Thoms, Adah B. | Pathfinders. A History of the Progress of Colored Graduate Nurses
First and only edition of this important early source on African American nurses. With the ownership signature of Aileen Cole Stewart, one of the nurses featured in the text.
Author Adah Thoms (1863-1943) started her career as a nurse in her thirties, moving from Virginia to New York for her education and eventually becoming assistant director of the School of Nursing of the Lincoln Hospital and Home in Brooklyn, where she helped institute the teaching of public health. Thoms was a founder of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, sponsoring its first meeting at the Lincoln Hospital, and later serving as treasurer and president. “She also attended the International Nursing Council in Cologne, Germany, where, with three other Black delegates, she urged the admission of black nurses from Africa, South America, and the Caribbean” (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 1286). After retiring in 1923 Thoms continued advocating for Black nurses in the American Nurses Association and National Organization for Public Health, which led to their incorporation of her organization.
The previous owner of this volume, Aileen Cole Stewart, was one of eighteen Black nurses enrolled in the Army Nurse Corps in 1918, and she appears in a group photos with her colleagues at page 160. As this chapter explains, “During World War I, Thoms fought hard, as president of the National Association of Coloured Graduate Nurses, to gain the admission of black nurses into the American Red Cross. Although the head of the Red Cross agreed, this was vetoed by the Surgeon General of the United States. By 1917, one African-American nurse was enrolled in the Red Cross but given no assignment. By 1918, the great influenza epidemic made the use of all available nurses urgent, and eighteen black nurses were enrolled in the Army Nurse Corps, where, although they treated sick soldiers of all backgrounds, they themselves lived in segregated quarters” (Ogilvie p. 1286).
“Little is known about Aileen Cole Stewart’s early life, but she did write about her experiences as a young nurse in training. She attended the Freedmen’s Hospital Training School in Washington, DC and studied at the hospital’s training center at Howard University Medical School. She participated in the three-year program for African American nurses to earn their diplomas.” When the great influenza increased demand for nurses, “Stewart and a few other Freedmen’s nurses were sent to areas where the railroad workers were dying quickly. The Red Cross sent Stewart to Putney, West Virginia with another nurse. Conditions for the railroad workers soon got worse, and Stewart was sent by herself to a small town called Cascade. She worked alone in the mountains until she received a letter from the director of field nursing at the American Red Cross asking Stewart to serve. On December 1, 1918, Stewart began her service in the Army Nurse Corps, along with 17 other African American nurses. Half of the nurses went to Camp Sherman in Ohio, and half went to Camp Grant in Illinois. Stewart was stationed at Camp Sherman, where the African American nurses lived in segregated areas... Stewart continued her career in nursing as a New York public health nurse. She earned a degree in public health nursing from the University of Washington at the age of 68 and continued to volunteer with the Red Cross youth program until she died” (Alexander, ”Aileen Cole Stewart”, National Women’s History Museum biography).
...With Biographies of Many Prominent Nurses (Illustrated). New York: Kay Printing House for the author, 1929.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt. Frontispiece and 14 photographic plates of which 12 are double-sided. Ownership signature to the front pastedown, gift inscription to the frontispiece. Cloth worn at the corners and ends of spine, a couple of faint marks to the cloth, spine titles dulled. An excellent copy, the contents fresh.
[Waite, Arthur Edward] Valentinus, Basilius | The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony
First edition of mystic Arthur E. Waite’s translation of this key alchemical text. Rare in commerce: we can locate only three other copies in auction records since 1915, at Swann in 2000 and 1998.
The mysterious Basil Valentine was “one of the most celebrated figures of early modern chymistry” (Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy, p. 138). Though described as the work of a 15th-century German monk, his large corpus was likely the work of several authors beginning in the 1590s, primarily Johann Thölde (1565-1624), a salt manufacturer who published the first five books that appeared under Valentine’s name.
“The most famous book in the Valentine corpus appeared in 1604 under the grand title of The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony (Der Triumph-Wagen Antimonii). The first part is largely theoretical, while the second contains about two dozen practical preparations seemingly very clearly described, based on antimony. Today, antimony is known as a fairly rare, semimetallic element of moderate toxicity... but for early modern chymists it was a source of inexhaustible fascination. Despite the toxicity of antimony compounds, most of Valentine’s preparations are pharmaceutical... The Triumphal Chariot’s emphasis on transforming poisons into pharmaceuticals, and its vitriolic condemnations of the medical establishment, places it firmly in the tradition of Parcelsianism.” (Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy, p. 140).
Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) is perhaps best known as co-creator of the famed Raider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. He was involved with numerous aspects of turn-of-the-century mysticism and the occult, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, and his own organisation, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. Waite was also a prolific author, publishing widely on the history of esotericism, alchemy, ceremonial magic, Kabbalah, the Holy Grail, and Freemasonry, and preparing translations of a number of important texts in these traditions.
...With the Commentary of Theodore Kerckringius. Being the Latin Version Published at Amsterdam in the Year 1685 Translated into English, with a Biographical Preface. London: James Elliott and Co., 1893.
Octavo. Original black cloth blocked in red, titles to spine gilt. 4 page publisher’s ads at rear. Frontispiece, illustrations within the text. Pencilled circling and check marks to the publisher’s ads. Spine rolled, cloth a little rubbed with some spots and scuffs, slight wear to the tips and ends of spine, contents tanned. A very good copy.
Mann, Michael E. | The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, “3/24/2012, To John & Louis, thanks for all you’re doing, Michael Mann”.
This "important and disturbing account" of climate change science and politics is by leading researcher Michael Mann of Penn State’s Earth Science System Center (Kirkus Reviews).
Mann was the leader of the team that produced the 1999 “hockey stick graph” showing the dramatic rise in atmospheric temperature of the past century as compared with the previous thousand years. Mann’s work is central to the current understanding of anthropomorphic climate change, he has published four books and more than two hundred papers, and has been involved with numerous high-profile government and scientific organisations. Mann has also been on the receiving end of the climate change disinformation campaign, most notably in 2009 when his email was hacked and cherry-picked statements were released to make it look as though his results were fabricated. Following this, the Republican Attorney General of Virginia demanded, and was denied, access to his papers and Mann was also forced to sue several news organisations for defamation.
This volume covers the basics of climate science, Mann’s personal experiences in the field, including the development of the hockey stick graph, and the aggressive disinformation campaigns waged against climate scientists by fossil fuel companies, politicians, and the right-wing media.
...Dispatches from the Front Lines. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine in black. With the dust jacket. A fine copy in the jacket.
Jeans, James | The Universe Around Us
Second printing, in the rare and evocative Raymond McGrath-designed dust jacket.
Author James Jeans (1877-1946) was a respected Cambridge mathematician and astronomer, best known for his work on rotating, gravitational bodies, "a problem of fundamental importance that had already been tackled by some of the leading mathematicians" (ODNB), and the motions, structures, and life-cycles of stars and stellar clusters.
"In 1928 Jeans's academic work Astronomy and Cosmogony came to the attention of S. C. Roberts, the secretary of Cambridge University Press, who appreciated the general interest of its subject matter and the attraction of Jeans's writing style. He persuaded Jeans to write a popular account, The Universe Around Us, which was published by the press in 1929" (ODNB). Jeans's popularity as a writer "depended partly on his topic-new, thought provoking views of the universe-and partly on his style, which combined an authoritative knowledge of the subject with a vivid turn of phrase" (ODNB).
As Jeans describes it in the introduction, The Universe Around Us is “a brief account, written in simple language, of the methods and results of modern astronomical research, both observational and theoretical. Special attention has been given to problems of cosmology and evolution, and to the general structure of the universe.”
The dust jacket designer, Raymond McGrath (1903-1977) was a printmaker, illustrator, architect, and interior designer whose first commission was the interior of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in 1930. He later completed commissions for Imperial Airways and the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, and spent the latter part of his career as Senior and the Principal Architect at the Office of Public Works in Dublin.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1929.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. 24 plates, illustrations and diagrams within the text. A few small spots to the cloth, light dampstain affecting the edge of the upper board, partial toning of the free endpapers, some faint toning of the contents. A very good copy in the rubbed, tanned, and price-clipped jacket with slight dampstain corresponding to that on the cloth, a chip from the head of the spine panel, and some smaller chips and short closed tears.
Smyth, Henry DeWolf | Atomic Energy for Military Purposes
First trade edition, first printing. An unusually nice copy in the jacket.
Atomic Energy for Military Purposes was written as the official, unclassified narrative of the development of the atomic bomb, a “remarkably full and candid account” intended for general release once the weapon was made public (Printing and the Mind of Man 422).
