This is a talk I gave at the Book Lovers' and Texana Collectors' Breakfast, March 6, 2015, Texas State Historical Association Meeting, Corpus Christi. A rare appearance for me in jacket and tie. Thanks to the TSHA for recording the talk. This footage does not include the fine introduction and post-talk comments by John Nau, TSHA President and collector himself, who I'm occasionally bantering with as he sits off-camera.
Charlton Hinman with a Hinman Collator in the background
Own Annotated Set with Correspondence and Notes Laid In
Hinman.THE PRINTING AND PROOF-READING OF THE FIRST
FOLIO OF SHAKESPEARE. Oxford: At The Clarendon Press, 1963.2 vols. xvi 507  + vii 560 p. Errata slip
in vol. 1. as issued.Frontis. in each
vol., plates, illus.Large 8vo.Blue cloth, spine stamped in gilt.
Hinman’s own set with his annotations on approximately 100 pages.Laid in are four sheets and ten notecard
slips of autograph notes regarding corrections and emendations, citations to
other research, and miscellaneous information including a list of people to
receive complimentary copies and a brief outline of major references of
analytical bibliography.Also laid in
are thirteen pages of correspondence dated mainly 1964-1965, including six
TLs’s with Hinman’s carbon TL replies.Correspondents include Prof. S.F. Johnson of Columbia University,
Akihiro Yamada of Shinshu University, Dr. J. Shafer of the Westfalische
Wilhelms-Universitat, Arthur Humphrey of the University of Leicester, and Giles
Dawson of the Folger Library.Dawson,
the curator of books and manuscripts at the Folger, was instrumental in
assisting Hinman with his work.All but
Dawson’s letter deal primarily with errata found in the book by the various
correspondents.Dawson’s three-page TLs
concerns Staunton’s photolithographic facsimile of the First Folio published in
1866 as well as personal news.
One of the monumental works in the
history of bibliography, and the greatest achievement in the field of
analytical bibliography.Hinman, using a
collation machine designed by himself and inspired by his service in WWII
intelligence, did a page-by-page comparison of over fifty copies of the First
Folio at the Folger Library. The results published here changed not only the
entire nature of Shakespearian scholarship but also heavily influenced the
general course of bibliographical studies.
J. Frank Dobie.GUIDE TO THE LIFE AND LITERATURE OF THE
SOUTHWEST.Austin: The University of
Texas Press, 1943.111 p. Illus. 8vo.
Light-grey printed wrappers.Notes:A handful of copies were issued hardbound.
“Dear Fred Rosenstock, This is the first edition.It was given away by the Univ. of Texas
Press.The trade printing was made from
identical plates by Southern Methodist Univ. Press.Frank Dobie, Oct. 12, 1952, In Denver.”Checkmarks and annotations throughout.
Dobie was a regular customer of
Fred Rosenstock (1895-1986) one of the top Western Americana dealers in the
country who had his store in Denver.
Donald Bower writes in Fred Rosenstock: A Legend in Books & Art,
“In 1952 Fred arranged a lecture tour for Dobie that included the University of
Colorado, the University of Denver, Colorado State University and Colorado
State College at Greeley. ‘About five hundred people attended his talk at the
University of Denver,’ Fred recalls, ‘and his subject was on the psychology of
Western animals—mostly the coyote.The
lecture lasted one hour, but he was so fascinating it could have gone on all
night.The audience was mesmerized.I remember that he had a big pocket watch,
like the railroad men used to use, and he would pull that out and look at it
from time to time.He stopped on the dot
of one hour and no amount of applause could make him go on.’”
“After Dobie returned to Texas
he wrote an article for the San Antonio
Light, in which he referred to Fred Rosenstock’s Bargain Book Store: ‘It is
crammed with old books, some very rare . . . A person can learn an enormous
amount by looking through books that he does not actually read.I incline to judge the civilization of a city
by its bookstores—or by their absence.A
genuine bookstore is far more than a house of merchandise.As an asset of civilization, it is in the
same category as public libraries.’”
