Monday, November 29, 2021

About My Copies of The Romance of Book-Collecting

I can't remember exactly when I acquired my first copy of The Romance of Book-collecting  by J. H. Slater.  It had to be in the 1990s because that's the only time that I stamped some of my books with my embossed seal.

I probably bought it from Bob Fleck because I bought most of my Books About Books from Oak Knoll back then.  For over twenty years this was the only copy of The Romance of Book-collecting that I had in my library.  But all that changed early this month!  I came across a presentation copy of The Romance of Book-collecting while searching online for a relevant book to give to my friend Kurt Zimmerman.  Kurt was going to be the guest speaker at the meeting of the Florida Bibliophile Society on the 21st of November, and we give our speakers a book in appreciation for their presentation before the Society.  I found a choice association copy for Kurt, and I kept the presentation copy of The Romance of Book-collecting for myself!

The cover was a little soiled but I wanted the book for its presentation inscription.

If Slater's handwriting is hard to decipher, this is what he wrote:


                                                                                                       16 Sep. 1902

Written for an American bookseller (Francis P. Harper of 17 East 16th Street, New York) and publisher in London & perhaps also in New York as well.  The critics said I have invented most of the experiences given in the book but that assertion is not within bow-shot of the truth.

                                                                                                       J. H. Slater 

I knew who Francis P. Harper was.  I have two of his bookseller catalogues. He was Lathrop Harper's older brother.  I searched for a connection between J. H. Slater and Francis P. Harper and I found one.  Francis P. Harper published the First American Edition of The Romance of Book-collecting in 1898, the same year as the London edition.  From Slater's inscription, though, it appears that he was not aware that Harper was the American publisher of his book.

 I then tried to find a book reviewer that questioned the veracity of the experiences that Slater detailed in his book.  But the only negative review I could find concerned Slater's repeated misspelling of Poe's  Tamerlane.  He misspelled it as Tamerlaine not once but four times.  As far as The Athæneum reviewer was concerned, that was a mortal sin.  As for the veracity of Slater's finds, I myself have been blessed with some lucky finds, and have read about the lucky finds of others, so I don't doubt the veracity of what Slater wrote in his book.

One thing that surprised me when I first saw the presentation copy was that it was bound in light brown cloth.  My older copy was bound in light green cloth.  It is possible that by 1902 Eliot Stock, Slater's London publisher, had run out of the green cloth, and resorted to using the brown cloth.  

The presentation copy wasn't the only copy of The Romance of Book-collecting that I acquired this month. I also acquired a copy of the New York edition that Francis P. Harper published in 1898.  I acquired it from Sean Donnelly, proprietor of Doralynn Books in Madeira Beach.  We visited his bookstore after the FBS meeting on the 21st.

The only difference between the New York edition and the London edition is that the title page was changed to reflect the change in the publisher and place of publication.

I expected to find that the new title page was pasted in the book but that was not the case.  The new title page and the frontispiece were printed on the same sheet and sewn into the book as part of the book's first signature.  I could discern no difference in the first signatures of either book.  The last page of both books state that both books were printed in London by Eliot Stock.  Therefore, it is likely that the title page was replaced at the very time the books destined for New York were being printed in London in 1898.  That would account for the change in the color of the cloth binding of my presentation copy as well.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

About Table Talk

I really, really thought that writing this month's post would be a breeze. Table Talk would be what I was going to write about.  I would  define what Table Talk meant.  And then I would discuss and display some of the Table Talk books that I have in my library.  

I began my post by providing definitions of Table Talk from my 1785 edition of Johnson's Dictionary, from my facsimile edition of the 1828 First Edition of Webster's American Dictionary,  and from my fourteen-volume set of the 1970 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Johnson's Dictionary

Webster's Dictionary

Both Johnson and Webster defined Table Talk as conversation at meals or at table.  But Johnson went further and defined  Table Talk as table discourse as well.  The OED more or less agreed with the definitions of Johnson and Webster.  And it added that Table Talk  is now considered to be the social conversation of famous men of intellectual circles that is reproduced in literary form. 

The OED cited Hallam in its listing.  And what Hallam wrote made me nervous. 

One group has acquired the distinctive name of Ana; the reported conversation, the table-talk of the learned.

