Books from the collection of John William Landis
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Origins of this collection

These books were retrieved by Tom L. McFarland in June 2001 from 87 West State Avenue in Phoenix, when the owner (Dorathy Adele McFarland) had a stroke and could no longer maintain her house. Dorathy McFarland did not recall how these books got into her home, but they had been there since she and her late husband Tom had retired there about 1972. Dorathy's son Tom L. McFarland intentionally searched the chaotic home for pictures and family records, finding these books and an old photo album on the shelves of a dusty bookcase. Dorathy's sister Jeanne suggests that these old volumes had once graced about 9 feet of bookshelf in the den of her parents' home in Waukesha County, but after her parents suffered a severe automobile accident about 1947, this country home became too much to care for, and the books were offered to Dorathy and Jeanne. The boxed books were transferred (un-opened) to Dorathy's home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and in 1972, when Dorathy's husband retired and the couple moved to Arizona, the boxes came along, and the contents placed on built-in shelves in the retirement home. Tom L. McFarland never saw these books while he lived at the Wauwatosa home from 1941 to 1956.

Jeanne also has kept a few books from this collection, such as Verne's 20 Thousand Leagues under the sea.

Title Author Publisher Date of publication condition
of book
Travels into several remote nations of the World Swift, Lemuel Gulliver C.S. Van Winkle, NY 1812 fair
Self-Deception (vol. 1 and 2) Mrs. Ellis Stringer & Townsend, NY 1852 good minus
The History of England (Stoddart's edition) Thomas Babington Macaulay J.M. Stoddart, Phila. none, est. 1850s good minus
The White Hills (1st edition) Thomas Starr King Isaac N. Andrews, Boston 1859; inserted 1907 postcard very good
The poetical Works of Jean Ingelow Jean Ingelow Thomas Crowell Dedication 1863, hand dated 1885 excellent
Women of the War Frank Moore S.S.Scranton 1866 good
Dicken's Works Illustrated (13 pocket-sized volumes) Charles Dickens Ticknor & Fields, Boston 1867 excellent
Hope Campbell, or, Know Thyself (pocket size) Cousin Kate Anson D.F. Randolph 1868 excellent
An Old-fashioned Girl Louisa M. Alcott Roberts Bros 1872 fair
Vanity Fair (household edition) Wm Thackeray Harper & bros, NY none good plus
The Origin of Species Charles Darwin D. Appleton 1873 good plus
Rob Roy Sir Walter Scott DeWolfe, Fiske, Boston none good plus
Les MisÚrables (in English) Victor Hugo George Rutledge and sons, NY none good
Hoyles Games Hoyle, Thomas Frere Lee, Shepard, Dillingham, NY preface 1857, hand dated 1873 excellent
Poetical Works of Lord Byron Byron Porter & Coates hand dated 1878 fair
A Tramp Abroad Mark Twain American Publishing Co. 1880 good minus
Achievements of Stanley
and other African explorers
Hon. J.T. Headley Hubbard Bros, N.D. Thompson, and A.L. Bancroft 1878 good minus
In Darkest Africa (vols 1 & 2) Henry M. Stanley Charles Schribner's Sons 1890 good
The Path to Home Edgar A. Guest Reilly & Lee 1919 good plus
The Foreigner Ralph Connor The Westminster Co., Toronto 1909 good
Poems for Every Mood Harriet Monroe Whitman, Racine 1933 good plus
Treasure Island (pocket size) Robert Louis Stevenson Macmillan 1914 excellent
My Doggie and I R.M. Ballantyne James Nisbet, London preface 1881, hand dated 1904 excellent
Adventures of Gil Blas (in English) Santillane Porter & Coates hand dated 1895 good minus
Aesop's Fables translated by Fyler Townsend Donohue, Henneberry 1890 excellent
A Thousand Miles up the Nile Amelia Edwards A.L. Burt preface 1877, hand dated 1899 good
Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant (2 volumes) Grant Charles L. Webster, NY 1886 excellent
The Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson Alfred Tennyson Belford, Clarke 1885 good plus
The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier Whittier James Osgood 1876 good minus
The Life of Napoleon the Great Sir Walter Scott World Publishing House, NY 1877 good minus
The Monkey that would not kill Henry Drummond Dodd, Mead 1898 good plus
Three Men in a Float (pocket size) Jerome K. Jerome Hurst preface 1889 excellent
Wheeler's graded readers Gail Calmerton & William Wheeler W. H. Wheeler 1900 excellent
Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe McLoughlin, NY none, illustrations copied from original by electrotype good plus
How Mr. Dog got even Albert Bigelow Paine Harper & Bros 1900 excellent
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe Hurst 1901 excellent
Two Little Savages Ernest Thompson Seton Doubleday 1903 good minus
When Wilderness was King Randall Parrish A.C. McClurg 1904 excellent
Riley Farm-Rhymes James Whitcomb Riley Grosset & Dunlap 1905 excellent
The Brown Owl's Story Amy Prentice A.L. Burt 1906 good plus
Rolf in the Woods Ernest Thompson Seton Doubleday 1922 re-bound, excellent
Wild Animals at home Ernest Thompson Seton Grosset & Dunlap 1913 excellent minus
Putnam's Word Book G.P. Putnam's sons Knickerbocker Press, NY 2nd ed., 1919 good plus
Just Because of You (pocket size) Wilbur Nesbit Wise-Parslow hand dedicated "1936 To Tommy darlin' from Dorathy" excellent
Over Here Edgar A. Guest Reilly & Lee 1918 excellent
Just Folks Edgar A. Guest Reilly & Lee 1917 excellent
Household Fairy Tales Brothers Grimm A.L. Burt hand dates 1919 good minus
Scarlet Letter (pocket size) Nathaniel Hawthorne Macmillan 1920 excellent
The Poems of Eugene Field Eugene Field Chas Schribner 1920 excellent plus
The Child's World, Third Reader Betty S. Browne B.F. Johnson 1920 excellent
Adventures of Bunny Boy Howard Famous Western Printing & Lithographing, Racine none excellent
The Carved Shoes; The Feathered Messenger Higgins Western Printing & Lithographing, Racine none good minus
Crime and Punishment Dostoyevsky Macmillan 1927 good plus
Book of Famous Poems for older boys nd girls Marjorie Burrows Whitman 1931 good plus
Collected verse of Lewis Carroll Lewis Carroll Macmillan 1933 excellent
German Bible   Shafer und Koradi 1663 fair

