• <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts,<br>Including Selections from the Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>16 December 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Darwin, Charles | First edition of Darwin's <i>On the Origin of Species,</i> "the most important single work in science." $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Whitman, Walt | "I see and hear the whole." $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Smith, Adam | "... led by an invisible hand..." $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay | First edition of the most important work of American political thought. $170,000 to $200,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts,<br>Including Selections from the Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman<br>16 December 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> [Richards, Keith] | [Richard, Keith]. Trial Transcript of Keith Richards' infamous heroin bust. Toronto, Ontario: New Court House, 23-24 October, 1978. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Sauthier, Claude Joseph, and William Faden | A rare Revolutionary War plan of the Battle of White Plains. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Gould, John | A very fine, inscribed copy. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Dec. 16:</b> Potter, Beatrix | A splendid iconic drawing of Peter Rabbit. $40,000 to $60,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> JAMES OF MILAN | <i>Pricking of love,</i> illuminated manuscript in Middle English [England, fifteenth century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> BEARDSLEY | <i>The Toilet of Helen,</i> original ink drawing for Savoy, 1895. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DICKENS | <i>A Christmas Carol,</i> 1844, seventh edition, presentation copy inscribed by the author. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>English Literature, History, Science,<br>Children’s Books and Illustrations<br>1 – 8 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DARWIN | <i>For Private Distribution... Extracts from Letters addressed to Professor Henslow...,</i> 1835, original wrappers. £70,000 to £90,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> DEFOE | Autograph manuscript poem, 'Resignation', 1708. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 1-8 Dec.:</b> GRAHAME | <i>The Wind in the Willows,</i> 1908, first edition, dust-jacket. £12,000 to £16,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [RELIURE BRODÉE]. <i>Horae beatissimae...</i> Anvers, 1570. Reliure brodée de la Renaissance aux armes du duc d'Anjou. €50,000 to €70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> ARTOIS, comte d', futur Charles X. 75 lettres autographes au comte de Vaudreuil entre 1792 et 1804. €15,000 to €20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> [Pascal, Blaise]. <i>Lettres de A. Dettonville ...</i> Paris, 1658-1659. Rarissime édition originale en reliure de l'époque. €30,000 to €50,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Livres et Manuscrits<br>7 – 15 December, 2020</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Aragon, Louis. Ens. de 8 ouvrages avec envois à Jacques Lacan, dont "Blanche et l'oubli", 1967, sur grand papier. €2,000 to €3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Fermat, Pierre de. <i>Varia opera mathematica.</i> Toulouse,1679. Petit in-folio. Edition originale. De la bibliothèque de Jacques Lacan. €6,000 to €8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 7 – 15 Dec.:</b> Leduc, Violette. <i>La Bâtarde.</i> 1958-1963. Important manuscrit autographe, premier jet. 20 cahiers, env 2048 p. ms. €40,000 to €60,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2020 Issue

Ecce Homo: La Faute à Voltaire...

71841d88-5c29-4c55-a6f1-0b0cba80e24d

On October 16, French teacher Samuel Paty was murdered and beheaded in the middle of the street, near Paris, France, by a Muslim fanatic. Paty had shown Muhammad’s caricatures (see our article on Charlie Hebdo) to his students while discussing ‘freedom of speech’ with them—as expected and required by the National Education program. A few days later, a young fanatic decided to do the Prophet justice. Samuel Paty was no racist, no extremist—he was a dedicated teacher who regularly partook in programs with the French Institute of Islam.

 

What died with Paty that dark day is the humanist ideology of the Lumières. From the remoteness of the 18th century, the Lumières have been our guiding lights in the darkness of obscurantism. We fed on their mammals, and they made a promise to us: our intelligence and a lucid look at the world would take us out of the dark. We would learn from our many mistakes and setbacks, and we would triumph one day because we are seeking the Light. Science, rationalism and cooperation between all men of good will would finally prevail for the sake of humanity. Did they lie to us? Or did we stop listening to them for the past few decades? The Lumières have faded, darkness fell back on our shoulders and mediocrity took over—as well as cowardice. Books are not the backbone of our civilization anymore. Mathematics has replaced them, and the Internet has changed the course of humanity just like the discovery of America has. Welcome to a brand new world where ‘pet posts’ rule, and where Voltaire and his likes have become... obsolete.

