s Stone turns twenty this year is an astonishing (and slightly alarming) fact. One of the joys of being a Potter fan – of being a reader in general, in fact – is the sensation of being admitted into a shared world of allusion, symbols and stories, in which you recognise in the everyday both the impetus and the influence of the books that you cherish.  Most people who have grown up with Rowling’s books must be familiar with the pleasant flash of recognition the first time you come across a character’s name or a magic word in an entirely different context; the sense of connection and discovery when you first learn that mandrakes are real plants with roots shaped like little people and their own rich folkloric history, or that Remus (the name of Harry’s werewolf teacher) was one of the twin brothers adopted by a she-wolf in Roman mythology. As with most good literature, the Potter books are a patchwork of borrowed, repurposed and, most importantly, interconnected ideas, drawn from the deep well of storytelling that so vitally taps into human experience across the centuries. While some have chosen to see Rowling’s craft as an infringement (several legal cases have been brought against her for alleged plagiarism) others have recognised that a writer’s own personal reading will often have a substantial influence over their work (the author, Eva Ibbotson, whose book The Secret of Platform 13 has been suggested as a possible source for Rowling’s idea of a magical portal in Kings Cross Station, has said she would ‘like to shake [Rowling] by the hand.’ ‘I think we all borrow from each other as writers’)

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Philosopher’s Stone, we have put together a selection of books which Rowling has referred to as those which had an impact on the genesis of Harry and his adventures. We like to think some of these volumes wouldn’t look out of place on the shelves in Dumbledore’s office or the Hogwarts library.


(NONESUCH PRESS.) HOMER. The Iliad, 1931.

Rowling has said that she was extremely moved by her reading of the Iliad at the age of nineteen, particularly the scene in which Hector returns to battle to rescue Patroclus’ body. In The Goblet of Fire, Harry returns Cedric’s body to Hogwarts after the two are lured away to a remote graveyard by Voldemort during the Triwizard Tournament, an incident she has said was directly influenced by Homer. “The idea of the desecration of a body, a very ancient idea… I was thinking of that when Harry saved Cedric’s body.”


(FRASER, William Alexander.) [Presentation Bible to Capt. W. A. Fraser from the Missionaries on the Loyalty Islands and New Hebrides:], 1867.

The biblical allusions in Harry Potter, particularly the last book, have been noted by many. The inscription on Dumbledore’s family tomb, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also”, is from Matthew 6:21, while the tombstone of Harry’s parents bears the quotation “And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” from 1 Corinthians, which also informs one of the major themes of the book. Harry’s death and later resurrection have obvious resonances with the life of Jesus.  “They’re very British books”, Rowling has said, “So on a very practical note Harry was going to find biblical quotations on tombstones, [but] I think those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric’s Hollow, they (…) almost epitomize the whole series.”


AESCHYLUS. The Tragedies. 1779.

Rowling puzzled many readers by choosing a long quotation from ‘The Libation Bearers’ as an epigraph to The Deathly Hallows.

Rowling has said that this, along with the second epigraph from Quaker leader William Penn, “cued up the ending perfectly”. In the passage from the Iliad, Electra and her brother Orestes plans to exact revenge for the murder of their father and ask the ‘dark gods’ of the underworld for strength in achieving their task. Electra and Orestes are caught in a dilemma as their father’s murderer was their mother, Clytemnestra. To murder her in turn would be to duplicate her sin of shedding kindred blood. As Harry shares blood with Lord Voldemort – blood, moreover, that carries the protection given when his mother died to save him – his knowledge that he must defeat Voldemort is complicated by a kinship tie with him. It is this connection which also tethers Harry to life and allows him to return after Voldemort has performed the killing curse on him in the climax of the final book. This passage therefore speaks to the complexities of blood relationships in Rowling’s universe, a theme that is prevalent throughout the seven books.


CHAUCER, Geoffrey. The Workes of Geffray Chaucer newly printed, [1550?]

‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is recognisably the source for the ‘Tale of the Three Brothers’, the story which reveals the legend of the Deathly Hallows to Harry, Ron and Hermione. In Chaucer’s story, three brothers set out to kill Death in vengeance for the death of a friend. They encounter an old man who tells them that they will find Death under an oak tree. When they get there, however, they discover not Death but a large cache of gold coins. Forgetting their quest, each falls to plotting to kill the others, so that he may take the gold for himself. By the end of the tale, their greed has caused the death of all three brothers, illustrating the biblical theme of the Pardoner’s tale, “Radix malorum est cupiditas” (“Greed is the root of [all] evils” 1 Timothy 6.10). ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’ appears in what might be said to be wizarding world’s equivalent of the Canterbury Tales, The Tales of Beedle the Bard and is retold in Deathly Hallows by Xenophilius Lovegood. Three brothers defy death by conjuring a bridge to cross a dangerous river in safety. Death appears to the brothers and gives each of them a gift, apparently in recognition of their skill at evading him. The first two brothers die as a result of the misuse of Death’s gifts but the third (the recipient of the invisibility cloak eventually inherited by Harry) uses it wisely and dies peacefully as an old man.


