Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Original F. Scott Fitzgerald Manuscript Poems Discovered

by Stephen J. Gertz

A cache of never before seen original and revealing F. Scott Fitzgerald autograph material has surfaced and is being introduced into the marketplace by Nate D. Sanders Auctions today, March 26, 2013 through Tuesday, April 2, 2013 via online auction. It is estimated to sell for $75,000-$100,000.

 In descent from the estate of First Lady of the American Theater, actress Helen Hayes (1900-1993), to whom, with her husband, writer Charles MacArthur, (1928-1956) Fitzgerald had grown close during the 1930s, the trove is highlighted by a six-stanza poem written to Hayes' daughter, Mary MacArthur, in 1937, when she was eight years old. It reads, in part:

"...What shall I do with this bundle of stuff
Mass of ingredients, handful of grist
Tenderest evidence, thumb-print of lust
Kindly advise me, O psychologist
She shall have music -- we pray for the kiss
of the god's on her forehead, the necking of fate
How in the hell shall we guide her to this..."

It is signed by Fitzgerald and located "Nyack," the upstate New York town on the Hudson River where Hayes and family resided after buying "Pretty Penny," the "finest Italianate Victorian Estate in America" in the 1930s and turning it into an artistic salon with steady friends, like Fitzgerald, visiting for weekends.

This poem was published thirty-seven years later in Hayes' memoir, A Gift of Joy (1965). But she left out a stanza, poignant and significant, and, until now in this manuscript, unknown.

"Solve me this dither, O wisest of lamas,
Pediatrician - beneficent buddy
Tell me the name of a madhouse for mammas
Or give me the nursery - let her have the study"

The reference to Zelda's mental illness would not be understood by her daughter but Helen Hayes knew exactly what Fitzgerald was referring to and, perhaps because she felt it too personal a matter for the public, left it out of her book. At the time of the poem's writing, Zelda was institutionalized, Fitzgerald had moved to Hollywood, and begun his affair with gossip columnist, Sheila Graham.

Another poem, dated February 13, 1931, is written for and dedicated to Mary MacArthur on the occasion of her first birthday. Sadly, Mary MacArthur died at age nineteen of polio.

Included is an inscribed first edition presentation copy of the novelist's Tender Is The Night (1934) given to Miss Hayes and Charles MacArthur at the time of the book's publication.

Front Free-endpaper.
Front pastedown endpaper.

On June 15, 2012, Sotheby's-NY auctioned an autograph unpublished Fitzgerald short story written c. 1920 titled The I.O.U., in both autograph manuscript in pencil with revisions and typescript, with a note from Fitzgerald's agent, Harold Ober, giving a brief synopsis of the story. It sold for $160,000.

Unknown Fitzgerald autograph material fresh to the marketplace and insightful does not turn up often. $75,000 - $100,000 for this lot seems a very reasonable estimate.

All images courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions, with our thanks.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Never Seen Hemingway Photos As Teen Come To Auction

by Stephen J. Gertz

Ernie's trout
Ernest at age fourteen.

"All modern American literature comes from
one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn'"

                                                - Ernest Hemingway

A Hemingway family album containing unpublished photographs of Ernest as a teenager is featured at PBA Gelleries'  Fine Literature - Children's & Illustrated Books & Artwork auction this Thursday March 14, 2013. It is estimated to sell for $10,000 - $15,000.

Ernest, in dark shirt at left, on the cusp of high school, with family.

The album was the creation of Hemingway's younger sister, Ursula, who wrote on the flyleaf, "Ursula Hemingway, Book IV from July 1st 1913 to July 1st 1916, Eleven years 2 months to Fourteen years and 2 months old.” Within we see Ernest - here "Ernie" - at age fourteen through seventeen.

Ernest standing at left.

The photographs document the Hemingway family during the early 1910s, with images of children partying, family dinners, group images before the city house, and the Walloon Lake summer house in Northern Michigan that the family loved and that was so much a part of the Hemingway family's life.