 

Who is Voltaire to the French, today? A clown wearing a ridiculous wig in the best case; a filthy racist for the “oppressed minorities” who never read his books. His statue was officially removed from a Parisian square the other day—so the idiots win. We let our hero down under the pressure of people who know but two passages of his works, where he wrote that “Negroes are inferior to monkeys”—this is not what we love in Voltaire although it’s a not fair to judge him with our current values. In fact, people who fight Voltaire do not fight the man, but a painful past that they find convenient to totally blame on the wickedness of others. Let’s mention that some of these “avengers” hate Jews as much as Voltaire, who constantly endeavoured to destroy the myths upon which their religion stands, as the footstool of Catholicism.

 

On the other hand, those who celebrate Voltaire do not celebrate him as a man either, but as a symbol of intelligence and resistance against fanaticism, and especially the Church. Our heroes are not perfect. As Rimbaud wrote: Ô saisons, ô chateaux, quelle âme est sans défauts? Ô seasons, ô castles, where is a perfect soul? But we didn’t stand for Voltaire like he stood for François-Jean de La Barre or Jean Calas; we are forsaking his valuable inheritance for fear of being prejudiced. People who appreciate Voltaire keep a low profile nowadays. Better not to tell—else, you’ll be the target of an intellectual fatwa of ignorant people who will accuse you of being a fascist, a monster. But aren’t terrorists the real monsters? Well, no—they have their reasons. Yeah? Yeah, you provoked them. This is what French writer Michel Houellebecq calls “subjugation” in his famous novel. France has been complacent with her enemies within for too long. So that when the French Republic removed Voltaire’s statue—officially because it was too costly to repair it—it was more than a symbol; it was a betrayal, and very bad omen.

 

For decades, out of political fear of hurting people’s feelings, we’ve accepted the unacceptable. Out of contrition, we are betraying our principles and are losing our way. Our ship is drifting away on a sea of darkness and she is suffering multiple assaults from within—and the crew isn’t even trying to fight back. Was Samuel Paty’s last breath—while being brutally beheaded by ignorance, wickedness and complacency—the last breath of our agonizing civilization? When the murderer posted the picture of his severed head on Instagram, he got dozens of “likes.” How indecent! How revolting! So, when your head rolls on the ground, it is actually not the killer’s fault—it is, of course, la faute à Voltaire—Voltaire’s fault, to quote Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.

 

Environmental disasters, economical and sanitary crisis, overpopulation of underdeveloped countries, the rise of China... If the West shows itself unable to cope with those crucial issues, then it will crumble in front of our eyes like the Empire Roman. But the terrorists who killed Samuel Paty and three other civilians a few weeks later in Paris may have missed the mark. And France might wake up and realize that darkness is closing in on us. And that the only way is to follow this remote and fragile light kindled by Voltaire and his likes. France is not a perfect country, Ô seasons, ô castles..., but this little light of ours, we gonna let it shine. With the help of all men of good will. That’s why France will never die. Because Voltaire is forever—unless we watch him die without reacting.

 


Posted On: 2020-11-30 22:34
User Name: mairin

A good piece, Thibault, a rousing piece. Appreciate the strong writing and POV --
necessary words from our RareBookHub associate in Paris.
- Maureen E. Mulvihill, Collector & RBH Writer.
___


Posted On: 2020-12-01 08:29
User Name: gilles

Cher monsieur,

Il serait bien que France Culture donne un peu plus la parole à ceux qui défendent les mêmes idées que votre texte [voir https://vigilanceuniversites.wordpress.com/] et non pas toujours aux teneurs des théories décoloniales, racialistes, dont certains sont complaisants avec l'islamisme.

