Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach

It is the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), who is considered one of the world’s greatest composers, and a leading figure of the German Baroque period. His music is widely played today, a staple of many orchestras and chamber ensembles. You could do worse than spending an hour and a half listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy birthday, President John Tyler

It is the birthday of John Tyler (1790), who is considered by scholars to be one of the worst U.S. presidents in history. He became the 10th president, succeeding William Henry Harrison upon Harrison’s death. Originally a Democrat, Tyler ran on the Whig ticket with Harrison. When he became president, he managed to alienate both the Democrats and the Whigs, crippling his presidency. When the South seceded from the Union, Tyler was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy birthday, Maxim Gorky

It is the birthday of Russian writer Maxim Gorky (1868), who became an icon as a Soviet writer and a friend of the Bolsheviks after his death in 1936, even though he had his issues with the revolutionaries during his lifetime. He was in exile for many years but returned at the invitation of Joseph Stalin. Some historians believe he was killed by Stalin's security forces.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happy birthday, Edward Steichen

It is the birthday of photographer Edward Steichen (1879), who is remembered as the first modern fashion photographer, although he did many other subjects as well. He was a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines and for New York advertising agencies. He also served as director of the Department of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy birthday, Tennessee Williams

It is the birthday of playwright Tennessee Williams (1911), who is remembered for such popular theater works as The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), Orpheus Descending (1957), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). Streetcar and Cat each won Pulitzer Prizes. Williams wrote many other plays as well as screenplays, and short stories. His two novels were The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1950) and Moise and the World of Reason (1975).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy birthday, Arturo Toscanini

It is the birthday of Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867), who became well known in the United States when he served as the first musical director of the NBC Symphony Orchestra (1937-54). He also served as director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy birthday, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It is the birthday of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), who founded City Lights Bookstore (the first U.S. all paperback bookstore) in San Francisco in 1953, published Allen Ginsberg's Howl, and befriended Jack Kerouac, with whom he bonded. Both were Thomas Wolfe fans, both went to Columbia University, both lived in France and both spoke French to their mothers. Ferlinghetti spearheaded the naming of the alley next to his bookstore Jack Kerouac Alley in 1988. He was a mentor of Beat poets and writers of the 1950s, including Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, William S. Burroughs, Michael McClure, Bob Kaufman, and Diane diPrima, though he always considered himself the last of the Bohemians instead of the first of the Beats. Here is a video posted last year about Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy birthday, Randolph Caldecott

It is the birthday of British illustrator Randolph Caldecott (1846), whose illustrations for children’s books in the 19th century and his juxtaposition of words and images changed forever how children’s books were done. Illustrator Maurice Sendak recognized a subtle darkness to Caldecott’s work. "You can't say it's a tragedy, but something hurts. Like a shadow passing quickly over. It is this which gives a Caldecott book—however frothy the verses and pictures—its unexpected depth." The Caldecott Medal recognizing excellence in American picture books is named for him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Henry Flipper: first black West Point grad

It is the birthday of Henry O. Flipper (1856), the first black graduate of West Point and the first non-white officer to lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 10th Cavalry. His unit fought with distinction in the Apache Wars and in the campaign against the Apache Chief Victorio. But Flipper was accused of improprieties, and after a court martial, was removed from the Army. Descendants applied for a review and Flipper’s punishment was found unjust and unduly harsh. He was pardoned in 1999.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy birthday, Sergei Rachmaninoff

It is the birthday of Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873). He came to the United States after the Russian Revolution, and recorded for Edison Records and Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor). Here is a playlist of his music beginning with one of his most well-known works, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy birthday, Western legend Wyatt Earp

We've used this image before with an item about Doc Holliday. Now Wyatt Earp gets equal time.
It is the birthday of heroic Western figure Wyatt Earp (1848), a gambler and deputy town marshal, who is remembered for his part in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. Earp’s place in Western lore was solidified by a biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal by Stuart Lake, which was published in 1931, two years after Earp’s death. Scholars have dismissed most of it as outright fiction, though the 30-second gunfight and other incidents in the book did actually happen. Earp’s friend, gunfighter Doc Holliday, is credited with saving his life once. The book served as the basis of several movies and television shows and made Wyatt Earp an enduring American legend. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy birthday, psychic Edgar Cayce

It is the birthday of psychic Edgar Cayce (1877), who was nicknamed “The Sleeping Prophet” because of his alleged life readings given when he was in hypnotic trances. He was the son of a poor Kentucky farmer and discovered his abilities when a hypnotist came to town when he was a boy. Cayce said he could see people’s auras and often described what was needed to cure sick people. He also answered questions on past and future events. During his lifetime, he was well known throughout the country through newspaper articles. Many books were written about Cayce, including Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation (1950), The Sleeping Prophet (1967), Edgar Cayce on Atlantis (1968), Edgar Cayce on the Dead Sea Scrolls (1970),

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Fair Treasures: Alice illustrated by Dalí

Okay, admittedly we're pretty excited about this item we're bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It's copy No. 250 of a limited edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Salvador Dalí on the frontispiece etching. It was published in New York by Maecenas Press/Random House in 1969. Only 2,500 copies were printed. This folio-sized book lives in a quarter leather and cloth portfolio with bone clasps. It has loose text with frontispiece and 12 plates separately housed in a cloth chemise, as issued. The whole in as new condition and accompanied by the original packing box. It is priced at $11,000. We've included pictures here so you can get an idea but we recommend that you come to the book fair to see it in person.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Book Fair is featured in the Times

Scott Keeler, a photographer for the Tampa Bay Times, came by the other day and took the photo you see above and some other photos of some of the books we're going to be taking to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair next week. We were delighted to speak with Colette Bancroft, book editor at the Tampa Bay Times, about the book fair. There's wonderful article online now about the Book Fair and this year's theme, Children's Literature: Pages of Wonder. The article will be published on Sunday in the print edition of the newspaper, in its Literature section. Thank you to Colette and the Times for the space and attention. We know it will mean a lot to readers and book lovers, and we hope it will remind them to come to the Book Fair.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

At the Book Fair, Billy Bowlegs' autograph

Chief Billy Bowlegs
Here’s an amazing item we’re bringing to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s an authentic autograph of Billy  Bowlegs, or Holata Micco, the Seminole chief who led his tribe toward the end of the Second Seminole War and during the Third Seminole War. He and his band were among the last of the holdouts who were finally forced by the U.S. government to relocate to Indian Territory in Oklahoma and Arkansas in 1858.

Brig. Gen. John Gibbon
The Seminoles boarded ships at Egmont Key in Tampa Bay that were bound for New Orleans. From there, they traveled to their new homes. Evidently, while he was in Tampa, Billy Bowlegs came to meet a young U.S. Army lieutenant, John Gibbon, who was assistant Indian agent at Fort Brooke. Evidently that was where he received Billy Bowlegs’ autograph. It is not clear who Miss V. Gibbon was. It is easy to speculate that she must have been a relative and must have had the autograph framed for John Gibbon as a gift.

Gibbon’s senior officer at Fort Brooke, was Capt. John Casey, who had earned the respect of the Seminoles and a reputation as a fair and honest man. Casey knew Billy Bowlegs and had many dealings with him. In July 1849, a handful of renegade young Seminoles attacked a settlement at Lake Worth and, a few days later, a trading post at Paynes Creek southeast of Tampa. They killed three men and wounded others. Casey sailed down to talk with Billy Bowlegs, who eventually gave the young marauders up to the Army authorities. Casey assisted with the charting of southwest Florida by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Casey Key, north of Venice, is named for him.

Capt. Casey died in Florida and his body was sent out on the same ship that took Bowlegs and his people to New Orleans. Billy Bowlegs was paid $10,000 by the U.S. government to move out west. He became a prominent chief in Indian Territory. He was quite wealthy and held 50 slaves, putting him on a par with major Southern planters.

Gibbon went on to distinguished service during the Civil War, during which he received several battlefield promotions, and ended up a general. Even though his family lived in North Carolina and his brothers joined the Confederacy as officers, Gibbon remained in the Union Army. He trained volunteers and saw action at Antietam and South Mountain, where his brigade earned the nickname the Iron Brigade for their fierce fighting.

He was wounded at Fredericksburg, returned to fighting at Chancellorsville, and led a division at Gettysburg, where his troops stopped Pickett’s Charge. He attended the ceremony at which President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. His troops blocked the Confederate escape at Appomattox and he was involved in arranging the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Later, he commanded troops in the west. He arrived at Little Bighorn River after George A. Custer’s defeat, where his  troops rescued soldiers still under siege and helped bury the dead. Still later, he commanded troops against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribes in Montana. Gen. Gibbon was forced to retire at age 65. Later, he was president of the Iron Brigade Association, and commander-in-chief of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States until his death in 1896.

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

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