Saturday, December 9, 2017

"Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden..."

One of the most significant poets in English- both in the value of his work and impact over centuries was born today in 1608. John Milton's works remain in print, read and studied, and Henry Bemis Books celebrates the event with his most celebrated work in a fine 20thC edition:

Milton, John, Paradise Lost (Easton Press, The 100 Best Books Ever Written Collector’s Edition, 1st. ed., 1976). Leather bound w/22k gold accents. Attractive moire end pages with silk ribbon page marker. Smyth sewn with concealed muslin joints. Full leather with hubbed spine. Gilt edges. Fine condition. HBB price: $40 obo.

Blind, broke and out of favor, Milton sold the copyright to Paradise Lost 350 years ago. As notes, “He signed an agreement with Samuel Simmons, a London publisher, by which he sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for five pounds, plus five pounds for the sale of each of three subsequent editions, an edition comprising 1,500 copies. Milton received a second five pounds in April 1669, making a grand total of 10 pounds to the author of England’s greatest epic. After his death, Milton’s widow Elizabeth sold all remaining rights for eight pounds to Simmons, who became perpetual copyright owner.”

Today the 18 pounds Paradise Lost fetched would equal US$3873.92.

Parliament abolished the notion of perpetual copyright in the Statute of Anne (1710), which provided for a 14-year copyright period with a right of renewal for fourteen more. It also rested copyright with authors, not their publishers.


Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.

We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books.

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Friday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.

#FirstEditions #Autographs #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

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