Monday, March 25, 2019

Sivori Levey And His Masks

Going through The English Catalogue of Books 1919 from Z towards A, I was looking out for obscure and interesting-sounding books, when I discovered several listed for Sivori Levey, a songwriter, playwright, entertainer, poet, Shakespeare enthusiast and prolific self-publisher.

From his address at 6, Roehampton Lane, Putney Heath, London SW15, he issued around 80 titles under various personal imprints. A few were also published by commercial publishers, such as series of songs from Chappell & Co in 1913. Most of his work is light verse written with jaunty verve, or comic songs on popular themes.

There are notes about him on two war memorial websites, and brief allusions elsewhere. He was born in Steyning, Sussex in 1879 to Richard and Emma Levey (nee Raymond). His full name was Sivori Antonio Joachim Levey.

In the First World War, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served on the Western Front. A big jolly man who composed comic and cheery songs for his men at the front, he lost a leg at Passchendaele, and undaunted later wrote, as “A Wounded Warrior”, The Story of a Wooden Leg, December 1918.

His work ranged from the frivolous and fey to serious interpretations of Shakespeare. For example, in 1918 he published The Fairie Boat, and Other Verses Written in the Pixie Parlour. On 23 April 1919 he gave what was described as “his 20th Poetry Music Recital” at the Steinway Hall, “A Special Reading, with music, of the DRAMA reconstructed by Gerald Massey of SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS.”

In July 1919, he published Jazzers’ Joy! Song Souvenirs. In 1921 he toured a striking solo performance of Shakespeare characters using only masks, together with songs from the plays with his own piano music. The masks were made by a friend, Maie Hoey.

Sivori Levey died following the amputation of his remaining leg as a result of complications from his wartime injuries, in 1924.

The checklist below, which may be the first compiled of his works (and is certain to be incomplete) is a tribute to the dauntless creativity of a man who clearly enjoyed writing, singing and performing, and was determined to offer his work to others. The many publications cover both topical themes and timeless classics. Very few seem to have survived and they may have only been issued in fairly small numbers. But that does not seem to have discouraged Sivori Levey’s prolific and varied output.

