Items that Yesterday's Muse Books plans to bring to the 2016 Book Fair.
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The Color Purple
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982
245 pp. 8vo. First edition. Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and inspiration for the film of the same name. Signed without inscription by Alice Walker on title page. Spine head & foot very slightly faded, otherwise no visible flaws; unusually sharp corners, square, tight binding, no external or internal markings. The best copy we have seen.
Genre: Fiction, Literature, Books to Film, African-American Authors, Pulitzer, National Book Award, Alice Walker
This volume is part of a large collection of signed first editions by women authors that we recently acquired, which comprises nearly 1000 volumes. Please inquire if you have an interest in receiving more information about this collection.
Incunable: Single Leaf from Theophrastus' Peri Phyton Altion [On the Causes of Plants]
Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1497
Pages 133/134 of the edition of Peri Phyton Altion, or On the Causes of Plants, printed by Aldus Manutius in 15th century Venice. Theophrastus was a successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school at the Lyceum, and is often considered the father of botany, though his writings treated a variety of other scientific and philosophical topics. This particular work was influential in Renaissance science: it and his other major work on the subject, Enquiry into Plants, are among the most important botanical works of the period, and put forward the first mode of systematization within the discipline. Equally important (if not more so) is the publisher of this edition: Aldus Manutius was a very important printer and publisher in 15th century Venice, known for his Aldine Press, the invention of italicized type, influence of our modern usage of the semicolon and comma, and the marketing of inexpensive, portable books which presaged the popularity of modern paperbacks. His publisher's device, a dolphin wrapped around an anchor, was instantly popular and widely pirated. It is still used by Doubleday. During his career, he made a number of innovations related to binding and design, and his efforts to publish Greek classics (such as this one), as well as Latin and Italian ones, played no small role in the survival of many works to the modern day that would otherwise have been lost to history.
Condition: Near fine. Matted and framed. Slight wrinkle, but overall extremely well-preserved - no tears, stains, chips, or other markings.
Genre: Early Printing, Aldine Press, Aldus Manutius, Botany, Botanical, Theophrastus, Incunable, Incunabula, 15th Century
The Emerald City of Oz
Baum, L. Frank
Chicago: The Reilly & Britton Co., 1910
295,  pp. 8vo. Light blue cloth. First edition, first state, binding A (Bienvenue 47; Hanff 61) - advertisement on verso of ownership page lists through John Dough and the Cherub; metallic background and accents to front picture plate; black & orange pictorial endpapers. 16 color plates and numerous black & white illustrations by John R. Neill. The sixth title in Baum's immortal Oz series.
Condition: Very good. Two tiny chips from edge of color plate on front board, rear hinge just beginning to weaken, corners a bit rubbed, pencil name on ownership page.
Genre: Children's Classics, Fiction, Wizard of Oz, Oziana
Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, Part First and Part Second, with Illustrations [Volumes I & II]
Alcott, Louisa M. [May]
Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869
341; 359 pp. 1869/1870 reprint of original edition (BAL 158 & 159), with 'Part First' on spine of volume 1, text breaks noted in BAL 158 description, and advertisement for two volume set in terminal ad section. 12-page ad section follows text of each volume. Plum cloth, gilt titles. Illustrated with engravings. The classic story of the March sisters, which was an immediate success and led to two sequels, as well as numerous adaptations to stage and screen.
Condition: Very good. Spines faded, both volumes professionally recased with new end sheets, boards lightly rubbed with minor loss of gilt, pencil gift note on front flyleaf of each. Gulliver 27-30.
Genre: Literature, Fiction, Transcendentalists, American Authors
1836 Broadside Advertising Public Auction of Livestock, Farming Utensils, and Household Furnishings in Chatham [Columbia County, New York]
Full text reads: 'Vendue. The subscriber will offer for sale at public auction, at his residence in Chatham, on the 28th of March, inst., commencing at 10 o'clock, A.M., the following personal property, consisting of a lot of first rate Cows, 1 yoke of Oxen, 1 yoke of 2 year old Steers, Young Cattle, 100 Sheep, Hogs, 1 Ox cart, ploughs and farming utensils, of every description, together with household furniture, and many other articles not mentioned. Terms of Sale. On all sums exceeding $5, a credit of 6 months with approved Notes without interest, if paid when due, otherwise interest from date. Under that sum, Cash. N.B. In order to close the sale in one day, early attendance is requested. John Gifford. Chatham, March 4, 1836.' Gifford is listed in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses as a farmer in Phelps, NY (Ontario County), so this sale was apparently occasioned by an earlier relocation. According to the census data, he would have been in his early 40s at this point, with three children.
Condition: Good. Moderately foxed, one vertical and four horizontal creases (this was likely mailed), 1 inch tear to middle crease.
Genre: Ephemera, Broadside, Chatham, Auction, New York, NY, Livestock, Advertising, Rural