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a bookseller. In those days Birmingham was not the big centre of bookselling it is
Baker (Edward) 14-16 John Bright St. Book Queries, vol. 6, pp. 110-111, describes this
Mr. Hector being himself a Frenchman.
Heynes (H. E.) 42 John Bright St. General literature, and also old and Curious
Their main business is Educational Publishing,
Holland Bros., 21 John Bright St.
Specialities, rare books and autobiographies.
Saint Jude's Depôt, 89 Station St. Speciality, Arundel Society's Publications in fine
There is also the firm of Middleton and Co., Literary Agents, 319 Broad St., who have
been established since 1901 to supply the needs of the book trade with a reference bureau. They undertake special description of valuable rare books, remainders, scrap books, books in foreign languages, and engravings and pictures. They claim to do for a valuable book what no busy bookseller can find time to do for himself, and some examples of their work that have come under my notice have presented the volumes in most attractive form.
One of the most gratifying evenings of my life was spent at the Criterion on December 11th, when the cream of the London trade responded with alacrity to an invitation to come and establish the Second-hand Booksellers' Association. I have twice before been Honorary Secretary to societies working for public benefit, but here I was among not strangers but those I had known for years, and the occasion naturally took more of what may best be described as a "family" character. Space can only be made to say that if every bookseller in the kingdom will join, the benefits to be derived from this Association will be incalculable, and any who cannot yet realise this should accept the list of the influential committee as a pledge that at last a united "trade" is in existence.
Since the last Part was issued our black friend, Seale, made a descent upon Cambridge, and called on Galloway & Porter on the day of his arrival. Mr. Porter was not, however, "taken" with him, and wrote to me for information. The immediate result was that a detective was put on the gentleman's track, and every bookseller in the town was warned. Seale had lost no time, for he had already looked out books value £40 at one place, and was hard at work all round. He spent nearly three weeks at Cambridge, changing his abode continually, and visiting pawnshops meanwhile, and eventually left no richer than he arrived, and local dealers are under a debt of obligation to Mr. Porter for his action in the matter. Mr. Porter also obtained a snapshot of him, which is among my curiosities, ready for future use. While there, and staying at the Bull Inn, Seale sent 2s. 6d. to " Lloyd's Weekly News," and obtained a set of books on the instalment plan, and no doubt promptly pawned them. He is sure to turn up again, for he has no other means of livelihood but swindling.
A very singular error crept into volume 2 of B.A.R., reproduced verbatim from a sale-catalogue. On page 71, under the heading of "Herodotus," is a copy of "The World of Wonders," by Henry Stephen, and the auction note states that it is the first complete edition of "Herodotus" in English. It is, of course, nothing of the kind, and the wonder is that such a flagrant error could ever have got into type. Bibliography is, however, full of such pitfalls, and when, during the rush of work, one tumbles into them the only thing to do is to get out again as quickly as possible.
The following instructions from the will of the late Edmond de Goncourt seem dictated by common-sense. How often has one not seen, and pitied, the aimless stare of the passer-by at, say, the Dickens MSS. at South Kensington Museum, or at MSS. at the Bri ish Museum, of which, of all the rich treasures within, only a single page can be seen by even the appreciative ones :
My wish is that my Drawings, my Prints, my Curiosities, my Books-in a word these things of art which have been the joy of my life-shall not be consigned to the cold tomb of a museum, and subjected to the stupid glance of the careless passer-by; but I require that they shall all be dispersed under the hammer of the Auctioneer, so that the pleasure which the acquiring of each one of them has given me shall be given again, in each case, to some inheritor of my own tastes."
On April 11th, 1906, I sent a copy of B.A.R. on Ghent. On October 18th M. Vyt wrote that I IS od. would accept five francs (4s. 2d.), he would keep it. in his appreciation! It is about the sort of amount smoke without missing it.
inspection to M. Camille Vyt, of was too high a price, but that if I Really, M. Vyt is overwhelming one might put in one's pipe and
One of the arguments of the parties to the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy is that as Shakespeare was the son of a country bumpkin while Bacon was a classical scholarergo, Bacon wrote " Shakespeare." I don't say he didn't, because I don't know, but doesn't genius count for something? What about John Bunyan, Charles Dickens, Robert Burns, and a few others? Who wrote their works?
