ph: 416.703.9908
fax: 905.734.4146


Welcome to Steven Temple Books

Having operated shops on Queen Street West in downtown Toronto since 1974, we closed the shop in March, 2014 and now operate from home in Welland, Ontario (close to Niagara Falls). We can see visitors by appointment. The books (currently about 6-7 thousand) are priced, on shelves. and in categories. We continue to specialize in literary books, Canadiana both non-fiction and literary, and select out-of-print and rare books (mostly hardcover) in various fields. We now have some ephemera, but don’t stock comic books, fairly recent used books, bestseller novels, nor paperbacks (unless collectible). Business is primarily by internet or mail. We welcome and pay attention to wants lists when they are of books we might actually find some day and which are worth enough money to look for.

We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, Amex, PayPal, cheque (Canada and US only), money order – even cash !

We were established in 1974.

Notable New Arrivals

ANNE OF AVONLEA. With Frontispiece and Cover in Colour by George Gibbs
London: Sir Isaac Pitman, 1909

First UK issue. pp (iii)-viii, 367 + colour frontispiece with captioned tissue guard. Newly rebound by Keith Felton in half crimson crushed morocco with lilac boards and endpapers, all edges gilt, bound-in ribbon marker, spine with raised bands, black labels, gilt lettering and ornamentation. Bound without the ads at rear. A fine copy in a pretty binding.

Made from sheets of the Boston: Page, September, 1909, first printing, this British first is very much scarcer than the American first. Her second novel, about as early as a serious collector can practically go with the British firsts. I have handled Anne of Green Gables many times in the American first printing but have only once in 35 years seen a copy of the British first. Would make a very nice present for a LMM fan. [43058]

ASBJORNSEN, Peter Christen, and Jorgen Ingebreksten Moe (Kay Nielsen)
EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON. Old tales from the north. Illustrated by Kay Nielsen

London: Hodder & Stoughton, no date, 0

Tall octavo, leaf height 23 cm / 9 inches. pp (v)-(xvi), 17-285 + blinder's blank front and rear. All edges gilt. Frontispiece and 23 other tipped in captioned colour plates included in the pagination (complete). Numerous black & white drawings. head and tail pieces, and decorative borders, in text. Rebound by the Cottage Bindery, Bath, in full cream bevel edge parchment ("vellum") stamped in gilt, with illustration on front cover within decorative border, spine with lettering and four decorated compartments, decorative border on rear cover, ribbon ties at fore edges. Occasional light foxing in text, mainly in vicinity of the colour plates; else a fine copy. A later printing ca 1920s (first was also undated, 1914, with 25 c.p. with captioned tissue guards). 15 folk tales, translated from the Norwegian, which originally appeared in Sir George Dasent's POPULAR TALES FROM THE NORSE. Nielsen's masterpiece, with stunning highly stylized, beautifully coloured illustrations in an Art Nouveau style, widely felt to the greatest book from the golden age of British children's book illustration. Gorgeous book in an excellent deluxe binding. The Cottage Bindery was established in the 1960s and continues to do fine bindings.

USD $2500.00

(KENT, Rockwell)
BEOWULF. Verse translation by William Ellery Leonard

New York: Random House, 1932

Folio, 34 cm, rough grey pictorial cloth stamped in white, fore and bottom edges rough trimmed. pp [2], (148), [2] + 6 full page black & white lithos, large vignette litho to title page and small vignette litho on colophon page, by Rockwell Kent. Printed by the Pynson Printers in Hammer Uncial in reddish orange and blue with decorated initials. Edition of 950 copies signed by means of Kent's thumbprint, this is # 62. Page edges yellowed, crease to lower outer corner of front free endpaper, slight wear to spine ends and lower outer corners, else a fine copy, no owner names, lacking the dust jacket. Note: large 2 kg parcel, extra postage will be required. A handsome edition of this Old English classic.

