Here are some of our MAGAZINES available for purchase:
America’s First Sporting Monthly
American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine (Baltimore/New York)
The first sporting magazine in America, the American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine reflected the prevailing tastes of the era and was consequently primarily a horse racing journal, but it covered other sporting activities as well, especially hunting and fishing. It was a handsome magazine, well illustrated with steel engravings, stone lithographs, and, rarely, wood engravings. In 1841, The Knickerbocker proclaimed that the Turf Register had no “superior in any country, for various merits, sporting, literary and pictorial.” This was not the usual parochial puffery – the Turf Register was a great magazine, deserving of a far longer life than its 15 years. Later volumes of the Turf Register, when it was owned by William T. Porter of the Spirit of the Times, are quite uncommon, especially with wrappers bound in. Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
Vol. 5, No. 1 (September 1833) to No. 12 (August 1834), comprising twelve issues, bound in red leather and marbled boards. Leather VG, scuffed and worn, especially at tips, boards rubbed. Contents near fine. Twelve engravings, two of which are on wood and one a foldout of a horse skeleton (repaired). All are of horses, except one of deer hunting on horseback, one of a horse race, one of a turkey trap, and one of a trout. $200
Vol. 6, No. 1 (September 1834) to No. 12 (August 1835), comprising twelve issues, bound in red leather and marbled boards. Leather VG, scuffed and worn, especially at tips, boards rubbed. Contents near fine. Eight engravings, two of which are on wood, and three lithographs. All are of horses, except two of fox hunts, one of canvas back geese, and one of a setter. $200
Vol. 7, No. 1 (September 1835) to No. 12 (August 1836), comprising twelve issues, bound in brown leather and marbled boards. Leather fair, well worn, boards rubbed. Contents VG, with foxing. Ten engravings, all of which are horses. $200
Vol. 8, No. 1 (September 1836) to No. 12 (November 1837), comprising twelve issues (issues for June, August, October, and December never published), bound in brown leather and marbled boards. Leather fair, well worn, front hinge cracked but sound, boards rubbed. Contents VG, with foxing. All wrappers (tinted and decorated) bound in (rare thus). Six of eight plates present, all of which are horses. Five are engravings and one a lithograph. $200
The Porter Volumes
Vol. 12, No. 1 (January 1841) to No. 12 (December 1841), comprising twelve issues, bound in brown leather and marbled boards. Leather good, well worn, boards rubbed. Contents VG-, with foxing, occasional stains and small tears. Six of the issues are bound with wrappers (rare thus). Thirteen “embellishments” (frontispieces, extra plates, and illustrations in the text) called for; eight are present. One of the frontispieces has a quarter-size divot in it. $250
Vol. 14, No. 1 (January 1843) to No. 12 (December 1843), comprising twelve issues, bound in brown leather and marbled boards. Leather fair, well worn, hinges cracked but still sound, boards rubbed. Contents VG+, with occasional foxing. Eleven of the issues are bound with wrappers (rare thus). Thirteen “embellishments” (frontispieces, extra plates, and illustrations in the text) called for; twelve are present. $300
Winslow Homer, Verne, and Many Splendid Views
Appleton’s Journal (New York)
This is a four-volume run of Appleton’s Journal, from Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 3, 1869) to Vol. 4, No. 92 (December 31, 1870), bound in contemporary half leather and marbled boards. Quartos. Bindings scuffed and bumped at tips, handsome, VG+; contents near fine, with a few marginal tears to foldouts. Some of the foldouts poorly folded in. Ghosting to the June 19, 1869, Homer cover. $600
Appleton’s Journal ran for seven years as a weekly, but only the first two years of the magazine are heavily illustrated. These volumes contain twenty-five “cartoons,” the curious label Appleton’s applied to stand-alone illustrations that accompanied select issues. The most impressive of these are beautiful cityscapes and landscapes (“The Grand Drive at Central Park,” “Fairmount Park, Philadelphia,” “The Levee at New Orleans,” etc.), measuring up to 11″ high by 28″ long. Also featured are fourteen steel engravings of American locales, which inspired the famous two-volume work, Picturesque America, later in the decade. Winslow Homer contributed ten illustrations to these volumes (Beam #152-159, 176, 177), of which five are covers, one a tipped-in doublespread (“The Fishing Party”), and one a large fold-out (“On the Beach at Long Branch” [9.5″ X 13″]). The volumes also contain illustrated supplements devoted to specific subjects, such as “Underground Life; or Coal-Mines and Miners” and “New York Illustrated,” a profusely illustrated 16-page tour of the city. The first volume contains the first American excerpt of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and the third and fourth volumes contain monthly installments of Charles Dickens’ Mystery of Edwin Drood. Mott says, “Few periodicals of the years following the Civil War furnished a better picture of the varied life of the times than the weekly Appleton’s Journal did from 1869 to 1876.” (Mott III/417). This is a nice set.
Bierce’s Foundational Grizzly Papers, Complete
Ambrose Bierce. The Grizzly Papers in Overland Monthly (San Francisco)
January through April and June 1870. Octavos. All near fine, back cover of the January issue is detached, housed in a handsome custom-made clamshell box. $400
In 1871 Ambrose Bierce, under the pseudonym Ursus (latin for “bear”), contributed five “Grizzly Papers” to Overland Monthly. They were commenced under Bret Harte’s editorship and concluded under his successor, William Bartlett. These essays contain some of Bierce’s best and most distinctive early work. They are foundational documents in understanding Bierce’s philosophy of life, later made known in a fractured way through his Prattle columns and short stories. For example, in the first installment, he attacked conformity to fickle public opinion and defended self-reliance, on the ground that “If a man have a broad foot, a stanch leg, a strong spine, and a talent for equilibrium, there is no good reason why he should not stand alone…. A mind that is right side up does not need to lean upon others: it is sufficient unto itself. The curse of our civilization is that the ‘association’ is become the unit, and the individual is merged in the mass.” According to Bierce, civilization owed its advances to the courageous minority, not to the powerful but mediocre majority. In his essay on art and altruism, his natural perversity was on display when he declared, “There is not a more erroneous belief than that one good turn deserves another. In repaying kindness you degrade it to the level of barter.” On war, he wrote that although war was typically “ascribed to the ambition of the few, and the credulity of the many, the bald fact is that the average man takes a diabolical delight in fighting his neighbor to the death.” We do not have a record of how these essays were received, but we know they brought him before a wider reading audience than he had up to that time ever enjoyed. Vintage Bierce, fascinating and provocative as usual, and complete.
The First Two Years of The Booklovers Magazine
The Booklovers Magazine (Philadelphia)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1903) to Vol. 4, No. 6 (December 1904), comprising the first 24 issues, bound by the publisher in four volumes of red cloth. Octavos. Bindings VG, with edge wear. Contents near fine. $150
The Booklovers Magazine was a handsome effort, profusely illustrated with full-page color and black and white plates and printed on quality paper. The editor was Seymour Eaton, who later attained fame as the author of the Teddy Bear books. Mott says of the magazine “The Booklovers was different from other magazines. Its uniqueness consisted in the combination of three kinds of content: (1) short, signed editorials on all kinds of subjects by famous and near-famous people; (2) a lot of brief eclectic miscellany clipped from periodicals, and (3) copious illustration, much of it in color. It was of the same size as other standard magazines, whether they sold for ten cents or twenty-five, but one had only to glance inside the cover of the Booklovers to see how different it was. What Eaton was doing was plain enough: he was attempting to capitalize on the popular magazine trends toward concise brevity and bright illustration.” That formula notwithstanding, Eaton was not afraid to treat some subjects in depth. For example, the Booklovers included long profiles series that focused on magazine publishers, actors, railroad magnates, etc., and lengthy essays on Emerson, Robert Burns, Bill Nye, Bret Harte, de Maupassant, de Balzac, and others. A highlight of the first year was a beautifully illustrated article by W.E. B. du Bois on the leaders of the “Colored Race”. Contributors included Julian Ralph, Norman Hapgood, Willis Abbot, Hamlin Garland, Brander Matthews, Theodore Dreiser, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Julian Hawthorne, and others. G.G Wiederseim and V. Floyd Campbell were significant artistic contributors. The magazine prospered, so much so that it caught the eye of the New York publishing house D. Appleton. They bought it in 1905 and rechristened Appleton’s Booklovers Magazine. They could not achieve their greater vision for the magazine and gave it up with the June 1909 issue. The magazine during Eaton’s years at the helm is impressive.
