AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

Books About Books and More from Oak Knoll

Great

The Great Eastern was the largest ship in the world in 1860.


Item 131 is the undated Pictorial History of the Great Eastern Steam-Ship, published in London by W.H. Smith. The Great Eastern was the largest ship ever built when she was first launched in 1858 under the name SS Leviathan. It was greeted with superlatives such as the "eighth wonder of the world." Unfortunately, the cost of building it was so great it drove owner Eastern Steam Navigation Company into bankruptcy. The ship was then purchased by the Great Eastern Ship Company, a new entity formed by the original shareholders, and renamed the SS Great Eastern. Still, she was never able to turn a profit as a passenger ship, so in 1865 she was converted to laying cable under the sea. Apparently, she was quite successful in this second incarnation, laying cable until 1874. This was followed by a series of attempts to again use the Great Eastern as a passenger ship, all unsuccessful, and some mostly unsuccessful attempts to make money by placing her on display. Finally, the deteriorating old hulk was sent off to the salvage yard to be broken down for scrap in 1888, just 30 years after her launching. $2,250.

Item 233 is an important but rare bibliography pertaining to America's natives, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Books, Translations of the Scriptures, and Other Publications in the Indian Tongues... The author was explorer Henry Schoolcraft, best noted for finding the source of the Mississippi. He was an expert in Indian culture, having spent many years visiting and learning about tribes of the upper Midwest, and marrying a woman who was part Ojibwa. This is the 1849 printing with 139 listings, which Oak Knoll notes as being much harder to find than a later expanded bibliography included with one of Schoolcraft's other books. $1,250.

For Limited Editions Club collectors, Oak Knoll includes 65 titles. We do not have space to mention them all, but here is a noteworthy sample: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes... by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is an eight-volume set of his works published from 1950-1952. Item 21. $650.

Oak Knoll Books may be found online at www.oakknoll.com, telephone 800-996-2556.

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