From Winnie the Pooh to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 8 Highlights from the Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII

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A first-edition copy of a beloved childhood story is the ultimate bookshelf treasure and this eighth sale in The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII series has a wonderful selection of children's classics including The House at Pooh Corner and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Also appearing are rare editions and presentation copies of several important works of English, American and Contemporary literature including John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Click ahead to see a selection of highlights.

The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
10 July 2018 |  London

From Winnie the Pooh to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 8 Highlights from the Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII

  • Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, Author’s annotated copy, 1893.
    Estimate: £30,000-50,000
    This is a legendary Lewis Carrol rarity. Carroll was known for his obsessive concern and control over the production of his books. The book here, the 60th Thousands of Through the Looking Glass caused the author to threaten his publisher with termination of his contracts. Carroll wrote of this books “on examining them, I found the pictures so badly printed that the books are not worth anything….I sent orders that the nine hundred and forty are to be destroyed: so the book will be 'out of print' for some time". Announcements requesting the return of these copies appeared in The Times and The Daily News. Only a handful of copies survive, and only four survive in original cloth. This is Carroll’s own copy, annotated in 34 places with wonderfully amusing annotations (such as “very much over-printed very bad indeed”).


    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Presentation copy, 1939.
    Estimate: £20,000-30,000
    A superb association copy of Steinbeck’s major novel. The book is inscribed to Darryl Zannuck, producer of the cinematic adaption. Zannuck’s film version is widely considered to be the finest film version of any of Steinbeck’s novels. In a letter to his sister Steinbeck wrote of the film, "Zanuck has more than kept his word. He has a hard, straight picture in which the actors are submerged so completely that it looks and feels like a documentary film and certainly has a hard, thruthful ring. No punches were pulled ? in fact, with descriptive matter removed, it is a harsher thing than the book, by far." The Grapes of Wrath was one of the first 25 films selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1989, for its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance. The inscription reads “with thanks for a fine picture”.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • Maurice Sendak, Where the While Things Are, First edition, presentation copy, 1963.
    Estimate: £5,000-7,000
    A fine presentation copy with an original illustration of a Wild Thing inscribed by the artist and author. Sendak writes in his inscription: “This certainly looks like a first edition - | it has all the wrong colors in the right places!" His comment refers to some printing errors found only in a first edition of this book - Max’s right foot (and claws) on the title-page hand a minute red outline to the right of the black line. Where the Wild Things Are, which contains only 338 words, is viewed as one of the greatest picture books of modern time. It was chosen by President Barack Obama to be read aloud at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Sendak refused to produce a sequel, proclaiming in the year  before his death in 2012 that it would be “the most boring idea imaginable”.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • Disney Studios, The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, 2 vols., first US and First UK edition, 1931.
    Estimate: £1,500-2,000
    The first appearance of Mickey Mouse in book form.  On 18 November 1928, in New York, Steamboat Willie was released to huge acclaim. Not only was this the first appearance of Mickey Mouse, but it was also the first cartoon film to have a fully synchronized soundtrack. It had been only a year earlier that the first sound film, The Jazz Singer, had been released. In 1929 the Mickey Mouse Club was founded, which by 1931 had one million members. On January 13 1930 the first comic strip devoted to Mickey Mouse appeared and later in that same year the first Mickey Mouse book was published. Both volumes here, with their dust-jackets present, are incredibly rare.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • Yeats et al., The Book of the Rhymers' Club, Presentation copy, 1892.
    Estimate: £15,000-20,000
    The "Rhymers' Club" were a semi-bohemian "Celtic" circle of writers who met regularly at the Cheshire Cheese pub off Fleet Street from around January 1890 onwards. Ernest Rhys, Thomas Rolleston and Yeats were the original moving spirits, joined at various times by John Todhunter, Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson, Richard Le Gallienne, John Davidson, and others. The Club was partly infused with a strong homoerotic sub-culture: Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon were unofficial patrons, Lionel Johnson read his poems of repressed desire, and Oscar Wilde "looked in and out" (R.F. Foster, op.cit., p.108).

    This presentation copy is inscribed to Lady [Isabella] Augusta Gregory. Lady Gregory was a playwright, folklorist, and literary patron, as well as being one of Yeats’ closest friends.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London 
  • A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner, First edition, presentation copy, 1928.
    Estimate: £10,000-15,000
    An exceptional presentation copy inscribed by Milne with an original verse: “How proud is Pooh, because the fluff | Which blew into his cerebellum | Was deemed inspiriting enough | To justify a book in vellum.” The book is inscribed to Vincent Julian Seligman, a descendant of a German Jewish mercantile family that emigrated to the USA and London in the 19th century. Vincent’s father ran the London bank Seligman Brothers; his mother came from an artistic and musical family (and had an affair with Puccini). Seligman dedicated his 1923 book, Oxford Oddities, to Milne and in return was the recipient of this specially inscribed copy of one of the twenty deluxe copies of The House at Pooh Corner, as well as the manuscript of Milne's play Michael and Mary, inscribed and specially bound as a wedding present, in 1930.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,“The Story of Spedegue’s Dropper”, The complete autograph draft manuscript.
    Estimate: £10,000-15,000
    The autograph manuscript of a complete Conan Doyle Story. “The Story of Spedegue’s Dropper” is one of the most famous cricket stories ever written. The story follows Tom Spedegue, an asthmatic school master with a wear heart who, through a series of delightfully told events, ends of playing for England at Lords against Austrailia in the deciding Test of an Ashes series. Conan Doyle was an avid cricketer and the story is actually based on his own experience when clean bowled by a "most extraordinary ball from A.P. Lucas.

    "The Story of Spedegue's Dropper" was first published in the Strand Magazine for October 1928 and was published in book form within The Maracot Deep and other stories in July 1929. The manuscript reveals a number of changes, not least the title which is given here as 'The Story of Pedegue's Dropper'.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
  • Frank L. Baum,The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, First edition, first state, 1900.
    Estimate: £3,000-5,000
    The first true American fairy tale in the first state of the text. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was declared by the library of Congress as “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale”. The book was illustrated by Baum’s longtime friend and collaborator W. W. Denslow. One can tell that this is the first state of the first edition because of two dark-blue spots that are present on Denslow’s illustration that faces page 34. Denslow also held the copyright to these works (jointly with Baum) and became incredibly wealthy as a result. With the royalties from the print and stage versions of this story Denslow purchased an island in Bermuda and crowned himself “King Denslow I, Monarch of Denslow Islands and Protector of Coral Reefs”. Baum never intended for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to have a sequel however, after thousands of children wrote letter to the author requesting sequels he relented, ultimately writing 13 books in the Oz series.

    The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII
    10 July 2018 |  London
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