Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Recommendation: "Phillis Wheatley"

Since the author was a long-term research fellow at MHS while I worked there, and I am acknowledged in the book, I won't call this a review, but simply a recommendation. Vincent Carretta's Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (University of Georgia Press, 2011) is a thorough, cautious, and absolutely indispensable new study of Wheatley's life and works, and you should read it.

By carefully re-examining the known documentary record and uncovering more than a few entirely new sources during the course of his research, Carretta has written the most complete biography of Wheatley to date, one I think is unlikely to be surpassed (barring the emergence of some significant new evidence in the future, anyway). He successfully "busts" many of the myths that have sprung up around Wheatley, and ably locates her within the dual contexts of the overall transatlantic literary culture of the 1770s and the nascent trend of publications by people of African descent in the Anglo-American world.

Carretta's explication of Wheatley's connections in and around Boston during the 1760s and early 1770s makes for fascinating reading, as does his chapter on her trip to London in 1773. He carefully mines her correspondence and writings for details of who she met, the sights she saw, the books she purchased, and how the trip affected not only the publication of her Poems but also her own legal status.

While much of Wheatley's post-manumission life remains nebulous given the lack of available documents, Carretta has done a great service by recreating those years to the extent possible. His research has revealed a great deal more about Phillis' husband John Peters than was previously known, and his discussion of Wheatley's married life (and what that meant for her public career) is most enlightening.

The useful notes and full bibliography (which together cover more than fifty pages) are vital parts of the book, and I'm glad (though not surprised, in this case) to see such complete documentation of the research process.

Highly recommended.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Links & Reviews

- The Universal Short Title Catalogue launched this week: Brook Palmieri has a good introduction (and recap of the launch conference) in an 8vo post.

- Here's a new one: a woman is suing bookseller Ken Lopez because he noted in a book description that a copy of Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road was inscribed to her by the author.

- Last week I noted John Plotz's Slate essay about the "What Middletown Read" database; Anne Trubek weighs in this week in the New York Times with a fantastic essay on what the database can tell us.

- From the Telegraph, a profile of retired professional quarterback Pat McInally's Winnie the Pooh collection, now for sale via Peter Harrington.

- A small "magazine" produced by Charlotte Brontë at around age 14 will be sold at Christie's next month. The book was discussed this week on NPR's "Morning Edition."

- Andrew McKie's "Bibliophilia for Beginners" in the WSJ is quite a decent book-collecting primer.

- Don't miss Garrett Scott's post on antiquarian bookselling, "The anatomy of a melancholy trade," inspired in part by Lorne Blair's "And So It Begins "(which you should also read if you haven't yet done so).

- The manuscript of Casanova's memoirs is currently on display at the Paris' Bibliothèque Nationale for the first time. The BnF acquired the manuscript last year for more than 7 million Euros. More from Bloomberg news.

- Anchora's "Faking Shakespeare" series continues with a post on the William Henry Ireland forgeries.

- The Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired the book of hours produced for François I (1539-40) by the Master of François de Rohan which sold at Christie's as part of the Arcana Collection in July for £337,250. The buyer then was Galerie Les Enluminures, and they've put a digital version of the book online.

- The Israeli paper Ma'ariv reports that an investigation has revealed more than 400 items missing from the collections of the National Library of Israel, including Einstein and Chagall letters, Kafka manuscripts, and poems by Chaim Nachman Bialik. A rough translation of the original Hebrew article is posted here.


- Maya Jasanoff's Liberty's Exiles; review by Ed Larkin in Common-place.

- Garry Wills' Verdi's Shakespeare and Rome and Rhetoric; review by John Simon in the NYTimes.

- Hugh Nissenson's The Pilgrim; review by Ron Charles in the Washington Post.

- Robert Massie's Catherine the Great; review by Wendy Smith in the LATimes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Review: "The Prague Cemetery"

Umberto Eco's latest novel, The Prague Cemetery (translated into English by Richard Dixon and published in America by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) is decidedly not for the easily offended. It's a brilliant examination of 19th-century conspiracies and the prejudice and hatred which brought them into being. Eco examines, contextualizes and offers up a fictional (but entirely plausible) explanation for a wide range of historical conspiracies, from the Dreyfuss Affair to the composition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the unification of Italy and the Franco-Prussian War. Think of this as the conspiracy that ties all the rest together.

