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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
17 Apr 2007 120

Library of Standard Authors

Q:  We have a Library of Standard Authors book called Tales of Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb. The book is depicted on your website at http://henryaltemus.com/series/series120.htm. It is the first cover on the left.

How do we determine if this book is a first edition?


A:  It is not a first edition. Altemus first published this book in 1892 in the Altemus Library Series. The actual first edition however was published in 1807. As a general rule all Altemus published works of fiction were reprints.


24 Feb 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I have a book published by Henry Altemus Company, Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The book is about 4 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long. 186 pages. The front hardcover has pink, white and green flowers. A fancy design is embossed in gold. I cannot find a date. The print seems to be embossed like it was pressed to print. The contents start out with Cambrigde Churchyard, old Ironsides The last reader, Our Yankee Girls etc. Is there anyway to date this book?? Thanks.

A:  Your book was published in 1901-02 as part of the Petit Trianon Series. Without the original box and because of its poor shape it probably has very little value.


24 Feb 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" 4 1/4" by 6 1/4" with no date of publishing. Date and value?

A:  Your book was published in 1907 as part of the Vademecum Series. Although it is obviously a great book in nice condition, it has only nominal value. Perhaps if it had the original box it came in it would be worth a few dollars.


13 Feb 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I am having a hard time identifying any type of date for this book (see image attachment). Could you please tell me more about this book, specifically date and print, issue number, etc.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1903-1904. This was a large multi-volume multi-authored Series of reprints of fiction and nonfiction books published between 1896-1910. There were numerous formats which generally changed on a yearly basis.


13 Feb 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  The attached file (jpeg) shows the book titled "Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow". It measures 6.5 inches x 4.25 inches. No copyright/publication is present Philadelphia and Henry Altemus Company is shown near the bottom of the title page. The book has 226 pages plus 24 pages of book publications for sale. It also has one (1) each double-sided blank page in the front and back of the book.

It would be appreciated if you could tell me what you know about the book, as well as its publication. Also appreciated would be a price range.


A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series published in 1903. This series was a multi volume series of reprints of fiction, poetry, essays, etc.

Each book in the series originally was boxed.

The picture on the front was used in several different formats in the early 1900s.

Value is between $0-15.

Although it is a very nice book, it is not a book of great collector interest.


04 Feb 2007 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I have a book "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There" by Lewis Carroll, with 50 illustrations. It has a cloth cover with old english style printing of the title in silver. Alice has yellow hair and is wearing a red dress. She's looking into the mirror which has characters from the book in blue on silver background. The book is small about 6 x 4.5. It says on the third page "Price 50 Cents Each" and Henry Altemus, Philadelphia - Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus. The book is old but I wanted to find out more about it. Can you help.

A:  I will assume that your book is as is shown below.
This book is part of the Young People's Library and you are right that it is from format 1. Format 1 was published from 1895 to early 1898. This particular book was published in several colors. The 1895 book has the date on the bottom of the title page whereas the later reprints do not.

If your book does not have the date on the title page, then the year of publication can be determined by the ads in the front of the book. Listing to Grimm's Fairy Tales-1896, to Black Beauty-1897, Flower Fables- Later 1897-1898.

This is the first Altemus edition (but a later reprint overall) of this book by itself. Altemus did publish this story in combination with Alice in Wonderland in another format in 1895.

This book is not especially rare but it is a nice example of the original pictures by Tenniel of this work.


16 Jan 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Hi: I own a book titled “Two Years Before The Mast” written by Richard H. Dana Jr. and published by Henry Altemus Philadelphia. It is a cloth book that measures about 4.25” x 6.5”. The cloth does have a sort of floral pattern on a blue background in the front and on a purple background on the back. On one of the first pages there is a colored sketch of a ship which looks like it’s signed by WH Luki (couldn’t make out the last name) and the date of 1899. This isn’t an original signature though. On the next page it just says Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1899. Originally this book came within a box. It is not a first edition. Generally your book is worth $5-10. Every now and then someone will pay more but it is usually because they are novice collectors.


14 Jan 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  We found a copy of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. The title page (which is attached) does not have a print date. The cover of the book is also attached. We are interested in discovering the print date of the book. Thank you.

A:  Hi. This book is part of the Vademecum Series. This multi volume series of reprints of essays, fiction, poetry, etc. was published between 1894 and 1926. Every year or so the front cover design was changed. Your book which originally came with a box was published between 1909 and 1913.


11 Jan 2007 58

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  I have a Harraden text with no copyright date. I wonder if you could tell me when this Things Will Take a Turn was published. I'd like to sell it and don't know what to charge;

A:  This cover format was found in two different series. The earlier -Series #58- Boys and Girls Classics (old) was published from 1900-1906. The earlier books in this series had a gold gilt decorative pattern as is seen in the picture. By 1902the gold gilt was deleted. In 1909 the series Boys and Girls Own Library (Series #59) was published using the same cover pattern. The books originally were boxed. Distinguishing between the series can be done by an examination of the back ads.


07 Jan 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a 4 1/4" x 6/1/4" book. It is titled THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE by Nathaniel Hawthorne. No Dust Jacket. The cover is caramel or tan colored with flowers in each of the four corners and another flower in the middle. The rectangular title plate has the title, the author and then a scroll of Henry Altemus and to the right another scroll - Philadelphia. Then there is a picture on another page of Nathaniel Hawthorne on the left side and the page to the right side again has THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE and underneath Nathaniel Hawthorne and underneath that Philadelphia Henry Altemus. There is another page that has Henry Altemus, Manufacturer. There is no date anywhere. The story is 305 pages. Any idea of what year, etc.?

A:  This is an 1896 published book which is part of the Vademecum Series.


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