Cordialement, Gilles DENIS


Posted On: 2020-12-02 06:50
User Name: EHRENGARDT

Dear Gilles and Maureen, thanks for your comments!


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Joyce (James), <i>Ulysses,</i> 4to, Paris: (Shakespeare & Co.) 1922, First Edn. €7,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Of the Utmost Rarity with Swift Association. Harward (Michael). <i>Philomath. A New Almanack for the Year of Our Lord,</i> 1666. €6,000 to €9,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Full Complement of Hand Coloured & Other Plates. Rosellini (Ippolito). <i>Monumenti dell Egitto e della Nubia,</i> Vols. I, II, & III Plate Volumes only. €5,000 to €7,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Magnificent Hand Coloured Plates. [Bivort, Debabay, & others] <i>Annales de Pomologie,</i> 8 vols., folio, Brussels, 1853-1861. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> With Very Fine Coloured Plates & Illustrations. Barbier (George) Vogel (Lucien) & others, <i>Gazette du Bon Ton - Arts-modes et frivolities, </i> 1914 to 1922. €4,000 to €6,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> “I have seen War... I hate War," Signed Presentation Copy to William C. Bullitt, Roosevelt (Franklin D.) August 14, 1936. €3,000 to €4,000.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Victorian Hostess & Horticulturist. An Important Collection Relating to Lady Dorothy Nevill (1826-1913). €2,500 to €3,200.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Fine Original Portrait Photos of The O'Brien Ladies by Margaret Cameron. Two black and white Photos, each 8" x 10". €1,200 to €1,800.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> James Hume Nesbitt Illustrations: A collection of twelve pen and ink Drawings and Etchings intended for publication as book of illustrations for his thriller novels. €800 to €1,200.
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>Christmas Rare Books<br>& Collectors’ Sale<br>9 & 10 December 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Attributed to Kitagawa Utamavo (1753-1806). A pair of attractive colourful woodblock prints, of Court Ladies in decorative robes with numerous stamps and script. €800 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Contemporaneous Notes from Captain Cook's Voyage Travel: [Anon] <i>Voyage to the South Sea by Mr. Banks, Mr. Parkinson and Dr. Solender, with Capt. Cooke,</i> a 7 page m/ss document. €700 to €1,000.
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Dec. 9:</b> Very Rare First U.K. Edition with Yellow Paper Band. Herbert (Frank). <i>Dune,</i> 8vo London (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1966. €500 to €700.
  • <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Thomas Jefferson (wants to bring his private French chef to Monticello.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Amazing Marilyn Monroe Signed 1953 Glamour Photo.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Albert Einstein "refugee intellectuals of the Hitler persecution."
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Man Ray Photographs (1935) signed to Sister.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> John Hancock Signed Document.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> <i>Liber Scriptorum;</i> Signed Stories by Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt and Carnegie as well as 106 other authors! Limited to 251 Copies.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Historically Important Winfield Scott letter.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Buddy Holly signed "AMERICA'S GREATEST TEEN-AGE RECORDING STARS" PROGRAM.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Benedict Arnold autograph receipt signed in the text.
    <center><b>One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions<br>Rare Autographs,<br>Manuscripts and Books<br>Accepting bids<br>Now until December 17</b>
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> (Michael Curtiz) Amazing archives of 22 letters Written by John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Ingrid Bergman. Olivia De Havilland, Bing Crosby.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> GIUSEPPE VERDI SIGNED PHOTO.
    <b>One of a Kind Collectibles, Now to Dec. 17:</b> Very Rare Jonathan Swift Autograph (Gulliver's Travels).
