Friday, March 20, 2015

REYNARD THE FOX, available at auction--of interest to fans of Amazon's BOSCH

Swann Auction Galleries April 9, 2015 auction, Early Printed, Medical, Science & Travel Books includes a 1681 Edition of a verse adaptation of Reynard the Fox.  Perhaps the eventual buyer will be associated with the Amazon Series, Bosch, since Season 1 focused on a serial killer named Reynard, and the medieval epic was key to plot line.  I am not familiar with Michael Connelly the author of the Bosch crime novel series but I expect they too would be a prime interest group for this auction.

This appears to be a nice edition and certainly for the right buyer, the price is reasonable.  A low ball starting bid of $250 might even be a winning bid.

From the Swann on-line catalog:
(REYNARD THE FOX.) Shurley, John The Most Delightful History of Reynard the Fox: in Heroic Verse. 8 woodcut text illustrations. [8], 114 pages, including etched additional title. 4to, 216x175 mm, later 19th-century vellum boards by Birdsall, spine ends damaged; additional title darkened, torn across upper margin and restored, light dampstaining and soiling on letterpress title and next leaf, upper portion of letterpress title torn and restored with text replaced in meticulous pen-and-ink facsimile, repaired hole farther down affecting a few words, last page heavily soiled; uncut and largely unopened. London: Thomas Passinger and Charles Passinger, 1681

Estimate $500 - 750

first edition of this English verse adaptation of the medieval animal epic. Menke, Bibliotheca Reinardiana, pages 230-31; Wing S3514.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

300 Million USD Private Library Donated to Princeton. The Scheide Family Collection previously a cherished guest at Princeton, now owned by Princeton.

This is the dream come true, a multi-generational private library, valued at 300 Million USD is donated to Princeton University.  When I dream about my library, I dream that someday, the collection will have value to someone or some institute.  Everyone should dream big!

Musician, musicologist, bibliophile and philanthropist William H. Scheide, a 1936 Princeton University alumnus who died in November at age 100, has left his extraordinary collection of some 2,500 rare printed books and manuscripts to Princeton University. With an expected appraised value of nearly $300 million, it is the largest gift in the University's history.
The Scheide Library has been housed in Princeton's Firestone Library since 1959, when Scheide moved the collection from his hometown of Titusville, Pennsylvania. It holds the first six printed editions of the Bible, starting with the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the earliest substantial European printed book; the original printing of the Declaration of Independence; Beethoven's autograph (in his own handwriting) music sketchbook for 1815-16, the only outside Europe; Shakespeare's first, second, third and fourth folios; significant autograph music manuscripts of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Wagner; a lengthy autograph speech by Abraham Lincoln from 1856 on the problems of slavery; and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's original letter and telegram copy books from the last weeks of the Civil War.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Brothers Grimm, Princeton University Press Edition Does Not Impress


The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:The Complete First EditionJacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack ZipesIllustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Last week I stumbled upon yet another new illustrated edition and new English translation of the Grimm tales.  I have an interest in the Brothers Grimm in line with my love of world tales and their origins, the number of interesting new illustrated editions that have appeared over the past few years and that dear friends are blood relations to the Brothers.  I immediately ordered the new edition published by Princeton University Press, linked above.

I was originally interested in the promise of the new edition, a complete and new English translation of the actual First Edition of the Grimm tales.  This first edition was where the tales are recorded for posterity and not edited for children, their parents, or to satisfy some newly minted social custom.  The real stories as collected, unvarnished, for my reading pleasure.  I happily clicked to buy and started writing a blog post that would list my favorite edition of the Brothers Grimm and how they all differ to find the one that is right for you.

Just now, the new edition from Princeton University Press arrived and I can honestly state that Princeton University Press should be embarrassed by this terrible effort to publish a new edition of the Grimm tales.  The paper is terrible, the font is terrible, the printing of the illustrations is terrible.  If not for the content, I would simply return this edition.  It is a terrible edition from a fine book perspective.  It is not a fine edition at all and really seems to be an example of the worst production decisions from paper choice, color choice, font choice.... Only those interested in the actual First Edition of the Brothers Grimm in English translation needs this new edition.  Since that market must be extremely small, it appears no surprise why Princeton decided that there was NO REASON TO INVEST ANY MONEY IN THIS PUBLICATION.

Perhaps Princeton University Press is unaware that print book publishing is under stress from digital outlets and that digital only publishing will bankrupt most traditional publishing houses.  The economics of book publishing does not translate at this time to eliminating print and moving to all digital.  The ONE bright spot that publishers are embracing is that a print product will sell if it is well done and creates a physical artifact that someone would choose to save and display as a piece of art.  This new edition of Princeton University Press may have interesting content but the artifact is a complete insult to the organic matter that was pulped to make the paper it was printed on.

I often forgive many features of the book world, I am a book junkie!  However, in this case, I am not going to forgive anything.  The color of the thumbnail cover of the book that appears above is from the Princeton University Press website.  The actual color of the cover is BLACK, not Purple.  Again, do not buy this book if you are interested in an edition of the Grimm tales that you will enjoy owning.  I'll keep my copy to remind me of this example of publishing self-destruction but wish I had simply bought the e-book to read.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Take a break, read a real book!

The WSJ reports on the benefits of READING A REAL BOOK!  Take a chance, sit down, open that book and read.  The upside is real.  Maybe behind the dreaded pay-wall but take a chance.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lost Libraries and Hope

A great story of a scholar, his books and private library,  lost in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  This story from Harpers by John Kaag captures with one tale, the fear I live with that I am surrounded by lost libraries arising from the halls of New England academies awaiting re-discovery, cataloging, care, and safe haven but I really can't figure out a way to get to those libraries before they become lost in time and place.  Enjoy the read.....

The Philosopher and the Thief

Trespassing in the library of a dead genius