28 August 2008

Bastards with Bookshops


Shopkeepers are an ill-tempered bunch and booksellers are no exception. Booksellers are often on a very short fuse and can become incandescent with rage, inconsolable and beyond the reach of practitioners of anger management, Buddhist monks and preachers of peace, love and understanding. Bernard Black in 'Black Books' is said to be based on an amalgamation of real life characters- mostly high handed, cranky booksellers.

A bookseller on Route 1 in Porstmouth NH recently got in the papers yet again - he makes Bernard look like John Inman ('Are you Being Served?')--he charges a $5 browsing fee and has been known to knock out customers who venture in his shop without permission. I had heard of him over the years as an example of a dealer who had seriously lost the plot and have always been amazed that he stays in business. He has just been busted for writing bad cheques and the local paper chronicles his misdemeanours thus:-

"Past police calls to the Antiquarian book store have involved weapons, assaults and arrests, including the following:

* On April 2, 2005, police were called to the bookstore by a man who reported he was assaulted. According to police records, the customer reported Wakefield "tried to hit him with the door to the store."

* In April 1999, Wakefield was arrested on a charge of simple assault.

* On April 27, 1995, Dale Shaw of Rye went to the store and after being told there was a $5 fee to browse, an argument ensued, according to court records. A court affidavit said Wakefield called the customer a (expletive) retard," before hitting him with a metal pipe, scraping and bruising his arm. In 1995, Wakefield told the Herald he was defending himself from a robbery attempt and Shaw shoved him. Shaw was not charged by police with any crime.

* Hampstead auto parts dealer Patrick Murphy told the Herald in 1995 that he went to browse in the bookstore where Wakefield started an argument and called him "an AIDS infected" (expletive).

* In March 1994, Richard Wentz of Rye was arrested for criminal threatening, according to police records, for showing a handgun at the bookstore after getting into a dispute with Wakefield.

* In 1998, Wakefield was convicted of criminal threatening and assault against a Merrimack man for shoving and threatening him with a pipe.

* In 1988, Wakefield was found not guilty of pulling a gun on a customer.

Wakefield told the Herald in 2007 that he’s been the victim of numerous shoplifting incidents and 13 robberies and almost never calls police. Shoplifting incidents usually spark the trouble, Wakefield said, because he will confront attempted thieves."

It would be a foolhardy punter who having effected an entrance to the shop, paid the $5 browsing charge (only time I have ever heard of this in world bookselling) would then start stealing books under the eyes of an over vigilant man whose photo reveals him to be built like a brick shithouse. These chaps are always frightened that their invariably mediocre stock is going to be plundered. At a shop in San Jose, CA which I shall refer to as R+W, and is happily no longer, the proprietor was so paranoid he would not allow men with untucked in shirts in the shop lest they conceal a book, had a notice saying "Don't read the magazines unless you're going to buy", followed people into the loo in case theye were going to stuff books in their clothes and priced many Book Club books as if they were true firsts at hundreds of dollars in a red angrily applied crayon. This shop with its enormous, overpriced, stinkingly bad condition books was by common consent 'the worst bookshop in the universe' and was discussed on Google Groups in the early 2000s. to be continued...

26 August 2008

Harrison Marks. Kamera 1957 +

Harrison Marks. KAMERA. (Magazine) Issues 1 to 89. 1957 -1968. Soho, London.

Current Selling Prices
$15-$40 /£8-£20 per issue

We recently put a short run of this magazine on Ebay with the illustrations below and this description:

"Harrison Marks, Kamera (London: Kamera Publications, 1957)
ISSUES 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
This is a nine-issue run of the earliest numbers of Kamera magazine, the serial portfolio of nudes created by Gerrard Street photographer Harrison Marks. Each magazine measures 7.25 x 4.75 inches and is 32 pages long. The format throughout is uninterrupted black and white photographs of female nudes accompanied by a short commentary printed at the front and back. These commentaries cast light on the techniques used in the photographs; for example, ‘with breasts of unusual beauty, by cutting in with my camera, I have tried to achieve with dramatic use of light, shade and texture an effect comparable to a piece of sculpture'. (Like his American contemporary Russ Meyer, Marks was a breast man: ‘big tits sell’). Each magazine offers the reader 10 x 8 inch enlargements of any photo for 8/6 or a set of six for 42 shillings: ‘Truly a magnificent collection to hang in one’s study or office’. Models featuring in these pages include Pamela Green (Marks’s pretend wife) and the dark-haired ‘Julie’.