I have Hallam's book that the OED cited, and I immediately read the entire passage that he labelled as The Ana.  Hallam was discussing the miscellaneous literature of France of the sixteenth and  seventeenth centuries, and specifically mentioned the other groups of miscellaneous literature: the memoirs, the letters, the travels, the dialogues, and the essays of the French.  In discussing the group, The Ana, Hallam mentioned The Menagiana, and said it was "full of light anecdote of a literary kind...."  If I understood this correctly, Hallam considered anecdotes to be in the same vein as Table Talk and Ana.   To me,  all the Anas that I read contained more than just Table Talk or conversation.  They contained anecdotes and other literary information.

I was looking right down a rabbit hole now and really, really needed help.  So I got John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors down from the shelf, and sought his definition of Table Talk.  I went to T and the first word beginning with the letter that Carter defined was Tail.  He did not define Table Talk in his book!  After I few long minutes, I finally got up the courage to turn the pages of Carter's book and see if he defined Ana.  I went from Abbreviations, to Adams, to Advance Copy, to Advertisements, to A La Grecque, to All Published, to American Book-Prices Current, to Americana, and finally, to Ana.

Well!  I sure am glad that Carter got it right!  According to Carter, Table Talk is just a part of Ana.  And Ana also contains sayings, anecdotes and etc.  

I wondered what the  Library of Congress had to say about Table Talk and Ana.

                         Table Talk                                                                          Ana

I was kind of glad that the LOC did not authorize Ana for indexing Table-Talk. But it did surprise me that the LOC did not provide the Use terms for Table-Talk – something that pointed me in the right direction to know what was best to use for Table-Talk.  Perhaps there was nothing better to use than the general classes that Table-Talk belonged to.  The LOC listed them under BT, which stood for Broader Terms.  I believe the general classes were listed in some kind of descending order of importance: Anecdotes, Aphorisms and Apothegms, Biography, Conversation, Epigrams, and Wit and Humor.  

The LOC did, however,  provide useful information regarding indexing Ana! In descending order, the LOC suggested I use Anecdotes, Aphorisms and Apothegms, Epigrams, Maxims,Proverbs, Quotations and, as a last resort, Table-Talk!
One thing I was glad to learn is that the LC classification codes for Table-Talk were PN6259 to PN6268!  My enthusiasm, however, was short-lived because I discovered that Table-Talk shared the same LOC classification codes as Anecdotes.


I am now at that part of my post where I want to discuss and display some of the Table Talk books that I have in my own library.  But how do I decide which of my books are Table Talk books and which books are Ana?  I only want to post about Table Talk books!

In my quest for determining what Table Talk actually is, I came across a book that was edited and published in  Edinburgh by Alexander Hislop.  The title of the book was Adversaria, Ana, and Table Talk: A Literary Commonplace-Book Google Books lists 1869 as the publication date, but Hislop died in 1865, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the date of publication.  What I can vouch for is what Hislop says about Table Talk in the Preface of his book!

I shall take Hislop's words to heart and refer to the Johnson/Webster definition of Table Talk: conversation at meal or at table. Therefore,  I will discuss and display books in my library that have the words Table Talk in their title, or books that have the word Table in their title and contain conversation or discourses.  There are eight books in my library that qualify  under this criteria.  And the first one is the Table-Talk of John Selden.

I have a copy of Edward Arber's English Reprints, which contains Selden's Table-Talk

Selden's Table Talk was not what I expected. It was not conversation that took place at dinner or around a dinner table for that matter.  It was based on a different kind of table.

That sure looks like a Table of Contents to me!  Nevertheless,  the Table lists Selden's discourses that his amanuesis, Richard Milward, reportedly heard.  However, Selden's biographer, David Wilkins,  disputed their authenticity.

2.  Johnson's Table Talk

James Macaulay, a periodical editor in London, edited this book for Frederick A. Stokes in 1893.   My copy was formerly owned by D. S. Pithers with his Johnsonian bookplate.  And yes, it contains Johnson's conversations.

3.  Hazlitt's Table Talk

The prestigious firm of Asprey & Co. bound and published this book around 1909.  But I think calling this book a Table Talk book is stretching it a bit.  The contents themselves are listed as essays.  Therefore, it is simply a book of essays. But an excellent book of essays at that.