The first — now unobtainable — edition, was a mimeographed version stamped secret, of which all copies save Smyth’s own were destroyed. The next was a lithoprint published in an edition of only 1,000 copies distributed to project leaders and members of the press, followed by a Government Printing Office edition. This is the first trade edition, published by Princeton University Press after editors at McGraw-Hill found the text too technical for a general audience and suggested a major rewrite, which was vetoed by Smyth. They needn’t have worried: officially published on September 10, 1945, Atomic Energy for Military Purposes remained on the New York Times bestseller list until January of the following year, and would go through eight printings by 1973.
...The Official Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb under the Auspices of the United States Government, 1940-1945. Written at the Request of Maj. Gen. L. R. Groves. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1945.
Octavo. Original coral-coloured cloth, titles to spine in dark red. With the dust jacket. 5 double-sided plates of which 4 are photographic. Lower corner slightly bumped also affecting the jacket, small white spot to extreme edge of upper board, contents faintly toned in the margins. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket that is a little tanned along the spine panel and edges, with some tiny nicks at the head of the spine panel.
Wallace-Wells, David | The Uninhabitable Earth. Life After Warming
- First edition, first printing. A fine copy signed by the author on the title page and dated “3/12/19”, the day that Wallace-Wells spoke at the Politics and Prose bookshop in Washington D. C.
The Uninhabitable Earth, by journalist David Wallace-Wells, is one of the key popular science books of the climate change crisis. Expanded from a 2017 essay published in New York magazine, its frightening predictions for the worst-case climate scenario made it an international best-seller, achieving a level of public interest not seen since Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
The Uninhabitable Earth has received extensive critical praise, with novelist Amitav Gosh describing it as “gripping, terrifying, and furiously readable”, and Slate reviewer Susan Matthews comparing its potential impact to that of Silent Spring. It has also engendered controversy in the community of climate scientists, with leading researchers such as Michael Mann pointing out minor factual errors and arguing that its focus on extreme scenarios is more likely to lead to public despair and apathy than activism.
New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2019.
Octavo. Original grey boards, titles to spine in black, grey endpapers. With the dust jacket. A fine copy.
Newbigin, Marion I. | Ordnance Survey Maps
The rare first edition, and an unusually nice copy, of this popular work on ordnance survey maps by a female geographer.
Author Marion Isabel Newbigin (1869-1934) was “a strong feminist” who earned both her bachelor’s and doctorate at the University of London and succeeded J Arthur Thompson as lecturer in biology and zoology at the School of Medicine for Women in Edinburgh (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 937). “Her studies on coloration in plants, crustaceans, and fish resulted in several publications. She became editor of the Scottish Geographical Magazine in 1902 and served until her death in 1904. “Her interests in geography were very broad, and she published widely in the area. She was an examiner in geography for many institutions and served as president of the geographical section of the British Association in 1922” (Ogilvie).
...Their Meaning and Use, with Descriptions of Typical Sheets. Edinburgh & London: W. & A. K. Johnston, Limited, 1913.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board, and silhouette of the British Isles to upper board, in black, floral-patterned endpapers. Frontispiece and 1 plate, 3 illustrations within the text. 1 leaf of integral as at rear. Cloth very lightly rubbed with a few faints marks and spots, spine a little rolled, light spotting to edges of text block and occasionally to contents. An excellent copy.
Goin, Peter & Peter Friederici | A New Form of Beauty
First edition, first printing of this significant work on the changing landscapes of the American West, as represented by the Glen Canyon reservoir. Signed by both authors on the title, with an additional inscription by Friederici, “Off into the ‘Great Unknown’!”.
Photographer Peter Goin focuses on human-altered landscapes and is best known for his series on nuclear test sites, published in 1991 as Nuclear Landscapes. His work has been exhibited at more than fifty US and international museums, and he has been awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, as well as nominated for an Emmy for his work in experimental video.
Co-author Peter Friederici is an award-winning journalist and academic specialising in science and the environment. As he writes in the introduction, “This book is about that moment of falling when the solid ground under us gives way to something new. It is about the vanishing of the second-largest artificial lake in America in the face of the new, potent phenomenon we call climate change... Though the book focuses on one reservoir in the Colorado River Basin, it is really about all our known landscapes as we watch them shape-shift into new forms.”
...Glen Canyon Beyond Climate Change. Photographs by Peter Goin. Essays by Peter Friederici. Tucson, AR: The University of Arizona Press, 2016.
Oblong quarto. Original dark blue cloth, titles to spine in orange. With the dust jacket. Colour illustrations throughout, including 1 folding plate. A fine copy in the jacket.