Chung Ling Soo/Robinson Book Publishing History

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby Mr. Motte » 04/07/10 01:51 PM

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-
Gene Alloway
Motte & Bailey Booksellers
"When you enter the ocean you enter the food chain, & not necessarily at the top." Jacques Cousteau
Mr. Motte
 
Posts: 32
Joined: 05/14/08 11:47 AM
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Postby Andy Galloway » 04/07/10 06:59 PM

Gene,

My copy has Munn & Company at the bottom of the title page followed by Sampson Low,Marston & Co. Ltd 1899. On the copyright page it is Munn & Company 1898. There is no Martinka label.

Andy.
Andy Galloway
 
Posts: 20
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Ayr, Scotland

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/07/10 07:24 PM

Martinka frequently pasted their stickers over the names of the actual publisher on many books they sold. You see these frequently. Martinka did not publish any edition of the book.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20605
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby David Alexander » 04/07/10 11:42 PM

I have one or two copies of Prof Hoffmann's books with the Martinka sticker over the real publisher's name and address.

Fancy stickers they are.
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Mr. Motte » 04/08/10 11:58 AM

Thanks for the comments.

I have never seen a Martinka sticker - Is it more like a bookshop or advertising label, or does it look more like a publisher's statement (granting that Martinka published no books)?

I imagine Martinka bought new magic books to sell in the shop, rather than what we today call "remaindered" ones. It would still be interesting to discern the date under a Martinka label for this book
"When you enter the ocean you enter the food chain, & not necessarily at the top." Jacques Cousteau
Mr. Motte
 
Posts: 32
Joined: 05/14/08 11:47 AM
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/08/10 12:53 PM

It looks like a postage stamp: horizontal, usually blue, green, or red. It has raised white lettering on it.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20605
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC


Return to Reference Room