A splash fest, and Ernest, 2d from left. Sept. 1915.
Ernest at 16, sitting far left.

There are photographs of the Hemingway grandparents, the father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, including a 1914 photograph of him with his famed “Tin Lizzie” from which he made his legendary house calls, and a wonderful image of a family Thanksgiving dinner with the Grandparents.

Ernest, standing behind his grandmother.

There are approximately twenty-one images showing young Ernest, many in group family shots, a  picture of him ala Huck Finn as a young fisherman holding his catch of trout, and playing on the waterfront in and around boats and canoes.

Ernest, at right.

A small portrait photo captures young Ernest at seventeen as a high school junior, the year he took his first journalism class and worked on the school newspaper, The Trapeze. After graduation he got a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. Two years after that photograph was taken he was a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy during WWI.

Ernest 2d from right.

Scattered throughout the album are numerous programs of recital, school and church events in which the Hemingway children participated, approximately twenty-five letters in envelopes or as postcards mailed to young Ursula, and approximately thirty pieces of original art by Ursula who would become an accomplished artist in her later years. 

Ernest, standing at rear.

A twelve-page holograph diary of a trip Ursula took with her mother Grace, to Nantucket in 1914, along with photographs and an original miniature watercolor presented to Ursula by the Nantucket artist Marianna Van Pelt are also included. One photograph is captioned “the 6 children taken together for the first time," complete with a smiling Ernest, and everyone in their Sunday best. 

Ernest, at right.
Ernest standing, at rear.
Ernest, at left, net fishing.

Ursula Hemingway, (1902-1966), graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota where she met her future husband Jasper Jepson. After marriage in 1925 the Jepsons settled in Honolulu where Mr. Jepson was a Vice President of the Bishop Trust. Ursula became a recognized painter and the Jepsons had one daughter. It was through this daughter's family that this Hemingway family album descended until the present.

At left, with siblings. July 13, 1915.

The album is approximately 7½x10¾”, consists of 100 pages of family memorabilia including approximately 121 original family sepia-silverprint photographs ranging in size from 2x4” to 7x8”, most are 3x5½" or period postcard size. Nearly every photograph in the album is identified in Ursula Hemingway’s hand, often to the length of a short paragraph.

A junior in high school.

It's a singular and remarkable archive that documents the early life of Ernest Hemingway and his family during their Oak Park, Illinois and Walloon Lake years.

All images by permission of PBA Galleries, with our thanks.

Some images have been cropped for publication by Booktryst.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elegant Style And Fashion In 19th C. Spain

by Stephen J. Gertz

Published weekly from 1842 through the turn of the 20th century, La Moda Elegante Ilustrada, Periodico de las Familias (Illustrated Elegant Style, A Family Magazine) was nineteenth century Spain's leading fashion magazine.

The plates within La Moda Elegante Ilustrada depict the latest fashions from Paris including seaside attire, day dresses, fashions for a day in the country, ball gowns, as well as children's clothing.

It was Spain's Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, the go-to magazine for Spain's upper class women.

This, the annual for 1882, features thirty-two hand-colored steel-engraved plates printed by A. Godchaux, and Guilquin, of Paris with designs after Adele-Anais Toudouze; F. Bonnard; A. Chaillot; Jules David; and P. Lacouriere.

Notable is that in more than a few of the plates women are reading or holding a book, reflecting, as current fashion magazines do, current trends and customs in culture, in Spain and, by extension, those of Europe's upper class, all following the French example. Books were a fashion accessory and reading a fashionable activity for ladies who wished to be au courant. Reading, in short, was cool.

Annuals of La Moda Elegante Ilustrada are extremely scarce, with only one institutional copy of the 1882 volume worldwide, at University of Granada, according to OCLC/KVK. Princeton and three libraries in Spain appear to have multiple volumes from the series but it is unclear whether 1882 is amongst them.  Only two volumes in the series have come to auction since ABPC began indexing results in 1923, for 1893 and 1902. No copies of this, the 1882 volume, have been seen at auction within the last ninety years.