USD $275.00

THE DEATH-SHIP: the story of an American sailor

London: Chatto & Windus, 1934

Octavo, terra cotta cloth gilt lettered, reddish brown top page edges. Spine very lightly darkened, fore edges yellowed, else fine, no owner names, top edges not faded. In a facsimile dust jacket (as new). Translated from the German DAS TOTENSCHIFF (1926) by Eric Sutton. This great writer's second book. This British edition preceded the 1934 Knopf edition (translated and revised by Traven himself) by several months. It is also scarcer than the US edition. It was originally written in English in 1923 or 1924 and was his first book to use the B. Traven pseudonym.

USD $495.00

SPENSER, Edmund (Walter Crane)
SPENSER'S FAERIE QUEENE: a poem in six books, with the fragment Mutabilitie. Edited by Thomas J. Wise

London: George Allen, 1895-97, 1897

Six volumes, quarto, original light cream pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and red, top edges gilt, others untrimmed, original red on pink illustrated card covers bound in. Fore and bottom page edges tanned; light yellowing to free endpapers from binding; very light spine yellowing; soft bruise to upper inner corner of front covers; volume I has neat professional repairs to inner hinges, rear joint, and spine ends, with light darkening at ends, gilt imprint a little flaked; volume VI has one very small brown spot on the spine; volume II has a hairline crack to front inner hinge neatly repaired; a fine set otherwise, no owner names or plates, the vulnerable white cloth remarkably clean. Edition of 1000 copies on handmade paper printed by Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press. 88 full- page woodcut illustrations (one double-page), 132 head and tailpieces, numerous woodcut initials, uniform illustration to front covers. Edited by the eminent book colllector, bibliographer, and forger Thomas J. Wise. A very handsome production of this great classic of late 16th century English literature, an epic poem, one of the longest in the language, and still never completed. Considered by many to be Walter Crane's best work in black & white, it was his most extensive commission as a book illustrator, taking three years to complete. Note: heavy set, extra postage will be required.

USD $2895.00

SHANNON, C. Hazelwood and J.W. Gleeson White, editors
THE PAGEANT (both published volumes)

London: Henry & Co. (1896 and 1897), 1896

Two volumes. Quarto, brown decorated cloth stamped in gilt (design by Charles Ricketts), brown on white decorated endpapers (by Lucian Pissarro), fore and bottom page edges rough trimmed. 1896 volumes: pp [4], (10). (244), (ix, ads). Full page and vignette illustrations in text. Spine has shallow chips at ends, a horizontal cloth split at top and partial splits to joints neatly repaired, gilt lettering flaked away; 2 small dark spots to front cover; cracked inner hinges neatly repaired; in all, about VG externally, internally fine, no owner names. Literary contributions by Swinburne, Yeats, Verlaine, Maeterlinck. Richard Garnett, Lionel Johnson, Bridges, Beerbohm, and others. Art by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2), Whistler (2, including "The Doctor- Portrait of My Brother", an original lithograph), Charles Ricketts (2), Millais (2), Rothenstein, G.F. Watts (2), Burne Jones (2), Laurence Housman, Charles Shannon (2), and others. 1897 volume: pp [4], (10). 266, (8, ads), [2]. Full page and vignette illustrations in text. Bit of wear to foot of spine, minor wear to outer corners, foxing to endpapers, cracked inner hinges neatly repaired, bit of bubbling to cover cloth, else a VG clean and tight jacketless copy, no owner names. Literary contributions by Austin Dobson, Michael Field, Edmund Gosse, Laurence Housman, John Gray, Angus Evan Abbott ("The Gods Gave My Donkey Wings", a fantasy story by a Canadian author), Max Beerbohm, J. Sturge Moore, Maurice Maeterlinck, R. Garnett, Villiers de l"isle Adam, Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Charles Ricketts, and others. Art contents include work by Bustave Moreau (3), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2), Charles Hazelwood Shannon (2), Burne-Jones (2), Laurence Housman, Wiliam Rothenstein, Walter Crane, William Strang, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, George Frederick Watts (2), Charles Ricketts, and Lucien Pissarro (a woodcut in five blocks including much gilt), and others, several of the pictures printed in green ink. An essential fin-de-siècle periodical. Note: 3 kg parcel, extra postage will be required.