4.  Sanborn's Table Talk

I have to use my imagination to classify this book as a Table Talk book.  Sanborn was a feature writer for the Springfield Republican and the Boston Daily Advertiser, and his so-called Table Talk dates from1869 to 1918.  Kenneth Walter Cameron, the editor of this book, says that the book consists of personals and obiter dicta that Sanborn usually placed at the end of his feature articles and book reviews.  His column in the Boston Daily Advertiser was named "The Breakfast Table," and that could be where Cameron got the Table Talk title from.  Or maybe it was because readers read his articles when they were sitting at the breakfast table?  I have to say, though, that the book is well worth reading, from Sanborn's involvement with John Brown to his opinions of the authors of the day.

5.  The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

I could never get into this novel by Oliver Wendell Holmes.  But it is conversation that takes place at a Breakfast Table....

6.  At the Library Table

This book qualifies as one of my Table Talk books not just because the word table is in the title, but because, in some of the passages, Joline appears to be conversing while he is sitting at his library table

Sitting at the library table and letting my eyes wander with affection to the adjacent shelves, I try to fancy who buys the multitudinous books of memoirs and reminiscences, of literary, dramatic, and political gossip, which are poured so profusely from the English presses (p7).

Most of us find that as the number of years increases we are apt to spend to pass more and more time at the library table, within easy reach of the shelves.  I have been charged with believing that books are "the chief things in life;" I admit that they are not and ought not to be that, but I see no reason why we should not be allowed to enjoy them as we would any other innocent pleasure in due moderation (p14).
 I wrote about Adrian H. Joline in my July 2017 post to My Sentimental Library blog. 

7.  More Books on the Table

Books continue to be heaped upon my table, and they are flowers that tempt into the sunshine bees, which I call memories, hived in the course of sixty years of indiscriminate and insatiate reading. The Young Anarchist placed his trust in books, and we are told that he was disappointed.  The fault must have lain, I think, in himself and not in literature.  I have forgotten who Lucas de Penna was, but I love him for saying that books were to him "the light of the heart, the mirror of the body, the myrrh-pot of eloquence."  So they are to me, and more so the older I grow.  When the infinite variety and charm of them fail to enchant me, it will be time for me to "cease upon the midnight with no pain." (vii)

8.  Around the Library Table: An Evening With Leigh Hunt

So at this time we ask you to gather around the big table in our library where we may visit informally, and talk of the fellowship of books, and look at some Hunt rarities. We are hungry for your companionship, and while, possibly, your presence is not essential to complete our happiness, for we have friends on the shelves that are a solace to us at all times, yet we want you to know that we hold you in great esteem (p10).


Thursday, September 23, 2021

About The First R and Related Enjoyments of John T. Winterich

I wrote all about the bibliophile John T. Winterich (1891-1970) in my November 2015 My Sentimental Library blog post, John T. Winterich: The Man, His Books, and His Other Literary Endeavors.   In the post I mentioned my purchase of an unpublished manuscript that Winterich had submitted to his agent Curtis Brown LTD.  Winterich was the editor of several periodicals, and the author of at least ten books and over 250 magazine articles.  And in the late 1950s, Winterich asked and received from the magazine publishers 'leave to reprint' some of his articles in a book.

The book was to be titled The First R and Related Enjoyments.  Winterich revised almost all of the articles, changed the titles of some of them, and submitted the manuscript in 197 sheets to his agent Curtis Brown LTD.  But the book was never published.  Years later,  Yesterday's Gallery & Babylon Revisited Rare Books acquired the manuscript at a local auction.  And in October 2015, I purchased the manuscript from them.

In the very last paragraph of my Nov 2015 blog post I promised more to come:

At any rate, I am thankful that John T. Winterich's unpublished book,  The First R and Related Enjoyments is part of my John T. Winterich Collection.   And I will be writing more about the book and its articles in the near future.

It is now six years later and the near future has come and gone.  I fully intended to post some of Winterich's manuscript articles on My Sentimental Library blog. That's why I bought it in the first place!  My post today details the steps I took to try to get the articles published on my blog.  Little did I know how difficult that would be.

The very first thing I did after posting my blog on November 8, 2015 was to transfer the 197 manuscript sheets from the Curtis Brown manuscript box to individual acid-free sheet protectors.

Next, I created my own Table of Contents, identifying the publisher, publication date, and manuscript page location of each article.  Apologies beforehand if you can't read my handwriting.  Sometimes I can't read it myself!  I have a more readable Table of Contents at the end of this post.

