Selectively Annotated Works On, About, or Mentioning Mosher
(Adler, Elmer) Slater, John Rothwell. Catalogue of an Exhibition of the History of the Art of Printing — 1450-1920. Rochester, New York: The Memorial Art Gallery, 1920, p. 53. This exhibition was collected and arranged by Elmer Adler. Adler is famed as one of America’s outstanding printers. He was also noted as a publisher, designer and collector. He founded the Pynson Printers in New York, and created the memorable typographic and bibliophilic publication, The Colophon: A Book Collector’s Quarterly. His concern with typography led him to form a collection of enough scope to justify the Art of Printing Exhibition held, not at a library, but at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery, in “recognition of the fact that really good printing is itself a beautiful thing.” (p.3). The Mosher publication, Circum Praecordia (1906), appears in the section “The Revival of Fine Printing” along with twenty-four other books from the Kelmscott, Essex House, Doves, Elston, Merrymount and other presses. The catalogue was written by John Rothwell Slater, professor of English at the University of Rochester (certainly annotated in cooperation with Adler). The write-up below Mosher’s book states that “Mr. Mosher was one of the earliest American publishers to issue small books printed in small but good type in small editions for booklovers with small incomes. Though there has been no striking novelty in his typographical methods, his service to the cause of literature and of printing has been not inconsiderable.”
Alphamu. “Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923)” in The Calcutta Review — An Illustrated Monthly. Vol. 9, No. 3 (Third Series). Calcutta, India: Calcutta Review, December 1923, pp. 459-465. This monthly literary periodical was distributed through agents in London, New York, Bombay, New Delhi, Patna, and Calcutta. A lengthy quotation from this work is available.
Altschul, Frank. A Catalogue of the Altschul Collection of George Meredith in the Yale University Library, compiled by Bertha Coolidge with an introduction by Chauncy Brewster Tinker. [Boston]: Privately Printed [D. B. Updike, Merrymount Press], 1931.
American Type Founders Company. Specimens of type: ornaments and borders, brass rules and dashes, business cuts, society emblems, initial letters, card and billhead logotypes, newspaper headings, check lines, and other materials necessary in the printing office. Chicago, IL: The Company, . The noted printer of Maine, Fred Anthoensen, identified the Dickinson Type Foundry of Boston as one of Mosher’s (or his printer’s) sources of type. This foundry was one of fourteen old-line foundries which merged with the American Type Founders Company headquartered in Newark, NJ in the 1890’s. Designs found in this source include the “Jenson Old-Style Series” of initials, page embellishments and borders used in Mosher publications like Empedocles on Etna, Collectors and Collecting, Little Willie, Hand and Soul, The Land of Heart’s Desire, and In Praise of Omar.
Amphora — A Second Collection of Prose and Verse Chosen by the Editor of The Bibelot. Portland, ME: The Mosher Press, 1926. The second Amphora is meant to be a companion piece to the first one published in 1912, and contains ten contributions by Mosher. The several tributes to Mosher include the sonnet “October, in Memory of Thomas Bird Mosher” by Thomas Jones; a dedication “To Thomas Bird Mosher” by Spencer Miller, Jr.; a tribute entitled “Forewords” by John L. Foley; another tribute “A Golden String” written by Christopher Morley; and a character sketch of Mosher entitled “Aldi Discipulus Americanus” written by Frederick A. Pottle. A full page notice on this second Amphora appeared as “In Memory of Thomas Bird Mosher” in The Publisher’s Weekly, November 20, 1926, p. 1991.
Anon. “Books and Authors–Thomas Bird Mosher” in The Bulletin of the Maine State Library. Vol. XII, No. 3. Augusta, ME, January 1927, pp. 62-65. The library boasts owning a complete set of the Mosher books, but this article consists mostly of extracts from the second Amphora, including a lengthy quote from Publisher’s Weekly of September 15, 1923. There is also a brief sketch of Mosher’s life.
Anon. Edward Fitzgerald 1809-1909–Centenary Celebrations Souvenir. [Ipswich, England: The East Anglian Daily Times], 1909, pp. 5, 7, 50-51. Mosher is listed as a patron, the lender of the plates used to illustrate the souvenir (taken from his own publication of Edward FitzGerald: An Aftermath), and is given a two page write-up entitled “An American Tribute” in which Mosher boasts of owning FitzGerald’s commonplace book, and his annotated copies of ‘Lucretius’ and ‘Shiller’s Wallenstein.’
Anon. “The Mosher Books.” in The Protest, A Journal for Philistines. No. Five. Kent, England: Published for the Proprietors from the Sign of the Hop-Pole, Crockham Hill, Eden Bridge, January 1903. Reprinted as an advertisement accompanying The Bibelot for May 1903 (not to be found in yearly bound copies).
Anon. An Outline of Distinguished Reading — With which are combined several appreciations of the work of Thomas Bird Mosher. New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1925. The section “An Approach to Distinguished Reading” (pp. 7-14) serves as an introduction to Mosher’s life and his publication, The Bibelot. The three essays at the end of the book are “The Joys of Books” by Alexander Smith, “A Golden String” by Christopher Morley, and “The Ending of the Bibelot” by William Marion Reedy. This little tome was meant as both an advertisement, and as a companion guide, to the reprint of The Bibelot of 21 volumes, also published by Wm. H. Wise & Co. in 1925.
Anon. “Portland Librarian Collects Thomas Bird Mosher’s Books” in the Portland Press Herald. January 5, 1968. Included under the “Clearing House” section, the focus of this multi-column article is Miss Frances Lombard, a secondary school teacher and past president of the New England School Librarian’s Association. Excerpts were taken from Lombard’s paper on Mosher presented before “the College Club.” The article presents no new information on Mosher, and mentions titles in her collection of Mosher books, in addition to quotes from her talk.
Anon. “Publisher on Rural Culture” in the Boston Sunday Post. Boston, August 22, 1920, p. . Printed as a single sixteen-inch column with photograph. The title of this interview is a bit deceiving, but derives from Mosher’s remarks: “It is a dream of mine to see literature carried to the farms. Is there any reason why a man with a milk route should not read Shelley?” Looking back over his publishing career, he also mentions that “the books which I have published are my contribution to the end which I would bring about… From the books I have read of prose and verse I have sought to extract the life-blood of the ages and would, by the books I publish, together with my method of publishing, persuade others to seek in them the same kinship I have found. We are now so situated by the compulsion of the hour that we cannot make a book of the same high quality at the old low price. Yet I won’t make any other kind of a book.” The interviewer remarked that “an hour spent with Mr. Mosher and his books reveals the fact that he has not only produced greatly but he has lived profoundly.” (see also the Caswell entry below)
Anon. “A Publisher Who Saw His Dream Come True.” Current Opinion 76. [February 1924], 177-79. Extensively quotes Charles Dunn article (see below).
Anon. “Revival of Printing” in Craftsman Homeowner. Vol. III, No. 4. Winter 1992, p. 7. This press release announces the Temple University exhibition “Thomas Bird Mosher and the Art of the Book” and gives a brief overview of Mosher’s publishing career. The exhibition was also overviewed in Bookman’s Weekly. Vol. 89, No. 21. Clifton, NJ: AB Bookman Publications, May 25, 1992, p. 2149.
Anon. “Sermones.” “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Bookman’s Journal and Print Collector. Vol. II, No. 35. June 25, 1920, p. 135.
Arellanes, Audrey Spencer, ed. Excerpts from the Letters of Thomas Bird Mosher. Pasadena, CA: Bookworm Press, 1972. This miniature twenty-nine page press book, limited to 215 copies, consists of an introduction by Arellanes, a facsimile frontispiece of Mosher’s bookplate, a reproduction of W. Irving Way’s monogram at the end of the book, and seventeen excerpts of letters at the Huntington Library from Mosher to W. Irving Way, the contents ranging from the profound to the humorous.
Arlen, Shelley. The Cambridge Ritualists: An Annotated Bibliography of the Works by and About Jane Ellen Harrison, Gilbert Murray, Francis M. Cornford, and Arthur Bernard Cook. Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1990, entry 411. References Gilbert Murray’s Andromache–A Play in Three Acts published by Mosher in 1913.
(Ashley Library) Wise, Thomas James. The Ashley Library. A Catalogue of Printed Books, Manuscripts and Autograph Letters. 11 vols. London: Printed for Private Circulation Only. 1922-36. Volume six is the only volume to contain references to the Mosher Press books present in the Ashley Library.
Ayers, William, ed. with Ann Barton Brown, curator. A Poor Sort of Heaven, a Good Sort of Earth–The Rose Valley Arts and Crafts Experiment. Chadds Ford, PA: Brandywine River Museum, 1983, p. 50 and 71. Comparison is made with Horace Traubel’s publication, The Artsman, of which it is said: “In quality, Traubel’s typographic work had its closest parallels with the turn-of-the-century products of Copeland and Day (Boston) and Thomas B. Mosher (Portland, Maine).” Several volumes of Mosher’s little magazine, The Bibelot, are pictured on p.50.
Babington, Percy. L. Bibliography of the Writings of John Addington Symonds. London: J. Castle, 1925 (reprint, New York: Burt Franklin, 1968), entries 35, 492, 489, 493, 500 and p.51. Includes references to Mosher’s editions of Fragilia Labilia (1902), Symonds contribution in The Garland of Rachel (1902), his translation of Michael Angelo Buonarroti–His Sonnets in the Bibelot Series (1895), The Sonnets of Michael Angelo Buonarroti (1897) in the Old World Series, and Symon’s translation of medieval Latin students’ songs in Wine, Women and Song (1899) in the Miscellaneous Series.
(BAL) Jacob Blanck, compiler. The Bibliography of American Literature. 9 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1955-1991. BAL includes references to Mosher imprints under John Hay, John Greenleaf Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Although Walt Whitman appears in BAL, reprinted Whitman books and selections published after 1900 were not included, therefore there are no later editions in BAL for Whitman. No note on any Mosher publication is listed under the Edgar Allan Poe, James Russell Lowell, or the James McNeill Whistler entries. The American poets Lizette Woodworth Reese, Arthur Upson, John Vance Cheney, Daniel Henry Holmes are not included as entries in BAL.
Barker, Nicholas and John Collins. A Sequel to An Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Nineteenth Century Pamphlets by John Carter and Graham Pollard. The Forgeries of H. Buxton Forman & T. J. Wise Re-examined. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Books (and Scholar Press), 1992. Mosher printed four of the Wise forgeries, The Two Sides of the River, Dead Love and Unpublished Verses, and The Pilgrims of Hope. The reader may also wish to consult John Carter and Graham Pollard’s pioneering work which first appeared in 1934: An Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Nineteenth Century Pamphlets. Second Edition. With an Epilogue by John Carter and Graham Pollard. Edited by Nicholas Barker & John Collins (London & Berkeley: Scolar Press, 1983).
Barnes, Warner. A Bibliography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Austin, TX: The University of Texas & Baylor University. . Barnes’ Mosher citations are confusing as he stops giving series identifications after the first three of the nine entries he cites in the index under publishers, and he misses some of the Mosher editions. Additionally, his entry E359 is listed as a 1910 “sixth” edition which is probably a misattributed edition note; it should read the 1910 “fifth” edition. The other problematic citation in Barnes is E391 which he lists as a 1913 Mosher edition at Yale. In checking the National Union Catalogue, the Library of Congress Online Catalogue, RLIN, and Yale’s online catalogue (OPAC), no 1913 edition has been located.
Baskin, Leonard and Hosea. The Gehenna Press — The Work of Fifty Years 1942-1992. Dallas, TX: The Bridwell Library & The Gehenna Press, 1992, p. 66. “The intersticed densities of the prodigious Portland pirate, Thomas Bird Mosher, here all set forth in bibliographical order, caused a call on my subtlest typographical skills. The immense, dense & complex index is reflective of Mosher’s endless manipulation of the same texts, set & issued in various sizes in divers series; it resolved itself into forty one pages set in eight point type. This is not the place to discuss or assess Mosher, but he was influential & important on many different levels. The book was needed & its bibliographical avowals & endless index illuminate the tangled growth of his publishing tendencies.”
Bayler, Particia, Beverly Brandt, et. al. (Wendy Kaplan, consulting editor). The Encyclopedia of Arts and Crafts — The International Arts Movement, 1850-1920. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1989 (republished in 1998 by the Knickerbocker Press), pp. 145, 146, 148, and 150. The author of chapter seven on “Graphics” is Jean-François Vilain. Although the entry for Mosher is necessarily brief, three of Mosher’s books are illustrated on p. 148: the front cover to Fancy’s Following, the opening spread of Empedocles on Etna (this copy hand-colored by Bertha Avery and once belonged to Mosher’s secretary-manager, Flora Lamb), and a binding on the 1897 Old World Rubáiyát executed by Christina Gaskel for the Guild of Women Binders.
Beckson, Karl, et. al. Arthur Symons: A Bibliography. Number Five in the 1880-1920 British Authors Series. [Greensboro, NC: Elt Press (Dept. of English at the Univ. of North Carolina)], 1990, entries A3c, A14a-b, B28, B, 32, B36, B49, B55. References include Mosher’s publication of Symons’ Lyrics (1903) and his Silhouettes (1909), and Symons’ discussion of Francis Thompson in Thompson’s Poems (1911) and the Hound of Heaven (1908), Symons’ discussion in The Poems of Ernest Dowson (1902), his introduction to Browning’s Pompillia (1903).
(Beinecke) McKay, G. L., compiler. A Stevenson Library — Catalogue of a Collection of Writings by and about Robert Louis Stevenson formed by Edwin J. Beinecke. New Haven: Yale University Library, 1951. For the purposes of a Mosher bibliography, use of only the first two volumes on “Printed Books, Pamphlets, Broadsides, etc.” were applicable and included eleven citations.
Bentley, G. E. Jr. Blake Books — Annotated Catalogues of William Blake’s Writings… Reproductions of his Designs, Books with his Engravings… Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1977, entries 150 and 505. These citations involved Mosher’s publication of Blake’s Songs of Innocence (1904) and Blakes’ XVII Designs to Thornton’s Virgil (1899).
Bidwell, John. “The Publishing Career of Thomas Bird Mosher.” in the New York-Pennsylvania Collector. April 1978, pp. 4-6. The author, John Bidwell, was curator of the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Printing. The article pictures several designs of Mosher’s book and his bookplate. The information covered is basically taken from Strouse’s The Passionate Pirate and from the Hatch bibliography.
Bishop, Philip R. Thomas Bird Mosher — Pirate Prince of Publishers. A Comprehensive Bibliography & Source Guide to The Mosher Books Reflecting England’s National Literature & Design. With an Introduction by William E. Fredeman. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press; London: The British Library, 1998. xvi, 536 pp. (including 44-page descriptive index); 230 illustrations and eight-page color section; tables, charts, graphs. Entries arranged in alphabetical order by book title. This groundbreaking work describes the books produced by the American publisher, Thomas Bird Mosher, whose editions helped convey England’s literature and design to the American public. The penetrating and insightful Introduction by Dr. William E. Fredeman, one of the foremost Pre-Raphaelite scholars of our day, gives the much fuller context within which Mosher promulgated his unique publishing venture. Additionally, Fredeman describes the full array of extraordinary features found in this work. This exhaustive study not only provides abundant new primary research, including new evidence on royalties paid, but also presents the material in a novel way. An overview with tables & graphs, and a set of highly useful appendices, neatly combine and cross-reference with the work’s primary bibliography. Also, for the first time, the reader is presented with two check-lists of Mosher Press publications later printed by Mosher’s “successors.” The book’s opening section is particularly useful in clearly presenting the various series, privately printed books, and books printed on vellum. The section on binders and bindings (illustrated in full color) adds yet another dimension showing the respect Mosher’s imprints command. There is also a revealing section presenting both acclaims and criticisms of Mosher’s publishing. A descriptive index, and an annotated and cross-referenced bibliography on Mosher himself, round out the book’s strengths.
Bishop, Philip R. “Thomas Bird Mosher — Publishing Prince…or Pirate?” in BIBLIO-The Magazine for Collectors of Books, Manuscripts, and Ephemera. Vol. 2, No. 7. Eugene, OR: Aster Publishing Corporation, July 1997, pp. 38 – 45. The front cover call-outs advertise the article inside as “The Princely Picaroon of Publishing.” This illustrated article presents a general overview of Mosher’s life, motivations, publishing program, and selling techniques. Two sidebars present the current retail market prices for key Mosher imprints, and sources for additional information on the Mosher Press. The unexpurgated article, with more than actually appeared in the the BIBLIO magazine is also available.
Bishop, Philip R. “Thomas Bird Mosher — A Remembrance.” in The National Book Collector. Vol. II, No. 3, May/June 1991. This is the text of a brief address given at the August 16, 1990 unveiling of a commemorative brass plaque at Mosher’s publishing office at 45 Exchange Street in Portland, ME.
Bishop, Philip R., comp., and Introduction in “A B.R. QUARTET — Letters from Bruce Rogers to Thomas Bird Mosher at The Houghton Library.” Typophiles Monograph- New Series 17. New York: The Typophiles, Inc., 2001. Transcribes and annotates four letters from Bruce Rogers to Thomas Bird Mosher, and includes an introductory commentary discussing the relationship between Rogers and Mosher.
Bishop, Philip R., “B.R. on T. B. M.” A Keepsake for The Typophiles. Lmtd. to 75 copies. Distributed to members at the talk “Some Stylistic Elements of the Books of Thomas B. Mosher.” June 14, 2000. Prints a December 30, 1909 letter from Bruce Rogers to Thomas Bird Mosher.
Bishop, Philip R., “B.R. on T. B. M.” A Keepsake for The Philobiblon Club. Lmtd. to 75 copies. Distributed to members at the talk “The Mosher Books in Some of Their Graphical Aspects.” May 9, 2000. Prints a December 30, 1909 letter from Bruce Rogers to Thomas Bird Mosher.
Bishop, Philip R., “A Pre- Post-Mortem Addition to a Book Collection.” In the Delaware Bibliophiles Endpapers, March 2000, pp. 17-18. This article is about the first and last meeting between William E. “Dick” Fredeman and Philip R. Bishop, just before Dick’s death. A book from Mosher’s library, with Dick Fredeman’s bookplate as well, was given to Bishop in remembrance of this final meeting. The full text of this article is available.
Bishop, Philip R., “A Report from the Front Lines in May 2001” in Delaware Bibliophiles Endpapers, September 2001, pp. 7-11. In addition to the discussion on several new Mosher acquisitions to the Bishop collection, this article provides a lengthy discussion about the newly acquired Curtis Hidden Page copy of The Germ (Mosher, 1898, one of twenty-five copies on Japan vellum) bound by the Guild of Women-Binders.
Bishop, Philip R., ed. The Mosher Press. 1997-98. Online. Internet. 15 January 1998. Available at http://www.thomasbirdmosher.net. This site is comprised of a variety of material. The table of contents lists the following sections: Biography of Mosher, Printing History, Books in Series, Piracy Dispute, Exhibitions, Book Samples, Fine Bindings, Bibliographies, Mosher Press Collections, Visitor Registration, and Sites of Related Interest. The site is illustrated, contains material for scholars to access, and is updated periodically.
Bishop, Philip R. For co-authorship, see Vilain, Jean-François. Thomas Bird Mosher and the Art of the Book, and “The Covers of the Mosher Books”
Blackwell, Kenneth and Harry Ruja, et. al. A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell. Volume I “Separate Publications 1896-1990.” London & New York: Routledge, . This three volume bibliography on Bertrand Russell lists both the first Mosher issue of A Free Man’s Worship in 1923 (A44.1a) and the second edition of 1927 (A44.1b). The first entry indicates that there is correspondence between Russell and Mosher in the Houghton Library, Harvard. Correspondence and the galley proofs are also listed as being in The Bertrand Russell Archives of the William Ready Division of the Archives and Research Collections, Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. There are also two letters catalogued in Volume II on pp. 530 and 545: J84.01 being a letter to Flora M. Lamb thanking her for sending five copies of the 1923 edition of A Free Man’s Worship, (catalogued in the booksellers catalogue James F. O’Neil; List 85–C, Boston, April 1984, p. 9, item 79), and Hh90.02 being a letter to Blanco White from Flora Lamb reproduced in facsimile in Sheila Turcon’s “Recent Acquisitions: Correspondence.” Russell, n.s. 10 (summer 1990), pp. 30-67.
Blank, Jacob. “News from the Rare Booksellers.” in The Publisher’s Weekly 141. [January 19, 1942], pp. 210-11. Discusses the transfer of the Mosher Press assets to the Williams Book Store in Boston.
Block, Andrew. The Book Collector’s Vade Mecum. London: Denis Archer, 1932, pp. 49-50. Block mentions Mosher in his fourth chapter on Modern Presses wherein he lists the Ashendene, Doves, Golden Cockerel, Kelmscott, Nonesuch, Vale, etc. When he turns to America he makes mention of the Merrymount Press, et.al, and comments: “For really charming editions we must turn to the books published by the late Thomas B. Mosher; they can nearly all be purchased at nominal prices, but are well worth acquiring.” —p.49.
