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Some more great reviews

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday, we looked at some of the good reviews our books have recently received. Today we look at the rest!

 The History of the Library in Western Civilization IV: The Medieval World in the West – From Cassiodorus to Furnival by Konstantinos Staikos

Covering the period from about 330AD to the mid-14th century in only 500 pages, one understands that this in not a full-scale history of libraries over 1000 years in the West. Rather it is an overview, focusing on particular themes and vignettes that illustrate the evolution of library collections, management, architecture and users during this period. This is not to say that this work lacks scholarship; like the preceding volumes in the series, it is indeed a work of scholarship, with copious notes, in one instance nine pages of notes for 34 pages (and with copious illustrations), showing how deeply the author has read, synthesized and interpreted his knowledge of the facts.

Overall this work, like others in the series, offers a good overview and in this sense will stand the test of time.

-G. E. Gorman, Australian Library Journal

Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age by Joel Silver

Silver’s story is interestingly told, and he relies heavily on the letters exchanged by the two principal characters in it.

We do get an inside look at the back and forth negotiations between a major antiquarian bookseller and entertainer, and a major collector, and that is useful information to have. The book is generously illustrated, and since it reproduces the typography of the letterpress edition printed by the Bird & Bull Press in 2010, it is a more than usually handsome book for a trade edition.

-Bruce Whiteman, SHARP News

 Arthur Miller: A Descriptive Bibliography by George W. Crandell

Well bound and printed, there is an attractive dust jacket designed by Laura R. Williams.

It should be purchased by all libraries collecting twentieth century American literature and cultural achievements.

-William Baker, Emerald Journal, Reference Reviews

Historical Types from Gutenberg to Ashendene by Stan Knight 

Like its predecessor Historical Types a modest book in scale and appearance that deceptively hides a wealth of information, all of it solidly researched.

Promises to become an essential resource for anyone studying or teaching typography

-Paul Shaw, Codex Magazine

 Christina Rossetti: A Descriptive Bibliography by Maura Ives

Nobody will doubt that Maura Ives’s meticulous bibliography is a much-needed contribution to the study of English literature.

Even scholars who have worked on Rossetti’s publishing history will find much that is new here, especially in the three central sections which detail many previously unrecorded appearances in print.

Ives’s documenting of the printings of Rossetti’s work by Robert Brothers of Boston, beginning with Poems (1866), is, by itseld, a notable contribution to understanding Rossetti’s publishing history and one which should encourage further research.

Maura Ives’s bibliography, evidently based on years of determined and careful research, should prove both an incitement to further scholarly work an and important resource for those undertaking that work.

It should be put beside Rebecca Crump’s edition of the poems in every university library.

-Simon Humphries, Victorian Poetry

Books as History: The Importance of Books beyond Their Texts by David Pearson

Chapter 1 (Books as History) raises questions regarding books in the suture, where the bookworld is going and how we will manage the book if we see it only as content and not as artifact. But does this diminish the content that matters most to the hoi polloi? Pearson challenges in a gentle, oblique way.

The other chapters, dealing with provenance, binding, ownership marking, marginalia, etc. are interesting and not overly precious. They convey the author’s message clearly and with excellent illustrations, as well as humour.

-G. E. Gorman, Australian Library Journal

 Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography by David Alan Richards

Richards describes Livingston’s bibliography as “monumental” and Stewart’s as “magisterial”, and both adjectives can be applied to his own, which now replaces them.

The entries are by no means dry bibliographical details, but often contain lengthy notes of biographical interest

Unlike many bibliographies, this is therefore often a readable and interesting text, even for a non-specialist.

-David Geall, Emerald Journal, Reference Reviews

David Alan Richards has produced a masterful example of modern bibliographical research.

Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography is an incredible resource to collectors of Kipling’s works and to bookbinders who are looking to identify binding copies of his first editions.

-Frank Lehmann, Guild of Book Workers

Greek Library: The Konstantinos Sp. Staikos Book Collection Henceforth the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Library by Konstantinos Sp. Staikos

The book is an aesthetic treasure and a fine resource. It reveals the long, rich history of Greek writing and its role in the formation of the modern Greek nation.

-Carol G. Thomas, SHARP News

 Small Books for the Common Man: A Descriptive Bibliography edited by John Meriton

Perhaps the first ironic detail to note about Small Books for the Common Man is the sheer bulk of this bibliography, containing as it does over 800 individual entries of nineteenth century chapbooks from the National Art Library’s collection. However, the book itself is a delight to behold and vastly informative on many levels.

Students, librarians, and archivists will all find something of interest

-Sarah Powell, Emerald Journal, Reference Reviews

Book-Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use by G. Thomas Tanselle

Tanselle (Columbia Univ.) offers one of the very few books devoted to the study of the book jacket or dust jacket.

The text features 24 color plates and is superbly printed and bound.

Highly recommended. A general audience of book lovers, interested undergraduates, and researchers/faculty.