I didn't think that publishing Winterich's articles on my blog would come under "fair use."  I thought it best that I obtain permission from the various periodical publishers.   This proved to be a can of worms.  Some of the periodicals had folded, and I didn't know who held the copyright.   Other publishers enrolled their publications with the Copyright Clearance Center.   This company charges a fee for the copyright clearance.  

Fortunately, The New Yorker did not have its articles enrolled with the Copyright Clearance Center. Winterich had worked with Harold Ross, the co-founder of The New Yorker,  on The Stars and Stripes, The Home Sector, and then the The New Yorker from 1938 on.  Ross had given Winterich 'leave to reprint' three articles that first appeared in The New Yorker.   I figured that Winterich's close ties with Ross and The New Yorker would grease the way for me to receive permission to publish the articles on my blog  Boy was I wrong!

On Nov 12, 2015, just four days after publishing my blog post about Winterich, I called Condé Nast in New York, the publisher of not only The New Yorker, but GC, Vanity Fair and others.  When I requested permission to publish the articles on my blog, I was instructed to submit my request in an email to the Condé Nast Contact Licensing Department, which I did that very day.  But I never received a reply.  I wrote to Contact Licensing again on Feb 4, 2016.  I received a response the next day from a Licensing Assistant.  That Assistant told me that he contacted a colleague who would be assisting me with checking the license rights of the three Winterich articles.  But the colleague never contacted me.  I wrote to Contact Licensing again on Sep 2, 2016 stating that I had not received any information on the status of my request.   I received the following reply:

Sep 2, 2016, 11:58 AM 
 to me 
Hi Jerry,   

Apologies for the delay. Confirming that I’ve submitted the below content to our permissions department who will advise back on the status of the underlying rights tied to each piece of text. Once I hear back regarding rights, I’ll follow up with next steps.   

Publication:  The New Yorker Issue Date: 3/22/1947 Page: 71 Request Type: Syndication, text Contributor: John T. Winterich Description: “A Touch of Genius” Territory (if applicable): World End Use (Print, El

Publication:  The New Yorker Issue Date: 10/2/1948 Page: 68 Request Type: Syndication, text Contributor: John T. Winterich Description: “Not in Stevenson” Territory (if applicable): World End Use (Print, Electronic, TV/Film): Electronic. Blogger, Jerry Morris requesting rights to re-publish text on his blog.   

Publication:  The New Yorker Issue Date: 12/8/1951 Page: 150 Request Type: Syndication, text Contributor: John T. Winterich Description: “A Half Hour with Longfellow” Territory (if applicable): World End Use (Print, Electronic, TV/Film): Electronic. Blogger, Jerry Morris requesting rights to re-publish text on his blog.  

 Best, xxxxx  xxxxxx 
Manager, Licensing CONDÉ NAST 

One World Trade Center, 42nd Floor NY, NY 10007

That was the last time I heard from anyone at Condé Nast.  But on the same day I contacted the Licensing Director of Publishers Weekly.  And we corresponded for a week.

Permission to Reprint Two PW Articles From the 1950s 

Jerry Morris> 
Sep 2, 2016, 2:59 PM 
Dear xxxxxxxxxx, 

I request permission to "reprint" two PW articles by the late John T. Winterich (1891-1970) on my popular book-related blog, My Sentimental Library: 
"Bookseller on Horseback" published on 2/3/51
"EMUS, ROCS, AND MOAS" published on 4/17/54 

These two articles were part of The First R and Related Enjoyments, a 197-page typescript of 22 articles published in various periodicals that Winterich submitted to his agent, Curtis, Brown, Ltd. in the late 1950s for publication.   

Winterich had been successful in the past in getting his articles published in book form, including Books And The Man, a series of articles previously published in Publishers' Weekly. Winterich had received "leave to reprint,"  The First R... but this book was never published and gathered dust for years at Curtis, Brown, Ltd. 

Michael Manz, proprietor of Babylon Revisited Rare Books, acquired the boxed typescript at an auction in New York. And in October 2015, I purchased the box of unpublished typescript from him.

If and when I receive permission to "reprint," I intend to display the typescripts of the articles on my blog, displaying the changes Winterich made to the original texts.  In some cases, such as "Bookseller on Horseback," Winterich made only minor word substitutions.  But in others, such as "EMUS, ROCS, AND MOAS," he deleted several paragraphs and added almost a hundred words.  The later article, btw, is about the publication of the first Simon and Schuster Crossword Puzzle Book. For more information on Winterich and his writings, you can read my blog post, John T. Winterich:  the Man, His Books, and His Other Literary Endeavors.