Bloomfield, B. C. “T. B. Mosher and the Guild of Women Binders.” in The Book Collector. XVI. Sprint 1967, p. 82 (Note 285). Here given in its entirety: “May I offer the following small footnote to the articles on Mosher (The Book Collector Autumn 1962, pp. 295-312) and ‘English Bookbindings LVI’ (The Book Collector, Spring 1966, p.46). My copy of Mosher’s reprint of The Germ has the following statement on the page facing the title-page: ’25 copies only of this book have been printed on Japan vellum, for England. Acquired by the Guild of Women-Binders, 61 Charing Cross Road, London. This is No. 8 Thomas B. Mosher’. [The number and signature are manuscript]. The imprint on the title-page reads: London GUILD OF WOMEN-BINDERS [in red] 61 Charing Cross Road MDCCCXCVIII.’ Since this copy is in paper covered boards the Women-Binders never seem to have got to work on it.” Bloomfield was apparently unaware of any copies bound by the Guild of Women-Binders. The bibliography, Thomas Bird Mosher — Pirate Prince of Publishers (1998) locates two copies, and yet another copy bound by the Hampstead Bindery. Others may still survive.
Blumenthal, Joseph. Art of the Printed Book 1455-1955 — Masterpieces of Typography Through Five Centuries from the Collections of the Pierpont Morgan Library New York. Boston: David R. Godine, 1973. pp. 45-46. A brief sketch on Mosher is presented in the section “The Printed Book in the United States” along with Benjamin Franklin, Isaiah Thomas, Theodore Low DeVinne, Daniel Berkeley Updike, John Henry Nash, Elmer Adler, Dard Hunter, Victor Hammer, and Bruce Rogers. Blumenthal notes that Mosher published “some four hundred titles, modest in format, price, and design, with forthright charm — the first American to sustain a consistent program of fine bookmaking.”
Blumenthal, Joseph. Bruce Rogers — A Life in Letters. Austin, TX: W. Thomas Taylor, 1989. Blumenthal notes: “The first book with the name Bruce Rogers in the colophon was Homeward Songs by the Way (plate 2) by A.E. (George Russell), with a few decorations by Rogers, published in 1895 by Thomas B. Mosher in Portland, Maine. (Mosher was the first American to have established and sustained a program, over thirty-two years, of splendid literary output in consistently felicitous typographical form.)” Also in this book Blumenthal quotes a November 22, 1943 letter from Bruce Rogers to Carl Weber in which Rogers discusses some of his early work for Mosher, including “lettering the title-page of one of his long slim volumes — I think it was the Rubaiyat. This led to several other small commissions, some after I arrived in Boston….” –pp. 5-6.
Blumenthal, Joseph. The Printed Book in America. Boston: David R. Godine, 1977, pp. 41-43, and illustration 31. “Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine, was not a participant in the Boston-Cambridge burst of typographic fervor. Neither was he touched by the tidal wave from Kelmscott. He is the first American to have established and sustained a program, over thirty-two years, of splendid literary output in consistently felicitous typographic form… They were bought by thousands of literate men and women whose pleasure in reading was enhanced by fine paper, good workmanship, and an unassuming and quiet typographic elegance.” — p.41
Blumenthal, Joseph. Typographic Years — A Printer’s Journey Through a Half Century 1925-1975. New York: Frederic C. Beil, . p. 3. Blumenthal writes, “In 1891, when Morris completed his first Kelmscott book, The Story of the Glittering Plain, Thomas B. Mosher in Portland, Maine, published George Meredith’s Modern Love, the first of Mosher’s long list of attractively designed small books of impeccable literary taste. The next forty years would witness the production of many beautiful books. Volumes were printed and published that compare favorably with the best work produced during the five centuries since the appearance of Gutenberg’s great legacy to mankind.”
Born, Edward. General Catalogue of Bowdoin College.. A Biographical Record of Alumni and Officers, 1900-75. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College, ., p. 659. The section on “Honorary Degree Recipients” lists Mosher as receiving a Master of Arts degree (one of ten recipients of honorary degrees during 1906 — six doctorates and four masters degrees). According to Bowdoin librarians, the actual college record of Mosher’s honorary degree is absent due to college president, William Dewitt Hyde, who was in office in 1906. He burned or otherwise destroyed all his correspondence and records upon leaving Bowdoin.
Borst, Raymond R. Henry David Thoreau — A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982, entry E6. References Mosher’s publication of Thoreau selections in A Little Book of Nature Themes (1906).
Boss, Thomas G., John William Pye and Judith Nelson. The Turn of the Century. 1/100 copies. Boston: Published by Thomas G. Boss Fine Books [Printed by the Firefly Press of Sommerville, MA], . This book is actually the composite of six bookseller’s catalogues (V, VII, IX, XI, XIII, and XV) reprinted on special paper and bound in cloth by Boston’s Harcourt Bindery, and comes with an index. The contents includes numerous Mosher publications, is well illustrated, and gives the reader a good feel for the type of book material being published around the time of Mosher’s publishing efforts.
(Boswell & Crouch). Boswell, Jeanetta, and Crouch, Sarah. Henry David Thoreau and the Critics: A Checklist of Criticism, 1900-1978. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1981, p. 176. Citation is to Mosher’s publication of A Little Book of Nature Themes (1906) selected by Thomas Coke Watkins.
Bowles, J. M. “On the Early Work of Bruce Rogers.” in The Colophon — A Book Collectors Quarterly. Part 11. September 1932, pp.  and . Bowles notes that “what is of more importance to us is the fact that he lettered one or two title-pages for Thomas B. Mosher, the publisher (or re-publisher) of Portland, Maine, whose charming little paper-bound books were making a sensation just then..”–p., and “it has always been a toss-up as to which was the first book with Rogers decoration, this [R. B. Gruelle’s Notes: Critical & Biographical (Indianapolis: J. M. Bowles, 1895) about the art collection of W. T. Walters] or the ‘Homeward songs by the Way’ by A.E. (George Russell), published by Mosher the same year. It doesn’t matter: anyway, the Walter’s book is more important. Also in the little ‘Homeward Songs’ some of the decorations were either drawn too large as size for the space in which they were to be used, or their reduction was too great, for some reason, for the lines in the design are crowded. In the Walter’s book the designs blend better with the type. Both books carry Rogers’ name in the colophon. Although worked on in 1894, these books bear the publication date of 1895.”–p. .
Brewster, Stella F. “Late T. B. Mosher: One of World’s Foremost Lovers of Belles-Lettres.” in the Portland Sunday Telegram and Sunday Press Herald. (three columns) Portland, ME, April 9, 1933. This is a general article touching on many familiar facts and reprinting often used quotes from Mosher’s catalogues and The Bibelot. Perhaps the most telling feature is that the author was a resident of Portland, ME, and a member of the Portland Junior League, but never had heard of Mosher until a 1929 meeting with the poet, Thomas S. Jones, Jr.
[Briggs brothers]. Twentieth Century Cover Designs. Arranged, compiled, printed and published by Victor H. and Ernest L. Briggs. Plymouth, MA: Victor H. & Ernest L. Briggs, 1902, pp. [63, 67, 72, 74, 90, 98, and full page ad in rear]. Several pages within this book exhibit design work done either directly for Mosher, or binding designs placed on Mosher’s books. Unfortunately the publisher information for many of the bindings is not given, but given the date and dimensions of the book, some are most likely on Mosher imprints, for example, the Ralph Randolf Adams binding on Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (illustrated on p.63) and the binding on the Rubáiyát by Emily Preston (illustrated on p. 67). Mosher’s two catalogues for 1900 (Goudy design) and 1901 (Crawford design) are give full-page illustrations on pp. 98 and 90 respectively.
Bruccoli, Matthew J. The Fortunes of Mitchell Kennerley, Bookman. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, , pp. 8, 10, 12-14, 24-25, 106-107. Bruccoli notes that Kennerley was an early collector of Mosher’s books. He also mentions the unfortunate label of literary pirate given Mosher, and indicates “Kennerley would later emulate certain aspects of the Mosher imprint” (and like Mosher, Kennerley would also bring out an edition of Modern Love by George Meredith). Important mention is also made of Kennerley’s and Mosher’s shared interest in Aimee Lenalie (but unknown to Bruccoli, Lenalie was actually Mosher’s first wife, Ellie Dresser). An interesting letter from William Marion Reedy (St. Louis Mirror) to Mosher reveals the circle of familiarity surrounding Reedy, Mosher, Kennerley, William Bixby, and John Quinn.
Bruckner, D.J.R. Frederic Goudy. (Masters of American Design) New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1990, p. 48-49. Reference is made to Goudy’s commission for designing the covers of the first four books in the Vest Pocket Series.
Burke, Harry R. A Visitation at Thatchcot. Herrin, IL: Trovillion Press, 1944, pp. 4 and 8. Mention is made of Mosher in two locations: ” ‘A counsel of wisdom guides them,’ written to Hal W. Trovillion long ago by Thomas B. Mosher, whose beautiful books are treasured by booklovers everywhere; “Remember what a great man once said; ‘don’t try to die rich, but live rich!’ ” –p. 4 [and] “It [Francine’s Muff] was printed in the chaste tradition of the Mosher Books — small wide margined, of graceful clear-faced type. Simple, charming, beautiful, inviting.”–p. 8 (see also entry “Schauinger, Herman” below).
Burke, W. J. and Will D. Howe. American Authors and Books 1640 to the Present Day. Augmented and Revised by Irving R. Weiss. New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. , , p. 511. “The fine editions of literary classics which he published and the monthly periodical, The Bibelot, which he edited, are noteworthy exemplars of the graphic arts in America.”
Caffin, Charles H. Article in The Artist. New York: Truslove, Hanson and Comba, December 1898. “While upon the subject of artistic book-making, it is a pleasure to allude to the delightful editions of choice literary morsels issued by Thomas B. Mosher of Portland, Maine. Each volume is confined in a parchment wrapper, sealed with a gold wafer, upon which a fleur de lis is embossed. This at once sets the key to our appreciation. Instinctively, we feel that something precious is therein, and begin to use our finger tips. We are en rapport with Mr. Mosher’s own thought. It was just because the literary morsel was precious that he selected it; and feeling it to be a gem, has striven to give it a worthy setting. With a mind attuned to this impression, we pass a paper-knife beneath the seal and find inside the wrapper a daintily decorated slide-case, out of which we draw the enticing volume. It is printed on Van Gelder paper, stout and smooth, and bound in flexible Japan vellum. If you are a book-lover, you realize by this time that Mr. Mosher has done something for you that no other publisher accomplishes in the same way. Not by costliness, for the volumes are extraordinarily cheap, but by the reverence which he has for the text and the rare discrimination with which he gives expression to it, he has given a garnish to the volume that affords the most refined enjoyment to the reader. If you are not a book-lover and have hitherto regarded a book as a mere receptacle of matter to be read, you will get your first lesson in that deeper, personal affection which should exist between the reader and the book. You value your friend for his own sake as well as for the joy of his conversation, and volumes such as these will grow to be precious to you quite apart from their contents. Appropriateness is the sign-manual of all good craftsmanship, and, as far as may be, Mr. Mosher’s editions certainly fulfill this condition. Their make-up is in spirit with the text.”
Carter, John and John Sparrow. A.E. Housman — A Bibliography. Second edition revised by William White. Godalming, Great Britain: St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1982. For the particulars on the many publishers of the authorized and unauthorized editions of A Shropshire Lad, Carter references William White. The Library. Fourth Series. XXIII, June 1942, pp. 33-34; and Fifth Series. VII. September 1952, pp. 202-204; and the appendix to Carl J. Weber’s ‘Jubilee Edition’ [of A Shropshire Lad], Waterville, Maine, 1946.
Caswell, Mina H. “Would See Literature Carried to the Farms — Why Shouldn’t the Milkmen Read Shelley?” in the Portland Evening Express & Advertiser. Portland, ME, May 5, 1920, p. 21. This article, filled with personal accounts by Mosher, is the result of a face-to-face interview in his office. For example, he mentions the first time he ever heard of the Rubáiyát was during a hygiene lecture in Portland in 1879 by Dr. F. H. Gerrish. There is also mention of his early work on an historical volume on bookkeeping, “with special reference to Charles Lamb and his clerkship at the India House.” He points out, in some detail, that his greatest achievement in his publishing career was not The Bibelot, but rather the reproduction of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The description of Mosher’s behavior, while the interview is being conducted, is captivating. Obviously Mosher was an intriguing personality.
Catalogue of Special & Private Presses in the Rare Book Division. The Research Libraries. The New York Public Library. Vol. 2. Boston, MA: G. K. Hall & Co., 1978, pp. 66-76. This catalogue lists 214 Mosher entries (G. K. Hall & Co. also published specialized catalogues like this for other major research institutions in America).
Cave, Roderick. The Private Press. Second Edition. New York & London: R. R. Bowker Company, 1983, pp. 101 and 200. Surprisingly, Mosher is only mentioned in passing, and in discussing the Daniel Press production of The Garland of Rachel, Cave mentions, “the book had the distinction (if that is the right word) of being pirated in a sort of type facsimile by Thomas Bird Mosher at Portland, Maine, in 1902.” Cave also indicates that Mosher’s “little bibelot editions” helped to inspire Hal Trovillion to print his own publications of the Trovillion Press.
(CBEL). Bateson, F. W. Bateson. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. 4 vols., plus supplement. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1940-41.
Cevasco, G. A. Three Decadent Poets, Ernest Dowson, John Gray, and Lionel Johnson — An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc, 1990.
Chapman, Alfred C. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Colby Library Quarterly. Series IV, No. 13. [February 1958], pp. 229-44. This article is most derivative, drawing upon memorial tributes in the second Amphora, Mosher’s catalogues, and other authors cited in this bibliography. The conclusion of the article does present a useful overview of the relationship between Robert Frost and Mosher.
Chielens, Edward E. American Literary Magazines — The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. New York, Greenwood Press, 1986, pp. 63-65. Though the entry on The Bibelot is generally good, there are two glaring mistakes. E. Kate Stewart, who wrote the entry, states that Mosher ceased publication of this little magazine in 1915 “because of retirement.” Mosher never retired from the book business until he died in 1923. In a letter from Mosher to Elizabeth Butterworth dated August 19, 1914 (Bishop collection), Mosher states on p.3: “This completion of The Bibelot by no means indicates that I am to retire from business. On the contrary, I hope to devote even more time than was possible in the past years to the making of choice printing and beautiful editions.” Stewart’s mistake is forgivable though, since Mosher did indeed slow down production. The second mistake, however, is bibliographical. Stewart indicates that The Bibelot “carried no advertisements.” This is patently untrue and makes one wonder if Stewart ever examined the original issues in monthly parts. The Bibelot did indeed carry numerous advertisements. The ads were dropped when the magazine was bound in blue boards covering each year.
Cirker, Hayward and Balanche, eds. Dictionary of American Portraits — 4045 Pictures of Americans from Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., , p. 440. Mosher’s portrait, taken around the age of 49, appears on the lower right side. This is the same portrait that appears in some of Mosher’s specially bound copies of his book catalogue.
Clark, Robert Judson, editor. The Arts and Crafts Movement in America 1876-1916. Princeton: Princeton University Press, ., pp. 117 and 132. This is a catalogue for an exhibition organized by the Art Museum, Princeton University, and The Art Institute of Chicago. The section on “The Arts and Crafts Book” was written by Susan Otis Thompson, and pictures Mosher’s edition of Fancy’s Following, of which she says “occasionally, a welcome flourish makes a title stand out, … [and] the bold lines of the floral decoration relate it to turn-of-the-century modes [of cover design] elsewhere.”–p. 132. In her introduction to this section (p. 117), she mentions Mosher as one of the “avant-garde amateurs” and “literary publishers” of the 1890’s.
Clary, William W. Fifty Years of Book Collecting. Los Angeles: The Zamorano Club (Printed by Grant Dahlstrom of Pasadena, CA), 1962, pp. 13-14, and 21. Clary formed a number of collections, including Shelley and Keats which included imprints by publishers W. Irving Way and Thomas Bird Mosher. The book is essentially the text (with illustrations) of Clary’s talk before members of the Zamorano Club on May 27, 1961. He discusses the friendship between Mosher and W. Irving Way. Clary mentions that Robert Burns’s The Jolly Beggars was one of Mosher’s favorites, having a “strong affinity for the vigor as well as the ribaldry of Burns.” He also mentions that “before his death Way gave me a package of 142 letters written to him by Mosher… These letters, of course, would be of great value to any student of the period…. They contain some blunt and outspoken comments on Los Angeles booksellers, whom Mosher did not like, and some equally outspoken remarks about the Boston highbrows who, he thought, high-hatted him because he had not attended Harvard University.” Clary gave the entire collection of the Mosher to Way letters to the Huntington Library.
Cline, C. L., ed. The Collected Letters of George Meredith. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1970. This source contains four letters related to Mosher. Selections from letter 1405 (MS: Harvard), 1408 (MS: Yale), and 1399 (MS: University of San Francisco), have already been quoted. In letter 1409, dated 29 March 1892 (MS: Messrs Macmillan, but now should be in the Macmillan Papers in the British Library), George Meredith writes: “The enclosed shows our American Pirate invading my native land to despoil me. | Is it worth any expense required for a move to attack him at the Customs? Have we any sale for Modern Love? If not, then both English and American Editions my huddle together in the shades.–I have another Volume ready [Poems: The Empty Purse], after which I hope to stop this flux. | …”
Colbeck, Norman. A Bookman’s Catalogue — The Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth-Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres in the Special Collections of The University of British Columbia. 2 volumes. Compiled with a Preface by Norman Colbeck. Edited by Tirthankar Bose with an Introduction by William E. Fredeman. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1987. This is a compilation of a distinguished collection of Romantic, Victorian, and Edwardian books in which there are numerous references to the Mosher books throughout.
Collie, Michael. George Gissing… (see note under Garland entry).
Collie, Michael. George Meredith, A Bibliography. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, , pp. 123, 132, 141, and 144-45. The text mentions Mosher several times; however, it doesn’t include any references for any other Meredith titles, only for editions of Modern Love. A reference to Mosher’s printing of Love in the Valley is made in a chart on p.126, but no further information is given in the actual entry for this title (LIV).
Connolly, Rev. Terrence L., ed. An Account of Books and Manuscripts of Francis Thompson. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College, [n.d.], p. 62 and entry XXXVII(B).
References The Hound of Heaven (1908) from the Miscellaneous Series, The Hound of Heaven (1908) from the Golden Text Series, and Shelly–An Essay (1909). Mosher’s edition of Thompson’s Poems (1911) is not listed in this source.
Court, Franklin E., Comp. and ed. Walter Pater — An Annotated Bibliography of Writings About Him. De Kalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 1980. Contains lightly annotated references to prefaces in Mosher’s books on Pater. See entries 73, 145-46, 168, 177-78, 185-86, 190-91, 242-43, 250, 263. No mention or record is made of Pater’s Uncollected Essays published by Mosher in 1903 with a note by Mosher, though more extensive comments were probably needed for inclusion in Court; however, Mosher’s catalogue write-ups would have been useful to Court. Emphasis seems to be on appearances of, and comments in, The Bibelot.
Cowan, Robert Ernest, and William Andrews Clark, Jr., et. al. comps. The Library of William Andrews Clarke, Jr. Wilde and Wildeiana. 6 vols. San Francisco: Printed by John Henry Nash, 1922. These volumes are difficult to use in that there is no comprehensive index. There are sixteen references to Mosher’s books throughout, and also two references to The Bibelot in Cowan IV, pp. 18-19.
Crane, Joan St. C. Carl Sandburg, Philip Green Wright, and the Asgard Press, 1900-1910: a descriptive catalogue of early books, manuscripts, and letters in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library. Charlottesville, VA : Published for the Associates of the University of Virginia Library by the University Press of Virginia, 1975, p. 86. There is an October 20, 1906 letter from Carl Sandburg to Philip Green Wright in which Sandburg suggests that Wright send a letter to Thomas Bird Mosher asking him to distribute the book for Asgard because it would appeal to Mosher’s clientele. Sandburg offered 50% of the receipts if Mosher promoted and distributed the book, adding that if Mosher preferred instead to share his mailing list, Asgard would give him 10% of the receipts. No response from Mosher is cited. It should also be noted that the physical appearance of Philip Green Wright’s The Dreamer (Galesburg, 1907), with a foreword by Sandburg and printed by Wright, looks very much like a Mosher book.
Crichton, Laurie W. Book Decoration in America 1890-1910. A Guide to an Exhibition by Laurie W. Crichton. Revised by Wayne G. Hammond [and] Robert L. Volz. Williamstown, MA: Chapin Library, Williams College, 1979, pp. 17-18, 45-47, and plates on pp. 73-74. Crichton’s book is a most useful reference. While generally a reliable work on book design of the period, Crichton omits the cover designer of Mimes and missed the clear reference Mosher himself gives to the designer of the pictorial frontispiece and the two headband illustrations (plus a tail-piece) in Aucassin & Nicolete. Both of these designers were easily identified from Mosher’s own readily available sources. Mosher’s 1901 “A list of Books…” which provides the cover designer’s name for Mimes: Earl Stetson Crawford. With regard to the Old World Aucassin & Nicolete, the designer’s “PH” monogram is cited in Crichton, but there is no further identification. The information on the designer is found in Mosher’s own explanation of the monogram as standing for P. Jacomb Hood (see his “Note” on the verso of the half-title). A lengthy quote from this work is available.