A Checklist of Sivori Levey’s Publications

Jane Shore written by Siv Levey and F.V. St. Clair ; composed by F.V. St. Clair (Francis, Day & Hunter c1899)
Immortality: The Creation of Woman; and Other Legendary Lines in Vivacious Verse (1908)
Parted: Dramatic Poem with Music, for reciter and singer (1908)
Popular Recitations with Musical Accompaniment [for Pianoforte]. 1. The Brook. - Tennyson. - 2. All the World's a Stage. - Shakespeare. - 3. Sweet Music. - Shakespeare. - 4. Le Corbeau et le Renard. - La Fontaine. (Metzler & Co, 1908)
Alcyone, Fate, Death or Life, and The Silver Flute: Rhymes (1909)
The Angels of the Heavens (1909)
The Conquest of the Air (E T Heron, 1909)
Plays (E T Heron & Co, 1909)
The Drummer Boy, A Tragedy, Founded on An Old Scottish Legend (1910)
The Empires of the Earth: A History of the World in Summary (1910)
Love in the Forest, A Fancy (1910)
The Student: A Masque (1910)
The Wedding Party: A Scene (1910)
'The Little Blue Flower', and Other Simple Thoughts in Rhyme (1911)
Sacred Poems: Legends of The Childhood of Christ (1911)
‘A Smile’, ‘Don’t Worry’ & Other Verses (1911)
Daddy and Babsy. Song, words and music by . . . (Chappell & Co, 1913)
He Met Her On the Stairs; Song, words and music by . . . . (Chappell & Co, 1913)
His Little Teddy Bear, Song, words and music by . . . . (Chappell & Co, 1913)
The Salvation of Satan & Other Impressions (1913)
Britishers! And Other Songs of the War (1914)
Cornish Pasty: Lines in Verse Written at Fowey (1917)
Flanders to Fowey: "Ypres" and "Après"; Verses of Active Service, Hospital, and Convalescence. By ‘A Wounded Warrior’. (1917)
The Air-Raiders, Twelve German Gothas (1918)
The Bird's Nest in the Church Clock (between minutes 48 and 49) (1918)
The Black Hunter : a Dramatic Ballad. The Old Cornish tale of "Treg'ayg'l the Wicked" by John Penwarne, edited by Sivori Levey (1918)
The Boy and His Angel by Robert Browning, Arranged for Stage Representation in Costume (1918)
Cornwall in general and Fowey in particular : selections in verse from my Cornish note book (1918)
Egg Days (1918)
The Faerie Boat & Other Verses Written in the Pixie Parlour (1918)
The Fairy Prince: ‘Tis Love that I Love (1918)
Forty-Seven Thousand! The Black Book (1918)
The Fourth of July (Inter-dependence day, London, 1918) (1918)
H.M.S. "Vindictive" (The Raid on the Mole) : a Story of the Old Nelson Touch (1918)
Ils ne Passeront Pas (They Shall Not Pass) (1918)
Lost Love: The Boyhood of The Pied Piper (1918)
"My son" and "The Old Saw Mill" (Priceless old thing): the Words of Two New Songs (1918)
Nana, The Fruit Girl, The Love Story of My Life, Song (1918)
Nennette and Rintintin (Paris, 1918): dedicated to the American Red Cross (1918)
Penny Postage, The Post We Always Leaned On (1918)
Radadou, The Baby (1918)
Ready Money Cove, & Way Back o' Beyond: Verses (1918)
Roehampton Rhymes: Selections from a Dover House Revue, etc.(1918)
The Rose of France (July 14th, 1918) (1918)
The Second Thousand Million! National War Bonds. An up-to-date patriotic recitation (1918)
Six Songs; Words and Music (1918)
Songlin’ Series: Words and Music (1918)
The Storie of Foye, or, Rather Some of It, in verse.(1918)
Story of a Wooden Leg (1918)
When the Sammies Marched Through London (May 11th, 1918) (1918)
The Words of Two Beautiful Ballads, written and composed by . . . (1918)
Bible Children: Word-Pictures in Song-Verse. (Pilgrimage poems) (1919)
Comfort (1919)
The Fountain Reciter: Pleasant and Playful Selections in Verse. (1919)
A "Foyen" picture book. By ‘A Wounded Warrior’ (1919)
Guinivere and Arthur, Adapted from Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King' (1919)
Jazzers’ Joy! Song Souvenirs (1919)
Mahmud the Sultan, Adapted from Shelley's ‘Hellas’(1919)
The 'Mummie' Reciter. Cheer-o! And Other Selections [written by S.A.J. Levey] from the Repertoire of A.A. Levey (1919)
Peter! ... Peter Pan! (the Boy Who Won't Grow Up): A Song for the Family Circle (1919)
The Pilgrimage Reciter, Legendary Lines in Rhyme for Recitations (1919)
Shakespeare in London, 1919 : an incomplete but helpful record to Shakespearean activities-literary, dramatic and musical, etc. With On the Threshold, 1919. Companion volume to “Shakespeare in London, 1919.”). (Both 1919)
Sunshine and Shadow (1919)
The Two Knights, Adapted from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer: Dramatised as a Pageant Play for Costume Representation (1919)
Virginel, An Ancient Historical Drama, Reconstructed (1919)
"Feramorz", Adapted from Tom Moore's "Lalla Rookh" (1920)
Longfellow's ‘Hiawatha’, Dramatised for Costume Presentation (1920)
A Merry Masque of the Months: a Calendar of Ancient Rome (1920)
A 'Minerva' comment: an indication of how to produce Shakespeare's 'comedy' Twelfe night, or, What you will and why (1920)
A "Minerva" comment as a "Mayflower" Tercentenary Celebration Contribution on Shake-speares Anglo-American Mystery-Morality play The Tempest: what led up to it, and what followed. 1623-1923 First folio tercentenary (1920)
A Play entitled "Ozymandias king of kings". Portrayed for Costume Representation (1920)
The Roehampton Reciter: Dramatic and Humorous selections (1920)
The Ruby in the Wine: A Persian Allegory of old Omar Khayyam and his friends, being Fitzgerald's 'Omar Khayyam' Dramatised for Costume Presentation (1920)
The Tempest : What Led Up to it, and What Followed (1920)
The New Study of Shakespeare (1921)
Sir Gareth's Quest, Adapted from Tennyson's 'Idylls of the King' and Arranged for Costume Representation (1921)
Three short plays. I. Dagobert the jester ... II. Radezka ... III. The Enchanted Garden, Adapted and Arranged (1921)
The Bell-ario, a Series of Shakespeare’s Most Beautiful Songs, Arranged by . . . (The Ludo Press, 1922)
Dream Flowers, Being the Version of Aarak: Verses (1922)
Ivory Leaves: a Medium of Expression for the New Intensive Study of Shakespeare (1922)
Melody-Harmony, A Re-Study of the Shakespeare Play Songs, No 1, It Was a Lover and His Lass (The Pilgrimage, 1922)
The Merchant of Venice: A Mystery Play (The Pilgrimage, 1922)
Old Pierrot: written and composed by . . . (Reynolds & Co, 1922)
Shakespeare's Morality Play, The Comedy of Errors (The Pilgrimage, 1922)
Shakespeare's Wonderful Women : a 1923 Translation-Dictionary (The Pilgrimage, 1922)
After 300 Years (1623-1923) (Ludo Press, 1923)
King Macbeth (1623-1923) : a Shakespearean morality play, founded and modelled on Greek tragedy and Roman comedy generally, and medieval mystery and morality plays particularly: a study (Ludo Press, 1923)
The Elemental Drama: A Re-Study of the Shakespeare Plays (1924)


All issued by the author unless stated. His private press at Putney Heath is variously called Fountain Publishing, The Roehampton Press or Sivori Levy Publications, or sometimes catalogued as ‘privately printed’. The Ludo Press and The Pilgrimage are probably also the author’s imprints. The author is given as ‘S Levey’ or ‘Sivori Levey’ unless stated. The date of many of those attributed to 1918 has been assumed by library cataloguers: 1919 is also possible.


100 First World War Stories. Cornish Collections Illuminating the First World War (blog). ‘Sivori Levy (1879-1924)—Songwriter and Amputee’. Short biographical note.
Lewis-Stempel, John. Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War. Quotes from SL’s poem ‘The Road That Brought Me to Roehampton’.
London, Lucy. ‘Sivori Levey (1879 – 1924) – British Author, Composer, Actor, Pianist, Poet, Lyricist, Teacher and Soldier’ on Forgotten Poets of the First World War blog. Posted 16 January 2016. Biographical note. Notes that “in the early 1900s the family lived in Oxford and Cambridge Mansions in Marylebone, London and Sivori was apparently a Civil Servant. Sivori’s elder sister Adeline was a singer.”
MacDonald, Lyn. They Called it Passchendaele: The Story of the Battle of Ypres [etc] With a portrait of SL.
Spitalfields Life (blog).‘East End Entertainers of 1922'. Posted January 23, 2015. Illustrates poster for ‘Sivori Levey And his Masks’

Mark Valentine

Thursday, March 21, 2019

John P. Quaine: Catalogue of Penny Bloods (1931)

Melbourne book dealer  John P. Quaine (1883-1957) is well known for fooling Montague Summers into adding some invented Penny Blood titles into his Gothic Bibliography (1940).  As Michael Anglo explains in his book, Penny Dreadfuls and Other Victorian Horrors (1977),

"Montague Summers.....was certainly fooled by [John. P. Quaine,] an extremely knowledgeable Melbourne bookseller with a sense of humour, who issued an important catalogue for collectors in the 1930s. Stanley Larnach, a writer and collector of ‘dreadfuls’ who lived in Sydney, New South Wales, and was a leading member of the Book Collector’s Society of Australia, said that Quayne’s catalogue included two beautiful ‘dreadful’ titles: ‘The Skeleton Clutch; or, The Goblet of Gore’, a romance by T. Prest issued in penny parts (E.Lloyd 1841); and ‘Sawney Beane, the Man-Eater of Midlothian’ by T. Prest issued in penny parts (E.Lloyd 1851). Montague listed both of these splendid titles, which were Quayne inventions, in his Gothic Bibliography."