A Most Beautiful American Magazine, Complete
Bradley, His Book (Springfield, MA)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 1896) to Vol. 2, No. 3 (February 1897), comprising seven issues in all, a complete run. Tall octavos/Quartos. VG+ with general light wear, a few chips to spines, and the usual chips to overhangs. $1,500
Will Bradley was at the height of his fame when he decided to issue his own magazine. No other periodical better reflects the artistry of the 1890s than does Bradley, His Book. In fact, it is surely the most beautiful magazine produced up to its time. Each issue features dozens of pages of Bradley’s beautiful artwork, which adorns the covers, the contents, and the advertisements. They also contain attractively illustrated appraisals of the work of contemporary artists JC Leyendecker, Edward Penfield, Maxfield Parrish, and Ethel Reed, prose contributions from Bradley, Percival Pollard, Richard Harding Davis, and others, plus poetry and book reviews. Ulrich called BHB, “A fine monument to a great phase of the ‘modern’ book.” This is a lovely, legendary magazine. The only set on the internet right now is priced at $3,000.
Edgar Allan Poe, Editor
Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (Philadelphia)
Vol. 6, No. 1 (January 1840) through Vol. 7, No. 6 (December 1840), comprising the final eleven issues of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and the first issue of Graham’s Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Magazine (adopting the numbering of Burton’s), bound in brown calf leather and marbled boards. Octavo. Binding VG+, handsome. Contents near fine, clean and attractive. $1,200
This volume contains five of the issues Poe edited (January to May 1840), all five installments of “The Journal of Julius Rodman,” the short stories “Peter Pendulum” and “The Man of the Crowd,” the two final installments of “Field Sports and Manly Pastimes,” all five installments of “Omniana,” all four installments of “A Chapter on Science and Art,” two essays, and 23 book and magazine reviews. William Burton was well known as an actor when he decided in 1837 to launch Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine. Successful from the start, it featured much written by Burton himself, who was assisted by a corps of New York and Philadelphia scribblers. The mercurial Southern, Edgar Allan Poe, first wrote for the magazine in February 1839, became Burton’s co-editor with the July issue, and maintained his connection with the magazine nearly to its end. In all, he contributed 123 pieces, including his masterpiece of horror, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and the distinguished five-part, “Journal of Julius Rodman.” Burton found working with Poe increasingly difficult and let him go in May 1840. Then he tired of the entire enterprise, selling out at the end of the year to George Graham, who combined Burton’s with The Casket to form Graham’s Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Magazine, which had its debut in December 1840. For all of its popularity, Burton’s Magazine is scarce. This is the most attractive example that we have ever handled of this year.
George Wolfe Plank’s Little Magazine
The Butterfly Quarterly (Philadelphia)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Autumn 1907) to Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer 1909), comprising seven issues in original wrappers. Quartos and small folios. All issues VG or better, with chipping to wrapper overhangs and occasionally, to spines. $750
The Butterfly Quarterly was the design work of 24-year-old George Wolfe Plank, who later became a leading cover artist for Vogue during its most beautiful years in the teens and twenties. Plank published the magazine along with Margaret Scott, Alice Smith, and Amy Smith from 1907 through 1909. Its content, featuring prose, poetry, and art, classifies it as a “little magazine” in the style of the Chap-Book of the 1890’s, but it was not little in format. Contributors included Sadakicki Hartmann, Gordon Craig (artwork), and a very young Louis Untermeyer (“A Portrait,” “Isadora Duncan Dancing” “The Dying Decadent” and an essay), but the star of the show was Plank, who contributed more than two dozen woodcuts and two dozen drawings. The art displayed his fluid talent, especially for bookplates, of which several are tipped in, and presaged his brilliant career. The Butterfly was strictly limited to 500 copies per issue; each copy is numbered. It is a notoriously fragile publication, so this run constitutes a better than average complete set.
A “Challenging and Excellent” Little Magazine
The Chimera, A Rough Beast (Princeton, NJ/New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 1942) to Vol. 3, No. 4 (Summer 1945), comprising 12 issues, the first three (out of five) volumes complete. Octavos. Original colored wrappers. VG to near fine with smudging to a few wrappers. Contents near fine. $250
In 1948, Hoffman wrote, “One of the most challenging and excellent of recent little magazines, The Chimera is eclectic in its table of contents, but marked by an editorial taste and discrimination which brings to the magazine poetry and criticism of important writers.” Contributors included W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, John Paul Sartre, Pablo Neruda, Henry Miller, Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell, Kenneth Burke, R. P. Blackmur, Allen Tate, John Berryman, Kenneth Patchen, Babette Deutsch, Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Koestler, Richard Eberhart, Eve Merriam, and others. Initially published out of Princeton, it moved to New York City with its second issue, and perished there in 1947.
A Complete Run of a Beautiful Satire Magazine
Vol. 1, No. 1 (December 31, 1898) to Vol. 5, No. 63 (May 1, 1902), comprising 63 issues, published bi-weekly through May 1901 and sporadically thereafter, unbound as issued, housed in three binders, two being from the publisher (featuring art by Steinlen) and one being homemade. Near fine throughout except for two oversized issues, which have crimping at the edges. $3,600
This is an exceptional complete run of the celebrated and beautiful French satirical magazine created by Paul Boutigny (1854-1929). It had as its contributors many of the best artists of the Art Nouveau movement. Leading the way was Alphonse Mucha, who designed six covers, the title bar, and many black and white interior drawings. Other Cocorico artists included De Feure, Grun, Helleu, Kupka, Leandre, Pal, Popineau, H. Riviere, Roubille, Steinlen, Villon, Willette and others. Many of the notable names in French literature of the period contributed text or poems, such as Allais, T. Bernard, Coppee, Courteline, Loti, Renard, Richepin, Rictus, Rollinat, and others. This run is prized by collectors of Art Nouveau, especially poster fans, and difficult to find complete.
America’s First Great Magazine of the Arts
The Crayon (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 3, 1855) to Vol. 2, No. 26 (December 26, 1855), comprising 52 issues, the first year and a complete run of its incarnation as a weekly, bound in the publisher’s cloth. Quartos. Bindings VG+, 1/2″ split to the hinge cloth on volume 1, slight loss to the bottom of the spine cloth on volume 2. Contents near fine. Advertising pages bound in. $800
The Crayon was America’s first great arts magazine. It was founded and edited in its first year by W.J . Stillman, an artist and journalist, who made his name as art critic for the New York Evening Post. Contributors included William Cullen Bryant, James Russell Lowell, Rembrandt Peale, WM Rossetti, and John Ruskin. Each issue featured substantive articles on issues and controversies in the art world, exhibition reviews, book notices, and domestic art gossip, all conveyed to the reader with authority and style. As every art researcher knows, The Crayon is the primary source for information and insight into the American art world during its short, six-and-a half year run. Quite scarce.
A Complete Run
The Dome (London)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (March 1897) to New Series Vol. 7, No. 19/20/21 (May-July 1900), comprising five quarterly issues and twenty-one monthly issues, a complete run, in original hardbound and wrappered bindings. Octavos. Bindings near fine, except for No. 1, with stains to the boards, Nos. 16, 17,and 18, with chipping to the spines, and No. 19/20/21, the final triple issue, with marginal staining throughout and mildew to the final ten pages. Vol. 1, Issues 4 and 5 come with the elusive (chipped) dustjackets. $500
The Dome, a celebrated quarterly, then monthly, published by the Unicorn Press and edited by Ernest J. Oldmeadow, was the last of the 1890s literary magazines that was both part of the aesthetic movement and widely popular. More than its predecessors The Yellow Book and The Savoy (which focused mostly on literature), The Dome dealt with several arts. Every issue was divided into four sections: architecture (and sometimes sculpture) with illustrations, literature, visual arts with illustrations, and music with actual scores often included. It was known for its in-depth studies of painters, which rose above the level of mere appreciations, and for the championing of promising talent. The art ranged over the centuries. Charles Holmes’ discussion of Japanese prints by Hiroshige and Hokusai were particularly important in directing attention to the oriental arts that influenced European modernism. Important contributors included Lucas Cranach (woodcuts “The Annunciation”, “A Saxon Prince on Horseback”), E. Gordon Craig, Edward Elgar (a piano solo minuet and a song Love alone will stay), Roger Fry, Laurence Housman (stories “The Troubling of the Waters” and “Little Saint Michael”), Alice Meynell, Arthur Symons, and William Butler Yeats (a poem “The Desire of Man and of Woman”). Complete runs in originals boards and wrappers are scarce.
T.S. Eliot’s Masterpiece
T. S. Eliot. “The Waste Land” in the November 1922 issue of The Dial (New York)
Octavo. Near fine, with a smudge and a few stray lines to front cover and a half inch chip to top of spine. Contents near fine. $1,000
T. S. Eliot’s long poem “The Waste Land” is widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central text in Modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the U.K. in the October issue of The Criterion and in the U.S. the following month in this issue of The Dial. It was published in book form in December 1922. The poem loosely follows the legend of the Holy Grail and the Fisher King combined with vignettes of the contemporary social condition in British society. Among its famous phrases are “April is the cruellest month”, “I will show you fear in a handful of dust”, and the mantra in the Sanskrit language “Shantih shantih shantih”. While most issues of The Dial from the twenties are not particularly scarce, this issue is unaccountably so.