SHAKESPEARE, William. The Works. 1866.

J. K. Rowling has talked in interviews about the influence of Macbeth on the prophecy about Harry and Voldemort which states that “neither can live while the other survives”. “I absolutely adore Macbeth. It is possibly my favourite Shakespeare play” she has said. “And that’s the question isn’t it? If Macbeth hadn’t met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it have happened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen.” This idea of free will despite the apparent determinations of fate is emphasised to Harry by Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince:

You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal. . . . In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy!


LEWIS, C. S. [The Chronicles of Narnia:] The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician’s Nephew; The Last Battle. 1950-1956.

Rowling has said that Lewis’ books were childhood favourites and an inspiration when writing fantasy novels for children.  “I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in King’s Cross Station – it dissolves and he’s on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there’s the train for Hogwarts.” A connection can also be made between Harry’s obnoxious, bullying cousin Dudley Dursely and Eustace Scrub, who is the cousin of the Pevensie children who appear in several Narnia novels. Both Dudley and Eustace eventually find some form of redemption in the course of each narrative.


AUSTEN, Jane. [The Novels:] Pride & Prejudice; Sense & Sensibility; Mansfield Park; Emma; Northanger Abbey; Persuasion. 1907–09.

While the parallels between Austen’s portraits of nineteenth century manners and society and a story about a school for young witches and wizards might not immediately jump off the page, Rowling has spoken of Austen as one of her chief influences in the craft of storytelling. The Potter series is known for its surprising turns and twist endings, and Rowling has stated that “I have never set up a surprise ending in a Harry Potter book without knowing I can never, and will never, do it anywhere near as well as Austen did in Emma.”


Dorothy L. Sayers

Despite the overarching theme of good versus evil, each individual Potter story often feels like its own self-contained mystery novel, with suspects, evidence and an eventual payoff forming integral parts of the structure. Acknowledging this fact, Rowling has referred to Sayers as “the queen of the genre”. She has talked about the influence of Sayers on Harry Potter with regards to romance in the novels:

There’s a theory – this applies to detective novels, and then Harry, which is not really a detective novel, but it feels like one sometimes – that you should not have romantic intrigue in a detective book. Dorothy L. Sayers, who is queen of the genre said — and then broke her own rule, but said — that there is no place for romance in a detective story except that it can be useful to camouflage other people’s motives. That’s true; it is a very useful trick. I’ve used that on Percy and I’ve used that to a degree on Tonks in this book, as a red herring. But having said that, I disagree inasmuch as mine are very character-driven books, and it’s so important, therefore, that we see these characters fall in love, which is a necessary part of life.

We’re also celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter with a curated selection of signed first and special editions of Harry Potter, which you can see here.

You can read our blog on how to identify whether your Philosopher’s Stone is a first edition here, or watch this video.



The Professor: Jerry Thomas and the First Cocktail Book

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

This article by Ben Houston originally appeared in The Gourmand magazine.

The early history of the cocktail is inevitably entangled in over two centuries of tall-tale bar-talk. As David Wondrich remarks in Imbibe!, his definitive guide to classic American cocktails, “there was no Homer to record the names and deeds of bartenders”, and so the lineages of many of the cocktail connoisseur’s favourite tipples have been utterly obscured by the “mists of time”.

Within this befogged prospect a few monuments of mixology loom large, and of these perhaps the most colossal is “The Professor” Jerry Thomas’s The Bar-Tender’s Guide: A Complete Cyclopaedia of Plain and Fancy Drinks. First published in 1862, Thomas’s short book was the first ever printed guide to mixing cocktails. Launched into an America heady with Gold Rush Fever and divided by a vicious civil war, the book offered by way of diversion a collection of almost alchemical recipes and fantastical techniques that still dazzle today.

THOMAS, Jerry. The Bar-Tender’s Guide, Danbury: Behrens Publishing Company, 1887. £750.

