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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: A Handbook of Bandy, or Hockey on the Ice by TEBBUTT, Arnold

A Handbook of Bandy, or Hockey on the...

First edition. Gray cloth boards ruled in black and titled in gilt. 57,(3),(4... more>>

Cover Image: Quaint Stories of Samurais by IBARA, Saikaku

Quaint Stories of Samurais

First edition. Translated from the Old Original by Ken Sato. Printed... more>>

Cover Image: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by JACKSON, Shirley

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

First edition. Slightly bumped and soiled, else near fine in very good... more>>

Cover Image: Landscape by PINTER, Harold

Landscape

First edition. Fine. One of 2000 numbered copies, this is copy number 11, and... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1703 British naval administrator Samuel Pepys, whose lively and justly celebrated private diary continues to be read to this day, died in London at age 70. His diaries, written in a kind of shorthand, were bequeathed with the rest of his books to Cambridge University, where they sat unexamined for over a century before they were deciphered and published with much success.

1803 Poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 25, 1803.

1822 Edmond de Goncourt, who with his brother Jules published the Journal de Goncourt and whose estate provided for the Prix Goncourt, was born in Nancy, France.

1843 Prolific British author of mystery and horror fiction, J.E. Preston Muddock, who wrote under the pseudonym of his most famous character, Dick Donovan, was born in New Forest, near Southampton, England on May 28, 1843.

1849 English novelist and poet Anne Bronte died on May 28, 1849 in Yorkshire County, England of pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 29. She is often overshadowed by her sisters, Charlotte Bronte and Emily Bronte. The three wrote a volume of poetry together, and Anne wrote two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Unlike her sisters, who followed romanticism, Anne Bronte wrote in a realistic style.

1859 Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 22, 1859.

1867 Thomas Bulfinch, whose The Age of Fable, popularly known as Bulfinch's Mythology, helped introduce ancient stories to a wide range of readers, died at age 70.

1867 British novelist Arnold Bennett was born on May 27, 1867 in Staffordshire, England.

1870 Scottish historian and author J. Storer Clouston was born on May 23, 1870.

1873 Italian humanist, poet, and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, whose 1827 novel I Promessi Sposi [The Betrothed] is a masterpiece of world literature, died in his native Milan on May 22, 1873 at age 88. Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem was written to honor his memory..

1885 French novelist Victor Hugo, known for Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, died at age 83.

1887 American poet, critic, and educator Leonard Bacon, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for Sunderland Capture, was born in Solvay, New York on May 26, 1887.

1891 Swedish Nobel laureate Par Lagerkvist, who became internationally known with such novels as The Dwarf and Barabbas (which was made into a film starring Anthony Quinn in 1962), was born in Vaxjo, Sweden on May 23, 1891.

1894 Controversial French physician and author Celine, who became famous for his 1932 novel Journey to the End of Night, was born in Courbevoie, near Paris on May 27, 1894.

1894 Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and other classics of detective fiction, was born in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 27, 1894.

1898 Utopian author Edward Bellamy died at age 48 from tuberculosis.

1899 Belgian poet and writer Henri Michaux was born in Namur, Belgium.

1900 The earliest inscribed copy of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was presented by Baum to his brother on May 28, 1900. The official date of publication had been scheduled for May 15, 1900 but was slightly delayed. On May 17, Baum took printed sheets directly from the press, hand-bound them, and presented that assembled copy to his sister. Copies were bound by May 23 (a bound copy survives with a dated gift inscription from someone involved with the book's production).

1905 Nobel laureate Mikhail Sholokhov, best known for And Quiet Flows the Don was born on May 24, 1905 (in Russia, which was still using the Julian calendar, the date was May 11) in Veshenskaya, Russia.

1907 Author and environmentalist Rachel Carson was born.

1908 The poet Theodore Roethke was born.

1908 American poet, Theodore Roethke, was born on May 25, 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan. His book The Waking won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1921 Science fiction writer, James Blish was born on May 23, 1921 in East Orange, New Jersey. Winner of the 1959 Hugo Award for his novel A Case of Conscience, Blish was best known for his authorized short stories based on the popular Star Trek television series.

1925 Tony Hillerman, whose Joe Leaphorn series features a Native American detective, was born on May 27, 1925.

1926 Ernest Hemingway's first novel,The Torrents of Spring, a pastiche of Sherwood Anderson, was published by Charles Scribner's Sons on May 28, 1926. He had first submitted it to Horace Liveright, who was the American publisher of both Hemingway and Anderson, knowing that Liveright would have to refuse it. As planned, this freed Hemingway from his contract with Liveright and allowed him to move to Scribners, where he could work with the legendary editor Maxwell Perkins.

1927 American thriller writer Robert Ludlum, author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Osterman Weekend, and The Bourne Identity, was born in New York City. His titles were so consistent that Salman Rushdie invented a game in which he retitled the plays of William Shakespeare in Ludlum's style, so that Hamlet would be The Elsinore Vacillation and Macbeth would become The Dunsinane Reforestation.

1930 Novelist John Barth, author of The Sot-Weed Factor, was born in Cambridge, Maryland on May 27, 1930.

1933 Children's book author and illustrator Arnold Lobel, whose works included the Frog and Toad series, Mouse Soup, and Fables (which won the Caldecott Medal) was born in Los Angeles, California on May 22, 1933.

1935 Canadian author W.P. Kinsella, best known for the novel Shoeless Joe (which became the film Field of Dreams), was born in Edmonton, Alberta.

1938 American author Raymond Carver, master of the modern short-story, was born in Clatskanie, Oregon on May 25, 1938.

1940 Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, author of A Part of Speech and To Urania, was born in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida).

1941 American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, a perennial dark horse candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941.

1948 Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist Claude McKay died in Chicago, Illinois on May 22, 1948 at age 57.

1954 Alan Hollinghurst , whose novel The Line of Beauty won the Booker Prize, was born on May 26, 1954.

1963 Michael Chabon, author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, was born in Marlyand on May 24, 1963.

1967 African-American poet Langston Hughes died of prostate cancer in New York City at age 65.

1972 The poet Cecil Day-Lewis, who also wrote mysteries under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, died on May 22, 1972.

1996 Long-time New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell, whose books included McSorley's Wonderful Saloon and Joe Gould's Secret, died in Manhattan at age 87.

2000 Dame Barbara Cartland died in 2000 at age 98.

2002 Mildred Benson, who took Edward Stratemeyer's notes for a female detective and fleshed them out to create series heroine Nancy Drew, died in Toledo, Ohio on May 28, 2002 of lung cancer at age 96. Benson also wrote many of the early books in the series, which were published under the Stratemeyer Syndicate pseudonym Carolyn Keene.

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