Love

by david on 4 April 2014

Leather edition of "Love"

Leather edition of “Love”

Love (1905) was the last of the Mosaic Essays series compiled by Paul Elder. The first booklet in the series, Friendship, was published in 1902 and sold very well. In 1903, Elder followed with HappinessNature and Success in 1903.

In 1906 he reissued the five booklets in a single volume called Mosaic Essays.

As with the other four titles in the series, Love was published in multiple forms: dark paper wraps, soft suede, and perhaps also a “full white calf by Miss Crane.”

Title page of "Love"

Title page of “Love”

Paper wraps edition of "Love"

Paper wraps edition of “Love”

Pages 8-9 of "Love"

Pages 8-9 of “Love”

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Success

by david on 30 March 2014

Variant edition B cover of "Success"

Edition B cover of “Success”

Success is a booklet of quotations in the Mosaic Essays series, compiled by Paul Elder. It was published in 1903 along with Happiness and Nature in response to the high sales of 1902′s Friendship. In 1905, Elder published the last booklet in the series, Love. In 1906 he issued the five booklets in a single volume called Mosaic Essays. As with the other booklets in the series, Success was published in three bindings:

  • Edition A: bound in flexible Omar sultan, with fly-leaves of Japan wood-fiber. Enclosed in uniform envelope. Price, 50 cents ["sultan" is a deep red color, and "Omar" is just a word Elder added for a flair of the exotic.]
  • Edition B: bound in flexible suede, with fly-leaves of imperial Japan vellum. Enclosed in box. Price, $1.25
  • Edition C: bound in full white calf by Miss Crane. Price, $5.00

I can find no further information about the bookbinder, “Miss Crane.”

Variant edition B title page of "Success"

Edition B title page of “Success” (note discoloration from wood-fiber endpapers)

Leather edition of "Success"

Variant edition B cover of “Success”, published c1907 when Elder was in New York

Edition B title page of "Success"

Variant edition B title page of “Success”, c1907

Variant edition A cover of "Success"

Edition A cover of “Success”

Pages 8-9 of "Success"

Pages 8-9 of “Success”

Ad from the Dec 1903 issue of The Argonaut

Ad from the Dec 1903 issue of The Argonaut

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Nature

23 March 2014

Nature is a booklet of quotations in the Mosaic Essays series, compiled by Paul Elder. It was published in 1903 along with Happiness and Success in response to the success of 1902′s Friendship. In 1905, Elder published the last booklet in the series, Love. In 1906 he issued the five booklets in a single volume called Mosaic Essays. […]

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Happiness

16 March 2014

In a corner of San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square stands a granite pedestal topped by a bronze sailing ship. It is the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial, designed by Bruce Porter and Willis Polk in 1897. During Stevenson’s brief time in San Francisco in 1880 and 1887, he often came to the Square to sit in the […]

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Friendship

5 March 2014

Friendship is a 1902 collection of quotations compiled by Paul Elder and published by Elder and Shepard. It proved popular enough that Elder compiled four more booklets on similar inspirational topics: Nature, Happiness, and Success in 1903, and Love in 1905. In a 1904 catalog, Elder notes “the favor extended to these little brochures has been […]

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Sonnets From the Crimea

3 March 2014

As I write these words, the political situation in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea is explosive. Historically part of Russia but given to Ukraine in the 1950s, Russia is threatening military action to recover it. So this week I am featuring verses by the Polish poet and activist Adam Mickiewicz, entitled Sonnets From the Crimea. (in Polish, Sonety Krymski). Originally published […]

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The Princess of Manoa

14 February 2014

The Princess of Manoa (1906) was the second book of Hawaiian folklore tales collected and retold by Emily Foster Day for Paul Elder. Her first book of Hawaiiana, The Menehunes, published by Elder in 1905, must have been reasonably successful. The Manoa Valley is in Honolulu, a bit towards Diamondhead from the old town center and […]

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The Raven

5 February 2014

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing […]

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Baby Roland booklets

29 January 2014

Imagine a children’s book designed to encourage a toddler to learn the thrill of accomplishment by, say, climbing up a flight of stairs. Today, that book would probably be full-color drawings. In 1902, Elder & Shepard published such a book, George Hansen’s Ascent of Man, consisting of a series of photographs of a real toddler, Hansen’s […]

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Love & Friendship

21 January 2014

If one had to choose a prototypical Paul Elder gift title, elegant yet undemanding of the reader, Lillyan Shaffner’s Love & Friendship (1910) would be a perfect choice. Indeed, I have many Elders inscribed, for example, “to Miss Hopkins, from Charles Johnson.” How better to court the lady of your dreams but with a lovely little […]

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