The catalogue in question may be the one preserved in a Scrapbook of Bloods in State Library of Victoria, MS 3700/3 (though it doesn't include "The Skeleton Clutch").  Described as "late 1940s-1950s, comprising press clippings, illustrations clipped from journals, published bibliographies of penny bloods, book sales, lists of penny dreadfuls and penny bloods; also, seventy letters from the Melbourne bookseller J.P. Quaine (1951-1957) to Stanley Larnach, Walter W. Stone and J.K. Moir."

Here is the catalogue in Mr Quaine's inimitable style, replete with "fierce cuts" and rarae aves.  I've made a few comments in square brackets.  "James & Smith" is Penny Dreadfuls and Boys' Adventures : the Barry Ono Collection of Victorian Popular Literature in the British Library (1998).  "Summers" is his Gothic Bibliography.  The list clearly isn't the original catalogue, but has been typed by someone, presumably Stanley Larnach.

Copy of Sales List From J.P. Quaine, 139 Commercial Rd, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria. 1931.

Rare Penny Dreadfuls offered from my own Private Collection.  All unobtainable anywhere else in Australia.

1.  Edwin J. Brett’s “Boys of England”.  The four first vols., a reissue dated 1876 et seq., bound in 2 large vols.  Containing dozens of the best “bloods” issued by Brett.  Only £4, less than quarter the London price.  SOLD.

2.  Brett’s “Young Men of Great Britain”.  The first 4 vols.  Original Editions, 1868 et seq.  Bound in 3 vols, with all the rare gory illustrations and coloured Xmas Number.  £5-10-0.

3.  “Young Men of Great Britain”, odd vol. 1880.  Contains “Ned Nimble amongst the Pirates” complete.  Good order.  Only 20/-

4. “Young Men of Great Britain”, thick vol containing numbers between 1884 and 1886, not quite complete.  One vol. 20/-.

5.  Brett’s “Jack Harkaway Series”.  Broken series, 13 vols, original covers. £3.  A Mint set of this rarity sells at 20 guineas in London.

6.  “Handsome Harry of the Fighting Belvedere”. Exceedingly scarce, wants 2 leaves, original cloth. 15/-.  A perfect copy worth £4.
[James & Smith, 102]

7.  “Broad Arrow Jack”, a perfect copy.  Coloured Front.  A bargain at £4. 2 others bound in.
[Edwin Harcourt Burrage, Broad-arrow Jack.  James & Smith, 89]

8.  “The Rival Apprentices” and “Rupert Dreadnought” or “The Secret of the Iron Chest”, with all gory woodcuts, 2 bound in 1 vol.  £3.
[Vane Ireton Saint John, The Rival Apprentices, a Tale of the Riots of 1780.  James & Smith, 581.  Vane Ireton Saint John, Rupert Dreadnought; or, The Secrets of the Iron Chest.  James & Smith, 582-584]

9.  “The London Apprentice” by Pierce Egan, Large vol, of over 90 numbers, each with a quaint cut.  Well bound copy in Mint Order.  Sold for £5-10-0.

10.  “Black Bess or The Knight of the Road”.  A tale of Dick Turpin, is the longest Penny Blood in history.  Just recently an article in the Herald from a London Paper referred to it as being in the possession of a man who refuses to sell at any price.  2 vols, which contain two thirds of the original 254 numbers, gory cuts. £2.
[James & Smith, 674; Summers, 247]

11.  Aldine “Tip Top Tales” 40 Blood-thirsty little penny books with coloured covers issued in the Nineties.  One coloured wrapper missing.  Bound in 5 dumpy vols. £2-5-0. (300 others, loose, for £20.)

12.  “Tom Wildrake’s Schooldays”.  A cloth copy of this rara avis midst old boy’s books.  London value at least £5, my price £2.
[James & Smith, 189-191]

13.  Hogarth House “Shot and Shell Series”.  The six vol set by George Emmett.  2 thick vols, with Brett’s “Comic History of London” bound in. 2 vols. £4

14.  Mint bound copy of that famous old boy’s book “Tom Tartar”. £1.
[E. Harcourt Burrage, Tom Tarter at School; or, True Friend and Noble Foe.  James & Smith, 118]

15.  “Will Watch, the Bold Smuggler”. 1852. 47 Penny Numbers each with a quaint cut.  Well bound. 30/-.
[Summers, 558]

16.  “The Parricide”, by G.W.M. Reynolds.  The rarest of his works.  Never knew of another in Australia and heard of few in England.  Original issue 1847. £2.  Even the cheap Dick’s reprint is rare now.
[G.W.M. Reynolds. The Parricide; or, A Youth’s Career of Crime.  Summers, 457]

17.  The ORIGINAL Penny Weekly issue of Hugo’s “Esmerelda, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame”. Small vol, well bound, dozens of cuts.  35/-.

18.  Hugo’s “Hans of Iceland”.  The first English Edition.  Cruikshank’s fine fierce plates.  £3-10-0.  London price – Ten guineas.

