Title: Tennyson Birthday Book
Publisher: c. 1922
Publication Date: 1922
Book Condition: Very Good+
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Published by Thomas Y. Crowell and Company in 1907, with a verse for every day facing a blank page for personal contributions, and including a frontispiece portrait of Tennyson. Green cloth, stamped in gilt on upper board and spine; approx. pp. 200, printed verse, with facing pages full of handwritten entries and original photographs and artwork by numerous contributors, as well as tipped-in illustrations and ephemera. Boards scuffed; spine sunned; binding shaken, likely due to the copious tipped-in material, and from being passed amongst so many contributors. (This was clearly a much-loved volume.) Our compiler is presumably Miss Elvira Reina, whose name appears on the front paste-down, alongside a small Valentine card, reading "This may not go down in history" on the front cover. Miss Reina would likely be surprised to find that her book is still of interest nearly 100 years later, but the wealth of original material makes it a little gem. Rich with photographs (usually small, about 3-by-5 inches or less, in b/w and sepia, a few with hand-colored details), offering a wonderful look at the fashions of the period, and including an image of a car (with 4 Gatsby-esque gents in it) and an image of a young woman in a kitchen. The volume maintains a youthful lightness, as most of the photographs feature young men, young women, and children, and many of the contributions come from Miss Reina's sisters, Adeline and Ada Agnes, who include witty ditties about fashion. The portrait of Miss Reina's mother and the volume's dedication to her lend some temperance, with floral motifs cut from unknown sources and tipped in as decorations for poems about love, family, friendship, remembrance; two full-color illustrations of a young Native American woman (also from an unknown source); an embroidered image of flags and the motto "Victoire Paix," likely hand-made; signed small photographic portraits. A little more than half the text bears some unique contribution, with blank pages scattered through about three months of spring, and nothing in November and December. Sold with a collection of 10 loose photographs, sepia and b/w silver gelatin prints, average size of 8-by-10 inches, all formal portraits of a young woman (it seems that the same 3 faces repeat, all are brunettes, perhaps they are the Reina sisters). All are wonderful examples of the style of the period -- very little jewelry is on display, but dark lipstick and bob haircuts are prominent, as are formal clothes for day and night -- and including one image of a lady in menswear. Bookseller Inventory # D5126
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