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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 Maximus Poems / 1-10. [with]: The Maximus Poems / 11-22 by OLSON, Charles

The Maximus Poems / 1-10. [with]: The...

First edition. Two volumes. Quarto. Introduction by Robert Creeley laid in as... more>>

Cover Image: In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women by WALKER, Alice

In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black...

First edition. Fine in fine dustwrapper with very slight rubbing. more>>

Cover Image: Anecdotes of the Late War by OLSON, Charles

Anecdotes of the Late War

First edition. Broadside, folded into stiff card covers as issued. A little... more>>

Cover Image: The Beautiful and Damned by FITZGERALD, F. Scott

The Beautiful and Damned

First edition, first state. Contemporary pencil owner's name on the front fly,... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1613 The Globe Theatre, the playhouse in which many of William Shakespeare's great tragedies made their debut, caught fire from a cannon used for special effects during a performance of Henry VIII on June 29, 1613, and burned to the ground. It was rebuilt and reopened a year later.

1712 French philosopher and novelist Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 28, 1712.

1778 French philosopher and novelist Jean-Jacques Rousseau died of a hemorrhage in Ermenonville, France, a few days after his 66th birthday on July 2, 1778.

1804 French novelist Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, better known by her pseudonym George Sand, was born in Paris on July 1, 1804.

1804 Nathaniel Hawthorne, known for The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and numerous classic short stories, was born in Salem, Massachusetts on July 4, 1804.

1861 British Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, author of Sonnets from the Portuguese and wife of fellow poet Robert Browning, died on June 29, 1861 at age 55 in Florence, Italy of respiratory failure.

1864 British journalist and mystery writer William Le Queux was born in London. Some credit his espionage novels with having a great influence on Ian Fleming in his creation of James Bond.

1869 Cornell professor William Strunk, Jr., was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 1, 1869. His guide to English usage, The Elements of Style, was expanded by his former student E.B. White and continues to be a classic of its kind.

1876 American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell, dramatist and co-founder of the Provincetown Players, was born in Davenport, Iowa on July 1, 1876.

1877 Nobel laureate Herman Hesse, remembered for such novels as Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and Magister Ludi, was born in Calw, Germany on July 2, 1877.

1883 Franz Kafka, one of the most strikingly original writers of the 20th Century, was born in Prague on July 3, 1883.

1884 Scottish-born, American detective, spy, and true-crime/mystery writer Allan Pinkerton, founder of the first detective agency, died in Chicago on July 1, 1884 at age 64 when he slipped while walking on the sidewalk, bit his tongue in the fall, and the wound became gangrenous.

1889 Poet, novelist, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau was born in Maisons-Lafitte, France.

1892 Mystery writer James M. Cain, author of such classics as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, was born in Annapolis, Maryland on July 1, 1892.

1893 Anthony Berkeley Cox, who wrote numerous mysteries under the name Francis Iles, including Malice Aforethought and Before the Fact (which became the Alfred Hitchcock film Suspicion), was born in Watford, England on July 5, 1893.

1896 American author Harriet Beecher Stowe died in Hartford, Connecticut on July 1, 1896 at the age of 85. Her 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin had so great an impact on the American public that it is sometimes cited as one of the causes of the Civil War.

1900 Aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery's plane disappeared during a reconnaissance mission off the coast of Marseille. The wreckage of his Lockheed F-5B was found in 2000 and eventually identified in 2004. Saint-Exupery is best known for The Little Prince and several fine books for adults most notably Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars. He was born in Lyon, France on June 29, 1900.

1905 American Statesman and author, John Hay, who wrote Jim Bludso, a Johnson Highspot of American Literature, died on July 1, 1905 in Newbury, New Hampshire at the age of 66. 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.

1905 Mildred Wirt Benson, who took Edward Stratemeyer's notes for a female detective and fleshed them out to create series heroine Nancy Drew, was born in Ladora, Iowa on July 5, 1905 (some sources give the date as July 10th). Benson also wrote many of the early books in the series, which were published under the Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym Carolyn Keene.