-W. Baker, CHOICE

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An excerpt from Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography

April 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography by Dave Richards doesn’t just include the basic details of each of Kipling’s books. Instead, it provides extensive and specific notes on each of the listings, letting the reader get a true understanding of every book. Take a look at this excerpt from Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography that contains Richard’s notes on two of Kipling’s titles.

A76 THE JUNGLE BOOK 1894

Notes: Of the seven stories and seven poems comprising The Jungle Book, only the stories had previously appeared in periodicals (in 1893 and 1894), and when collected here, each story had an additional verse heading appended.  (All of the poems and all of the verse chapter headings were to be collected in Songs from Books [London, 1913, A265].)  Macmillan continued to publish all subsequent English editions, including the Uniform edition of 1899 and the Library edition of 1950. The imprint changed during the print run of the First English Edition: in the first copies, the printer is ‘R. & R. Clark’, whereas in later printings it is ‘R. & R. Clark Ltd.’, reflecting the English law that whenever a firm becomes limited in liability, it must indicate the change wherever it prints its name. In some copies the blank leaf before the fore-title is lacking. Eight of the illustrations are by the author’s father John Lockwood Kipling. The manuscripts of The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, including all of the stories and some of the poems in those books, were presented to the British Library by Caroline Kipling in 1940.

The English edition differs from the simultaneously published American edition [A77] in several respects. There is no list of illustrations in the London edition, and the final story is entitled ‘The Servants of the Queen’ (appearing as ‘Her Majesty’s Servants’ in the New York edition). The jungle animals’ names vary: in the English edition, the kite is ‘Chil’, in the American, ‘Rann’; in the English, the porcupine is ‘Sahi’, in the American, ‘Ikki’; the peacock is ‘Mor’ in the English, and ‘Moa’ in the American. The American edition of  ‘“Tiger-Tiger”’ [A77] has seven lines of text (beginning in the third line on p. 128) which are not found in the English edition. Conversely, the English edition contains just over eight lines (beginning with the fourth line on p. 72) which are not found in the American book’s text of this story.

Published on 22 May 1894, The Jungle Book was reprinted twice in 1894 (June and August), twice in 1895, and once each in 1896, 1897, 1898, and 1899. The Preface, omitted in the ‘fifteenth thousand’ issue in 1894, was restored in 1899 in the Uniform edition (red cloth with the Ganesha device on the front cover). In that edition the text was revised, and the revised text was thereupon used for volumes bound in the original 1894 format as well as for volumes in the Uniform edition style.  Omitted from these printings were the frontispiece, the fore-title, and the end leaf of advertisements, while the title of the last story was changed to conform to the American title ‘Her Majesty’s Servants’ and its illustrations were omitted. The Jungle Book was reprinted in the Uniform edition in 1900-03, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1929, 1932, 1937, 1943-44, and 1947; the types were reset for the Library edition in 1950 [D26]. In 1934, Mrs. Rudyard Kipling loaned for display at the Second Sunday Times’ Book Exhibition twenty foreign language editions of The Jungle Books, in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, and Slovak.

Ballard writes that this was the first of Kipling’s books to be issued with a dustjacket, and he owned one with a wrapper of “plain paraffine paper” [B98, p. 113 and Ballard 1942 107].  The question is not free from doubt: in Livingston’s extensive correspondence with Kipling’s literary agent A. S. Watt on this point (now at Houghton Harvard), publisher (later Prime Minister) Harold Macmillan is quoted as saying that his firm had no records of a dustjacket, although one employee claimed to remember one (Watt to Livingston, 20 July 1937); Percy Hodder Williams of Hodder & Stoughton, on the other hand, advised Watt that “publishers never used a jacket in the days of the first ‘Jungle Book’” and that instead the books came in “packed between ‘binders’ boards’, just as they were pressed after leaving the binders’ hands” (Watt to Livingston, 31 July 1937).  However, the copy of Dickens bibliographer John Eckel [Eckel 1935 256, NYPL Berg] has an “original glazed tissue dustjacket” (presumably like the Ballard copy’s), with Eckel’s personal note attesting to his belief in its authenticity, and saying that he had seen a second copy with the same wrapper; the Marsden Perry copy [Perry 1936 307] was similarly jacketed, so while these are the only three copies on record with such dustjackets, it seems probable that Macmillan indeed employed them to protect the elaborate gilt ornamentation on the spine and front board of the First English Edition. In and after 1895 a pictorial dustjacket was employed bearing illustrations from the book, to complement the similar bluish gray paper dustjacket lettered and illustrated in dark blue used for The Second Jungle Book published that same year.

A346  LAND AND SEA TALES FOR SCOUTS AND GUIDES 1923

Notes: Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, had invited Kipling to the ‘Posse of Welcome’ of Cub Scouts staged to greet the Prince of Wales on his return from a world tour on 7 October 1922, and by June 1923 the author was reviewing his scrapbook for material that might be suitable for a book of stories for Scouts. Whether Kipling’s appointment that year as Scout Commissioner (noted on the title-page) inspired him to compile the book, or advance news of his book induced Baden-Powell to make the appointment, cannot at present be guessed, according to Hugh Brogan’s Mowgli’s Sons: Kipling and Baden-Powell’s Scouts [1987, Bl113], p. 53. Appearing in good time for the Christmas trade, the book was priced at 4s, deliberately low to allow wide circulation among (boy) Scouts and (girl) Guides.

