Wednesday, October 10, 2018

An Historical Account of Thomas Williams and his Copy of Livy's Historiarum





It was an old leather book that I recently acquired from a local Friends of the Library bookstore.  It contained the first five books of the History of Rome by Titus Livius (Livy) (59 B.C.-17 A.D.)  The entire text, however, was in Latin, a language that is Greek to me.  But I would want the book anyway.

 The book, published in Utica in 1821, was the third edition of Livy's Historiarum  that William Williams, the largest publisher west of Albany at the time, published.  His name rang a bell.  I remembered reading a paper about him by the bibliophile and author  Madeleine Stern.  But that wasn't the reason why I wanted the book.

The book itself was formerly owned by a Thomas Williams, who wrote his name on the title page.

I googled "Thomas Williams" and I got "about 1,580,000 hits.  There were many people by that name, including a novelist, a theologian, and even a Thomas Williams who came to America on the Mayflower.  But the Thomas Williams I was looking for acquired a copy of Livy's Historiarum while attending Dickinson College in September 1822––at least, that's what he wrote on the front pastedown of the book.



Now this Thomas Williams who went to Dickinson College was the reason why I wanted the book.
Further research revealed that he made a name for himself as a politician and as an orator before, during and after the Civil War.  Here's a portion of one of his speeches.  It was recorded during a parliamentary skirmish between the majority and the minority of the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives on July 20, 1867:
When I find a President of these United States asserting kingly powers, claiming the force of statutes for his proclamations, living in habitual contempt and violation of your laws, suspending their powers or trampling them under foot, bartering away untold millions of your property for rebel use, claiming to rule without a Congress, insulting the legislative power and defying its authority, and ruling this nation as if he were its master, so help me God, I will uncrown him if I can.
To learn more about him, I acquired a copy of The Life and Speeches of Thomas Williams:  Orator, Statesman and Jurist, 1806-1872, A Founder of the Whig and Republican Parties by Burton Alva Konkle, Philadelphia: Campion and Company 1905.





And yes, the portion of his speech above was from Konkle's biography, volume II, page 651 to be exact.  Williams was giving his reasons why he believed that President Andrew Johnson should be impeached.  Williams himself became one of the ten "prosecutors" in the President's impeachment trial.

For me, reading Konkle's historical account of the life of Thomas Williams was a lesson in American history.  Konkle used the speeches of Williams and copies of government documents to cover the rise and demise of the Whig Party, the formation of the Republican Party, the Civil War, the Reconstruction Period thereafter, and then the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

I knew that the Senate was one vote shy of impeaching the President, but I never really knew why Congress tried to impeach him.  Konkle, however, laid it all out for me, using almost 100 of the 757 pages to enlighten me.   It all had to do with Reconstruction versus Restoration.

Thomas Williams and other Republicans believed that the rebel states had to jump through several hoops and hurdles and then some before being readmitted to the Union.  Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act on March 2, 1867.  This act divided the rebel states into five military territories under the administration of the Secretary of War, Edward M. Stanton.

President Andrew Johnson, on the other hand, believed that the rebel states should be immediately readmitted to the Union.  He believed the Military Reconstruction Act to be unconstitutional and vetoed it.  But Congress overrode his veto.

Thomas Williams and President Andrew Johnson were playing a chess game, so to speak.  But Williams thought several moves ahead.  Williams surmised that the President would fire Secretary of War Stanton and replace him with someone more favorable to his state restoration viewpoint.  So Williams introduced the Tenure of Office Act in March 1867.  This act required the Senate's consent before the President could dismiss a Presidential Cabinet member.  The President, of course, vetoed it, but Congress overrode his veto.  The President then tried to fire Stanton and replace him.  So Congress tried to impeach him.  The rest is history.  And well worth reading.

Konkle actually mentions the Thomas Wiilliams copy of Livy's book in a footnote in his book, as well as what Williams wrote on the front pastedown:


The name of Thomas Williams appears one more time in his copy of Livy's Historiarum, along with two other names.  It was not written in his hand, but in the hand of one of his sons. And in pencil at that!



The writing is barely visible.  But here is what it says:

Thomas Williams
Dickinson College
Carlisle, Penn.
1822

Thomas Williams Jr.
Pittsburgh
Western University
1848

A. R. Williams
Miami University
Oxford
1853



Livy's book was used as a rite of passage when someone in the Williams family first entered college.  Thomas Williams entered college at Dickinson College and acquired this copy of Livy's book in September 1822.  Thomas Williams Jr. entered college at Western University in 1848 and his father gave him this copy of Livy's book.  Thomas Williams Jr. was a student himself at Miami University when he passed Livy's book onto his brother Alexander R. Williams (when Western University burned down for the second time in four years in 1849, Thomas Williams Jr. transferred to Miami University).