1908 Celebrated essayist M.F.K. Fisher, best known for her gastronomical works such as Serve It Forth and The Gastronomical Me, was born in Albion, Michigan on July 3, 1908.

1908 Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories, died in West End, Georgia at age 59 of cirrhosis of the liver.

1911 Polish-American Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz was born in Sateiniai, Lithuania on June 30, 1911. Although acclaimed for his poetry, including his 1945 collection The Rescue (one of the first books published in Communist Poland), he is perhaps best known for his 1953 collection of essays The Captive Mind, in which he condemned many Polish intellectuals for accepting Communism.

1915 Short-story writer and novelist Jean Stafford was born in Covina, California on July 1, 1915. Her Collected Stories won the Pulitzer Prize, and she was married to the writers Robert Lowell, Oliver Jensen, and A.J. Liebling (but not simultaneously, in case you were wondering).

1919 American children's book author Jean Craighead George, best known for her Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and her Newbery Honor book, My Side of the Mountain, was born on July 2, 1919 in Washington, DC.

1923 Poet and Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin (now Kornik), Poland.

1927 Playwright Neil Simon, author of numerous hit plays including Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, and California Suite, was born in the Bronx.

1935 Acclaimed children's book Illustrator John Schoenherr, who won a Caldecott-Medal for Owl Moon (text by Jane Yolen) and also illustrated the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and several novels in Frank Herbert's Dune series, was born in Manhattan.

1936 Margaret Mitchell's first and only novel, Gone with the Wind, was officially published. Although first edition copies state "Published May, 1936" (when the first edition copies were printed) the official publication (the date advertising and reviews would commence) was delayed a month because the Book of the Month Club had chosen the book as is July featured selection. By this date advance word had been so strong that many bookstores had already sold out the copies shipped to them and were placing reorders.

1936 Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind was published. Though her only novel, it was an immediate best-seller and remained one for the rest of the decade. The landmark film version was equally popular - if adjusted for inflation it is unlikely any film has ever or will ever have a higher gross.

1937 Tom Stoppard, author of such plays as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Real Thing was born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia.

1952 Humorous mystery writer William DeAndrea, who won two Edgar Awards, was born in Port Chester, New York on July 1, 1952.

1961 Controversial French physician and author Celine, who became famous for his 1932 novel Journey to the End of Night, died in Meudon at age 67.

1961 Suffering from depression and memory loss, likely brought on by shock therapy administered to alleviate the former, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide by gunshot in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, 1961 a few weeks before his 62nd birthday.

1966 Mystery author Margery Allingham, creator of the popular detective Albert Campion, died in Colchester, Essex, at the age of 62.

1966 William McFee, author of numerous nautical novels, died shortly after his 85th birthday.

1971 English classical scholar Cecil Maurice Bowra died in Wadham College, Oxford on July 4, 1971 at age 73. A noted wit, he once explained his engagement to a "plain" girl despite his homosexuality by saying, "Buggers can't be choosers."

1977 Novelist Vladimir Nabokov, best known for Lolita, died in Montreux, Switzerland, at age 78.

1980 British scientist and novelist C.P. Snow, author of the eleven-volume novel sequence Strangers and Brothers, died in London at age 74.

1984 Playwright and screenwriter Lillian Hellman died at age 79 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts on June 30, 1984. The long-time paramour of Dashiell Hammett, she also had a long and very public feud with fellow author Mary McCarthy, culminating in a $2.5 million libel suit Hellman brought against McCarthy when the latter claimed on the Dick Cavett Show "every word [Hellman] writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" Both women died before the suit was concluded.

1999 Mario Puzo, best known for his novel The Godfather, died of heart failure in Bay Shore, Long Island at age 78.

2001 Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler, author such works as The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Cocksure, died in Montreal at age 70.



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