The mention of the god-like quality Genius reminds one of Oscar Wilde's famous mot. Mr. Healy once recalled to him that Max Nordau asserted that all men of genius are mad. Wilde replied, "I quite agree that all men of genius are insane; but Nordau forgets that all sane people are idiots." Could it be more neatly put?
And while speaking of Bacon I may as well refer once more, and for the last time, to the fatuous "Lord" Bacon heresy. See "T.P.'s Weekly," November 16th, 1906, p. 639, in which it is pointed out that Milton never styled him other than Sir Francis Bacon, and that even Kano Fischer, the German, gives him his correct title. Yet there are cataloguers still who expose their want of education or of observation by giving him his wrong prefix. It surely does not redound to the credit of any house from which such misnomers are permitted to be issued.
The catalogue of the Art Library of the late Mr. H. F. Hornby, of Liverpool (which he bequeathed to the Free Public Library of that city), has just been printed, and can be obtained for 14s. 6d. Mr. Hornby was one of the finest characters among book
collectors I ever met. When I returned from America he not only made heavy purchases from me but, knowing, that I had experienced heavy losses on that side, he offered me the sum of £200 as a gift, which, of course, I could not accept. He left many tender memories of himself in the town in which he lived.
Mr. J. C. Thomson, 10 Craven Gardens, Wimbledon, has edited and published a Bibliography of the Writings of Tennyson which supersedes all others. Mr. Thomson had the invaluable aid of Mr. T. J. Wise, who placed at his disposal the bibliographical descriptions of seventeen of the "trial issues, including several unknown to him.
A work of reference that every bookseller in the world should have is Mr. Bertram Dobell's "Catalogue of Books printed for Private Circulation, 1906." It is invaluable because to each book recorded is an interesting note, just such as would sell the work when catalogued; and the price is only 4s. 6d. It is obvious that, as is the case with all the best work of the world, the volume has been a labour of love, void of calculation as to whether it would "pay" or not.
From "Lloyd's Weekly News." Oct. 7th, 1906 :
Nearly a quarter of a century ago Mr. John Loveday, a well-known bibliophile, announced to the literary world that, in examining a dark corner of his library, he found a little brown volume hidden behind two rows of books. He opened it, and saw that the title of the first work in it was a poem by James Gresham, printed in 1626, on a Cenci theme. At first he thought that the book had better be put on the fire, but on turning over a few leaves he espied the title of the second poem, The Passionate Pilgrime; or Certain Amorous Sonnets between Venus and Adonis,' being the third edition, published by William Jaggard in 1612. There were also The Mirror of Martyrs,' 1601; 'The King's Prophecie; or, Weeping Joy '; Spenser's Britain's Ida,' 1628; and John Marston's 'The Scourge of Villanie,' 1598.
The value of the little volume, however, lies in the Shaksperean poem, and although this is of the third edition, it is believed that only one other copy of that edition is extant-the specimen in the Bodieian. The second edition is apparently lost. Of the first, two copies are known, one having been found in a garret at Sir Charles Isham's house. For some time many collectors have been angling for this little volume, and now the book has been sold through the agency of Mr. Tom Hodge, of Sotheby's, for £2,000 It is almost unnecessary to add that the find has gone to America, where the £1,750. Richard III,' quarto, discovered at Great Missenden, went, and where Stratford-on-Avon itself would go-if allowed."