All three owners of Livy's book made notations in the book.   The notation of Thomas Williams on the second page of the epitome (page 4) is barely visible and practically indecipherable.




I can make out the two  "Oh!"s, but that's all for sure.  It almost looks like it reads, "Oh tom Jones! Oh More!" (See Addendum)

  The notations of Thomas Williams Jr. are easier to decipher.   He identified every fifth line of the first fifty-one pages of the book.



The notations of Alexander R. Williams, although easy to read, required the assistance of a Google search to decipher.  Alexander was a merchant in Washington D. C.  And what we wrote on the rear pastedown of the book were the names of merchant ships.  Go figger!





  In his book, Konkle refers to a "Williams Collection."  Because Konkle's book was published in 1905 and, because Konkle mentions the Livy book by name, the book must have made it back home to the "Williams Collection."  There are no university library markings in the book so I believe that Livy's book remained in the family library until the books of the Williams Collection were eventually dispersed by one of his descendants.

Shortly after Thomas Williams passed away on June 6, 1872 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, The Dispatch wrote that "few men leave such extensive or judiciously selected libraries as that which is numbered among the deceased.  He delighted in books of travel, but abhorred novels, or fiction in any form."

Konkle added a footnote to that statement and wrote:
Mr. Williams' love for history is indicated in some degrees by the fact that his library contained about 400 volumes on that subject alone.  It is also suggestive to know that there were over 200 volumes on voyages and travels, nearly the same on religion and theology, while it might readily be surmised that he would have above 100 on poetry and the drama and a like number on rhetoric and belles lettres, or nearly that many on ethics and politics, which he classes together.  The possession of about 200 volumes of the best fiction, wit and humor would not indicate that he 'abhorred' fiction in any form hardly.  The number of volumes do not, however, make the impression on one that their high character do, of course, and the really significant fact about it all is that he made great books his companions.
Addendum:  Nicholas Smith deciphered Thomas Williams' notation.  It's from Cicero: O tempora! O mores! (Oh, the times, Oh the customs).





























Saturday, September 22, 2018

Learning About The Crockett Almanacks, Sabre-Tooth Revisited, and Bill Cole


Question:
What do Bill Cole, "Sabre-Tooth Revisited," and The Crockett Almanacks all have in common?

Answer:
The Caxton Club.

Bill Cole (1917-2011) was a member of the Caxton Club, a bibliophilic society in Chicago.

"Sabre-Tooth Revisited" was the title of the discourse that Bill Cole delivered before the Caxton Club on Feb. 10, 1965.

The Crockett Almanacks was the title of the book that the Caxton Club presented to Bill Cole in appreciation for his talk, "Sabre-Tooth Revisited."

I have Bill Cole's copy of the book!






I acquired the book on eBay this past July.   I had two reasons for wanting this book.  One was Davy Crockett.  As a kid, I watched Walt Disney's miniseries of Davy Crockett in 1954 and 1955.  And over 60 years later,  I can still recite the words to the song:  "Da-vy, Davy Crockett! King of the Wild Frontier...."

There are several things I should tell you right off about the Crockett Almanacks:  According to Crockett scholars, Davy Crockett (1786-1836) had nothing whatsoever to do with the Almanacks.  And to this day, scholars still do not know the identities of the authors, printers, or publishers of the early issues of the Almanack. There was one S. N. Dickinson who, in 1840, claimed  that his firm started the Crockett Almanacks.  But scholars have never been able to substantiate his claim.  The first four issues were printed in Nashville, and are included in full in Franklin J. Meine's book, The Crockett Almanacks, which was published by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1955.

Meine himself calls the Crockett Almanacks "damn rare." Only three or four complete sets of the Nashville imprints were known to exist when his book was published.  The first four Nashville imprints, however, were included in a collection of 21 Crockett Almanacks that were sold at auction by Dorothy Sloan Books on October 26, 2007.  The price realized was $58,750.

The story of the finding of these Crockett Almanacks sounds like something out of Rebecca Rego Barry's Rare Books Uncovered.  It seems they were having a paper drive in Spencer, Iowa in 1947 to raise money to pay for uniforms for the high school band.  And a collector and his daughter found the Almanacks on the curb in front of a house.  The daughter kept the Almanacks until the auction in 2007.

The other reason why I wanted the book was because all the Caxton Club members who attended the meeting and listened to Bill Cole's presentation signed the inscription sheets.  And I am one of the bibliophiles who readily recognizes some of the names!




A former owner of the book, possibly a Caxton Club member himself, identified some of the 59 signers:


I can identify another one of the signers:  the bookbinder Harold W. Tribolet.  I have three books in My Sentimental Library Collection from his library.

I liked the idea of the Caxton Club members signing the book.  And now another bibliophile society is doing the same thing!  As President of the Florida Bibliophile Society, I presented books to the speakers at our meetings.  And I inscribed and signed them "on behalf of the Florida Bibliophile Society." No more!  For our September 16th meeting, we had not one, but two books to present.  And our Vice President, Charles Brown, created perfect inscription sheets ready for signing by our members!



As for the choice of the first book, Gary Simons is a Samuel Johnson collector, and I knew he'd enjoy reading it.

As for the choice of the second book, Lee Harrer's friend, the late Bob Fleck, published the book and even wrote the Introduction.  So I knew the book would have a sentimental value to Lee.  And yes, I checked with Oak Knoll to make sure that Lee didn't already have the book.
             
                                                  –––––––––––––––––––––––––––




When it comes to books, I am one for turning over every leaf––or at least as many leaves as a can.  And after reading the inscription on the Crockett book that the Caxton Club gave to Bill Cole, I wanted to learn more about him and the nature of his discourse, "Sabre-Tooth Revisited."  I soon learned that there were a lot of Bill Coles.  But only one of them, William G. Cole, was the author of "Sabre-Tooth Revisited."  And this article was printed in a 1965 issue of Liberal Education:  The Bulletin of the Association of American Colleges.  

Researching further, I found William G. Cole's Obituary online in The Chicago Tribune.

I was now more curious than ever about "Sabre-Tooth Revisited."  I wanted to read it!  I attempted to find a copy of the Liberal Education issue that contained Cole's article.  I found it!  ABAA bookseller Willis Monie-Books in Cooperstown, New York had several copies of Liberal Education, including Volume LI, containing all the issues published in 1965.  And "Sabre-Tooth Revisited" was published in the October 1965 issue.

Bill Cole's article, "The Sabre-Tooth Revisited," is an article about education that is well worth reading.  And I can now share it with you, and in an educational setting no less, thanks to the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  I received permission from its Director of Publication and Editorial Services to post a hyperlink to a PDF of "The Sabre-Tooth Revisited" in my post.  Enjoy!


The Sabre-Tooth Revisited
by William G. Cole
Click on the hyperlink above, The Sabre-Tooth Revisited, and click on + ZOOM 125% to enlarge


Cole, William G.  "The Sabre-Tooth Revisited." Liberal Education. October 1965: 427-34.



Thursday, August 30, 2018

A History and Census of The Paradise of Poets Printed at the Carnegie


The Carnegie Library thefts have been in the news the last few months.  And when I remembered that I had a book from the Carnegie, I got it down from the shelf and started researching it.  I knew my book, The Paradise of Poets by Andrew Lang, wasn't one of the missing or damaged books because I didn't spend that much money on it.  But I always regarded it as special because only fifty copies of it were printed.

As with most of Andrew Lang's pieces, The Paradise of Poets first appeared in periodical form.  It was first published in the July 4, 1889 issue of the New York periodical, The Independent.





The Paradise of Poets first appeared in book form in 1905 as one of the seventeen chapters of Andrew Lang's Adventures Among Books.  


In 1929,  The Carnegie Institute of Technology received permission from Longmans, Green and Co, the publisher of Adventures Among Books, to reprint The Paradise of Poets.




Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was one millionaire who believed in giving back to the community.  In 1900, he donated a million dollars to the city of Pittsburgh to create a technical school where the working men and women could learn a trade or enhance their lives through arts and crafts.  The school eventually became known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology or Carnegie Tech for short. Since 1911, printing had been one of the courses taught at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.  In 1922, the Institute hired Porter Garnett as its Professor of Graphic Arts to teach fine printing.  He was a member of the Bohemian Club and had been Assistant Curator of the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley since 1907.  In 1923, Garnett founded the Laboratory Press at the Carnegie Institute, the only program in the country where a student could receive an education in the art of fine printing.

There is nothing in the Colophon of The Paradise of Poets that shows that Porter Garnett or the Laboratory Press had anything to do with its publication.  The Laboratory Press is not identified on the title page as the printer.  Nor is its printing device in evidence on any pages.



Except for the first letter, there are no graphic designs one would expect if the Laboratory Press was indeed the printer.



There is not even a title on the spine or on its front cover.






Now here is the big question:  If Porter Garnett had nothing whatsoever to do with the printing of The Paradise of Poets then why was he given Copy No. 1 of The Paradise of Poets?





A Census of Known Copies of The Paradise of Poets 


This census is a work in progress. Information will be added as I receive it.


Copy No. 1:    The UC Berkeley Libraries,  Bancroft Library;  from the Library of Porter Garnett.

