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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: The Grass Harp by CAPOTE, Truman

The Grass Harp

Uncorrected proof consisting of long galley sheets printed rectos only,... more>>

Cover Image: In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by CAPOTE, Truman

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a...

First edition. Very slightly cocked, else fine in a just about fine dustwrapper... more>>

Cover Image: Franny and Zooey by SALINGER, J.D.

Franny and Zooey

First edition. Fine in near fine dustwrapper with two short tears, and a bit of... more>>

Cover Image: My Uncle Dudley by MORRIS, Wright

My Uncle Dudley

First edition. Fine in an attractive, near fine, price-clipped dustwrapper with... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1304 The great Italian poet and scholar Petrarch, called the "Father of Humanism," was born in Arezzo, Tuscany, on July 20, 1304.

1796 Robert Burns, the National Poet of Scotland, died in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire at age 37. The cause of his death has been the subject of much speculation, with alcoholism, venereal disease, and rheumatic fever (boring but likely) topping most lists. Among his many ballads perhaps the best known is the traditional New Years' song "Auld Lang Syne." His poem "Comin' Thro' the Rye" inspired the title of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

1802 The great French story-teller Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, was born in Villers-Cotterets, Aisne. He is also known as Dumas pere because his son and namesake (Dumas fils) was also a novelist and playwright, best known for Camille, on which Verdi's opera was based.

1834 English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of Christabel, Kubla Khan, and his masterpiece, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, died in Highgate, near London on July 25, 1834 at age 61. His well-known opium habit was partly the product of a very unhappy personal life - when he was young his good friend Robert Southey convinced him to marry a woman he didn't love as part of a scheme to found a utopian society, then Southey backed out of the plan. Later he fell in love with his other good friend William Wordsworth's future sister-in-law, another relationship which didn't work out.

1835 Italian poet and Nobel laureate Giosue Carducci was born near Lucca.

1856 Dramatist and critic George Bernard Shaw, author of numerous plays including Pygmalion, Man and Superman, and Saint Joan, was born in Dublin. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1925; he accepted the award but refused the accompanying monetary prize.

1864 Popular Swedish poet Erik Karlfeldt was born in Folkarna. He was awarded the only posthumous Nobel Prize for Literature in 1931, afer refusing the award in 1918.

1865 Prolific science-fiction and fantasy writer M.P. Shiel was born on Montserrat in the West Indies. He is best remembered for his 1901 novel The Purple Cloud and his "yellow-peril" fictions popular at the turn of the century. The latter are a notably sad part of his legacy since he was perhaps the first well-known science-fiction writer of partly African descent, but was apparently capable of profiting from what are now considered blatantly racist propaganda.

1870 Essayist and poet Hilaire Belloc, particularly remembered for his light verse for children, was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France on July 27, 1870. The product of a distinguished Anglo-French family (including his older sister, the mystery writer Marie Belloc-Lowndes), he became a naturalized British subject and then a member of Parliament.

1878 Irish dramatist and fantasist Lord Dunsany, whose many works included The Gods of Pegana and The Book of Wonder, was born in London.

1883 American science-fiction author Edwin Balmer, best known for The Achievements of Luther Trent and When Worlds Collide (which he co-wrote with Philip Gordon Wylie), was born.

1888 Master hard-boiled mystery author Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, and others featuring his detective Philip Marlowe, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1894 English novelist Aldous Huxley, author of Antic Hay, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, and most notably Brave New World among many others, was born in Godalming, Surrey.

1895 Poet and novelist Robert Graves, author of Goodbye to All That and I, Claudius, was born in Wimbledon, England (either on July 24 or July 26 - sources disagree).

1898 Poet and novelist Stephen Vincent Benet, author of John Brown's Body and the folk legend "The Devil and Daniel Webster," was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898.

1899 The poet Hart Crane, noted for The Bridge, was born in Garrettsvile, Ohio on July 21, 1899. His father had made his fortune as a confectioner - he was the inventor of the Life Saver.

1899 American Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, who rose to fame in the 1920s with novels such as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, and had a late-career critical hit with The Old Man and the Sea, was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899.

1900 Zelda Fitzgerald, author of Save Me the Waltz and famously the high-spirited wife of author <>F. Scott Fitzgerald, who dubbed her "the first American Flapper," was born in Montgomery, Alabama on July 24, 1900. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, she was in and out of hospitals for much of her life and died in a hospital fire.

1905 Nobel laureate Elias Canetti, author of the novel known in English as Auto-Da-Fe or The Tower of Babel, was born in Ruse, Bulgaria.

1911 Prolific American children's book author Margaret Hodges, whose books included What's for Lunch, Charley?, Merlin and the Making of the Kings, and Saint George and the Dragon (which won a Caldecott Medal for illustrator Trina Schart Hyman), was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 26, 1911.

1916 Mystery author John D. MacDonald, best known for his 24 novels featuring Travis McGee, was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1916.

1928 Welsh novelist and screenwriter Bernice Rubens, whose works included Madame Sousatzka, A Solitary Grief, and the Booker Prize-winning The Elected Member, was born in Cardiff.

1930 Mystery writer Mildred Davis, author of They Buried a Man and the Edgar-winning The Room Upstairs, was born.

1933 Novelist and scholar John Gardner, best known for his novel Grendel and his controversial critique of his contemporaries, On Moral Fiction, was born in Batavia, New York on July 21, 1933.

1946 American expatriate writer Gertrude Stein, famous both for her own writings (such as The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas) and her nurturing of the "Lost Generation" of writers in Paris, died there of stomach cancer at age 72.

1956 Mystery writer Michael Connelly, creator of LAPD detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 21, 1956.

1967 American poet and historian Carl Sandburg, author of "Chicago," The People, Yes, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Abraham Lincoln, died in Flat Rock, North Carolina on July 22, 1967 at age 89.

1980 British journalist and novelist Olivia Manning, best known for her Balkan Trilogy (The Great Fortune, The Spoilt City, and Friends and Heroes), was died in Ryde, Isle of Wight at age 69.

1989 Short-story writer Donald Barthelme, pronounced "Bart-al-me," died in Houston, Texas on July 23, 1989 of cancer at age 58. Among his books were Come Back, Dr. Caligari and Snow White.

1991 Nobel Prize-winning novelist and short story writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, author of The Family Moskat, The Magician of Lublin, "Gimpel the Fool," and "The Spinoza of Market Street," died in Miami shortly afer his 87th birthday.

1995 Aviator and author Elleston Trevor, best remembered for Flight of the Phoenix and his Quiller mysteries written under the pseudonym Adam Hall, died in Cave Creek, Arizona of cancer at age 75.

2001 Eudora Welty, known for her novels, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist's Daughter, as well as her short stories including "Why I Live at the P.O." and "The Petrified Man," died in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi at age 92.

2002 Rabbi and American novelist Chaim Potok, author of The Chosen, The Promise, and the Asher Lev novels, died of cancer at age 73 in Merion, Pennsylvania on July 23, 2002.

2009 Prolific British novelist Stanley Middleton, whose 1974 novel Holiday won the Booker Prize, died on July 25, 2009 at age 89.



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