Jerry Morris 

p.s.  I see you're a Yankee fan.  Just for fun, you should read A Most Heavenly Review? 


 Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 6:35 PM   

 Dear Jerry, 

What a fascinating character Mr. Winterich must have been! Thank you for those descriptions. 

For permission to reprint, head on over to the Copyright Clearance Center,, and click "get permission." Once you do that, type in the publication name, in this case Publishers Weekly. From there the system will guide you through. 

Any questions or issues with the CCC, let me know and we'll figure it out. 

As for the Bums, yes, I am a fan, and I thank you for this suggestion. I don't know the book (yet) but will check it out! 

Best wishes, and happy Labor Day weekend,
Publicity and Content Licensing Director 
office direct: xxxxxx cell: xxxxxx   
Publishers Weekly 
71 West 23rd Street, Ste. 1608 
New York, NY 10010 


 Sep 2, 2016, 11:18 PM

Dear xxxx,

Thank you.  

 I received more in four hours from you than I have in nine months of querying representatives of another periodical that published Winterich's articles.

I should mention that I'm not recommending Cohen's book.  I really was at the game that Maris hit his 61st home run.  Cohen had his facts wrong as far as the attendance went and about how fans felt about Maris. So I "created" the heavenly review to dispute his findings without calling him an outright liar.  

A much better book about Yankees is Lefty: An American Odyssey.  Here's my review of that book.


and thanks again!

Jerry Morris


Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 4:40 PM

Me again!
CCC appears to be  expensive!

I tried "Share content electronically" "post on the internet" and it would cost $433.50 to post "Bookseller on Horseback," and that is only for one full year.  Unlimited duration is not permitted.

I then tried "Republish or Display Content" choosing "other" as the publication vehicle and was informed that I'd have to create an account and special order it.

In your experience, is it worth proceeding or are we talking big bucks to post? 

Jerry Morris


Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 6:31 PM

Hi Jerry,

I'm sorry the CCC put this out of range of your budget.

Our base price for permissions is $110 per article/review. From there, the algorithm gives discounts for nonprofits, adds extra for world rights and big print runs (for reprinting in books, for instance), and on and on.

You wanted to reprint two articles on your blog, right? For eternity. Or as long as the blog exists. That's all right with us.

For the two pieces, could you do $110 each? Would that be within your budget?<

If so, we'll send you an invoice directly and the permissions language. Just let me know.



Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 7:41 PM

Dear xxxxx,

If I win the Florida Fantasy Five again (I won in '93 and '95: 14 grand and 24 grand), I would be able to afford to print the best of Winterich's 22 articles.  But not until then.

The loser is Winterich.  Publishing his amended articles on My Sentimental Library blog would have been a worthy tribute to his 30+ years as a bookman and editor in the periodical industry.

I do appreciate all your help.  Thanks :-)


I put my attempts to obtain copyright clearance of Winterich's articles on the back burner for over a year.   On October 17, 2017 I submitted an application to Imaging and Rights department of the Morgan Library and Museum requesting permission to publish the title article "The First R" on my blog. Winterich had given this presentation at the opening of an exhibition of children's literature at the Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum on November 18, 1954.  The Morgan had published the presentation in a pamphlet.  The Morgan  declined to grant permission to me to publish the article.  Although the Morgan was the copyright holder of the edition, it was not the intellectual copyright holder and was not able to grant permission to publish the article.  So on to the back burner my quest went again!  And there it will most likely remain.

In the last four years, I have been  unable to identify and locate the intellectual copyright owner.  And I have become familiar with other such copyright terms as fair use, due diligence, unlocatable copyright owners, orphan works, copyright infringement, and infringement liability.  Publishing Winterich's articles on my blog is not fair use.  Several countries have already set procedures that determine if a person has done due diligence in attempting to find a copyright owner of an orphan work.  The United States still has no set procedures to prove due diligence in trying to find intellectual copyright owners of orphan works. Orphan Works are best defined by the Congressional Research Service, Congress' think tank:

Orphan works are copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to identify and/or locate.  Orphan works are perceived to be inaccessible because of the risk of infringement liability that a user might incur if and when a copyright owner subsequently appears.  Consequently, many works that are, in fact, abandoned by owners are withheld from public view because of uncertainty about the owner and the risk of liability.