Copy No. 2:    The Louisiana State University Libraries.

Copy No. 3:    The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Copy No. 7:    The University of St. Andrews Library;  from the Andrew Lang Collection;
Roger Lancelyn Green, former owner and donor.

Copy No. 9:    The Library of Congress; from the Frederic W. Goudy Collection.

Copy No. 10:   The Newberry Library; purchased Dec 1929.

Copy No. 11:  the Carleton College Library; Laurence McKinley Gould Library.

Copy No. 17:  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; presentation copy from Harry H. Wisner dated 10/10/29.

Copy No. 18:  The University at Albany; Minerva Library Catalog incorrectly records No. 9 as the University's copy; I queried the library and the librarian physically checked the book;  they have copy no. 18.

Copy No. 20:   The Library of Congress; from the Pforzheimer Bruce Rogers Collection; presentation copy to Bruce Rogers from H. Wisner (with his card laid in).

Copy No. 23:   The Newark Public Library; gift of H. H. Wisner.

Copy No. 24:   The Huntington Library; gift from Harry H. Wisner, Oct 21, 1929; small card with autograph presentation inscription of Harry H. Wisner tipped in on inside  front cover.

Copy No. 26:    The British Library.

Copy No. 34:    The Library of Jerry Morris.

Copy No. ?       The Princeton University Library; Elmer Adler, former owner; bookplate of Elmer Adler designed by Rockwell Kent.

Copy No. ?        The Grolier Club.


Addenda


Paul F. Gehl, Curator Emeritus, The Newberry Library, provided the information for The Newberry Library copy and added the following note:
It is interesting to me that so many of the low-number copies came from private collectors, suggesting that the school or the printers gifted them to people or institutions important to them. The Wisner inscriptions suggests this too. I am assuming the printers were students or staff at Carnegie (Wisner in fact appears as a student designer, calligrapher and typesetter in a 1928 specimen from the Laboratory Press), which would be why Garnett was at the top of the list even though neither he nor they labeled the book Laboratory Press. Perhaps Wisner had already graduated? NL accessions at the period are not always very informative but this one was given a number that implies it was purchased not gifted.

Both Harry H. Wisner and Charles W. Pitkin had careers in the printing/book industry.  Wisner became Chairman of the Case-Hoyt printing plant in Rochester, New York.  Pitkin became Assistant Professor of Printing at the Carnegie Institute, and then went to work for Doubleday and Company as Plant Manager and then as Vice President  and Director of Manufacturing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

A Serendipitous Visit to the Library of Kurt Zimmerman


In days of old when nights were cold, authors of books about American Book Collecting would sit in their libraries and warm their hearts by inscribing copies of their books to their friends, many of whom were book collectors themselves.
I had the pleasure––and the astonishment––of seeing many of these books when I visited the library of Kurt Zimmerman this past month.

                                    Jerry Morris, aka MoiBibliomaniac


My wife Linda and I visited our son Todd and his family in Copperas Cove, Texas this past month.  Counting my wife and I, there were fourteen family members present, four generations of Morrisses in all. Now Copperas Cove is near Fort Hood, about 200 miles northwest of Houston.  And we usually either drive thru or around Houston to get there.  But my wife wanted to avoid Houston altogether on the trip home because of the traffic.  My wife and my son were looking at a map and searching for alternate routes when one of them mentioned driving thru Conroe, Texas.  My ears perked up!  "Did you say Conroe?  I have a friend who lives in Conroe!  Kurt Zimmerman!"

And that's how my visit to Kurt Zimmerman's library came about.



In 1914 the De Vinne Press privately printed A Sentimental Library:  Comprising Books Formerly Owned By Famous Writers, Presentation Copies, Manuscripts and Drawings Collected and Described by Harry B. Smith.  Kurt Zimmernan's library is the American Book Collecting equivalent of Harry B. Smith's Sentimental Library.  Everybody who was anybody in American Book Collecting past and present appears to be represented in Kurt's library.  I can't think of any bibliophile whose books I didn't see in my brief ninety-minute tour of Kurt's Library.  I saw  books inscribed to bibliophiles whose names to this day are still sacred in the book world.  I saw multiple copies of books each formerly owned by bibliophiles whose names I immediately recognized.  Stunning would be the word that best describes Kurt Zimmerman's library.

Kurt has books in every room of his house, including the master bedroom!




Correction!  Kurt does not have books in the bathrooms; but he says he's working on it.  And Kurt's wife Nicole has a massive bookcase full of architecture books in the living room.


Here is Kurt at his desk.  Fifteen years ago Kurt and I used to bid against each other for choice association copies on eBay.  And behind his desk Kurt would say, "Who the hell is MoiBibliomaniac?"  Meanwhile in Florida I would say, "Who the hell is Zbooks?"


