Member Blogs > ten pound island book companyThat Interesting Young Female

  • Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:52:27    Permalink

    In his classic book on the bookselling trade, Adventures of a Treasure Hunter, my bookselling idol Charlie Everitt has this to say about vacations, Vacations with me are an end, not a means. I believe in taking two, preferably three, months off, pursuing the greatest of game fish, the smallmouth bass, with no radio and no old books.Like many of Everitts pronouncements, this one has a valuable grain of truth bloated to steroidal proportions by his love of a good story. I sincerely doubt old Charlie ever spent three straight months fishing for smallmouth bass, but his core observation is important. You have to get away from the business once in a while; the farther the better. No radio, no old books, no telephone, no electricity, no running water. No smallmouth bass, for that matter. (OK, I went into town twice to do my Internet but only to keep from coming home to 1000 messages.)So, not only did I cut down on expenses by retreating to the farm for  week, I was able to recharge my psyche. (It didnt hurt that most of those $25K in receivables came in while I was gone, either.)  
    Now Im back, and raring to go for the third try on that rare book catalog that hasnt quite made it off the ground.Heres an item Im hoping to squeeze in on the next pass. I bought it last month from a lady whod gotten it at a yard sale many years before. I offered her a substantial multiple of what shed paid for it and she readily accepted. Then, because I liked the piece so much, I raised my offer, unbidden. She probably thought I was an idiot. Im an idiot.THE FEMALE SAILOR. A FAITHFUL HISTORY OF THE ROMANTIC AND PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THAT INTERESTING YOUNG FEMALE, ANNE JANE THORNTON. "Who left her father's house and, in the dress of a sailor, entered as a cabin boy on board of an American vessel, in search of her sweetheart... As related by herself, before the  Lord Mayor, at the Mansion House, London, Tuesday, February 10, 1835."  b/w wood engraved headpiece with border. Folio sheet. 10 x 14 inches. J. Pitts, 6 Great St. Andrews Street, circa 1835.It would take an Armada of shrinks to sort out the reasons, but one of the most popular and enduring themes in nautical lore is the female sailor, marine, pirate, smuggler, or even shipwright. The narrative conventions are well defined - A young lady leads a happy life at home. Her parents die or are murdered or become drunks and die or are murdered. The young lady has a brother whom she loves and who goes to sea, or is pressed into sea duty. Or she has a boyfriend to whom this happens, or it happens to her father in case he has escaped a drunkards death. The young lady resolves to follow or rescue the father/brother/lover. She dresses as a man and signs on as a sailor. Any number of adventures ensue, sort of like those kids books where you can choose your own plot. In the end, however, she is either reunited with the father/brother/lover, or is rescued by the ships captain or by a handsome sailor, and settles down with him to a life that mirrors her original happy condition. Sometimes she writes about it. Anne Jane Thorton, the subject of this broadside, was a real person whose adventures either fed into, or helped form, the enduring Female Sailor theme. Passing as a sailor, she followed her lover from Ireland to New York, only to find he had recently died. She worked on several American and British ships as Jim Thorton before her true identity was discovered. Her story was a sensation in the London papers, and she was interviewed on the subject by Londons Lord Mayor. She refused to exploit her fame on stage, but quickly wrote a book, for which this broadside, circa 1835, is presumably a promotional piece. Rare. Worldcat shows only a single library holding a copy. Some tanning and staining. Mounted and framed. $3500

Looks like you are ready to submit this application

If you are satisfied that your application is complete, go ahead and click "submit this application."
Otherwise, click "review this application" to review your answers or make additional changes.