The creative showmanship and flair of these recipes capture perfectly a time when the mixing of cocktails was an art on the edge, equal parts glamour and grift, probably best exemplified by the dangerously spectacular “Blue Blazer”, which required the bar-tender to pitch a cascade of flaming Scotch and boiling water between two mugs. Thomas wisely advises that “the novice in mixing this beverage should be careful not to scold [sic.] himself”.

Thomas honed his skills, and made his fortune in the bar-rooms of Gold Rush California. Flashily dressed, diamond studs aglint and with a conjuror’s flourish, he mixed the fanciest drinks from the finest ingredients for the assembled prospectors, robber-barons and bunco artists. However, it was in New York that Thomas was to break the bar-keep’s omerta, and set down his recipes and techniques for publication. Today his book is rightly recognised as the earliest printed document of what Wondrich calls “the first legitimate American culinary art”.

THOMAS, Jerry. [The Bar-Tenders’ Guide.] How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion… New York Dick & Fitzgerald 1862. £2,500

THOMAS, Jerry. The Bar-Tender’s Guide, New York: Fitzgerald Publishing Corporation, successor to Dick & Fitzgerald, 1887. £1,500

The Bar-Tender’s Guide is an exceedingly scarce book in its true first edition with just nine copies recorded in institutions worldwide. Highly elusive, it is remarkable evocation of the time when bar-tenders-as-stars performed the theatre of a truly original culinary art.




The Books That Made Europe

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

A selection of books relating to this blog post can currently be found on our Curator’s Choice page.

Peter Harrington is proud to be associated with an exhibition currently running in Rome, at the Palazzo Madama, the home of the Italian Senate. The exhibition, which was earlier displayed at the Biblioteca Wittockiana in Brussels, runs until June 20 2017 and is highly recommended.

Books That Made Europe is a timely exhibition. Scheduled to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome (1957) which facilitated the creation of the European Economic Community, the exhibition celebrates the printed works which underpin the culture and values of the modern-day European Union.

This exhibition roots the EU’s foundation ideals of freedom, human rights and integration in Europe’s intellectual and cultural heritage, beginning with Johann Gutenberg, whose invention in c. 1440 of movable type enabled the mass circulation of ideas through the printed word. The exhibition features 140 books, spanning six centuries. Recalling that European federalism was sought in the aftermath of the Second World War, as a direct attempt to curb future abuses of power by Nation States and to guard against the rise of extreme nationalism, the books featured have been selected for their capacity to challenge assumptions and broaden minds. The most influential scientific and cultural works are represented in the collection, to which Peter Harrington has supplied and lent a number of items and has facilitated the loan of several others through its connections to private collectors and institutions.


Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil. 1651.

One of the most important books in the history of political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes’ treatise on the structure of society and legitimate government is the first attempt to set out a cohesive political system in the English language. The work was conceived in one of the most tumultuous periods in English history; the conflict between Charles I and parliament and the resultant civil war, which culminated in the execution of the king and installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.

Leviathan presents Hobbes’ theory of the reciprocal relationship between political obedience and peace and argues for a social contract between the state and the individual to guard against political disintegration. The famous frontispiece to the work – the titular leviathan – was designed by Hobbes in collaboration with the French artist Abraham Bosse, and is a perfect illustration of his ideas. A giant crowned figure, his body composed of numerous other tiny figures, towers above a well-ordered landscape. As Hobbes wrote

the multitude so united in one person is called a COMMONWEALTH; in Latin, CIVITAS. This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently, of that mortal god to which we owe, under the immortal God, our peace and defence. For by this authority, given him by every particular man in the Commonwealth, he hath the use of so much power and strength conferred on him that, by terror thereof, he is enabled to form the wills of them all, to peace at home, and mutual aid against their enemies abroad. And in him consisteth the essence of the Commonwealth; which, to define it, is: one person, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutual covenants one with another, have made themselves every one the author, to the end he may use the strength and means of them all as he shall think expedient for their peace and common defence.

Hobbes’ work generated a storm of controversy, particularly after the restoration of the Stuarts in 1660. Parliament tried to ban Leviathan and Hobbes was forced to defend himself against charges of atheism, scepticism and materialism.


