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Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

May 19, 2010

The Boy Who Drew Cats by Lafcadio Hearn

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was a fascinating character and literary "tour de force" of his day.

This rare and valuable antiquarian book, published in 1911, is his beautifully illustrated interpretation of the Japanese Fairy Tale.

For all collectors, especially those interested in fairy tales, the Orient, Japan, Japanese Memorabilia and the writings of Lafcadio Hearn, this is truly a find.

A reprint of the 1898 original edition published by T. Hasegawa in Tokyo, the book is 20 pages long, on soft crepe paper bound with silk. While he cover is worn, the pages are firmly bound, clean and in very good condition. Hearn's charming illustrations retain their colors. The book measures 5-3/8" x 7-1/2".

Number 23* in the Japanese Fairy Tale series, The Boy Who Drew Cats is more than a highly collectible item; it is a shining example of Japanese fairy tales, "Rendered into English by Lafcadio Hearn."

Note to specialists: We have identified this book as the 1911 reprint by the address of T. Hasegawa on the inside back cover: "17 Kami-negishi, Tokyo, Japan."



May 17, 2010

Memoir of Actor James H. Stoddart - Recollections of a Player

 For everyone who loves the theatre and the 19th century, here is a rare first edition.

Published in 1902, Recollections of a Player is filled with memories and anecdotes as told by the English-born actor James H. Stoddart, who came to America and made his career on the American stage.

Included in its 256 pages are portraits of contemporary players and illustrations of playbills.

May 16, 2010

Best Things from American Literature, Compiled by Irving Bacheller

Best Things from American Literature, complied by Irving Bacheller.

Here's a rare first edition from 1899, an anthology of works by more than five dozen American authors including Daniel Webster, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Willian Dean Howells, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Julia Ward Howe.

There are 63 listed illustrations -- portraits of the writers, including one of President Lincoln that appears opposite his Gettysburg Address, and several facsimiles of manuscripts in the authors' handwriting, among them a page from Ben Hur in which General Lew Wallace describes the famous chariot race.



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