The book's main character is Simone Simonini, a thoroughly loathsome fellow. A forger by trade, he's employed by the secret police departments of various countries to create documents and arrage sting operations that will ensare whoever happens to be the enemy at that particular moment. Many chapters are presented as entries from Simonini's diary; these alternate with sections written (and printed in a different font) by Abbé Dalla Piccola, a priest who seems to be able to recall portions of Simonini's life and career that he himself has forgotten. The two may or may not be the same person (you'll have to read the book to find out for yourself just what their relationship truly is). And an omniscient narrator occasionally breaks in to move the narrative foward a bit when the diary trails off or becomes (these chapters are printed in a third font, which is quite helpful).

Eco writes that the only fictional character in the book is Simonini himself; most of the rest of those here were real people who did pretty much what Eco has them do in the book. Only someone with as wide a literary reach as Eco would be able to pull off a book like this, with its broad overview of European history, politics, economics, religion and literary culture all wrapped up into a single character's life story. The period illustrations (most from his own collection) added throughout the text do much to enhance the text. Simonini's rapturous ravings about food were delightful to read; even though the man's a true piece of work, he can still wax rhapsodic about a good meal.

Hate is a powerful thing, and Eco has represented some of its many manifestations expertly. Not a light-hearted book, or one likely to give you good dreams, but a novel that will make you think, told by one of the smartest storytellers of our time.

This Week's Acquisitions

These books arrived this week, though they're actually all from the visit to Raven during the Boston Book Fair weekend:

- The Diary of William Bentley, D.D., Pastor of the East Church, Salem, Massachusetts; 4 v. (Peter Smith, 1962). Raven.

- Spain, Europe and the Wider World 1500-1800 by John H. Elliott (Yale University Press, 2009). Raven.

- The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve (OUP, 2008), Raven.

- The Italian by Ann Radcliffe (OUP, 2008), Raven.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: "The House of Silk"

If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, it's time to add Anthony Horowitz's new Holmes novel The House of Silk (Mulholland Books, 2011) to your reading list. It's no easy thing to take on the task of creating a new Sherlock Holmes novel, and I was a little worried that Horowitz wouldn't be up to the challenge. I'm pleased to say that I was wrong; he's written a story that does Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle proud.

Framed by Watson as a long-hidden manuscript which couldn't be published during the lifetime of anyone involved, this is as dark a mystery as any of the canonical stories. Filled with references to other Holmes adventures (I had great fun playing spot-the-allusion as I read) and capturing the voice and power of the original stories in a way that few other of the pastiches I read have done, The House of Silk is thoroughly enjoyable.

There are some regrettable typos and other errors scattered throughout, but they're no reason not to read this book. I think you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Links & Reviews

- Last weekend's Boston Book Fair was declared a "great success" by the ABAA, and judging by the level of activity on the floor things certainly seemed to go quite well. I always enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new ones over the three days of the fair, and this year combining it with our LibraryThing meetup worked quite well (though after the fair and six bookstore visits in one day, I was pretty exhausted!).

- New blogs: Notabilia, from Princeton: "An in-progress registry of provenance, bindings, annotations, and other evidence for book history from the rare book collections at Princeton." And SCRC Behind the Scenes, from the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse. Links added to the sidebar.

- Don't miss Leah Price's NYTimes essay from last weekend, "The Subconscious Shelf."

- Very exciting news that the Universal Short-Title Catalogue plans to launch on 22 November! At launch the database will contain bibliographic information on some 355,000 editions published in Europe before 1601.

- From the Wesleyan Special Collections blog, a good example of traditional scholarship and modern technology coming together to resolve a bibliographic puzzle.

- At The Collation, Sarah Werner takes a closer look at the books on display in the beautiful header photo used on the blog.

- John Plotz writes in Slate about the "What Middletown Read" database.

- Fine Books Blog continues its Bright Young Things series, interviewing Matthew and Adrienne Raptis of Raptis Rare Books.

- Adam Gopnik's got a great piece in this week's New Yorker about turkeys, honor, and the American idea.

- The Faking Shakespeare series continues at Anchora with a look at the theory that Francis Bacon wrote not just the works of Shakespeare, but also those of Edmund Spenser.

- The Grolier Club has released a preliminary schedule for Bibliography Week 2012.

- Winners of this year's National Book Awards were announced.


