Ironically Bound Book of the Week


We recently unearthed this deliriously decadent looking object:

"Hi, Bookbinders? Yeah, this is okay...I was wondering if I could get it bound in the actual skin of a poor person?"

Here’s the description:

GEORGE, Henry. Progress and Poverty. An Inquiry in the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth – The Remedy.

London; Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co.  1905  [37731 ]

First edition. 8vo. Exquisitely and somewhat ironically bound in a heavily gilded and decorated full black morocco binding with red title label and onlays with extra gilt decoration to spine and boards. Very minor edgewear, a fine copy, all edges gilt. Marbled endpapers, internally clean with light pencil marginalia throughout. Originally self published by George in the US “Progress and Poverty” quickly became a bestseller and its author hailed as an economic prophet dedicated to the abolition of poverty. Obviously this didn’t happen, so here’s the first UK edition of the book for sale in order to give us another crack at that worthy goal. Quite why such a tome is bound in the manner of something looted from the treasure caravans of Saladin is something of a mystery unless the goal was either unwitting sadism or the alleviation of poverty in bookbinders. A most handsome object.

It’s an important book, very highly regarded in its time, but… sort of makes you want to occupy something…

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About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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