  • <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> SHERBURNE, BRANTZ, and WIRGMAN. The Original Drawings of the First Modern Scientific Survey of the Patapsco River and Chesapeake Bay. $350,000 to $500,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> LAFON, Barthelemy. The Earliest Comprehensive Survey of Louisiana and its Adjacent Regions. $350,000 to $450,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Giacomo GASTALDI. The Most Important Renaissance Wall Map of Asia Published in the 16th Century – with all four sheets having full margins. $300,000 to $400,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> CAO, Junyi. The Most Important Map of China to Come to Market in 50 Years. One of only three known copies of the last Ming Dynasty world map. $325,000 to $375,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham. Ortelius Atlas Spanish 1588 Magnificently Rich Original Hand Color in Full. $225,000 to $350,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> An Exceptionally Fine and Historically Important Manuscript Map Showing the Origins of Texas in the 19th Century. $250,000 to $350,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> PRICE, William and BONNER, John. Map of Boston 1769. $225,000 to $325,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. Audubon’s Brilliant Icon, That Has Never Been Equaled for Drama. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Pierre-Joseph REDOUTE. Original Watercolor, Red Lily. $175,000 to $250,000.
    <center><b>Arader Galleries<br>December Sale<br>December 5, 2020</b>
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> John James AUDUBON. The Most Famous Image of a Bird in All of History. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> Martin WALDSEEMULLER. The Finest Example in Existence of Martin Waldseemuller’s Map of the New World, with Spectacular Full Original Color. $150,000 to $200,000.
    <b>Arader Galleries, Dec. 5:</b> GORDON, Peter. The First State of the First View of Savannah: The Template for American Urban Planning. $100,000 to $150,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Bernardus Sylvanus, one of the earliest printed maps of the New World, woodcut, Venice, 1511. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Johannes Blaeu, <i>Nova et Accuratissima Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula,</i> Amsterdam, 1662. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Emanuel Bowen & John Gibson, <i>Atlas Minimus,</i> miniature atlas, London, 1758. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henry Andrews, <i>The Botanist's Repository for New & Rare Plants,</i> London, 1797-1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John James Audubon, <i>Night Heron or Qua Bird, Plate CCXXXVI,</i> hand-colored aquatint, 1835. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Basilius Besler, group of 30 folio engravings, <i>Hortus Eystettensis,</i> Eichstatt, 1613. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Henri Chatelain, <i>Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud...,</i> Amsterdam, 1719. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> Arnoldus Montanus, <i>Die Unbekante Neue Welt...,</i> German text edition, Amsterdam, 1673. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 17:</b> John Woodhouse Audubon, <i>California Gray Squirrel,</i> oil on canvas, c. 1853. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> BULLER, Walter Lawry. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF NEW ZEALAND.</i> London, Van Voorst, 1873. Special De-Luxe edition of this already rare work.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> GIBBS, May. <i>Gum-Nut Babies.</i> Sydney: Angus and Robertson, Ca. 1918.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> SWIFT, Jonathan. <i>TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD.</i> London: Printed for Benj.Motte. 1727.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> JUKES, Joseph Beete. <i>NARRATIVE OF THE SURVEYING VOYAGE OF H.M.S. FLY…</i> London: T. & W. Boone, 1847. First Edition.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> <i>SOMERVILLE, E OE. IN THE VINE COUNTRY.</i> London: W H Allen & Co Limited, 1893.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> MAWE, John. <i>The voyager’s companion, or shell collector’s pilot.</i> London : 1825. Rare.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> PARKINSON, John. <i>Theatrum Botanicum, The Theater of Plants…</i> London, Thomas Cotes, 1640.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> c. 1150 decorated MONASTIC MISSAL LEAF, Southern Germany/Austria.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> LEGGE, Captain W. Vincent. <i>A HISTORY OF THE BIRDS OF CEYLON.</i> London, The Author, 1880.
    <b>ANZAAB Joint Catalogue:</b> AUNT HANNAH. <i>SOME ADVENTURES IN THE LIFE OF A COCKATOO.</i> Published in New York by R. Shugg and Co., 1872.

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