A Very Complete Run, from Preview Issue to Annual
Flair Magazine (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (February 1950) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (January 1951), comprising 12 issues, a complete run, in original wrappers. Small folios. Covers VG+ to near fine (four have chipping to spines and two of those have minor cover flaws). Contents near fine. Included with this set is a copy of the rare preview issue published in September 1949 (soiling and chipping to covers), two Flair publisher’s binders, a gift subscription acknowledgment greeting card, and a near fine copy of the Flair Annual 1953, a hardback successor to the monthly magazine, which was only published once. $500
In the introduction to her new magazine, editor Fleur Cowles (the wife of John Cowles, the publisher of Look) wrote, “I have longed to introduce a magazine daring enough…to combine, for the first time under one set of covers, the best in the arts: literature, fashion, humor, decoration, travel, and entertainment. [Flair] is proof that a magazine need not be stolidly frozen to a familiar format. Flair can, and will, vary from issue to issue…assuring you that most delicious of all rewards – a sense of surprise….” The first issue features fiction by Tennessee Williams and Angus Wilson, a “Letter to Americans” by Jean Cocteau, and appreciation of Cocteau by WH Auden, and more, all presented on a variety of paper stocks, with inserts, cut-outs, and foldouts throughout the magazine. Later issues include contributions by Margaret Mead, Salvador Dali, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, John O’Hara, Katherine Anne Porter, Theodore Roethke, Gypsy Rose Lee, Walker Evans, Mary Lee Settle, Clare Booth Luce, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, and others. Flair was one of the splashiest, most intriguing magazines of the post-War period. This is a nice set.
Great Civil War Battlescape Fold-outs
Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly and War Supplement (New York)
In 1862, Frank Leslie attempted to cash in on the fever for Civil War news by issuing war supplements to a dozen or so regular issues throughout the late winter and spring. It was a costly endeavor, soon discontinued, but the War Supplements were printing wonders and usually featured quadruple-spread wood engravings that measured nearly four foot long. Many of these engravings failed to survive intact because they were mutilated in the binding process. The best way to find them is in issues that were never trimmed, never bound. Periodyssey offers two such issues, with the quadruple-spread wood engravings as the featured highlight:
“The War in Tennessee – View of the Principal Works at Fort Donelson, Including the Water Batteries, with the National Gunboats on the Cumberland River, and a Distant View of the Town of Dover – Morning of the Surrender – Exhibition of White Flags on the Works – Capitulation of the Rebels, and National Troops Marching to Occupy the Fortifications – From a Sketch by H. Lovie.” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, March 15, 1862. Regular issue and War Supplement. Issue VG, never bound, with edge wear and archival repairs. Wood engraving: 16″ x 46″. Near fine. The issue and supplement are profusely illustrated and feature text on the capture of Fort Donelson, Grant’s first Union victory, and other war news. $150
“The War in North Carolina – The Battle of Newberne – Final and Successful Charge of the National Troops under General Burnside on the Rebel Fortifications, their Capture, and Utter Rout of the Rebel Army, March 14 – From a Sketch by our Special Artist, Mr. Schell.” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, April 5, 1862. Regular issue and War Supplement. Issue VG, never bound, with edge wear and archival repairs. Wood engraving: 16.5″ x 46. 25″. VG+ with chips to left and right margins and top and bottom of center crease. The issue and supplement are profusely illustrated and feature text on the Battle of Newberne, a rare early Union victory, and other war news. $125
Condy Raguet Campaigns for Free Trade
Free Trade Advocate (Philadelphia)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 3, 1829) to Vol. 2, No. 22 (November 28, 1829), comprising 48 weekly issues, a complete run, bound in two volumes of contemporary leather and marbled boards. Octavos. Binding VG-, with deterioration to leather spines. Contents very good, with occasional modest foxing. Title pages and indexes bound in. $400
The Free Trade Advocate was founded and edited by Condy Raguet, an American politician of French descent who by 1829 had already had a long career as a Federalist in Pennsylvania state politics and the American diplomatic corps. As a businessman, he was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, the first savings bank in the United States. The Panic of 1819 transformed Raguet into one of the most prominent advocates of free trade in the United States. He contributed free trade articles to The Portfolio and other leading magazines before founding The Free Trade Advocate in Philadelphia in 1829. The weekly devoted considerable space to the issues of free trade and protection, the banking system, and manufacturing, reprinted speeches both contemporary and from the past that supported its positions, reported on pertinent legislation, petitions, and gatherings around the country, and noticed books and articles of interest to its readers. Before completing the second volume of the Advocate, Raguet concluded that the narrow focus of the journal was preventing him from gaining the audience he sought. So, in early December he abandoned the Advocate in favor of issuing The Banner of the Constitution, a folio. The format was different, but the content remained much the same. Other projects followed, including an esteemed book on economics. Raguet ranks high among the leading voices in American economic matters in the first half of the 19th century.
The Legendary Golden Hind
The Golden Hind October 1923 (London)
This is the October 1923 issue of The Golden Hind, the great arts and literary quarterly published in London in the early 1920s. Small folio. Near fine. Contributors include Victor Black, J. C. Chadwick, Ethel Mayne, Norman Davey, John Austen Haydn Mackey, Louis Moreau, Grace Rogers, and others. $150
The Golden Hind April 1924 (London)
This is the April 1924 issue of The Golden Hind, the great arts and literary quarterly published in London in the early 1920s. Small folio. Near fine. Contributors include L.A.G. Strong, Graham Green, John Austen, Haydn Mackey, Grace Rogers, Evelyn Waugh, and others. $150
The Golden Hind July 1924 (London)
This is the July 1924 issue of The Golden Hind, the great arts and literary quarterly published in London in the early 1920s. Small folio. Near fine. Contributors include L.A.G. Strong, Kathleen Freeman, Ethel Mayne, John Austen, Grace Rogers, Evelyn Waugh, and others. $150
Poe and Company
Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine of Literature and Art (Philadelphia)
It is not known if the youthful George Graham (born 1813) bought The Casket and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine with the idea that by merging them, he would achieve publishing greatness, but that is what he did. He purchased the first in 1839 and the second in 1840, then combined them and brought out the first issue of Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine in December of that year, the new magazine being superior to its progenitors in nearly every respect. The contributor’s list of the new magazine would eventually read like a who’s who of 19th century American literary greats: William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Mrs. Sigourney, Ann Stephens, Nathaniel Parker Willis, etc. etc. Edgar Allan Poe served as editor for a bit more than a year in 1841 and 1842 and contributed some of his greatest work to its pages, both during his editorship and after. Adding to Graham’s luster was the fact that it was better illustrated than any earlier or contemporary magazine, boasting two or three steel engravings and usually a hand-colored fashion plate with each issue. Graham managed to pull it all off by engaging in two seemingly simple practices: he required his subscribers to pay up-front and he paid contributors reliably and well, neither of which had ever been done before. While the magazine was published until 1858, the decade of the Forties was its golden age. Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine of Literature and Art
Vol. 20, No. 1 (January 1842) to Vol. 21, No. 6 (December 1842), comprising a complete year of 12 issues. Bound in black quarter leather and cloth. Octavo. Binding VG, with general wear and rubbing. Contents near fine with modest foxing and one ragged page. All plates present. Four fashion plates, three of which are hand-colored. Contributors include Poe (thirty contributions, including “The Mask of the Red Death” and his important sympathetic two-part review of Hawthorne’s “Twice Told Tales”), Bryant (three), Cooper (three), Longfellow (five, including his three-part “The Spanish Student”), and Lowell (six). $250
Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine of Literature and Art
Vol. 22, No. 1 (January 1843) to Vol. 23, No. 6 (December 1843), comprising a complete year of 12 issues. Bound in black quarter leather and cloth. Octavo. Binding VG, with general wear and rubbing. Contents near fine, with modest foxing. All plates present. Five fashion plates, two of which are hand-colored, and two hand-colored botanicals. Contributors include Bryant (two contributions), Cooper (ten, including the four-part “The Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief”), Longfellow (four), Lowell (four), and Poe (six, including “The Conqueror Worm”). $150
19th Century College Humor
Harvard Lampoon (Cambridge, MA)
The Harvard Lampoon (1876-current) is far and away the most important college humor magazine ever published. It served not only as a prototype and benchmark for dozens of other college humor magazines that followed, but also as the inspiration and breeding ground for the old comic Life (1883-1936) and more recently National Lampoon (1970-1998). Each issue was well illustrated with generally amateurish cartoons, often full-page or double-page, and lots of short humorous essays, editorials, and jokes. In the 19th century, the magazine was published irregularly. Some years only ten issues were published, in other years, twenty. During this period, most issues had print runs of between 1,000 and 2,000 copies. Consequently early volumes of the magazine are scarce. Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
— Vol. 10, Second Series, No. 1 (October 23, 1885) to No. 10 (February 12, 1886), near fine with slight rippling to outer margins. In advertising wrappers. $80
— Vol. 12, Second Series, No. 1 (October 15, 1886) to No. 10 (March 2, 1887), near fine with slight rippling to outer margins. In advertising wrappers. Index laid in. $80
— Vol. 13, Second Series, No. 1 (March 18, 1887) to No. 10 (June 24, 1887), near fine with slight rippling to outer margins. In advertising wrappers. Index laid in. $80
— Vol. 14, Second Series, No. 1 (October 21, 1887) to No. 10 (March 9, 1888), near fine with rippling to outer margins and puncture hole to upper left corner of every issue. Advertising wrappers dispensed with with this volume. $80
— Vol. 15, Second Series, No. 1 (March 23, 1888) to No. 10 (June 20, 1888), near fine with puncture hole to upper left corner of every issue. $80
— Vol. 16, Second Series, No. 1 (October 15, 1888) to No. 10 (February 25, 1889), near fine with puncture hole to upper left corner of every issue. Index laid in. $80
— Vol. 17, Second Series, No. 1 (March 4, 1889) to No. 10 (June 20, 1889), near fine with stain to issue 3 and puncture hole to upper left corner of every issue. $80
Henry Cabot Lodge, Editor
The International Review (New York)
This is a complete run of 14 volumes of The International Review, from Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1874) to Vol. 14 (June 1883), comprising 82 issues, bound in 14 volumes of cloth spines with leather spine labels and marble paper-covered boards. Octavos. Bindings near fine with small paper library labels to spines. Contents near fine with old library pockets on rear paste-downs. $300
Despite the implication of its name, The International Review was primarily a critical review, like The North American Review, not a journal of politics. As such, its contributors included Henry James, Jr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Sydney Lanier, Brander Matthews, and, from abroad, Sir Edwin Arnold, P. G. Hamerton, and Justin McCarthy. Topics of interest included Deep Sea Exploration, Transcendentalism in New England, Reminiscences of Alexander Stephens, current controversies of the day, both political and academic, and profiles of Poe, Longfellow, and Bryant, among many. As Mott says, “The contents were varied, with good articles on literature and art, and some belle-lettres. Book reviews were given special attention.” Founded by John Leavitt as a bimonthly, it became a monthly publication when John Morse and Henry Cabot Lodge became editors in 1879. Robert Porter and William Balch were the final editors. A nice set of a distinguished though short-lived periodical.