- Umberto Eco's The Prague Cemetery; review by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein in the NYTimes.

- Robert Massie's Catherine the Great; reviews by Kathryn Harrison in the NYTimes and Kathy Lally in the Washington Post.

- Hugh Nissenson's The Pilgrim; review by Maureen Corrigan on NPR.

- Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk; review by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post.

- David Pearson's Books at History; review by Nigel Beale at Nota Bene Books.

- Colin Woodard's American Nations; review by Alec MacGillis in the Washington Post.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Auction Report: November Highlights and Previews


- Full results for the 2-3 November Art + Object auction of the Pycroft Collection of Rare New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Books [PDF] are here [PDF]. The sale brought in a total of NZ$546,060, with 596 of 632 lots selling. Highlights at Antipodean Footnotes.

- At the 3 November PBA Galleries Travel, Natural History, Medicine and Cartography sale, just 137 of 239 lots sold. The top lot was a copy of Aurel Stein's Innermost Asia (1928), which fetched $14,400.

- On 9 November at the Sotheby's Paris Livres et Manuscrits sale, 170 of 241 lots sold (full results here), for a total of €3,484,102. Top billing was shared by La Prose du Transsibérien of Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay (1913) and a 1595 edition of Montaigne's Essais. Both lots sold for €288,750 (the Montaigne much surpassing its €80,000-120,000 estimate). The collection of 126 Revolutionary decrees and the 1475 Augsburg Bible did not sell.

- The same day's Livres Précieux de la Bibliothèque d'un Amateur sale brought in €1,338,103, with 117 of 131 lots selling. Full results here. The set of Buffon was indeed the high seller, fetching €264,750.

- At the Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts sale, held 13 November, the top seller was, as expected, the holographic copy of the joint Congressional resolution proposing the 13th Amendment, which sold for $225,150. The Abraham Lincoln letter to Massachusetts Governor John Andrew fetched $24,885. You can pull up full results here.

- At the Christie's New York sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts on 15 November, 162 of 211 lots sold, for a total of $2,771,687. The Thomas Jefferson letter to Mathew Carey was the top lot, at $218,500. John Speed's The Threatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (1611-12) did well, selling for $194,500. The two leaves from George Washington's draft (and undelivered) first inaugural address fetched $182,500. Darwin's Origin made $134,500, while Roberts & Croly's The Holy Land sold for $122,500. The two Gironcourt manuscript maps, the 16th-century composite atlas, Hemingway's typewriter, and the John Adams letter failed to sell.

- At Sotheby's London's 15 November sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History, 134 of 203 lots sold, for a total of £2,246,400. Full results here. The Linnaeus Tripe photographs of Burma (1855) sold for £241,250, and another Tripe set, photographs of Mysore, India (1854) made £181,250. Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum fetched £151,250, while The 1566 Cimerlinus world map sold for £145,250.

- At the 17 November, Rare Books and Manuscripts sale at PBA Galleries, 122 of 229 lots found homes. The 1613 folio King James Bible was the top seller, reaching $33,000. A 1933 monograph on Chinese bronzes made $30,000.


- Christie's London sells Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts on 23 November, in 83 lots. Pedro de Medina's Arte de navegar (1545) is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and a first edition Vesalius could fetch £120,000-160,000. The New York "second folio" edition of Audubon's Birds of America rates a £100,000-150,000 estimate, as does Maria Sibylla Merian's Der rupsen begin (1713-1717).

- On 29 November, Bonhams Oxford will sell Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs, in 778 lots.

- Bloomsbury sells Important Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper on 29 November, in 527 lots.

- Christie's Paris sells Importants livres anciens, livres d'artistes et manuscrits on 29 November, in 306 lots. The top estimate, €70,000-100,000, is shared by a 1540 Jean Girard Bible and a set of Nikolai Koutepov's works on Russian hunting (1896-1911).

- Sotheby's London sells Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts on 30 November, in 180 lots. Schumann's manuscript of Szenen Aus Goethes "Faust" rates the top estimate, at £700,000-800,000. A first edition of Copernicus' De revolutionibus (1543) is estimated at £500,000-700,000.

This Week's Acquisitions (and Last)

Missed a week as I was in Boston, so here are some recent new arrivals (including one bunch of the books from my first visit to the Boston shops in six months ...)

- New England Life in the Eighteenth Century: Representative Biographies from Sibley's Harvard Graduates by Clifford Kenyon Shipton (Harvard University Press, 1995). Amazon (used).