Winterich's articles are definitely orphan works.  I sometimes wonder that had I purchased copyright clearance from the Copyright Clearance Center, if I still would have been liable for copyright infringement if an intellectual copyright owner appeared after I published the articles.  I cannot take that chance.  Therefore, you will not be reading Winterich's articles on my blog.  

You can, however, read Winterich's original articles in the archives of periodical publishers who are still in business –– if you are a subscriber to their magazine, and if you know the original title or the date of publication. You can go to the UNZ Review at and read some of Winterich's articles that were published in the Saturday Review –– but with the same "ifs."  I can help you!  Below is a descriptive Table of Contents containing information on where and when the articles were first published, the original titles, and whether Winterich revised the articles.  Finally, if the subject matter isn't readily evident by the title, I have added a note identifying what the article is about.



P.H. D. In Purple. First Published in Harper's Magazine in March 1956.  The original title was Dr. Rosenbach: the tycoon of rare books.  5700 words. Minor revisions.

The Man Who Didn't Go to Harvard. First published in the Saturday Review on April 1, 1933 in the Compleat Collector column Winterich shared with Carl Purington Rollins.  The original title was "Household Words."  Article is about John Bartlett.  Original article was two columns long.  Greatly expanded to 3200 words in 14 double-spaced pages.

Bookseller on Horseback.  First published in Publishers Weekly on Feb 2, 1951.  The original title was "What a New Englander Was Likely to Read in 1711.  1000 words. Minor revisions.

The Life, Works, and Travels of Bloodgood Haviland Cutter. First published in the Colophon in April 1930.  The original title was The Life and Works of Bloodgood Haviland Cutter. 6000 words. Extensive revisions.

The Ladies of the Lake. First published in the Colophon Part 8 (Nov 1931). 3500 words. Minor revisions. An article about two American poets, Lucretia Maria Davidson and her younger sister Margaret Miller Davidson.

Restitution: A Fiction.  First published in the Saturday Review Dec 26, 1931 in the Compleat Collector column.  3200 words. Minor revisions. Postscript added referring to Carter and Pollard's 1934 Enquiry... . Winterich's story, written more than two years earlier, was about a copy of Wise's book of E.B.B.'s sonnets that the book's character purchased for five cents at a book sale benefit for crippled children, then felt guilty about the purchase.

Autografters: Their Ways and Wiles.  First published in the New York Times Magazine on Aug 28, 1928.  The original title was "As They Trail the Coveted Autograph." 6300 words. Extensive revisions.  A two-page article was extended to twenty pages.

Scrap of Paper With Not Enough Writing. First published in Prominade Sep 1946.  1600 words, Minor revisions. An article about a bounced check.

World Invisible. in the Compleat Collector column of the Saturday Review Feb 4, 1933. 650 words. Minor revisions.  An article about the movement of planets in our solar system.

A Slight Brush with the Minor Drama. First published in the New Yorker March 22, 1947.  The original title was A Touch of Genius.  3100 words. 400 words added.  An article about what happened at a school play Winterich appeared in as a child ( I like the original title better).

A Half Hour With Longfellow.  First published in the New Yorker Dec 8, 1951. 1700 words. Minor revisions.

How to Confect an Apophthegm. New Yorker 10-2-41 Original title was Not in Stevenson.  2000 words. Minor revisions.  An article about Winterich and a Major writing information about the War Department's  Program that President Roosevelt used in a speech.  The quote was not in Stevenson's Book of Quotations.

A Word on Words.   First published in the Saturday Review in two parts as the editorials on Sep 21, 1946 and on June 14, 1947.  The 1947 editorial which appears first in the revised article, was titled Words Over-Worn. The 1946 editorial was titled Myrrh vs Murder. 4000 words. Extensive revisions.

Emus, Rocs, and Mcas. First published in Pub Wkly 4-17-54 The original title was 30th Birthday of Crossword.  3500 words. Minor revisions

Why They're Called Turnpikes. Paid for by Ford but never published. 1000 words.

Happy Old Year.  First published in Nation's Business Jan 48.  3000 words. Extensive revisions. An article about all the things that happened in the year 1913.

This Way to the Twenty-First Century. First published in  Nation's Business Jan 4. 3300 words. Extensive revisions. An article about how the nation welcomed the twentieth century.