Henry James Classic Novella, Complete in Parts
Henry James. “The Aspern Papers” in The Atlantic Monthly, March, April, and May, 1888 (Boston)
Octavos. Wrappers to March and May are near fine, with chipping to top and bottom of spine paper. Front wrapper to April is VG- with spotting and chipping to the spine. Contents near fine. $300
“The Aspern Papers” is James’ unforgettable story about an unnamed historian in search of the Aspern Papers, letters written by the great poet Aspern (modelled after Shelley) to his now ancient lover. In an effort to obtain the letters, the historian travels to Venice and through subterfuge ingratiates himself to Aspern’s old lover. For anyone who treasures the past, the story is an unforgettable thriller and the ending crushing. James thought so highly of the story that he put it first in volume 12 of The New York Edition of his work, ahead of even “The Turn of the Screw.” Critics, with near unanimity, have agreed with him about the tale’s high quality. Leon Edel wrote, “The story moves with the rhythmic pace and tension of a mystery story; and the double climax … gives this tale … high drama.”
The First Five Years of JAMA
Journal of the American Medical Association (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (July 14, 1883) to Vol. 9, No. 27 (December 31, 1887), comprising 234 weekly issues, bound in nine volumes of matching black leather and marbled boards. Quartos. Bindings VG, with modest wear. Contents near fine. $500
The venerable Journal of the American Medical Association, now referred to simply as JAMA, was founded in 1883 by the AMA and edited in its first five years by the great Doctor Nathan Smith Davis, Sr. (1817-1904). This run encompasses nearly all of the issues that he edited. Davis, born in upstate New York, became a doctor at the age of 20, and soon moved his practice to New York City. He complimented his practice with research and soon gained attention for his scholarship. As a member of the Society of the State of New York, he issued a report in 1845 as chairman of the Committee on Correspondence relative to Medical Education and Examination that led to the organization of the American Medical Association. In 1849, he accepted the chair of physiology and pathology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. When he was opposed in his efforts to reform educational standards there, he founded the Chicago Medical College, of which he was for more than forty years the dean and professor of principles and practice of medicine. In 1855 he became editor of the Chicago Medical Journal, and five years later the Chicago Medical Examiner, remaining with these journals for twenty years. In the mid-1860s, he served two terms as president of the AMA. It was chiefly through his efforts that the AMA launched the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1883. He was its first editor and continued in that position for five years. Each issue of the Journal contained reports of advances in the field, news of the profession, minutes of meetings and transcripts of addresses, book reviews, editorials, and letters. Few men did more than Davis in wresting the field of medicine from the quacks of the 19th century and transforming it into the highly respected profession it is today.
A Handsome Set
Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1880) to Vol. 2, No. 8 (October 1881), comprising the first eight issues bound in two volumes of brown leather and cloth. Octavos. Bindings VG, with edge wear. Contents near fine. These volumes are from the library of William C. Church, the editor and publisher of The Army and Navy Journal, with his name stamped at the bottom of the spines. $250
The Military Service Institution of the United States was a voluntary organization initiated by Generals W. T. Sherman and Philip Sheridan for the mutual improvement of officers of the Army. The Institution was founded in 1878, held its first meeting in 1879, and published the first issue of the Journal in 1880. The Journal’s editorial purpose was to disseminate the most advanced studies on the science and art of war and to promote solidarity among officers in far-flung posts. Each issue featured essays on the latest thinking, innovations, and inventions on the science and art of war, republication of important addresses, book reviews, correspondence, obituaries, and news of the Institution. Highlights of these volumes include a long series by Sherman on military law, artillery in the Far East by Brevet Major J. P. Sanger, Arctic experiences by Lieutenant F. Schwatka, and five essays on the “Indian Question.” The Journal was published for nearly forty years, but it, like the Institution itself, did not long survive its founders, folding, somewhat ironically, during World War I.
Bausch and Lomb’s Magazine
Journal of Applied Microscopy (Rochester, NY)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1898) to No. 12 (December 1898) comprising 12 issues in all, the complete first year, bound in the publisher’s black cloth. Octavo. Binding VG+. Contents near fine. $150
The Journal of Applied Microscopy was a short-lived monthly (ceased in 1903) published by the venerable firm of Bausch and Lomb. Courtesy Wikipedia, Bausch & Lomb was founded in 1853 by John Jacob Bausch and Henry C. Lomb in Rochester, New York. A trained optician, Bausch found in Lomb the financier and partner he needed for a small but ambitious workshop producing monocles. In 1861, the company began manufacturing Vulcanite rubber eyeglass frames and other precision vision products. During the American Civil War, the Union blockade caused the price of gold and European horn to rise dramatically. This resulted in a growing demand for Bausch & Lomb spectacles made from Vulcanite. In 1876, the company began manufacturing microscopes. Later that year, the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company won a distinction at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company also produced photographic lenses (1883), spectacle lenses (1889), microtomes (1890), and binoculars and telescopes (1893). Starting in 1892, in cooperation with Zeiss in Germany, the company produced optical lenses. In this manner, at the end of the 19th century, the product range included eyeglasses, microscopes and binoculars, projectors, camera lenses and camera diaphragms. The Journal was a scholarly magazine, intended to advance the science of microscopy. Its editor L. B. Elliott, explained in the first issue, that the Journal “will be a progressive record of … the uses of the microscope, improvements in apparatus and new applications of apparatus already existing, methods of working, new and useful formulae, … and news and notes about institutions and men here and abroad.” This is a seminal publication in the field.
With Three Contributions by Walt Whitman
The Kansas Magazine (Topeka)
This is the first year of the Kansas Magazine, from Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1872) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (December 1872), comprising the first twelve of twenty issues bound in two volumes of leather and cloth. Octavos. Binding edges worn, leather scuffed, generally VG. Contents near fine. Topeka, Kansas, binder’s ticket on front paste-down of each volume. $300
The Kansas Magazine was a respectable though short-lived attempt at a general interest monthly on the frontier. Highlights include articles on Kansas Railroads; Native Americans, including profiles of specific tribes, folklore, descriptions of Indian war dances, and a three part series on western Indian missions; Civil War reminiscences; western fiction; and miscellaneous articles on Darwinism and the death penalty; and a profile of Artemus Ward, obviously written by someone who knew him personally. The literary significance of this volume is that it contains two Walt Whitman first appearance: the poems “The Mystic Trumpeter”(February 1872) and “Virginia — The West” (March 1872) and an article by Whitman (published under the name of his friend Richard J. Hinton) about his reputation in Europe. Scarce.