I have suggested to Kurt that he actively look for a publisher to publish a catalogue of his library.  His library is that good!  I have purposely refrained from identifying any of the former owners of his association copies.  I want readers of his catalogue to be able to savor the moments of seeing the treasures that Kurt has collected firsthand.

Kurt doesn't think he'll be ready to do a formal catalogue for several years to come.  And even then he'd like to do a privately printed edition much like John Payne's recent Great Catalogues of Master Booksellers.  I for one can't wait.  Ninety minutes wasn't enough!

It is a custom to give a book to the bibliophile whose library you are visiting.  I, however,  was temporarily at a loss to find an appropriate book to give to Kurt on such short notice.  But I did find an appropriate book for the young visitors to his library to read.  And I inscribed it to Kurt to commemorate the occasion of my visit to his library.




Both Kurt and I have stories that Rebecca Rego Barry included in Rare Books Uncovered.  And Kurt surprised me with an inscribed copy of Rebecca's book as a memento of my visit to his library.




Update:  Sep 11, 2018.  Kurt and his wife Nicole are currently moving to another house several miles away.  They have moved 75 boxes of books so far, with another 260 boxes of books to go.   I'll just have to see what his new library looks like the next time I go to Texas, at least a year from now.  Kurt should by done unpacking his books by then.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Logan Pearsall Smith and the Things He Wrote



The Author
     THESE pieces of moral prose have been written, dear Reader, by a large Carnivorous Mammal, belonging to that sub-order of the Animal Kingdom which includes also the Orang-outang, the tusked Gorilla, the Baboon with his bright blue and scarlet bottom, and the long-eared Chimpanzee.

                            Trivia by Logan Pearsall Smith, 1917

A  GREETING
     WHAT funny clothes you wear, dear Readers!  And your hats!  The thought of your hats make me laugh!  And I think your sex-theories quite horrid.
     Thus across the void of time I send, with a wave of my hand, a greeting to that quaint, remote, outlandish, unborn people whom we call Posterity, and whom I, like other very great writers, claim as my readers––urging them to hurry up and get born––that they may have the pleasure of reading 'More Trivia.'

                       More Trivia by Logan Pearsall Smith, 1921


If the two pieces above sound familiar, you might be one of the 1365 viewers who have read my August 11, 2009 post, "Kings of Persia.  It's on my Bibliophiles in My Library blog.  Logan Pearsall Smith gave this short manuscript titled "Kings of Persia" to his friend Christopher Morley––when I don't know.  But Morley gave the piece to someone at Doubleday and Company––possibly to his friend Nelson Doubleday himself–– on July 25, 1947.  The piece was first published in More Trivia back in 1921 under the title, "Things to Write." It reappeared in All Trivia in 1933. Smith revised the wording of the piece each time it was published,   He was always trying to improve upon the things he wrote.  That was his style.


Here is the manuscript of "Kings of Persia:"



Smith reworded "Things to Write" in More Trivia, published in 1921, and reworded it again in All Trivia, published in 1936.



 Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) might not  be a household name to you.  But you should recognize some of the names of his friends, acquaintances and relatives:  Christopher Morley, Walt Whitman, Bertrand Russell, Bernard Berenson, Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein, Cyril Connolly, Hugh Trevor Roper, Robert Gathorne-Hardy, Max Beerbohm, Robert Bridges,  Henry W. Fowler, Edmund Gosse, George Santayana, R. W. Chapman, and Virginia Woolf, just to name a few.  He grew up in the Quaker suburb of Germantown, Pennsylvania.  His father was a Quaker minister He declined to work in the lucrative family glass business, choosing instead to become a writer.  His father gave him $25,000 in 1888 and Logan purchased an annuity to live on until he could begin earning money as a writer.  He became a British citizen in 1913 and spent most of his adult life as a man of letters in England.

 I have many books by and about Logan Pearsall Smith:



And I'm not the only one who collected Logan Pearsall Smith's books.  These books belonged to Mary Hyde!


I can thank the late Gabriel Austin for Mary Hyde's books. He was living at Four Oaks Farm when she passed away in 2003.When I was corresponding with Gabe, we would recommend authors to each other.  I recommended Logan Pearsall Smith.  Gabe, however, never commented on my suggestion.  But when he sent me some of Mary Hyde's books, I found out why.

The Youth of Parnassus and Other Stories, published in 1895, was Logan Pearsall Smith's first book.  Here is Mary Hyde's copy, first edition, first issue, with her initials on the front pastedown:


And here is my copy, dated 1895 as well, but definitely not the first issue:



Here are both books side by side.  The Hyde copy is thicker because it was printed on heavier higher quality paper.  The only thing that can be said about my copy is that it was well-read before I acquired it.




