Page 34-35 - H&W Brochure #3

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Geoffrey Chaucer; [Anthony Trollope]. The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.
London: John W. Parker and Son, 1854-1856. Eight small octavo volumes, contemporary
full calf gilt. Bookplate of Anthony Trollope in each volume, with the notation “R.B.”
in Trollope’s hand, signifying his purchase of the books from the estate of Robert Bell.
Collected edition of Chaucer’s poems, from the library of novelist Anthony
Trollope. The set contains the complete text of
The Canterbury Tales
Troilus and
The Book of the Duchess
, and the shorter poems, as well as Chaucer’s
English translation of
The Romaunt of the Rose
. In his introduction, editor Robert
Bell observes that “the humanity [Chaucer] imparts to his subjects invests them
with a permanent interest, which neither the lapse of time, nor the revolutions
of language, can impair.” Robert Bell was a close friend of Trollope, who declared:
“I have known no man better read in English literature.” When Bell died
unexpectedly in 1867, leaving his widow in reduced circumstances, Trollope led
the effort to secure a pension for the family, enlisting Charles Dickens andWilkie
Collins in the cause. Bell’s books were slated for auction, but Trollope intervened,
purchasing Bell’s entire library at a price well above market value, and marking
those books with the initials “R.B.” A fine collected edition of one great English
writer, from the library of another, handsomely bound by Bickers and Son.
Mahlon Day; [A.S.W. Rosenbach]. Picture of New-York.
New York: Mahlon Day, circa 1830. Miniature book of
eight leaves, 3.375 x 2 inches. Early twentieth-century full
morocco gilt, illustrated with woodcuts throughout text,
several crudely hand-colored. Bookplate of A.S.W.
Rosenbach. $1800.
Early edition, following the 1825 first edition, of this
breathless introduction to the city for children,
opening with the brisk traffic of ships and steam-boats
in New York harbor. This copy belonged to legendary American book dealer
A.S.W. Rosenbach, who included it in his 1933 catalogue,
Children’s Books
. Considering the scarcity of these ephemeral printings, Rosenbach
wishes future collectors good luck: “I thank my lucky stars that there were few
competitors when I first stalked the booksellers’ shelves!” In his description of
this copy, Rosenbach notes printer Mahlon Day’s practice, borrowed from
John Newbery and Isaiah Thomas, of advertising his shop within the stories he
printed: a woodcut of Day’s Manhattan storefront appears on page 12 of
Picture of New-York
, instructing readers to “call at
to get an assortment of little books for little folks.” A near-fine copy, bound by
Hyman Zucker.