Currier, Thomas Franklin. A Bibliography of John Greenleaf Whittier. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1937, p. 184. References Snow-Bound–A Winter Idyl (1911).
Cutler, B. D. Sir James M. Barrie, A Bibliography. With full collations of the American unauthorized editions. New York: Burt Franklin, 1968 (reprint of 1931 text), pp. 141-42, 144-45. Citation involves Mosher’s publication of George Meredith (1911) by Barrie.
(Cutler & Stiles) Cutler, B. D. and Stiles, Villa. Modern British Authors: Their First Editions. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1930, p. 38. References Ernest Dowson’s Cynara: A Little Book of Verse (1907) and Studies in Sentiment (1915).
(DAB) Sargent, George Henry. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Dictionary of American Biography. Edited by Dumas Malone. Vol. XIII. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1934, pp. 278-79 (see also the Concise Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, , p. 709). Mosher’s entry is about 1½ columns in length and says little about the books published save for Modern Love, The Bibelot, and the Amphora. There are a few corrections to the biography. The phrase “trip to the Rhine” should read “trip to the Elbe…” The return from the world voyage was in spring 1870, not the winter of that year. The article strongly suggests Mosher took out on his own, “uninfluenced by the revival in printing… led by William Morris in England in 1890.” In fact, Mosher was influenced by several of the British presses and publishers throughout his career, including Morris’ Kelmscott Press, the Bodley Head, the Chiswick Press, the Daniel Press, and the Vale and Eragny Presses. In the references section at the end, Koopman’s article should read “Modern Am. Printing”, not “Modern Am. Painting.”
Day, Kenneth, ed. Book Typography 1815-1965. In Europe and the United States of America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1965, p. 341. “The aesthetic movement appeared in America, as in Europe, considerably before the fin de siècle; Oscar Wilde had made his famous American lecture tour in 1882, and Patience had scored as resounding a success in New York, as in London. During the 1890’s it reached its peak, quickly going out of favour as an aftermath of the Wilde scandal; during its heyday in the ’90’s it made up in intensity what it lost in longevity. Like the arts and crafts revival, the aesthetic movement attracted its poseurs and imitators, but it also numbered among its young and enthusiastic members a number who showed genuine originality and talent. Among these were the publishing firms of Stone and Kimball, Way and Williams, and Copeland and Day, all of which published small books of great originality and charm, bearing a certain family resemblance, and yet each with its own house style and originality. More significant, perhaps, was Thomas B. Mosher, literary pirate and publisher, of Portland, Maine. ”
Denson, Alan, ed. Letters from AE. New York: Abelard-Schuman, , pp. 50-51, 55-56. This book of George W. Russell’s (AE’s) letters includes two letters written to Mosher in March 1904 and April 1905. Included in the first letter is the comment: “I have to thank you for the very charming little edition of Yeats Land of Heart’s Desire and for other Bibelots… I notice you announce a new edition of Homeward Songs in the spring at which I am much pleased. I will never be so charmingly bound and printed anywhere again unless you undertake to improve on your past.” At the conclusion of the second letter represented, Russell mentions, “I heard great praises of you from a Mrs. Simeon Ford of New York who was over here lately as the only American publisher of any independence who only published what he liked.” Mrs. Simeon Ford is Julia Ellsworth Ford, the American lady whose book on Simeon Solomon was published in 1908, as was her book A.E.–A Note of Appreciation.
Denson, Alan, compiler. Printed Writings by George W. Russell (AE) — A Bibliography. With Some Notes on His Pictures and Portraits. Foreword by Padraic Colum… Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1961, pp. 48-49. The citations involve Mosher’s publication of AE’s Homeward Song by the Way (1895 & 1904).
(DeVinne). “The Library of the Late Theodore Low De Vinne.” New York: The Anderson Galleries, 1920. Five Mosher books were recorded in the library sale of America’s foremost printer of the day: The House of Usna, 1903 (#1113), Modern Love, 1891 (#1386), The City of Dreadful Night, 1892 (#1424–presentation copy), Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair (#1422), and Essays from the “Guardian,” 1907 (#1502). In the fall of 1892 Mosher gathered and printed opinions from several bibliophiles including Theo. L. DeVinne who is quoted as writing: “I am well pleased with your book [Modern Love]. The composition and press work are well done.” In response to the presentation copy of The City of Dreadful Night sent to him, De Vinne wrote (on his letterhead dated January 12, 1892 – see image) that “I have to thank you for your kind remembrance in the gift of the “City of Dreadful Night.” It is a very good bit of book-making. Allow me to ask your acceptance of our “Columbus Letter” sent by this mail.” Certainly a pair of pleasing nods from this master printer.
(DLB) Various editors. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vols. 9, 32, 34, 35, 55, 57, 123. Detroit, MI: A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Gale Research Co., 1984. In addition to articles on authors and publishers, entries in this multi-volume work have a listing on first British and American editions of an author’s publications. There is a remarkable omission in the series. Although the DLB has two volumes devoted entirely to “American Literary Publishing Houses, 1638-1899,” there is not one mention of Thomas Bird Mosher or The Mosher Press. Many small or obscure publishers are mentioned, and even the Roycrofters receive a lengthy section, but Mosher is left entirely out of the picture on American publishing.
Dobson, Alban. A Bibliography of the First Editions of Published and Privately Printed Books and Pamphlets by Austin Dobson. With a Preface by Sir Edmund Gosse, D. B. New York: Burt Franklin, 1970 (reprint of 1925 text), pp. 87-88. References the Daniel Press’s The Garland of Rachel (1902) and Austin Dobson’s Proverbs in Porcelain and Other Poems (1909).
Dunn, Charles. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in The Publisher’s Weekly. September 15, 1923, p. 466. Reprinted in Maine Library Bulletin. Vol. XII, No. 3, pp. 62-63. A portion of this recollection also appeared in The Literary Review for September 22, 1923 under the “Book Sales and Rare Books” section by Frederick M. Hopkins.
Ellis, Estelle, Caroline Seebohm, and Christopher Simon Sykes. At Home with Books — How Booklovers Live With and Care For Their Libraries. New York: Carol Southern Books, , p. [i]. This attractively color-illustrated book surprisingly pictures a slightly enlarged and color-tinted reproduction of Mosher’s personal library bookplate with the book’s half-title “At Home with Books” superimposed on the bookplate. Even today the Mosher bookplate is strongly associated with the formation of a fine personal library.
Esdaile, Arundel. Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of George Meredith, O.M. London: Walter T. Spencer, 1907 (Norwood Editions, 1979), pp. 35, 40, and 45. References the English Reprint Series edition of Modern Love (1891), the Old World Series edition of Modern Love (1898), and The Tale of Chloe (1899).
Essick, Robert N. A Troubled Paradise — William Blake’s Virgil Wood Engravings. With an afterword on collecting William Blake by John Windle. San Francisco: John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller, 1999, p. 45. Neither the “Bibliography to A Troubled Paradise” contained within this book, nor Robert Essick’s essay, point out that Mosher’s publication was the first to reproduce all seventeen of Blake’s engravings since their first appearance in Thornton’s The Pastorals of Virgil of 1821. The first republication of Blake’s wood engravings was a remarkable occurrence which Mosher was first to accomplish and for which he deserves at least minimal credit, and one in which Essick’s Troubled Paradise publication stands in succession. Even Geoffrey Keynes notes that “the woodcuts were first reproduced and published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine, in 1899” (The Illustrations of William Blake for Thornton’s Virgil... [The Nonsuch Press, 1937, p. 19]). And as a side note, A. G. B. Russell in The Engraving of William Blake (1912) notes that “the whole seventeen [woodcuts] were fairly well reproduced by the Unicorn Press [London, 1902]… They were also done, better, by Thomas B. Mosher, (Portland, Maine, U.S.A.).”
Everitt, Charles P. The Adventures of a Treasure Hunter. Boston: Little Brown Co, 1951, pp. 160-61. “The man from whom Hubbard probably stole most of his ideas about bookmaking (except for the ooze leather, which was original) was an interesting character of a very different type, Thomas Bird Mosher, of Portland, Maine. Mosher had a delicate, fin-de-siècle taste in literature, and introduced such people as Lionel Johnson and William Ernest Henley to America in dainty little volumes invariably printed from hand-set type on Van Gelder handmade paper…
Two things distinguished Mosher as a publisher, aside from his unerring though rather precious taste: he was probably the first in this country who was, and made other people, conscious of books as physical things; and he made a great deal of money doing it. He found a way of turning taste and personality into cash that has been the despair of “fine book lovers” in the trade ever since.”
(Ewelme) Kable, William S, compiler. The Ewelme Collection of Robert Bridges — A Catalogue. Bibliographical series, No. 2. [Columbia, SC]: University of South Carolina, Department of English, 1967, entries A4, C2 and D3. References The Garland of Rachael (1902), The Growth of Love (1894), and selections by Robert Bridges in Odes, Sonnets & Lyrics of John Keats (1922).
Foley, John. “Foreword” in Amphora, a Second Collection. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1926, pp. xiii-xviii. A lengthy quote is available from this work.
Foley, John L., ed. Shadow of the Perfect Rose: Collected Poems of Thomas S. Jones, Jr. With a Memoir and Notes by John L. Foley. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., , pp. xxiii-xxiv, xxvi. The newspaper man, John Foley, recalls that the “tie between publisher and author [Thomas Jones] was one of mutual admiration and cordiality.” A selection from a Jones to Mosher letter is quoted. It is also mentioned that Flora MacDonald Lamb, Mosher’s assistant, would continue to publish Jones’s work after Mosher’s death.
Forman, Henry Buxton. The Books of William Morris. New York: Burt Franklin, . (Originally published in 1897), pp. 193-94 and entry 152. References The Hollow Land (1897) and The Story of Amis & Amile (1896).
Forman, Maurice Buxton. A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of George Meredith. New York: Haskell House Publishers Ltd., 1971 (first published in 1922), pp. 31-32, and 95. References Modern Love (1891) and The Tale of Chloe (1899).
Franklin, Colin. The Ashendene Press. Dallas, TX: Bridwell Library — Southern Methodist University, 1986, pp. 14 and 16. These pages refer to Mosher’s Rubáiyát being sent to Hornby and his use of Mosher’s Old World Rubáiyát bibliography in the Ashendene edition. Actual correspondence from St. John Hornby to Mosher can be found in the Vilain/Wieck and Bishop collections.
Franklin, Colin, and John R. Turner. The Private Presses. Second Edition. Hants, England: Scolar Press, . p. 155. Though this work is devoted to the English private presses, brief mention is made of Mosher: “The mock-Morris manner of the Vincent Press appears more commonly in early American echoes of the printing revival. Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine, used it conspicuously in his edition of Arnold’s play Empedocles on Etna. The fashion had traveled east to west by slow boat and established itself as a fresh movement unworried by comparisons. Portland and Hammersmith were far apart in those days. Mosher printed in other ways over the years and made his own style of neat reprint, often taking his notions from the English private presses — sometimes pirating against anyone’s will, as in his edition of Garland of Rachael, sometimes making useful reprints of scarce works, as when he re-issued the Pre-Raphaelite journal from 1848, The Germ. Mosher reprints are quite pleasant little books now, but not a vital part of the printing renaissance.
Fredeman, William E. Pre-Raphaelitism — A Bibliocritical Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965. Numerous citations throughout this well known and excellent source on Pre-Raphaelite authors.
Fredeman, William E. See (PBSC).
(Free Library) Strouse, Norman H. “An Exhibition of Books from the Press of Thomas Bird Mosher–From the Collection of Norman H. Strouse. January 16th – March 12th, 1967. [Philadelphia, PA]: The Free Library of Philadelphia, 1967. This sixteen-page exhibition catalogue is a record of the first major exhibition of Mosher’s books in the Twentieth Century. The text of Strouse’s three-page introduction is basically taken from his own book on Mosher, The Passionate Pirate. There were 156 exhibits distributed among the thirteen exhibit cases, including many copies on Japan vellum (some from Mosher’s own library), twelve copies of Mosher publications on pure vellum, numerous letters from Mosher (including seven to Miss Emilié B. Grigsby), Richard Le Gallienne’s original autograph manuscript “Thomas Bird Mosher–An Appreciation,” and many Mosher books in fine bindings.
(Frost, Robert) The following books and articles include information on the relationship between Mosher and Robert Frost, and correspondence exchanged between the publisher and the poet:
Blumenthal, Joseph. Robert Frost and His Printers. Austin, TX: W. Thomas Taylor, , pp. 1, 4-7, and plate 2. Blumenthal discusses the Mosher/Frost correspondence, the printing of Frost’s poem, “Reluctance,” and Mosher’s tardy demurral to Frost’s request to print his first book in Mosher’s Lyric Garland series. The plate illustrates the Mosher catalogue cover and the page where that poem is printed.
Burch, Francis F. “Mosher and Baxter: Robert Frost’s Early Supporters” in The New England Quarterly — A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters. Vol. LXIV, No. 1. March 1991, pp. 179-181 (Also in American Notes and Queries — A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews. Vol. 3, No. 4. Lexington, KY, October 1990, pp. 179-181). Burch writes that “At one point, Mosher appears to be the only editor who expressed confidence in Frost’s talents and urged him to try to make a go of poetry.” He also notes Louis Untermeyer’s labeling of Mosher as an “arty publisher” (Untermeyer. The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer. New York: Holt, 1963, p. 18).
Crane, Joan St. C. Robert Frost — A Descriptive Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Published for the Associates of the University of Virginia Library by the University Press of Virginia, 1974. The entries included in this mammoth Frost collection include: A3.1 (Barrett copy 592719-Mosher’s copy of North of Boston, E44 (Mosher’s comment in an inscription: “Thomas Bird Mosher said Reluctance was all I had ever written and all I needed to have written.”), F16-16.6 (six ALS from Robert Frost to Thomas Bird Mosher, 1912-1915), and F35.1-2 (two ALS from Frost to Mosher’s assistant, Flora Lamb, extending permission to “use Reluctance” in the second Amphora, and Frost comments: “I have a special feeling for that poem from the way it bound me in friendship to Tom Mosher…” ) .
Gould, Jean. Robert Frost: The Aim Was Song. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, , pp. 107-108, 121, 123, 143-145, and 237. One of the more interesting insights is Mosher’s last minute request to publish Frost’s first book, just after Frost had committed himself to the British publisher, David Nutt. Gould also indicates Frost gave permission to publish the poem “Reluctance” in Mosher’s book catalogue. Gould also mentions the American publication of Frost and Mrs. Nutt’s annoyance with Mosher.
Lincoln, Franklin P. “Frost Had Great And Good Friend in Portland Publisher” in the Portland Press Herald. (four columns) Portland, ME, June 22, 1960, p. 8. This is a good general overview of Frost’s relationship with Mosher.
Myers, Jeffrey. Robert Frost. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996, p. 341. Mosher is mentioned at several places, but on p. 341 Myers describes a talk given by Frost at the National Poetry Festival in Washington, D. C. on October 23, 1962, during which Frost generously praised old friends who supported him through his career, including the Maine editor, Thomas Bird Mosher.
Nash, Ray. “The Poet and the Pirate” in New Colophon II, part 8. [February 1950], pp. 311-321. This is a very insightful article on Robert Frost’s friendship with Mosher, quoting the complete text of four Frost-Mosher letters, a selection from many at Dartmouth College Library. Nash also tells several stories Frost himself would tell about their curious relationship. The relationship was “curious” because in all their dealings with one another, Mosher never produced one book of Frost’s poetry. Yet Frost’s admiration for Mosher was certain, for he was to exclaim that Mosher was one of only three persons that stirred a biographical impulse in him.
Sergeant, Elizabeth Shepley. Robert Frost — The Trial by Existence. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960, pp. 98, 109-10, 112, 130, 139, 143-45, and 259. Most of these pages are quotes from the Frost to Mosher letters later printed in Thompson’s Selected Letters.
Thompson, Lawrance. Robert Frost — The Early Years 1874-1915. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, , pp. 389-90, 401-03, 421, 428 and 591. This work contains portions of letters from Frost to Mosher along with some commentary surrounding the purchase of the poem “Reluctance,” the publishing of Frost’s first book by the firm of David Nutt & Company in London, and Frost’s comments on Ezra Pound to Mosher. “Reluctance” was the only poem of Frost’s Mosher ever published, and only in his 1913 catalogue. After Mosher’s death, the Mosher Press reprinted the same poem in the second Amphora (1926) and the Introduction to Dartmouth Verse (1925).
Thompson, Lawrance, ed. Selected Letters of Robert Frost. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964, pp. 46-47, 55-56, 70, 73-75, 83-84, 96-97, 109, 119, 129, 137, and 139. Ten letters from Frost to Mosher are quoted. As part of a short introduction to Frost’s February 19, 1912 letter to Mosher, Thompson portrays Mosher as, “a picturesque gourmet, dilettante, and book collector, with a taste for blue-china, poetry, fine printing, and pornography…” An interesting remark on Mosher’s books appears in a letter (4 April 1913) from Frost to his former Pinkerton Academy student and later newspaper reporter in Canada, John Bartlett, in which Frost proclaims, “I had hardly signed this contract [for A Boy’s Will, and other books] when I had requests for a book from two American publishers, one a most flattering thing from Mosher of Portland, whose letterpress is considered perhaps the most beautiful in the States.”–p.70. In his letters to Mosher, Frost seems to try to tantalize the American publisher with his successes in England. Mosher apparently does bite from time to time, but Frost writes back that Mosher’s requests to publish Frost are too late. This little cat and mouse game occasionally surfaces in Frost’s letters. One such letter revealing what Americans thought of Mosher appears in the Frost to Mosher letter (dated 27 July, 1914) in which Frost mentions, “I have thought of you in connection with my new book several times since its appearance. It has done so well here that I should almost venture to send you a copy in spite of your well-known predilection for the manner of the nineties.” –p.129. These letters from Robert Frost to Mosher are often quoted in publications on Frost, the most recent occurrence being in Walter Jost’s “Lessons in the Conversation That We Are: Robert Frost’s ‘Death of the Hired Man’ ” (College English. Vol. 58, No. 4. April 1996, p. 413).
Walsh, John Evangelist. Into My Own — The English Years of Robert Frost. New York: Grove Press, 1988, pp. 45, 75, 117, and 153. Includes four references to Mosher and quotes from letters mainly with regard to Frost’s projection of his importance. For example, Frost writes to Mosher: “You are not going to make the mistake that Pound makes of assuming my simplicity is that of the untutored child. I am not undesigning.”–p. 117.
Weintraub, Stanley. The London Yankees. Portraits of American Writers and Artists in England 1894-1914. New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, , pp. 304-305, 311, 314, 316, 317, 318, and 362. The references to Mosher are all in connection to Robert Frost.
* End of Robert Frost material *
Fuller, Marion Cobb. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Maine Library Bulletin. Vol. XII, No. 3. [January 1927], pp. 62-65. Mostly quotes from the Charles Dunn’s article.
Garland, Bruce. “Checklist of George Gissing’s Appearances in Mosher Press Publication” in The Gissing Newsletter. Vol. XII, No. 1 (January 1976), pp. 19-21. This checklist was listed in Michael Collie’s George Gissing–A Bibliographical Study. Winchester, England: St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1985, p.154 (No further reference to Mosher appears in Collie’s bibliography). The opening of Garland’s checklist states: “Thomas Bird Mosher chose the books he published with loving care. An occasional piracy now and then seemed justified when one beheld the end product — a privately printed book, simply beautiful and beautifully simple. Gissing was among those authors honored by Mosher’s selection.” –p.19. Garland’s checklist covers books by Gissing in the Mosher corpus up to 1928, books containing references to or quotations from books by Gissing up to 1926 (basically in the Amphora and Mosher’s catalogues), and Gissing’s appearances in The Bibelot.
[Gerstley]. Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Catalogue of the Henry E. Gerstley Stevenson Collection, the Stevenson Section of the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists, and Items from Other Collections in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections of the Princeton University Library. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1971. Contains numerous entries to Mosher’s publications.
Glaister, Geoffrey Ashall. Glaister’s Glossary of the Book. Second edition. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1979, p. 333. “Mosher Press: established as a publishing imprint in 1891 at Portland, Maine, by Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923)… From 1894 to 1914 he published as ‘gift books’ a series of anthologies called ‘The Bibelot’. The books he published were small, usually 12mo, printed mostly on Van Gelder paper, and prettily tricked out with decorative title pages, slip cases and limitation notices. They were made to be sold cheaply, which his critics claimed could only be done because he pirated English texts by authors who had failed to register them in Washington. Andrew Lang, Francis Thompson, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Bridges were but a few of those affected. The British trade referred to him as the ‘Portland Pirate’.
