Thursday, February 6, 2014

Books available from London's Bedford Bookshop (in 1934)

In 1934, The Bedford Bookshop of London — H.B. Copinger, proprietor — issued Catalogue No. 8 of its stock.

The 44-page staplebound booklet is titled "Books Old and Modern on many Subjects including Americana, Architecture, Bibliography, Classic, Drama, English Literature & Topography, Genealogy, London, Medicine, Printing, Theology, etc."

I thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the volumes and ephemera listed in this booklet, along with their prices then and now.

  • Some Memories of the Civil War, together with an Appreciation of the Career and Character of Maj.-Gen. Israel Putnam, Leader in the Colonial Wars and in the American Revolution, by G.H. Putnam (New York, 1924).1 1934 price: 4 shillings. 2014 price: $18.
  • Modern English Literature, its Blemishes and Defects, by H.H. Breen (Longman, 1857). 1934 price: 5 shillings, 6 pennies. 2014 price: Original edition unavailable on Amazon. Reprints are as low as about $15.
  • An Inquiry into the Nature and Form of the Books of the Ancients; with a History of the Art of Bookbinding, by John A. Arnett (London, Groombridge, 1837). 1934 price: 15 shillings. 2014 price: $317.
  • Struggles and Triumphs, or 60 years' Recollections, including golden Rules for Money-making, by P.T. Barnum (Buffalo, 1889). 1934 price: 6 shillings, 6 pennies. 2014 price: The original 1869 edition can be had for as low at $18, although I would exercise some caveat emptor if you're looking for a nice 19th century copy.
  • The Great Pyramid: its History and Teachings. A Lecture, by T.S. Marks (London, Partridge, 1879). 1934 price: 5 shillings. 2014 price: Original edition unavailable on Amazon. Reprints start at $24.
  • Intercepted Letters, or The Twopenny Post-Bag. To which are added Trifles Reprinted, by Thomas Brown, the younger (London, J. Carr, 1813). 1934 price: 6 shillings. 2014 price: $128.
  • Northumberland: its History, its Features and its People, by the Rev. James Christie (1893). 1934 price: 4 shillings. 2014 price: $55.
  • The Twilight of the White Races, by Maurice Muret (London, Unwin, 1926). 1934 price: 6 shillings. 2014 price: $63.
  • A Letter from an Arabian Physician to a famous Professor in the University Hall in Saxony, concerning Mahomet's taking up Arms, his marrying of many Wives, his Keeping of Concubines, and his Paradise, (Paris, 1706). 1934 price: 12 shillings, 6 pennies. 2014 price: Paperback reprints start at $8.
  • British Locomotives, their History, Construction, and Modern Development, by C.J.B. Cooke (London, Whittaker, 1893). 1934 price: 10 shillings. 2014 price: $46.

1. The booklet lists the publication date as 1824, but that must be a typo, given that it would predate the American Civil War.

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