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SOLD- Vintage book A Shelf of Old Books by Mrs James T Fields, First Edition story of Leigh Hunt's literary relations w/ Shelley, Keats, etc

SOLD- Vintage book A Shelf of Old Books by Mrs James T Fields, First Edition story of Leigh Hunt's literary relations w/ Shelley, Keats, etc

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Overview

  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Favorited by: 5 people
  • Gift message available
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Description

NOTE: This book has been sold but I keep it up so someone interested can find it (like you!) so that I can know to look for it specifically for them. Of course it won't be the same book but I am good at and love the hunt for books, and can likely find you another copy of that same edition or another beautiful edition of the same book. :) Don't ever hesitate to contact me on sold listings, that's why they are here!

---

There is no other book like this one.

I was excited to track this one down for a customer who has become besotted with Mrs James T Fields, Annie Adams Fields, a character who was powerful in her life as both writer and friend (and strong influence) to many other writers including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James. This is one of her critical works rather than fiction or poetry, well researched and passionate, and the title truly says it all, though the introduction, short and sweet, elaborates on this work and what Mrs Fields tried to (and succeeded in) accomplish with it. I'll include it here. Regardless of your being able to buy this book or not -- and if you cannot find it, ask me and I will track down a copy for you if I can, since this one has already sold -- you should read this.

Now before I give you the introduction, I've got to quickly explain why I was so excited to track this down once I learned of it, already myself a fan of Annie Adams Fields. "A Shelf of Old Books." If you are reading this you likely have one, or two, or more (trust me, I understand!), and are intrigued by the title too. What shelf, what books? Well Annie Adams Fields describes the importance of one man on her own shelf in these pages, and his life and literary connections to many others that were also on her shelves, and likely some that are on yours. Specifically, John Keats and Percy Bysse Shelley are indebted most to Leigh Hunt and are written about in this work a great deal. Leigh Hunt was a writer and eminent literary personage of that time when those men were making their way in the writing world, coming up and experiencing their downs and unsure of what they were doing and writing and the meaning behind it all--this was the late 1700s to mid 1800s, and for part of that time Annie was a young writer who actively looked up to Hunt, Keats, Shelley and others who were much older than her and much more established. That is why you can feel the passion throughout the reading of this book, so strong as their lives influenced hers, and she wants so badly to get across to you, the reader, why these men were important, and should be read and remembered by all--forever.

It goes:

"There is a sacredness about the belongings of good and great men which is quite apart from the value and significance of the things themselves. Their books become especially endeared to us; as we turn the pages they have loved, we can see another hand pointing along the lines, another head bending over the open volume. A writer's books make his workshop and his pleasure-house in one, and in turning over his possessions we discover the field in which he worked and the key to his garden of the Hesperides.
The influence of Leigh Hunt's surroundings upon John Keats illustrates this idea perfectly. Keats was hardly known, even to himself, when Leigh Hunt, with his infallible touchstone for discerning literary excellence in others, recognized his sensitive nature and drew him into friendly relations. Charles Cowden Clarke tells us that he went to call on Leigh Hunt one day, at a pretty cottage in the Vale of Health, on Hampstead Heath, soon after he and Keats had left school and gone to London. He carried in his pocket two or three of Keats's sonnets, which he thought were so good for a youth under age that he would venture to show them to Leigh Hunt, but he was not prepared for the prompt admiration with which they were received. The visit ended in a promise that he would soon bring Keats to Hampstead. It was in the library of this cottage, where one night a temporary bed had been made up for him on the sofa, that Keats composed the poem on "Sleep and Poetry," inspired by his surroundings. It was a modest room, clothed with such treasures as even a poor man may possess, but none the less there was inspiration in them for a poet's brain.
"It was a poet's home who keeps the keys
Of pleasure's temple--round about were hung
The glorious features of bards who sung
In other ages--cold and sacred busts
Smiled at each other." "