Samuel Pufendorf, De officio hominis et civis juxta legem naturalem libri duo. 1673

First edition, one of two printings of 1673, this one with 32 unnumbered preliminary and 243 numbered pages (pp. 129-130 and 179 omitted in pagination), the other with 240 numbered pages. This is a short summary of a part of Pufendorf’s masterwork De jure naturae et gentium. The legal theorist, historian and theologian Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-94) was the first professor of the Law of Nature and of Nations in a German university, at Heidelberg. In his works on political science “he attempted to strike a middle path between the rationalism of Grotius and the voluntarism of Hobbes. He envisaged the state of nature as a war of all against all, from which men would wish to save themselves by joining in a society whose laws were imposed by the ruler’s will. But he also argued that such laws must conform to natural law, whose duties he maintained, unlike Grotius, were imposed on man by God’s will.   For it must have been God’s will to give man such a nature that he can only live and prosper in society and therefore an inclination to observe the rules that make social life possible.   In preference to Grotius a posteriori method, he adopted a sociological form of inquiry into man’s condition in society” (The New Palgrave III, p. 1074).


John Locke, Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money. 1692.

Locke’s first book on economics, this is an influential contribution to monetary theory which offers a sophisticated defense of mercantilism. After the Revolution Settlement, the question of lowering the rate of interest in England was topical: many London merchants wanted cheap money and Locke was thus prompted to look out his “old essay” and prepare it for publication in which he was encouraged by his friend John Somers – the unnamed MP to whom it was dedicated.

“In his tract of 1692, (Some Considerations, written 1672) Locke controverts the view of Sir Josiah Child that the rate of interest could be fixed at a low rate, say 4 per cent, by law.  Locke, though ready to approve of a legal rate of 6 per cent, argues that ‘generally speaking’ the price of the hire of money cannot be fixed by law; and that any attempt to fix the rate of interest below ‘the true and natural value’ can only harass trade and is sure to be defeated by the devices of expert traders” (Palgrave II, 632–633).

“Locke’s writings on money and his arguments against devaluation have almost been regarded as gospels for ‘sound money’ men. The influence of his thought was most noticeable in the early nineteenth century, as shown in the speeches of Canning and Peel when parliament debated the monetary standard in 1811, 1819 and 1844. But strange to say, Locke himself was not happy about his own work on money. In a letter to William Molyneux (30th March 1696), he stated his feelings as follows: ‘The business of our money has so near brought us to ruin, that, till the Plot broke out, it was every body’s talk, every body’s uneasiness. And because I had played the fool to print about it, there was scarce a post wherein somebody or other did not give me fresh trouble about it …  I must own to you, this, and the like subject, are not those which I now relish, or that do, with most pleasure, employ my thought’” (see Ming-Hsun Li, The Great Recoinage of 1696–9, pp. 104–105).


Karl Marx, Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Oekonomie. 1867

Rare first edition of the first volume of Das Kapital, the only one to appear in Marx’s lifetime; one of 1,000 copies printed. Two further volumes were published from his manuscripts by Engels, in 1885 and 1894 respectively.

The first volume of Das Kapital was published on 14 September 1867 in Hamburg, issued in printed wrappers.

“Marx himself modestly described Das Kapital as a continuation of his Zur Kritik de politischen Oekonomie, 1859. It was in fact the summation of his quarter of a century’s economic studies, mostly in the Reading Room of the British Museum. The Athenaeum reviewer of the first English translation (1887) later wrote: ‘Under the guise of a critical analysis of capital, Karl Marx’s work is principally a polemic against capitalists and the capitalist mode of production, and it is this polemical tone which is its chief charm’. The historical-polemical passages, with their formidable documentation from British official sources, have remained memorable; and, as Marx (a chronic furunculosis victim) wrote to Engels while the volume was still in the press, ‘I hope the bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles all the rest of their lives’ …”

“By an odd quirk of history the first foreign translation of Das Kapital to appear was the Russian, which Petersburgers found in their bookshops early in April 1872. Giving his imprimatur, the censor, one Skuratov, had written ‘few people in Russia will read it, and still fewer will understand it’. He was wrong: the edition sold out quickly; and in 1880 Marx was writing to his friend F. A. Sorge that ‘our success is still greater in Russia, where Kapital is read and appreciated more than anywhere else’” (PMM).

“The history of the twentieth century is Marx’s legacy. Stalin, Mao, Che, Castro—the icons and monsters of the modern age have all presented themselves as his heirs. Whether he would recognise them as such is quite another matter … Nevertheless, within one hundred years of his death half the world’s population was ruled by governments that professed Marxism to be their guiding faith. His ideas have transformed the study of economics, history, geography, sociology and literature. Not since Jesus Christ has an obscure pauper inspired such global devotion—or been so calamitously misinterpreted” (Francis Wheen, in his introduction to Karl Marx, 1999).


