To: UI Special
To: Recent Acquisitions List
Charlotte M. Smith was a near life-long collector of books, most notably of miniature books -- books less than three inches tall at the spine. She gave this collection, nearly 3,000 titles, to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1996. Over the years, she had also given "normal" size books, including a number of examples of the work of William Morris. Following her death in January 2002, her daughter gave to the Libraries a remaining group of miniatures and about 50 other books which Charlotte had long treasured. This gift included Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) and Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856), several Charles Dickens first editions, Louisa May Alcott titles, some very interesting cookery books, and a number of modern first editions. It also included a number of fine examples of 20th century British fine bookbinding.
Three books are presented here to represent this splendid gift to the Libraries:
Frontispiece and titlepage of Robert Mudie's Autumn, or the Causes, Appearances, and Effects of the Seasonal Decay and Decomposition of Nature, one of a group of 4 volumes (the others being Spring, Summer and Winter). London: Ward & Co., 1837. Uniformly bound in full calf, gift.
Frontispiece for Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1876). Bound in original publishers cloth.
Alcott prefaces the book with a note: As authors may be supposed to know better than any one else what they intended to do when writing a book, I beg leave to say that there is no moral to this story. Rose is not designed for a model girl : and this Sequel was simply written in fulfilment of a promise ; hoping to afford some amusement, and perhaps here and there a helpful hint to other roses getting ready to bloom.
Full gilt cover, with inlaid cameo, for Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885). Full goatskin, gilt, with silk endleaves, by Bayntun-Riviere, Bath, England.