Tales of Mystery and Imagination


Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Title: Tales of Mystery and Imagination img_20170129_154541
Publisher: Everyman’s Library
Year of publication: 1971
Place of publication: London
Editor: Introduction by Pádraic Colum
Place of purchase: Kolkata
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: This book was bought by Devalina di at the Kolkata Book Fair 2017. She told me that it was very unlikely she would read it, given the punishingly small print, but Poe is always a good purchase and even more so when the cover art and inscriptions are as interesting as these.
Transcription of inscription:
(illustration of four hearts) 10

[title page] img_20170129_154635
To Ruma from herself.

[Introduction, p. v]
A memorable day The 17th, and a happy day to.
Submitted by: Devalina Mookerjee, via Shalmi Barman

A Book About Stars And Planets


Author: Yefrem Levitan
Title: A Book About Stars And Planets To Be Read To Children
Publisher: RadugaIMG_0240
Year of publication: 1986
Place of publication: Moscow
Translator: Sergei Sosinsky
Place of purchase: Calcutta
Ownership: Firsthand, Gift
General comments: Hardback, with illustrations by Sergei Alimov. Featuring a space-travelling wizard who is summoned by a father to explain astronomical phenomena to two children. This was a long-lost book that I recently retrieved from my collection to pass on to my niece. She turned seven this April.
Transcription of inscription:
To Toobri,
for the funway of learning-
Baba & Ma.
Cal. Book Fair 2002
Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

IMG_0236 IMG_0239

L to R above: Title page, recto, and copyright page, backing verso. Not a spread, but presented in this way to demonstrate the continuity of design.

Calcutta Old and New

HEA Cotton 4

Author: H. E. A. Cotton                                 HEA cotton 2
Title: Calcutta Old and New
Publisher: Surajit C. Das
Year of publication: 1980 (1909)
Place of publication: Calcutta
Editor: N. R. Ray
Place of purchase: Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 3000
Ownership: no idea how many hands
General comments: When I stopped to look at a book on Calcutta at the S.&T. Bookstall (Presidency College Wall, Stall No. 11) a few weeks ago, the bookseller started hunting around for other Calcutta books and this was one of them. I have often consulted it in the library, but never found a copy. This is a 1980 reprint and the hinges have split. The bookseller wanted 5000 rupees for it, which I felt was far too much, so we settled on 3000. This may still be too much but I’m a tourist, it is worth it to me, and all second-hand booksellers deserve a lucky day every once in a while.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:

Presented to Mrs F. Jackson
On her leaving our Company.
Wish her a happy and
peaceful life!!

Submitted by: ariadne van de ven