- From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (Telegram Books, 2011). Publisher.

- Book History (Volume 14); edited by Ezra Greenspan and Jonathan Rose (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011). SHARP.

- Republic of Words: The Atlantic Monthly and Its Writers, 1857-1925 by Susan Goodman (University Press of New England, 2011). Publisher.

- The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz (Mulholland Books, 2011). Publisher.

- The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (Random House, 2011). Publisher.

- The Foresters, an American Tale: Being a Sequel to the History of John Bull the Clothier. In a Series of Letters to a Friend by Jeremy Belknap (Printed at Boston: By I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, [Proprietors of the Work.] Sold by them, J. White, D. West, and E. Larkin, in Boston; by Thomas, Son & Thomas, in Worcester; by Thomas, Andrews & Butler, in Baltimore; and by Thomas, Andrews & Penniman, in Albany - Nov. 1796). My Boston Book Fair purchase, from John Hendsey.

- The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (Houghton Mifflin, 2011). Amazon.

- The Diary of Joseph Farington - Volume II: January 1795 - August 1796; edited by Kenneth Garlick and Angus Macintyre (Yale University Press, 1978). ABE.

- The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo (Gotham Books, 2011). Longfellow Books.

- The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff (W.W. Norton, 2011). Brattle.

- The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy by Bernd Heinrich (HUP, 2011). Brattle.

- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson (Crown, 2011). Brattle.

- Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Postcolonial Nation by Kariann Akemi Yokota (OUP, 2011). Brattle.

- Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism by Maurice Jackson (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). Brattle.

- Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Anthony Grafton and Daniel Rosenberg (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010). Brattle.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Links & Reviews

I've probably missed lots of good links this week since I've been on the road; I'll catch up and get them into next weekend's post!

- Ken Jenning's Slate slideshow, "A History of Map Monsters" is well worth a look.

- Kathleen Lynch writes about Guy Fawkes as "British folk hero" (or, more appropriately, not that at all), and a 2005 Folger symposium on the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.

- Bonhams is opening a D.C. office.

- Also at The Collation this week, Nadia Sadler highlights a new finding guide to the E. Williams Watermark collection. I really like the discussion of some of the many factors that come into play when processing a collection like this. Great stuff!

- Dava Sobel talked on NPR about her new book A More Perfect Heaven.

- From the Library History Buff Blog, a look at a literal "battle of the books" at Dartmouth College (with a link to a digital version of a history of Dartmouth's library, too).

- Really neat exhibition from the Dunedin Public Library: Signs & Symbols; Decoding Medieval and Renaissance Iconography.

- A new exhibition, at the British Library highlights manuscripts and books collected by Britain's medieval monarchs.


- Eric Rasmussen's The Shakespeare Thefts; review at Bookride.

- Adam Nicolson's The Gentry; review by Andrew Lycett in the Telegraph.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Off to Boston!

After a much too brief visit to my old stomping grounds, Union College (where I was very honored to give a talk last night to mark the 50th anniversary of the college's Schaffer Library*) I'm off to Boston this morning for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, which opens tonight at 5 p.m. and runs through the weekend. As always there are a whole bunch of other good bibliophilic events going on around Boston over the weekend: activities at the fair, the smaller book, print & ephemera fair, the Skinner auction on Sunday, &c. &c.

I'll be at the fair tonight; tomorrow we're having a big LibraryThing meetup, a whole day of book-shopping, eating, and of course a visit to the fair as well. If you're in town, feel free to join us for that too, if you like! Then Sunday I'll be back at the fair for a shift at the RBMS table.

I'm giving another talk on Tuesday afternoon to a Harvard library group, so I'll be in Boston/Cambridge until then, getting some research done and paying visits. And then I will be headed back to Portland, probably exhausted enough to sleep for a week or two!

I hope to see many of you this weekend during the festivities!

*More about the talk after I get through the next few days, I promise.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Book Review: "A Study in Sherlock"

A new collection of Sherlock Holmes-inspired short stories edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, A Study in Sherlock (Bantam, 2011) makes for terrific reading. While as with most collections (and most pastiches), some are better than others, on the whole the pieces in this volume are of very high quality.

