The El Dorado Bookstore, San Francisco, California [ props Roskie & Wallace of Oakland; Philip M. Roskie (1921-93) ] [ Jack London, Thorne Smith, Erskine Caldwell, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck ]
Catalogue No. 1, 1948. The El Dorado Bookstore, 309 Kearny Street, San Francisco 8, California.
32pp., 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged. A previous owner has thought well enough of this item to have it put in a sturdy binding of black cloth, with title in gilt on spine. The binding is in very good condition, but a bookplate has been removed from the front pastedown. An interesting catalogue (especially when compared with the staid British book catalogues of the period), with each of the 108 items presented, four to a page, each with accompanying photograph of the covers of the book. The most expensive item, at $100, is a 1902 first edition of 'The Cruise of the Dazzler'.
Jean Hyacinthe de Magellan [João Jacinto de Magalhães] (1722-1790), Portuguese natural philosopher, latterly based in London [ David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan; Adair Crawford (1748-1795) ]
London. 21 September 1780.
3pp., 4to. Addressed, with black wax seal, on reverse of second leaf to 'The Earl of Buchan at Kerkhill | by Edinburgh'. In fair condition, lightly aged. He is 'hardly relieved' from 'a very distressing ophthalmy withh great head-ackes [sic]', but thanks the Earl for 'sending the pamphlet of Dr. Homes on the Croup, for my friend Monsr. Le Roy, one of ye. Members of ye. Royal Acady. at Paris'. He is sending him the Philosophical Transactions, 'as regularly as they come out, by the indicated way of Mr. Donalson'. The 'Medal of ye late Captn. Cook [...] has not yet been distributed to ye.
Henry Erskine (1746-1814), Lord Advocate for Scotland [ John Cockburn Ross of Rowchester, Berwickshire ]
Keswick. 17 June 1812.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged. Reverse of second leaf, with part of red wax seal and Keswick postmark, addressed to Ross at Tadcaster, and forwarded to the Crown Inn, 'Harragate', Yorkshire. He begins by explaining that a delay to his departure for Scotland is the reason for the late reply. 'To morrow or next day we shall set out. The moment I reach Edinburgh I shall see Cathcart & immediately write you most minutely every thing regarding the Richmond Scenery | All this Party send you their best Compts.
Henry Erskine (1746-1814), Lord Advocate for Scotland [ Mrs Cockburn Ross of Rowchester, Berwickshire; Archibald Black ]
Princes Street [ Edinburgh ]. 30 January 1804.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, aged and worn. Addressed, with red wax seal, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Mrs. Cockburn Ross | Pooles Hotel'. He begins by explaining why he has not replied to her letter sooner, his clerk having placed it 'with some Letters of Business'. Archibald Black, who was formerly in his service, is 'a good natured honest Creature', but he cannot advise her to hire him. On the poor mans account I would not wish to be more particular than just saying that it is not owing to any objection to his moral Character that leads me to dissuade you from engaging him'.
David Steuart Erskine (1742-1829), 11th Earl of Buchan [ Lord Cardross ], Scottish aristocrat and antiquary [ john Cockburn Ross of Rowchester, Berwickshire ]
Edinburgh. 18 June 1812.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, 'To John Cockburn Ross Esqr. | Thorpe <?> | by Willerby | Yorkshire', and redirected to 'Crown Inn | Harrogate'. Recommending, 'in the view of preparing yr. young Son for commercial life', 'Mr. Jay who conducts the Commercial Academy', who was 'long ago in the House of Livingston & Co. Merchts at Rotterdam. He married a Daughter of Mr. Livingston and when the troubles in Holland forced him to leave it settled at Leith where he was involved in connections that proved unssuccessful from the disturbed state of Europe'.
Henry Erskine Gedge (1832-1913), Vicar of Brixworth, Northamptonshire, Chaplain at the Chapelle Victoria de Grasse, son of Rev. Sydney Gedge (1802-1883; ODNB) [Alice de Rothschild]
The diary covering the years between 1873 and 1913. The booklet, without publication details, privately printed in 1877.