The shelves of old books Keats was surrounded by in that library he was made to sleep in that night was inspiration for this poem, yes, but it was inspiration for his life too, and this is the purpose of this book, and describes Annie Adams Fields' life perfectly as well. Books inspire, and reflect the person who owns them. Her own shelves of old books are something I wish I could view, because in addition to the persons present in this book, Annie is there, too. Unknowingly, she would go on to become the Leigh Hunt herself of her world, the one who recognized the greatness of so many other writers and implored her husband to read them and publish them. And so her scholarship on the lives of Leigh Hunt and his prodigies, the writers he went to bat for and was life-long-friends with, the books he surrounded himself with in his own library--it is this research that makes up this compelling story, a real-life story made of real-life people who lived and wrote and astounded the world with their minds and hearts and publishings. A story that deserved to be written, and one we should all be so grateful that it was.

Surely, when she wrote this book, Annie Adams Fields did not recognize that she was writing about the shadow of her future self. She walks through these pages as a parallel figure to her subject Leigh Hunt, once you know who she went on to marry and how she went on to spend her life, just in the same way Leigh Hunt did--she helped make history, helped get certain writes published and helped them become famous and popular, and yet held them close to her personally as if she owned a part of them herself, as much as she shared them with the world.

Leigh Hunt's story is just as amazing as her own, and so there could be no better writer of this true tale.

And here is the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full title: A Shelf of Old Books
-Author: Mrs James T Fields (Annie Adams Fields)
-Format: Plain brown cover boards, soft material/cloth, uncut page ends, gilt title on front and spine, illustrated throughout in black and white, covered by a protective plastic clear dust jacket, First Edition, thick-style pages somewhat glossed, frontispiece protected from title page by preserved thin wax sheet
-Condition: Near perfect, if not completely perfect especially for an old book :)
-Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
-Copyright: 1894 Charles Scribner's Sons
-Date published: 1895
-Provenance: I got this book online because a customer asked me to, as I usually don't look online for books but find them on my own through complete serendipity and physical book hunts at places throughout Connecticut and Rhode island, but I couldn't track it down through any of my normal channels or any bookdealers I knew to ask. Getting hopeless looking for it, I resorted to deep online searches, which got me nowhere at first until I finally found two copies--one in incredibly bad shape I could never buy it and sell it to anyone, it almost looked moldy though the picture wasn't good enough for me to tell for sure, and one in WONDERFUL condition that I scooped it up right away. The fact I found it was pretty much a long shot and I was so excited to sell it to the customer, and hope she is just as excited to get it, especially now that I've looked into it and know how precious it is. :)
-Pricing: I priced this book based on its condition chiefly, as well as the fact it took me a long time to track down, and is exceedingly rare today as a work of art and literature, as well as a simple book and obscure title that not many people know about at all. Scarce, wonderful in condition and contents, and such an important historical work, the price of this book was easy to determine!
NOTE: This book has been sold but I keep it up so someone interested can find it (like you!) so that I can know to look for it specifically for them. Of course it won't be the same book but I am good at and love the hunt for books, and can likely find you another copy of that same edition or another beautiful edition of the same book. :) Don't ever hesitate to contact me on sold listings, that's why they are here!

---

There is no other book like this one.

I was excited to track this one down for a customer who has become besotted with Mrs James T Fields, Annie Adams Fields, a character who was powerful in her life as both writer and friend (and strong influence) to many other writers including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James. This is one of her critical works rather than fiction or poetry, well researched and passionate, and the title truly says it all, though the introduction, short and sweet, elaborates on this work and what Mrs Fields tried to (and succeeded in) accomplish with it. I'll include it here. Regardless of your being able to buy this book or not -- and if you cannot find it, ask me and I will track down a copy for you if I can, since this one has already sold -- you should read this.