Mosher argued with reason that what he printed was unknown in America since others were unaware of it or considered it unprofitable to publish, and he certainly extended the reputation there of the writers he chose. By 1923 he had issued some 800 editions. After his death Flora Lamb ran the Press for his widow until 1938. In 1941 it was sold to a Boston bookshop.”
Gomme, Laurence J. “The ‘Pirate of Portland’ — Thomas Bird Mosher” in the Maine Digest. Vol. 2, No. 1. [Fall-Winter 1967], pp. 88-93. A brief version of this article also appears in the Maine Digest. Vol. I, No. 4. [Summer 1967], pp. 105-106. Though mostly a general overview, Gomme does mention a few things of interest, including the fact that as proprietor of The Little Book-Shop Around the Corner, he felt privileged to be an agent for the Mosher Books in New York City from 1909-1917. He also mentions that Mosher sent him a letter about how the piracy controversy in England helped sell books. In one letter he sent Gomme, he relates, “Since the letter of Richards [the British publisher, Grant Richards, who came to Mosher’s defense] was printed I had several letters from England, and they are continuing to come in so that it was really very good advertising.” –p.92
Gomme, Laurence J. “The Little Book-Shop Around the Corner” in The Colophon New Series — A Quarterly for Bookmen. Vol. II, No. 4. New York: Pynson Printers Inc., Autumn 1937, pp. 574-575. Gomme used some of this material for his article later on in 1967 in the Maine Digest (see previous entry). A lengthy quote from this work is available.
Gordon, Ruth I. Paul Elder: Bookseller-Publisher (1897-1917): A Bay Area Reflection. Unpublished dissertation. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, 1977, p. 36. Gordon explains the exclusive place and high regard for the Mosher books at Paul Elder’s establishment: “In this room, which was the roofed-over former backyard, one cabinet had the jewelry of a local craftsman, Ferdinand Heiduska, as well as the jewelry of W. S. Hadaway of London. These objects were displayed on Japanese brocades and ooze leather, a substance with a suede-like finish that also was popular for book binding at the time. It was there, too, that the books of reprint publisher Thomas B. Mosher were shown, an indication of Elder’s high regard for these books. Elder & Shepard, and later Elder alone, were the West-Coast agents for Mosher.”
Green, Roger Lancelyn. Andrew Lang — A Critical Biography with a Short-Title Bibliography of the Works of Andrew Lang. London: Edmund Ward, , pp. 246 and 248. This Oxford scholar includes only three entries on Mosher’s publications of Lang, all being selections which appeared in The Bibelot: the 1903 appearance of “Lyrics,” the 1908 inclusion of “Three Poets of French Bohemia,” and the 1910 entry entitled “Does Ridicule Kill?” In all three entries Green records the American publisher of each work: “Pirate Edition by Moscher [sic].” None of the book forms of Lang’s works appears here, and one can only speculate as to why Green consistently refers to Mosher as “Moscher.”
Greif, Martin. The Gay Book of Days: An Evocatively Illustrated Who’s Who of Who Is, Was, May Have Been, Probably Was, and Almost Certainly Seems to Have Been Gay During the Past 5,000 Years. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, Inc. (A Main Street Press Book), , p. 18. The following appears under the entry for Marsden Hartley, the early American modern abstract painter: “Among Hartley’s acquaintances were a telephone directory of contemporary homosexuals, including William Sloan Kennedy, the biographer of Longfellow, Whittier, and Holmes; Thomas Bird Mosher, the publisher of Whitman and one of the earliest American publishers of Oscar Wilde; Horace Traubel, socialist editor of the Conservator and Whitman’s secretary; Peter Doyle, Whitman’s trolley conductor lover; Gertrude Stein; the American painter Charles Demuth; writer and publisher Robert McAlmon… Although few seem to know it, Hartley was also a fine poet…” Though Mosher had several close friendships with men throughout his life, including Horace Traubel, William Marion Reedy, W. Irving Way, and an early relationship with Leopold Lobsitz, there is no corroborating evidence for Mosher’s inclusion in The Gay Book of Days. In fact, there is a vast amount of evidence to prove the contrary. The key to Mosher’s contact with Hartley probably resided in their mutual love of poetry.
Gress, Edmund G. The Art & Practice of Typography. New York: Oswald Publishing Co., 1917. Gress shows a title-page from McClure’s 1903 publication, Records of Shelley, Byron and the Author. The elongated anchor and dolphin device is the same as used by Mosher in his publications The Runes of Woman (1915), In Memoriam (1920) and on many of his catalogues, especially those after 1917.
Grigsby, Emilié B [Busbey]. “The Art and Literary Collections of Emilie B. Grigsby of New York City.” New York: The Anderson Auction Company, January 22 and 29, 1912. This two-volume catalogue is divided into “Part I: Objects of Art” and “Part II: Books and Carbon Prints”. Miss Grigsby collected Nineteenth Century authors, purchased fine bindings including those from the Doves Bindery and Sarah Prideaux, and assembled collections of several of the English private presses including Kelmscott, Essex House and the Vale Press. A substantial number of the Mosher books on Japan vellum were sold to Miss Grigsby by Mosher himself who first assembled a complete collection of his books up to 1897 and thereafter continued to supply Japan vellum copies of all his newly published books.
Several of the copies listed in this sale either were inscribed or had association letters inserted, e.g., there are several letters cited from the John Addington Symonds biographer, Horatio F. Brown, to Mosher (see Grigsby 1158, 1172 & 1180). Miss Grigsby was also one of the few people who ever co-published a book with Mosher, a limited edition of only ten copies of the 1902 Rubaiyat printed on pure vellum. She also purchased many of Mosher’s other limited editions on pure vellum, usually acquiring copy #1 of each very limited edition.
Grigsby owned several items which had a bearing on the Mosher piracy dispute including several of Mosher’s Andrew Lang imprints with letters from Edmund C. Stedman relating to these publications, and a whole portfolio on the Mosher and Lang controversy over the Aucassin and Nicolete piracy. This 3/4 blue morocco portfolio includes autograph letters from Lang, Mosher, and David Nutt (Lang’s London publisher), the original autograph manuscripts of Mr. Mosher’s side of the question called “An open Letter to Mr. Andrew Lang” (14 pp. dated June 26, 1896, with an opening quote from Emerson: “The profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until an equal mind and heart finds and publishes it.”), and the ALS of Mr. Hatch (L. W. Hatch, not Benton Hatch, the Mosher bibliographer) who published a criticism of the Mosher publication. There are six items in the portfolio, representing about twenty-eight manuscript pages (see Grigsby 688, 690, and 691). This portfolio collection is now at Arizona State University (Box 2, F1). There are several large lots of Mosher Books (829-839, 872-873, 1042-43, 1050, 1134, 1185, 1200-1201) not separately cited in the bibliography. For biographical information on Emilie B. Grigsby, see Bruccoli’s The Fortunes of Mitchell Kennerley, pp. 57-58, 75-77.
(Grolier). The Lengthened Shadow… An Address By Norman H. Strouse at an Opening of an Exhibition of Modern Fine Printing at the Grolier Club April 19, 1960. New York: Philip C. Duschnes, 1960, pp. 15-18 and p. 36. As Norman Strouse mentioned in his opening remarks, the majority of the books presented in this exhibit were of a sort, “edging in spirit toward the amateur, and in professionalism somewhat toward the commercial. We might say that these are the presses representing that labor of love that also make a living. If they are not ‘private,’ they are at least very personal enterprises… The presses which seem to capture the special fancy of most discriminating collectors of fine printing are those which are as Emerson defined an institution, ‘the lengthened shadow of one man.’ ” Strouse devoted several pages to Mosher, and Mosher books were exhibited along with fifty-five other categories of presses, club publications, and individual printers and designers totaling 117 entries. Three Mosher books were selected: A.E.’s Homeward Songs by the Way (1895) with the Bruce Roger’s designs, Rossetti’s Hand and Soul (1898), and Whitman’s Memories of President Lincoln (1912), all listed on p.36.
Groome, Francis Hindes. Edward FitzGerald: An Aftermath. With Miscellanies in Verse and Prose. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, . This is a reprint using Mosher’s 1902 edition.
Gully, Anthony Lacy. “Scholarly Resources: Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian Publisher Collections of the Charles Trumbell Haydon Library, Arizona State University” in The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies. New Series 5. (Spring 1996), pp. 95-97. The article deals with Arizona State University’s Pre-Raphaelite collection and three large collections of “innovative” Victorian presses: the Vale Press, the Edwin Gilcher Collection of George Moore (though it’s difficult to see how this collection ranks as a Victorian press), and the Mosher Press. In the last two paragraphs of the article (p. 97), Gully mentions that the Mosher collection was formed from the Root collection and members of the Mosher family “whose ancestor established this notorious press.” He gives a brief synopsis of the content and quantity of Mosher’s publishing program and notes that “the Mosher Press was the first large private press in America.” Professor Nicholas Salerno is credited with being instrumental in attracting the “Mosher Family Bequest” to Arizona State University.
(Haberly, Loyd) Loyd Haberly — A Centennial Exhibition. Madison, NJ: Florham-Madison Campus Library [Keepsake printed at the Bullnettle Press], March 1996, p. [12-13]. Rhodes scholar, poet, printer, typographer and artist (Seven Acres Press, Gregynog), and finally dean at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Loyd Haberly wrote “My last press –now in the Florham-Madison Campus Library– was bought at a Boston sale of the effects of Thomas Bird Mosher, the Portland, Maine, printer who had earned the undying enmity of Robert Bridges by pirating his preciously-guarded sonnets.” Haberly’s remarks (pp. [7-13]) were delivered on the occasion of the presentation of his Stansbury Press to the Florham-Madison Campus Library in 1972, and are reprinted from The Printing Art (London), Vol. I, No. 3. Autumn 1973.
Hart, James. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. With Revisions and Additions by Phillip W. Leininger. Sixth edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 449. “Mosher, Thomas Bird (1852-1923), Maine publisher, whose Mosher Books, a series begun in 1891, were attractively printed, cheap editions of great works of literature little known in the U.S. The Bibelot (1895-1915) was a monthly reprint of prose and poetry from obscure but significant works, which both in selection and in printing were marked by his usual good taste.”
Hatch, Benton L, compiler and editor. A Check List of the Publications of Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland Maine *MDCCCXCI MDCCCCXXIII* Amherst, MA: Printed at the Gehenna Press for the University of Massachusetts Press, 1966. A pioneering effort and the primary bibliography for many years. Finely printed by The Gehenna Press with tipped-in title page facsimiles. Entries are arranged chronologically by year of publication. This work should be consulted for extensive details on pagination. There is an excellent biographical essay on pp. 9-39 by Ray Nash (unfortunately Nash does not give the location sources for three critical documents cited or quoted at length), and a comprehensive index. This is a prime source for some information contained in the new bibliography Thomas Bird Moser–Pirate Prince of Publishers (1998). Additions to Hatch were included in the ‘Addenda & Corrigenda’ which appeared in the Temple exhibition catalogue by Jean-François Vilain and Philip R. Bishop.
Hornung, Clarence P. and Fridolf Johnson. 200 Years of American Graphic Art: A Retrospective of the Printing Arts and Advertising since the Colonial Period. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1976, p. 119. “The revival of interest in book design paralleled the general awakening in aesthetics. The turn of the century may well be called the “Bibelot Period,” charmingly exemplified by the dainty books printed at the press of Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923), whose fastidious taste in literature complimented his judicious use of Caslon type, wide margins, and handmade paper.” The authors held diametrically opposite views on Hubbard and the Roycrofters.
(Hoyle, John Thomas, comp.) In Memoriam Elbert and Alice Hubbard. East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, [c. 1915], p. 66. Following the death of Elbert and Alice Hubbard on the Lusitania (May 7, 1915), the Roycrofters published this memorial tribute (“Collected and arranged, secundum artem, by John T. Hoyle” and with a preface signed by Elbert Hubbard, II) listing 328 contributors which included letters from people like Robert H. Ingersoll, Richard LeGallienne, William Marion Reedy, and Mitchell Kennerley. One contributor was Thomas Bird Mosher who wrote: “The friendship that Elbert Hubbard had for me, and which it is possible I may not have as deeply considered as I should, was none the less something not overlooked and which now, when these words to you can mean nothing to him, was real and lasting. Some few of his letters I have before me, the earliest being dated December Second, Eighteen Hundred Ninety-five. I shall place it with a copy of his first volume received by me so many years ago. I well remember the impression that his “Message to Garcia” produced not only upon the millions but upon a single individual, myself. It is one of the minor masterpieces, but it is a masterpiece that I hope will go on making its appeal for many a year to come.”
Hume, Robert Ernest. The Thirteen Principal Upanishads Translated from the Sanskrit. With an Outline of the Philosophy of the Upanishads and an Annotated Bibliography. Second edition, revised. London, New York: Oxford University Press — Humphrey Milford, 1934, pp. 461-465. Mention to Mosher’s edition is in Section I on “Translations of Collected Upanishads.”
[Humphry] Weber, Carl J. Fitzgerald’s Rubáiyát — Centennial Edition. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Carl J. Weber and with a check-list of the Rubáiyát Collection in the Colby College Library compiled by James Humphry III. Waterville, Maine: Colby College Press, 1959, entries 24, 27, 86, and 115 .
Huntress, Keith G. “Thomas Bird Mosher: A Bibliographical and Literary Study.” Unpublished dissertation. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1942. The major contribution of this 211 page dissertation is its second chapter “The Bibelot” on pp. 43-136 (the others being a “Biography” from pp. l-42, “The Mosher Books” from pp. 137-84, and a “Conclusion” from pp. 173-81). This still remains the only extensive study ever done of The Bibelot. There is also a brief appendix (182-85), and a chronological title list of The Bibelot and the Mosher books from pp. 186-208. Pages 209-211 are a general bibliography. Huntress notes that “Mosher should be known as the first publisher in this country to bring to the business of printing something of the feeling of the artist… He is also important as the printer of first editions of AE, Swinburne, Fiona Macleod, and Walter Pater”–p. 176.
Hutner, Martin and Jerry Kelly. A Century for the Century — Finely Printed Books from 1900 to 1999. New York: The Grolier Club, 1999, p. XII, and XXVII (Entry No. 8, including accompanying illustration). “Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) began his career as publisher and printer in Portland, Maine, in 1891, the same year as the founding of the Kelmscott Press. Mosher had had several careers before settling down to publishing at the age of thirty-nine. Unlike the works of the Kelmscott Press, Mosher’s books were mostly small, although also well-designed and well-printed, and available to a larger public. Occasionally, he would produce deluxe volumes in limited editions such as the Calvert [Ten Spiritual Designs by Edward Calvert] in 1913 (no. 8). In a career that lasted until 1923, Mosher produced over four hundred books of consistent quality.” Of course Mosher was never a “printer” and it is curious that the authors never referenced the newer bibliography on Mosher: Thomas Bird Mosher–Pirate Prince of Publishers (1998). Nevertheless, it is good to see that one of Mosher’s books deservedly ranks as one of the best hundred books produced in the last century.
Inland Printer, 1933. Reprinted in The Mosher Books catalogue, 1935-36, p. . ” There are some names that will always stand out in the history of printing in New England, such as Stephen Day [sic, Daye], the first printer in Cambridge; Isaiah Thomas, the great printer-publisher of Worcester, and the publishers of the works of the poets, authors, and historians of the last century. Among the later notables there should be included one whose name is not so widely known, as his works had a limited sale. I refer to T. B. Mosher, of Portland, Maine. Mr. Mosher was a bookseller who edited and published “Belle Lettres” on his own account. He had discriminating literary taste, to which he added ability in planning formats of his books. Every collector of fine printing in the United States should acquire some representative Mosher works.”
Jacob, Gertrude, compiler. “Bertrand Russell, An Essay Toward a Bibliography” in Bulletin of Bibliography… Vol. 13. No. 10. Boston: The F.W. Faxon Company, September 1926-December 1929, p. 198. The citation is to Mosher’s first edition of Bertrand Russell’s A Free Man’s Worship (1923).
(Japan Paper Company) “Hand Made Paper.” Numbered portfolio. New York: Japan Paper Company, [ca. 1913-1916]. The Japan Paper Company, with offices in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, was America’s leading importer of hand-made papers for private editions, de luxe books, club books, and a whole host of others book arts needs. This company’s large client portfolio (15″ x 11″) of loosely inserted material was distributed to printers, book binderies, and others concerned with the printed, bound, or calligraphed page, and was updated on an ongoing basis. Some of the most interesting inserts are the slim bound booklets with titles like Japanese Shadow Paper; Momoyama Papers; and Italian Hand Made End and Side Paper. There are numerous price lists for soft Japan papers, Italian Fabriano cover paper, French “Arches” papers, Imperial Japan velum, parchments & vellums, Kelmscott “Hammer & Anvil” paper, and many, many more. Though direct evidence of Mosher’s use of this particular company has not been found, the samples and availability through Boston and New York strongly suggest his use of this company in selecting his papers (Even if he acquired his papers elsewhere in America, it speaks to the ready availability of such stock to the artful minded publisher). It provided a sort of one-stop-shopping, so to speak. For example, all the papers used throughout Mosher’s Venetian Series are neatly mounted and numbered in “Italian Hand Made End and Side Paper.” In the “Japanese Shadow Paper” booklet one finds the endpapers in The Amphora, and on the cover of Tam O’Shanter. In “Momoyama Papers” we find the cloudy grey paper used on the 1920 In Praise of Omar. The portfolio does not include Dutch Van Gelder paper.
Jefferies, Richard. See Miller, George.
(Jenkinson) The Richard C. Jenkinson Collection of Books — Chosen to Show the Work of the Best Printers. Newark, NJ: The Public Library by Order of its Board of Trustees, 1925, entries 94 and 246. This is an exhibition catalogue commemorating a major gift of modern finely printed books Jenkinson gave to the Newark Library. Included are Kelmscott, Officina Bodoni, Bruce Rogers designed books, Merrymount Press, De Vinne, Chiswick, small private presses from England, and a variety of others. Included with this august company are Mosher’s The Germ, and Tristram of Lyonesse.
(Jenkinson II) The Richard C. Jenkinson Collection of Books — Chosen to Show the Work of the Best Printers. Book II. Newark, NJ: The Public Library by Order of its Board of Trustees, 1929. This is a continuation of the first volume which appeared in 1925 and contains numerous entries of Mosher books. It includes a dozen books from The Brocade Series, three titles from the Reprints from The Bibelot Series, Love in the Valley from the Golden Text Series, and four books from the Miscellaneous Series: The Heptalogia, The House of Usna, The Silence of Amor, and William Blake XVII Designs to Thornton’s Virgil.
Johnson, Bruce E. “More Than Words” in Country Living. Vol. 20, No. 2. New York: The Hearst Corporation, February 1997, p. 40. Johnson’s article (on pp. 38, 40, and 63) centers on Hubbard and The Roycrofters, but mentions Mosher as one of the private presses of Arts and Crafts Books in America: “The Arts and Crafts Movement found many dedicated followers in America. Between 1895 and 1910 more than 50 private presses were established to produce handmade, artistic books. In Portland, Maine, Thomas Mosher published limited editions of Arts & Crafts books of the finest design. In some instances, such as his 1897 edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Mosher printed a mere 100 copies on the highest quality Japan vellum, a stiff, long-fibered paper recognized for its exceptional printing capabilities.”
Johnston, Paul. Biblio * Typographica — A Survey of Contemporary Fine Printing Style. New York: Covici, Friede, 1930, pp. 5 and 15. “Both D. B. Updike and Bruce Rogers owe some debt to [William] Morris, yet their attention had already been directed to the art in books when they first heard of him. Thomas Bird Mosher, the American disciple of Pickering, and Pickering himself were probably as much of a source to them as was Morris… Thomas Bird Mosher set out to publish a series of books, quite obviously with Pickering’s editions in mind.” –p. 5.
(Jones, Dan Burne). American Book Collector. Vol. XIV, No. 10. (Special Rockwell Kent Number) Summer 1964, p. 41. This entry appears along with several others appending an article by Rockwell Kent on the Asgaard Press, but this portion is clearly by Dan Burne Jones who follows with a list of books illustrated by Kent. The specific entry is worded: “Tristan and Iseult, 1923. Small octavo, the Mosher edition of 1922, title p. and binding removed, new title p. with wood engraving by Kent, printed at the Lakeside Press under the supervision of Wm. A. Kittredge, and bound there in full maroon niger with binding design by Kent stamped in gold. Given as a gift to Frances Lee Kent [Kent’s second wife].”
Jones, Louise Seymour. The Human Side of Bookplates. Los Angeles, CA: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1951, p. 132. Brief mention is made of Mosher in the company of other fine printers and publishers: “Then there are the master printers, men who with stars in their eyes design and create books and handle them tenderly: William Morris, Daniel Berkeley Updike, Tom Mosher, Hal Trovillion, John Johnson, John Henry Nash, Ward Ritchie, Bruce Rogers, all hard-working creative book lovers and not a dilly-dally aficiona do-da-do in the lot!”
