Book Trade History

Secretarial Letter, Signed by Murray ('John Murray'), to 'T. Miller Maguire Esq. LL.D.'

Author: 
Sir John Murray [IV] (1851-1928), London publisher [Thomas Miller Maguire; the Duke of Wellington]
Publication details: 
22 August 1906; on letterhead of 50 Albemarle Street.
£25.00

12mo, 2 pp. Bifolium. Eleven lines. Text clear and complete. On aged, grubby paper. Spike hole in top left-hand corner (not affecting text). Docketed at head. Granting Maguire permission to publish extracts from the out-of-print 'Greenwood's Selections from Wellington's Despatches [sic]', providing he makes 'the full customary acknowledgement of the source whence they are taken'. The two parts of Maguire's 'British Army under Wellington' appeared in 1906 and 1907.

Two Autograph Letter Signed ('Charles B. Tayler') to 'J L Williams Esqr' [the wood engraver Joseph Lionel Williams, c.1815-1877].

Author: 
Charles Benjamin Tayler (1797-1875), curate of Otley Rectory, Ipswich, Suffolk, and author of a number of religious works
Publication details: 
21 May 1852 & 23 June 1852; Otley Rectory, Ipswich.
£175.00

Both 12mo: 4 pp. Item 1 (21 May) Text clear and entire. On aged paper with small unobtrusive spike holes through both leaves. Slightly manic letter, casting light on the relationship between author, printer and engraver in the Victorian period. Tayler lists four 'plates for a chapter on the Essex Martyrs' which Leonard Seeley of Thames Ditton, who is printing and publishing Tayler's book 'Memorials of the English Martyrs' (Seeleys, 1853), has not yet received from Williams. Suggests other engravings for the 'last chapter'. 'It has occurred to me that the plate in Foxe 7th.

Autograph Note Signed ('D. Lysons.') to unnamed publisher.

Author: 
Sir Daniel Lysons (1816-1898), English army officer
Publication details: 
11 January 1893; on letterhead of 22 Warwick Square, London S.W.
£56.00

12mo, 1 p. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Large bold signature. He has 'no present intention of publishing any book on [his] career'. It may be that the correspondence planted a seed, as three years after the writing of this note Lysons published 'Early Reminiscences' (John Murray, 1896).

Autograph Note Signed ('George A Lawrence') to unnamed publisher [Tinsley?].

Author: 
George A. Lawrence [George Alfred Lawrence] (1827-1876), English novelist
Publication details: 
Undated. On monogrammed letterhead of 25 Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London.
£35.00

12mo, 1 p. Six lines. Mourning border. Text clear and complete. Aged, creased and a little grubby. Asking to be sent '4 copies of "The Butterfly", if ready', and if not to be told 'when it will be'. Lawrence published his 'Breaking a Butterfly; Or Blanche Ellerslie's Ending' anonymously by Tinsley in 1869.

Autograph Letter Signed ('George A Lawrence') to an unnamed publisher [George Routledge?].

Author: 
George A. Lawrence [George Alfred Lawrence] (1827-1876), English novelist [Miss Caulfield; George Routledge]
Publication details: 
22 March 1858; Plymouth.
£35.00

16mo (leaf dimensions 13 x 10 cm), 3 pp. Bifolium. Twenty-eight lines. Text clear and complete. On aged and lightly creased paper with small closed tear in margin (not affecting text). He has been asked by 'Miss Caulfield' to 'perform the ceremony of "introduction" with a view to your publishing (if you approved of it) a work she has lately written [...] <"Janet de Rinzy?">'.

Autograph Card Signed ('H C Beeching') to Messrs Swan Sonnenschein & Co., publishers.

Author: 
Henry Charles Beeching (1859-1919), Dean of Norwich and author
Publication details: 
Postmarked 21 June 1905; on letterhead '3, Little Cloisters, Westminster.'
£23.00

Plain card, roughly 8.5 x 11 cm. Five lines of text. A little grubby, but good. Asking for his manuscript, so that he can 'correct the proof of the Introduction to Crashaw. It was written so many years ago that I can't always recall what I wrote'.

Autograph Signatures of Colburn, Shee, North and Colnaghi, removed from Artists' Benevolent Fund application.

Author: 
Henry Colburn (1784-1855), bookseller and publisher; Sir Martin Arthur Shee (1769-1850), President of the Royal Academy; Peter North; Dominic Colnaghi (1790-1879), printseller
Publication details: 
1841
£28.00

On one side of a piece of paper roughly 8 x 12.5 cm. Good, lightly aged. Reads ' Henry Colburn | 13 Gt Marlborough Street | Martin Arthur Shee | Peter North 22 Soho Square | Dominic Colnaghi'. Fragment of docketed manuscript record of the case on the reverse: '<...> 830 | <...>nes O'Connor | <...>ent Case | <...>y 12th. 1841'.