19.  Brett’s “Barons of Old; or the Robbers of the Rhine”. Each number has several cuts, also 3 coloured plates are bound in the vol.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 13]

20.  “Dark Deeds of Old London” and another Brett “Blood”. 25/-.
[James & Smith, 340]

21.  “Bravos of Alsatia” and one other Brett “Blood” in one vol. 30/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 337]

22. “Massacre of Glencoe” by Reynolds, in one vol: original numbers. 20/-. SOLD.
[Summers, 404]

23. “Kenneth” by Reynolds, original issue in one vol. 15/-, Gilberts illustrations.
[Summers, 152-3]

24. “Gentleman George, the King of the Road”, with sequel “King of Diamonds”, with all the cuts, and 2 others in one vol. £2-10-0.
[James & Smith, 68-69]

25.  “Dashing Duke; or the Mystery of the Red Mask”. 20/-.
[James & Smith, 683]

26.  “The Outlaws of Epping Forest”, a real gory old ‘un, fierce cuts. £2.
[James & Smith, 440-441]

27.  “Manfrone the One-Handed Monk”.  Mrs Radcliffe, early edition.  Well Bound leather back, gilt title.  Dated 1839.  10/6.
[Summers, 398]

28.  Pirated American edition of “Oliver Twist”.  Very rare. 20/-.  SOLD.

29.  Dickens imitation, “Dombey and Daughter”, Penny numbers, each with crude cut, neatly bound.  Sells at Five pounds in London.  My price £2-2-0.  SOLD.
[Summers, 298]

30.  Autobiography of the Author of the above item (self-styled “Chief Baron Renton Nicholson”.) with his autograph.  This is a unique volume, and of immense interest to Dickensians. £1.  SOLD.

31. “Tales of Chivalry; or Adventures by Flood and Field”. Original cloth, each Penny number has a curious cut, issued in 1839, but the condition is as if it was just off the press. £3-10-0.
[Tales of Chivalry, Perils by Flood and Field.  Summers, 523]

32.  “Jack Harkaway at School in America”, “Among the Pirates” and “At the Tales of Palms; the Last Stronghold of the Black Flag”.  These three tales selected by E.J. Brett and issued as the “American Series”.  One vol. 20/-.

33.  The Brett “Tom Floremall Series”, the three original series in one vol. 20/-.

34.  Brett’s “Boyhood Days of Jack Straw” and “Boyhood Days of Guy Fawkes”, the two in one neat vol.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 335-336]

35.  “The Corsican Brothers; or the Fatal Duel”. Really a piracy of Dumas’ play and book of the same title.  39 numbers, each with a lurid cut.  Magnificently bound.  A perfect Collector’s Copy!  1852.  Published by Purkess, who ranked high among the “Blood” producers. 30/-.

36.  A rare Lloyd “Blood”: “Adeline, or the Grave of the Forsaken”.  52 most fearsomely illustrated number.  First page was typed in by previous owner from a complete copy.  25/-
[James & Smith, 542; Summers, 222]

37. “The Cottage Girl; or Betrayed on Her Marriage Day”.  Neatly bound, each number with crude cut.  12/6.
[Elizabeth Bennett, The Cottage Girl; or, The Marriage Day.  Summers, 285]

38.  Ada the Betrayed; or, the Murder in the Old Smithy”.  This tale is quite unprocurable now.  This is the original issue in Lloyds Miscellany. 2 large vols with dozens of other loathsomely gory stories.  This journal was issued without illustrations.  2 vols. Dated 1842.  45/-
[James Malcolm Rymer, Ada the Betrayed; or, the Murder at the Old Smithy.  James & Smith, 541; Summers, 221]

39.  “The Ship-wrecked Stranger”, in 49 crudely illustrated numbers. 1850.  7/6. SOLD.
[Hannah Maria Jones, The Shipwrecked Stranger.  Summers, 502]

40.  “Rough and Ready Jack”, and 2 other Bretts bound in one gorgeous volume.  Mint order. 20/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 538]

41.  The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God Among Books [in red ink].
“The Pixy” by G.M.W. Reynolds.  An Xmas story done in imitation of Dickens Xmas books.  The Great Auks Egg of Rarities! [again in red ink]  2 illustrations. Small pocket size.  Original edition. 15/-.  Sheer chucked away at that price.
[G.W.M. Reynolds, The Pixy; or, The Unbaptized Child. James & Smith, 528; Summers, 464-465]

42.  3 vols Fox’s “Boys Leisure Hour” First page was typed in by previous owner from a complete copy.  25/- £5.

43. 2 large vols “Boys Standard”. 3 smaller ones. £5.

44.  “Boys Halfpenny Standard”.  One vol. £1-10-0.

45.  “Young Men of Great Britain”, from 1868 to finish as “Boys of Empire & Young Men of Great Britain”.  Approx 60 vols. £25.

46.  Run of “Boys of England” from Vol 1 (1866) to last vol (No 66) in 1899.  Wanting a few between vols 20 and 40. £30.

Supplementary List of “Penny Number Bloods” at outrageously reduced prices.

47.  “The Wild Witch of the Heath; or the Demon of the Glen”.  1841.  Lacks the last number, but contains some of the most luridly gory cuts in the history of fierce literature.  25/-.

48.  “The Secret Oath; or the Bloodstained Dagger”. 1812. 7/6.  SOLD.
[Summers, 499]

49.  “The She-Tiger; or Felina the Female Fiend”. 1853.  Merely part of the tale, but an interesting example of ferocity.  7/6.
[Melchior Frédéric Soulié, The She Tiger of Paris: Containing a History of the Life and Adventures of a Celebrated French Lady of Fashion, Under the Name of Felina de Cambure.  James & Smith, 607; Summers, 501]

50.  “The Horror of Zindorf Castle”. A rare Lloyd “Blood”. 52 very alluring cuts sublime in their crude ghastliness.  25/-.