Jordan-Smith, Paul. I Salute the Silver Horse — The Story of the Trovillion Private Press, America’s Oldest Private Press Whereonto is Added an Account of Its Founding by Hal W. Trovillion. Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press at Sign of Silver Horse, 1958, pp. 6 and 7. Paul Jordan-Smith relates a story about his education at Lombard College in Galesburg, IL. It was there that he met Carl Sandburg’s teacher, guide and inspirer, Philip Green Wright. Wright taught economics and ran a private press he called the Asgaard Press. Jordan-Smith recalls how Wright, “…tried to inspire in his students creative activity. He spoke often of William Morris and Cobden-Sanderson. He showed his students the dainty little books from the private press of Thomas Bird Mosher and told them that if a book was worth reading it was worth keeping, and, to that end it should be well printed on durable paper. He praised the small book as something to be carried about through the day as an amulet against evil.” Influenced by Wright, Jordan-Smith began collecting “those memorable little pocket books printed by Mosher.” Hal Trovillion was also influenced by the Mosher Press and often related how those books became his model for printing (see Schauinger, Herman).
Kaplan, Wendy, editor and contributor. “The Art that is Life”: The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920. Boston: Little, Brown and Company (Boston Museum of Fine Arts), 1987, pp. 294-95. Susan Otis Thompson prepared the section on graphics. Entry No. 156 shows a copy of Empedocles on Etna: A Dramatic Poem by Matthew Arnold. This is the Vilain/Wieck copy specially hand-colored, but pictured in black and white in The Art that is Life.
Keith, Elizabeth. “Thomas Bird Mosher: Internationally Appreciated Publisher and Lover of Books — Once a Resident of Portland, Maine” in Sun Up, Maine’s Own Magazine. June 1927, pp. 5, 42-44. This is a general overview of Mosher’s life and work as a publisher, and one which Mosher’s assistant, Flora MacDonald Lamb, enjoyed as a tribute to Mosher.
Kennerley, Mitchell. “Recollections of Thomas B. Mosher” in the New York Evening Telegram. September 5, 1923. Included in Kennerley’s discussion is: “Mr. Mosher made popular in America such authors as Walter Pater, Andrew Lang, Arthur Symons, Maurice Hewlett and a host of others many years before they would have otherwise become known… there is no doubt that he did more for the cause of pure literature in America than any other publisher America ever had.” Kennerley, who started as an assistant to John Lane, was a New York City publisher, and later, director of the American auction house, the Anderson Galleries. He was also a close friend of Mosher’s.
Keynes, Geoffrey. A Bibliography of William Blake. New York: The Grolier Club, 1921 (Kraus reprint of 1969), pp. 279 and 300. The particular references are to Mosher’s 1914 reprint of the Songs of Innocence (Keynes 163) and to XVII Designs to Thorton’s Virgil (Keynes 223).
Koopman, Harry Lyman. “Modern American Printing” in The American Mercury, May 1924, pp. 25-28. Reprinted in Amphora: A Second Collection, pp. 98-99. This essay was read before members of the Grolier Club in 1924 and included: “We may recall with satisfaction that one of the leaders in American fine printing issued his first book also in 1891, and that, save for a single volume which was frankly an imitation, Thomas B. Mosher published his charming and significant books all on classical lines, regardless of the weight of ink and the startling types that were being employed by other American book-designers. So our discussion of modern fine printing in America may well begin with the work of Mosher.
He was not a printer in the sense of owning a press, but he worked with printers to get the results that he desired. He followed classical lines in type, paper, ink and press work, and every book of his was a genuine composition. His publications varied in size from the impressive quarto edition of Burton’s Kasidah to the tiny quarto leaflet of John Hay’s In Praise of Omar. Mr. Mosher’s printing, or rather book-design, cannot be separated from his publishing, for which he deserves no less credit. It was his service to his countrymen to introduce to them a selection of choice but not popular literature that was an excellent corrective of provincialism and of content with the commonplace. To each book chosen by him for publication he endeavored to give an ideal dress. In thought he was something of a come-outer, but in printing he was a decided conservative, so that even his innovations were always in the interest of the finest elements of the old order.” Koopman was an author, librarian / bibliographer at Brown University, and fellow member of the Grolier Club.
Koopman, Harry Lyman. The Booklover and His Books. Boston: The Boston Book Company, 1917, p. 137. Koopman mentions, “…we can imagine a popular series that should deserve the name of tribute typography. Certain recent editions of the German classics, perhaps, come nearer to justifying such a claim than any contemporary British or American work. In more expensive publications some of Mr. Mosher’s work, like his quarto edition of Burton’s Kasîdah, merits a place in this class… [and] the work of the Kelmscott Press obviously falls within this class.” Dr. Koopman was then librarian of Brown University.
Kramer, Sidney. A History of Stone & Kimball and Herbert S. Stone & Co. Chicago, IL: Norman W. Forgue, 1940, pp. 26 & 40. Brief mention is made of Mosher advertising his reprint series in The Chap-Book. Kramer also notes that “The Bibelot derived directly from the eclectic publications with which ‘The Portland Pirate’ had begun, in 1891, his publishing career, and Stone & Kimball were always polite to Captain Mosher.”
Kraus, Joe W. A History of Way & Williams… Philadelphia: George S. MacManus Co., 1984, p. 17. Brief mention is made of W. Irving Way writing, “a long biographical introduction for the Thomas B. Mosher edition of The Rubaiyat in 1898″ which leaves the reader with the impression that it was only with the 1898 edition that Irving Way’s biographical introduction begins. Way’s biographical sketch of FitzGerald first appeared in the 1895 Old World Edition of the Rubáiyát and continued, in updated form, throughout subsequent editions until the tenth and last edition of 1911.
Krishnamurti, Dr. G., compiler. Women Writers of the 1890’s. With an introduction by Margaret Drabble. London: Henry Sotheran Limited [and the 1890s Society], 1991, pp. 44, 88, and 113. Three entries in this Sotheran exhibit were Mosher publications: (1) Michael Field’s Long Ago, 1897, (2) Rosamund Marriott Watson’s Tares: A Book of Verse, 1906, and A. Mary F. Robinson’s An Italian Garden; A Book of Songs, 1897. The above date of 1906 is not a misprint. For some inexplicable reason Krishnamurti included the 1906 “Lyric Garland”, rather than Mosher’s 1898 “Reprint from The Bibelot” edition. Krishnamurti was responsible for an 1890s exhibition eighteen years earlier compiled in catalogue form: The Eighteen-Nineties — A Literary Exhibition September 4-21, 1973. London: National Book League and the Francis Thompson Society, 1973. Mosher receives no mention whatsoever, either in the catalogue and in its supplement, but with the advent of Women Writers of the 1890’s, we have several nods in Mosher’s direction, certainly a recognition of Mosher’s role in the 1890’s literary movement and its authors.
Labbie, Edith. “Mosher Books Were Works of Art” in the Lewiston Evening Journal (Magazine Section). Lewiston, ME, March 17. 1979, pp. 1 and 8. Though this well illustrated newspaper feature article in the magazine section covers much familiar territory, there are a few things which add to Mosher’s story. Labbie mentions that some booklovers actually referred to Portland as “Mosher Town.” The article draws heavily from an interview of Mosher written in 1904 by Alice Frost Lord, then staff member of the Lewiston Evening Journal magazine. The underlying philosophy of Mosher’s style of printing and book design and his modus operandi as a publisher, which Lord appealingly labels a ‘Love Affair with Publishing,’ is set forth with clarity and candor in Mosher’s response to one of the questions Lord put to him in the interview: “…I have never done much with illustrations. Thus far [up to 1904] the lettering of my title pages has been drawn by New York artists, but hereafter type will suffice for I believe it is more simple and truly artistic. My style of typography is open to anybody from the types anyone can secure.” Mosher also told Miss Lord that “the silk ribbons for book marks, I purchased in England.” A 1979 interview with Francis M. O’Brien, one of Maine’s outstanding booksellers, is also included in this issue in which he reveals he was asked by one of Mosher’s sons to “come out and help appraise it [the library].”
(Lamb Typescript of The Mosher Books). This twelve-page typescript, plus title (about 10″ x 11 1/2″) is located at Dartmouth College and was probably prepared by Flora Lamb up to 1928, the date of its last entry. Flora Lamb was Mosher’s long-time assistant who managed The Mosher Press after Mosher’s death (1923) until 1941. The typescript’s cover title is “A bibliographical list of the Mosher Books compiled by Miss Flora MacDonald Lamb,” and the final page bears the signature of Steven Barabas (an assistant?). In the 1924 Mosher Books catalogue, Flora Lamb wrote that :
We have been asked by lovers of the work of Thomas Bird Mosher if a Bibliography of The Mosher Books was not to be issued. This was something Mr. Mosher had in mind to do, and we have all the material necessary for the publishing of such a volume. It has been suggested that through the medium of our catalogue we invite subscriptions to a limited edition, with a portrait and memorial sketch, on Van Gelder paper; also a few copies on Japan Vellum. If sufficient interest is manifested in having a Bibliography, we shall be pleased to proceed with its preparation and have it ready for publication next season.
Apparently there was not enough interest expressed, and the preparation of a Mosher bibliography remained on the back burner. Another typescript, with much of the same information, was assembled a few years later by Oliver Sheean (probably under Lamb’s direction). The Lamb typescript should be used in tandem with the Sheean typescript of Mosher’s books, because it does vary from the Sheean typescript on occasion, and in some instances further helps to resolve questions on limitation, paper used, or binding materials. The Lamb typescript includes:
(1) the first appearance, in chronological order, of each Mosher book (pages 1-6) along with series and size information
(2) the books printed on pure vellum along with size, type of vellum for the leaves and for the binding, and a frequency chart by year and series (p. 7)
(3) books privately printed for T. B. Mosher (p.8)
(4) a frequency chart showing the number of books printed by series and year (p.9)
(5) a list, in chronological order, of privately printed books beginning in 1898 and ending in 1928 (pp. 10-12)
Langstaff, Eleanor de Selms. Andrew Lang. Boston: Twayne Publishers (Division of G. K. Hall & Co.), , p. 106. A brief reference is made to Mosher and his piracy of Lang’s work, though the information may be a little misleading. For example, reference is made to Mosher including “Fifty-five selections from Lang,” and to the “Bibelot series, a twenty one-volume…” The Bibelot was a magazine, and not a series. I am not able to duplicate the high count of Lang’s fifty-five selections. As an interesting tid-bit, there appears a phrase comparing Mosher to “the Robin Hood of publishing.” Actually, this phrase first appeared in The Sketch for September 2, 1896 (and again in The Critic for October 10, 1896): “The eulogist of St. Andrews grows so angry as to speak of this piratical publisher as a ‘kind of noble publishing Robin Hood’ ” and four times reuses the ballade line: “This [or The] literary Robin Hood. ”
Lawson, Alexander S. A Printer’s Almanac — The Heritage of the Printer. Volume II. Philadelphia: North American Publishing Company, 1966, pp. 179-180. The entry on Mosher is under his birth date of “September 11”. The article mentions: “In England, William Morris was ready to embark on his own effort to promote the printer’s craft, although his route was not at all that of Mosher, whose desire was to make literature readily available in tasteful format at a low price, while Morris catered to the purse of the wealthy book collector.” An additional remark of interest is “Bruce Rogers, who always disliked the American propensity to match any individual with an historical figure, thought enough of Mosher to call him a ‘XIX Century Aldus’ which was a fitting comparison indeed.” The first volume of this set was published under the title The Heritage of the Printer by Dr. James Eckman, 1965.
Le Gallienne, Richard. “In Praise of a Literary Pirate” in The Literary Digest International Book Review 2. [October 1924], pp. 777-78. This was Le Gallienne’s second public tribute to Mosher (aside from his weekly columns and book reviews). Particular attention is paid to Mosher’s selective taste in literature. Le Gallienne writes that, “Outside of Lamb’s ‘Selections’ and Leigh Hunt’s various miscellanies…, I know no comparable example of creative taste. We have become used to the idea that criticism can be creative, but that individual taste, undaunted faith in one’s own selective judgment, can be creative too is more seldom realized.” Le Gallienne borrows extensively from his 1914 tribute to Mosher, Thomas Bird Mosher–an Appreciation, again referring to Mosher as “an exquisite Claude Duval of publishing.”
Le Gallienne, Richard. Thomas Bird Mosher — An Appreciation. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1915. Previously appeared in the Forum 51 [January 1914], pp. 124-29; and also appeared in the Index to The Bibelot (1915). A lengthy quote is available from this work.
Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut. The Book in America — A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States. Second edition. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1951, pp. 277-78 and 326. Part of Haupt’s discussion included: “Thomas Bird Mosher had shown a very unusual flair for delicate and appetizing bookmaking… Not lacking in commercial enterprise and fully as individual and discriminating as the young men just discussed [Stone & Kimball, Way & Williams, etc.] was Thomas Bird Mosher, the much discussed sea captain [sic] and literary pirate in Portland, Maine. Nonchalantly he disregarded the rights of British authors and proceeded with the good old custom of printing anything that pleased him without asking for permission and without paying a cent of royalty… Mosher was a fanatic believer in the value of cultivated and individually thought-out book designing. His diminutive volumes are most inviting, agreeable to hold and to read… Without asking too much what the public liked, he indulged in the luxury of following his own taste, and he was successful–obviously so because his taste was good…”
(Leuba). A Sampler from the Library of Walter and Martha Leuba on Exhibit in the Special Collections Department of the Hillman Library. The University of Pittsburgh. November 13, 1977-January 30, 1978. Limited to 700 copies. Pittsburgh, PA: Special Collections, The University of Pittsburgh [Davis & Wade Printer], 1977. This exhibit commemorates one of the most outstanding collections of fine presses and books exhibiting fine printing ever given to the University of Pittsburgh. Entry #77 of 170 items on exhibit was Mosher’s Polonius on Van Gelder paper.
Levis, Howard C. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Most Important Books in the English Language Relating to The Art & History of Engraving and the Collecting of Prints with Supplement and Index. London: Chiswick Press, 1912 & 1913 (Reprinted by Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1974), p. 154. This citation refers to Mosher’s publication of Wiliam Blake’s XVII Designs to Thornton’s Virgil (1899).
Lhombreaud, Roger. Arthur Symons — A Critical Biography. Philadelphia: Dufour Editions, 1964, pp. 186-87. An undated letter from E. Byrne Hackett to Roger Lhombreaud is quoted.
Lieberman, Elizabeth Koller, ed. The Check-Log of Private Press Names. Fifth Edition. White Plains, New York: The Herity Press, 1964, p.16. Entry for the Mosher Press.
Lincoln, Franklin P. “Portland May Forget Him But Not the Graphic Arts World” in the Portland Press Herald. (four columns). Portland, ME, December 7, 1962.
Lingel, R. J. C. “Contributions Towards a Bibliography of Richard Le Gallienne” in The American Collector. Metuchen, NJ: Charles F. Heartman, November 1925, p. 70. The citation refers to Le Gallienne’s privately printed Thomas Bird Mosher–An Appreciation (1914).
Livingston, Flora V. Bibliographical Data Relating to a Few of the Publications of Algernon Charles Swinburne. With Notes on the Priority of Certain Claimants to the Distinction of “Editio Princeps.” MA, Cambridge: Privately Printed, 1920. This source includes information on first American editions of Swinburne, as well as corrections to the Wise bibliography. This work includes several Mosher editions “of especial interest to collectors.” At the end of the book appears this interesting tabulation: “A list of the first American editions and publishers of the books of Swinburne shows that Ticknor and Fields of Boston, Swinburne’s first American publishers, issued three books in 1866 and 1867. G.W. Carleton of New York published only ‘Laus Veneris.’ R. Worthington & Co. of New York published seventeen between 1866 and 1883, probably from advance sheets, and some of them perhaps before the English editions were ready. The United States Book Co. issued two books, one in 1884 and one in 1892. Thomas Bird Mosher issued seventeen between 1894 and 1912, all unauthorized. Charles Scribner’s Sons, Dodd, Mead & Co., and E.P. Dutton, each printed one volume. Harper Brothers published several volumes and the collected ‘Works.’ ” –p..
Lord, Alice Frost. “Artistic Book Publishing in Maine.” Lewiston Journal (Illustrated Magazine Section). Lewiston, ME, December 17-21, 1904, p. 3. The sub-title reads: “Thomas B. Mosher of Portland Leads in this Phase of the Arts and Crafts Movement in This Country.” Lord refers to William P. Cutter, former buyer for the Congressional Library at Washington and library authority, who concedes that in his estimation, Mosher has “first place among book publishers in this country, ” further qualifying that “more than anyone else, Mr. Mosher is publishing for the love of his art…” The major portion of the article is devoted to Mosher’s judgment and choice literature, the thorough planning that goes into each book’s materials and appearance, and the publisher’s ability to keep costs down. Lord also mentions that Mosher “brags of no hand presses and workshop of his own. He thoroughly believes in the cylinder press, run by competent pressmen.” Mosher is also recorded as having said that his only regrets in not having a college education was that he has no formal training in the classics, and that he would have liked training in French so that he could have better appreciated “the delicacy of meaning in the original of much that he has seen fit to print in translation.” In summary of his broadest aims, Mosher said that his books were meant to appeal to the “latent energies” of his readers, and to give them something to ponder over. As for himself, “I have tried to work so that I should not be sorry in later years that I brought out what I have and in the way I have.” See also Edith Labbie’s article on The Mosher Books.
Lord, Alice Frost. “Two Shrines Remain in Portland to Memory of Most Distinguished Publisher of Belle’s Lettres” in the Lewiston Journal (Magazine Section – fourteen columns). Lewiston, ME, July 7, 1928, pp. 1-2. This article covers the whole front page of the Magazine Section, and includes photographs of Mosher, his two sons, his home library, and contrasts writing samples between William Sharp and “Fiona Macleod.” The two shrines mentioned are Mosher’s home library at Woodfords (also called Longfellow Heights), and his Exchange Street office. There are interviews with Mrs. Mosher and with Flora MacDonald Lamb, Mosher’s assistant. In speaking of his book collecting, they mention he “bought about a hundred choice books a year…, mostly from English catalogues… In buying books he always preferred second to first editions, because he knew they were likely to be better edited.” The full text of a letter from “Fiona Macleod” (Aug. 5, 1901) is printed in this article, in which she mentions “No one can know your publications and not see that apart from the beauty and charm of your reprints in point of format, they bear the impression of your own individual love of and selection of beautiful things–in fact your several series would have been impossible but for central judgment, taste, and knowledge.” The story is told about how Mosher even received a photograph of Miss Macleod which he had to promptly return. The balance of the article is devoted to the new Mosher Press books printed after Mosher’s death.
Loring & Mussey, publishers. Publisher’s catalogue for Autumn 1934. New York: Loring & Mussey, 1934. 8 pages. The rear cover announces that they have taken over the trade distribution of 150 titles for the Mosher Books of Portland, Maine.
Lowden, David W. “William Morris and the Printed Page: English Influence on American Book Design.” Craftsman Farms exhibition booklet for September 8 – October 27, 1996 exhibit. Parsippany, NJ: The Craftsman Farms Foundation, 1996, pp. 14-15. This 21-page annotated checklist includes works printed at the Kelmscott and other English private and trade presses of the period. It also lists American private and trade presses displayed, including New York’s Elston, Village, and Roycroft presses, Boston’s Copeland & Day, the Merrymount Press, and the Craftsman Guild, Chicago’s Alderbrinck and Blue Sky presses, Maine’s Mosher Press, The Monadnock Press of New Hampshire, Michigan’s Cranbrook Press, Wisconsin’s Philosopher Press, and the California publisher, Paul Elder. Works designed by Bruce Rogers and Will Bradley were also included. Four works were selected from the Mosher Press for display.
Lucas, Edward Verrall. Reading, Writing, and Remembering. New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1932, p. 118. “These cheap books [the series of English standard works published by Cassell for threepence, and the Walter Scott shilling edition of the poets], however, though they delivered the goods, were not beautiful. It was not till the rise of the American pirate Thomas B. Mosher that I was able to possess beautiful books. So far as I can recollect, the circumstance that he disregarded the law of copyright did not disturb me in the least. I liked his distinguished little pamphlets too much–and even more I liked the new territories to which they pointed the way, the unknown palaces of which they were single stones. I suppose Thomas B. Mosher was a scamp, but his nefariousness was very gracious and stimulating. And he did not stimulate merely readers; many an honest publisher must have been spurred to better deeds by the Terror of the (Portland) Maine.”
MacGillivray, J. R. Keats — A Bibliography and Reference Guide… Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1949 (reprinted 1968), p. 35. This reference pertains to Mosher’s publication of the Odes, Sonnets & Lyrics of John Keats (1922) as selected by Robert Bridges.