Autograph Note Signed ('Henry Newbolt') to Routledge.

Author: 
Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938), English poet [George Routledge & Sons, publishers]
Publication details: 
13 October 1906; on letterhead of 23, Earl's Terrace, Kensington, W.
£28.00

12mo, 1 p. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Thanking them for the cheque, and returning the 'form of permission to reprint the four poems, signed' (not present).

Autograph Letter in the third person to the publishers Swan Sonnenschein & Co.

Author: 
Sir Charles Hallé [born in Germany as Carl Halle] (1819-1895), English conductor and pianist
Publication details: 
30 June 1890; Sydney, Australia.
£35.00

12mo, 1 p. Twelve lines of text. Clear and complete. On aged and grubby paper. A formal letter in the third person. He has 'received with surprise the enclosed invoice. [not present] He has given no orders for any copies of the work & must therefore decline to accept the parcel, should it have been sent out to him in Australia.' If it is 'lying at his London house' he will forward it to the firm 'on his return home'.

Four Autograph Letters Signed (all 'C. H. Firth') to Messrs George Routledge and Sons, relating to revisions of his editions of the Newcastle's and Hutchinson's lives.

Author: 
Sir Charles Harding Firth [C. H. Firth] (1857-1936), Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford, 1904-1925 [George Routledge (1812-1888, publisher]
Publication details: 
2, 4 and 25 January, and 1 November, 1906. All on letterhead of 2 Northmoor Road, Oxford.
£56.00

All four items 12mo bifoliums; the first of three pages and the other three of four. Text of all four clear and complete. Good on aged and lightly-creased paper. Minor water staining at head of first leaf of first item. Letter One (28 lines): Discussing the delivery of 'the alterations & additions' of the two lives, and the correction of the proofs by Routledge's reader. 'I shall of course require some payment for my revision of the two books, & you have not said anything on this head.

Autograph Letter Signed ('Lewis Melville') to Messrs George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.

Author: 
Lewis Melville' [Lewis S. Benjamin (1874-1932)], English author and actor
Publication details: 
5 August 1903; 1 Doughty Street, Mecklenburgh Square, W.C., on cancelled letterhead of the Weekly Dispatch.
£28.00

12mo, 1 p. 7 lines of closely-written text. Clear and complete. On aged and slightly-grubby paper. He has received their letter regarding his 'Life of Thackeray', and appreciates 'the reason for your delay in deciding whether or no to issue a cheap edition. Undoubtedly the inclusion of my book in a series would benefit us both, & I hope Mr Lee may be able to make me an offer.'

Typed Letter, signed by 'C B', 'per W. & G. Foyle, Ltd, to C. F. Bradshaw, headmaster of the Council School at Cresswell, Worksop, Derbyshire.

Author: 
Foyles Bookshop [W. & G. Foyle Ltd of 119-125 Charing Cross Road, London booksellers]
Publication details: 
18 March 1939; on 'W & G FOYLE LTD' letterhead.
£22.00

4to, 1 p. Good, on lightly aged and creased paper with minor rust stain from paperclip at head. Letterhead, in light and dark blue, featuring globe and the mottos 'BOOKSELLERS TO THE WORLD' and 'STOCK OF NEARLY THREE MILLION VOLUMES'. Thirteen lines of text. Bradshaw is clearly unhappy at the price asked for a copy of Cox's 'Memorials of Old Derbyshire'. 'The writer would point out that we received six reports regarding this book from various clients, but in no case at a price allowing us to quote below 15/-.

Typed Letter Signed ('V.G.') to Daniel George.

Author: 
Sir Victor Gollancz (1893-1967), London publisher [Hilary Rubinstein; Daniel George]
Publication details: 
21 September 1955; on letterhead of Victor Gollancz, Ltd.
£56.00

4to, 2 pp. Postscript ends abruptly ('I have read innumerable books on Italy, <...>'), suggesting a page lacking. Good, on lightly aged and creased paper. An interesting letter shedding light on Gollancz's attitude to the practice of sending out advance copies of books for review. Addressed to 'My dear Daniel'. Further to a report he has received from 'Hilary' (his nephew Hilary Rubinstein) regarding a conversation with George 'at John Coates's party', Gollancz assures him that there is no 'personal reason' why he is no longer receiving 'a stream of advance copies'.

