06 Nov 2009
Q: I was looking around the homepage but someone had done such a good job, I just couldn't find out information about the book I have. I bought my favorite play "Macbeth" (Half priced books) and when I got home a realized there is no information about it. As I learned it should be published around 1890's but that's all I know. It is different than others... the picture before the title page is different and the letters on the title page are black and red...
The Historie of Macbeth
from Ralph Holinshed's chronicles of Scotland, 1577
There are no dates on the book. Has 192 pages. Thread binding.
I would be extremely happy if someone could help me out. And maybe let me know did I gain more than a great book.
A: The Shakespeare's Plays Series included 33 books. It was published between 1899 and 1933. In 1899 the books listed Henry Altemus on the title page. Thereafter Henry Altemus Company was noted as the publisher. Thus, your book is an 1899 version. No real value but a nice book nonetheless.
04 Nov 2009
Petit Trianon Series
Q: Can you help me identify this book of Poe's Poems? There is no copyright date in it, and I'd love to know how old it is. I can't find any covers like it online. Every page is intact, but no page with the copyright date. It was printed in Philadelphia by the Henry Altemus Company. In the back is a listing of other publications of Henry Altemus Company that are advertised as having Title pages, etched portraits, full cloth ivory finish and embossed gold and inlaid colors with side titles, boxed for 40 cents, with a second list of gift books for 50 cents each. There is also a listing of 'new' publications - Galopoff, the Talking Pony, by Tudor Jenks,Gypsy, the Talking Dog, by Tudor Jenks, Caps and Capers, by Bagrielle E. Jackson, Doughnuts and Diplomas, by Gabrielle E Jackson, For prey and Spolls; or The Boy Buccaneer, by Fred A Ober, and Tommy Foster's Adventures, by Fred A Ober. Since those are listed as new, I looked up Tommy Foster's Adventures, by Fred A Ober and found that it was published in 1901. That would mean that this Poe's Poems is at least that old, right? What is it's value?
A: This book is part of the Petit Trianon Series. This series consisted of numerous books which were all reprints of previously published works. Fiction, non fiction, essays, poetry, short stories all are seen in this series. Your book is the 1901-1902 version of this series. In those years the left side has been seen in blue, pink, and white. The blue and the pink are less common than the white. 16 different flower pictures have been seen on the right half of the cover. Yours is #3-Rose
These Poe's reprints are very common. Despite that, they are frequently advertised incorrectly as first editions and sell for relatively high sums on some auction sites. Good for the seller but unfortunate for the buyer.
27 Oct 2009
Q: Hi I found this book The Chimes by Charles Dickens at a yard sale and I have been trying to find out its age and if it is a 1st edition and have found nothing, so I decided to go another route, through the publisher which has led me to the expert, you. So I guess the question is what can you tell me about my book?
A: Your book is a late reprint. The first edition was published in the 1840's. Your book is part of the Vademecum Series. It was published in 1915.
Altemus published no first editions of Charles Dickens. Altemus published books for reading for the first time in 1889 which was nineteen years after Dickens died.
See: Series 180