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THE MODERN BUILDER’S GUIDE

LAFEVER, Minard Lafever, Minard. THE MODERN BUILDER’S GUIDE. New York: William D. Smith, 1841. 4to. Later full goat, in period style binding. 119 pages, an unnumbered frontispiece and 88 engraved plates (numbered 1-88.) Second edition. [Hitchcock, 693.] Minard Lafever and Benjamin Asher were the two most important and influential American proponents of Greek architecture during the 1820s and 1830s. Lafever’s work helped popularize the Greek Revival style in American building. He had a lighter touch, favoring the Ionic order; Asher, the Doric. This is Lafever’s second book which was first published in 1833, and it shows his mature, developed style. The book contains the first appearance of the two house designs of the "temple type with wings" which exerted an enormous influence throughout the United States. He introduced fundamentals of geometry which he considered were "the foundation on which practical Carpentry is based," as well as providing detailed drawings and elevations for domes, ceilings, windows, mantles, doors, staircases, etc. which could then be reproduced by the reader/builder. Ownership pencil signature of Samuel Sloan on front pastedown – could it be the Philadelphia architect and best-selling author of architecture books in the mid-19th century who specialized in Italianate villas and country houses and lived from 1815 to 1884? Original endpapers retained. Some light foxing to a few plates, but overall a clean copy.
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A DEFENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF

ADAMS, John (AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW) ADAMS, John. A DEFENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST THE ATTACK OF M. TURGOT IN HIS LETTER TO DR. PRICE, DATED THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1778. Three Volumes. London: John Stockdale, 1794. 8vo. Contemporary full-calf. First English edition. 392; (II), 451; (II), 528, (36) pages. The definitive final edition, after its first appearance in London in 1787. One of the most important and widely read of the many writings of the important Revolutionary figure and second president of the United States. The second and third volumes, originally issued later than the first, contain descriptions of the Italian republics of the Middle Ages as well as a lengthy analysis of "the Right Constitution of a Commonwealth." At the time Adams wrote this work he was serving as the first United States ambassador in England. Here he states the principles on which he perceived the United States to be founded. The book was popular and went through numerous editions. Its issuance at the commencement of the Federal Constitutional Convention added to its popularity and resulted in several American reprintings. Gilt decorated spines and gilt decorated banding on boards. Our copy lacks the engraved frontispiece portrait of Adams found in some copies, but we cannot find any evidence this copy had one, else very good.
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WOMEN AUTHORS OF OUR DAY IN THEIR HOMES

HALSEY, Francis Whiting,editor (WOMEN AUTHORS) HALSEY, Francis Whiting,editor. WOMEN AUTHORS OF OUR DAY IN THEIR HOMES. New York: James Pott & Co., 1903. 8vo. Publishers dark blue ribbed cloth stamped in gilt with photograph mounted to upper board. xvi, 300, (1) pages, 16 plates. First edition. First edition of this journalistic survey of popular women writers at the turn of the twentieth century, based on interviews conducted for the New York Times. Editor Francis Whiting Halsey had already published two collections of similar sketches depicting authors, all men, at home: "Meanwhile, authorship has become a source of income to women, a considerable number of whom have found it the means to a comfortable livelihood." Subjects include Frances Hodgson Burnett, Kate Douglas Wiggin (whose portrait at her writing desk is reproduced on the binding), Julia Ward Howe, Gertrude Atherton, and Rebecca Harding Davis. Edith Wharton, profiled in New York City before the appearance of The House of Mirth, offers the paradox of the working woman who does not need to work: "In one sense born to the place she has made her own in creative art, in another she has won it from the inaccessible seclusion of wealth and social position." Previous owners signature, "Bertha Gleason Wright, 1904" (a Massachusetts librarian). Light rubbing to tips of spine and corners. A near fine copy, revealing the conventions and limitations of female authorship in the American imagination.