Adolf Wagner, Karl Heinrich Rau’s Lehrbuch der Finanzwissenschaft. Sechste Ausgabe, vielfach verändert und theilweise völlig neu bearbeitet. Erste Abtheilung. Einleitung. Ausgaben. Privaterwerth des Staats. 1872.

First edition of Wagner’s reworking of volume three of Rau’s Lehrbuch der politischen Oekonomie.

Wagner was a prominent economist of the Bismark era, a Kathedersozialist or academic socialist. As a social philosopher, he criticised emergent industrial –commercial capitalist ideals, whilst maintaining an essentially conservative stance, advocating a State capable of reconciling individualistic and socialistic principles.

Undoubtedly Wagner’s most important and enduring work, the Lehrbuch der Finanzwissenschaft was his revision of the third part of Karl Heinrich Rau’s four-volume compendium Lehrbuch der politischen Ökonomie. His presentation of the material was ground-breaking, dismissing the traditional German ‘cameralistic’ management of state finances, instead envisioning a modern theory of public finance, centred on a more active role of the State and a tax system that aimed at promoting greater equality. He also believed an active role of the State in a developing industrial society, and thus advocated the nationalisation of certain key sectors, such as railways, insurance and banking. Most importantly, Wagner categorically rejected the system of laissez-faire liberalism epitomised by the British economy.


Knut Wicksell, Geldzins und Güterpreise. 1898

In Geldzins und Güterpreise, believed by many to be Wicksell’s most original and enduring contribution to economics, ‘he more or less founded modern macroeconomics by going back to Tooke’s contra-quantity theory of money, according to which the price level is determined not by the quantity of money but by the national income in the form of the total flow of expenditures on goods and services. While rejecting Tooke’s argument, he restated the old quantity of money so as to emphasise expenditure flows, carefully distinguishing the direct effect of an increase in the quantity of money on prices via the cash balances individuals are willing to hold and the indirect effect on prices that operate through variations in the rate of interest’ (Great Economists Before Keynes, p. 274).

C.G. Uhr, writing in The New Palgrave, describes this work as ‘the home of the Wicksellian “cumulative price level fluctuations or processes”, allegedly generated by a divergence between the rate of return on newly created real capital and the bank-dominated market rate of interest’ (IV, 904).


John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of The Peace. 1919.

Keynes’ second, and sometimes called his best, book, The Economic Consequences of The Peace, is a critical account of the Treaty of Versailles based on Keynes’ experience as a delegate of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Keynes had argued for a more generous deal for Germany in the wake of the First World War, and perceived that the reparations imposed would ruin Europe. For this reason, the book is heralded by some as an early anticipation of the World War II. Keynes resigned from his advisory role with the Treasury just three weeks before the signing of the Treaty, amid growing frustration with the negotiations and concerns over his health. He returned to Cambridge where he spent the summer of 1919 writing this meditation on the progress of the Conference and his predictions of its consequences.

Two profound criticisms of the Treaty underpin Keynes’ book. His first is that the economic terms of the treaty rendered prosperity in Europe through an equitable, effective and integrated economic system impossible. Secondly, he argued that the Allies had violated their commitment to a policy of even handedness by the severe terms of the Treaty.

The book became an almost immediate success on both sides of the Atlantic, solidifying Keynes’ reputation as one of the leading economists and public intellectuals of his day.

You can find the exhibition catalogue, which includes in-depth information on each item and its importance, as well as several essays about the history of the printed word in Europe, here. A supplementary catalogue is also available and can be found here.


Special thanks to Dario Lasagni, Eugenio Sidoli and Ian Smith in helping with the production of this blog.


SALINGER, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. 1951.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

Octavo. Original blue boards, spine lettered in silver. With the supplied dust jacket, designed by Fritz Wegner. Housed in a dark blue quarter morocco solander box made by the Chelsea Bindery. Boards browned at edges and a little marked, tips worn, a good copy in the jacket with chips at head of spine and folds.

First UK edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author in red ink on the front free endpaper, “To Joyce Williams, who nursed my mother so selflessly and beautifully. With gratitude, J. D. Salinger. New York, N.Y. June 21, 1974.” Salinger’s mother was born Marie Jillich, in 1891 in Atlantic, Cass County, Iowa, and died in June 1974, the same month as the inscription. She had adopted Judaism and the name Miriam on her marriage. Her husband Sol, Salinger’s father, had died earlier the same year, in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Apparently Salinger showed little emotional response to their deaths, even within his own family. He reported having dealt with his father’s death with a “minimum of crap and ceremony” and, when his mother died, he neglected to tell his own daughter Peggy; she read about it in the newspaper (Raychel Haugrud Reiff, J. D. Salinger, 2008, p. 35). This presentation inscription, made in a copy of the UK edition presumably from his own library, shows a little more emotional response to her passing. On the rear endpaper, Joyce Williams has re-presented the book: “To my brother Eric McBean. From his sister Joyce Williams. May 17, 2003. Brooklyn NY. 11233”.

RACKHAM, Arthur. The Peter Pan Portfolio, [1912].

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

Elephant folio. Original full vellum portfolio, titles to front cover gilt, with the original ivory silk ties laced to a large bow at the spine and with two pairs of ivory silk fore-edge ties skilfully supplied to match. In the original green cloth-sided card box with full-page printed paper label to front. Housed in a custom green quarter morocco solander box. 12 large proof-size colour plates mounted in mats, with captioned tissue guards, by Rackham. The box a little worn in places, but a fine copy, a remarkable survival of this luxurious presentation.

Deluxe extra-limited edition, number 13 of 100 copies signed by the publisher and engraver on the limitation page and each plate signed on the mount by the artist, bound in full vellum. According to Latimore & Haskell, although Rackham was supposed to sign all 100 copies, the artist confessed that he had signed only about 20 of them. Copies numbered 101 to 600 were issued in a half vellum portfolio with green cloth sides; none of these was signed by Rackham. The Peter Pan Portfolio reproduces 12 of Rackham’s favourite illustrations at their original size. Barrie wrote enthusiastically of Rackham’s originals, which he had seen exhibited at the Leicester Galleries, “I like best of all the Serpentine with the fairies, and the Peter in his night-gown sitting in the tree. Next I would [sic] the flying Peters, the fairies going to the ball (as in the ‘tiff’ and the fairy on cobweb) – the fairies sewing the leaves with their sense of fun (the gayest thing this) and your treatment of snow” (Ray 329). Barrie’s comments seemingly influenced Rackham’s selection, as the portfolio includes all the images the author mentioned.

WALTON, Izaak. The Compleat Angler, or The Contemplative Man’s Recreation. 1931.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

Small quarto. Specially bound for the publisher by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in red crushed morocco, spine gilt tooled with a fish motif (closely resembling that used on copies in the vellum binding), concentric gilt panels on sides with fish motif at corners, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, three-line gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers. Housed in a red quarter morocco slipcase. Colour frontispiece and 11 coloured plates with captioned tissue guards, black and white illustrations in the text, by Rackham. Attractive bookplate of Cyril Sturla (a captain in The Cheshire Regiment during the Great War). An excellent copy.

Deluxe edition, number 1 of 757 copies signed by the artist; this is one of a putative 10 “special copies” in a luxury binding commissioned by the publisher and containing an original signed pen-and-ink and watercolour sketch by Rackham (this one captioned “Handle him as if you loved him” – Walton’s dictum for handling a live frog before impaling it on a hook) and showing an amusing riparian scene with a frog pleading with a gentleman, while a typically Rackhamesque anthropomorphic tree looks on. It was George Harrap who hit on the idea of a “Rackham special”, the most exclusive format of Rackham’s books. From The Vicar of Wakefield on, Harrap held back the first dozen or so copies to be specially bound, as here, and asked Rackham to add a unique original watercolour sketch to the limited page. The first few copies were usually reserved for the publisher and his family; only a handful were available to the public. Describing his artistic method for these “specials”, Rackham pointed out that “my little sketches must inevitably be of a light hearted or joking nature… They have to be spontaneous and free handed. The nature of the paper is such that there can be no preparatory drawing and no alterations”.

POE, Edgar Allan. Tales of Mystery and Imagination. 1935.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

Quarto (262 x 186 mm). Specially bound for the publisher in green full morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, gilt lettered and panelled spine, single-line gilt lozenge on sides with gilt corner ornaments from designs by Rackham, top edges gilt, others untrimmed, three-line gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers (the original pictorial endpapers bound in after binder’s blanks). With the publisher’s card slipcase (with hand-numbered label). Colour frontispiece and 11 colour plates mounted on heavy white paper with captioned tissue guards, black and white illustrations in the text, by Rackham. Slight signs of wear at extremities of joints. An excellent copy.