The ways of the post-office are strange and mysterious, not to say weird. For instance, you may type anything you like on a postcard, and send it for a halfpenny. If you type the same matter on a piece of paper, and send it in an open envelope, the postoffice first takes your halfpenny, and then charges the fellow at the other end a penny for the pleasure of receiving it. But-and here is where the fun comes in-if you put twenty such typed notices into twenty envelopes and make a solemn affidavit to the office girl that they are all typed circulars, then the twenty fellows at the other end are let off. I once asked a clerk what they did it for, and he said he didn't know, and he believed the post-office authorities "didn't know themselves." He said there were lots of things in the Postal Guide he didn't understand, and had never found anyone that did. One thing I have discovered, viz., that you often save 50 per cent. by sending parcels by rail instead of by parcel post. You'd hardly believe it, but it's true. The fact is that the official world is always more or less thick-headed. They walk down to the office at II a.m., open their letters, then write an essay, or a play, or something of the kind, go to lunch. write another essay, go home tired out, and leave the hall-porter to settle the regulations. At least that's the only explanation I can think of to account for the extraordinary rules laid down.
B.A.R. is sorry to lose the green cover of its youthful days, but, like everything else in this mutable world, it has to give place to change. The reason for the alteration is that you cannot print illustrations on green paper, nor can you make printed matter so clear as it should be, and as advertisements appear on the covers the matter is really of importance.
Sale-catalogues are often far more diverting than the so-called comic papers. For instance, last quarter several bindings in a particular sale were described as having "Lutetia arms," or "arms of Lutetia" on the sides. I wondered who the damsel could be, for it sounded so much like "Lucretia," and might be a misprint. Then, the volumes in question being concerned with the fêtes in the City of Paris, I remembered that the ancient Latin designation of the metropolis of Gaul was Lutetia, or Lutetia Parisiorum. Now, as the books so catalogued refer to modern Paris, why could they not be described as having "the arms of the City of Paris," as was, correctly, formerly done? I don't know why, except that it must have been an attempt towards that fine writing which distinguishes journalese from literature.
The other day I asked a friend who is a Government official if he could account for the general depression in trade and the "tightness" of money. I had in my mind the complaints of booksellers to that effect. He had no doubt whatever that it is the backwash" of the late war that is responsible, and if this is so, and as it cannot last for ever, we may look forward with some reasonable hope to better times.
Extract: "Thanks for the numbers of B.A.R., but I do not take in any works of the kind, and keep works of reference down to a minimum." Now. is it to be wondered at that this dealer is rarely heard of? Works of reference are as vital to a bookseller as is a place in which to transact his business.
The bookselling world seems to be becoming poetic in its old age. The following was dropped in my letter-box the other day;—
A subscriber said to me the other day, "I had no idea you had so much fun in you." Well, if you don't laugh at life you must perforce cry at it, and it seems much wiser to laugh. For the follies, weaknesses, wickednesses, meannesses, and unmerited mishaps to which poor human nature is subject are so manifold that existence would be insupportable if you didn't shame the devil by shewing him that you don't care a snap of the finger for him and his dirty works. That's my philosophy of life, and I manage to keep fairly young on it. If you accustom yourself to think in æons and systems, so-called "misfortunes" (which are really blessings in disguise if they make you master of yourself) don't trouble you much. You merely turn to your work, to books, and to nature, and forget such things.
35. POND STREET, HAMPSTEAD, N.W.
N.B.-All booksellers should put us on their list of names, as one never knows where, in any part
(Great Britain and Ireland)
Bath.-B. & J. F. Meehan, 32 Gay St. Catalogues 60-61 (forming one complete
Birmingham.-Edward Baker's Great Shop, 14-16 John Bright St. Catalogues
Wm, Brough & Sons, 313 Broad Street. Catalogue of a Very Interesting
William Downing's Book Catalogue, A few Beautiful Flowers gathered from
A. J. Featherstone, 91, Hill St. A New List of Desirable Books, including
John Hitchman, Cathedral Book Stores, 51 Cherry Street. Annual Clearance
G. T. Juckes & Co., 85 Aston St. Catalogues Nos. 172, 173, 174, and a
Saint Jude's Depot, 51 John Bright Street. A Complete List of the Arundel
A. D. Woodhouse, 35 John Bright St. Monthly Catalogue of Theological