America’s First Magazine of Nonsense
The Lark (San Francisco)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 1895) to Vol. 2, No. 24 (April 1897) comprising 24 issues in all, the complete run, along with the Epilark, an “intimate history of the Lark,” published in May 1897, bound in two volumes of decorated cloth by the publisher. Small octavos. Bindings near fine with spotting. Surprisingly little edge wear. Contents VG, printed on bamboo paper. $250
The Lark has the distinction of being the first magazine in America devoted to nonsense. It can’t be said that it was a reaction to the famous humor magazines of the day (which took themselves rather seriously) because that would imply that the Lark had a mission. It’s only purpose was to provide an outlet for the whimsies of its creators, chief among them Gelett Burgess, with help from Carolyn Wells, Maynard Dixon, Florence Lundberg, Ernest Peixotto, and Bruce Porter. It was a very high level of whimsy, however. Mott got it right when he said, “The Lark was unique in its high spirits and its freshness; and was as clever as the best of the [little magazines of the 1890’s] — one of the most charming magazines ever published.” (Mott/IV/388) In its pages, the country was first introduced to Burgess’ antic humor, including the immortal lines: “I never saw a purple cow/I never hope to see one/But I can tell you anyhow/I’d rather see than be one.” (which appeared in the first issue) and the equally wonderful sequel: “Ah, yes, I wrote the Purple Cow/I’m sorry now I wrote it/But I can tell you anyhow/I’ll kill you if you quote it.” (final issue). Burgess and his co-conspirators went off to lead interesting and productive lives in the arts. But nothing they did or anyone else has done since quite matched the originality of The Lark.
The Commercial Arts, 1890s Style
Le Livre et l’image (Paris)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (March 1893) to Vol. 3, No. 6 (June 1894), comprising 16 issues, a complete run, bound in three decorated wrappered volumes by the publisher. Quartos. Bindings VG with little wear, but requiring gentle handling. Volume two lacks the top 1.5″ of the spine. Contents near fine. Profusely illustrated. In French. $450
Le Livre et l’image (The Book and the Image) is one of the most handsome entries among those magazines devoted to the commercial arts. It featured historical pieces on various aspects of illustration, profiles of book illustrators, news of the profession, book reviews, and essays on such topics as advertising posters, postal stamp design, the age of crinoline in caricature, Napoleon in images, and book design. As such, it was lavishly illustrated and included many color plates. Appropriately, it was edited by John Grand-Carteret (1850-1927), the French historian of art and fashion, who is considered (along with the German Eduard Fuchs) a pioneer in the field of iconology and graphic satire. He is best remembered today for his annotated collections of caricatures on the Dreyfus Affair, Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm, Wagner, and others. A neat set.
The Raven’s Second Appearance
Literary Emporium (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January-February 1845) to No. 6 (November-December 1845), comprising six bi-monthly issues, one year, bound in publisher’s elaborately decorated leather. Octavo. Binding VG+, with edge wear. Contents near fine, with the usual foxing. $500
J.K. Wellman conceived his Literary Emporium as an annual in the making. So while it presented as a bi-monthly magazine in wrappers, once it was bound it resembled a gift book. This, the first year of the Literary Emporium (it lasted two more), features six hand-colored botanicals, six steel engravings, and a host of literary miscellany, the most noteworthy of which is the very last entry, Poe’s “Raven”, which fills the final few pages of the November issue (and was published sometime in October). This constitutes the second periodical appearance of “The Raven” – the first being in the January 1845 issue of the American Whig Review – but it is the first time it appeared under Poe’s name. Though not scarce, the Literary Emporium is difficult to find in nice condition.
A Complete Run
The Manhattan (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1883) to Vol. 4, No. 3 (September 1884), comprising a total of twenty-one issues, twelve of which are bound in two volumes of black leather and cloth and nine of which are in original wrappers. Octavos. Bound issues: VG+ bindings with near fine contents. Title pages bound in. Index to volume 2 bound in. Wrappered issues: VG+ wrappers with near fine contents. Darkening to most spines. $400
The Manhattan was begun by the venerable New York printer John Orr as an umbrella literary organ for fraternal societies — the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Honor, the Royal Arcanum, and others — and the first issue devoted two dozen pages to them. However, when the societies did not respond with the enthusiasm that Orr had hoped for their place in the contents shrunk and by the fifth issue was abandoned entirely. From then on The Manhattan was a general interest monthly in the mold of its fat and prosperous competitor, The Century. It published high quality period fiction and poetry and had a very respectable critical department. Highlights from these issues include “Artemus Ward in New Orleans,” “The Noble Red Man in Brazil,” travelogues of the St. Johns and Hackensack rivers, a serialized novel by Julian Hawthorne, an article by Cornelius Mathews chastising Charles Dickens as a shameless self-promoter, an article on Western Scenery illustrated by Thomas Moran, and more. The issues grew in size through the run and the magazine appeared to be prospering. But that was not the case. The competition was simply too great. The Manhattan ceased publishing with the September 1884 issue.
The First Two Years
Maryland Historical Magazine (Baltimore)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (March 1906) to Vol. 2, No. 4 (December 1907), comprising the first eight issues, bound in two volumes of contemporary red cloth. Octavos. Bindings near fine, contents near fine. $100
The Maryland Historical Society has published the Maryland Historical Magazine continuously for more than 110 years. The first two volumes are representative of the magazines aims and aspirations, They contain articles profiling famous people (various Calverts, William Clairborne), important families (Brooke, Tilden, Lowndes), moments in military history (the battle of Bladensburg, the Sharpsburg campaign), general history (early missions among the Indians, transported convict labor in colonial Maryland) personal history (Reminiscences of Baltimore in 1824), streuctural history (A Bohemia Manor, the stained glass in the Annapolis state house), important documents and letters, and more. A nice set filled with valuable regional history.
E. Gordon Craig’s Tour de Force
The Mask (Florence, Italy)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (1908) to Vol. 6, No. 4 (April 1914), comprising 12 monthly issues and 20 quarterly issues, bound in three folio volumes and three quarto volumes in the publisher’s binding of cloth-covered spines and paper-covered boards. Bindings fair/VG, with wear and soiling, especially to the first volume, which has been rebacked in cloth with the original spine label laid down. Bookplate to front pastedown and embossing stamp to first title page of each volume. All covers and advertising pages bound in. $1,800
Theater historian Olga Taxidou has written: “No study of modern theater is complete without a thorough understanding of the enormous influence of visionary genius Edward Gordon Craig. Born in England in 1872, Craig went on to become famous world-wide as an actor, manager, director, playwright, designer, and most importantly an author and theorist, whose books were translated into German, Russian, Japanese, Dutch, Hungarian, and Danish.” The Mask, Craig’s most important sustained work (1908-29) was used by him to attack commercial theater and to articulate a modern theater rooted in aesthetics. At its most elemental, Craig advocated for a theater that combined innovative staging and lighting with acting to project a new form of art that would change the audience’s experience from one that was primarily audible to one that was more holistic. He chose the title of his magazine to evoke classic theater. But it was also intended as a wink to his readership because most of the articles were written by Craig using as many as sixty pseudonyms, which he did not admit to until 1962. This then makes the magazine a tour-de-force. While all of the volumes of The Mask are handsome productions, the first three volumes are the only ones in folio, making them especially appealing, with their wide margins, elegant typography, and sumptuous Italian paper. Of all the volumes, the pre-war years show Craig in his most active fertile period.
Socialism’s Greatest Gift to American Culture
The Masses (New York)
Vol. 4, No. 4 (January 1913) to Vol. 5, No. 3 (December 1913), comprising 12 issues, bound in the publisher’s black cloth. Small folio. Binding VG, with edge wear. New non-acidic endpapers. Contents near fine, except for the front and back covers of the January issue, which have ragged margins, toning to cover margins, and a few small archivally repaired tears. All covers and advertisements bound in. Highlights of this volume include covers and cartoon art by John Sloan, Art Young, Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Maurice Becker, Frank Walts, the Winters, and Cornelia Barns, and essays and prose by Max Eastman, John Reed, Gelett Burgess, Horatio Winslow, and many others. This volume is particularly handsome because nothing has been lost in the trim. Later volumes featured bleed-off cover art. $2,400
By all measures except the most mundane (profitability, advertising pages, circulation figures), The Masses was a great magazine: beautiful, intelligent, surprising, dynamic, deadly serious, laugh-out-loud funny, high-minded and frivolous. Nothing like it had ever been seen in America before it began publishing in its new form in December 1912. While Puck, Judge, and Life, America’s leading political satire magazines, had been entertaining readers for nearly two generations, only occasionally did the first and the last of these (Judge almost never did) challenge its audience with a cartoon or an editorial that departed radically from the status quo. The Masses was beholden to these venerable mainstream magazines for the visual and comedic vocabulary they popularized. But the artists and writers of The Masses were more interested in subverting tradition than in extending it. For that task, they drew their inspiration from the artistic satire magazines of Europe, Simplicissimus and L’Assiette Au Buerre, and succeeded in bringing the bravura of those unconventional publications to America.