Deluxe edition, number 3 of 460 copies signed by the artist. This is one of ten “special copies” reserved by the publisher from the total edition, presented in a specially commissioned luxury binding decorated in gilt with tools designed by the artist, and including a full-page original pen-and-ink and watercolour drawing by Rackham (signed “Arthur Rackham 1935”), showing a seated elderly man reading a hair-raising story, while his black cat spits at the Devil, who emerges from behind his armchair. It was George Harrap who hit on the idea of a “Rackham special”, the most exclusive format of Rackham’s books. From The Vicar of Wakefield on, Harrap held back the first dozen or so copies to be specially bound, as here, and asked Rackham to add a unique original watercolour sketch to the limited page. The first few copies were usually reserved for the publisher and his family; only a handful were available to the public. Describing his artistic method for these “specials”, Rackham pointed out that “my little sketches must inevitably be of a light hearted or joking nature … They have to be spontaneous and free handed. The nature of the paper is such that there can be no preparatory drawing and no alterations”.

[QUESNAY, François]. Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle… 1768.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Ian Smith of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

Two works bound in one volume, octavo (188 x 114 mm). Contemporary marbled paper boards, mottled calf spine, red morocco label.

First edition (“Leyde” issue) of the book that gave the Physiocrats their name, one of the most important and original works on political economy to be published before The Wealth of Nations, bound together with its important companion piece, one of the scarcest of Dupont’s works, and probably one of the most successful publications promoting physiocracy. The work is partly based on Le Mercier de la Rivière’s L’Ordre naturel et essentiel des Sociétés politiques, which Adam Smith referred to as “the most distinct and best connected account of this doctrine”. Schumpeter, in his discussion on the physiocrats, calls Dupont “by far the ablest of the lot” (p. 226) and Palgrave notes; “If Quesnay was the father of physiocracy, Dupont was its godfather, for he gave it its name by the publication of his Physiocratie… a collection of Quesnay’s articles, which the editor introduced by a Discours.”. Quesnay presented a copy of his book to Adam Smith, who described him as “ingenious and profound, a man of the greatest simplicity and modesty”, while pronouncing Quesnay’s system to be “with all its imperfections, perhaps the nearest approximation to the truth that has yet been published upon the subject of political economy”. François Quesnay (1694–1774) was the court physician to Louis XV, and his notion of a circular flow of income throughout the economy was influenced by the contemporary discovery of blood circulation through the human body. He believed that trade and industry were not sources of wealth, and instead argued that the real economic movers were agricultural surpluses flowing through the economy in the form of rent, wages and purchases. Quesnay argued that regulation impedes the flow of income throughout all social classes and therefore economic development; and that taxes on the productive classes, such as farmers, should be reduced in favour of rises for unproductive classes, such as landowners, since their luxurious way of life distorts the income flow.

[PUTTENHAM, George.] The Arte of English Poesie. 1589.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

[PUTTENHAM, George.] The Arte of English Poesie. Contrived into three Bookes: The first of Poets and Poesie, the second of Proportion, the third of Ornament. Published: London: by Richard Field, 1589.
Presented by Adam Douglas, Senior Rare Book Specialist at Peter Harrington.

Quarto (184 x 127 mm). Dark green levant morocco by Rivière, floral and ornamental gilt border on pointillé ground on sides, gilt dentelles, spine gilt, edges gilt. Bookplate. Woodcut device (McKerrow 222) on title page, woodcut portrait of Elizabeth I, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, and diagrams; bound without first and last blanks.

First and only contemporary edition; “an ambitious work of literary history and criticism as well as a rhetorical handbook for the practising poet” (ODNB). Puttenham’s examples are drawn mostly from early to mid-16th-century writers, poetry such as Richard Tottel’s Songs and Sonnets or the works of George Gascoigne and George Turberville. Ben Jonson owned a copy and carefully annotated it. The book was published anonymously with a dedication to Burghley subscribed “R. F.” by the printer Richard Field, the Stratford contemporary of William Shakespeare. Field was associated with the printing or publishing of many important sources for Shakespeare’s plays, suggesting the possibility that the playwright may have had access to his townsman’s shop. William Lowes Rushton itemizes an impressive number of parallels between The Art of English Poesie and the language displayed in Shakespeare’s plays.

POTTER, Beatrix. [Complete set of deluxe editions:] 1902–10.

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

POTTER, Beatrix. [Complete set of deluxe editions:] The Tale of Peter Rabbit; The Tailor of Gloucester; The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin; The Tale of Two Bad Mice; The Tale of Benjamin Bunny; The Pie and the Patty-Pan; The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle; The Tale of Jeremy Fisher; The Tale of Tom Kitten; The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck; The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies; The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse. Published: London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1902–10.

