Fairs | March 2024 | Alex Johnson

Five Rare Books for Collectors: Firsts Online

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books & Manuscripts

220 items including editions, translations, commentary, ephemera, and reference works related to Edward Fitzgerald and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Available from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books & Manuscripts

Highlights from Firsts Online, the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association's virtual book fair running through March 3:

* Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson, Ernest Benn, London, 1951. The first UK printing in scarce wrapper by Jansson of the second book in the series. Available from Ashton Rare Books.

* Die Toiletten-Plaudern by Fanny Warren, Mausberger, 1840. First and apparently only edition of a charming guide for young ladies on how to learn English while getting dressed. Despite this light-hearted approach, the language guide is actually both thorough and practical. Available from Susanne Schulz-Falster.

* Progress of Stories by Laura Riding, Seizin Press/Constable, 1935. Larry McMurtry’s copy, with his bookplate, a first edition of this very scarce collection of short stories published when Riding and Robert Graves were running the Seizin Press in Deia, Mallorca. Available from Neil Pearson Rare Books.

* Petit Chansonnier de l’enfance, chez Marcilly, 1830. A charming children’s miniature almanac published by the leading French publishing house. It contains the lyrics for nine different songs, as well as eight full-page engraved illustrations, and a calendar. Part of a series printed by Marcilly containing tiny volumes of stories, anecdotes, fables, etc, all aimed to be gifted to children. Available from Symonds Rare Books.