This suite of nine issues (the first ten minus issue number 8) is in exceptional condition without blemish or scuff and the colour covers are as lurid as new.

A flawless archive of erotic kitsch from Soho's glory days."

The curious thing is that the item got absolutely nowhere on Ebay, although a shorter run is catalogued at ABE at £750 and we wanted about £250. Four people only viewed in a week and I have a feeling they were all me. The explanation came from looking at other chancers listing risqué magazines--you are not allowed to show nipples. Curious because, as you may know, proper porn is freely available all over the infobahn. I guess Ebay have some sort of nipple detecting software or more likely pick up on key words in your description (nudes, breasts, tits). The items are not banned but if you put them up they get no visitors and are not indexed and have a sort of purgatorial half-life. Fees however apply. This rude word detection software is fallible--a few months ago a scholarly description of an 18th Century edition of Pope's 'Rape of the Lock' lead it to being sectioned in the same way.

VALUE. There were 89 issues of these kitschy mags and you seldom see the late ones. The punters for them these days tend to be funky collectors of oddballiana, kitsch, bad taste and erotica - they are now known as 'jazz mags.' Customers buy them for a laugh, young women, taste freaks and fashionistas collect them and they sell readily at £5 +. Occasionally older punters want them out of nostalgia, one collector pushing eighty had known some of the girls in the pics and collects specific women in the great Marks oeuvre. The whole run is now available on 18 CDs from a special Harrison Marks website. A complete run in paper should get into four figures.

A biography of the Van Dyke bearded photographic maestro is promised and interest in the man has never abated since a cult for him started in the late 1970s. TRIVIA. HM's chief model Pamela Green was cast, appropriately, as the nude model, Milly in Michael Powell's 'Peeping Tom' movie (1960.) The Parisian set had originally been designed and built by Pamela for her red-headed ‘Rita Landre’ character. Harrison Marks's Gerrard Street studio, in the heart of what we now know as Soho's 'China Town' (and within spitting distance of our shop) became the centre of the nude and glamour scene in the late 1950s. Possibly one day a blue plaque will appear on the building.

19 August 2008

Faulkner. As I Lay Dying, 1930.

William Faulkner. AS I LAY DYING. Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, New York, 1930.

Current Selling Prices
$2000-$8500 /£1000-£4500

You want the first edition, first issue (with the initial "I" on page 11 'dropped below the line' i.e. not correctly aligned). You also need the preferred binding, with the stamping on the front cover away from the top edge and complete and intact (unbroken.) If you have these and a clean copy in a real nice jacket, well over $5000 is achievable, the second state about half that. Apart from a troubled sojourn in Hollywood writing screenplays, Faulkner spent most of his writing life in Oxford, Mississippi. In later life he was a serious drinker - sometimes drunker 'than a 100 Indians dancing in a cornfield' as Capote puts it. He went to Paris in the 1920s but was never part of the expat crowd like Hemingway. This novel, because it is told from multiple view points in a stream of consciousness style is often said to be influenced by Cubism.

His acquaintance with Cubism is well documented. While in Paris in 1925 he stayed near the Luxembourg museum where he saw many contemporary paintings of Manet, Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Cezanne. The critic Panthea Reid Broughton claims that 'As I Lay Dying' is the 'quintessential cubist novel' with its 'repeating geometric designs -- lines and circles, verticals and horizontals -- Faulkner actually facets, like a cubist painting, the design of this book. That is why it is so difficult to speak of theme in As I Lay Dying. Here we have a work of fiction that comes remarkably close to being an exercise in pure design...'

The title comes from Book XI of Homer's The Odyssey, where Agamemnon speaks to Odysseus: "As I lay dying, the woman with the dog's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades." It is also notable for its varying chapter lengths; the shortest chapter in the book consists of just five words ("My mother is a fish".) Faulkner wrote the novel in six weeks without changes on a table fashioned from a wheelbarrow while working the 6PM-6AM shift at a coal-fired power plant. The stuff of legends.

OUTLOOK. Reasonable, Faulkner is still taught and is a big part of many American literature courses. His prose style is much admired and he is a giant in the literature of the South. His books are often good looking and are highly uncommon signed (apart from the signed limited editions.) They appear to be holding their own, a decent first state copy made just over $10,000 ay auction in 2007. The British edition of Pylon (1935, see below) is especially handsome in its jacket and can fetch over $1000. The fact that he won the Nobel Prize in 1949 also helps, although a lot of mediocre and forgettable writers have also won the prize.

14 August 2008

where do you get these books? 5

11. Skips, dumpsters, recycling and rubbish tips. Not highly recommended but finds are known and there are golden legends attached to skips full of books. About 20 years ago in Stamford Hill, London, a skip (UK word for 'dumpster' and a nicer word imho) filled with rare Judaica was found by a lucky and clued up passer by. Some builders doing up a house had unceremoniously dumped all the books and documents in a big yellow skip outside the place - some of the books were of great antiquity. Legend has it that he filled a van with the material and took it to a West End auction house where it made half a million pounds. It's always half a million in these stories. By the way pics above, of a myriad of U.S. dumpsters, are by Trent Nelson -a charming photo essay on the The Dumpsters of San Angelo. For which much thanks. Below is a British skip--they are invariably this shape and often painted yellow and expensive to hire.

Another great dumpster legend centres around bookish Bell Street in Marylebone, London. About 25 years ago a defunct bookshop had been taken over by the council and the books were being chucked into a series of skips outside. People assumed they were wothless leftovers until some dealers started looking at the stuff and realised there were fabulous and pricey books in there - probably from some hidden backroom. When they started carting them away in boxes the council workers got very stroppy and a fight almost broke out. During the ensuing standoff one bookseller had the bright idea of giving the workers a hundred quid (about $300 at the time.) This was accepted with delight after which they could take anything they liked. Although at least one skip had been driven away the dealers had a field day and celebrations went on long into the night. To be continued with the story of the cycling dumpster diver of Santa Cruz, Frank Kermode's great loss and the curious skip of Sackville Street...

10 August 2008

White Hunter in Africa - Bror Von Blixen + Le Comte de Janzé

Bror Von Blixen- Finecke. AFRICAN HUNTER. Cassell, London 1937.

Current Selling Prices
$200-$700 /£120-£350

Le Comte de Janzé. VERTICAL LAND. Duckworth, London, 1928.

Current Selling Prices
$200+ /£100+

Bror von Blixen-Finecke (1886-1946) was a good writer and a charismatic Swedish nobleman. Hubby of Karen "I had a farm in Africa" Blixen, pal of Denis Finch - Hatton, Beryl Markham etc., + guide to Euro royals inc the Pragger Wagger and others. A great shot, liked a drink, v charming, a white hunter greatly admired and chased by women. His biography "The Man Whom Women Loved" written by his godson, Ulf Aschan came out in 1987. According to aviatrix and former lover Beryl Markham, "Bror was the toughest, most durable white hunter ever to snicker at the fanfare of safari or to shoot a charging buffalo between the eyes while debating whether his sundown drink would be gin or whiskey ...The mould has been broken." In the Out of Africa movie Klaus Maria Brandauer, brilliant German actor, played him. Bror Blixen's bunch segue into Kenya's Happy Valley set and much later beautiful person Peter Beard.

The most elusive book coming out of the earlier period is 'Vertical Land' by Comte de Janze (Duckworth 1928) -- quite a sleeper, had it twice, never in jacket. No copies on web at present, worth a ton, but not much more unless in a jacket. The Comte was married to American heiress Alice de Trafford (played memorably by Sarah Miles in 'White Mischief') he later became a racing driver and is said to have moved in literary circles in Paris and formed friendships with Marcel Proust, Maurice Barrès and Anna de Noailles. Trivia--their daughter Nolwen married art historian Kenneth Clark (Lord Clark of Civilization) and was, presumably, the mother of diarist and politician Alan Clark, another great lover of women.

VALUE? Bror's 'African Hunter' is a big game book, but not in the customary leopard skin covers and not really one for the trophy room. A hunting specialist was selling a fine in jacket copy for $1000 but jacketless copies can be had at a shade less than $200. The $1K one is no longer available and may have sold. The 1938 Knopf edition was relatively common and could be had for $100 sans jacket. Jacketed copies are, however, hard to find.

Outlook. This is a reprise of a posting in late 2006 and the book appears to have moved on by about 10% with the US ed moving on at considerably more. Unjacketed copies of the Knopf 1938 first and the Cassell 1937 first sit there at between $200 and $280, no sign of a jacketed copy. A 'first thus' of the 1986 Capstick reprint series St. Martin's 100th anniversary (of Bror's Birth) edition fetches $60+ in nice state. The great white hunter thing may be a getting a little passé but there is a growing page ( (White Hunter) on the matter at Wikipedia--among other things it reveals that a character named Wilson, portrayed as a "white hunter" in Hemingway's safari story, 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' is said to have been based on Hem's own guides, Philip Percival and Bror Blixen. Le Comte de Janzé's 'Vertical Land' is still unlisted, although copies may well have been listed and sold, it is not impossibly scarce - only an ebook at £1.60 is available. I will mark that book at a hundred minimum next time I see it.