Autograph Letter Signed ('H Colburn') to Mrs Samuel Carter Hall.

Author: 
Henry Colburn (1784-1855), English publisher [Samuel Carter Hall;Maria Edgeworth]
Publication details: 
London | <Novr.?> 7.' [no year, but between 1837 and 1849].
£35.00

12mo: 1 p. 12 lines of text. An bifolium, addressed on the reverse of the second leaf, which carries Colburn's seal, with his initials, in black wax. Good, on aged Whatman paper with watermarked date 1837. The drift of the letter is doubtful as it is written in an extremely difficult hand. Colburn will call upon the recipient 'presently'. He then makes a request regarding 'Miss Edgeworth', whose letter should be 'sent to my care' before being 'forwarded to its destination'.

Autograph Letter Signed ('A Helps') to his publisher Alexander Macmillan.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875), author and Clerk of the Privy Council [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
Publication details: 
16 January 1867; no place.
£20.00

12mo, 2 pp. 9 lines of text. With mourning border. Good, on lightly-aged paper. He is glad that Macmillan and 'Mr Doulton' are coming to dine with him, but sorry that they 'will be obliged to leave so soon; but it cannot be helped'.

Autograph Note Signed ('G O Trevelyan') to the publisher Alexander Macmillan

Author: 
Sir George Otto Trevelyan (1838-1928), politician and author [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
Publication details: 
Undated [after 1864]; Wallington, Newcastle.
£25.00

12mo, 1 p. Four lines of text. Good, on aged paper with watermarked date '<...>864'. 'If the "Macaulays" have not gone yet, would you send them here, directed to me.' Trevelyan was nephew of the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay, of whom he published a biography in 1880.

Autograph Note, in the third person, to his publisher Alexander Macmillan.

Author: 
Richard Monckton Milnes, Baron Houghton (1809-1885), author and politician [Alexander Macmillan (1818-1896), publisher]
Publication details: 
8 November [no year, but after 1863]; 16 Upper Brooke Street [London].
£20.00

12mo, 2 pp. 13 lines of text. Good, on light-aged paper. He has been 'asked by many persons for copies of his speech at the Cambge. Union Socy.', and if 'Messrs. Macmillan cared to print it, he would revise it, no report having been correct'. He wonders 'whether the whole proceedings should not be added, with some of the newspaper letters which have been carried'. Milnes was created Baron Houghton in 1863. In 1866 Macmillan published 'The Cambridge Union Society, Inaugural Proceedings', edited by G. C. Whiteley.

Original large water-colour illustration of an eighteenth-century scene, attributed to Sullivan, intended for promotional purposes. Rough pencil sketch of cockerel on reverse.

Author: 
E. J. Sullivan [Edmund J. Sullivan; Edmund Joseph Sullivan] (1869-1933), English book illustrator [Constable & Co.; Oliver Goldsmith]
Publication details: 
Undated (Edwardian?). 'by E J Sullivan' in ink at foot of reverse.
£80.00

On a piece of board roughly 45 x 30 cm. Foxed and discoloured, with the extremities chipped and worn, with loss and closed tears affecting the illustration's border, which is in gold in the style of the carved decoration of eighteenth-century furniture. The illustration itself, roughly 36 x 25 cm, is clear and undamaged. It features full-length depictions, each around 29 cm high, of two stylish figures: on the left a behatted lady, fan in hand, elegantly attired in eighteenth-century costume of orange compere-fronted gown and full yellow skirt.

Engraving ('Benjamin Green sculpt.') in red and black, with explanatory letterpress, titled 'A View Of The Library Founded In 1429 By RICHARD WHITTINGTON.'

Author: 
Benjamin Green ('Pott') [Thoams Pennant; Richard ('Dick') Whittington; London topography; Christ's Hospital; libraries]
Publication details: 
London Pubd. Jany. 1 1793 by N Smith Gt. Mays Buildings St. Martins Lane.'
£56.00

Printed on one side of a piece of thick wove paper, 21 x 17.5 cm. At the head of the page is the engraving, enclosed in an oval 12.5 cm high and 15 cm wide. A clear impression of a scarce print, on grubby, spotted paper. Within the border is engraved in red 'Part of Christs Hospital taken from the Stewards Office 1765.' According to the six lines of copperplate text at the foot of the page 'It was 129 feet long and 31 feet in breadth, [...] It was furnished with Books at the expence of £556 . 10s of which £400 were given by the founder, and the remainder by Dr.

Twelve Autograph Letters Signed to W.M. Colles, Literary Agent.

