San Francisco: The Book Club of California [printed by The Grabhorn Press], 1939. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 455 copies, folio size, 58 pp., with original leaf from "The Spectator" tipped in, with Ex-Libris of Alfred Sutro and postcard addressed to him written and signed by Eric Partridge. Near fine. Item #21102905
"The Spectator" was created in 1711 by Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and Richard Steele (1672-1729); published daily for the first two years, it served to inform people of subjects like literature and philosophy and to encourage educated conversation. Supposedly it was intended especially for female audiences, to make available subjects and education that might not have been offered to them otherwise.
This volume was printed by the estimable the Grabhorn Press for the Book Club of California, and includes a leaf from the March 9th, 1711, issue of "The Spectator"; this would have been a very early publication, and in fact is "Numb. VIII".
Originally, one of the Club's members, M. S. Slocum, was asked to write an essay for the book, but he declined because of his other work; thus Eric Partridge (1894-1979), notable lexicographer and expert on the period of Addison and Steele, was asked instead. Loosely laid into the volume (at one time tipped in, see "Description" below) is a postcard (postmark date 3 Aug 1939, the year of publication) with a short note in his hand pointing out an error in the book: after citing the page and line number of the error, he states "This error was, I see, in the typescript & I had failed to notice it...", he then signed the note "Eric".
There is indeed a pencilled correction to the page and line number in the postcard, possibly that of Alfred Sutro, whose Ex-Libris is on the front pastedown. Alfred Sutro (1869-1945), a lawyer residing in San Francisco, was an avid book lover and collector, and served the Book Club of California (in San Francisco) for decades: first as Vice-President from 1914 to 1925, then as President from 1925-1945 (during which period this book was published).
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter natural linen with marbled paper boards, tan paper spine label with black lettering, fore-edge uncut, beige endpapers, on the flyleaf is a small mounted piece of white paper titled "Errata" listing the corrections outlined by Partridge in his postcard, beneath that is some residue of the glue which was originally used to tip in the postcard, limitation page with printer's device in black, title page in orange and black with two black-and-white photographs captioned "J. Addison" and "Richard Steele", an original leaf of "The Spectator" tipped in onto a page with a red ruled border, facsimile of the handbill in the British Museum announcing the publication of "The Spectator", the pencilled correction to the appropriate page as set forth above; Baskerville monotype, American mold made paper, folio size (13.5" by 8.5"), pagination: [i-viii] [1-3] 4-49 , one of 455 copies, unnumbered. The postcard is addressed to "Alfred Sutro, Esq" at his home in Atherton, California, with two postage stamps carrying the profile of King George VI, postmarked "London, W.C., 11:15 am, 3 Aug, 1939", the back with no printing, just the hand-written note by Eric Partridge.
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and other than the mounted Errata slip and the pencilled corrections entirely free of prior owner markings; the bottom corners are rubbed (top corners unrubbed) and a few spots of foxing to the linen shelfback, else fine. The postcard is near fine, clean and without wear, the glue residue matching that on the flyleaf on the front beneath Sutro's address.
___CITATIONS: Grabhorn Press Bibliography, no. 312; BCC no. 56.
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