The Youth of Parnassus and Other Stories were stories about an American student attending college at Oxford.  Smith might have been writing from experience since he attended college at Oxford.  The book received good reviews when it was first published, but it was the worst thing that Logan Pearsall Smith ever wrote.  It would have been impossible for Mary Hyde to read her copy.  All the signatures were unopened at the top and some were unopened at the side.



Logan Pearsall Smith's next book was Trivia, 300 copies of which were printed at the Chiswick Press in 1902.  In its June 2, 1902 issue, the St. James's Gazette, reported that Smith's book of fragmentary essays and sketches would bring sympathetic interest "to personal friends, though hardly to the public at large."
According to Katherine Denshaw Petitt (more on her later), Smith thought he should use  a pseudonym and state that the book was printed from the papers of a fictitious Anthony Woodhouse. His mother, who was living with him, agreed.  She thought the book "was interesting," but it "began nowhere, ended nowhere, and led to nothing." Both Smith's mother and the St. James's Gazette were eventually proved wrong.  Smith submitted additional pieces of "Trivia" several years later to the New Statesman and the New Republic, and both magazines published them.  And then Constable and Company in London wanted to publish a new edition of Trivia in 1918.  But Doubleday, Page & Company in Garden City, New York beat them to it, publishing an edition in November 1917.  I suspect that Christopher Morley, who was a good friend of Frank Nelson Doubleday, had something to do with the publication.

I have No. 82 of 100 copies of the signed deluxe edition published by Doubleday, Page & Company in 1917.




There are two blindstamps in the book which read,

BOUGHT  FROM  LINDMARK'S  BOOK  SHOP  POUGHKEEPSIE  NEW  YORK.

There is a hell of a story about the demise of Lindmark's Book Shop, and I'll provide a link to it at the end of this post.




Logan Pearsall Smith was now popular on both sides of the Atlantic.  And numerous editions of Trivia were published.  Besides the 1917 edition, I also have a 1928 edition of Trivia that was published by Doubleday, Doran & Co. in 1928:



There were several sequels to Trivia.   More Trivia was published in New York by Harcourt Brace and Company in 1921 and by Constable and Company in London in 1922.  Afterthoughts was published by both Harcourt, Brace and Company, and Constable and Company in 1931.  Constable published All Trivia in 1933, and Harcourt first published it in 1934.  All Trivia contains Trivia, More Trivia, Afterthoughts, and a new section, Last Words, all of which are very good reading!  Here's my copy of the Constable edition:



My copy has a news clipping dated 3-3-46 from the London Observer that is glued to the front pastedown.



I like the news reporter's expression on the fourth line above:  Smith linked "words with wit." It shows in his Trivia books, and in his books about aphorisms, idioms, and about the English Language.  Smith's book, The English Language was first published in London and New York in  1912.  I have two undated later editions, one published by Henry Holt in New York:




And one published by the Oxford University Press in London:



The Oxford University Press edition is interesting because it was supplied to Lancaster University during or shortly after WWII in the Emergency Training College Program to train teachers.



Logan Pearsall Smith was a member of the Society for Pure English, a group of writers and scholars who sought to improve upon the purity of the English Language and prevent its mutilation.  The society published 66 tracts and Smith was the author of at least five tracts.  I have two of them:



In Tract No. III, Smith made suggestions regarding linguistic usage of the following topics: I. The Naturalization of Foreign Words.  II.   Alien Plurals.  III.  æ and œ.  IV.  Dying Words.  V.  Dialectal and Popular Words.  Smith wrote a brilliant essay for Tract No. XLVI on what fine writing really is, how one can achieve it, and who the fine writers are.

I have to rebind the next book because its cover does not do its contents justice.  The cloth on the spine has been long gone but the words and idioms inside the book will last a lifetime.  Constabe and co. first publised Words and Idioms in 1925, and then republished it as part of its Miscellany series in 1928, which is the edition I have. A former owner lent the book to a friend in 1959 and the friend returned the book with thanks written on a postcard.



Mary Hyde's copy of A Treausry of English Aphorisms is one the left and my copy is on the right.  Both copies were published by Constable and Company in 1928.  But the Hyde copy has an enviable provenance history, a testament to the popularity of Smith's book on english aphorisms.


It was formerly owned by Gilbert MacSwiney whose ancestral home was Doe Castle in Donegal and whose armorial bookplate is pasted on the front pastedown.  It was also formerly owned by the literary biographer  Lord David Cecil (1902-1986) who signed his book on the front free endpaper in 1961.