51.  “The Cavern of Horrors; or the Miseries of Miranda”.  1833. 10/-. SOLD.
[Summers, 270]

52.  “The Black Monk; or the Secret of the Grey Turret”.  Lloyd. 1842.  Wildly illustrated with blood-curdling cuts. £5.
[James & Smith, 544; Summers, 248]

53.  “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.  The rare Chas. Fox edition.  Practically a reprint of the original Lloyd issue, with the addition of further gruesome details.  Bound with “The Brigand of the Sea; or the Sailor Highwayman”, and another old-timer.  Coloured wrappers and cuts. £12.  Worth five times as much in London.
[James & Smith, 626; Summers, 519-521]

54.  “The Revenge of the Blighted Man”.  Lloyd. With all the fierce cuts.  1844.  This is one right out of the box.  35/-. 
[Possibly Alice Home: or, the Revenge of the Blighted One. A Romance of Deep Interest]

55.  “Melina the Murderess; or the Crime at the Old Milestone”.  Cuts. 20/-.  SOLD.

56.  “Three Times Dead; or the Trail of the Serpent”.  (Miss Braddon’s first story.)  Original issue in Half-penny Miscellany.  1864.  Crude cuts.  20/-.
[Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Three Times Dead; or, The Secret of the Heath.  Revised as The Trail of the Serpent; or, The Secret of the Heath.  Summers, 15]

57.  “The Wife’s Tragedy; or the Secret of the London Sewers”.  1850.  The 104 numbers of this choice old “Blood” backs all the rest off the board.  The quality of the cuts is indescribable! £2.
[Helen Porter; or, A Wife’s Tragedy and a Sister’s Trials.  Drop-head title is “The Wife’s Tragedy: A Secret of the Sewers of London.”  James & Smith, 289]

58.  “The Female Bluebeard”.  Many quaint cuts.  (By Eugene Sue.)  10/-.  SOLD.

59.  “The Cannibal Courtezan”.  Six humdinging cuts.  1866. 12/6.  SOLD. [May be an invented title]

60.  “The Parricide Priest; or the Murder in the Monastery”.  Cuts.  15/-.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]

61.  “Mabel the Marble-hearted; or the Outcast’s Revenge”. Cuts. 1842. 20/-.  SOLD. [May be an invented title]

62.  “The Outcasts of London; or the perils of Pauline, the Victim of Crime.”  The first seven instalments of this famous story in an illustrated publication called The London Pioneer.  1844.  10/-.

63.  “Mabel; or the Child [JPQ has “Ghouls”] of the Battlefield”.  55 numbers, each with a gory cut.  Lloyd. 1846. 20/-.  SOLD. 
[James & Smith, 382]

64.  “The Blue Dwarf; or Love, Mystery and Crime”.  With coloured folding plates and innumerable fierce cuts.  Coloured wrappers. 3 vols in one. £3-10-0.
[James & Smith, 573; Summers, 250]

65.  “Wagner the Wehr-Wolf” by Reynolds, and several other “Bloods” by the same author, in one thick vol.  15/-.
[Summers, 550]

66.  “The Loves and Crimes of Paris”.  On its own as a thriller of the past.  29 numbers.  Vickers.  London. 1846.  Damaged badly.  3/6.
[Paul Feval, The Loves of Paris.  Summers, 393]

67.  “Walter the Archer; or the Robber Lords of the Mountains”.  Coloured wrapper.  Scarce.  Brett. 3/6.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 684]

68.  “Florence Graham; or, the Pirate’s Daughter” [Quaine has “Penelope the Pirate’s Daughter].  Lloyd.  1847.  Crude cuts.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 515]

69.  “The Death Grasp; or the Father’s Curse”.  Weird cuts.  20/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 476]

70.  “Rook the Robber”.  32 numbers.  Cuts.  Dicks.  London.  1868.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 160-161]

71.  “Under the Blood-Red Flag; or at War with the World”.  Cuts.  10/-.

72.  “The Murder of Maria Marten in the Red Barn at Polstead”, with all the strange engravings.  Original edition.  1828.  Polished calf.  Very rare.  £4.  SOLD.
[Maria Marten; or, The Murder in the Red Barn.  Summers, 400-401]

73.  “Burke and Hare, the Body snatchers”, with appropriate cuts.  Neat little vol. Well bound.  30/-
[Summers, 256]

74.  “The Bravo of Venice”, by ‘Monk’ Lewis.  Early edition, with fine frontispiece.  Only 7/6.
[Summers, 252-253]

75.  “The Robber Foundling”, a rare Lloyd “Blood”.  Weird cuts.  25/-.
[Possibly The Robber Chief; or, The Foundling of the Forest, though not a Lloyd title]

76.  “William Tell, the Patriot of the Mountains”.  Cuts.  Scarce. 10/-.
[Possibly William Tell, the Hero of Switzerland.  James & Smith, 431; Summers, 559]

77.  “The Mysterious Avengers; or the Voice of Blood”.  Cuts.  (Mentioned by George Saintsbury in one of his essays.)  Rare. 15/-.  [May be an invented title]

78.  “Ela the Outcast; or the Gypsy of Rosemary Dell”, by Prest, the author of Sweeny Todd.  (This work has been mentioned by Sala, as the before-mentioned Author’s best seller.)  Many fierce cuts.  35/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 478; Summers, 305]

79.  “The Wreck of a Heart; or the Trials of Agnes Primrose”.  Really a travesty of Mrs Inchbalds “Nature and Art”, but a better tale because it has a more reasonable conclusion, melodramatic and gory.  Cuts.  20/-.