08 August 2008

John Banville. The Sea. (2005)

John Banville. THE SEA. Picador, London, 2005. ISBN: 0330483285

Current Selling Prices
$80-$200 /£40-£100

Classic Booker prize fodder, romped away with the prize in 2005. One of the great prose stylists of our time who also turns in very decent detective fiction under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. Julian Barnes did this under the name Dan Kavanagh and notably one of the MacSpaunday poets Cecil Day Lewis wrote several highly collectable thrillers under the name Nicolas Blake. 'The Sea' concerns an art critic, a not especially likeable character, returning to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from the recent loss of his wife and confronting a distant trauma. Critics have called his prose 'hauntingly beautiful' and the book 'an extraordinary meditation on identity and remembrance. Utterly compelling, profoundly moving and illuminating, it is unquestionably one of the finest works yet from a sublime master of language.' Don de Lillo wrote 'Banville writes a dangerous and clear-running prose and has a grim gift for seeing people's souls.'

This is not the most valuable of Banville's works by a long chalk - 'Long Lankin' (1970) and 'Nightspawn' (1970) can command over £300 each. However the book is on the rise, as are many Booker winners, with a solid and growing bunch of collectors of this genre. There are less of them than, say, collectors of the New Naturalist series but many of them not only collect winners but also shortlisted books and many are frightfully well off. Some of these runners up are are highly elusive and worth many hundreds of sovereigns--Terence Wheeler 'The Conjunction' (1969) Gordon Williams 'From Scenes Like These' (1969) Penelope Fitzgerald 'The Bookshop' (1977) and Elizabeth Mavor 'The Green Equinox' (1973.) Patrick White, John Fowles and John Le Carre have refused to have their books entered for it, John Berger gave half his prize money to the Black Panthers. One winner- J.G. Farrell -denounced the prize from the pulpit, and, disgracefully, the overtalented Martin Amis has never won it, while the unexceptionable Midnight's Children has become Booker of Booker of Bookers.

VALUE? It is said that 3500 copies were printed, many probably went to libraries but it is still not scarce. Fine copies of the first can be had for £40, signed copies at twice that. A limited edition of 56 signed copies in blue cloth with beige paper labels was put together by Irish literature specialist Joe McCann and can command fancy prices like $800. Outlook? Likely to be good, Banville is Irish which always helps, he is limbering up to be a grand old man of letters, he has fiercely loyal followers and you can get invest in him for as little as £40. His signature is not scarce but signed works by him tend to be desirable. His Benjamin Black books are also worth a punt--he tends to sign these 'B. Black.'

05 August 2008

Where do you get these books? 4

10. Book Towns. Where books go to die, although bargains have been known and occasionally the shops there get amazing books thrust upon them. They are also delightful places to hang out - as the photos show you can look at the books in the open air; however you have to really want to read them as outdoors a book can rapidly become what cataloguers call a 'reading copy only.'

The problem with booktowns is that they are not sourced in the way that normal second hand bookshops are-- local bookshops get their books from deceased estates, people who are moving or downsizing and books brought into the shop. If the propietor is a bit entrepreneurial he or she will go to auctions, visit other shops and generally be involved in running books to earth. I am not totally sure where booktowns get their books but they tend to be a lot less interesting than a local shop and often priced with a much heavier hand. It is said that many bookshops that have closed down have sold their stock to book towns, the trouble is that they have usually had a sale first. Occasionally we tell people with unambitious books or those that are too far away to collect, to drive them over to a booktown - at least there are plenty of potential buyers.