[FASHION]. La Moda Elegante Ilustrada. Periodico de las Familias. Cromos Pertenecientes al Año de 1882. Madrid: [Officinas de La Moda Elegante Illustrada], 1882. First edition. Folio (13 7/8 x 10 1/8 in; 354 x 257 mm). [4] pp. Thirty-two hand-colored steel-engraved plates, printed by A. Godchaux, and Guilquin, of Paris. Designs after Adele-Anais Toudouze; F. Bonnard; A. Chaillot; Jules David; and P. Lacouriere. Plates untitled but numbered 1680-1700  (eleven in numerical series with letters, i.e. 1681D), and 2247E (final).

Colas 2069. Lipperheide 4642. Hiler, p. 619. Holland, p. 88.

Images courtesy of David Brass Rare Books, with our thanks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Benny Hill (Or Soupy Sales) of 19th C. British Caricaturists

by Stephen J. Gertz

A Cutlass. (Cut-Lass).

In 1828, a tasty if somewhat groan-inducing gallimaufry of visual wordplay, corniness, and puns in aquatint caricature, Joe Lisle's Play Upon Words, was published by Thomas McLean, the renowned publisher of satirical prints. Very little is known about it. At its time of issue it may have been very popular; word-play, particularly punning, has a long tradition within English folk culture. Though often considered low humor it was a pleasure, innocent or guilty,  across social class. Fun with language is global; even Inuits enjoy its wit.

Taking a Galloway. (Girl away).
A Grenadier. (Granny-dear).

Little is known about Joseph Lisle (fl. 1828-1835), who, based upon a small collection of individual caricatures found in the British Museum, was a satirical designer and lithographer who specialized in visual wordplay and social satire. In addition to Thomas McLean, his work was published by George Hunt, Berthoud & Son, S. Gans, S.W. Fores, Frederick William Collard, Z.T. Purday, S. Maunders, Paine & Hopkins, and Gabriel Shire Tregear. He received notice in Figaro In London (1834, Vols 3-4, p. 139), the forerunner of Punch, for "a clever caricature" regarding the national debt.

In 1828, the same year that he published his Play Upon Words, Joe Lisle created an aquatint for a series, British Classics. The Spectator, published by Berthoud & Son and captioned Very Fond of Prints & a Drawing Master. Within, "A man in quasi-fashionable dress with spurred top-boots and knee-breeches gapes oafishly at a print-shop window, while a little boy, respectably dressed, takes a purse from his breeches-pocket, having already twitched a handkerchief from the coat-tail pocket which hangs inside out" (M. Dorothy George, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum).

Unlike the aquatints in Play Upon Words, he signed it at lower left ("J. Lisle"). Very Fond of Prints and a Drawing Master shamelessly promotes Joe Lisle's Play Upon Words by featuring it in a double-spread in the center display window at far left.

 The "Drawing Master" of the caption is likely  self-referential. Circa 1830, he drew, etched and  stipple-engraved, and published A Designing Character, with what may be the only image of Lisle we have, a poverty-stricken starving artist.

M. Dorothy George, in the British Museum's Catalogue of British Political And Personal Satires (no. 16413), describes it as "seemingly a self-portrait, a youngish artist in a garret lit by a skylight. He sits in a massive arm-chair under a low slanting roof (right), leaning his head on his right hand, palette and brushes in the left hand. He is neatly dressed and looks with fixed but amiable melancholy through spectacles at the spectator. Easel and canvas are on the left. At his feet is an open portfolio; a tea-pot and bottle are on a rickety stool and on the floor is a frying-pan filled with small coals (sign of great poverty cf. BM Satires No. 14993). A bust on a bracket under the roof is the sole decoration."

A Pioneer. (A pie-on-here).