80. “The Lady in Black; or the Wanderer of the Tombs”, by Prest.  Lloyd. London.  1844.  Gory cuts.  40/-.  [May be an invented title]
[Possibly The Lady in Black; or, The Widow and the Wife.  James & Smith, 558]

81.  “The Doom of the Dancing Master”.  Original periodical issue, with all the crude illustrations.  10/6.  In book form also 10/-.

82.  “The Gypsy Chief; or the Haunted Oak, a Tale of the Other Days”.  This most sensational story is now rare in the weekly form.  Many plates.  10/-.  SOLD. 

83.  “Fatherless Fanny; or the Misfortunes of a Little Mendicant”.  Plates.  A morally immoral old story.  Now scarce.  5/-.  SOLD.
[Fatherless fanny; or, A Young Lady’s First Entrance into Life, Being the Memoirs of a Little Mendicant and Her Benefactors.  Summers, 320-321]

84.  “Doctor or Demon; or the Doom of the Deloraines”.  Original periodical issue.  1882.  10/6.  SOLD. 

85.  “The Dance of Death; or the Hangman’s Plot.”  Cuts.  1874.  10/6.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 80]

86.  “Edith the Captive; or the Robbers of Epping Forest”.  104 cuts.  Fine copy. 40/-.
[James & Smith, 549]

87.  “Ruth the Betrayer”.  Fine copy. Many cuts.  15/-.  SOLD.
[James & Smith, 162]

88.  “Barnfylde Moore Carew, the Gypsy Gentleman”.  12 cuts.  Rare.  10/-.  SOLD.

89.  Emalinda, the Orphan of the Castle”.  Cuts. 10/-.  SOLD.

90. “Jessie the Morgue-keepers Daughter”.  Gruesome cuts.  1845.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Jessie the Mormon’s Daughter. James and Smith, 293; Summers, 375]

91.  “The Mysteries of the Dissecting Room”.  Horrific cuts.  1846.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Possibly Secrets of the Dissecting Room]

92.  “The Maniac Mother; or the Victim of Vice”.  Damaged.  10/6.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]

93.  “The Monk”, by ‘Monk’ Lewis.  The Penny number Lloyd issues, with most fearsome cuts.  1848. £2.  SOLD.
[Summers, 419-426]

94.  “The Profligate Pope; or the Mysteries of the Vatican”.  Cuts in keeping with the Title and text.  1866.  20/-.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]

95.  “The Mysteries of the Inquisition”, by Reynolds.  1846.  Contained in the rare first volume of the London Journal.  Terrific cuts.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 213; Summers, 434]

96.  “The Mysteries of Bedlam; or the Annals of a madhouse”.  Cuts.  25/-.  SOLD.

97.  “Vipont the Vulture”, an imitation of that rara avis midst “Bloods” – Varney the Vampire; or The Feast of Blood.)  The cuts are glorious in their repellancy.  £2.  SOLD.  [May be an invented title]

98.  “Tyburn Dick, the Boy King of the Highwayman; or Take Me Who Dare”.  The prosecuted issue of this rather ‘over the fence’ story, Mint order. Neatly bound with two other similar tales.  £4.  SOLD.
[Tyborn Dick, the Prince of Highwaymen.  Cover has the title Tyborn Dick; or, Take Me Who Dare.  James & Smith, 669]

99.  “Turnpike Dick, the Star of the Road”.  The desirable Chas.  Fox edition, with all the coloured wrappers.  3 vols. (60 numbers) in one.  £3.
[James & Smith, 348]

100.  “The Headless Horseman”.  Original edition.  1866.  Half calf. £10. 

101.  “Robin Hood; or the Merry Men of Sherwood”.  Pierce Egan’s original Penny number edition.  1841.  40/-.
[Possibly Pierce Egan the Younger, Robin Hood and Little John; or, the Merry men of Sherwood Forest.  Summers, 481]

102.  The same tale, re-issued in 1865, different cuts.  Three coloured plates. 10/-.

103.  “Robin Hood”.  Hogarth House edition, by George Emmet.  Mint copy.  Crude cuts.  Three copies.  15/- each.
[James & Smith, 185]

104.  “Jack Cade, the Rebel of London”.  1851.  Cuts. Last number out.  SOLD.
[Jack Cade, the Insurrectionist; A Tale of the olden Times.  Summers, 372]

105.  “Wat Tyler”, by Pierce Egan. Original edition 1844.  With fierce cuts. Damaged.  7/6.
[Summers, 553]

106.  Same tale, reprint with different cuts.  1864.  10/-.

107.  “The Black Bandits of the Rhine”, with four other tales.  Cuts.  20/-.

108.  “The Ned Nimble Series”, in 2 large vols, with all the coloured wrappers of the 11 vols.  £4-4-0.

109.  The World Famous Deadwood Dick Series.  5 vols containing the original ALDINE run from No. 1 “The Outlaw of the Black Hills” to No. 58.  Absolutely unobtainable anywhere else in the Universe.  Actually dumped at £25.

110.  The original Harkaway Series running through the Boys of England, 1871-1878.  £20.

111.  The original Penny Number and Shilling volume edition, sumptuously bound in 4 gilt-backed vols.  With all the coloured wrappers.  An exhibition set, lettered “Jack Harkaway” and decorated with crossed swords, an anchor and a sailing ship in gold ornament. £20.

112.  The Hogarth House Series of the American “Jack Harkaway”.  The set of seven with all the gory coloured wrappers and fierce crude cuts in one thick volume.  £6-10-0.

113.  “The Wild Riders of the Staked Plains; or Jack the Hero of Texas”, and 12 other equally choice “O’er Land and Sea” series, on one vol.  30/-.

