Henry Stevens of Vermont: American Rare Book Dealer in London, 1845-1886

Henry Stevens of Vermont: American Rare Book Dealer in London, 1845-1886

Henry Stevens of Vermont: American Rare Book Dealer in London, 1845-1886

Henry Stevens of Vermont: American Rare Book Dealer in London, 1845-1886

Excerpt

This study originated before the war in the Vermont Room of the Middlebury College Library when my curiosity was aroused by finding some London sales catalogues by a man original enough to sign himself 'Henry Stevens of Vermont.' I was amazed to find that no study ever had been made of such an interesting individual. Since that time V.H. Paltsits' edition of Henry Stevens' Recollections of James Lenox and the Formation of His Library (New York, 1951) has appeared, and I am more than grateful for the many elucidations by the late Mr. Paltsits which have eased my path. I never would have had the courage to begin had such a meticulously expanded reprint appeared prior to my work with the Stevens letterbooks.

Henry Stevens worked in two currencies: pounds and dollars. I have taken the liberty of using the two interchangeably, converting pounds into dollars at the ready 19th Century index of £1 equal to $5. There were minor fluctuations in the exchange, but Henry Stevens normally used this as a rule of thumb, and usually billed at this ratio.

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