Here, then, is a collection by a journeyman satirical caricaturist who, if not a peer of his contemporaries Cruikshank, Seymour, Heath, Alken, and Woodward, left a notable mark, however small, in the field.

As to why so little is known and so little produced by Lisle, one can only speculate that he, clearly no stranger to melancholy, was, as so many journeyman artists and writers of his time, perhaps a little too familiar with the play upon livers by ardent spirits.

Misadvised. (Miss-advised).

Whatever the reason for his obscurity he fell through the cracks and Joe Lisle's  Play Upon Words escaped the notice of caricature and color-plate book bibliographers; it is an orphan not found in Abbey, Prideaux, or Tooley. Perhaps it wasn't popular, few copies were printed and fewer survived. Perhaps Lisle's humor was too obvious, the Benny Hill of British caricature, less clever than broad, relying on easy gags rather than sharp social observation, low-brow music hall comedy rather than sly wit. When you have to explain the puns in wink-wink nudge-nudge, Get it?  parenthetical asides you're in trouble.

Americans who were weaned on a certain classic children's show of the '50s through early 1960s will recognize Lisle as a forerunner to comedian Milton Supman (1926-2009), who, performing on U.S. television as Soupy Sales, captured the goofy, simple pleasures of sophomoric humor.

Muggy Weather

I know why there's a beer keg standing by
Muggy weather
Just can't get my poorself together
Without a pint or three.
(Apologies to Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler).

Joe Lisle's Play Upon Words is now an extremely rare volume: ABPC notes only one copy at auction since 1970 and OCLC/KVK record only four copies in institutional holdings worldwide.

[LISLE, Joseph]. Joe Lisle's Play Upon Words. London: Thomas McLean, 1828. Small oblong quarto (6 1/2 x 10 in; 166 x 253 mm). Forty hand-colored aquatint plates, watermarked 1825, with interleaves.

The Plates:
1.    An Action off Spit-Head
2.    Muggy Weather
3.    A Cutlass. (Cut-Lass)
4.    A Chaste Character. (Chased)
5.    An Ad-mired Character
6.    Lath
7.    Plaister
8.    A Coal Meter. (A Coal meet-Her)
9.    A Rain Bow. (Beau)
10.  An Officious Character. (O-Fish's)
11.  A Jewel. (A Jew-Ill.)
12.  A Sub-Lime Character
13.  A Stage Manager
14.  A Stable Character
15.  My Hog & I. (Mahogany)
16.  Elegant Extracts
17.  A very amusing Company. (Ham-using)
18.  Sootable (Suitable) Characters
19.  A Charger
20.  A Sophist-Ical Argument
21.  Taking a Galloway. (Girl Away)
22.  A Diving Belle
23.  The Dread-Nought taking A Smack
24.  Moore's (Blackamoors.) Loves of the Angels
25.  A Grenadier. (Granny-dear)
26.  A Pioneer. (A Pie-on-here)
27.  Misadvised. (Miss-advised)
28.  A Dutch Place. (Plaice)
29.  May we meet more numerous & never less respectable
30.  Metaphysics. (Met-he-Physics?)
31.  Coming off with a claw (éclat)
32.  A Common Sewer. (Sower)
33.  Empailed. (Him pailed)
34.  Mutual Civility
35.  An Armless (Harmless) Character
36.  Canon Law. (Cannon)
37.  (History) His-story
38.  The Infant in Arms
39.  A Man Milling her. (Milliner)
40.  Mistaken. (Miss-taken)

Images from Joe Lisle's Play Upon Words courtesy of David Brass Rare Books, with our thanks.

Images of Very Fond of Prints and a Drawing Master and A Designing Master courtesy of the British Museum, with our thanks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

If Classic Rock Albums Were Books

by Stephen J. Gertz

"Fast-paced 1958 thriller: a jilted train driver hijacks
his New York subway train to exact revenge upon his love
rival, only to threaten the life of his ex-lover.
The last 30 pages are missing. Don’t know if she survives."

