Salmagundi Library Newsletter | Autumn | 2022 | Book discoveries
Dear club members,
This is the first newsletter of the Salmagundi Library, and Jay Barksdale has kindly selected some books in the library which he thought might be of interest to the membership.
I hope you will enjoy these book discoveries in our library.
Salmagundi Library Committee Chairman
Hello and greetings from the Library Committee
In addition to the Library’s wonderful atmosphere and décor, there are the books. Books! BOOKS!! They reflect, as you will read, the taste and times of its members, founding and otherwise : William Henry Shelton, whose portrait is in the Library, John Sanford Saltus, Joseph Hartley, and others. Yours truly thought it would be interesting, enjoyable and of good service to the Club to go through them. And so I am, beginning with Bay Z (a bay is a unit of library shelving, bookcases arranged together in vertical rows) Shelf 1.
Z1-01 begins auspiciously enough with an 1899 edition of Stendhal’s The charterhouse of Parma. Then a shocker – The masculine cross and ancient sex worship, from 1904. Next comes humorous verse – The bashful earthquake and other fables by the forgotten, I dare say, Oliver Herford, 1860 – 1935, Anglo-American writer, humorist, artist, and illustrator.
The shelf is rather rich in poetry, from the famous; Robert Burns, Walt Whitman and Baudelaire (in English) to the once-so; Craven Langstroth Betts, Louis Michael Elshemus, Richard Edwin Day and Nathan Haskell Dole. There is, by the way, a volume of verse completely in Welsh. Many of these books, being in public domain, are digitized, including the delightful anthology Hasty Pudding Poems. Non-fiction and classics are also quite varied : Emerson’s essays, some gypsy lore (one of John Sanford Saltus’s interests), legends of the Netherlands and Manhattan, Renan’s 1863 Life of Jesus (as scandalous then as On the origin of species), three books of Portugal’s great 16th century poet Luís de Camões translated by that indefatigable Victorian polyglot Sir Richard Francis Burton, and a lengthy courtroom transaction of Matthias and his impostures by the prominent (again, then-prominent) William Lette Stone, 1792 – 1844, American journalist, publisher, author, and public official in New York City. For my penny, the most interesting is a privately bound 1811 New York copy of Samuel Johnsons Idler. Those long, beautifully balanced sentences are printed on paper so well made it will outlast us all. Lastly, and earning the laurels for most festive illustration is In Bohemia, a collection of light essays and recollections of New York in the Diamond Jim Brady era. Illustrators include Alphonse Mucha, Henry “Hy” Myer, Richard Felton Outcault & others.