The teens was socialism’s glorious moment in America. The movement was the product of more than 100 years of agitation– perhaps beginning with Jefferson’s warnings about the deleterious effects of urbanized culture – to curb the excesses of American capitalism. the American culture had wrestled with the coarser aspects of capitalism. Most Americans embraced the system enthusiastically, but they were not stone deaf to the stories of men who got rich on speculation during the civil war, to the ruthlessness of the robber barons, to the exploitation of immigrant and child labor and the brutal suppression of the labor union movement, to the abuse of privilege in the halls of government, to the exposes of the muckrakers and social workers. Slowly, converts were won in the fight for greater economic equity, in the fight for fairness. A great portion of the country was willing to embrace some sort of change, however cautious, exemplified by the elections of two reformers, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, to the presidency. A smaller, though growing, minority on the left wanted sweeping change. These radicals tended to gather under the socialist banner. It would be a mistake to suggest that the pre-world war I left was a monolith. But the unity of purpose in those pre-war days far surpassed any period since. That was because the evil – capitalism – was known in all of its destructive dimensions. Workers could feel its oppressive weight every day of their lives. Intellectuals and reformers could see the injustice all around them. The socialist vision, on the other hand, was just that – a vision, largely untested, but temptingly appealing.
The vigor and élan of The Masses is due in great part to this dynamic: the writers and artists confronted a pervasive foe, a hulking target, a system that in its excesses was its own worst enemy. They had, in short, an endless source of inspiration. Were they required to propose alternatives to Rockefeller’s henchmen gunning down mine workers and their families? The argument was academic. So, though the majority of Americans were skeptical, at minimum, of the sweet song of socialism, only the most mossback could defend the worst abuses of capitalism. History showed how the American left shattered as it responded to the Russian revolution, that is, when it was finally confronted with the reality of a Socialist state, but that story comes later, after The Masses was run from the stage. So this magazine spotlights that magical moment in the history of the American left, when it was resolute in its fight against evil and pregnant with glorious possibility. The Masses was the socialist movement’s greatest gift to American culture.
A Touchstone of 21st Century Periodical Literature
Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (San Francisco)
No. 1 (Autumn 1998) to No. 40 (Spring 2012). A variety of formats ranging in size from octavo to large folio. Complete with all boxes, slipcases, inserts, CDs, and supplements included. Generally near fine, though four issues (2, 25, 37, and 39) show edge wear, #37 has a tear to an interior pocket, and the packaging box of #4 is a bit crushed. Three issues are unopened in original cellophane. All of the issues are first editions, including the first three, published in Iceland, which due to their limited initial print run were re-issued in the early 2000s. $600
Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern is an American literary journal, published by McSweeney’s Publishing House, and edited by Dave Eggers, the bestselling novelist. A typical issue contains short stories, reportage, and occasionally poetry, comic strips, and novellas. Some issues feature writing exclusively or mostly from one geographic area, such as Issue 15, which contained half American and half Icelandic writing. The journal is notable in that it has no fixed format, unlike conventional journals and magazines, and changes shape and size from issue to issue. The issues included in this run range from simple hardcovers or softcovers to more unconventional configurations, such as a newspaper, a bundle of mail, and a box emblazoned with a man’s sweaty head. While McSweeney’s calls itself a quarterly it has not come out four times a year, but rather on a more leisurely schedule. McSweeney’s was founded in 1998 after Dave Eggers left an editing position at Esquire, during the same time he was working on his first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. McSweeney’s was styled as something of a successor to Eggers’ earlier magazine Might (1994-97), although Might was focused more on satire than literature. Although originally reaching only a small audience, McSweeney’s has grown to be a widely read, well respected journal, with Ruth Franklin, writing for Slate, referring to the quarterly (and company) as “…the first bona fide literary movement in decades”. NPR, writing about the company’s fifteenth anniversary, referred to the journal as the “flagship literary quarterly” of a “literary empire”. Notable McSweeney’s contributors include Ann Beattie, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Michael Chabon, Robert Coover, Roddy Doyle, Denis Johnson, Stephen King, Steven Millhauser, Joyce Carol Oates, and David Foster Wallace, among many. In Issue 10, it was claimed that exactly 56 issues of the journal would be published. In Issue 20, this claim was repeated in an advertisement that stated: “There will be roughly thirty-six [issues] to come; then, a five-year retrenchment.” Issue 56 should arrive in 2018 or 2019. We will see if they follow through with their self-imposed suspension. Marvelously original, always surprising, this is one of the touchstones of the 21st century periodical literature.
A Long Run In Original Wrappers
The New England Farmer (Boston)
Vol. 7, No. 1 (January 1855) to Vol. 13, No. 12 (December 1861), comprising 84 issues in original tan wrappers. All VG or better, some spotting, some paper loss to spines, some edge wear. One back cover detached, another largely missing, and a third partially missing. The set was originally owned by the Rev. Charles Babbidge, long-standing minister of the Congregational Church of Pepperell, MA, and his name is written on the top margin of most issues in an unknown hand. $400
The first agricultural magazine was founded in 1810 but it was soon recognized that no one magazine could serve the needs of all the farmers of America, living as they did in vastly different climates and using as they did the land in many different ways. The New England Farmer (1848-1871) was one of many agricultural magazines during the mid-nineteenth century that spoke for and to its region. A typical issue contained practical farming advice, agricultural news, reports, reviews, letters, and advertising. Farming in New England underwent a radical change in the mid-Nineteenth century, similar in scope, in the opinion of one economics historian, to the mid-to-late-Twentieth century industrialization of Asia. At the beginning of the century, the agricultural landscape of New England was defined overwhelmingly by subsistence farming. Because there was not a sufficiently large New England-based home market for agricultural products due to the absence of a large nonagricultural population, New England farmers by and large had no incentive to commercialize their farms. This situation would, however, be radically different by 1850, by which time a highly specialized agricultural economy producing a host of new and differentiated products had emerged. There were two factors that were primarily responsible for the revolutionary changes in the agricultural economy of New England during this period: (1) The rise of the manufacturing industry in New England (industrialization), and (2) agricultural competition from the western states. With industrialization, New England farmers finally had a nearby market to which they could sell their crops, and thus an opportunity to obtain incomes beyond what they produced for subsistence. The agricultural competition that emerged from the western states due to improvements in transportation prompted New England farmers to produce goods with which western farmers could not compete, such as “highly perishable and bulky produce,” according to historian Darwin Kelsey. The New England Farmer helped the New England farmer navigate these new waters and usher in an era of far-reaching change in New England agriculture.
Selected Issues of the Monthly New Masses
New Masses (New York)
How can you not love a magazine that, in its first issue dated May 1926, announced “Is this the magazine our prospectuses talked about? We are not so sure. This, however, is undoubtedly the editorial which, in all our prospectuses, we promised faithfully not to write.” Such was the impish spirit of the New Masses. Named in honor of its brilliant predecessor, The Masses (1911-1917), it was intended to be its worthy successor, merging the literature and art of the Left into a lively magazine that commanded attention from the culture at large. It least for a while, the New Masses lived up to its name. Though its political arteries hardened into Stalinism as it aged, the visual and literary content remained high. Contributors to these issues include John Dos Passos, Max Eastman, Art Young, William Gropper, Hugo Gellert, Wanda Gag, Otto Soglow, Jacob Burck, and many more. Periodyssey offers the following issues:
New Masses, September 1928. Quarto. Near fine. Contributors include: Hugo Gellert (cover), Scott Nearing, Louis Lozowick, Floyd Dell’s obituary for Crystal Eastman, and others. $75
New Masses, March 1930. Quarto. Near fine with the usual toning. Contributors include: John Dos Passos, Jacob Burck, Hugo Gellert, I. Klein, William Gropper, and others. $75
The Thomas Nast of Portugal
O António Maria (Lisbon)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (June 12, 1879) to Vol. 7, No. 3 (January 21, 1885), comprising 315 issues, a complete run, bound in six volumes of contemporary red cloth. Small folio. Near fine inside and out. Volumes 2 through 7 begin with a color title page and two chromolithographic cartoons. Volume 7 contains three full-page chromolithographic caricatures in the style of Vanity Fair. The rest of the issues feature black and white lithographs. $3,600
O António Maria was Portugal’s first great political satire magazine, directed by Portugal’s first great political cartoonist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905). The title, meant as an exclamation, expropriated the first half of the name of the reigning Portuguese Prime Minister, António Maria Fontes Pereira. Like Puck, O António Maria usually devoted its first, last, and center pages to cartoons. The text pages also were dotted with cartoon art. Among the contributors were the poet Guilherme de Azevedo (“João Rialto”), Ramalho Ortigão (“João Ribaixo”), Alfredo Morais Pinto (“Pan-Tarantula”), João Broa, Emílio Pimentel, Enrique Casanova, António Ramalho, Ribeiro Cristino, Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, Manuel Gustavo and others. Initially the magazine struck a balance between cartoons and text, but as it matured, the text took a subservient position to cartoons and comic strips. Pinheiro used satire and irony in the pages of his magazine to oppose those in power and denounce the selfishness and corruption of the elites. All of Portugal’s leading politicians and heads of first families appeared in caricature at one time or another in the weekly. For all of its pungency, O António Maria never exceeded a regular circulation (that is, excepting the special issues) of 7,000. In 1884, the government revised the criminal code, which seriously limited freedom of the press. It was in this repressive environment, against which journalists generally adopted a passive attitude, that led Pinheiro in his final issue to explain: “When in a meeting of journalists’, I proposed an 18-day publishing moratorium to protest the shameful situation in which the Portuguese government has placed the Portuguese press, it was pointed out that O ANTÓNIO MARIA, as a weekly sheet, would not be seriously affected by the resolution. So I take the execution of my proposal one step further: O ANTÓNIO MARIA closes its doors forever in a sign of mourning.”
