AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2004 Issue

Literary Classics from<br>James Cummins Bookseller

R6b

Little Caesar was one of the first of its genre.


There are a couple of "Alice" items available. The first is a pair, a second edition (first English from London) of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, along with a first edition of Through the Looking Glass. Item 29. $9,500. Item 30 is a Limited Editions club set from 1932. Each copy in this pair was signed by "Alice" herself, Alice Hargreaves (ne Alice Liddell). Liddell was a young girl when she encouraged Professor Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) to tell her and her sisters stories, stories which grew into two books with "Alice" as the lead. In her later years, Mrs. Hargreaves signed these sets to help pay the bills. $6,000.

Next is another, more recent children's classic, Charlotte's Web. Who would think to make a spider the star of a children's book? The answer is E.B. White, and this is a 1952 first edition of this book, complete with dust jacket. Item 74. $1,500.

In 1963, on a cross-country trip, I briefly stopped by Cheyenne, Wyoming. Unfortunately, I left Cheyenne without picking up a copy of Leaving Cheyenne, written by Larry McMurtry and published in that very same year. Big Mistake. Here is a first edition that still has its price tag: $4.95. Today's price is $2,500. Item 88.

Next is a series everyone knows, the four "Rabbit" books by John Updike: Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; Rabbit at Rest. The first, from 1960, has some light wear and creasing in the dust jacket, while the others, dated 1971, 1981, and 1990 are in fine condition with fine dust jackets. Who knows what they will be worth when they hit the century mark, but if you buy these for your grandchildren today, they will one day be very appreciative. Item 113. $1,500.

Item 44 isn't something to add to your collection. It is a collection. This is 25 first editions by or about Nathaniel Hawthorne. It starts with Twice-Told Tales from 1837 and runs through a 1902 biography. Along the way are classics such as The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables. There's even the less well-remembered The Life of Franklin Pierce. Then again, Pierce is not so well remembered himself. Hawthorne is. $17,500.

Finally, here is a book better remembered for its movie. It became the granddaddy of gangster flicks. The author is W.R. Burnett. The book is Little Caesar. The movie launched the career of Edward G. Robinson as the quintessential tough guy. Of course, the gangster movie would become a staple of American film, witness successors such as The Godfather. Burnett's book was published in 1929, a year before the big screen adaptation. Item 8. $8,500.

James Cummins Bookseller is located on the web at www.jamescummingsbookseller.com, and may be reached by phone at 212-688-6441.

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