114.  “Sawney Bean, the Man-eater of Midlothian”.  Fierce frontispiece.  20/-.  SOLD.  [invented title]

115.  “The Nameless Crimes of the Quaker City; or Devilbug the One-eyed Ghoul”.  A rare American Dime-a-number Dreadful.  Large thick vol. 15/-.  SOLD.  
[George Lippard's The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall]

116.  “The Headsman of Old London Bridge”, and another Brett “Blood”. 1 vol. 15/-.
[James & Smith, 255]

117. “The Hunchback of Old St Pauls”, and 2 others in one vol.  20/-.

118.  “Alone in the Pirate’s Lair”, “The Brigand Muleteer; or the Scourge of the Pyrenees”, and “Alone Among the Brigands”.  2 vols.  35/-.
[James & Smith, 616-617, 77]

119. “Boys of England”, the last 26 vols. 1884 to 1899. £20.  A gift.

120.  Reynolds “Mysteries of London”. Original Penny numbers in 4 vols. 20/-.

121.  Reynolds “Mysteries of the Court of London”.  Original issue. 8 vols. 30/-. SOLD.

122.  “Catalina; or the Spaniard’s Revenge”.  9 numbers.  Cuts. 1847.  20/-.
[James & Smith, 287]

123.  “Jane Shore the Goldsmith’s Wife”.  Original numbers, bound.  7/6.
[Summers, 374]

124.  “The Jester’s Revenge, or the Seven Masks”, and three others in the one vol.  20/-.  SOLD.
[Summers, 375]

125.  “Under the Black Flag”, and 2 others in 1 vol. 25/-.  SOLD.
[Possibly Under the Pirate’s Flag.  James & Smith, 671]

126.  “The Maniac’s Secret”, and 6 others in one vol.  No cuts.  7/6.

127.  “The Rival Hangman”.  3 numbers only, all that were issued.  3 cuts. 1870.  5/-.  SOLD.

128.  “The Ruin of the Rector’s Daughter”.  Weird cuts.  London.  1848.  20/-.
[Possibly Emma Mayfield; or, the Rector’s Daughter.  Summers, 309]

129.  “The Black Band; or the Mysteries at Midnight”.  (Miss Braddon’s early blood)  Cuts by Dore. 20/-.
[James & Smith, 66]

130.  “The Secrets of the Old House at West St.”  (Jonathon Wild’s House).  One of the most blood-freezing of the old Bloods.  In 2 vols.  104 cuts.  SOLD for £10.

[The Old House of West Street; or, London in the last Century.  James & Smith, 503; Summer, 541]

131.  “The Hebrew Maiden; or the Lost Diamond”.  (A piracy of Scott’s Ivanhoe).  A rare 1841 Lloyd.  Crude cuts.  Damaged badly.  15/-.
[James & Smith, 488; Summers, 349]

132.  “Black Plume, the Demon of the Ocean”, and ten other small bloods, with coloured wrappers.  Now rare.  15/-.  SOLD.

133.  “The Ghost of Inchvally castle, a Tale, alas, too true”.  Old cuts.  1821.  7/6.

134.  “The Smuggler King; or the Wolf of the Wave”.  Second half only.  Cuts. 10/-.
[Possibly The Smuggler King; or, The Foundling of the Wreck. James & Smith, 509]

135.  “Powerful Dramatic Tales”.  6 large vols of Romantic Dramas, each with coloured cover and cuts.  £5.

136.  The Demon of Brickarhein; or the Enchanted Ring”.  Bound with “Wolfgang; or the Wreckers Beacon”.  Both extracted and bound from the Australian Journal of 1876 and 1877.  rare. 1 vol.  7/6.
[Should be "The Demon of Brockenheim"]

137.  “Black-Eyed Susan”, “The Pirate’s Isle”, and 2 others.  Coloured wrappers.  Cuts.  In one vol.  30/-.
[James & Smith, 165-166, 182]

138.  “Manualla, the Executioner’s Daughter”. 2 vols (should be 3).  Frontispiece. 5/-

Contents of both lists cheap at £200.


139.  Vols 1 and 2 of the “Boys Comic Journal” in one thick vol.  45/-.

140.  Number of vols of “Young Men of Great Britain”, several vols.  Cloth or paper covers.  25/- each.

141.  “Boys of the Empire and Young Men of Great Britain”, several vols.  Cloth or paper covers.  25/- each.

142.  Rehash of the Brett’s Journals issued in the early 1900s under the title of “Up-to-date Boys” and later “Boys of Empire”, slightly broken run to finish in 1906.  27 vols. £15.

143.  Miscellaneous vols, such as “Boys Champion Journal” 1891, “Our Boys Paper”, “Boys Weekly Reader”, “Our Boys Journal”, etc. 30/- each.

144.  About 600 of the Aldine Library, Penny, Twopenny and Threepenny Tales.  All in Mint order, with coloured wrappers.  £30 the lot.  SOLD SOME.

145.  Robert Macaire the French Bandit in England”.  Gorgeous vol.  Cloth Gilt.  1847. £3-10-0.
[Summers, 480]

146.  Ada the Betrayed; or the Murder in the Old Smithy”.  Original Penny Numbers.  Bound in one vol, with all the fierce cuts.  1847. £3-10-0.
[James & Smith, 541]

147.  “Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.  Original Chas. Fox edition.  (First time the ‘Demon’ was used in the Title).  With Coloured wrapper, bound with “For Honour” by Burrage, and “The Brigands of the Sea; or the sailor Highwayman”, also with a fierce cover.  “Sweeny” by itself is almost priceless in England.  Costs, when found, up to £20.  (The 1851 edition went to £30).  This vol is cheap at a tenner.
[James & Smith, 626; Summers, 519-521]

148.  “Cartouche, the French Jack Sheppard”.  Very rare Fox item published 1897. £1.
[James & Smith, 682; Summers, 262]

149.  Brett, Fox and Hogarth House Shilling vols, some in paper, others cased, with coloured wrappers preserved; also 15 in limp cloth, without coloured wrappers.  Worth marked prices, ranging from 15/- to 30/- each.