MacKay, Kay. “A Pirate Half Pardoned — Thomas Bird Mosher” in the Antiquarian Book Monthly Review. Volume XIV. No 1. Oxford, January 1987, pp. 16-21. Some extracts from this article include: “Bruce Rogers called him “The Aldus of the nineteenth century”. Norman Strouse praised him as the “first American to publish distinctive books in limited editions.” This unique bookman was Thomas Bird Mosher, the celebrated reprint “pirate” who, in the early 1900s, produced over 400 titles in 32 years of successful book publishing. In an age indifferent to fine printing he stood almost alone–concocting charming volumes of tasteful typography, at what he called, “a price so moderate as almost to cause incredulity.”…
Although Mosher’s books are sometimes criticized for too small print, datedness, fragile bindings, and too chaste a look, his total production was substantial, and his simple crisp press-work proved an enduring influence on later publishers. The Trovillion Press (1930s-60s) acknowledged its debt to Mosher, and I feel a kinship exists between him and certain contemporaries–particularly the Peter Pauper Press. Although Beilenson sold through retail stores, and stressed illustration and graphic interest, there are obvious similarities. Aspects like small, concise format, sophisticated titles, quality paper, slipcases, distinguished typography, an extremely modest price, and an overall understated, but tasteful look all hark back to Mosher’s ideal…
Mosher’s paradoxical career was truly an American phenomenon–the unschooled, self-made businessman, who put Portland, Maine on the literary map. In spite of his significant contribution both to publishing, and to the bettering of American life, he now seems relatively unknown, or over-looked. Today, when conglomerates are busy taking over small publishers (and producing only sure money makers), it is satisfying to recall Thomas Mosher and his courageous zeal in disseminating fine literature. As Carl Purington Rollins said in a later tribute, ‘We may know more about typography now, but I doubt if we know more about sanity in publishing.’ ”
MacKay, Kay. “In Appreciation of Dreamthorp” in Antiquarian Book Monthly Review. Vol. VII, No. 9. Oxford, September 1980, pp. 430-436. At the end of this article MacKay developed “A Contribution Towards a Checklist of the Works of Alexander Smith”, with nineteen British and American editions of Dreamthorp issued from 1863 to 1972. There were at least three nineteenth century American editions and another in 1901. Mosher’s friend and fellow publisher Mitchell Kennerley issued the title in 1907, six years before the Mosher Press edition of 1913.
McKenna, Paul. A History & Bibliography of the Roycroft Printing Shop. Second Edition. Grand Island, New York: Tona Graphics, 1996, pp. 12, 50, 51-52, and 64. In addition to the somewhat misleading information about Mosher never paying royalties (p. 12), on pp. 51-52 McKenna mentions Mosher’s early advertising in The Philistine (second issue, front foldover cover). Mosher subsequently dropped this ad, and as McKenna notes, “Mosher’s ad was the last any quality publisher would take in The Philistine.” Mosher also included advertisements for the Roycrofters in his little magazine, The Bibelot, and there are ten Roycroft titles recorded in Mosher’s personal library.
Macleod, Fiona. The Works of “Fiona Macleod.” Uniform Edition. Seven volumes. Arranged by Mrs. William Sharp. London: William Heinemann, 1910. This set includes numerous notes by both William Sharp and by his wife. Most of these notes are found at the end of each volume, along with particular comments on Mosher’s American editions. There is an earlier volume published by Heinemann in 1907 entitled From the Hills of Dream: Threnodies, Songs and Later Poems which is called the “posthumous English edition.” This volume is bound in identical fashion to the Uniform Edition, but is supplanted by Volume VII of the Uniform Edition which goes under the title Poems and Dramas.
McMurtrie, Douglas C. The Golden Book — The Story of Fine Books and Bookmaking — Past and Present. Chicago, IL: Pascal Covici, 1927, p. 361. McMurtrie notes that “the books designed by Thomas B. Mosher, although somewhat out of the scope of this chapter [on Private Presses], deserves mention because of the influence on American typography. Mosher did not himself own a plant but he designed and supervised the printing of the many excellent books which he published.”
(Madan, Falconer). C. H. O. Daniel vs. Thomas B. Mosher — A Letter from F. Madan to R.W. Rogers. Limited to 150 copies. San Francisco: Roxburghe Club (Printed at the Nova Press by William P. Barlow, Jr.), May 17, 1983. The original letter is in the collection of the Gleeson Library at the University of San Francisco and was written on November 8, 1922.
(Madan, Falconer). The Daniel Press. Memorials of C. H. O. Daniel with a Bibliography of the Press, 1845-1919. Oxford: Printed on the Daniel Press in the Bodleian Library, 1921. For notes on Thomas B. Mosher and his reprints, see Madan’s entries 4, 20 and 33, with amusing comments on the Mosher piracy issue.
Madison, Charles A. Book Publishing in America. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966, p. 150. “Thomas Bird Mosher of Maine was the first to devote himself to fine printing. In 1891 he began to bring out beautifully printed books, and he continued to publish small attractive volumes until his death in 1923. His English Reprint Series and his Bibelot Series were famous among lovers of beautiful books.”
Manuscripts. (See RLIN & OCLC, and National Union Catalogue on Manuscript Collections entries).
Mason (Poems). Mason, Stuart. A Bibliography of the Poems of Oscar Wilde. Giving Particulars as to the Original Publications of each Poem, with Variations of Readings and a Complete List of All Editions, Reprints, Translations, &c. London: E. Grant Richards, 1907. Mosher had a copy of this bibliography upon which he specifically remarked: “Regarding the bibliographical notes and index, our indebtedness to Mr. Stuart Mason is something we desire to fully acknowledge. Without his aid it would have been impossible to carry out our plan. References to every poem annotated by Mr. Mason are given; but the minute textural [sic] changes noted by him with that patient and loving accuracy associated with a formal bibliography are omitted.” —The Poetical Works of Oscar Wilde (Mosher, 1908), p. xx. Mason included several of the Mosher editions of Wilde’s poetry, including the 1903 and 1905 The Poems of Oscar Wilde from the Miscellaneous Series, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol from the Lyric Garland Series. There are additional notes on Mosher’s editions throughout the text on pp. 13, 52, 54, 57, 60, 63, 65, 73, 86, and 87. On these pages he provides information such as: “Volume I [of Wilde’s works in German (Vienna: Wiener Verlag, 1906)], entitled GEDICHTE, contains a translation of the Poems from Mosher’s edition” and the text of the Poems (New York: F. M. Buckles & Co., 1906), “is a reprint of Mosher’s 1905 edition without the bibliographical notes.” Curiously, just seven years later, Mason only mentions Mosher’s editions in passing, never as actual entries in the Bibliography of Oscar Wilde (see below). The correspondence from Mason (Christopher Sclater Millard) to Mosher is located at the Houghton Library and shows that Mosher helped Mason in compiling portions of the bibliography, and Mason sent much information on various editions to Mosher.
Mason (Works). Mason, Stuart. Bibliography of Oscar Wilde. With a Note by Robert Ross. Illustrated. London: T. Werner Laurie Ltd., n.d. (or) New York: Haskell House Publishers Ltd., 1972 (reprint of the original 1914 edition). It is interesting to note that even though Mason felt it necessary to quote or refer to Mosher’s Oscar Wilde titles, he never once formally included in his bibliography any Wilde title issued by Mosher (including in the section of Pirated Editions, pp. 531-553). Mention is made on pp. viii, 97, 182-183, 185, 198, and 212. In all fairness, Mason did indicate in his preface that “no attempt has been made to include the countless American unauthorized editions…, a complete list of which would have extended the work to double the present size.” (p. vii). In the same preface Mason also acknowledges “Mr. Thos. B. Mosher, the producer of beautiful books in America…” (p. viii). Along with the fact that Mason heavily cited Mosher’s Oscar Wilde publications in his previously published bibliography of Wilde’s poems, and the fact that the two men maintained friendly and mutually supportive correspondence throughout the years, one cannot surmise any negative reason why Mosher’s books were not formally listed in this 1914 bibliography.
A more serious omission of Mosher’s publications occurs in Thomas Mikolyzk’s compilation of Oscar Wilde–An Annotated Bibliography (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993), which never once mentions Mosher’s editions even though he often cites other pirated or non-authorized editions (throughout the chapter on “Book Publications by Wilde”, pp. 1-26).
Mathews, Dr. Richard. “Morris, Mosher, and the Konglomerati Press” in Ex Libris. — Journal of the USF Library Associates. Vol. 2, No. 1. Summer 1978, pp. 1-3. Ex Libris is the quarterly publication of the University of South Florida Library Associates. The author of the article, Dr. Mathews was then assistant professor of English at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, the 1975 William Morris Fellow at Kelmscott House, London, and owner /operator of the Konglomerati Press in Gulfport, Florida. The article cites the influence of William Morris and Frederick Goudy on the Konglomerati Press, and acknowledges the influence of Mosher’s “unconventional publishing.” Examples of Mosher’s influence are given by Mathews: “The ‘restraint’ of Mosher, it seems to us, was part of the production techniques which enabled him to produce his volumes at modest cost. He makes interesting use of simple rules rather than ornate borders for title page arrangements. That ruled effect can be seen in the Konglomerati title page design for Goudy Presence [Ruth Pettis. The Goudy Presence at Konglomerati Press. Gulfport, FL, 1978]… Konglomerati approaches the contemporary literature it publishes in much the same way [as Mosher], seeking to publish the best new writing in distinctive, high quality editions at a reasonable cost. We appreciate the simplicity of Mosher as an ‘American individualistic publisher’ without the ‘artsy’ trappings of the private presses.” –p. 3. There is also an article in this issue of Ex Libris entitled “From Our Collections” which highlights the Mosher Press holdings at the University of South Florida (pp. 6-8), and notification of the exhibit “Thomas Bird Mosher Press, 1891-1923” (p. 15).
Matthews, Annie Harmon. Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine. [Keepsake No. 11]. Portland, ME: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1942. The foreword and “Thomas Bird Mosher–A Portrait” (pp. 21-26) are by Edward F. Stevens. The remainder of this small book, pp. 1-19, gives a glimpse of Mosher by his friends and neighbors, Mr. and Mrs Fred V. Matthews, though it often presents quotes from other sources. A letter by Maurice Lavanoux which appeared in the New York Evening Post is quoted at length, giving details of a visit to Mosher in Portland. Lavanoux also remarks that he issued an account of Mosher’s “special niche in the world of letters and book publishing” in The Bowling Green. Direct reference for either account has not been located.
Mayfield, John S, ed. Swinburneiana — A Gallimaufry of Bits and Pieces About Algernon Charles Swinburne. [Gaithersburg, MD: Waring Press], 1974, pp. 44-47. Part 17 is entitled “Norman H. Strouse and the Passionate Pirate.” Mayfield gives both a broad overview of Mosher’s work, and of Norman Strouse and his book, The Passionate Pirate. Of interest is a Mosher letter dated May 30, 1902 (a facsimile is illustrated) in which Mosher recounts: “The editions I have issued of Swinburne are not his complete works–nor should I ever think of issuing him complete. For the past ten years or more he has produced some very poor stuff, and it is no part of my plan to reprint rubbish even by Swinburne! The things I have printed are some of his best and rarest–and no other editions compare with mine for book-making.” Mayfield indicates the original of this letter is in the private collection of the curator of Manuscripts of Rare Books of Syracuse University.
Metzdorf, Robert F., compiler. The Tinker Library — A Bibliographical Catalogue of the Books and manuscripts Collected by Chauncey Brewster Tinker. Storrs-Mansfield, CT: Maurizio Martino, no date (reprint of the New Haven, 1952 edition), entry 2037. This citation pertains to Mosher’s first edition publication of Swinburne’s A Year’s Letters (1901).
Mikhail, E. H. Oscar Wilde — An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, , p. 95. Cites Mosher’s “Bibliographical Note, in James Rennel Rodd, Rose Leaf and Apple Leaf (Portland, Maine: Mosher, 1906), pp. 95-100.”
Miller, George and Hugoe Matthews. Richard Jefferies — A Bibliographical Study. Aldershot, Hants, England: Scolar Press; and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1993, pp. xxi, xxiv, 30. 355-359, 361, 363-64, 584-587, 662-77. In the Introduction to this bibliography the authors correctly state that they reached the conclusion that Mosher did not distribute type after each book as claimed in his colophons, e.g., they point out that in the Brocade Series he invariably printed a second impression before distributing the type. The authors assumed that the second and fourth Mosher printings of the Old World Series Story of My Heart (1900 & 1909) included a separate printing on Japan vellum for each issuance, but no Japan vellum copies were ever printed. The Japan vellum printing of Mosher’s 1905 edition was also stated to be limited to 100 copies, when in fact, Mosher only published 25 Japan vellum copies. Mosher’s two 1903 printings of the Hours of Spring and Wild Flowers (one in March as well as one in December) are not discussed since only the December printing appears in this Jefferies bibliography. This bibliography was regrettably overlooked for the compilation of Thomas Bird Mosher–Pirate Prince of Publishers (1998). Had it been consulted, Mosher’s publication of The Pageant of Summer (1896), Saint Guido (1901), and Nature and Eternity (1902) would have been identified as first editions to the book world.
Miller, Spencer “Dedication” in Amphora: A Second Collection. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1926, pp. vii-viii. A few extracts include: “The law of excellence and the law of democracy stand in apparent conflict one with another in our modern age. They seem outwardly to have little in common. Yet Thomas Bird Mosher resolved this conflict through a sharing of enduring prose and poetry with his fellow-men. It was his gift to know what was excellent; it was his passion to share this excellence as widely as possible; it was his destiny to attain the realization of his ideal. He linked beauty which is ageless in art with the desire for the best which is timeless in the spirit of man.
His place among great American publishers is secure. This position he made unique through his unerring genius in selecting those things of established worth which are “a lasting expression in words of the meaning of life,” and in sending forth each piece of literature in a manner appropriate to the nature of the work itself. Every volume was printed from hand-set type on hand-made paper and was hand-bound in paper boards. The human hand runs through all his work–a symbol of the human touch of mankind.
When we shall view the fullness of his achievement in an historical perspective, we shall regard it with an unceasing admiration. For he has done what all fine artists seek to do–to increase truth and beauty in the world. His quest of this ideal will be the measure of his own inheritance in the memory of men.”
Moore, Edward Martin. “Mosher in Maine — A Print from the Inky Fingers of Edward Martin More” in Reading and Collecting. Vol. I, No. 4. [March 1937], pp. 9-10. In this somewhat eccentric and entertaining overview of Mosher’s achievements, Moore comments on the 1890’s plethora of short-lived little magazines, and notes that “in this welter The Bibelot stood out like a handsome, sedate old dog in a yard full of giddy puppies of mixed breeds… Imagine starting a five cent magazine with Lyrics from William Blake: when most of its neighbors were ready to damn anything over a year old on the score of age!” The article covers the various series produced, and the importance of the catalogues and Mosher’s essays and criticisms. The last several paragraphs are devoted to questioning how much design work Bruce Rogers did for Mosher, and he wonders if the Mosher letterhead, signed R, is actually early BR, but can’t confirm it because “even the management [of the Mosher Press] has no information.” Moore is one of the founders of the Blue Sky Press.
Moore, Edward Martin. To Omar: Spoil of the North Wind. Chicago: Blue Sky Press, 1901, p. 3. Moore mentions Mosher as a collector of the Rubáiyát: “…every edition has something of this sort [thoughts, pro and con, about the Rubáiyát]. I do not possess a collection of even the American editions–I gave it up long ago. Mr. Mosher of Portland, ME, is suspected of trying to keep pace with them. ‘Tis told he wrote the Philosopher Ellis for a Rubaiyat. Mr. Ellis replied that the Philosopher Press had not printed a Rubaiyat. And, as this was unique he had thoughts of advertising the fact. Mr. Mosher lists in his latest bibliography [seventh Old World edition] XXXV items in American reprints alone and one of these items covers 26 editions…”
Morgan, Bayard Quincy. A Critical Bibliography of German Literature in English Translation, 1481-1927. Second Edition. New York: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1965. Entries 9185 & 9186 are for Mosher’s first two editions of Theodor Storm’s Immensee: An Idyll, (1902 & 1905) as translated by Irma A. Heath. No entry is given for the second translation of Immensee Mosher brought out in 1912. This second translation appeared in Dark Blue Magazine (London, July 1872).
Morley, Christopher. “A Golden String” in Amphora: A Second Collection. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1926, pp. 109-113. Reprinted from the Saturday Review of Literature in the July 11, 1925 issue on p. 892, and later published as “A Dogwood Tree” in Morley’s John Mistletoe. New York: Doubleday, 1931, pp. 316-321. A lengthy quote from this work is available.
Morley, Christopher. The Haunted Bookshop. New York: Doubleday & Page, 1919. The Haunted Bookshop, along with its companion piece, Parnassus on Wheels, has long been an American books-on-books classic. As part of the story, the radiantly lovely Titania Chapman is sent to live with the bookshop’s owners by her father in order to correct the evils of a finishing school education. In the third chapter, “Titania Arrives,” the Mifflins have prepared her boarding room with carefully selected books chosen for their potential influence on Titania. For example, The Notebooks of Samuel Butler are placed there to “give her a little intellectual jazz,” The Wrong Box, “because it’s the best farce in the language,” Travels with a Donkey “to show her what good writing is like,” and finally, “Some of Mr. Mosher’s catalogues: fine! they’ll show her the true spirit of what one book-lover calls biblio-bliss.”
Morley, Christopher. Thomas Bird Mosher. (U. S.): The Attic House(Printed at the Sumac Press), 1936. This twelve page booklet is, “an essay from John Mistletoe by Christopher Morley, ‘borrowed’ by Emerson G. Wulling and printed with pleasure in the busy time of the year for friends, because the essay and the man it speaks of are worth special attention.”–p. 2
Morris, William. The Story of the Glittering Plain & Child Christopher. With a New Introduction by Norman Talbot. Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press, 1996, p. vi. Talbot indicates that “an American reprint, published by Thomas B. Mosher (Portland, Maine, 1900), was reprinted as A Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Classic, ed. R. Reginald and Douglas Menville, with an interesting introduction by Richard Matthews, in 1977.” The book Talbot mentions is: Morris, William. Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair. New Introduction by Richard Mathews. The Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library, Vol. XII. North Hollywood, CA: Newcastle Publishing Company, Inc., 1977. It goes beyond being just a reprint. This is a photo-facsimile of Mosher’s 1900 edition, including ruled pages, Chiswick designed head-bands, tail-pieces, and the large decorative initial on p. . Mosher’s title page and colophon are adapted to include the Newcastle Publisher information. Though the size of the Mosher text block is retained, the margins are reduced, Mathew’s introduction is inserted between the Table of Contents and a half-title, ads are placed at the rear, and the whole book is perfect bound with paperback cover illustrations by Robert Kline.
Mosher, Thomas B., ed. The Bibelot. 21 Vols. (including index). New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1925. This New York reprint was done by the Wm. H. Wise & Co. who contracted with Mrs. Mosher paying her a royalty of $1 per set sold. The set is called the “Testimonial Edition” and includes 4,500 numbered sets printed for subscribers with List of Subscribers appearing at the end of the Index volume. The set is bound in light blue boards with white spines and some sets are not numbered. Another 500 extra-illustrated sets with 104 illustrations (compared to seven in the original, including the portrait frontispiece) are not numbered and are bound in dark blue library buckram. The major feature of this set is the “Analytical Index” which greatly improves upon Mosher’s index. Mosher’s original index is 140 pages in length, while the Wise index is 403 pages., and includes first lines of poems when no title is given. It also has subject listings (e.g., love, life, man) and six pages of “Notes by Thomas Bird Mosher” under the entry for The Bibelot. Clearly, any investigation of The Bibelot should reference Wise’s analytical index.
(Mosher, Thomas B.) “Library of the Late Thomas Bird Mosher and Examples of His Own Publications Many Printed on Vellum.” Part One. New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries * Inc., May 10 and 11, 1948. [and] Part Two. “Art and Illustrated Books Autographs & Manuscripts French & German Literature Inscribed and Other First Editions – Press Books William Sharp Correspondence. Final Portion of the Library of the Late Thomas Bird Mosher and Property from the Estates of the Late D. Bertalan Nemenyi [and] Herbert S. Long”. New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries * Inc., October 11 and 12, 1948. The preface to the first part is by Oliver C. Sheean, a worker at the Mosher Press, and compiler of the Sheean typescript. Marked and priced copies of both catalogues, often giving the purchaser’s name, are in the Bishop collection.
Mosher, Thomas B. Unpublished paper entitled “The Celtic Revival in Some of Its Lyrical Aspects.” 1904, 24 page typescript. This paper was originally read before the De Burians of Bangor on February 8, 1904, at their annual meeting. The De Burians was a book club in Bangor, Maine. The typescript for this address is located in the Norman Strouse collection at the Donahue Rare Book Room, University of San Francisco.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines. — 1885-1905. Vol. IV. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press [Belknap Press], 1957, pp. 424-427. There are several well expressed passages in this four-page article on The Bibelot. Speaking of Mosher’s first publishing of the tragic masterpiece, Modern Love, Mott notes its “pleasing format, with excellent typography and presswork” and that “this was a choice characteristic of his later work as publisher and anthologist, for Mosher was to show a predilection for verse and essay of a somber cast, for work that had been allowed to languish in obscurity, and for performances of high literary quality.” Mott shows that this carried over into Mosher’s selections of “poems, poem-sequences, one-act plays, single acts from longer dramas, essays, short stories, or prose poems,” for The Bibelot. Mott points out that The Bibelot may have been suggested by the Chap-Book, and was only rivaled in sheer span of existence by Hubbard’s Philistine, but that it “had something most of its rivals in this field lacked–a legitimate appeal to the self-culture motive of the nineties.” Mott’s essay also presents some interesting discussion on the piracy issue.