The stories vary widely, ranging from retellings of canonical Holmes tales from different perspectives, entirely new adventures featuring Holmes and Watson (including one in which he assists in the assassination of President McKinley), modern-day mysteries inspired by Holmes (or Holmesiana), and even a story from the perspective of Mrs. Hudson, Holmes' landlady at 221B Baker Street.

I particularly liked Alan Bradley's "You'd Better Go In Disguise," Tony Broadbent's "As to 'An Exact Knowledge of London'," Lee Child's "The Bone-headed League," Neil Gaiman's "The Case of Death and Honey," and Charles Todd's "The Case that Holmes Lost."

A great book to spend a nice autumn weekend with, I found. It'll remind you of all the best parts of the Holmes stories, and make you want to read and enjoy them all over again.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Links & Reviews

- Steve Ferguson points out some very useful Flickr sites for provenance research.

- Houghton Library has announced the acquisition of a spectacular collection of 16th-century annotated books.

- Jacob Bernstein covers the Barry Landau story for The Daily Beast.

- Paul Collins writes a history of prank calling in defunct.

- The November Fine Books Notes is out: it includes my review of Eric Rasmussen's The Shakespeare Thefts, Ian McKay's writeup of the English Bibliophile sale, &c.

- A lawsuit by the Armenian Orthodox Church against the J. Paul Getty Museum has been allowed to continue. The church is demanding the return of pages from the Zeyt'un Gospels, purchased by the Getty in 1994.

- The David Livingstone Spectral Imaging Project has unveiled a digital edition of Livingstone's 1871 field journal.

- The Library Company is now making podcasts of its events available through iTunes.

- Also out this week, the November AE Monthly.

- Robert Darnton has a new NYRB piece on the DPLA; I haven't gotten to read the full version yet, but will probably comment further once I've done so.

- New from the Folger, Impos[i]tor, a nifty new imposition simulator.

- From the AAS blog, a list of books published recently which draw upon their collections.

- At The Awl, Jenny Hendrix has an essay about the legacy of Sherlock Holmes: "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Impudent Scholars."

- New blog: American Book Collecting, by Kurt Zimmerman. I've added a sidebar link.

- Oxford University Press has launched their always-great holiday sale.

- The Fine Books Blog "Bright Young Things" series continues with Kent Tschanz of Ken Sanders Rare Books.

- On NPR this weekend, Neil McGregor talked about his book A History of the World in 100 Objects, and Robert Massie discussed his new biography of Catherine the Great.


- Umberto Eco's The Prague Cemetery; review by Arthur Sabatini in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

- Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens: A Life and Robert Douglas-Fairhurst's Becoming Dickens; review by David Gates in the NYTimes.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

This Week's Acquisitions

A couple new books I couldn't wait any longer for, plus some intriguing forthcoming titles from the folks at Quirk Books:

- Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage by Vincent Carretta (University of Georgia Press, 2011). Amazon. Vin was working on this book as a long-term fellow at MHS when I was there, so I'm super-excited to see it!

- The Things Things Say by Jonathan Lamb (Princeton University Press, 2011). Amazon.

- Taft 2012 by Jason Heller (Quirk Books, 2012). Publisher.

- Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests That History Forgot by Joseph Cummins (Quirk Books, 2012). Publisher.

- The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss (Quirk Books, 2012). Publisher. Printed in an accordion binding.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Book Review: "Destiny of the Republic"

I was a big fan of Candice Millard's The River of Doubt, I'm pleased to report that her new book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President (Doubleday, 2011) is just as good. Millard has crafted a detailed and very readable account of Charles Guiteau's attack on President James Garfield in 1881, as well as of the tense months following the shooting as Garfield languished before finally dying.

Millard concentrates on Garfield himself, as well as Guiteau (framing his actions within the context of his very troubled life), Garfield's self-appointed chief doctor, Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss (yes, that was his name) and Alexander Graham Bell. What? Alexander Graham Bell, you say? Indeed, the inventor of the telephone played an important role in the attempted treatment of the wounded president (and, as you'll read, probably would have played a larger role if not for the aforementioned Dr. Bliss).

While I knew the basic outline of the Garfield assassination story before (that he was shot but lived for a while afterward), Millard does a great job of putting that period in context, explaining what was going on in the country at the time and how various folks reacted to the events. And she outlines in sometimes sickening detail how the medical "treatments" administered by Garfield's doctors did more harm than good, without a doubt hastening and probably even causing his death.

