Hello all -
In reviewing some of our better books on magic, I realized I had mis-cataloged Robinson's famous book SPIRIT SLATE WRITING AND KINDRED PHENOMENA, originally published in 1898.
In looking at our copy, there was damage to the lower title page, right where the publisher's name and date of publication is placed. It looked as if something had been stuck there, and roughly removed at some time in the past. There was no damage to the opposite page, so I presumed it was a sticker of some sort. The date on the title page is 1899, whereas the date on the copyright page reads 1898.
So, in reviewing copies for sale online, in Milbourne Christopher's bibliography and in Worldcat, it seems there are several variations.
The Munn & Co of NY appears to have been published simultaneously with the London edition of Sampson, Low and Marston, with Munn's name holding the top spot on the title page. If anyone has a copy that has a variation on this order, I would be glad to hear of it. It may be that copies were printed in England, but I have not seen a record of such.
The above edition is dated 1898 on both the title and copyright pages.
There are also copies where a Martinka card has been pasted over Munn & Sampson's names, in what sounds to be heavy paper or card stock. These are often also called first editions, as the copyright page reads 1898.
There do seem to be fewer copies of the book that have an 1899 date on the title page. I believe this to be a 2nd printing of the work.
My theory, based on the above, is that it may well be that ALL the Martinka copies are 2nd printings, sold thru that venerable venue, and that my copy has had that label removed roughly in the past. Other copies of the 2nd printing must have been sold elsewhere, and thus have no label.
If any of you have a copy of this work, esp. in the 1899 or Martinka versions, I would be most appreciative of your contributions regarding this topic. I am thinking if you use a strong light on the title page, you may be able to read what is under the Martinka label from the copyright page.
Thanks in advance-
Motte & Bailey Booksellers
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