Now before I give you the introduction, I've got to quickly explain why I was so excited to track this down once I learned of it, already myself a fan of Annie Adams Fields. "A Shelf of Old Books." If you are reading this you likely have one, or two, or more (trust me, I understand!), and are intrigued by the title too. What shelf, what books? Well Annie Adams Fields describes the importance of one man on her own shelf in these pages, and his life and literary connections to many others that were also on her shelves, and likely some that are on yours. Specifically, John Keats and Percy Bysse Shelley are indebted most to Leigh Hunt and are written about in this work a great deal. Leigh Hunt was a writer and eminent literary personage of that time when those men were making their way in the writing world, coming up and experiencing their downs and unsure of what they were doing and writing and the meaning behind it all--this was the late 1700s to mid 1800s, and for part of that time Annie was a young writer who actively looked up to Hunt, Keats, Shelley and others who were much older than her and much more established. That is why you can feel the passion throughout the reading of this book, so strong as their lives influenced hers, and she wants so badly to get across to you, the reader, why these men were important, and should be read and remembered by all--forever.

It goes:

"There is a sacredness about the belongings of good and great men which is quite apart from the value and significance of the things themselves. Their books become especially endeared to us; as we turn the pages they have loved, we can see another hand pointing along the lines, another head bending over the open volume. A writer's books make his workshop and his pleasure-house in one, and in turning over his possessions we discover the field in which he worked and the key to his garden of the Hesperides.
The influence of Leigh Hunt's surroundings upon John Keats illustrates this idea perfectly. Keats was hardly known, even to himself, when Leigh Hunt, with his infallible touchstone for discerning literary excellence in others, recognized his sensitive nature and drew him into friendly relations. Charles Cowden Clarke tells us that he went to call on Leigh Hunt one day, at a pretty cottage in the Vale of Health, on Hampstead Heath, soon after he and Keats had left school and gone to London. He carried in his pocket two or three of Keats's sonnets, which he thought were so good for a youth under age that he would venture to show them to Leigh Hunt, but he was not prepared for the prompt admiration with which they were received. The visit ended in a promise that he would soon bring Keats to Hampstead. It was in the library of this cottage, where one night a temporary bed had been made up for him on the sofa, that Keats composed the poem on "Sleep and Poetry," inspired by his surroundings. It was a modest room, clothed with such treasures as even a poor man may possess, but none the less there was inspiration in them for a poet's brain.
"It was a poet's home who keeps the keys
Of pleasure's temple--round about were hung
The glorious features of bards who sung
In other ages--cold and sacred busts
Smiled at each other." "

The shelves of old books Keats was surrounded by in that library he was made to sleep in that night was inspiration for this poem, yes, but it was inspiration for his life too, and this is the purpose of this book, and describes Annie Adams Fields' life perfectly as well. Books inspire, and reflect the person who owns them. Her own shelves of old books are something I wish I could view, because in addition to the persons present in this book, Annie is there, too. Unknowingly, she would go on to become the Leigh Hunt herself of her world, the one who recognized the greatness of so many other writers and implored her husband to read them and publish them. And so her scholarship on the lives of Leigh Hunt and his prodigies, the writers he went to bat for and was life-long-friends with, the books he surrounded himself with in his own library--it is this research that makes up this compelling story, a real-life story made of real-life people who lived and wrote and astounded the world with their minds and hearts and publishings. A story that deserved to be written, and one we should all be so grateful that it was.

Surely, when she wrote this book, Annie Adams Fields did not recognize that she was writing about the shadow of her future self. She walks through these pages as a parallel figure to her subject Leigh Hunt, once you know who she went on to marry and how she went on to spend her life, just in the same way Leigh Hunt did--she helped make history, helped get certain writes published and helped them become famous and popular, and yet held them close to her personally as if she owned a part of them herself, as much as she shared them with the world.

Leigh Hunt's story is just as amazing as her own, and so there could be no better writer of this true tale.