USD $450.00


DENISON, George T., Major (George T. Denison III) (William D. Otter)
Fenian Raids

: , 1866

HISTORY OF THE FENIAN RAID ON FORT ERIE: with an account of the Battle of Ridgeway Toronto: Rollo & Adam / Buffalo: Breed. Butler & Co., 1866. Octavo, pp [2], (iii)-vi, (7)-92 + folding map frontispiece. First edition. TPL 4490. [with] THE FENIAN RAID AT FORT ERIE, June the first and second, 1866: with a map of the Niagara Peninsula, shewing the route of the troops; and a plan of the Lime Ridge battle ground. Toronto: W.C. Chewett & Co., 1866 Octavo, pp (viii), (9)-95 + 2 folding plates. First edition. TPL 4497. [with] CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE FENIAN INVASION, AND THE REBELLION OF THE SOUTHERN STATES. PRINTED BY ORDER OF PARLIAMENT [title on original wrappers, not present] Return to an address of the House of Commons, dated 26th April, 1869. for copies of all correspondence with the Imperial Government relating to the outlay incurred by Canada in defence of the frontier of the United States in 1863-4, and also arising out of the threatened Fenian Invasion subsequently, as constituting a claim for indemnity from the United States. Hector L. Langevin. [half title]. Otttawa: Department of the Secretary of State, 14 June, 1869. Octavo, pp (2), 18 (index), 176. >>>Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spine with raised bands and label, marbled endpapers and page edges. Spine a bit rubbed, with gilt lettering flaked away but "Fenian /Raid/1866" visible in blind; cracked front joint and inner hinge neatly repaired; second map in second work has a 3.5 inch closed tear neatly repaired on blank side with clear archival paper tape and last leaf has much of the fore margin torn away but no text affected; last work trimmed close with loss of most of page numbers at top but no other text affected; otherwise a VG clean and unworn copy, front hinge tender but otherwise tight in the binding. >>>Ink ownership inscription on blank leaf at front "W.D.Otter, Major QOR , June 1870". In top margin of first title page "Major Otter, with the author's compliments". In margin of second title page "Fred. W. Otter, Toronto, C.W. Private Fred. W. Otter, No. 4 Compy, QOR, Toronto". >>>Major Otter was William Dillon Otter (1843-1929), later Sir William and as a brigadier-general became the first Canadian-born Chief of the General Staff and head of the Canadian army. Frederick Watson Otter (1849-1869) was William Otter's younger brother. Otter "began his military career in the Non-Permanent Active Militia in Toronto in 1864. Captain William Otter was Adjutant of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in 1866. He first saw combat with them at the Battle of Ridgeway during the Fenian Raids. He joined the Permanent Force as an infantry officer when Canada established its own professional infantry unit in 1883. On May 2, 1885, he led a Canadian force of more than 300 in the Battle of Cut Knife against Poundmaker's Cree Indians. Otter's tactics were ineffective against the defending warriors, forcing him to retreat. In 1890, Otter founded the Royal Canadian Military Institute as a body for "the promotion and fostering of military art, science and literature in Canada." - Wikipedia. He was appointed the first Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry in 1893. During the Second Boer War Otter commanded the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, where they were considered by many British officers to be the best infantry battalion in the country. He became commander of Canada's military in 1908, and retired in 1910. He was the grandfather of distinguished Canadian historian Desmond Morton, who wrote a biography of him. His brother Fred joined the Number 4 Company of the QOR in 1865 as soon as he was eligible, winning his commission as an ensign in Sept., 1867. However, he died of consumption 21 Jan., 1869. Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) George Taylor Denison (III) (1839-1925) was "educated at Upper Canada College. In 1861 he was called to the bar, and was from 1865-1867 a member of the city council. From the first he took a prominent part in the organization of the military forces of Canada, becoming a lieutenant-colonel in the active militia in 1866. He saw active service during the Fenian raids of 1866, and during the North-West Rebellion of 1885 (but no combat). Owing to his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Conservative ministry during the Red River Rebellion in 1869-70, he abandoned that party, and in 1872 unsuccessfully contested Algoma in the Liberal interest. Thereafter he remained free from party ties. In 1877 he was appointed police magistrate of Toronto. Colonel Denison was one of the founders of the Canada First movement, which did much to shape the national aspirations from 1870 to 1878, and was a consistent supporter of imperial federation and of preferential trade between Great Britain and her colonies." - Wikipedia. Denison was also rabidly anti-American and served the Confederate secret service as a spy during the war, which in effect blocked his advancement in the Canadian military. He kept a Yankee sword from the Fenian raids as a poker for his fire. >>>Denison commanded a company of volunteer cavalry at the Battle of Ridgeway, but saw no combat. He published his account of the battle in August, 1866. It was the first of the three books on the conflict published that summer and though deeply flawed for historical truth, it was the most truthful of the three. Because of questions about the conduct of the Canadian commanders (Alfred Booker at Ridgeway and John Stoughton Dennis at Ft. Erie), two official inquires were held, both headed by Denison. Though both colonels were exhonerated, there was a cover-up and the real truth about the battles that afternoon were not published until the PhD thesis of Peter Wronsky in 2011. >>>William Otter was a captain at the time of Ridgeway, serving as adjutant of the Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto under Major Charles T. Gillmor. It was his first taste of action. TPL 6209 states that there were at least three editions of Denison's HISTORY OF THE FENIAN RAID published in 1866, but I believe TPL is in error, that there was only one. Some library records call THE FENIAN RAID AT FORT ERIE (Chewett & Co.,1866) the second, or third, edition of Denison, but it is an entirely different book, "compiled by the publishers mainly from articles in the Globe, Leader, and Telegraph, Toronto, with notes and suggestions from eye-witnesses, and an appendix of official documents." - TPL 4497. The third item in this volume are official statements about claims being made against the United States by the Canadian government for expenses incurred because of the Civil War and (on pp 139 to end), the Fenian Raids. A TERRIFIC CANADIAN MILITARY ASSOCIATION COPY, an Otter family copy of two scarce books plus government report on the Fenian Raids.

