Member Blogs > Kristian Strom, BooksellerA Rare Find- The Father of Stephen Crane's First Book

  • Thu, 28 Mar 2013 12:05:39    Permalink
    The Right Way, or, Practical Lectures on the Decalogue by Jonathan Townley Crane
    It's always interesting to discover books when you weren't even aware of their existence, even after over ten years as a professional bookseller.  Vintage religious texts are a dime a dozen, and 99% of the time, are not worth much more than their sentimental or decorative value.

    I recently discovered a volume that appeared to be scarce after conducting several searches via Abebooks, Bookfinder and Amazon, and obtaining zero results.  After more in depth research, I discovered this mid-19th century text was written by the father of Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage.  Crane's father died when Stephen was only a boy (at the tender age of 8), and apparently also authored several works of fiction himself.  According to scholars, Stephen kept a good portion of his father's writings and letters, and was said to have been reading his sermons on his deathbed.

    Here is my description of the book, along with some additional background information on the author:

    "1854 Carlton & Phillips. 277 pages, plus advertisements. The relatively scarce and out-of-print first book by Jonathan Townley Crane, a Methodist minister most widely known as the father of famous author Stephen Crane. A graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary, Crane enjoyed an active career as an educator, pastor and writer. He was involved in local temperance movements, and strongly supported abolitionist causes. This hardcover copy (a series of reflections and essays on the Ten Commandments) has light edge wear, fraying and bumping at the corners of the decorative purplish-brown cloth boards. The text is unmarked, albeit foxed throughout. The binding is sturdy and intact, although the rear hinge is beginning to split at the foot. The remnants of a bookplate are affixed to the front paste down endpaper. 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed. We process and ship orders daily, securely and with delivery confirmation."

    Price- 1,000.00 USD

    Only time will tell if the demand for this book warrants a listing price reflective of its' limited supply.

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