Mary Hyde didn't sign her name or paste her bookplate in the book, but both see and Lord David cecil wrote notes in the book, with his notes on the rear free endpaper and her notes on the rear pastedown.  The notes on the paper might be Mary Hyde's as well.



It is anybody's guess whether it was Gilbert MacSwiney, Lord David Cecil, Mary Hyde, or all of the above, who marked their favorite aphorisms in the book.



My copy of A Treasury of English Aphorisms contains no marks of ownership.  It does, however, possess the severely faded ticket of The Times Book Club 42 Wigmore Street, W.1.  Below the book's ticket is a much better-looking ticket found on Google Images.



In her book, The Feminine Middlebrow Novel, Nicola Humble describes the Times Book Club as more of a lending library than a book club.  Originally open only to Times subscribers (Virginia Woolf was one of the subscribers), it was eventually opened to everyone.

Constable and Company published Smith's book, A Treasury of English Prose, in 1928 as well, and in a binding strikingly similar to that of A Treasury of English Aphorisms.




But in Aphorisms, Smith wrote a fifty-page introduction that left no question unanswered about aphorisms or the people whose pens they came from.  Smith wrote no introduction for his Treasury of English Prose and therefore, nary a word about the authors or their pieces of prose.   Disappointing.

The Clarendon Press at Oxford published two of Smith's books about English clerics in similar bindings:  Donne's Sermons: Selected Passages with an Essay by Logan Pearsall Smith [Yay!] (insertion mine) in 1919 and The Golden Grove: Selected Passages from the Sermons and Writings of Jeremy Taylor in 1930.  The latter book not only contains a fifty-eight page introduction to the book, it contains a bibliography of Jeremy Taylor's works by Robert Gathrone-Hardy.




Smith's friend, Virginia Woolf, published Stories from the Old Testament Retold by Logan Pearsall Smith at the Hogarth Press in May 1920.  And Henry W. Luce published the same book in Boston in March 1921.  I have the Luce edition, an ex-lib copy discarded by the Minnehaha School Library.



The cover of the next book, like the cover of Words and Idioms, requires replacing.  On Reading Shakespeare was published by the Chatauqua Press in Chatauqua, New York in 1933.



Surprisingly, Logan Pearsall Smith was not a lover of Shakespeare.  And he devotes an entire book to  not liking and liking Shakespeare. His first chapter is titled "On Not Reading Shakespeare."  Smith feels that reading Shakespeare takes up too much of his time.  And he ends the chapter with this diatribe:
Yes, on the whole I feel that I am against Shakespeare––the vast subject is too vexatious, too intricate and baffling.  Though I may not join with Tolstoy and Bernard Shaw, and shout 'down with Shakespeare!' in the streets, I shall nevertheless keep well aloof from the grounds of that great lunatic asylum, that dark domain of ghosts and pedants, of blatherskites, monomaniacs, fanatics and fools.
The next paragraph is from the first chapter ,"On Not Reading Shakespeare," as well.   And if a title of this paragraph were required, I would title it, "The Dangers of Reading Great Writers."


     The works of great writers doze with their backs to us on our shelves for years, but they are dangerous company. Potent spirits lie imprisoned in those leather bottles.  The names inscribed upon them are names which have defeated time, and may exert a formidable spell on us.  Opening a volume of this kind in an idle moment, we may be seized upon, be-jinned and captured.  We want only to look up a quotation perhaps in some old author, but we must go on, page after page, and then go on to read all the books we can find about him.  The reader becomes a student, the student a bigot, and what is justly called a blind admirer, for his eyes are blinded by gazing on the object of his worship.  Blemishes and merits are all blurred together, and faults seem to him perfections.  Such a specialist is the last person in the world to give a measured and rational judgment on his special subject.

I must include one more paragraph from Smith's book on Shakespeare, and from another chapter this time (The Great Reward).  Although it describes Shakespeare's method of writing poetry, it reveals Smith's own philosophy on how to attain excellence in writing:
There are two main methods of attaining excellence in writing, two ways of attempting to reach the peaks of Parnassus.  The poet may attempt to fly thither on the wings of meaning, hoping that his high thoughts will float him aloft; or he may, step by step, cut his way thither with toil and labour.  He may––to change the metaphor––begin by pressing out from life and experience the juice of meaning, and then find a receptacle to hold it; or the goldsmith's art may be his first preoccupation:  he may carve and chisel and adorn his work with jewels, till at  last the wine of imaginative meaning begins to fill the empty, elaborated cup.  Shakespeare's early work shows that the latter mathod was his method.  At the age of thirty, he was still a euphist, a lover of words for the sake of words, delighting in their sounds and rhymes and overtones in 'taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,' and, like Armado in his early play,

One whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish like enchanting harmony.
In regards to Logan Pearsall Smith, I have proudly gone through all the stages of those who have read the works of great writers.   I want to read almost everything by or about him.   Case in point:  Logan Pearsall Smith attended Haverford College, as did his friend Christopher Morley 25 years later.  And yes, I have a copy of the Biographical Catalog of the Matriculates of Haverford College:






Smith's book, Reperusals and Recollections,  published by Constable and Company in 1936, contains essays published in the Times Literary Supplement  or the New Statesmen as well as articles originally written as introductions for his other books.  But they were significantly expanded for this book.  For instance, the introduction for his book on English Aphorisms was fifty pages long; his essay on English Aphorisms in this book is right pages long.

Reperusals and Recollections is another one of Mary Hyde's books that I acquired from Gabriel Austin.  Again, there are no marks of provenance, and no notes this time.  The book might even have first belonged to her husband Lord David Eccles.  Mary Hyde saved the remnants of the dust jacket.  And there were three newspaper clippings of reviews of the book.   I know that Mary Hyde collected news clippings.  But  I think her husband Lord David Eccles inserted the clippings in this book.




The Times Literary Supplement Sep 12, 1936 Review by G. E. Moore



The Saturday Review Oct 10, 1936 Review by Christopher Morley



The Saturday Reviews Feb 6, 1937 Review by William Rose Benét



Logan Pearsall Smith's Trivia books was his most popular series, but his autobiography, Unforgotten Years, was his most popular book.  I have Mary Hyde's copy of the 1938 Constable and Company London edition.



There is marginalia written in this copy and I always thought it was written by the hand of Mary Hyde; but looking at it again, it was definitely not written by her hand.  It is very likely that this was her husband Lord David Eccles's copy, and the marginalia was written by his hand.


There is a newspaper clipping in the book about Smith's brother-in-law Bernard Berenson.  And it is inserted next to a page that mentions Berenson.  And since Lord Eccles may have written the marginalia in this book,  I believe he may have inserted the clipping.




I have two copies of Unforgotten Years that were published in America.   Unforgotten Years was published by Little, Brown and Company in January 1939.  It was reprinted  at least twice in 1939 (my copy is the second reprinting).  The Book of the Month Club selected two books for January 1939, and Unforgotten Years was one of them.



The only difference between the two American editions is that the Little, Brown and Company edition has the price on the dust jacket and the publishing history on the copyright page.  There is no tell-tale blind stamp on the lower right-hand corner of the rear board.




I mentioned that Unforgotten Years was a Book of the Month Club selection for January 1939.  Logan Pearsall Smith's friend, Christopher Morley, wrote the review which appeared in the December 1938 issue.





Morley's review was reprinted  and inserted into the copies of Unforgotten Years.






And that's the end of the books I have by or about Logan Pearsall Smith that were published during his lifetime.  But that's not all of the books I have about him.

Robert Gathorne-Hardy had a close and intimate eighteen-year friendship with Smith, and shared his recollections of Smith in his book, Recollections of Logan Pearsall Smith.  I have an ex-lib edition of the Macmillan Company edition published in New York in 1950.


In November 1950, the Dropmore Press published 450 copies of A Portrait of Logan Pearsall Smith Drawn From his Letters and Diaries1:  Selected and Introduced by John Russell.  One can argue that this book consists of a thirty-one page introduction (the portrait part) and one hundred and thirty-six pages of  extracts from letters and diaries.  But I believe a person's letters provides a better portrait of a person than an autobiography does.



In 1984 John Russell wrote the Forward to A Chime of Words:  The Letters of Logan Pearsall Smith edited by Edwin Tribble and published by Ticknor & Fields in New York.  I have Mary Hyde's copy which was bought in England for £16.50


The epigram included in the front matter of the book explains the reason for the title of the book:

Two weeks before Logan's death a friend asked him half-jokingly if he had discovered any meaning in life.  "Yes," he replied, "there is a meaning, at least for me, there is one thing that matters––to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people."

                                  ––Cyril Connolly
                                  in the New Statesman and Nation
                                  March 9, 1946

The next four books are about Logan Pearsall Smith's family, including biographies of  his two brothers-in-law Bernard Berenson and Bertrand Russell.









I have yet to add a book to my library that was formerly owned by Logan Pearsall Smith, but I just might someday. I have had my chances but the timing of the purchase just wasn't right. Here are two E. M. Lawson & Co. bookseller catalogues of books from the library of Hugh Trevor-Roper which contained several books that Logan Pearsall Smith presented to him.



Speaking of booksellers, here is the hyperlink to The Demise of Lindmark's Book Shop, Poughkeepsie, New York.