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The crème de la crème of our online inventory, the best rare books that belong in the best rare book collections...

Cover Image: Blue Movie by WARHOL, Andy

Blue Movie

First edition. Paperback original. Illustrated with over 100 stills from the... more>>

Cover Image: American Express by CORSO, Gregory

American Express

First edition. Wrappers. Fine in fine dustwrapper. more>>

Cover Image: To a Little Girl, One Year Old, in a Ruined Fortress by WARREN, Robert Penn

To a Little Girl, One Year Old, in a...

First edition. Square octavo. Printed boards as issued. The slightest of... more>>

Cover Image: The Glass Key by HAMMETT, Dashiell

The Glass Key

First edition, preceding the American edition, and first issue, with the Knopf... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1719 The first serialized novel, a pirated installment of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe appeared in London on October 7, 1719.

1838 American Statesman and author, John Hay, who wrote Jim Bludso, a Johnson Highspot of American Literature, was born in Salem, Indiana on October 8, 1838. He was primarily known as a politician, with a long career which ranged from being an assistant to Abraham Lincoln to eventually serving as Secretary of State to Theodore Roosevelt.

1847 Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was published pseudonymously under the name Currer Bell on October 6, 1847.

1849 Poet and short story-master Edgar Allan Poe, known for his many classic tales of horror and mystery, died in Baltimore, Maryland at age 40 on October 7, 1849. The circumstances of his death are appropriately mysterious. He was found delirious in the street, wearing someone else's clothing, and died shortly afterward, never regaining sufficient coherence to explain what had happened to him. His last words were reportedly "Lord help my poor soul."

1862 Juvenile series mastermind Edward Stratemeyer, who created such series as the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Bobbsey Twins, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on October 4, 1862.

1870 Poet and novelist Ivan Bunin, the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Voronezh on October 10, 1870. His works included The Gentleman from San Francisco and The Well of Days.

1872 British novelist and lecturer John Cowper Powys was born in Derbyshire on October 8, 1872. Among his many novels are were Wolf Solent, A Glastonbury Romance, and Porius. His literary family included his ancestor, the poet William Cowper, as well as his novelist brothers T.F. Powys and Llewelyn Powys.

1880 Damon Runyon, best remembered for his stories in exaggerated slang which were collected in Guys and Dolls, was born in Manhattan, Kansas on October 4, 1880. Never shy of exaggeration, he later claimed his birth year as 1884 so that he could further claim that he was the youngest soldier in the Spanish-American War.

1889 Historian and anthropologist H.F. Heard, commonly known as Gerald Heard, was born in London on October 6, 1889. In addition to his acclaimed essays, such as Ascent of Humanity, he also wrote two noted mysteries A Taste for Honey and Reply Paid.

1892 The British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, famed for such works as "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "Enoch Arden," and Idylls of the King, died in Aldworth, Surrey on October 6, 1892 at age 83.

1894 Physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., remembered for such works as the poem "Old Ironsides" and The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, and for coining the term anesthesia, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 7, 1894 at age 85.

1896 English illustrator and novelist George du Maurier, who introduced the character Svengali in his novel Trilby, died in London on October 6, 1896 at age 62. He never lived to see that his granddaughter would become the novelist Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca, and his grandsons would be the inspiration for J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

1902 Children's book author Elizabeth Janet Gray, who won a Newbery Award for her 1943 book Adam of the Road, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1902. In addition to her writing, she was also a librarian and teacher, most famously as the private tutor of Japan's Emperor Akihoto when he was young.

1911 Irish novelist, playwright, and journalist Flann O'Brien, author of At Swim-Two Birds, was born in Strabane, County Tyrone on October 5, 1911.

1913 French novelist and Nobel laureate Claude Simon, author of The Flanders Road, was born in Tananarive, Madagascar on October 10, 1913.

1916 Mystery writer Stanley Ellinwhose novel The Eighth Circle won the last of his three Edgar Awards, was born in Brooklyn on October 6, 1916. Several of his short stories provided the basis for Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes and three of his novels were made into feature films.

1920 Science-fiction writer Frank Herbert, author of the popular Dune series, was born in Tacoma, Washington on October 8, 1920.

1922 Karel Capek's R.U.R., the play that introduced the word "robot" to the world, premiered in New York on October 9, 1922. The term had been coined by his brother Josef.

1925 In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway's third book and first to be published in the United States, was released on October 5, 1925. It was a revised and much-enlarged version of in our time (note the lower case title), a Parisian publication from the previous year.

1929 William Faulkner's masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury, was published on October 7, 1929. The Sound and the Fury was not immediately acclaimed but after the publication of Sanctuary two years later, it became a critical and commercial success.

1930 William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying, which follows the Bundren family as they try to bury Addie Bundren in her home town, was published on October 6, 1930. The title for Faulkner's fifth novel comes from Homer's The Odyssey.

1930 Playwright, screenwriter, and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter was born in London on October 10, 1930. Among his best known plays are The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, and The Homecoming.

1932 William Faulkner's novel Light in August, the story of the doomed mulatto Joe Christmas, was published on October 6, 1932.

1932 Save Me the Waltz, the only novel by Zelda Fitzgerald, the trouble wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published on October 7, 1932.

1935 Australian novelist Thomas Keneally, author of The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Schindler's Ark, was born in Sydney on October 7, 1935.

1936 Czech playwright, political dissident, and the first President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel was born in Prague on October 5, 1936.

1945 Austrian novelist and journalist Felix Salten, author of Bambi, died on October 8, 1945 in Zurich, Switzerland, where he had settled after the Nazis took control of Vienna.

1961 Comic novelist Joseph Heller's satirical first novel Catch-22 was published on October 10, 1961. Although the title Heller invented quickly entered the English language as a phrase describing a "no-win" situation, his original title was Catch-18, but it was changed to avoid confusion with the novel Mila 18 by Leon Uris.

1965 Cyril Henry Coles, one half of the mystery writing team known as Manning Coles, died on October 9, 1965.

1974 Confessional poet Anne Sexton, whose third poetry collection, Live or Die, won the Pulitzer Prize, committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in Weston, Massachusetts on October 4, 1974 at age 45.

1986 Peter Taylor's Pulitzer Prize-winner novel A Summons to Memphis was published on October 6, 1986.

1996 Mystery author Mignon G. Eberhart, who specialized in stories that combined romance and suspense, died in Greenwich, Connecticut on October 8, 1996 at age 97.

1998 Jerome Weidman died in New York City on October 6, 1998 at age 85. His 1962 musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale was based on his 1937 first novel. He wrote several more novels to middling reviews before his first play, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Fiorello!, co-written with George Abbott, and based on the life of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

1999 Mystery author Suzanne Blanc, author of The Green Stone, died on October 5, 1999. She was approximately 84 years old.

2009 Film scholar and Edgar Award-winning mystery author Stuart M. Kaminsky, died in St. Louis, Missouri on October 9, 2009 at age 75 of hepatitis C, which he had contracted as an Army medic in the late 1950s.



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