The book also cogently explains the serious rifts within the Republican party which led to Garfield's surprise nomination in 1880 (Millard's account of the convention alone would make this book worth a read) and to the intrapartisan strife and rivalries which plagued his short presidency (and which contributed in no small way to Guiteau's actions).

Highly recommended. Good popular history at its best.

Auction Preview: November Sales

- Art + Object auctions in Auckland will sell the Pycroft Collection of Rare New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Books [PDF] on 2-3 November, in 632 lots. Highlights include a complete set of Cook's Voyages (est. NZ$18,000-30,000) and other major Pacific travel accounts.

- PBA Galleries sells Travel, Natural History, Medicine and Cartography on 3 November, in 239 lots.

- Doyle New York sells Books, Photographs and Prints on 7 November, in 560 lots. They preview the sale here.

- On 9 November at Sotheby's Paris, Livres et Manuscrits, in 241 lots. The top lot is a collection of 126 Revolutionary decrees, dated 3 November 1789 through 12 September 1790, from the collection of Rochefoucauld-Liancourt. The collection is estimated at €300,000-500,000. A 1475 Augsburg Bible rates a €220,000-320,000 estimate. One section of the sale will be devoted to a selection of lots relating to the "history of science and ideas," which features some notable items. In the evening, Sotheby's will also sell Livres Précieux de la Bibliothèque d'un Amateur, in 131 lots. Lots of sets and fine bindings here, but also a set of Buffon estimated at €80,000-100,000.

- Books will be included in the Sporting sale at Bonhams Edinburgh on 10 November.

- Also on 10 November, Bloomsbury sells Asia: Books, Maps, Prints and Posters, in 447 lots.

- Skinner's annual Boston sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts will be held on 13 November, in 940 lots. Highlights include a holographic copy of the joint Congressional resolution proposing the 13th Amendment (estimated at $200,000-300,000), an Abraham Lincoln letter to Massachusetts Governor John Andrew ($30,000-50,000), &c.

- At Christie's New York on 15 November, Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, in 211 lots. Eight lots are estimated to fetch more than $100,000: the top estimate goes to a very rare manuscript map made by Frenchman Charles Augustus de Gironcourt, showing the deployment of Hessian troops around New York during the Revolutionary War. It's estimated at $1,000,000-1,500,000. A second Gironcourt manuscript map, of Charleston, is estimated at $100,000-150,000.

A 16th-century composite atlas of (mostly) Italian maps could fetch $300,000-400,000, while a particularly interesting Thomas Jefferson letter (to Mathew Carey, waiving copyright of his manual of congressional procedure), is estimated at $200,000-300,000). Two leaves from George Washington's draft (and undelivered) first inaugural address (the manuscript of which was divided up by Jared Sparks) rates a $150,000-200,000 estimate. A copy of Roberts & Croly's The Holy Land is estimated at $100,000-150,000, while a John Adams letter (in which he complains about Washington-worship, &c.) and a presentation copy of Darwin's Origin are both estimated at $80,000-120,000. Lots of other interesting things here too, including Hemingway's typewriter ($30,000-50,000), a second edition Hyperotomachia ($20,000-30,000) and more.

- Also on 15 November, Sotheby's London sells Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History, in 203 lots. A set of 134 Linnaeus Tripe photographs of Burma (1855) is estimated at £200,000-300,000, while a 1566 Cimerlinus world map could fetch £100,000-150,000.

- On 17 November, Rare Books and Manuscripts at PBA Galleries, in 229 lots. A 1613 folio King James Bible rates the top estimate, $30,000-40,000.

- Christie's London Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts on 23 November, in 83 lots. Pedro de Medina's Arte de navegar (1545) is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and a first edition Vesalius could fetch £120,000-160,000. The New York "second folio" edition of Audubon's Birds of America rates a £100,000-150,000 estimate, as does Maria Sibylla Merian's Der rupsen begin (1713-1717).

- On 29 November, Bonhams Oxford will sell Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs, in 778 lots.

- Later in the month: Bloomsbury sells Important Books and Manuscripts on 24 November; Christie's London will sell Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including a selection from the Malcolm S. Forbes Jr. Churchill Collection and Photobooks from the Calle Collection on 28 November, and Importants livres anciens, livres d'artistes et manuscrits at Paris on 29 November. Sotheby's London sells Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts on 30 November.