Author: 
James Payn.
Publication details: 
8 Aug.[1891] - 1 Nov. [1892]
£300.00

Novelist and editor Chambers Journal, Cornhill Magagzine (1883-1896), 1830-1898 (see DNB). Total 17 pages, 8vo, some letters dated by another hand (Colles?), on most Payn has put day and month but no year. A difficult hand. Subjects include: Australian mail; agreement with Tillotson (syndication); rights for Austrlia and India for something, "the neighbourhood of Sheffield would be the only forbidden ground"; "we must not dun Mr C"; "still reading [Norris'?] book; it is rather thin - . ..

Two Christmas keepsakes: 'Literary Characters', with drawings by Edwin Baker; and 'Imaginary Conversations', with cover design by Hans Tisdall.

Author: 
Jonathan Cape Limited, London publishers [Edwin Baker; Hans Tisdall; Alden Press, Oxford]
Publication details: 
Literary Characters': 1954, 'Printed in the City of Oxford at the Alden Press on paper mould-made supplied by Spalding & Hodge Ltd.' 'Imaginary Conversations', 1956, 'Printed in Great Britain in the City of Oxford at the Alden Press'.
£50.00

Literary Characters'. 12mo (leaf dimensions roughly 18 x 12.5 cm): 32 pp. Stitched with brown thread. Fore-edge and top-edge rough. Unbound as issued. Very good. Cartoon in red ink of man seated at typewriter on front cover, and another, in black ink, of a hatted-figure skulking away with a walking stick held behind his back on back cover. Initial note, with publisher's colophon, on p.2: 'This series of Literary Characters appeared in Now & Then numbers 77-87 and is here reprinted by Jonathan Cape Limited for their friends | Christmas 1954'.

Typed Letter Signed ('G. N. S. Hunt') to Mrs Steward of Beckenham, Kent.

Author: 
G. N. S. Hunt [Geoffrey Hunt] [Oxford University Press; Geoffrey Cumberlege; Amen Corner; Christ Church, Newgate Street]
Publication details: 
2 December 1955; on Oxford University Press letterhead (Amen House, London).
£28.00

4to: 1 page. Twenty-one lines of text. Good, on creased and lightly-aged paper. An impressively-considered letter, declining Mrs Steward's manuscript 'I had rather be a Doorkeeper'. 'As you point out, Christ Church, Newgate Street, is a near neighbour of Amen House, and its ruins are a pathetic sight.

Large advertising board, bearing a 'SPECIMEN PLATE' ('The Shadow of Death': 'Holman Hunt, Pinx. The Art Journal. Goupilgravure.'), for 'The Life and Work of W. Holman Hunt. By Archdeacon Farrar.'

Author: 
William Holman Hunt; Archdeacon Frederic William Farrar [Dean Farrar; Pre-Raphaelite; The Art Journal; Alice Meynell; J. S. Virtue & Co. Ltd.; Goupilgravure]
Publication details: 
[1893.] 'London: J. S. Virtue & Co. Ltd.' [The Art Journal.]
£85.00

Printed on one side of a piece of cream paper, roughly 33.5 x 25.5 cm. Laid down on card. Clear and complete, with a good impression of the plate (22.5 x 17.5 cm), on lightly-aged, grubby paper, with slight wear to extremities. Presumably produced for display in a shop window. The title ('THE LIFE AND WORK OF | W. HOLMAN HUNT. | BY ARCHDEACON FARRAR.') at head, and 'SPECIMEN PLATE.' at foot, in large orange letters; the rest printed in black. Beneath the plate: 'THE SHADOW OF DEATH. | BY PERMISSION OF MESSRS. T. AGNEW & SONS. | LONDON: J. S. VIRTUE & CO.

Typed Note Signed ('Phillips Oppenheim') to Lawrence Mack, editor of Everybody's Weekly.

Author: 
E. Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946) [Lawrence Mack; Everybody's Weekly]
Publication details: 
26 April 1928; on letterhead of Villa Deveron, Cagnes, Alpes-Maritmes, France.
£56.00

8vo: 1 p. Good, on lightly-creased paper, with a faint 4cm pink stain in the right-hand margin. Reads 'Many thanks for the copy of your interesting paper, and the kindly reference to my novel.'

Portrait (stipple engraving) of 'Thomas Miller, Bookseller, Bungay, Suffolk. Died June 24th. 1804 - Aged 73. | Engraved by E. Scriven from a Miniature by H. Edridge Esqr.'