Gedge's short obituary in The Times, 24 March 1913, contains the following brief account of his career: 'Mr. Gedge was a scholar of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was Carus and Scholefield prizeman, and obtained a first class in the examination for theological honours in 1857. He was ordained in the diocese of Lichfield, and was for seven years vicar of Brixworth, Northamptonshire.
Cornelius Elliot (1732-1821) of Wollee, Writer to the Signet, brother-in-law of Adam Ogilvie, Factor of the Duke of Buccleugh
Teviotbank [Roxburghshire]. 5 February 1810.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly aged and creased paper. The letter begins: 'For your letter of November you gave me to think that a Meeting of Adam Ogilvies Trustees would be after Martinmas. I now see that could not take place, but I want to see how his matters stand as your Rents and the Roup Bills will all be come in.
Andrew Lang, Sheriff Clerk of Selkirkshire, grandfather of the writer of the same name, and friend of Sir Walter Scott; Alex Younie; Messrs Erskine & Curle, Writers [solicitors], Melrose
Selkirk. 17 April 1818.
1p., 4to. Bifolium. Addressed, with postmark, on reverse of second leaf, which is docketed 'Mr A. Lang | About dividend from John Brydens funds'. In good condition, on aged and lightly creased paper. The letter reads: 'Gentlemen, | Mr. Lang has just now received your letter of yesterday's date. - Bryden's funds are not yet drawn from the Bank, and the dividends cannot be paid sooner than the latter end of next week, as Mr. L. goes from home on Sunday and will not return till that time. - You will get notice what time to send for Mr. James Brydons [sic] dividd.'
[Mrs M. A. Cranstoun of Friars Haugh, Borders, Scotland; Charles Erskine of Erskine & Curle, Writers [solicitors], Melrose]
Friars Haugh [Borders, Scotland]; 9 May 1821.
2pp., 4to. Bifolium. Addressed, with red wax seal, on reverse of second leaf, to 'Charles Erskine Esqre. | Melrose'. Docketted: '7 May 1821 | Mrs Cranstown [sic] | About Mr Usher preventing the taking of Gravel'. A well-written letter, and a nice piece of social history. She lays out her case extremely clearly: 'I trouble you with this letter on the following account. Having occasion for some Gravel to beautify our Court, I employed a man to bring it from the river on Friday last. Mr Usher objected to his doing so, the man answered, "have not they a right?
John Sawbridge (1732-1795) of Olantigh [Ollantigh], Kent, political supporter of John Wilkes; Member of Parliament for Hythe; Lord Mayor of London in 1775 [David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan]
Ollantigh [sic]. 29 December 1772.
2pp., 4to. 31 lines of text. Good, on lightly-aged paper, but the first leaf of the letter only. He writes that he is pleased to receive a letter from Erskine ('your Lordship') after 'so long an interruption'. 'I forebore till I had heard from you to take the liberty of congratulating you upon your Marriage' (Erskine had married the previous October). The second page ends: 'I have never been able to learn whether your Good Mother Lady Buchan was in England or not.
'B. B.' [Sir Brooke Boothby (1744-1824)?] [Dryburgh Abbey, property of David Steuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan]
Date and publisher not stated. [Scotland, circa 1814?]
Poem: On one side of a piece of 12mo paper. Fair, lightly-aged and a little ruckled, with traces of gum from previous mounting on the blank reverse. The 12-line poem is written in heroic couplets, and begins 'POOR, faithful animal, adieu! - | To Nature's kind affection true, | For fourteen years, thy grateful heart, | Devoted, play'd its humble part.' At the end a contemporary hand has ascribed the poem to 'B. B.', and the same hand gives the date as 'September 3d'.
'H. M. E.' [Anne Helen Margaret Stirling-Stuart, of Castlemilk House, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire; Glasgow, Scotland]
With manuscript inscription dated 1871.
4to, 2 pp. On first leaf of a bifolium. Text clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged laid paper with watermark of 'A ANNANDALE & SONS'. Stuck down on the reverse of the blank second leaf of the bifolium is a square of paper from the leaf to which it was attached in an album, and beneath this square, visible when held up to the light, is the inscription: 'Imperfectly printed | Annie Stirling Stuart | Castlemilk | 1871'. The poem is 48 lines long, arranged in twelve stanzas. Signed 'H. M.