Presented by Pom Harrington of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

12 works: 11 sextodecimo, 1 small quarto. Original gilt decorated cloth, pictorial labels to front boards, pictorial endpapers, except: Peter Rabbit bound in yellow cloth lettered red, grey patterned endpapers; Squirrel Nutkin and Tailor of Gloucester in floral cloth with gilt-lettered vellum labels, pictorial endpapers; Pie and the Patty-Pan in pale blue cloth lettered blue, white moiré endpapers. Each book housed in a custom folding case. An excellent set. Some hinges split but holding, a few with light finger-marks to contents, some with contemporary gift inscriptions, a little rubbing to extremities. The Pie and the Patty-Pan with bookplates of H. Bradley Martin and Mildred Greenhill, and misbound at p. 14.

Complete set of the first deluxe editions of the Peter Rabbit series. Priced at 1/6- rather than 1/- for the paper-covered books, the deluxe editions went through three iterations before a consistent style was settled upon. The first deluxe binding of Peter Rabbit was issued in two colours, yellow and green. Potter felt this unimpressive, writing, “I thought last year there was not sufficient difference between the two styles of binding – that if the cloth binding had been more distinctly different, and pretty, there might have been more inducement to buy it.” She obtained some samples of patterned cloth from her grandfather’s textile printing works: Edmund Potter & Co. of Manchester, one of the largest calico printers in Europe. An art fabric binding, which Potter referred to as “a flowered lavender chintz, very pretty” was selected for the deluxe issues of the Tailor of Gloucester and Squirrel Nutkin in 1903, and vellum labels used for the title and author’s name, as it was impracticable to print directly onto the fabric. The following October, a brightly coloured moiré cloth decorated in gilt was chosen for the deluxe issue, coinciding with the publication of Benjamin Bunny and the Two Bad Mice. Potter contributed to the gilt design, noting in a letter to the Warnes that “I will do some sketches of designs for the cover while I am at Melford.” This design, with some minor alterations to the gilt decoration, was adopted for the deluxe editions of the rest of the series.

POTTER, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. December 1901].

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

You can view this item on our website here:…

Sextodecimo, pages unnumbered. Original pictorial grey paper boards, decoration and titles to front board in black. Housed in a custom black quarter morocco and cloth solander box. Coloured frontispiece and 41 text illustrations after pen and ink drawings. With the bookplates of Mildred Greenhill and H. Bradley Martin to the front pastedown. A faint spray of foxing to a few leaves, slight marking to front free endpapers, still an exceptional copy of this fragile publication.

First edition, first impression. The first of her small format books to be published, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was developed from a picture letter sent to Noel Moore on 4 September 1893. In 1900, Potter thought it might make a small book, and contacted Moore to see if he had kept the letter and if she might borrow it back; the letter was then expanded into the book with 41 black and white drawings and a colour frontispiece. However, as a larger format and colour were in vogue at the time for children’s books, it was rejected by a number of publishers, including Warne, after they found Potter was adamant that the size and form of the book should not be altered. Determined to see it in print, she decided to publish it herself, with the colour frontispiece printed by Herschel of Fleet Street using the recently introduced three colour press. The privately-printed edition was ready on 16 December 1901 in an edition of 250 copies; Potter presented them to friends and relatives, and also sold them for 1/2d. Within two weeks it proved so popular that she commissioned a second impression. The book was then taken up by Frederick Warne and published in a regular trade edition in October 1902.

POTTER, Beatrix. Original manuscript with drawings…. [c.1896].

Peter Harrington Bookseller Blog -

Presented by Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books.

You can view this item on our website here:…

Folded booklet of 5 pages. Original ink holograph and watercolour manuscript with 9 ink and watercolour drawings and text by Potter, the first with title and “H. Gerbault. Copy” written below, the remainder with accompanying verse, unbound. Housed in a custom brown folding case. In superb condition.

The illustrated French poem is identified as the work of Beatrix Potter by the accompanying note written by an executor of the artist, stating that “the enclosed poem is an example of fine copying done on notepaper by Beatrix Potter (from her portfolios at Sawrey, Oct. 49).” Henri Gerbault (1863–1930) was a French illustrator and watercolourist, and this manuscript is based on a contribution by Gerbault to a children’s periodical of the early 1890s, later anthologised in Chansons du vieux temps with music by J. Tiersot (1904), also with designs by Gerbault. It is thought that these and other similar copies were made by Potter to improve her figure drawing, always her weakest point, as she later acknowledged: “I am not good – or trained – in drawing human figures (they are a terrible bother to me when I have perforce to bring them into the pictures for my own little stories)”.