Page 18-19 - H&W Brochure #3

Basic HTML Version

Alexandre Dumas; I.G. Burnham (translator). Celebrated Crimes.
London: H.S. Nichols, 1895. Eight octavo volumes, contemporary three-quarter
red crushed morocco gilt over marbled boards. $4200.
Complete set of the elder Dumas’s true crime narratives, first published in French
in 1839 and 1840, including essays on the Borgias, Martin Guerre, and Beatrice
Cenci. Most notable is the historical account of the Man in the Iron Mask, whose
plight would inspire the final chapter of Dumas’s d’Artagnan romances: “The
imagination is fired at the thought of that enforced dumbness, of that lifetime
of reflections which the features did not betray, of that isolation for forty years
confined within double walls of stone and iron.”
Robert Louis Stevenson. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1886. Octavo, original printed wrappers with
the publication date corrected in ink, as called for. $7500.
First English edition, first issue and state, of Stevenson’s sensational tale of a
law-abiding man overtaken by the dark side of his personality: “This Master
Hyde, if he were studied, must have secrets of his own: black secrets, by the look
of him; secrets compared to which poor Jekyll’s worst would be like sunshine.”
“Hurlo Thrumbo.” The Merry-Thought: or, The Glass-Window and Bog-House
Miscellany. Taken from the Original Manuscripts Written in Diamond by Persons
of the First Rank and Figure in Great Britain; Relating to Love, Matrimony,
Drunkenness, Sobriety, Ranting, Scandal, Politicks, Gaming, and Many Other
Subjects, Serious and Comical. WITH: The Merry-Thought . . . Part II.
London: J. Roberts, [1731]. Octavo, full nineteenth-century pebbled morocco gilt. $4500.
First edition of this eighteenth-century compendium of graffiti, bringing together
satiric, racy, and scatological verses, all reportedly found on the windows and
walls of English pubs and “bog-houses.” Sexual prowess is a dominant theme:
“When I lay with my bouncing Nell, / I gave her an Inch, and she took an
Ell: / But I think in this Case it was damnable hard, / When I gave her an Inch,
she’d want more than a Yard.” Both men and women contribute verses, often
commenting on one another’s rhymes. A “desponding lover” etched his complaint
into a window: “This Glass, my Fair’s the Emblem of your Mind, / Which brittle,
slipp’ry, pois’nous oft we find.” His “Fair” returned: “I must confess, kind Sir, that
though this Glass, / Can’t prove me brittle, it proves you an Ass.” A scarce tribute
to the comic underbelly of the Augustan Age.