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
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
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.
KAUFMAN, Bob (Chester Monroe Kessler)
Photo of beat poet Bob Kaufman
11 x 14 inch glossy photo of Bob Kaufman by Chester Monroe Kessler. Head and shoulders, shirtless, against a background of metal grape vines, facial scars visible. Fine. Chester Kessler (1919-1979) was a photographer and film maker based in Southern California. He completed four films and photographed Kenneth Patchen, David Stacton, Kenneth Anger, and others. Bob Kaufman (1925-86) was an African-American beat poet and surrealist inspired by jazz. In France, where he had a large following, he was known as the "black American Rimbaud". Born in New Orleans to a German-Jewish father and a black mother from Martinique, after a stint in the merchant marine, in the early 1940s he came to New York and briefly studied at the New School. There he met William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Kaufman moved to San Francisco's North Beach in 1958, where he remained. He was mostly an oral poet, his wife Eileen putting his poems on paper. He was one of the founders of Beatitude magazine. Writer Raymond Foye credited Kaufman with coining the word "beatnik", His life was filled with suffering. In San Franciso, he was targeted by beatings and harassment by the police (hee rows, don't you know), while the New York years were filled with poverty, addiction, and imprisonment. He was on the Tonight Show four times in 1970-71. Ken Kesey recalls seeing Bob on the street in North Beach, little band-aid crosses on his face, coming up to the car shouting poetry. He was perhaps the quintessential jazz poet. "My head is a bony guitar, strung with tongues, plucked by fingers & nails." - Kaufman. After learning of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he took a Bhuddist vow of silence that lasted until the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. A sensitive photo of this American original.
(Carpenter, Stephen Cullen, 1753-1830) (Thomas Jefferson)
Memoirs of the Hon. Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and President of the United States of America; containing a concise history of those states, from the acknowledgment of their independence...
(New York): Printed for the Purchasers , 1809
Title page continues: " With a view of the rise and progress of French influence and French principles in that country. In two volumes." Two volumes, octavo, 21.5 cm. Bound in contemporary calf, maroon titling pieces on spines. pp , iv, 404, ; , (4), 434, . Spines a bit darkened; some rubbing to the sides; endpapers foxed; yellowing and occasional mild foxing in text; damp stain to lower inner margins of Vol. I from endpapers through p. iv; one-third of rear free endpaper of Vol. I torn away; inner hinges cracked; VG pair otherwise, text unworn, joints not cracked, tight in the bindings. "Federalist attack, not authentic memoirs"- No. 241, p. 32, in: Shuffleton, Frank. Thomas Jefferson : a comprehensive, annotated bibliography (1983). Shaw & Shoemaker, 17154. Sabin 11004. "Venomously critical; said to have been suppressed for fear of libel suits. " - Howes C164. Laid in is an old bookseller's catalogue description which states "A considerable edition was published, but the printers became alarmed in view of the stringency of the law of libel at the time, and took advice of a leading attorney, Mr. Samuel M. Hopkins, a young lawyer, in Auburn, N.Y. Mr. Hopkins informed them that ' he found, on an average, a libel on every page.' On this the memoir was suppressed and the edition destroyed, after a few copies only had been sold." Another old catalogue description states it was copyrighted by "Thomas Hall" and "in fact was never published." The work was written and published by author, editor, drama critic, and journalist Stephen Cullen Carpenter, an ardent federalist, who accused Jefferson of being too much under the influence of the French revolutionaries. Carpenter was a pro-English Irishman who fled from trouble with the British army in 1802 or 1803, settling in Charleston, SC, and in 1806 moving his periodical the Monthly Register, Magazine, and Review of the United States to New York. While it seems likely that the book was suppressed, it can't be true that only a few copies were sold before the edition was destroyed as it is not as rare all that today. Still, a better than average copy of a fairly scarce book, a publication worthy of Breibart News.
STONE, William L.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON, Bart. (Millard Fillmore's copy)
Albany (New York): J. Munsell , 1865
Two volumes, tall octavo. pp (viii), (v)-(xvi), (9)-555 + frontispiece portrait with tissue guard; (xvi), 544. Index. Newly rebound in half tan calf and marbled boards, spines with morocco labels, raised bands, gilt decoration and lettering. New endpapers but original endpapers front and rear preserved and bound in. Light foxing mainly early and late; tissue guard browned; faint damp spot to bottom margin of frontispiece; corner crease to early leaves of volume I; text is otherwise quite clean and unworn. MILLARD FILLMORE'S COPY, with his ink signature at top of each title page "Millard Fillmore/ Feby. 15. 1865. A. [or O.]". >>>Millard Fillmore (1800-74) was the 13th President of the United States, He was Zachary Taylor's Vice President, becoming President 9 July, 1850, after Taylor's death and continuing in that office until 04 March, 1853. He was the last Whig President. He was a conservative Whig and a moderate opponent of slavery, an issue on the boil during his Presidency. He saw through the Compromise of 1850. He sought re-election but was not nominated by the party, which in any event broke up in 1854-56. Fillmore then joined the American Party, the political arm of the "Know-Nothing" movement, a nativist anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant party, though he was not himself anti-Catholic. He was the American Party candidate for President in 1856, but finished third. A lawyer from Western New York, he was one of the founders of the University at Buffalo. During the Civil War, he denounced secession and supported the Union war effort, but was sharply critical of Lincoln's war policies and supported McClellan in the election of 1864. >>>Sir William Johnson (c1715-1774) was an Anglo-Irish official of the British Empire who as a young man moved to New York the manage his uncle's estate in Mohawk country. He learned the language and customs and was appointed British agent to the Iroquois and then British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies from 1756-74. He commanded Iroquois and colonial militia in the French and Indian War and played an important role in the British victory at the Battle of Lake George in 1755 and he captured Fort Niagara from the French in 1759. Sir William worked hard to keep the Indians loyal to Britain. He accompanied General Jeffry Amherst to capture Montreal in 1760. He had three children with Elizabeth Brant, a Mohawk woman, and in 1759 entered into a common law relationship with Mary Brant, Joseph Brant's older sister. They remained together until the end of his life and had eight children. By this "marriage" he was adopted as a Mohawk chief. Johnson was the third largest land owner in British America. The present work was the first biography of Sir William. There is a good article on him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. >>> A nice copy of a very interesting New York book with an excellent New York provenance. Note: 2.5 kg parcel, extra shipping may be required.