Stephen Crane in your Pocket
Stephen Crane. Pocket Magazine (New York)
A collection of eight issues of this elusive monthly, published in New York from 1895 to 1901, each containing a short story by Stephen Crane. 12mos. Generally near fine, some issues whiter than others, spines with light wear. June 1896 cover with light quarter-sized stain to front wrapper. The July 1897 issue good only, with well-rubbed wrappers and a chipped spine. Only one issue, October 1896, which contains “A Detail”, is lacking for a complete set. $500
The issues in this set of The Pocket Magazine include:
- April 1896: “A Tale of Mere Chance” (first American magazine appearance);
- May 1896: “A Grey Sleeve” (first American magazine appearance);
- June 1896: “One Dash – Horses” (first American magazine appearance);
- August 1896: “The Snake” (first appearance);
- September 1896: “An Indiana Campaign” (first appearance);
- November 1896: “The Voice of the Mountain” (first appearance);
- June 1897: “How the Donkey Lifted the Hills” (first appearance);
- July 1897: “A Victory of the Moon” (first appearance).
Also included in the collection is a window poster for the May 1896 issue, which is an enlarged version of the cover, in fine condition. A difficult collection to assemble, particularly in this condition.
The Greatest Years of the Most Influential Poetry Magazine in History
Vol. 1, No. 1 (October 1912) to Vol. 12, No. 6 (September 1918), comprising 72 issues bound in twelve volumes of matching brown cloth with leather spine labels. TEG. Small octavos. Bindings VG+, with hardly any shelf wear; contents near fine. $1,200
Hoffman, in his book The Little Magazine, delivered the final words on this remarkable magazine: “Poetry was vital from its inception. Its value to America and Britain during the past quarter of a century can scarcely be overestimated, for it courageously stimulated American verse to a height that had been alien atmosphere for many a year. In Poetry’s case mere figures are indeed meaningless. To say that it has promoted the reputation of ninety-five per cent of the post-1912 poets [or] to mention its distinguished criticism of verse… is almost futile. One must browse slowly through its volumes and discover their full flavor for himself.“ A great deal of the brilliance of this magazine was due to the towering presence of one person: editor Harriet Monroe. A minor poet herself, she was more importantly a person of exquisite discernment who could spot poetic talent at first glance. She encouraged dozens of young poets destined for greatness at a time when they were receiving precious little encouragement from anyone else. And she (along with her brilliant associate editor Alice Corbin Henderson) wrote with clarity and conviction on all aspects of the poetic arts. What overwhelms the modern reader is the sense of sure-footedness and confidence that the magazine exhibited right from the start. While Monroe embraced the New Imagist school of poetry, she was open to all types of poetry but one: the formal romantic slush that clogged the pages of almost every other literary and popular magazine of the day.
The contents pages for these volumes read like an honor roll of 20th century poets: W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Padraic Colum, D.H. Lawrence, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Maxwell Bodenheim, Rupert Brooke, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Edgar Lee Masters, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, James Joyce, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sherwood Anderson, Vachel Lindsay, Joyce Kilmer, John Reed, Sara Teasdale, Arthur Davison Ficke, Witter Bynner, George Sterling, John G. Neihardt, Rabindranath Tagore, Alfred Kreymborg, Marsden Hartley, Ford Madox Hueffer (Ford), and on and on and on. Just a few of the poems that appeared in the first six years that will live forever include: Pound’s “To Whistler, American;” Lindsay’s “General William Booth Enters into Heaven;” Yeats’ “The Grey Rock;” Kilmer’s “Trees;” Eliot’s “The Love Songs of J. Alfred Prufrock;” and Stevens’ “Sunday Morning.” This set encompasses Poetry’s most influential period.
A Complete Run of the Anti-Dreyfus Weekly
Vol. 1 No. 1 (February 5, 1898) to No. 85 (September 16, 1899), comprising 85 issues, a complete run, handsomely rebacked in dark blue leather with original marbled boards. Folio. Binding VG+, with light edge wear. Contents near fine. $400
This is a complete run of Jean-Louis Forain and Caran D’Ache’s highly inflammatory anti-Dreyfus periodical. Psst…!, a weekly, was created specifically as a rallying point against the Alfred Dreyfus Affair. It contains no text, only black and white cartoons (and captions in French) from the pens of Forain and Caran D’Ache, two of the greatest French caricaturists of their day. Our colleague, Historicana, describes the volume thus: “The Dreyfus Affair was an explosive, pivotal moment in the history of France’s Third Republic. For all of her liberte, egalite, fraternite, France was revealed to be rife with the same unfounded bigotry towards Jews as other less enlightened nations. Opposing camps of Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards settled in as the long political ordeal raged through, not only, French courtrooms, kitchens and marketplaces but the drawing rooms of the outside world as well. This public interest in the Dreyfus conflagration was a 19th century equivalent to the O.J. Trial! Everyone had an opinion. Psst…! represented the stiletto sharp but badly mislead reiteration of Dreyfus’ guilt. This magazine’s unswerving aim was clearly based on preserving the respect and power of the French army and not in establishing who really passed military secrets to the German attaché. Widely read during its brief life Psst…! even provoked the creation of another weekly magazine Le Sifflet which sought to maintain Dreyfus’ innocence. This is propaganda distilled to its purest form, directed at the emotions, without words to complicate the reader’s mental clarity. It was this type of literature and its compelling anti-Semitic position that prompted Theodor Herzl’s call for a Jewish Homeland, as well as Emile Zola’s famous burst of intellectual outrage.” This is the publisher’s special edition, printed on Japanese paper and limited to 75 copies.
Putnam’s Monthly 3.0
Putnam’s Monthly (New York)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (October 1906) to Vol. 7, No. 7 (April 1910), comprising 43 issues bound in brown cloth with leather spine labels. Octavos. Bindings VG; contents VG, with an occasional library stamp. $300
This third attempt by the publishing house of Putnam to establish an organ was built on the ashes of the highly esteemed The Critic (1881-1906), which the Putnams had owned since 1898. As such, Putnam’s Monthly was much concerned about literature, but also broader — a general interest monthly in the spirit of Scribner’s Magazine or The Century. It was edited by the sister and brother team of Jeanette and Joseph Gilder, the erudite team that had guided The Critic. They attracted many talents to the pages of the Monthly: Henry James, Maurice Maeterlinck, Count Zeppellin, Brander Matthews, Don Marquis, Carolyn Wells, Everett Shinn, and Gelett Burgess, among many. The magazine is especially valuable for its well-illustrated profiles of writers and artists, both contemporary and from the past. Unlike Putnam’s predecessors, this series met with success, achieving a circulation of 120,000. But it was so expensive to produce that 120,000 subscribers wasn’t enough. The house of Putnam’s never again attempted a magazine.
