September 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Up-Country Letters

Catalogue Review: Up-Country Letters, #16

Well, Dear Reader, if you're a frequent follower of this blog, you will understand that I could not pass up the opportunity to review a catalogue titled Transcendentalism. Thoreau and Emerson being longtime favorites (and in that order). Coincidentally, I am just finishing Eden's Outcasts, the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner about Louisa May Alcott and her father. So when Up-Country Letters Fine and Rare Books of Gardnerville, Nevada, sent this catalogue to my inbox, 'twas fate.

Oh to have the four-volume facsimile of the Transcendentalists' magazine, The Dial, together with two additional volumes of George W. Cooke's Historical and Biographical Introduction to The Dial ($200)! Another intriguing find is a typed letter signed by Julian Hawthorne, Nathaniel's son, from 1901 ($90). That alone is mildly interesting, but the content is fantastic. In it, Julian is promoting P.F. Collier's "World's Greatest Literature" series, precursor to the Harvard Classics. Several autographs letters of Rev. Theodore Parker are here, of particular interest one written to Emerson introducing a minister ($900).
There's a solid selection of biographical works on Emerson, including a first edition of Van Wyck Brooks' The Life of Emerson
Focusing on nineteenth-century American literature, this catalogue is broader than the town lines of Concord, Massachusetts. So others like Sarah Orne Jewett and Oliver Wendell Holmes appear. A separate section is devoted to literary critic Van Wyck Brooks. Cabinet cards or cartes de visite of many nineteenth-century literary stars can also be had--Alcott ($125), Emerson ($125), Hawthorne ($175), and others are helpfully featured in a photo insert.

Download the catalogue at: