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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: Some Trees by ASHBERY, John

Some Trees

First edition. Introduction by W.H. Auden. One small bump at the top of the... more>>

Cover Image: To Kill a Mockingbird by LEE, Harper

To Kill a Mockingbird

First English edition. Page edges and endpapers foxed, else near fine in fine... more>>

Cover Image: The Fantod Pack by GOREY, Edward

The Fantod Pack

The true first edition, unauthorized, and pirated from a 1966 issue of more>>

Cover Image: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by DICK, R.A.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

First English edition. A little foxing to the endpapers, else fine in fine... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

1616 William Shakespeare died on what is traditionally held as his 52nd birthday, in his home town of Statford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1616.

1719 Daniel Defoe's classic story of shipwreck and self-reliance, Robinson Crusoe was published in London.

1731 English novelist Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722), died in London. He was approximately 70 years old.

1815 English writer Anthony Trollope, best known for his Barsetshire novels, including Barchester Towers, was born in London on April 24, 1815.

1816 English novelist Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, was born in Thornton, Yorkshire.

1824 English Romantic poet George Gordon Byron, better known as Lord Byron, author of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Don Juan, died of a fever in Missolonghi, Greece, where he had gone to assess the political and military situation. He was 36. He became a national hero in Greece, while in England he was refused burial in Westminster Abbey.

1832 Spanish dramatist and Nobel laureate Jose Echegaray was born in Madrid.

1841 Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Murders of the Rue Morgue", often considered the first detective story, was published on April 20, 1841.

1845 Swiss poet and Nobel laureate Carl Spitteler was born in Liestal. Among his works were the epic poems "Prometheus the Long-Suffering" and "The Olympic Spring," and the 1906 novel Imago, which was influential in the development of psychoanalysis.

1850 English poet William Wordsworth, died in Rydal Mount, Westmorland two weeks after turning 80. He and Samuel Taylor Coleridge launched the English Romantic with their anonymously jointly authored Lyrical Ballads, which opened with Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and closed with Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey.

1852 American poet and lecturer Edwin Markham, author of "The Man With the Hoe," "Lincoln, the Man of the People," and other poems, was born in Carson City, Oregon on April 23, 1852.

1853 Thomas Nelson Page, who popularized the plantation tradition genre with In Ole Virginia, was born in Hanover County, Virginia on April 23, 1853.

1873 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ellen Glasgow was born.

1878 British author Anna Sewell, known for her only published book, the children's classic Black Beauty, died at age 58 in Old Catton, near Norwich on April 25, 1878. After a childhood accident she was an invalid most of her life and spent her last eight years bedridden, writing her novel. It became an instant classic and was instrumental in the abolishment of the use of the check rein, a painful device used to keep horses' heads unnaturally raised.

1881 Novelist, dramatist, and Nobel laureate Roger Martin du Gard, known for his eight part novel cycle The Thibaults, was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

1885 American mystery novelist and screenwriter John Russell, author of the Queen's Quorum title The Red Mark, was born in Davenport, Iowa on April 22, 1885. In addition to adapting his own novels he also wrote the screenplay for the silent version of Beau Geste and contributed to the screenplay for the classic Frankenstein.

1889 At noon on April 22, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison opened the Oklahoma Territory to settlers, setting off a mad rush for land immortalized in Edna Ferber's Cimarron, in which thousands literally raced each other across the border to make their claims.

1892 Poet, publisher, and patron of the arts Caresse Crosby was born as Mary Phelps Jacob in New Rochelle, New York on April 20, 1891. Among her early accomplishments, when she was 19 she invented the first modern brassiere to receive a patent and gain wide acceptance.

1898 Spanish poet and Nobel laureate Vicente Aleixandre, whose works include Destruction or Love and History of the Heart, was born in Seville.

1899 Novelist Vladimir Nabokov, best known for Lolita, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.

1899 Mystery writer Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand. Her father neglected to register her birth for five years.

1902 American author, wood engraver, and humorist Frank R. Stockton, best known for the fable "The Lady, or the Tiger?," died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 20, 1902 at age 68. Born with one leg shorter than the other, he began creating stories as a child because his physical activities were limited.

1902 Icelandic novelist and Nobel laureate Halldor Laxness, author of The Great Weaver from Kashmir, The Fish Can Sing, and Paradise Reclaimed, was born in Reykjavik. In the late 1920s he came to America but wrote an essay critical of capitalism and California immigration authorities brought treason charges against him (they were eventually dropped).

1905 Robert Penn Warren was born.

1910 The great American humorist and novelist Mark Twain, author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, died of heart failure in Redding, Connecticut at age 74.

1910 Prominent Norwegian writer, editor, and theater director Bjornsterne Bjornson, who also penned his nation's national anthem and was an early winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, died in Paris at age 77 on April 26, 1910.

1912 Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula, died in London.

1914 Ross Lockridge, Jr., author of Raintree County, was born in Bloomington, Indiana on April 25, 1914.

1914 Bernard Malamud was born.

1915 English poet, Rupert Brooke, died of sepsis from an infected mosquito bite, on a French hospital ship off the coast of Skyros, Greece on April 23, 1915 at age 27 . His most famous collection of poetry 1914 and Other Poems was published posthumously in May 1915. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses a quote from one of Brooke's poems to open his novel This Side of Paradise.

1936 Finley Peter Dunn, eminently quotable Chicago journalist and author of Mr. Dooley in Peace and War, died in New York.

1940 Mystery novelist Sue Grafton, daughter of fellow mystery novelist Chip Warren Grafton and best known for her "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone, was born in Louisville, Kentucky on April 24, 1940.

1942 Humorous Southern novelist Barry Hannah, author of Geronimo Rex and Airships, was born in Meridian, Mississippi on April 23, 1942.

1944 Screenwriter and novelist Humphrey Cobb, best known for his novel Paths of Glory,died at age 44. At the time of his death he was working as a New York advertising copywriter.

1947 American novelist Willa Cather, whose works include O Pioneers, My Antonia, One of Ours, and Death Comes for the Archbishop, was died in New York City at age 73.

1976 English writer William Sansom, whose novels included The Body, A Bed of Roses, The Loving Eye, and Goodbye, died in London at age 64.

1982 Prolific author and screenwriter W.R. Burnett died in Santa Monica, California at age 82. Among his best known novels were Little Caesar, High Sierra, and The Asphalt Jungle.

1988 American science fiction writer, Clifford Simak, who won three Hugo awards and one Nebula, died on April 25, 1988 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at age 83. He is best known for novels such as Time and Again, Way Station, and City, a collection of short stories with a common theme.

1991 Journalist and author A.B. Guthrie, best known for his realistic novels of the American West including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Way West, died at age 90 in Choteau, Montana on April 26, 1991.

1998 Octavio Paz died.

1998 American novelist and photographer Wright Morris, who won the National Book Award first for The Field of Vision, and then again decades later for Plains Song, died in Mill Valley, California at age 88.

2010 British writer Alan Sillitoe, best known for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, died in London at age 82.

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