William Fowler (1828-1905), Liberal Member of Parliament for Cambridge, 1868-74 and 1880-85 [Colonel Edmund Spencer Eardley Childers (1854-1919), son of Hugh Culling Eardley Childers (1827-96)]
1, 4 and 8 July 1901; all on letterheads of Broadwater Cross, Tunbridge Wells.
All three items good, on lightly-aged paper. All bifoliums. Letter One (1 July 1901): 12mo, 4 pp. 42 lines. He is pleased to have received Childers' life of his father (published that year). 'I knew your Father well, [...] I was in the House in the Parliaments of 68 & 80 when he had his most serious work'. Praises his 'amazing pluck in going out as he did to Australia [Childers was first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne] & in his conduct there in the early days & during the gold discoveries time, the story of which in his letters is very curious'.
Sir John Murray IV (1851-1928), London publisher [Colonel Edmund Spencer Eardley Childers (1854-1919), son of Hugh Culling Eardley Childers (1827-96)]
April 1901; on letterhead of 50 Albemarle Street.
12mo, 4 pp. 40 lines. Text clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'My dear Spencer'. He is sorry to have missed Childers: 'I came back early on Sat: morning fairly driven home by the weather.' Reports that 'Better reviews of the book are now appearing Athenaeum - evidently by Dilke: Tablet: Pall Mall &c.' Thinks 'Clarke will use his influence with the Times', the idea that 'King' has done so being 'entirely out of the question'.
[The Maiden Hospital; the Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh; the Mary Erskine School; the Merchant Maiden Hospital; Robert Fleming and Company]
Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Fleming and Company, 1731.
12mo, xi + [vi] + 46 pp. Stitched as issued, in original marbled-paper wraps. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The title leaf is followed by a nine-page preface, taking the pagination to p.xi. The page following p.xi (on the verso of the leaf) is blank, and this is followed by three unpaginated leaves carrying a six-page 'Act of Parliament in Favours [sic] of the Maiden Hospital, Founded by the Company of Merchants and Mary Erskine.' This 'Act', which precedes the 46 pages of the 'Rules and Constitutions', would not appear to be present in all copies.
Thomas Pitt, 1st Baron Camelford (1737-1793), politician and art collector [David Steuart Erskine, eleventh earl of Buchan (1742-1829), antiquary and reformer]
8 February 1784; Oxford Street.
4to, 1 p. On piece of watermarked laid paper. Thirteen lines of text. Clear and complete. Good, on aged paper, with thin strip of stub adhering to blank reverse. Docketed at head, in a contemporary hand, '331 | Lord Camelford for fac simile'. Camelford was not at home when Buchan called, but he 'will take care that his Lordship's Letter shall be transmitted to Mr Pitt [his cousin William Pitt the younger?]'. Pitt 'will doubtless feel himself flatter'd with his Lordship's testimony in favour of his abilities and fortitude'.
John Bowles (1751-1819), barrister and author [John Wright (1770-1841) of Piccadilly, bookseller and publisher of Gifford's 'Anti-Jacobin']
Tuesday' [no date, but circa 1798]. Place not stated.
12mo, 2 pp. Bifolium with address on second leaf. Twenty-five lines. Text clear and complete. On aged, spotted and repaired paper. A significant letter, confirming Bowles's hitherto-tentative authorship of the 'Letters of the Ghost of Alfred', which was printed by Wright in 1798. Bowles informs Wright that he will 'receive some Copies of ye. Ghost of Alfred' the following morning. 'The price [I conceive] should be only 2/6 in boards there being but about 130 pages including thhe advertisements'.
[Author's Inscription] Frank Gallagher, Irish Republican
175pp., 8vo, sl. hinge strain, corners bumped, spine label worn, author and title obscured. INSCRIBED by author to a fellow hunger-striker as follows (hf-title): "To Andrew Mc Donnell in memory of these [DAYS OF FEAR = half-tile printed] through which we went together. | Frank Gallagher | 6-5-29." A scarce book.