May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 296

Price Realized: $ 20,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,500
"HIS VOLUME [THE BOOK FANCIER] IS A CLUMSY BIT OF JOURNEY MAN'S WORK" WILDE, OSCAR. Autograph Manuscript, unsigned, fragmentary notes on 4 leaves, mostly for a book review, in pencil and ink, with a small graphite drawing. The notes, roughly four pages concerning Percy H. Fitzgerald's book, The Book Fancier, 1886, consisting of page numbers with jotted observations and brief passages critical of the writer's style, proofreading, or printing; and one page concerning an unknown work on Catholicism. Some lines written in margins, diagonally, vertically, or inverted. The drawing, a thumb-size sketch showing a man's head wearing beard and mustache in profile, in lower left margin of third leaf. 5 1/2 pages, small folio, ruled paper, 2 leaves written on recto and verso; corners of 2 leaves torn away affecting one line of text, minor scattered smudging to text (legible except for few lines on horizontal folds), moderate soiling to fourth leaf. Bound into custom binding, small folio, full morocco, gilt-lettered title on cover and spine; blank leaves inserted before and after, 1905 bookplate of Richard Le Gallienne on front paste-down. Np, circa 1886

Additional Details

". . . He talks of Grolier as a bookbinder; he is eloquent over a Shakespearian quarto of 'The Taming of the Shrew' though there is no such book in existence; he tells that the fat edition of Paradise Lost is readily procurable in small folio, a statement wh. would amaze Mr. Quaritch; and informs us that Valdarfar edition of Boccaccio, a book published in 1471, was very scarce in the beginning of the 15h cent., a time when printing was not yet invented! As to his misprints these are innumerable. Correcting proofs may be an author's purgatory, but it is not the less his duty, and like purgatory it has its uses. The smallest care would have saved Mr. Fitzgerald . . . . Nor is the manner better than the matter. . . .
". . . Mr. Fitzgerald's style is involved, clumsy, and ungrammatical. . . .
". . . Bibliography is a charming science, but it requires [to be] charmingly treated, and we fear that Mr. P.F. promises none of the qualifications necessary for writing a book about books: His volume the 'B--' is a clumsy bit of journey man's work, without grace or charm or delicacy of treatment. Even on ordinary matters of fact it is not reliable . . . .
"over in Oxford in '69 / previously in Devon / rhetoric of Ruskin . . . / vanity of excellence / . . . Catholicism: paraklete / material world / resurrct[ion] of the body . . . / sacraments spake the material world / 'it is so beautiful it must be true' . . . / Catholicism. historically true. Sh'd have been born one. an ideal so inclusive of aspirations of genius."