Literature and book collecting – 100 years ago

Hooray and Happy Day!  This is blog number 100 for Old Scrolls Book Shop, so I thought we would follow the theme of “100” and see what was happening in the world of literature and book collecting one hundred years ago.

1911 Nobel Prize for Literature:  Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet, playwright, and essayist.

Born:  Tennessee Williams, playwright (died 1983)

Died:   Howard Pyle, children’s author (born 1853) and  Joseph Pulitzer (born 1847)

Hot new books in 1911:

 Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton)

The Innocence of Father Brown (G. K. Chesterton)

The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

Zuleika Dobson (Max Beerbohm)

The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)

I looked on our database to see what books we have in stock which were published in 1911.  Here are a few:

Animal Intelligence: Experimental Studies, Macmillan, NY, 1911 by Edward L. Thorndike. (Thorndike’s landmark book on animal behavior and intelligence)

The Long Roll, by Mary Johnston, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1911  (A novel of the Confederacy during the American Civil War)

Panama – The Canal, The Country, and the People, by Albert Edwards, MacMillan, NY, 1911.   (The Panama Canal was under construction from 1904 to 1914, so this subject was of great interest in 1911)

Vanity Fair was released for the first time in a film version (silent), directed by Charles Kent and starring Helen Gardner and William V. Ranous.   It was based on the famous novel by William Makepeace Thackeray.

Here is a book auction catalog from 1911 which offered up an “Extensive Private Collection of Books and Pamphlets Relating to Abraham Lincoln.”  The C. F. Libbie & Company auction took place in Boston on September 27 and 28, 1911 at the New Gallery on Washington Street.  “Please mail your order early.  A Deposit required from Strangers.”

On August 21, 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, one of the most famous paintings in the world, was stolen right off the wall of the Louvre in Paris.

And here is a book based on the famous caper!

The Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa, by Martin Page (Pantheon, NY, 1984)

Available (of course) here at Old Scrolls Book Shop.

I’d love to hear comments from you if you are a regular visitor the blog…or if you are brand new!  Your input will help inspire me for the next 100 entries.  And if there are book related subjects you would like me to explore,  please let me know in the comments section.

Catherine Petruccione, Old Scrolls Book Shop – November 13, 2011


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