No book scout would name these places as a source, but if they end up there they have to box clever before they find a book they can sell at a profit. At Wigtown, a beautifully situated place and fun to hang out in, I was in mild despair-- every book seemed to be the right price or 50% over that: lateral thinking was required -- look for unique and overlooked items- eventually I ran across a bunch of non Peter Pan J.M. Barrie books stroppily priced at a fiver each, however each carried a Simeon Solomon bookplate. I sold each one at £50 catalogued thus:
Anonymous bookplate designed by Simeon Solomon with his characteristic S upon S monogram. Engraved by S. Wain it shows two Pre-Raphaelite looking women, one seated by a tree reading an old book, the other affixing a banner to the tree which bears the legend ‘content ailleurs’ 2 banners are already affixed with the words ‘labor’ and ‘theoria.’. Attractive and highly uncommon item in vg condition measuring 3” by 4 1/2”.
Book towns have their own site I.O.B. - International Organisation of Book Towns and recognise these towns - Bredevoort (NL) Fjærland (NO) Hay-on-Wye (GB) KampungBuku (MY) Montereggio (IT) Pennsylvania (US) Redu (BE) Sedbergh (GB) St-Pierre-de-Clages (CH) Sysmä (FI) Tvedestrand (NO) Wigtown (GB) Wünsdorf-Waldstadt (DE). Wikipedia lists a whole lot more. It is good to see that the love of books, bookshops and the general unfocussed sentimentality about the book itself is not just a British peculiarity. I have been to three book towns, the best being Hay-on-Wye (or Way on High as Driffield used to call it) - all glories to its King, Richard Booth, probably the most famous book dealer in the universe.

Wigtown was not unamusing but there were large book rooms there for which you would be hard pressed to pay £50 the lot. Redu is not without interest, but Martin Stone reported that it was filled with glowering soixante huitards and bargains are almost unknown. It was in book towns that I first spotted people selling library books -a thing almost unknown thirty years back, but now some shops have little else. Although I still regard them with suspicion and distaste I have now learned that you can actually sell them (especially on the web) and it is said the the Japanese regard them with favour (something about a book being worthwhile if it was good enough to be in a library.) Fortunes have been made from ex library books but that's another story... To be continued with charity shops, thrift shops, skips, stately homes and minicab offices...

02 August 2008

Et Tu Healy? James Joyce, 1891 (revisited)

"His quaint-perched aerie on the crags of Time
Where the rude din of this . . . century
Can trouble him no more."

James Joyce. ET TU HEALY? (PARNELL.) Privately Published /Alleyn and O'Reilly (Printers), Dublin 1891.

Possible Selling Price
£1,000,000+ / $2,000,000+

This is an update of an earlier post with new info at the end. 'Et Tu Healy' is a broadsheet poem by James Joyce said to have been published by John Joyce, his proud father, in 1891 when Joyce was nine years old. No copies have ever surfaced. There is, however, highly credible evidence for its having been printed and distributed among friends and family. Whether any copies have survived is another matter. The evidence comes from 4 sources - Joyce's father, Joyce himself, his brother Stanislaus Joyce and the dealer Jacob Schwartz of the Ulysses bookshop in High Holborn, London.
Stanislaus Joyce wrote in his 'Recollections of James Joyce' (1950)
He tried poetry, too, in the style of the drawing-room ballads to which he was accustomed ('My cot, alas!, the dear old shady home'), but the most successful was a piece on the death of Parnell, which I see mentioned apparently with my brother's sanction, by the title of 'Et Tu, Healy', though I do not remember that it bore that title. It certainly was a diatribe against the supposed traitor, Tim Healy, who had ratted at the bidding of the Catholic bishops and become a virulent enemy of Parnell, and so the piece was an echo of those political rancours that formed the theme of my father's nightly half-drunken rantings to the accompaniment of vigorous table-thumping. I think it was in verse because of the rhythm of bits of it that I remember. One line is a pentameter. At the end of the piece the dead Chief is likened to an eagle, looking down on the grovelling mass of Irish politicians from

His quaint-perched aerie on the crags of Time
Where the rude din of this . . . century
Can trouble him no more.

The production was much admired by my father and his circle of friends, whose judgement, in questions of literature at least, was as immature as the budding author's. My father had it printed, and distributed the broad sheets to admirers. I have a distinct recollection of my father's bringing home a roll of thirty or forty of them. Parnell, however, died when we were still at Bray, so the piece must have been written some months or a year after Parnell's death, because I am positive that the broadsheet was printed when we were living at Blackrock. My brother was, therefore, between nine and ten years of age when his ambition to be a writer bore its first timid blossoms. The lines I have quoted have stuck in my memory because 'the dear aerie' were standing jokes between us as late as when we were living at Trieste. Moreover, in the first draft of A Portrait of the Artist, now called Stephen Hero, the poem was assigned to the period I have indicated, and, further, describing a hasty packing up and departure from Blackrock, my brother referred to the remaining broadsheets, of which the young Stephen Dedalus had been so proud, lying on the floor torn and muddied by the boots of the furniture removers.
Richard Ellmann, Joyce's bographer, has always insisted that Stanislaus Joyce was a man of great integrity and a truthful and reliable source of information.