Murray, Francis Edwin. A Bibliography of Austin Dobson. New York: Burt Franklin, 1968, p. 47. Originally published in 1900, this bibliography only catalogues Dobson’s works up to 1900 and therefore does not include books Mosher subsequently published including Proverbs in Porcelain, and The Garland of Rachel which included a Dobson selection.
Myerson, Joel. Ralph Waldo Emerson — A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982, entries C58 and A18.21.
Myerson, Joel. Walt Whitman — A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993, entries C16.I; C16.2.a-d; C.19.1.a-d; C22.I.a-b; C30.I.a-c; C40.I.a-c; and C40.I.d.
Nash, Ray. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Grolier 75: A Biographical Retrospective. New York: Grolier Club, 1959, pp. 67-70. As with Nash’s biography in the Hatch Check List, this overview is well written. There is one bit of information that appears nowhere else, but characteristically, Nash never cites any reference. Nash writes on p. 69: “As an enthusiastic student of literature not only rare but also gamy he [Mosher] fought manfully against the Portland port collector’s embargo on the copy of H. S. Ashbee’s bibliography of suppressed and prohibited books he was trying to bring from England. He carried the cause up to the United States Senate…” The final disposition of the case is not stated. Norman Strouse, the great Mosher collector, said he never knew Mosher was a member of the Grolier Club until Nash’s biographical sketch appeared in Grolier 75.
Nash, Ray. (See also the Hatch entry, A Check List, for the biographical sketch written by Nash).
National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collections. Compiled and edited by the Manuscripts Section, Special materials Cataloguing Division. Washington, D. C.: Cataloguing Distribution Service, 1959-1993. The following yearly entries are for collections which contain correspondence to or from Mosher. For other additional manuscript holdings recorded in this bibliography, see the entries under “RLIN & OCLC”
MS 62-398 (W. Irving Way correspondence at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA)
MS 72-31 (papers relating to Oscar Wilde and his circle at the Clark Memorial Library, UCLA)
MS 80-63 (Morley papers at Haverford College-see below)
MS 81-338 (William Stanley Beaumont Braithwaite papers at the Univ. of Virginia Library)
MS 81-611 (Mosher’s publishing papers at the Houghton Library, Harvard University)
MS 89-663 (Morley family papers at Haverford College Library-Quaker Collection)
MS 93-798 (Horace & Anne Montgomerie Traubel papers at the Library of Congress)
Needham, Wilbur. “An Attempt at Appreciation of a Rare Spirit” in The Mosher Books catalogue, 1923. Reprinted from the Chicago Evening Post, April 20, 1923, p.4. A lengthy quote of this work is available.
Newton, A. Edward. “The Book Itself” in This Book Collecting Game. Boston: Little, Brown, 1928, pp. 119, 122-25. Excerpts were reprinted in The Mosher Books catalogue, 1929, pp. 3-4. An excerpt from this work is available.
Newton, A. Edward. “The Decay of the Bookshop” in The Atlantic Monthly. Vol. 125. July 11, 1925, p. 892. (Reprinted in Amphora: A Second Collection. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1926, pp. 79-80). Newton is critical of William Morris who preached art and beauty for the masses, but then produced books only the wealthy could buy. Mosher, on the other hand, created beautiful books and sold them cheaply. Newton mentions that Mosher “comes as near to being the ideal manufacturer as any man who has ever lived.”
Nowell-Smith, Simon. “Note 189: Mosher and Bridges” in Book Collector 11 , pp. 482-83. This note was written to contradict the claim of Van Trump and Ziegler that Mosher printed the first American edition of Robert Bridges. Macmillan & Co. of New York first published Bridges in The Humours of the Court, a comedy, and other poems in November of 1893. Mosher’s first Bridges title was The Growth of Love printed in 1894.
Orcutt, William Dana. “The Art of the Book in America” in Holme, Charles, ed. The Art of the Book. Special Number of the London Studio. London & New York: The Studio Ltd., Spring, 1914 (reprinted by the Dorset Press of New York, 1990), p. 270. “The influence which a publisher can exert upon the Art of the Book is shown by the series of classics issued in exquisite form by Mr. Thomas B. Mosher at prices within the reach of all. These volumes are distinct evidences of his own taste and knowledge, rather than triumphs of the printer, for Mr. Mosher has expressed himself in the type, margins, paper and the general format of his admirable publications.”
Page, Curtis Hidden. “Section VIII: Mosher Press” in the Curtis Hidden Page catalogue entitled: List of association books, first editions, book-plates, autographs, limited editions from special presses… from the library of Curtis Hidden Page… offered for sale by C. H. Page, Gilmanton, New Hampshire. [ca. 1931], p. 66 and entries 218-369a. These entries follow a one-page description of the Mosher Press.
Palmer, David. Why Letterpress? Los Angeles, CA: Printed by Patrick Reagh, Inc., 1999, p. 11. This keepsake essay by a self termed “avocational printer” covers the printer’s reasons why he still prefers working via letterpress.One reason he gives lies in an early childhood association: “For me, my Mosher’s schoolgirl copies of the Bibelots of Thomas Bird Mosher with their intimations of care in printing (the spare, lined “title-page” of this Keepsake reflects the style of Mosher, and a nod of recognition)…”
Parsons, Leslie M., ed. “A Modern Love of Literature — One Hundredth Anniversary of Mosher Books.” Kalamazoo, MI: Kalamazoo College, 1991. Four page exhibition program curated by Leslie M. Parsons and held at the A. M. Todd Rare Book Room, exhibiting the Mosher books given by Robert A. Huston to Kalamazoo College.
Pater, Walter. Uncollected Essays. New York: AMS Press, 1978. This is a reprint of the 1903 edition of Pater’s Uncollected Essays published by T. B. Mosher of Portland, ME. Reprints of Mosher’s 1903 edition seem to have had some popularity. The first recorded reprint is by the Folcroft Press of Folcroft, PA in 1969, and then by Norwood Editions of Norwood, PA in 1976, and the next year by R. West of Philadelphia, PA in 1977.
Patterson, Eleanor C. “Salve et Vale” in The Bibelot: General Index. Portland, ME: Mosher, 1915, pp. v-vi. A brief, sentimental tribute.
(PBSC) Fredeman, William E. “Thomas Bird Mosher and the Literature of Rapture: A Chapter in the History of American Publishing” in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. XXVI. Toronto, 1987, pp. 27-65. This paper was originally given at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada held at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver on June 10, 1987. It not only gives an informative and ground-breaking statistical analysis of the Mosher Press production (primarily concentrated in the appendices), but also includes an introductory overview of the cultural milieu in England (pp. 27-30), a comparison between Elbert Hubbard’s and Mosher’s productions (pp. 30-31), and a short but important section on Mosher’s mystical literary influences (p. 34). Overall this is a well crafted and researched article by this important Pre-Raphaelite scholar.
Peckham, Robert D. François Villon — A Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990, pp. 99-100. References are to Mosher’s publication of Villon’s Ballads Done into English (1904), and The Poems of Master Francois Villon of Paris (1900).
Penzer, Norman M. An Annotated Bibliography of Sir Richard Francis Burton. [Reprint of the first edition limited to 225 copies]. Mansfield, CT: Maurizio Martino, Publisher, no date, pp. 100-101. References are to Mosher’s various editions of Burton’s The Kasidah.
Peterson, William S. The Kelmscott Press — A History of William Morris’s Typographical Adventure. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991, p. 301. Peterson notes: “A third American publisher, Thomas Bird Mosher of Maine, produced beautiful pirated editions of English books rather more in the Whistlerian than Morrisian vein, but in 1900 he issued a Hand & Soul that was a thoughtful imitation of the Kelmscott version. Unlike many of his American contemporaries, Mosher realized that the secret of Morris’s success as a printer lay not in his types and ornaments (which were so easily copied by photo-engraving methods) but in patient craftsmanship. ‘Mr. Irving Way who brought out the Morris edition in this country recently wrote me desiring to know how I succeeded in getting so close a duplicate [of Hand & Soul],’ Mosher said. ‘It was done by using our best efforts on the press work and by procuring special inks, which I think on comparison fully come up to the Morris ink.’ ”
[Phelps, Ruth Shepard, ed.]. The Arthur Upson Room — The Four Addresses on the Occasion of Its Opening 21 February 1925 and A List of the Books in the Room. Edited and compiled by R. S. P. No place: privately printed, 1928. In addition to the list of books in Upson’s library, a list of Arthur Upson’s own publications is given on pp. 158-159.
Phelps, William Lyon. Scribners Magazine. February 1927. Reprinted in The Mosher Books catalogue, 1927, pp. 3-4. “I have before my eyes a beautiful volume dedicated to the memory of Thomas B. Mosher, of Portland. It is called “Amphora. A Second Collection of Prose and Verse Chosen by the Editor of the Bibelot.” It is embellished with a portrait and contains some original verse by Mosher himself. Mr. Mosher loved good books, and loved to make them. He was an excellent critic with a flair for beauty that enabled him to discern what was worth preservation in the work of writers both living and dead, and he preserved it in a beautiful way. A Mosher book came to mean a book invariably good and invariably well printed. There are thousands of book-lovers who will never forget this man, who will always hold his name in reverence…” Phelps was an American essayist, professor of English at Yale, and author.
Philpott, Anthony J. “Mosher of Portland, Me” in the Boston Globe. 20 December, 1907. Purportedly an interview with Mosher covering two columns. There are two letters at the Houghton Library (#374 and #703) which strongly suggest that Philpott was a sobriquet Mosher used to write his own interview.
(Poor). Catalogue of the Library of Henry W. Poor. Parts I-V. New York: The Anderson Auction Company, November 1908-April 1909. The Henry Poor collection contained numerous press books and fine bindings, including a fine collection of the more limited publications of Thomas Bird Mosher. Poor owned at least forty-two Mosher books printed on vellum. One of these copies was bound by Bradstreets and twenty-three others were bound by the Club Bindery of New York, including one finished and signed by Léon Maillard. Poor owned yet another 142 Mosher books printed on Japan vellum plus thirty-nine Japan vellum copies from the Brocade Series. He also owned a set of The Bibelot (Vol. I-XIII plus the index) printed on Japan vellum.
Potter, Ambrose George. A Bibliography of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Together with Kindred Matter in Prose and Verse Pertaining Thereto. London: Ingpen and Grant, 1929. Mosher’s editions appear under the sub-heading, “FitzGerald’s Versions–More than One Text” on pp. 91-93; and under “Versions in English Other than FitzGerald’s” on p.113.
Pottle, Frederick A. “Aldi Discipulus Americanus” in Amphora: A Second Collection. Portland, ME: Mosher Press, 1926., pp. 117-26. Reprinted from the Literary Review of the Evening Post. [December 29, 1923], p. 410. A lengthy quote is available from this work.
(Pound, Ezra) The following books and articles include information on the relationship between Mosher and Ezra Pound, and correspondence exchanged between the publisher and the poet:
Carpenter, Humphrey. A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound. New York: Delta Books, 1988, p. 82. “He [Ezra Pound] had put together a collection of about forty poems and offered it to Thomas Bird Mosher, publisher of de lux reprints, but Mosher would not have it.”
Espey, John. “The Inheritance of Tò Kalón” in New Approaches to Ezra Pound; a co-ordinated investigation of Pound’s poetry and ideas. Edited by Eva Hesse. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1969, 321-326. Espey was one of the first scholars to cite the importance of The Bibelot as part of Ezra Pound’s early literary development. He notes a number of selections from The Bibelot that most likely helped to form “Pound’s foci” while at the University of Pennsylvania, but further notes that “this is not to claim that Pound read The Bibelot regularly or that a student of markedly independent mind… would let himself be led by Mosher alone… But it is to suggest that, together with what one thinks of as the frequently rarefied and precious enthusiams [sic] of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Nineties and ‘Celticism’, Pound was absorbing additional material that helped form the standards by which he was to judge the period.” (pp. 324-25). Espey also notes that in addition to Pound’s requests that Mosher publish his first work, A Lume Spento, about six years later Pound also offered Mosher the eight poems that make up Cathay. Mosher returned both manuscripts and never published any of Pound’s work.
Goldwasser, Thomas A. “Ezra Pound’s A Lume Spento — A Preliminary Census” in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. Vol. 38, New York, March 1989, pp. 18 and 30. Goldwasser includes Thomas Bird Mosher’s copy of A Lume Spento, and mentions Ezra Pound’s correspondence to Mosher with regard to having him bring out the first edition of this, the author’s first book, or at least to publish the first American edition. Mosher published neither, nor did he ever publish any of Ezra Pound’s work.
Ingber, Richard Geoffrey. “Ezra Pound and the Classical Tradition: Backgrounds and Formative Influences.” Unpublished dissertation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1983, pp. 29-161, 195, -388. This study traces the development of Ezra Pound’s involvement with ancient literature from the earliest evidence through the lyrics and epigrams of Ripostes and Lustra. The first part of the inquiry deals with Pound’s classical education. Here it is shown how he used bilingual editions, translations, and popular guides to supplement the deficiencies in his formal training. Pound’s extensive debt to Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine, is given particular attention. After a survey of Mosher’s career, and a discussion of the general significance of his publications for the formation of Pound’s literary imagination, an attempt is made to indicate how the young poet acquired by these means a unified understanding of the classical tradition as a whole.
Nelson, James G. Elkin Mathews — Publisher to Yeats, Joyce, Pound. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1989, pp. 131-32. Nelson mentions that the books published by the Bodley Head influenced Mosher’s books “in their subject matter, format and letterpress…” Nelson also briefly discusses Ezra Pound’s early guidance in reading by Mosher, describing himself as being “drunk with ‘Celticism’, and with Dowson’s ‘Cynara’, and with one or two poems of Symons.”
Witemeyer, Hugh, ed. Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Willliams. New York: New Directions Publishing Corp., 1996, pp. 8 and 12. An October 21, 1908 letter (ALS 22) from Pound to William mentions that Mosher is going to reprint Yeats. The note on p. 12 identifies Thomas Bird Mosher as the leading American publisher of fin-de-siècle poetry who declined to print Pound’s A Lume Spento.
* End of Ezra Pound material *
Prideaux, Colonel W. F. A Bibliography of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. A New and Revised Edition. London: Frank Hollings, 1917, pp. 15, 34, and 76.
(Publisher’s Weekly) “Thomas Bird Mosher — Publisher. A Tribute from a Friend” in The Publisher’s Weekly. September 15, 1923, pp. 786-787.
(Purdue) Hepburn, William M. “Bruce Rogers of Purdue” in The Purdue Alumnus. Vol. XXXIII, No. 4. March-April, n.d. , pp. 6-7, 21-22. The author of this article, William Hepburn, was Purdue Librarian Emeritus. On page seven he mentions, “To this period [1890-95] also belong several commissions involving the designing of title-pages of books or pamphlets and for book-cover designs, and some contacts with Thomas B. Mosher of Portland, Maine, who at that time was producing a series of books notable for their careful typography, culminating in 1895 when he designed the decorations for the Mosher edition of Homeward Songs by the Way by A. E. (George W. Russell).” On p. 22 Hepburn also notes, “While at Purdue he sometimes signed drawings with a Caduceus and he used this symbol in the Mosher volume of 1895, for the last time.” Mosher continued to used this caduceus device on the back cover of the leather bound copies of his Vest Pocket Series from 1899 to 1913.
Putzel, Max. The Man in the Mirror: William Marion Reedy and His Magazine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963, pp. 7, 9, 46, 61, 130-131, 156, 170, 172. The close friendship between Reedy and two other publishers, T.B. Mosher and Mitchell Kennerley, is noted. Reedy also promoted Mosher’s publications through the Mirror, a weekly St. Louis magazine. In quoting a January 15, 1913 letter from Reedy to Theodore Dreiser (at the University of Pennsylvania), Reedy dubs Mosher as “a High Priest of Letters” and also quotes from a letter indicating the first meeting between Mosher and Reedy was in St. Louis in 1879, when “you [Reedy] were a news-paper boy and I was a poor damned book clerk in St. Louis” (source is not identified).
(Quinn, John). Complete Catalogue of the Library of John Quinn. Sold by Auction in Five Parts [November 12, 1923-March 17, 1924]. Two vols. New York: The Anderson Galleries, 1924 (Reprinted New York: Lemma Publishing Corp., 1969), numerous entries. John Quinn was an important figure on several fronts. He was one of the chief backers of the 1913 Armory Show, and as a superb lawyer, he defended James Joyce’s Ulysses against censors trying to ban the book from importation into the United States. An avid supporter of numerous Irish writers, Quinn was an established friend of the Irish literary community. He provided support for Ireland’s Dun Emer Press, and arranged for private editions of the works of J. M. Synge and W. B. Yeats to be brought out in America. He was friend and correspondent with many of the leading English literary figures of the day, including Joseph Conrad, Ezra Pound, and James Joyce. Quinn had a unique opportunity to amass a large and highly respected library of contemporary literature and manuscript material. He also counted the publisher, T.B. Mosher among his friends, and thought highly of Mosher’s publishing efforts, indicating in his library catalogue that “few men have done more for literature, and done it so understandingly.” According to a Feb. 8, 1937 letter From Flora Lamb to Norman Strouse, the article in the Quinn catalogue entitled “Mosher Books” (p.692) was written by a Charles Vale.
Ransom, Will. “In the Tradition” in The Publisher’s Weekly. March 24, 1928. Reprinted as “In the Tradition” in The Mosher Books catalogue, Portland, ME: Mosher, 1928, p.3. “With a very modest demeanor, Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine, devoted many years and an exquisite taste to offering the writings of men who, at the time, were little known. His forte was literary content, yet his ideas of typography were eminently sound, or at least sane, with a distinctly individual character… Many of the most delightful stylists among modern authors came into our ken in the tiny pages of The Bibelot and the Vest Pocket Editions, and the not much larger formats of the Mosher books. How many people there must have been who, through Mosher’s kindly offices, first made acquaintance with William Morris’s Romances, Maurice Hewlett’s Earthwork Out of Tuscany, and Fiona Macleod’s prose lyrics, to mention only a few viands of the feast.
In typography and format the Mosher books justly may be called both sane and charming. With almost the restraint of Cobden-Sanderson, Mr. Mosher used very little decoration. Even color appears very seldom. And that choice took strength of character and a certain conviction in those days when typography was running pretty wildly to decorative and colorful, even weird, effects.” Ransom was a printer/designer in the American private press movement, and became, as Susan Otis Thompson calls him, “the dean of writers about private presses.”
Ransom, Will. Private Presses and Their Books. New York: R. R. Bowker, 1929. (A reprint of this title was issued in 1963 by Philip C. Duschnes of New York, in 1976 by New York: AMS Press Inc., and later New York: James Cummins, 1992), pp. 73, 126-127, and 352-356. The section “In the Tradition” notes Mosher’s “forte was literary content, yet his ideas of typography were eminently sound, or at least sane, with a distinctly individual character.” Ransom’s criticisms are with the small type used, and the dainty bindings which “forced the books into the gift class.” Later on a scant check-list of only thirty-nine Mosher titles is presented, giving title, date, size, limitation, and cost.
Ransom, Will. Selective Check Lists of Press Books — A Compilation of All Important & Significant Private Presses, or Press Books Which Are Collected. New York: Philip C. Duschnes, 1945 (Reprinted New York: James Cummins, 1992), pp. 182-210. The 336 entries are divided between The Mosher Books, and privately printed books of The Mosher Press. This is the first nearly comprehensive bibliography of Mosher’s publications aside from the Mosher catalogues themselves, and lists the first appearances within each series. It also cross-references to the same title published in different series.
Ratta, Cesare. L’Arte Del Libro e Della Rivista Nei Paesi D’Europa e D’America. Volume II. Bologna, Italy: Della Scuola d’Arte Tipografica del Comune di Bologna, 1927, plate 253.
Reedy, William Marion. “The Ending of The Bibelot” in The Bibelot: General Index. Portland, ME: Thomas Bird Mosher, , pp. 187-191. A lengthy quote is available from this work.
Rempel, Richard A., Andrew Brink, et. al. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Vol. 12 “Contemplation and Action, 1902-14.” London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983, pp. 63-64, 507 and 580. Presents information on Russell’s A Free Man’s Worship first published in book form by Mosher in 1923.
Reynolds, Symon. The Vision of Simeon Solomon. Stroud, Glos.: Catalpa Press Ltd., 1984, pp. 37 and 102. Reynolds cites the January & February 1909 issues of The Bibelot where Mosher first reprinted A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep by Simeon Solomon, but mentions nothing about the same work appearing a few months later in the Miscellaneous Series in 1909.