Author: 
Thomas Miller (1731-1804), bookseller of Bungay, Suffolk [Edward Scriven; Henry Edridge]
Publication details: 
[London, circa 1805?]
£35.00

Paper dimensions 25.5 x 19 cm. Plate dimensions 22 x 16 cm. The head-and-shoulders portrait itself is oval, 7 cm high and 5.5 cm wide, contained in a square 11 x 9.5 cm, and with the caption beneath it. Printed on aged paper, with the image itself and the caption are clean and crisp, but the paper carries a crease to the margin, and there is light staining intruding into the surrounding square. Dibdin gives an account of Miller, whose son was the noted bookseller William Miller of Albemarle Street, in his 'Bibliomania' (1811 ed., pp.630-31).

Large engraved armorial bookplate of Hereson de Brecksel.

Author: 
Hereson de Brecksel [bookplate]
Publication details: 
Date and place not stated. [Eighteenth century?]
£50.00

On one side of a piece of wove paper 19 x 14.5 cm, and with the image extending almost to the edges. Lightly aged and creased, but good overall. An usual design, with the coat of arms within a fleece held up by two figures of Hercules, both on pedestals, the one of the left marked 'HUMUS' and that on the right 'SUMUS'. The fleece folds over the left-hand Hercules's right shoulder and reads 'LE CULTE EN' with 'DIFFICULTE' over the left-hand Hercules's left shoulder. Topping the whole design, above a coronet, is a harpy, and at the foot of the paper is 'Hereson de Brecksel'.

Menu for a dinner of the Worshipful Company of Stationers at Brusnwick Hotel, Blackwall. With ornate doily cut border.

Author: 
The Worshipful Company of Stationers [Stationers' Company; paper doily]
Publication details: 
London: 18 July 1855.
£65.00

On one side of a piece of wove paper roughly 23.5 x 19 cm. A delicate and scarce piece of ephemera, in a remarkably good state of repair. Possibly a proof, as a thin blank strip along one of the vertical edges, intended to be detached and discarded, still adheres. The menu itself is crisply printed in the centre, covering a space roughly 17 x 13.5 cm.

Itemised invoice, and receipt signed by Thornton, to 'Llewellin Esqr.'

Author: 
James Thornton, bookseller of 33 High Street, Oxford [Thornton's bookshop; Joseph Thornton (1808-1891)]
Publication details: 
Marked as paid on 17 March 1876. On the firm's printed letterhead.
£56.00

Printed on one side of a piece of paper 13.5 x 16.5 cm. In good condition. Ruled in light blue, with letterhead in black: 'To James Thornton, New and Second-Hand Bookseller, Stationer, &c., 33, High Street, opposite University College Gateway. | Books bought or exchanged. | Binding in all its branches. | Interest Charged after Twelve Months' Credit. | The usual discount for cash.' Lists purchases made on four dates between November 1875 and January 1876, totalling £2 1s 10d, and marked as 'Subject to discount'. Beneath this, in purple ink is written 'Paid 17/3/76.

Anonymous pamphlet [attributed in manuscript on cover to Carter] entitled 'Charles Scribner's Sons, 23, Bedford Square, London'. Containing four photographs of the firm's new London premises.

Author: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, booksellers and publishers of New York and London [Charles Kingsley; John Carter; architecture; Bedford Square]
Publication details: 
Charles Scribner's Sons. 'New York, July, 1931.' ['The Scribner Press, 311-319 West 43d Street, New York.]
£45.00

8vo: 4 pp, surrounding a bifolium carrying 4 pp of photographs. Stitched. Printed on laid paper and nicely produced. Lightly creased, and with the covers grubby and lightly-spotted. Begins 'CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, their London house having outgrown its quarters in Regent Street, have moved to twenty-three Bedford Square where they are occupying one of the old Adam houses, the lease of which they have purchased from the Bedford estate.' The four photographs consist of an exterior view, the 'Manager's office', 'One of the Adam fireplaces' and 'Entrance hall'.

Obituary notice headed 'MR. JOHN CASSELL. Born January 23rd, 1817. Died April 2nd, 1865.'

Author: 
Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, London publishers [John Cassell (1817-1865)]
Publication details: 
Dated 'CASSELL, PETTER, & GALPIN. LA BELLE SAUVAGE YARD, April 3rd, 1865.'
£25.00

On one side of a piece of paper 21 x 14 cm. Mourning border. Very good, on lightly aged and spotted paper. Twenty-four lines of text announcing the 'death of our esteemed partner [...] for so many years [...] our fellow-labourer in the field of literary enterprise'. Cassell is described as 'a man of vigorous intellect and untiring energy, whose constant aim it was to render effectual assistance towards moral, social, and religious elevation of the people'.

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