Ellmann reports in his biography that John Joyce (who died in 1931 and didn't think much of his son's Ulysses) told dealer Jacob Schwartz in regard to the broadsheet: "Remember it? Why shouldn't I remember it? Didn't I pay for the printing of it and didn't I send a copy to the Pope?' I have heard that some enterprising dealer went to Rome and managed to check the Vatican's holdings without any success. It is not surprising, because even if it had arrived there a broadsheet is likely to be misplaced or, at best, miscatalogued. There is some suggestion that the piece may have been called 'Parnell' - and our dealer may not have looked under 'P.'

I do not have Slocum's bibliography with me (I am in San Francisco) but I recall something about a receipt for the printing having been seen by a reliable witness. I know that Slocum quotes four further lines from the poem:
My cot alas that dear old shady home
Where oft in youthful sport I played
Upon thy verdant grassy fields all day
Or lingered for a moment in thy bosom shade.
Joyce remarked to Harriet Weaver that he had parodied these lines in 'Finnegans Wake.'

So where is this valuable item? If it is around a copy would be with the Joyce family or relations or Blackrock friends and neighbours the Murrays, Monaghans, Thorntons, Sheehans, Gallahers etc., A surviving copy could show up loosely inserted in some sheet music, or old Dublin Newspapers or magazines or in a scrap album or possibly bound up with other poems and pamphlets.

It is not unthinkable a copy would survive, for example such ephemeral items as the auction catalogue of the disgraceful and hurried auction at Oscar Wilde's house in Tite Street show up every now and then. However Joyce's vision of removal men treading the paper into the ground is all too believable. Also, as Ellmann notes, there was a lot of shame and disgrace around the Joyce name in Ireland after the supposed obscenity of 'Ulysses' was reported there - so any remaining copies could have then been destoyed.

There are many instances of books that were published with no copies having survived, mostly minor works. The most famous, and certainly even more valuable than 'Healy' if it ever turned up, is the Shakespeare play 'Love's Labors Won.' The dealer Pottesman ('Potty' - a great runner of incunabula) discovered in 1953 the August 1603 booklist of the stationer Christopher Hunt, which lists as printed in quarto:"Marchant Of Vennis[sic], Taming Of A Shrew, Loves Labor Lost, Loves Labor Won." There is other evidence but in general it is more doubtful than the Joyce juvenilia.

VALUE? Joyce published 2 other broadsheets 'The Holy Office' (1904/5) and 'Gas from a Burner' (1912) which show up irregularly at serious money. 2 not bad copies showed up at the 2004 sale of the much loved Quentin Keynes making £27000 (Holy) and £14,000 (Gas). The Joyce market is strong but fickle, collectors (not always cultured) come and go. At one point Joyce highspot prices depended on the severity of North American winters, as the biggest punter was a glove manufacturer. From the Quentin results one could very vaguely extrapolate a price if 'Et Tu Healy' showed. Say 30 times the pair + £200K for luck = £1.43 million or $2.7 million. There is a limit because it is the work of a nine year old boy, very slight and damn it, another could turn up!

Compiled in an airport hotel room using an Ellmann from a local bookshop, a paperback of Stanislaus, memory of bookdealer's anecdotes, Google, speculation, leaps of faith and Peet's good coffee. If anyone can shed any further light please write or comment, might touch it up when I get home to my own reference library.

Addenda August 08. I now have the bibliography and also Herbert Gorman's book 'James Joyce. A Definitive Biography' in front of me. Slocum, the bibliographer, points to Gorman as the source for the name of the printer. It was Alleyn and O'Reilly, although Slocum say it was actually Alley and O'Reilly--'the firm...was traced through a series of mergers to the Temple Press; a director of this press stated that all records were destroyed during Easter Week in 1916.' Copies may have been lost during this 'rising' or rebellion that lasted from April 24 to April 30 mostly in Dublin, although someone somewhere is said to have seen the receipt. Slocum states that the pamphlet is mentioned in unpublished letters from Constantine P.Curran and P.S. O'Hegarty in the Slocum Library. I like Gorman's final words on the subject
'No copy of this juvenile outburst aginst injustice and treachery is known to exist but it is still possible that some fortunate explorer fumbling through yellowed pages in a neglected Dublin garret may chance upon this Joycian opus number one of the year 1891.'
The search goes on - how many unexplored, neglected Dublin garrets are left!?