Library Under Fire.  Ford Times (Old Saybrook Nice Place to be) n.d.

Author Sees Book. First published in the Dolphin in  the Winter 1941 issue.  The original title was Some Authors Who Looked At Their Books. 2100 words.  Extensive revisions.

A Room With a View.  An address delivered on Jan 12, 1954 at the dedication of the Providence Public Library 's new wing. 3300 words. Minor revisions.

Collector's Choice.  A presentation given at the Grolier Club on Apr 27, 1954 at the opening of an exhibition of literary and historical material.  3800 words. Absolutely no revisions.  Privately printed for Winterich by the Peter Pauper Press in 1954.

The First R. A presentation given at the opening of the exhibition of children's literature at the Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum on Nov 18, 1954.  5800 words.  Only a few revisions.  The Morgan published a pamphlet of the presentation in 1954.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Nosediving Into the Interesting and Unusual Features of the Special Edition of Flying Dutchman

This past July was a very good month for my Sentimental Airman Collection. I acquired twenty-five books of the Lee J. Harrer Lindbergh Collection that I mentioned in last month's post. I also acquired my eighteenth book from the Derek Mason Aviation Collection, all eighteen of which I bought from Mike Slicker's Lighthouse Books. That's why I originally passed on buying a special edition of Flying Dutchman that John Howell listed in a recent Getman's virtual book fair.  However, I messaged John and asked him to contact me in a week or two if the book didn't sell during the virtual auction. Yes, I was leaving it to chance, but I was secretly hoping that the Fokker book would eventually join my other books by or about Lindbergh, Rickenbacker, Amelia Earhart, the Wright brothers and all the other aviators. John Howell contacted me ten days later, and Flying Dutchman was mine.

In every book I have ever bought from John Howell, he inserts a sheet containing his catalogue listing of the book. These inserts provide ready references about the books and their purchases.

By the way,  the manuscript notation, "December 1939!!  AHG," was not written by Fokker's hand.  December 1939 is the month and year that Fokker died. I believe it was written by a  former owner.  However, the writing of the initials "AHG" interested me.  If I knew Fokker personally and called him by his initials, I would have written "AHG."  But if I didn't know him personally, I probably would just have written "Fokker."

I like the gilt aircraft designs that are imprinted on the covers of Flying Dutchman. The airplane on the front cover is the first aircraft that Anthony Fokker built in 1911. The airplane on the spine and on the rear cover is the Fokker F-32 passenger aircraft that Fokker's aircraft company built in Teterboro, New Jersey in 1929. The 1931 date on the rear cover is the year that the book Flying Dutchman was published.

I didn't realize how special my copy of the special edition of Flying Dutchman was until I read the statement on the limitation page. 

"Two hundred and fifteen copies of this special edition of Flying Dutchman have been printed and bound."

That is true per se. But I was soon learned that more information should have provided in that statement.

"... and have been signed by Anthony H. G. Fokker."

That is not entirely true. Fokker did not sign all 215 copies of Flying Dutchman. He did not sign my copy! 

I took a dive into the web via Google. I searched for signed and unsigned copies of the special edition. And boy was I surprised with what I learned!

Fokker did not sign copy no. 42, which an Australian bookseller currently has listed for top dollar on the Biblio website. The binding is the same as mine.

Fokker signed and inscribed copy no. 148 on the frontispiece page. That copy was sold on eBay and listed on the Worthpoint website. I don't subscribe to Worthpoint so I can't tell you when the eBay auction was held.   What did catch my eye, however, was that copy no. 148 was bound in full leather and with no gilt airplanes on its covers!

 A 1994 issue of AB Bookman's Magazine listed copy no. 100 for sale. This listing had me scratching my head because it mentioned the book having  a partial dust jacket.

I stopped scratching my head when I read the Smithsonian Libraries listing for copy no. 89. That copy was bound in cloth as well. More importantly, Fokker inscribed and signed the book on the frontispiece page.

Harleana, an eBay seller from East Norwich, New York listed copy no. 96 for sale in July 2021, and at a reduced price because he believed that the signature page was lacking. A former owner had glued the inner front hinge back together, and harleana thought someone had removed the signature page. In my research of Flying Dutchman copies of both special edition and trade editions, I found that the frontispiece page was where Fokker signed and inscribed his books.