Last year, Christophe Gowans, a British graphic designer who has worked as art director at Blitz, Hybrid, Esquire, Modern Painters, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, and Stella, created The Record Books, a series of faux volumes based upon great, best-selling record albums. Booktryst is pleased to present a sampler. The blurbs are his own.

"Thorough and clear children’s reference book concerning
all things equine. Sadly, many of the illustrations
within have been disfigured with juvenile amendments
and additions, in biro.

"Gruesome schlock from the prolific Jackson. In this
relentless stalkerfest, private eye Dwight Blackman
takes on the ‘Shamone’ Killer for the 3rd time.
Will the psycho slip through the dick’s fingers yet again?

"When a form of acid rain, caused by a comet plowing
into Uranus, appears to stunt the growth of every
living thing on Earth, mankind’s very existence is
on a knife edge. When a group of pygmies realize
that the peach is the only plant unaffected, they
found a new society, with the peach stone as its currency."

"Charismatic Harvard whizkid Hendrix’s self-help bible.
A spin-off from his phenomenally successful TV reality show,
’The Experience.’"

"A rags to glory autobiography by Bruce Reginald Grayson
Springsteen. The story of his rise from squalor to victory
in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics is…
well, it’s a pretty dull book."

"War comic. Part of a very long series, an epic really,
recounting the journey of three boys from early
conscription to their various fates. Heroic, tragic,
moving. This one is covered in puerile sexual additions
in blue biro, though.

All images courtesy of Christopher Gowans, with our thanks.

Images are available as prints and postcards here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Wipe Your Nose With This Map

by Stephen J. Gertz

Evelyn Mulwray: It's a handkerchief!
Jake Gertz: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's a map…
Evelyn Mulwray: It's a handkerchief…
Evelyn Mulwray: A handkerchief, a map.
[More slaps]
Jake Gertz: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's a handkerchief AND a map!

The Travelling Handkerchief  has come to town, Fairburn's Map of the Country Twelve Miles Round London by E. Bourne, printed on calico, 590 x 540 mm, in 1831, a scarce, early handkerchief map.

The map is circular, and reaches Teddington in the south west, clockside to Norwood, Harrow on the Hill, Chipping Barnet, Dagenham, Purley and Kingsston, wherever they are. I'm in Los Angeles, clockside to Westwood, harrowing on Barrington, Pico and Sepulveda; what do I know? This cartographical Kleenex™ is decorated by vignette views of Chelsea and Greenwich Hospitals in the bottom corners, and a banner heralding the title is held aloft in an eagle's beak.

Washington D.C. based on
Samuel Hill's engraving of Andrew Ellicott's plan.
Printed in Boston, c. 1792.

Handkerchief maps date back to the late 18th century. Examples featuring the plan for Washington D.C. werre sold as "'an authentic plan of the Metropolis of the United States,' advertised as an accurate guide for the prospective purchaser of lots but also as 'a very handsome ornament for the parlor or counting room" (Luria, Capital Speculations: Writing and Building Washington, p. 14). These handkerchief maps are believed to have been printed in Boston in 1792 in connection with "the sale of lots in the new 'Federal Town'" (Works Progress Administration, Washington: City and Capital, p. xiv).

Map of the Baltic theatre of the Crimean War
Paris, Dopter, c.1855.
Engraved map, printed on silk. 650 x 610mm.

Map of the Baltic Sea during
the Crimean War, when the British and French
sent their fleets to blockade St Petersburg.
It is decorated with vignettes of St Petersberg,
Kronstadt, naval scenes and French and British coat-of-arms.

During the 19th century, the British Army's Quartermaster-General Department in India issued handkerchief maps of Delhi and Attock for use by their troops, and they were published as souvenirs during the Crimean War.