And here is the straight information you may be looking for:

-Full title: A Shelf of Old Books
-Author: Mrs James T Fields (Annie Adams Fields)
-Format: Plain brown cover boards, soft material/cloth, uncut page ends, gilt title on front and spine, illustrated throughout in black and white, covered by a protective plastic clear dust jacket, First Edition, thick-style pages somewhat glossed, frontispiece protected from title page by preserved thin wax sheet
-Condition: Near perfect, if not completely perfect especially for an old book :)
-Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
-Copyright: 1894 Charles Scribner's Sons
-Date published: 1895
-Provenance: I got this book online because a customer asked me to, as I usually don't look online for books but find them on my own through complete serendipity and physical book hunts at places throughout Connecticut and Rhode island, but I couldn't track it down through any of my normal channels or any bookdealers I knew to ask. Getting hopeless looking for it, I resorted to deep online searches, which got me nowhere at first until I finally found two copies--one in incredibly bad shape I could never buy it and sell it to anyone, it almost looked moldy though the picture wasn't good enough for me to tell for sure, and one in WONDERFUL condition that I scooped it up right away. The fact I found it was pretty much a long shot and I was so excited to sell it to the customer, and hope she is just as excited to get it, especially now that I've looked into it and know how precious it is. :)
-Pricing: I priced this book based on its condition chiefly, as well as the fact it took me a long time to track down, and is exceedingly rare today as a work of art and literature, as well as a simple book and obscure title that not many people know about at all. Scarce, wonderful in condition and contents, and such an important historical work, the price of this book was easy to determine!

Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
(62)

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FAQs

Absolutely! I'm willing to do anything to get this book to you, but I will not write on it. If it is not in the condition you want, I know preservation techniques and will certainly oblige as best I can. You just need to let me know.
I will wrap the book any way you want. It is special and so are you, you deserve it! I will also write cards, include photographs, anything you'd like that would make this transaction more, well, you.
I won't tell you how to care for your book, but as to how they are cared for now, they are housed in two places -- some are wrapped in plastic in my main room in the part of the house that used to be a quaint B&B, lined on lovely old wooden bookshelves; others are stacked in piles or leaning on cool, creative and different bookends all round the room, and all are given care, attention, and kept away from my dog :)

Others sit in my library, in built-in authentic 1800s wooden and glass-door library shelves that line the walls in a secluded room in a historic home on the shore. With vintage, warm lamplights over the tiny marble fireplace, the library's windows catch plenty of sunlight--the books are in good homes and will arrive undamaged.
If the book comes later than expected this does not mean it was sent late. Every book is sent within 1-3 business days, unless one of the days is a Sunday, then it could be an extra day. This applies to International orders as well, but they might take longer to get to you than in-country orders. If there is a problem, please bring it up with UPS or see Etsy's policies.
I am more than willing to hunt down a specific book for you. This can take time, however, and would be a matter of personal back-and-forth on the site so you would have to keep in contact. There is no guarantee. I'm good at finding things however, and if I cannot find it to sell to you myself I will direct you to where I can find it online, if I can.

Important to note, however, that I may have it in my holdings already so it ALWAYS helps to check in with me. Listings come up continually, and it may just be waiting here to get processed and put up.
Contact me directly via the site and I will do my absolute best to help correct it. There should be no problems.
Always willing to make new friends and take on new jobs or opportunities -- this business does not stop me from working a full or part time job, and I am currently looking, so please contact me! Dempseylynch@gmail.com. I am definitely interested in talking with you and love meeting new people (especially book lovers of course).
Sure! Although the books are priced the way they are and are worth that amount based on a lot of factors (condition compared to others available online, if there are any available online or if it is the only one, age and whether it is signed or special in some way, etc.) I am always willing to hear you out as to why you think the books price is off, and work with you as best I can. I cannot guarantee the price will change, that is bad for my business, but I will listen to you. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is I will say no.

I put the reasons behind my pricing method for each item at the end of the listing so check that out if you're curious too :)

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