It’s a First Edition of Pride and Prejudice!  Visiting Bauman Rare Books Part 3 of 5

It’s a First Edition of Pride and Prejudice! Visiting Bauman Rare Books Part 3 of 5

January 16, 2020 5 By Luis Garrison


Hi! Welcome to Staxpeditions on tour. Our
crew from Iowa is here in Las Vegas for the American Library Association conference, so
we stopped by Bauman Rare Books to say hello to Rebecca Romney. Hello! Here we go! So with Pride and Prejudice you have the three
volumes, the triple decker format which frankly when it comes down to it the only reason they
were published in three volumes was so that booksellers could make more money. It’s like,
“Why sell you one book when we can sell you three books?” So this is the first edition?
This is the first edition, yes. This is the first, we’ve got a contemporary calf binding
and everything. It’s really cool. I know! We could say very serious things, but I just
had to take a moment to be really excited! It is funny too, I mean you know you’re in
the right business when something like this comes in, you’ve seen other copies, and something
like this comes in and you still go “Mm!” Yeah yeah! It’s exciting. I need to see this.
So yes, you can see, too, the same thing. About how the paper works, and whether or
not the half title is present here for example, or not, which is a big part because when it
gets bound often the half titles aren’t included. The same thing goes for things like ads, contemporary
ads, and these type of economic traits are a big part of how the book will age, so we
have foxing here based on how the material that was originally in the paper when they
created it, often for instance they’re pumping chemicals into it to bleach the paper and
those oxidize. But those are all things that, at the time, people didn’t think about at
all. And today they’re a HUGE concern for collectors, for example. How much foxing,
how did the binding end up standing up over time? “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens,
for example, that book was meant to be a very deluxe production. Dickens was very involved
himself in all of the production and he was really picky about the endpaper color, for
example, he changed a number of things about the proof copies, but in the end it turned
out to be a very very fragile book. Among collectors there’s a lot of demand and fight
about that, having pristine copies that unrestored, and things like that. These are the type of
problems that someone would not even THINK of when this was first created. Probably best
example of that actually, is when wood pulp gets introduced to paper. So, at least around
1844 is when it starts being really industrialized and put into paper, and at that point people
didn’t realise how the acidic content would affect the pages over time. And it wasn’t
until what, the 1950s or something? There was a really famous article that came out
and said “Do you see what acid is doing to our paper, guys?”