The Absent-Minded Beggar.
London, the Daily Mail Publishing Co. Ltd, c.1899.
Linen handkerchief printed in blue, 460 x 470mm.
Printed handkerchief published by the Daily Mail
to rise funds for the "Soldiers' Families Fund"
after the outbreak of the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

Guildhall Library in London has an example of The Travelling Handkerchief in its collection and of another handkerchief map scarcity, An Illustrated Map of London, published in 1850.

London and its Environs for 1832.
Engraving on cotton. 915 x 890mm.

Handkerchief maps were issued to U.S. Air Force servicemen during WWII as escape maps if shot down over enemy territory. On acetate rayon, linen, or silk, they were lightweight, waterproof, hard to tear and tough to disintegrate; they were able to take a beating yet still fulfill their purpose. The British also issued handkerchief maps to their air force crews and ground troops in all theaters of operation.

The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at University of Wisconsin has sixteen mid-20th century handkerchief maps of U.S. states, Canada, the 1939 World's Fair, etc. in its collection.

Surviving eighteenth and nineteenth century handkerchief maps in collectible condition are quite rare.

Jake Gertz: My nose is bleeding, gimme your handkerchief.
Walsh: Forget it, Jake, I'm lookin' for Chinatown. It's on here somewhere.

BOURNE, E. The Travelling Handkerchief. Fairburn's Map of the Country Twelve Miles Round London. London: John Fairburn, 1831. Engraved map printed on calico. 590 x 540mm.

Howgego 216 (3).

The Travelling Handkerchief and other British handkerchief map images courtesy of Altea Gallery, with our thanks.

Image of Washington D.C. handkerchief map courtesy of George Washington University GW Magazine, with our thanks.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Meet Paul Parrot, Rare Bird Casanova & Star Of Rare Book

by Albert

Today's guest blogger is, once more, Albert the Writing Parrot, a thirty-four year old Yellow-Naped Amazon, Booktryt's mascot, my ward since his five-months old birthday, and, pathetically, my most successful long-term relationship. He knows more about these books than I do. If his writing voice sounds similar to mine do not be surprised. He is, after all, a parrot  - SJG.


Me again, pressed into service with the promise of a filbert thrown my way. I'm a conditioned fool.

Tittums Deserting Fido.
As the go-to bird on parrot books I'm often asked, What's the best volume on Mr. Paul Parrot, the notoriously horny hook-bill, fine-feathered lothario, and wandering roué with wings?

Step into my cage, sit at my zygodactyl feet, lend me an ear (I need a nosh), and I shall tell you, strictly entre-nous, a scandalous tale exceeded only, perhaps, by that of Aly Khan, the "fabulously wealthy, hard riding, fast driving, restless man of the world with a liking for parties and beautiful women" (NY Times, Feb. 7, 1958) for whom hi-fidelity was strictly for sound recordings; faithfulness to wives and lovers cramped his style.

There was Hon. Joan Guinness, Pamela Churchill Harriman, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, countless other high-profile lovers, as well as the UCLA Pep Squad, the Pan American Airlines stewardess brigade, and a cast of gorgeous thousands from various Hollywood epics, take your pick. He needed a spreadsheet to keep track of the sheet spreads on his schedule.

Tittums Walking Out With The Parrot.

What's the book? In 1858, The Faithless Parrot by Charles H. Bennett was published by George Routledge and Co. of London as part of their New Toy Books series. The great, innovative color printer Edmund Evans engraved and printed the book's seven woodcuts based upon Bennett's designs.

It's the (one and only) cautionary tale of Paul Parrot, who, having seduced Tittums, a cat, from the arms of her lover, Fido, a dog (it's a modern relationship), and then two-timing her with the widow Mrs. Daw, a comely jackdaw,  gets his comeuppance when Tittums catches him in the act and he gets plucked within an inch of his life. 

The Parrot Courting The Jackdaw.

"Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the parrot mind" (Marcus Tullius Psittacine Cicero). It's a lesson Paul Parrot missed at Eton.

He's a votary of Oscar Wilde: "Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect - simply a confession of failures” (The Picture of Dorian Gray).


