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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

If you have a question about Altemus books that you'd like answered please click on the Questions link at the bottom left of this page.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
28 Feb 2016 127

Love and Friendship Series

Q:  I recently purchased a book called "Spiritual Law" by Emerson. It was published/copyrighted in 1896 by the Henry Altemus Company. After consulting your absolutely amazing website, I realized that there was a difference between the format/look of my book and your information on your website. It mentions that it was part of the Belles-Lettres series and the same format as the Eternal Life Series. Looking at the format description of the Belles-Lettres Series and seeing a photo of the Eternal Life Series format in your Q&A pages, it is clear that my version is somewhat different. Mine is cloth with brown paper and has a book title pasted on the front. Would you have more information on the copy and how much it is worth?

A:  Your book is actually part of the Love and Friendship Series. If you look at the pictures on the series page, you will see that your book matches the Format 5 volumes. Unfortunately, it only has nominal value.

This series was published between 1901 and 1912.


26 Feb 2016 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Old Christmas 1899. Excellent condition. Does it have any value?

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1900. It is a reprint and since this title is not in particular demand, it only has nominal value.

In 1900 this cover was seen with multiple colors. See here for some examples. These books were originally sold within a labeled box.


24 Feb 2016 164

Shakespeare's Plays

Q:  Romeo and Juliet. The book is 4 1/4 by 5 1/5 192 pages in play form. I would like to know what it is worth and how many are in the series and the year it was published. It was a Valentines gift and I might want to add to the series. Thank you.

A:  There were 39 plays included in this set which was published between 1899 and 1933. These little books were published in eight different formats and could be purchased in a boxed set as well as individually. The individual volumes had dust jackets. In order to know when your book was printed, I would need more information.

You can determine its date by checking here: Shakespeare's Plays

These books are very common and rarely sell for more than a couple of dollars each.


22 Feb 2016 142

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Do you have any idea if this is part of the first edition collection? The Light of Asia

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1898.

All of the books in this publisher's series are reprints.

During 1898 the covers of the books in this series had a stereotyped pattern on the left half of the front cover and one of many decorative patterns on the right half. These books came within a labeled box.

Other covers that have been seen are shown here.


20 Feb 2016 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hello, Trying to identify this book published by Henry Altemus company. In the pink border is the date of HA 1842 but I know this is probably the date of the company inception. On the website I could not find this cover color or any other information except in the prose book section on this piece. Any information that you could shed on this piece would be appreciated. The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1897.

The 1842 date noted on the title page does represent the year of Altemus and Co.'s establishment.


15 Feb 2016 44

Banbury Cross Series

Q:  What can you tell me about this book? Blue Beard
Here is what it looks like.


A:  Your book belongs to the ten book Banbury Cross Series.

This series was first published in 1904 and 1905 and reprinted for a number of years thereafter. It consists of various fairy tales.

All of the books have the same decoration on the left half of the cover and a book appropriate illustration on the right half.

Each volume came with a dust jacket. See Banbury Cross Series for examples of the early and later jacket.


13 Feb 2016 127

Love and Friendship Series

Q:  Hi, I have a 1896 copyrighted book by Emerson called "Love and Friendship" that was my fathers. It says it is published by the Henry Altemus Company. I can't seem to find an example of this book with the same cover as mine anywhere. Can you help me? Is the copyright correct?

A:  Your book belongs to the Love and Friendship Series.

This series had five different formats. This volume belongs to the first one published between 1901 and 1902.

Format 1 has the stereotyped design on the left half of the cover. The right half of the cover has either one of sixteen flower pictures or a picture of multiple little flowers (as is seen in your book).

These books came with a dust jacket (shown here).

The copyright of your book is correct but the publication date in this instance is years later.


11 Feb 2016 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have this book...Silas Marner...there is no copyright page or no indication who author is exceptionally on the binding....wondering if there is any value to it.

A:  This book is a reprint and part of the publisher's series: Vademecum Series

This cover was published in 1899. During this year, these books were printed with various color covers. (see here)


09 Feb 2016 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  My cover does not match any I saw on your site. Appreciate any info. The Light of Asia

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1897. All of the books in this series are reprints and originally came within labeled boxes. (see here)

During 1897 the covers of this series came in multiple covers. Some example are shown here.


04 Feb 2016

Non Series

Q:  I recently purchased a copy of ‘With Fire and Sword’ that looks like the ‘5th edition’ picture you have at the henryaltemus.com website but does differ.

Here are the differences between my copy and the website copy:
1) Title page: the website version title is in all caps, mine: caps and lower case
2) Title page: website - “HENRY ALTEMUS”, mine: “HENRY ALTEMUS COMPANY”
3) Opposite Title page: mine doesn’t have the pic
4) Spine: my version has the letters ‘Si lwi’ by the sword handle - could this be library markings?

2 questions:
1) Would you know the published year of the version I have?
2) Do you know why both ‘5th edition’ books are different?


A:  Your book is a later version than the one on the website. Altemus incorporated in 1900. Thus any book that has the imprint Henry Altemus Company was published in 1900 or later. The later version may not have originally had the frontispiece picture. I suppose someone could have also removed it.

The lettering on the spine was a later addition. By whom or for what purpose is anyone's guess.

Both books were from the Polish fifth edition. They are essentially the same except that your book was published a couple years later. I suspect your book was published in the 1900 to 1902 era. The exact date is impossible to know.

The earlier book is shown here.


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