150.  “The Handsome Harry Series”.  Original “Best for Boys” edition, in one thick vol.  Finishes at “Young Ching Ching”.  £5-10-0.

151.  Another vol. Hogarth House: “Handsome Harry and Cheerful Ching Ching”.  Cloth £2.  SOLD.

152.  The same, bound with Willie Grey” and “Young Tom Wildrake”.  Coloured frontispiece.  £5.

153.  “Slapcrash Boys” and “Black Bandits of the Rhine”, in one vol. £1.

154.  10 vols “Australian News” and “Melbourne Post”, between 1860 and 1881.  Worth at least £50.

155.  Volume of “Melbourne Herald” 1865.  (Bushranging year, Morgan, Hall, Gilbert, etc).  £2.

156.  “Golden Hours”, rehash issued in the nineties, of various American Boys papers and Burrage’s Ching Ching own”.  3 large vols.  £3.

157.  “Spring-heeled Jack, the Terror of London”. Vols 2,3,4, bound with two fierce coloured frontispieces. £2.
[James & Smith, 347; Summers, 513]

158.  “Shot and Shell” Series.  Hogarth House.  Five of the original six.  With coloured wrappers intact, and duplicate “Captain Jack”.  £2.

John P Quaine's copy of The Lady in Black

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Guest Post - Booksellers' Labels, Part 2, by R B Russell

The majority of labels I have found in my collection are from London, and the single most common ones are from the Times Book Club (1905–c.1960s), which had reading rooms in central London where subscribers could borrow, read and purchase books.

(Times Book Club label in Suhaïl by Coleridge Kennard, Richards Press, 1927)

(Times Book Club label in The Black Cap, edited by Cynthia Asquith, Hutchinson and Co., nd)

Of course, London also has bookshops with very long histories, such as Foyles, which was founded in 1903 in Peckham. In 1904 they opened their 16 Cecil Court shop, and in 1906 they moved to 135 Charing Cross Road. Around the time of the First World War their central London shop relocated to 119 Charing Cross Road, called the Foyles Building, where it remained until 2014. They currently have a chain of seven shops in the United Kingdom.

(Foyles label and the bookshop, London, 1906)

The Foyles Charing Cross Road labels are relatively common, but it is not so well-known that at one time they also had a branch in Cape Town:

(South African Foyles label, in a book from 1950)

The above label is in a copy of Haply I May Remember, by Cynthia Asquith (James Barrie, 1950), and the book obviously travelled from England to South Africa, and has come all the way back again. However, it hasn’t travelled as far as my copy of The Glory that was Grub Street which came from Angus & Robertson’s in Australia:

(Australian bookseller’s label in The Glory that was Grub Street by St John Adcock, Sampson Low, Marston & Co, Ltd, nd)

(Angus & Robertson’s bookshop, 1915)

Back in the 1980s when I first became interested in the 1890s decadents, I bought a copy of The Poems of Ernest Dowson (John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1917) from the Trafalgar Bookshop in Brighton. (I’ve since discovered that the decadent stock they held came from Brian Banks at the Déjà vu/Gromoire Bookshop further down Trafalgar Street.) I was pleased with the find because, although only a seventh edition, the book still had Beardsley’s very simple, loopy design in gilt on the green boards. Additionally, it had pasted on the front fixed flyleaf a miniscule book¬seller’s sticker, in black and gold: ‘W.H. Smith & Son, 24-8 rue de Rivoli, Paris’. Although Smiths was a little common and corporate, the address was perfect.

(W.H. Smith, rue de Rivoli label)

(W.H. Smith's façade, rue de Rivoli)

A copy of Forty-Three Drawings by Alastair came from Paul Elder and Co. I assume it will have been sold in the old 1898 store at 238 Post St, San Francisco:

(Paul Elder label in Forty-Three Drawings by Alastair, John Lane, 1914, and Paiul Elder general book room)

I have to admit that some foreign labels have a certain cachet, such as the one in a copy of Strange Houses of Sleep, a book I have because Arthur Machen co-wrote a chapter with A.E. Waite, ‘The Hidden Sacrament of the Holy Graal’. Georg et Co were on the rue du Rhone.

(Bookseller's label in Strange Houses of Sleep by A.E. Waite, Wellby, 1906)

(Rue du Rhone, Geneva, c. 1906)

It was while researching the bookshops that Machen discusses in his autobiographical writings (Far Off Things, Things Near and Far and ‘When I Was Young in London’) that I started looking out for booksellers' labels. Machen mentions Denny’s Bookshop, Reeves and Turner, and David Nutt. I’ve not seen labels for any of these, but I hope that they exist somewhere and that I might come across them one day. Failing that, a label from any of the bookshops that used to be on the late, lamented, Holywell or Wych Streets in London would be a small, ephemeral piece of history worth preserving.

London changes all the time and it feels as though I have a small fragment of its past in a copy of Cleopatra by H. Rider Haggard:

(Bookseller’s label in Cleopatra, by H. Rider Haggard, Longmans, Green and Co., 1889)

Gilbert and Field have long since left Moorgate, and I’ve found out very little about them. However, another book has given me a slightly better glimpse of the past. A copy of Modern British Authors was originally bought from the Bedford Bookshop at 2a Hand Court.

(Bookseller’s label in Modern British Authors, Cutler and Stiles, Allen and Unwin, 1930)

Although Hand Court still exists, it has since been redeveloped. It certainly adds to the interest of a book if one comes across a photo such as the one below:

(Hand Court, 1920)

Further reading

Seven Roads’ Gallery of Book Trade Labels

© R B Russell 2019