To which I can only reply, Double, double, toil and trouble: Bill Shakes knew what he was talking about - I date more than one bird at a time and I'm a nervous wreck;  I'm faithful secondary to woeful and that's fine with me. I once woke up with two scarlet macaws and an African Gray next to me in a sleazy nest. They must have slipped me a Rophie - I have no idea how I got there and, worse, have no memory of what was probably an ecstatic night but all l took away from it was feather-burn and a hangover. So much for bird of paradise wanna-be's.

It never ceases to amaze me how some kitties will fall for any suave hookbill with a silver-tongue, to wit:

The Parrot Exposed.

"One morning, when Tittums came in from a visit she had been paying her mamma, she was followed by a gentleman from the tropics, who, with all the impudence of his race, made himself quite at home, pressed Tittums’ paw to his heart, called her 'the loveliest of Cats,' asked her to oblige him with a song, which he had been told she could sing very sweetly, and never took the least notice of poor Fido, who was sitting in the corner. To tell the truth, poor Fido was very cross, and began to growl quite savagely; the more so when, to his dismay, he beheld the pleasure with which Tittums heard all this nonsense. He could not think what right the bold stranger had to come there unasked; for all that he had bright red and green feathers, a rakish, broad-brimmed hat, and a gold-headed walking-cane, he was not good-looking, that was very certain.

"But Tittums was very much struck by his appearance and bearing; his feathers were so pretty, he spoke so many languages, shrieked so terribly and in such a loud voice, had travelled so much, and was so struck by the beauty of Tittums, that, poor little Cat as she was, she ceased to care a button for faithful Fido, and kept all her sly glances for Mr. Paul Parrot.

“'Lovely Tittums,' said Mr. Paul, 'you must forget such upstart puppies as Fido. Listen to me—I am a traveller—I speak five languages,—I have a palace made of golden bars, within which is a perch fit for a king,—I have a pension of bread and milk and Barcelona nuts: all of which I will share with you. Tomorrow we will go for a trip into the field next to the house. Good-bye for the present, my dear Pussy Cat;' and he went away kissing his hand."

Pussycats, this is the bird your mother warned you about. Never trust a mister who kisses his own hand.

The Parrot Getting a Good Picking.

Because this is a typical mid-nineteenth century children's book it's a didactic moral tale that must conclude with Mr. Paul Parrot paying the wages of sin.

"As soon as Mrs. Daw was left alone with Paul, she began to upbraid him with his falseness. 'You vulgar, stuck-up, ugly, awkward deceiver! You have neither honesty enough to live by, nor wings enough to fly with.' Whereupon she jumped at him and gave him such a plucking as spoilt his good looks.

"Never after this was the Parrot able to hold up his head. Every one scorned him; even his golden palace turned out to be a brass cage; and for his misdeeds a chain was fastened round his leg. He was confined to a wooden perch, which, out of pure spite, he was always pecking."

No compulsive horn-dog parrot pecker one-liners. Sorry to disappoint. What am I, Henny Youngbird?

There was a parrot-babe knocking on my hotel room door all night! Finally, I let her out.
I know a parrot who's frank and earnest with pussycats. In Fresno, he's Frank and in Chicago he's Ernest.

Take my mate - please!


I give The Faithless Parrot 5-Seeds, my highest rating. It's a true rarity; according to OCLC there are less than a dozen copies in institutional holdings worldwide. The Cotson Children's Library at Princeton only has it as reprinted within Routledge's 1865 compilation, The Comical Story Book With Comical Illustrations: Printed In Colours. It was separately reprinted by Routledge in 1870.

I'll have that filbert now.

BENNETT, Charles H. The Faithless Parrot. Designed and Narrated by… London: G. Routledge and Co., n.d. [1858]. First edition. Quarto. 15, [1] pp. Seven full-page woodcuts engraved and printed in color by Edmund Evans.

Rear wrapper.

Images courtesy of The Gutenberg Project, with our thanks.
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