 I was about to write harleana and let him or her know what I learned when I discovered that copy no. 96 was completely bound in cloth, but with gilt airplanes on the front cover! The Holt trade edition was bound in cloth as well, but without the gilt airplanes on its front cover. I wrote harleana, explained that his book was complete, minus the dust jacket. I offered to buy no. 96 on the spot. We completed the eBay sale the next day and copy no. 96 is headed my way! To have one copy of the special edition was great. But to have  two copies of a special edition, and in different bindings was something else all together. 

I sure wish the statement on the Limitation Page had mentioned the number of copies that were bound in full leather,  the number of copies that were bound in three-quarter leather, and the number of copies that were bound in cloth!

I have to admit that I went off on a tangent in my research of the special edition of Flying Dutchman. Early on I noticed that Fokker's name wasn't the only author's name listed on the title page. Bruce Gould's name was listed as well.

Now one might assume that Fokker received all 215 copies of the special edition from his publisher. But if Bruce Gould was one of the authors, wouldn't he have received some of the copies of the special edition as well? And if so, that could be why Fokker did not sign all 215 copies. But who was Bruce Gould? And why was he listed as an author of the book?  Nosediving into the web I went again! 

 I subscribe to the N.Y. Times online, which gives me access to its archives, aptly named The Times Machine.  An April 24, 1931 article, the day Flying Dutchman was published, stated that the book was written in collaboration with Bruce Gould. I then read Gould's obituary which was published in the Times on Aug 30, 1989. When Flying Dutchman was published in 1931, Gould was the Aviation Editor of the New York Eventing Post. He wrote two aviation books, Sky Larking: The Romantic Adventures of Flying published by Horace Liveright in 1929 and Flying Dutchman published by Henry Holt in 1931. According to the obituary, however, both books were written with Anthony Fokker! 

Gould and his wife were co-editors of The Ladies Home Journal for twenty-seven years beginning in 1935. Together, they wrote their biography, American Story published by Harper in 1968. I then read T. J.C. Martyn's book review of Sky Larking, which appeared in the July 7, 1929 issue of the Times. Martyn made no mention whatsoever of Fokker in the review, but highly touted Gould and his book, writing, "Airmen are not, as a brood, either over-loquacious or literary, and it is fine that such a good writer on aeronautics as Bruce Gould should have written so excellent a book."

I found one other reference on the web where the author also mentioned that Gould wrote both aviation books with Fokker. But I suspect that her source was Gould's obituary. Nowhere else on the web did I read that Fokker had anything to do with the writing of Sky Larking. What did I do next? I ordered a copy of Sky Larking online from Resource Books, located in East Granby, Ct!

 I was surprised to receive the copy only a few days later. Kudos to Tami Zawistowski, the proprietor of Resource Books! If Fokker helped Gould write Sky Larking, Gould might have returned the favor and helped Fokker write Flying Dutchman. I read Sky Larking from cover to cover. I now firmly believe that Fokker had nothing whatsoever to do with this book. Gould himself was an aviator who knew what he was writing about. Even more, he knew how to write! Sky Larking was on the best seller list for a short while in 1929. I enjoyed reading it.  Moi recommends!

I should have been done then and there! But there was still one more source to dive into. And that was the Gould autobiography, American Story. Surely, if it was an autobiography, Gould would mentioned something about collaborating with Fokker on the publication of his book (or books). A preview of Sky Larking was unavailable on Google Books, but I was able to "search inside" the book for snippits.

From the snippit views, I can deduce that Fokker either read or heard about Gould's Sky Larking book, and hired Gould to ghost write Flying Dutchman. But Fokker added Gould's name as one of the authors, instead of having just his own name.

And just to put the nail on the head, I wanted to get a copy of Gould's American Story, and read everything Gould said about his collaborations with Fokker. Willis Monie Books in Cooperstown, N. Y. had a copy, and I've bought from him before. But Book Corner Tampa Bay in nearby Brandon, Fl. had a copy listed so I ordered the book from them on Thursday afternoon the 26th of August. I figured I might receive the book on Saturday the 28th, read it over the weekend, and then write about it in this blog post.   That idea, however, crashed and burned. Book Corner Tampa Bay couldn't find the book!  On Saturday they told me they think they might have previously sold the book and not deleted the listing.  So I ordered the book from Willis Monie Books on Sunday morning, but it will arrive too late for this post :-(