Rediscovered: Hawkwood

Autograph Hound Saturday jumps me!


Yep. Via the offices of that maniacal collector Brian Leno, who tells me he has “a Francis Lederer coming today. Remember him as the Count in Night Gallery‘s version of Manly Wade Wellman’s ‘The Devil is Not Mocked'”?

Brian also has his eye on a John Hancock of Fatty Arbuckle’s third wife, and he “picked up a signed first of Richard Tooker’s Day of the Brown Horde on ABEbooks, the other day. No dj, but I think somewhat scarce signed. A prehistoric novel along the lines of Jack London’s Before Adam. (At least I think so, haven’t read it yet, will when it gets here.) Also picked up a Barbara Remington signature. She’s the lady that did the Tolkien covers for Ballantine when I was in knee pants.”

And on top of his autograph mania, Brian does straight books, too: “Just got back from a booksale, lugged 63 pounds of them home. Buck a pound. As long as I have my collecting compulsion under control I’m doing fine.”

For today’s selection, he pulls out a siggie from yet another writer for the famous wood-pulp Adventure.

Here’s Brian with the dope:

A few years back I picked up the Black Dog Books edition of Adventure pulp writer Marion Polk Angellotti’s Sir John Hawkwood stories, and upon reading the introduction by Doug Ellis I was confronted with a challenge.

Ellis stated the Angellotti novel, titled Sir John Hawkwood: A Tale of the White Company, was first published in hardcover by R. F. Fenno in 1911 and that copies were “incredibly scarce.”

Naturally, I started looking. Didn’t have any luck until a couple weeks ago when I came upon 3 copies. They were all beat up and gave the appearance of having been in the wars with the famous White Company — and they were definitely on the losing side.

But one, the cheapest of the lot, to my astonishment was signed. It was also the most beat up.

A signature meant I couldn’t pass it up and I quickly ordered it and here are the photos.

I’m extremely happy with a full autograph inscription, and the book, while battered, isn’t all that bad. No bad odors, spine still intact, some water damage which didn’t affect the signature.

Angellotti lived into her eighties, so it might be presumed she signed quite a few items, but my research (which, admittedly, isn’t all that complete) hasn’t uncovered any, except this one.

I think copies of this book are rare and one signed by her is a bit of a pulp Holy Grail, so I hope my enthusiasm can be forgiven. 

Undoubtedly she signed more than one copy of her book, but show me another. Furthermore show me another that a collector is willing to sell for what I paid for this.

It just isn’t going to happen.

Right now I’m pretty glad I read Doug Ellis’ introduction a few years back. He spurred me into acquiring an autograph I thought I would never find.

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