The No. 1 Magazine for Yachtsmen
The Rudder (New York)
The Rudder was published from 1891 to 1977. British-born Thomas Fleming Day (1861-1927) was working as a boat salesman for a shop on Dey Street in New York when his employer thought that “getting out a little paper” and charging for advertising space made more sense than producing all those free catalogs they were mailing out. Mr Day obliged. He turned out to be the perfect editor. An intrepid and experienced yachtsman, a fluid and opinionated writer, he steered the publication for three decades and made it the foremost magazine for the sailing crowd. In addition to travelogues and profiles of yachtsmen, the magazine was full of boat designs still of value today. Periodyssey offers the following volumes:
The Rudder. 1905. Volume 16, January to December, bound in the publisher’s light blue cloth. Binding VG+, general light wear. Contents near fine. Advertising, but not front and back covers, bound in. $250
The Rudder. 1906. Volume 17, January to December, bound in the publisher’s light blue cloth. Binding VG+, general light wear. Contents near fine. Advertising, but not front and back covers, bound in. $250
The Rudder. 1908. Volume 20, July to December, bound in the publisher’s light blue cloth. Binding VG-, faded, general light wear. Contents near fine. All covers and advertising bound in. $150
“A Significance… Unapproached in Kind and Effect by Any Other Periodical”
Scientific American/Scientific American Supplement (New York)
January 3, 1880, to December 31, 1881. Four volumes each of Scientific American (volumes 42-45) and Scientific American Supplement (volumes 9-12), a total of 206 out of 208 issues (lacking the April 10, 1880, and the June 25, 1881 issues of Scientific American), bound in three volumes of mismatching leather and cloth. Small folios. Bindings VG, with general wear. Contents near fine. From January 1880 to June 1881, the issues are interleaved. From July to December 1881, the issues are bound one volume after the other. $200
Scientific American was founded in 1845 as a weekly and remained such until 1921, when it converted to monthly publication, which continues today. The issues from the nineteenth century are loaded with drawings and articles about new inventions and any other news befitting the “Advocate of Industry,” as it called itself. These volumes chronicle the unprecedented growth of America’s industrial capabilities and the blossoming of the American entrepreneurial spirit. As a journal of record for American patents, it is not an exaggeration to say that Scientific American played an important, perhaps crucial, role in stimulating the industrialization transformation. Highlights from its long run include news of the invention of the light bulb, the phonograph, the telephone, the motion picture camera, the personal camera, the type-writer, the x-ray, and much more. As Mott says, “The Scientific American had a significance — at least for its first sixty or seventy years — unapproached in kind and effect by any other periodical.” (Mott/II/324). In 1876 the wealth of technical information associated with the exhibits at the Philadelphia Centennial prompted the publishers to issue the Scientific American Supplement, which was identical in size and appearance to its parent paper. It proved so successful that it was continued after the fair closed for 43 years. Though it is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from the other, the Supplement contained less news and more technical information and pure science than did its parent. It’s unusual to find the two titles bound together but they serve as an interest gloss on one another.
Alberto Vargas in Shadowland
Shadowland (New York)
March 1923. Small folio. VG+ covers, near fine interior. Features Vargas’ full-page color portrait of Nita Naldi, a color art deco cover by Hopfmuller, and a profile of artist Charles Sheeler. $75
A Leader in the Irish Literary Revival
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 1906) to Vol. 2, No 6 (Summer 1907), comprising six issues in all, a complete run, bound in two volumes by the publisher. (Decorated cover designed by Beatrice Elvery [Lady Glenavy]). Octavos. Volume 1 binding good, with edge wear and darkening to the spine. Volume 2 binding poor, with loss to spine cloth and darkening to the spine. $600
The Shanachie was published by Dublin’s Maunsel and Company. Founded in 1905 by Joseph Maunsel Hone, Stephen Gwynn, and George Roberts, the company played an important part in the Irish Literary Revival, publishing first or important works by many of the most celebrated Irish writers of the early 20th century. The Shanachie, edited by J. M. Hone, was its first and only entry into the periodical business. In its six-issue run, the magazine published prose contributions by such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Lord Dunsany, W. B. Yeats, Padraic Colum, Lady Gregory, A. E. (George William Russell), J. M. Synge and others. Art was contributed by Jack Yeats, Hugh Thomson, William Orpen and others. Despite its distinguished content, the quarterly was unprofitable was soon discontinued. Complete runs are relatively scarce.
Stowe’s Charming Stories of a New England Village
Harriet Beecher Stowe. “Oldtown Fireside Stories” in Atlantic Monthly (Boston), June, July August, October, November, December, 1870. Octavos. Near fine. The complete serialization (six stories out of the fifteen published in book form) in beautiful condition. $200
The year before “Oldtown Fireside Stories” was written, Harriet Beecher Stowe published an essay in the Atlantic Monthly accusing Byron of having slept with his sister. Though history has vindicated her, the essay nearly destroyed her career, as one critic after another vied to cast opprobrium upon her “amoral soul“ etc. The Oldtown stories were intended to diffuse the controversy and re-establish her career. A sequel to Oldtown Folks, featuring some of the same characters, these are charming short stories told by ole’ Sam Lawson to entertain Horace and Bill, two impressionable, curious, and clever young boys of Oldtown (a fictional 1850’s New England village loosely based on Natick, Massachusetts), during evenings gathered around the hearth, or roaming with Sam around the countryside. Stowe faithfully and masterfully captures many of the colloquial expressions, superstitions, beliefs, customs, and habits of the period that even then had begun to fade from American culture, as well as convey many truths about the human condition that haven’t changed a bit. A beautiful set.
The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Strand (London)
Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1891) to Vol. 10, No. 6 (December 1895), comprising 60 issues bound in ten volumes by the publisher. Octavos. Bindings VG, with rubbing and edge wear. Volumes 3 and 6 have darkened spines and a bit more edge wear. Contents VG+, with foxing to front and back matter. Title page and indexes bound in all volumes, except volume 8, which is lacking the index. Volume 8 is also lacking the “Jul to Dec” spine designation. Covers and advertisements not bound in as usual. $600
The Strand, founded by George Newes and edited by Herbert Greenhough Smith, was a long-lived monthly (1891-1950) composed of short fiction and articles of general interest. Its first issue sold nearly 300,000 copies and was soon to reach the half-million mark. An American edition of identical content with a one-month time lag began publication in February 1891. The Strand had many strengths — it was well-edited and well-illustrated — but it is best known today as the home for most of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. These volumes contain 24 of them, including the complete serializations of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Eight more constitute the complete serialization of The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard. Also included is an article “A Day with Dr. Conan Doyle.” Other contributors to these volumes include early work by Max Beerbohm, fiction by Americans Bret Harte and Frank Stockton, and translations of Dumas, Maupassant, and Pushkin.
Living Large in Edwardian America
Suburban Life (Boston)
Suburban Life, the most formidable competitor to Country Life, was founded in Boston in 1903 as The Suburban, an insubstantial black and white monthly. With new owners and an infusion of cash, it changed its name to Suburban Country Life in late 1904 (quickly dropping “Country” from its name to avoid confusion) and then simply Suburban Life in February 1905. Like its slightly more established and slightly more prosperous New York competitor, Suburban Life emphasized beautiful homes, house plans, decorating, landscaping, and gardening. Apparently the interest in these subjects was great enough to support two substantial magazines. In 1914 it changed its name to The Countryside Magazine and Suburban Life, and then with the war, was absorbed by The Independent, which had also recently absorbed Harper’s Weekly. While it lasted Suburban Life was a handsome, successful magazine. Periodyssey offers the following volume:
Suburban Life. 1910. Volumes 10 and 11, January to December, bound in one volumes of green cloth with leather spine labels. Binding worn, sturdy. Contents near fine, with covers and advertisements bound in. $125
The Paris Exiles Speak
The Transatlantic Review (London/New York)
Vol.1, No. 1 (January 1924) to Vol. 2, No. 6 (January 1925), comprising twelve issues, a complete run, bound in three volumes of leather and cloth. Bindings VG, with mottling to cloth, edge wear, and tender hinges. Contents VG. Marginal toning to all issues due to paper quality. All covers and advertisements bound in. $2,500
The Transatlantic Review (often styled the transatlantic review) was an influential monthly literary magazine featuring the work of the Paris expatriates. It was funded by John Quinn, champion of Joyce’s Ulysses, who had been persuaded by Ezra Pound to give money to English man of letters Ford Madox Ford to launch a literary magazine. The Review was based in Paris but published in London by Gerald Duckworth and Company and in New York by Thomas Seltzer. Ford was editor, but he was ably assisted by Ernest Hemingway, who boosted the magazine and helped shape its contents. Although it lasted but a year, the magazine had an outsized impact on 20th-century literature by publishing fiction by Ernest Hemingway (the first appearance of “Indian Summer” and two other Nick Adams short stories), Gertrude Stein (the serialization of The Making of Americans), John Dos Passos, Djuna Barnes, and James Joyce (an early extract from Finnegans Wake), poetry by Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, E. E. Cummings, and Hilda Doolittle, and essays by Ford, Hemingway, and Williams among others. When Quinn died in July 1924, funding became complicated and eventually ran out at the end of the year. Single issues show up usually in fair condition at best due to the inferior paper quality and fragile buff covers. Because these issues were bound soon after the magazine folded, they are in as good a state of preservation as can be expected. Scarce.