Comments on the above collection by Michael Edmonds, rare book specialist at the Wisconsin Historical Society

Tom -

These are the ones that might be worth checking at The others appear much less likely to have either financial or historical value. You may find that to be true of some of these, too, when you check them online.

  • Women of the War ; Frank Moore; S.S.Scranton; 1866; good
  • Dicken's Works Illustrated (13 pocket-sized volumes); Charles Dickens; Ticknor & Fields, Boston; 1867; excellent
    [this is certainly not a complete set, but it's early enough that individual volumes might have some value]
  • An Old-fashioned Girl; Louisa M. Alcott ; Roberts Bros; 1872; fair
  • The Origin of Species; Charles Darwin; D. Appleton; 1873; good plus
    [ this is not the first edition but it's early enough that it might have some value]
  • Hoyles Games; Hoyle, Thomas Frere; Lee, Shepard, Dillingham, NY; preface 1857, hand dated 1873; excellent
  • A Tramp Abroad; Mark Twain; American Publishing Co.; 1880; good minus
  • Achievements of Stanley and other African explorers; Hon. J.T. Headley; Hubbard Bros, N.D. Thompson, and A.L. Bancroft; 1878; good minus
  • In Darkest Africa (vols 1 & 2); Henry M. Stanley; Charles Schribner's Sons; 1890; good
  • Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant (2 volumes); Grant; Charles L. Webster, NY; 1886; excellent
    [this is not uncommon, but I think it usually sells for $50-$100]
  • The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier; Whittier; James Osgood ; 1876; good minus
  • The White Hills Thomas Starr King; Isaac N. Andrews, Boston; none, inserted postcard from 1907; excellent
    [the first edition of this guidebook dates from around 1850 and many others appeared over the next few decades. All are collectible. See if you can find any evidence of the date, or an image online that approximates your copy and is dated. Again, not terribly rare, but historically interesting and collectible.]
  • Collected verse of Lewis Carroll; Lewis Carroll; Macmillan; 1933; excellent

Most of these would have value only if they are the first printing, so the publisher and the date are very important considerations.

If any of the books have breath-taking color illustrations, signatures by famous people (U.S. Grant's, by the way, was signed in the plate; he had died by the time the two volumes were printed), or other features that leap out at you when you handle them, then they may be more valuable than is apparent from a simple list.

Attached is an exhibit label I made up once when displaying rare books for visiting donors. It may help you get a sense of what "rare" means, too.

Best wishes,

- Michael

William Landis album
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John Wm Landis family tree