USD $2200.00

Superb copy of perhaps the best WWI novel

HARRISON, Charles Yale

New York: William Morrow, 1930

Tan cloth lettered in red, black on white illustrated page edges, black top page edges. pp [14], 269, [5]. Yellowing and slight foxing to page edges, else fine. The striking yellow, black & red non-pictorial Art Deco jacket (by Wenck) has tiny chips to head of very lightly darkened spine; small narrow rubbed spot to rear spine fold; tiny chips to lower edge of front panel and outer corners; yellow rear panel has a 1 cm tear at bottom, minor dust soiling; else fine. First published earlier in 1930 by a small British publisher; Morrow having previously rejected the manuscript, ended up reprinting it a few times. This powerful tale is the most important Canadian World War I novel and no doubt one of the top ten WWI novels. Harrison was born in Philadelphia and by age sixteen was working for The Montreal Star. He enlisted with the Royal Montreal Regiment and was a machine-gunner in Belgium and France, wounded at Amiens in 1918, after which he returned to Montreal for a while before moving on to New York. The novel was praised by Ford Madox Ford, and in its partial appearance in magazines, including German ones, may have influenced Remarque in the writing of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. "The story of the looting of Arras by Canadian troops and their conflict with the English Military Police is told for the first time. But piquant as are these and many other revelations of the realities of war in and behind the lines, the real quality of the work lies in the exquisite, and withal unselfconsciousness, expression of the beauty and graciousness of human relationships, however startling and unorthodox, amid the foulness and brutality of that inferno." - jacket flap. See the two columns about Harrison in Toye, Oxford Companion to CanLit. Now quite scarce on the market in any sort of dust jacket. This is a lovely copy, by far the best I have ever seen, very scarce indeed in this condition.

USD $1195.00

Home | Contact Us | 2012-15© Steven Temple Books