“J. Frank Dobie, while not a
collector in the technical sense, put together says J. E. Reynolds, a noted
bookseller [see next copy below], ‘with loving care the greatest collection of
books on the range livestock industry ever assembled by a private individual in
this country.’Dobie bought books from
the Rosenstocks for many years, usually writing a letter and attaching a list
of the titles he was looking for” (p. 139).
edition].GUIDE TO LIFE AND LITERATURE
OF THE SOUTHWEST. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1952.viii 222 p. Illus. 8vo. Medium brown cloth
stamped in dark brown, dust jacket.Notes:2nd edition,
“revised and enlarged in both knowledge and wisdom.”First published in 1943.
“Jack Reynolds -- I like to be quoted -- Frank Dobie, a su casa, 2/25/56.”Bookplate of Dobie.
Bookseller Jack Reynolds knew
Dobie well.Laid in is a newspaper
clipping describing a pamphlet issued by Reynolds, “For Christmas greetings to
their friends [in 1958], Mr. and Mrs. Jack Reynolds of Van Nuys, Calif.,
printed and mailed an appreciation of J. Frank Dobie written by Lawrence Clark
Powell.Reynolds is a rare book dealer; Powell
is head of the UCLA library and a writer and editor.They are friends and literary admirers of
Dobie, whom Powell calls the ‘best Southwesterner of them all, and. . . the
givingest man I know,’ both in his books and in person.”
Reynolds is quoted in Donald
Bower’s biography, Fred Rosenstock: A
Legend in Books & Art, “’J. Frank Dobie, while not a collector in the
technical sense, put together says J. E. Reynolds, a noted bookseller, ‘with
loving care the greatest collection of books on the range livestock industry
ever assembled by a private individual in this country.’”
The Houston Book Fair was held this past Saturday, November 8th at the Printing Museum. One of the highlights was a panel discussion. Collector Kurt Zimmerman and three veteran rare book dealers discuss their backgrounds, share book stories, comment on the current state of the trade, and answer audience questions. The three dealers were Bud Plant, Peter Stern, and Dennis Melhouse. A volunteer at the Museum filmed the discussion. It's worth a view. Get out the popcorn.
Stern, Plant, and Melhouse will each have booths at the ABAA Boston Book Fair this upcoming weekend. Peter Stern has contributed a timely essay on the ABAA blog, "Boston: Characters in the Rare Book Trade."
jumped. He jumped and I couldn’t stop him,” my wife said frantically to the
ambulance driver, “He was out of his mind.My God, he was out of mind.”
I was strapped down in an ambulance,
unconscious and injured badly, paramedic hovering, as it bounced and sped to
But I’m getting ahead of
myself.It had all started off a month
earlier so serenely, so innocently, so risk free.And I must credit no one but yours truly with
the idea: an idea that manifested itself over thirty days into a dangerous,
terror-filled biblio-ride with unforeseen consequences.
you can get that,” said Mr. Wakeman, “all right. But remember that the collection is to be
offered to no one but Mr. Morgan. . . “ Surprises await
even the most assiduous of biblio-readers.
I encountered this passage in George S. Hellman’s largely forgotten book,
Lanes of Memory (1927), a collection
of autobiographical essays. Hellman
(1878-1958) was a prolific writer and editor.
He was also a dealer and collector of rare autographs, manuscripts, books
and art. In the early 20th
century, Hellman sold exceptional literary material to J. Pierpont Morgan and
other prominent collectors. His
discursive essays rambled down many literary bypaths and gems of manuscript and
book hunting surfaced irregularly. None
read better than his chapter on selling material to J. Pierpont Morgan. It was Hellman who facilitated the sale of
collector Stephen H. Wakeman’s exceptional gathering of American literary
manuscripts to Morgan. That episode, a
portion of which is dangled above as a prelude, is reproduced in its entirety
below. Hellman’s account is an unusually
candid insider’s view of a blockbuster transaction. Hellman had an advantage in his
retelling. He originally supplied Wakeman
much of the manuscript material including the famous Thoreau journals.