Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Books and Other Ephemera by Joseph Priestley

I realize that I have been working my way around something that might be of real interest to readers of this blog.  Since I started learning about Joseph Priestley about 40 years ago, I have acquired quite a few of his books and other ephemera and paraphernalia. I have always had a fascination with his original works. While I oftentimes get very recent versions of his writings to read, I have been lucky enough to amass quite a collection of his original first and second editions from the latter part of the 18th century and very early 19th century.  In addition, I have noted in this blog, the "Rushing Water" bookplate that I acquired that came from one of his very own books, a house key that was most likely the front door key to his house in Northumberland, PA, and a number of hand written letters and manuscripts.

I have also collected, as noted elsewhere in this blog, likenesses of Priestley in the form of medallions and exonumia or memorial coins, some from 1804 when he died.

I must confess that it will most likely be impossible for me to bring together a substantial collection of his works since he was so prolific in his writings.  He is credited with having written about 150 books.
See Crook, R.E., A Bibliography of Joseph Priestley (1733 - 1804), Library Association, 1966.  Additionally, any decent copy of his major works can sell for thousands of dollars.  Even his religious works go for substantial sums, though not as much as his scientific works.  I have often thought of inventorying the collection I have, annotating the editions and condition, etc. I will start assembling that information on this post below.

I might also add that should anyone want to part with one of his works, or for that matter any other ephemera of his, I would be honored to purchase it, if it is a reasonable price. Just email me and we can see if we can come to terms.

I must add to this post with more specifics as to what I do have for anyone who might be interested.
Stay tuned. Comments appreciated here.

Letters to a Young Man, Part II, Occasioned by Mr. Evanson's Treatise on the Dissonance of the Four Generally Received Evangelists  Joseph Priestley, London, 1793 Joseph Priestly Printed for J Johnson , No . 72 St Paul's Churchyard 

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