The eleven stories and eight poems comprising this collection were composed between 1898 and 1923. One story (‘His Gift ’) and seven poems are published here for the very first time, and the other poem (‘The Nurses’) and four of the stories (‘The Way That He Took’, ‘A Flight of Fact’, ‘A Parable of Boy Jones’, and ‘“Stalky”’) had previously appeared only in periodicals; the author also provides a linking commentary in the form of prefatory paragraphs before seven of the stories, to bring out their special significance for scouting and its principles. The remaining six stories had already appeared in book form, although for this edition he revised the 1897 article ‘Winning the Victoria Cross’, to bring it up to date, and this is the first entire reprinting of ‘An English School’, which had appeared in Youth’s Companion for 18 October 1893 and previously been collected in shortened form in The Boyhood of Famous Authors [1897, B21]. (‘“Stalky”’, written in 1898, was omitted from Stalky & Co. [1899, A144], but was to be included in The Complete Stalky & Co. [1929, A381]). This title appeared in Macmillan’s Uniform Edition in 1925 with twelve full-page illustrations by H. R. Millar (Stewart 507), and in a simultaneously published Pocket Edition. Volume XVI of the Sussex Edition, entitled Land and Sea Tales and Thy Servant a Dog, included for the first time in book form in England the story ‘A Tabu Tale’, a Just So Story which had appeared originally in the September 1903 Windsor Magazine, and had been previously collected in the United States in Volume XX of the Outward Bound edition [1903, A189].

A copy is known with a tipped-in letter dated 15 November 1923 from publisher Harold Macmillan (later Great Britain’s Prime Minister) to printer Edward Clark of R. & R. Clark, Limited, declaring that the “production of this book must be almost a record”, and noting that he had written on the flyleaf of the enclosed copy “the remarkable history of its manufacture.” Those notes comprising the presentation inscription read:  “[‘Copy’ sent to printer Oct 22nd | Early copies sent off  by printer Oct 30th | Final sheets (35,000) sent off  by printer Nov 7th.] | Edward Clark. | Nov. 1923. | from the grateful publishers.” (The Macmillan Archive in the British Library states that 35,500 copies were printed.) The Grolier Catalogue entry for this book says that the official publication date was 23 November, but that copies were actually sold on November 7; the evidence of Macmillan’s notes makes that unlikely, but on the same evidence bound copies were clearly available on 15 November. The book was reprinted twice in November 1923 (42,000 copies) and twice again in December (42,500 copies).

Click here for more information on Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography.

“I was a collector before I was a bibliographer” The story behind Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography

April 5, 2011 1 comment

Dave Richards, author of Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography, explains how his interest in Kipling developed from an original fascination with “soldier poets” of World War I. Read to see how he developed the largest-known Kipling collection.

Dave Richards

Like all bibliographers of Kipling who preceded me, I was a collector before I was a bibliographer. And it didn’t start with Kipling. While a student at Cambridge University, with my first intensive study of World War I, I became fascinated by the phenomenon of the “soldier poets” and their contrast of life in the trenches with their pre-war existence, and much later in life began collecting first editions of Sassoon, Graves, and Owen. A complete collection of Wilfred Owen, however, is something like six volumes, and the collector’s itch cannot be so frequently scratched.

Those years of study in England also included my first academic instruction in the history of the modern British Empire, and it belatedly came to me that, if I collected Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), I would be acquiring works that spanned from the glory days of the British Raj, through and past World War I, where Kipling lost his older son–and there were so many first edition titles to collect, British and American and Indian and Canadian and French (even, I discovered, Australian and Chilean).

From my collection, eventually the largest assemblage of Rudyard Kipling books and manuscripts collection ever assembled anywhere, and from consulting the old bibliographies in building it and discovering their omissions and mistakes, came the impetus to write the first new Kipling bibliography in fifty years. His first serious bibliographer, E. W. Martindell, wrote the second, Flora Livingston in 1923, “I do not think it possible, even with his aid, for there ever to be a complete bibliography of his writings in prose and verse.”  Maybe not, but I have tried, and keep supplementing that effort with my “Additions and Corrections” feature on the Oak Knoll website (perhaps a unique feature among modern bibliographies, for which I thank Oak Knoll, so no one can say “Not in Richards” once I learn of the new facts!).  My final feeling is that of the author himself: as Kipling wrote in Some Aspects of Travel in 1914:

“Forgive me, ladies and gentlemen! I will not go on with the catalogue, although I feel like the commercial traveler in the story, who said: ‘If you don’t care to look at my samples, d’you mind my having a look at ’em?  It’s been so long since I’ve seen them.'”

Thank you for sharing, Dave! Click here to find out more about Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography.