Independent Online Booksellers Association

The Flyleaf                                                                                                    August  2016
The Monthly Newsletter of the IOBA
The Flyleaf: The monthly newsletter of the IOBA!

"I am Spartacus!"

Today, I've just had a very brief introduction to the Roman Servile Wars.  I didn't know there were several Servile Wars, nor that Spartacus was one of the small group of escaped Gladiators  who, along with several others, led what would be the third and final Servile War. This last Servile War grew from a small cadre of under 100 men to a hoard of over 120,000 men, women and children and was the only one of the three uprisings to actually discomfit the Roman Republic. (If you'd like a hint at the chronology, check   here  )

The phrase: "I am Spartacus", which is all I knew about the historical person Spartacus,is a construct of the blacklisted scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo for the film of the same name, based on the book by Howard Fast. There is some speculation that this scene, where all the recaptured slaves equate themselves with their leader, was a reference to the esprit de corps of those in the 1950's accused of being Communist sympathizers. Though the Servile Wars were not generally considered a revolt against their state as slaves, the third war did help slowly bring about a change in the way Roman Slaves were viewed. Apparently, it also, in the long run, paved the way for the downfall of the Republic and the emergence of the Empire (as in run by an imperial personage).

This month's newsletter covers Ancient Rome - and as always - the varied way that the subject is covered in print.




NY: Self-published, 1951. First edition, first prnt. Signed by Fast on the front free endpage. Red-brown cloth-covered boards, gilt-stamped spine lettering, two dollars and fifty cents printed price on the front flap. Dustjacket illustration by Charles White. Bottom edge with faint dampstain (no text pages affected, two pages with tiny bottom corner chip, front board with small abrasion spot and spine edges wrinkled; dustjacket with with small chips at corners, few tiny edge chips and one quarter-inch chip at the spine topedge, small perforation on the front flap fold, but bright and clean. Very Good condition in a Very Good dustjacket with a Durafold mylar cover.
In his memoir, BEING RED (Houghton-Mifflin, 1990) Fast writes that he had ordered 5000 copies for the first printing which included the "autographed edition" with black cloth and five dollars printed on the flap; Fast does not state how many of each issue of the first printing he published.
Signed by Author.

Quo Vadis...
Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1897. Book. Illus. by M. de Lipman. Very Good. Hardcover. Altemus Edition, first printing. Translation by S. A. Binion & S. Malevsky Illustrations: M. de Lipman. Olive green cloth boards with stamped spine titles in silver gilt and blue decorations. Front has a three color illustration with dark green titles.-- Bindings firm, hinges strong, slight lean. Text clean with minimal toning. Previous owner's name on front free endpage. ---- The novel Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero around AD 64.--- Sienkiewicz studied the Roman Empire extensively prior to writing the novel, with the aim of getting historical details correct. As such, several historical figures appear in the book. As a whole, the novel carries an outspoken pro-Christian message. --- -Published in installments in three Polish dailies in 1895, it came out in book form in 1896 and has since been translated into more than 50 languages. ----- This novel contributed to Sienkiewicz's Nobel Prize for literature in 1905. Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis including the 1925 Italian silent film Quo Vadis, the 1951 Hollywood production Quo Vadis and the 2001 adaptation by Jerzy Kawalerowicz. .

Silver Pigs

New York: Crown, (1989.) First printing. Very near fine in a like dustjacket. The first Marcus Didius Falco mystery, set in first century Rome. SIGNED on the title page. Double page map frontispiece. Dramatis personae. Dust jacket praise from Ellis Peters, Rosemary Sutcliff, and others. 258 pp.

London: W. Str
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
ahan and T. Cadell, 1776-1788. First Edition. Very Good. Complete in six volumes. All Fir st Editions except volume 1, which is a Second Edition. Large quarto. Full contemporary mid-brown calf with early 20th century rebacks (vol. 1 fully renewed at the same time) and replaced endpapers, raised bands, red lettering piece and black numbering pie ce. Tips worn and exposed, boards edge-worn. Sporadic light foxing throughout. A handful of small closed tears and marginal stains. Vol. 1 has some offsetting from engraved frontispiece portrait to title page as well as heavy foxing to bo
th; first page of preface torn and missing about half; small wax stain on pages 471-4. Vol. 2: both maps present with small marginal tears but no loss. Vol. 3: binder mistakenly placed duplicate of map, "The western Part of the Roman Empire," in previous volume rather than "The eastern Part..." map. An attractive set of Gibbons' magnificent history. 

The Book of the Sword

London: Chatto and Windus, 1884. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good-. xl, 299 pp, illustrated with line drawings, in original cloth binding with images of two swords on the front board. Spine darkened, hinges somewhat weak, otherwise sound and very good. One of Burton's scarcer works, tracing the development of the sword and related weapons from prehistoric times through the Roman Empire. Burton, who had hoped to write two additional volumes, opined that "the history of the sword is the history of humanity." Penzer 107-108; Casada 27. Provenance: From the collection of Burton scholar and bibliographer James Casada. Bookplate of Walter L. Nash on the front pastedown.

SPQR_ Oracle of the Dead

New York: St Martin's, (2008.) First printing. Fine in a fine dust jacket (as new.) The twelfh book in this Edgar-nominated historical series, set in Rome during the time of Julius Cesaer and featuring playboy senator and amateur investigator Decius Caecilius Martellus the Younger. SIGNED on the title page. Glossary. 230 pp.

Ides of March

London: Longmans, Green & Company. Near Fine. 1948. First Edition; First Printing; Signed by Author. Hardcover. A Near Fine first edition copy, blue boards with cream endpapers, laid paper, few areas of soiling/foxing. Signed and dated (London, Dec. 1948) by Thornton Wilder on the title page. Lacking the scarce dust-wrapper. The former British Owner, Diana Daly signed the first blank page as Diana Daly of Dunsandle. Dunsandle was the Daly family's ancestral home in Ireland. Ms. Daly was Lady in Waiting to Queen Mary and lived in Grace and Favor at Kensington Palace. Wilder was in England at the time, working as a consultant to Olivier on a production of the "Skin of our Teeth". An attractive association copy; Wilder's epistolary novel of Julius Caesar's last days, "a fantasia on certain events and persons of the last days of the Roman republic."

Titi Livii Historiarum Quod Extat...
[xliv], 922, [72], 62; 973, [60], 58 pp. 8vo. Bound in vellum. Engraved frontispiece and title page. Latin text, two-column format. The Roman history of Titus Livius, often referred to as Livy, edited by J.F. Gronovius with extensive footnotes and an enormous index following the text of each volume, with appendices by the Italian humanist Carolus Sigonius which continue the chronologies of Livy through the year 751 A.D.

First two volumes only (of three volume set), comprising books I-X and XXI-XXX (XI-XX are lost). These volumes cover the following (though parts are absent due to some portions being lost): The founding of Rome (including the landing of Aeneas in Italy and the founding of the city by Romulus); the period of the kings, and the early republic down to its conquest by the Gauls; The subjugation of Italy (the Samnite Wars) before the conflict with Carthage; The Punic Wars. The third volume, discussing the Macedonian and other eastern wars down to 167 B.C., is not included. Rear joint of first volume splitting, front joint of second volume just beginning to along top edge, boards a bit soiled and slightly bowed, minor ink marginalia, owner name excised from front flyleaf of first volume. Amstelodami [Amsterdam]: Apud Danielem Elsevirium, 1679. Very Good/No Jacket.
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Dealer Catalogues and Varia:

Blind Horse Books: Beat the Summer Heat: Notable New Listings

R & A Petrilla Antiquarian Booksellers: Literature Catalogue

Until Next Month...

Normally, I give a brief redux of the topic of the month.

Not this time.

I was asked to include a cameo of a dealer whose wares would only make it into the newsletter whenever the topic was sports (which would be once a year, at most). SO...

I'd like to introduce Chris Ridler, who specializes in books published by John Wisden & Company, Ltd. -- a company which specializes in historical information on the game of Cricket. (Ridler deals with other books about cricket as well)

From the website:

I have been collecting Wisdens for a while now and in 2005 set up this Website to pass on my Wisden experiences, this site was the first ever created on the internet to explain about Wisdens to the masses and it is regularly updated with valuable statistics to help every Wisden collector when needed, to enhance their set. This site includes a popular discussion forum ( which has kept me entertained since '05. Over time we were offered Wisdens from members and also people asked if we had any spares to fill gaps in their sets. This led to our online Wisden Catalogue and this evolved into our sister site (see 2013 Wisden, pages 50/51), we improved the look and feel of this site in August 2013, Happy Collecting, Chris Ridler, Wisden Collector.

I know there are dealers out there who have very specific stock that might not be applicable to regular newsletter topics. If you'd like to have a cameo feature for the newsletter, please email the editor and a new section might be added to the monthly offerings.


In the make things easier department:

Here's the theme for next month's Newsletter:

Feminism and Women's Rights

submissions for items or catalogues are due by the 12th of September. 


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