Richards, Grant. Author Hunting by an Old Literary Sportsman – Memories of Years Spent Mainly in Publishing 1897-1925. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1934., pp. 84, 88-90, 98. “Writing of Frank Murray just now I wrote the name of Mosher. Thomas B. Mosher was an American publisher who, fitly enough, carried on business at Portland, Maine, a state whose coast, indented, according to my atlas, with creeks and rich in islands and rivers, is, apart from its climate, the very place for pirates. He produced charming little books and a periodical The Bibelot. Yes, Andrew Lang was not incorrect in calling him a “pirate” in that he made full use of the fact that at the time he greatly flourished the English writer had little or no copyright protection in the United States. But it is difficult to see why the word “pirate” should be used in any opprobrious sense, since all that he did was to avail himself of his legal rights. Besides, much of what Mosher printed was “chosen from scarce editions and from sources not generally known”, while at all times he used material that was, according to the law of his country, within the public domain. However, pirate or honest man, Mosher was more or less a scholar and had as high a standard of book production and , apparently, as fine a sense of literary values, as any bookmaker or publisher working in the United States of his day. He did much, in that long dreary period which Miss Dorothy Dudley so well describes in Dreiser and the Land of the Free [in America this book was called Forgotten Frontiers], to keep the literary torch alight in the forty-five States of the Union…
Frank Murray of Derby, I suppose, had not such financial strength as Mosher, and, moreover, he had the cares of three bookshops. But he did make his mark although he was at the business of book production for only a short time. He helped to keep William Sharp on the map, for instance–he published Vistas at the Moray Press in 1904–and was surely the first man to put Fiona Macleod between covers–yes, Murray did that, no doubt on Sharp’s advice. It is a coincidence that Le Gallienne, writing about Mosher after his death, was able to state that the inception of Fiona Macleod’s fame was largely due to the American pirate’s devoted appreciation. Mosher and Murray were linked in that enthusiasm.”
“Mr. Mosher irks me because he prints better books than I do.” This last one-line excerpt is from Grant Richard’s letter to the London Times, March 13, 1914, defending Mosher against piracy charges.
RLIN & OCLC (Research Libraries Information Network, and the On-Line Library Center). Mountain View, CA: The Research Libraries Group, Inc., 1996. The following additional manuscript holdings are reported on the RLIN & OCLC databases. Duplicate listings found in the NUC of Manuscript Collections are excluded.
- RRAL93-A23 (two letters from Gilder to Mosher in Jeannette L. Gilder correspondence at Harvard)
- IAUG92-A497 (ALS, Francis Watts Lee to Mosher concerning The Knight Errant at Univ. of Iowa)
- PATV91-A34 (Gordon Bottomley correspondence at Temple University)
- PATV92-A164 (Gertrude Traubel archives at Temple University)
- NYCV91-A554 (Wilde Collection; twenty-eight letters from Mosher to W. R. Wilde, and six letters to Mary Hitchcock Wilde, plus other material, at Cornell University)
- TXRC91-A21 (Houghton, Mifflin & Co. letter to Mosher about American editions of the Rubáiyát, at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Univ. of TX at Houston)
- OCLC 34986612 (W. Irving Way, book correspondence and notes, thirty-four items, includes three letters from Thomas B. Mosher, in Special Collections, Newberry Library in Chicago. There are two other letters relating to Mosher’s The Garland of Rachael loosely inserted in a copy of this book [Wing ZP 983.M91127])
- OCLC 29231575 (Four-page letter from “Michael Field” to Thomas Bird Mosher in The Adelman
Collection at Bryn Mawr College Library)
- OCLC 17020344 (Letter sheet to James E. Abbe, accompanied by a note from Mosher to Mr. Hammond at Yale University)
- OCLC 34370340 (Letter from Henry Stephens Salt to Mosher. English Literary Authors Collection at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor)
Robinson, William A. Thomas B. Reed — Parliamentarian. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1930, p. 406. This reference is to the privately printed first edition of Reed’s Orations and Addresses (1911).
Rogers, W. G. Wise Men Fish Here — The Story of Frances Steloff and the Gotham Book Mart. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., , p. 52. In discussing Frances Steloff’s early start in the book business, Rogers writes: “She decided to go to Maine… Her friends met her in Portland. On her return Brentano’s at Twenty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue hired her at twelve dollars a week, her former salary but now without any evening hours. She took charge of the ‘little book table,’ a jumble of booklets impossible to classify plus, as she remembers, some lovely Mosher editions–printed in Portland, Maine, on rag paper with deckle edge, gilt top, and handsomely designed pages. (Mosher editions of Michelangelo’s sonnets, perhaps, or George Meredith’s poems, gave Robert Frost his taste for fine printing.) For her own benefit she drew up a list of strange and difficult titles and wrote and rewrote them till she could spell them: the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Quattrocentisteria by Maurice Hewlett, and Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson. People with a seventh-grade education would inevitably stumble over such puzzlers; so today would college graduates.”
Rollins, Carl Purington. Off the Dead Bank. Typophiles Chap Book XIX. New York: The Typophiles, 1949, p. 117. This chap book reprints Rollins’ essay on Maurice Hewlett’s “Sandro and Simonetta” in the 1937 Saturday Review of Literature, in which he states that “I read it first in those days when the little books from Mosher’s press, before we learned to attitudinize in our printing, lent to many a recovered treasure the charm of simplicity and decorum.”
Rossetti, William Michael. Bibliography of the Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. London: Ellis, 1905, p.7. This reference is to Mosher’s publication of The Germ (1898).
Rossetti, William Michael. “Introduction” in The Germ — Thoughts Towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art. Being a Facsimile Reprint of the Literary Organ of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Published in 1850. With an Introduction by William Michael Rossetti. London: Elliot Stock, 1901, pp. 27-28. William E. Fredeman, reviewing R. S. Hosman’s edition of The Germ in Victorian Poetry (10.1 [Spring 1972], pp. 87-94) demonstrated unequivocally that the Elliot Stock reprint is a typographic facsimile, a line-for-line (with two exceptions) reset of type in a slightly smaller typeface with minute variations (especially in the shape of the ?, !, and *) from the original. Only the wrappers are photo-facsimiles, but they are printed on a different paper. Stock corrected all but three of the typographic errors in the original, but introduced several new ones in the text, and transposed the wrappers of the second and third numbers, an alteration that immediately distinguishes the original edition from the reprint. Textual variations are summarized in a collation in Fredeman’s review. Among many reprints of The Germ, the most recent is Andrea Rose’s edition (first published by the Ashmolean Museum and the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery in 1979, and subsequently twice reprinted [1984, 1992]), which summarizes Fredeman’s findings in the preface, including his collation. In addition, Andrea Rose mentions Mosher on pp. v, and xvii-xviii of her preface.
Mosher acted as the American agent for 250 copies of this typographic “facsimile” of the original parts. In the separate introduction, William Michael Rossetti mentions that “before Mr. Stock’s long-standing scheme [to re-publish The Germ] could be legally carried into effect, an American publisher, Mr. Mosher, towards the close of 1898, brought out a handsome reprint of ‘The Germ’ (not in any wise a facsimile), and a few of the copies were placed on sale in London [under the Guild of Women-Binders imprint].” Rossetti further notes “a very pleasant notice” of the Mosher reprint in the Irish Figaro for May 6, 1889. In the copies provided Mosher for his distribution in America, the following notice is printed opposite the title page of William Michael Rossetti’s introduction: “Two hundred and fifty copies of the facsimile of THE GERM are printed for sale in the United States and have been acquired by Mr. Thomas B. Mosher. As the type has been distributed no more copies can be produced.” The facsimile is housed in a quarter white paper over charcoal blue paper case which looks much like a Mosher book. The London edition of the 1901 Elliot Stock facsimile does not carry this notice, and is housed in a black folding case with gilt on the front cover and spine:
Roth, William M. A Catalogue of English and American First Editions of William Butler Yeats. Prepared for an Exhibition of his Works held in the Yale University Library… New Haven, CT: Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1939, entries 72 and 73. The references are to various edition of Yeats’ The Land of Heart’s Desire including the 1903 privately printed “First revised book edition” and the 1903 Lyric Garland Series edition which followed.
Russell, A. G. B. [Archibald George Blomefield]. The Engravings of William Blake. London and Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1912, p. 100. This citation is to Mosher’s publication of Blakes’ XVII Designs to Thornton’s Virgil (1899).
Sappe, D. C., ed. HONEY JAR — A Receptacle for Literary Preserves. Vol. III, No. 1 Columbus, Ohio: At the Champlin Press, At the Sign of the Green Wreath, November 1899, plate I and discussion on p.16. This citation is about Mosher’s private library bookplate and includes a picture of the plate and discussion: “First we have the plate of Thomas Bird Mosher (of Bibelot fame). Concerning its origin the owner says it is drawn from the Old German. On a shield the base, sinister and dexter points of which round off into scrolls, an open book supported by two dolphins, tails entwined. Two demi-griffins of heroic size act as semi-supporters. On a ribbon beneath the shield and between a number of conventionalized flowers ‘Ex Libris Mdcccxcvij.’ Below is ‘Thomas Bird Mosher.’ All within a serrated border.”
Schauinger, Herman. A Bibliography of Trovillion Private Press — Operated by Violet & Hal W. Trovillion At the Sign of the Silver Horse. Herrin, IL: Privately Printed, Trovillion Private Press, 1943, pp. v. and 3. The opening lines of the Introduction mention that “Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine, set a high standard in the booklover’s world for anyone who would seek to follow in his footsteps. Not only did he make a valuable contribution to his time by introducing classics of literature to many who would not have had them but for him, but he also, even after his time passed, is an inspiration and guide to many who seek to follow where he led.” Later in describing the early influences on Hal Trovillion, Schauinger mentions how “William Marion Reedy, editor of the Reedy’s Mirror, had aroused in him the love of books, and Thomas Bird Mosher of Maine had influenced him in the love of well printed, neatly designed, and beautiful books. Trovillion wished to follow the example of Mosher and produce beautiful books himself.” –p.3
Schreyer, Alice D. The History of Books — A Guide to Selected Resources in the Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. The Center for the Book, Library of Congress, 1987, p. 54. “A long file of correspondence from Thomas B. Mosher concerns the publication of a Whitman anthology for which [Horace] Traubel wrote the preface. Mosher remarked that “Personally, I don’t quite like to see Whitman in Elbert Hubbard’s typography.” Mosher revealed that to him Whitman served as “a source of constant heartening up” and that he took great pains with the design and contents of The Book of Heavenly Death, published in 1905.”
Seymour, Ralph Fletcher. Some Went This Way — A Forty Year Pilgrimage Among Artists, Bookmen and Printers. Chicago, IL: R. F. Seymour, 1945, pp. 107-08. “It was not long before book makers began to compromise with simon pure handwork by substituting power press printing and machine made, rag paper for hand work. Copeland & Day, of Boston, did a few good books in this class. Thomas Bird Mosher, of Portland, Maine, became the most interesting exponent of this American way. His editions were however, printed on Van Gelder paper. He used small type, bound many editions in paper boards with blue charcoal wrappers, and all his editions were limited. Although he was an admirer of Morris his books did not look like Kelmscott Press ones except the few which were deliberately copied. His books were priced remarkably low and lovers of well made volumes who bought them got more for their money than they could anywhere else. Their contents sometimes were original contributions but oftener were reprints of belles-lettres and hard-to-find small literary masterpieces. Mosher intended to make interesting literary gems printed in charming formats available at low prices, an idea something like the one hit on by the house of Aldus, who undertook to publish literary masterpieces and useful books in large editions at low prices, giving the common man, who until then had hardly been permitted to read the Bible, his first chance in this world to get somewhere by reading books. Mosher thought literature should be free as air and when he ran across something interesting to both himself and others he was liable to reprint it in what is known as a pirated edition, unless it was protected by an air-tight copyright. Both he and I had reprinted Whistler’s “Ten O’Clock,” which had equivocal copyright protection, at best. I had sent a couple of copies of my edition to Charles Freer, of Detroit, who had assumed the role of protector of Whistler’s interests in this country, and he had demanded that I send the edition to him at once, for destruction. I had done so, after talking it over with an attorney. Mosher could not believe I had been such a fool. Thomas B. Mosher did a great deal to acquaint and interest many in good book making and in literature of distinction. He was a stocky, quiet, unpretentious man, with a big “wallop”, and a very interesting talker, if one could get him to talk. The flare for his publications faded somewhat before he died, due partly to the noticeable improvement in book making which appeared here, and to the great increase in human interest our literary people put into current writing.” Seymour was an important figure in the Chicago book world. He established the Alderbrink press, designed type, and produced books in both the Aesthetic and in Arts & Crafts style, but his later work leaned toward commercial production.
Shanks, Ken [Kenneth H.]. “Thomas Bird Mosher” in Library Review 24. Louisville, KY: The University of Louisville, November 1976, pp. 10-15. This paper, accompanied by three illustrations, largely draws upon Ray Nash’s biography in Benton Hatch’s A Check List... There are a few factual errors, e.g., indicating there are seventeen series of Mosher books (there were fourteen, plus the privately printed books), and stating the catalogues were entitled “The Mosher Books” as early as 1894 (this title only began in 1903). One of Shanks most delightful passages describes Mosher’s prefaces: “In these sparkling paragraphs and in the other free flowing bits of writing in which he explained and promoted his publications, the man is seen at his rollicking best. In them is revealed the personality of a robust and ready man obviously capable of holding his own in any company.” The author, Ken Shanks, was an electrical engineer and graduate of Purdue University. He assembled a large Mosher collection which formed the core of the collection now at the University of Louisville.
Sharp, Elizabeth, compiler. William Sharp (Fiona Macleod) — A Memoir. New York: Duffield & Company, 1910, pp. 318, 322, 333-334, 345. References are to many of the seventeen books Mosher published of Fiona Macleod’s works from 1902-1915.
Shay, Felix. Elbert Hubbard of East Aurora. New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1926, p. 270. A delightfully humorous quip appears in his chapter on “Jokes and Hoaxes” (pp. 269-70) where Shay presents “among his [Hubbard] hoaxes some that deserve honorable mention were the folderol advertisements he printed in The Philistine…” including “To Herbert S.: Thanks for your well-meant letter, but the Roycroft holds no copyright on the Song of Solomon and can not therefore ‘stop that man Mosher from pirating the stuff!’ as you suggest. None of Solomon’s stuff is covered by copyright.”
(Sheean Manuscript — A Mosher Book Collection). This is a seventy-two page manuscript on a large collection of Mosher’s publications assembled by Oliver Sheean (ca. 1940). It gives details on many of the Mosher books, including Sheean’s notes on particular titles, prices paid, source of purchase, and limitation. It’s organized in chronological order within each series. The manuscript is located at Colby College.
(Sheean Manuscript — Mosher’s Library). Probably recorded ca. 1930, there are five, undated legal-sized ledger volumes in Oliver Sheean’s hand (total of 132 pages, about forty-two book entries per page) with each set of books receiving only one line. This is the only surviving, nearly complete inventory of books in Mosher’s personal home library (Bishop collection). It does not include the books Mosher kept at his office on Exchange Street. No list has been uncovered which includes those volumes, many of which were lost in a fire at the business premises in 1915.
(Sheean Typescript of The Mosher Books). This eighty-four page typescript, located at Colby College (and another copy, eighty-one pages, at Dartmouth College), is a list of the Mosher Books prepared by a Mosher Press assistant, Oliver C. Sheean, probably around 1931/32. The list was most likely prepared under Flora Lamb’s guidance, and also most likely formed the basis of a bibliography Flora Lamb was hoping to produce for the Mosher Books clientele (an idea which she entertained as early as 1924). The list is often referred to by Benton Hatch who was able to trace the existence of some books only through this typescript. The Mosher Press was itself going to publish a bibliography of the Mosher Books, but the project never came to fruition. It is quite likely that this list was the basis for the proposed bibliography. The typescript separately lists Van Gelder, Japan vellum, and pure vellum editions along with their limitations; however, the Japan vellum listings only record the issuance of each first edition, leaving second and subsequent Japan vellum editions unrecorded. The list also includes Mosher Press books published up to 1931. See also the Lamb Typescript of The Mosher Books.
Sherbo, Arthur. “On the Ethics of Reprinting: Thomas Mosher vs. Andrew Lang” in New England Quarterly — A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters. Vol. 64, No. 1. Boston, MA, March 1991, pp. 100-112 (and also in American Notes & Queries: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews. Vol. 3, No.4 (New Series). October 1990). This article consists mostly of reprints of the exchanges over the piracy issue between Mosher, Lang and the editors which appeared in the New York-based periodical The Critic, an Illustrated Monthly Review of Literature , Art, and Life from December 1895-November 1896.
Shorter, Clement. “Beneficent ‘Piracy’ “in Literary Digest. Vol. 48. No. 19. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, May 9, 1914, pp. 1113-1114. According to the introduction, Shorter’s remarks were taken from the London Sphere. Shorter defends Mosher against the charge of piracy by James Blackwood, president of the British Publishers’ Association, and R. B. Marston of The Publisher’s Circular. He also points out the number of books Mosher published that were either out of copyright (Dreamthorp) or simply in the general public domain (The Sermon on the Mount). He also mentions that many British publishers, just a generation ago, freely stole the writings of Emerson, Holmes, Longfellow, and Cooper from America.
Smith, Professor A. J. (Albert James), ed. John Donne: The Critical Heritage. Volume II. Completed with introductory and editorial material by Catherine Phillips. London and New York: Routledge, 1996, p. 102. There is a total of 139 entries which range from 1873-1923. The Mosher entry indicates that “The American publisher T. B. Mosher (1852-1923) gave eighteen of Donne’s love-lyrics and ‘A Hymn to God the Father’ in the literary journal he edited. He introduced the poems with some appreciative passages from recent studies by Goose and Saintsbury, and added a warm commendation of his own (Bibelot, 3 (1897), 106).” Following this comment is an excerpt from Mosher’s introduction to the selections in The Bibelot cited above.
Sowerby, E. Millicent. Rare People & Rare Books. Williamsburg, VA: The Bookpress, 1987, p.70. Mentions the attitude of the British auction houses toward the Mosher books: “Thinking of books on view before a sale calls to mind the curious changes that are wrought by time. Whenever Sotheby’s had a sale that included modern books of which the copyright had not expired, for the three days that they could be looked at the sale-room was visited by inspectors, who had come to make sure that there were no illegal Mosher imprints in the collection. Mr. Mosher, a printer [sic] in the United States, was making himself a nice profit by printing editions of English books copyrighted in England, but not in the United States, so that, although he was breaking no law in his own country, he was depriving the authors and copyright owners of their rightful dues. Mosher imprints were illegal in England at that time, and could not be sold at auction. I am writing, of course, of over forty years ago, and the copyright law has since been changed. The interesting thing is that the same situation exists now, or did until very recently, not between England and the United States, but between the United States and Russia! A few years ago, when the late Mr. Adlai Stevenson was in Moscow, one of the problems with which he had to cope was the publication by Russian printers of books copyrighted in the United States, but not in Russia, so that by the sale of these books the American authors were being deprived of the royalties due to them, as the English authors had been cheated by Mr. Mosher in the past!” Sowerby worked for Voynich, Sotheby’s, and Rosenbach.
Spencer, Geoffrey. “Limited Editions, Peoples’s Prices: Mosher’s Half Million” in Amphora II. Vancouver, Canada: The Alcuin Society, Spring 1968, pp. 14-23 (also reprinted in: In Praise of the Book… Vancouver, Canada: The Alcuin Society, 1992, pp. 2-8). A humorous account of an impecunious collector who had collected the Mosher books for some thirty years, first when living in England, then after emigrating to Canada. In building his modest collection he notes, “but the fun is in the chase. I’d give my eye-teeth, for example, for a copy of the 1925 [sic-1905] edition in Royal Quarto of the 14-point ‘Kasidah’. If the devil happens to be among our members, he can have what’s left of my soul in part payment.” –p. 18
—. “A Rambling Salute to Pocket- & Series Books” in Amphora 114. Vancouver, Canada: The Alcuin Society, Winter 1998, pp. 23, 28-29, 32.
Steinhardt, Maxwell. “An Appreciation of Mosher” in the Quarto Club Papers — 1926-1927… Limited to 195 copies. [New York: Pynson Printers, June 1927], pp. 43-54. This paper was read before the members of the Quarto Club on July 13, 1926. Steinhardt gives basic biographic details and repeats often stated quotes from the Amphora, and from Christopher Morley and Richard Le Gallienne with regard to the charge of piracy.
Stern, Madeline B. Imprints on History — Book Publishers and American Frontiers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956, p. 366. This single entry indicates that following the death of Mosher, the press was supervised by Flora Lamb, and in 1942 was bought from Mrs. Mosher by J. G. Williams of Williams Book Store in Boston, and is now (i.e., as of 1956) continued by Harriet E. Williams, his daughter, with a specialty in “literary and scholarly works.”
Stevens, Edward F. “The Kelmscott Influence in Maine”in Colby Library Quarterly Series I, No. 6. [March 1944], pp. 92-95. This brief collection of observations by Stevens (collected by Carl Weber) includes a selection of his remarks in Mathews’ Thomas Bird Mosher of Portland, Maine. The balance of the article is on Bruce Rogers, mentioning his early design work for Mosher, and Rogers’ influence on Fred Anthoensen. Stevens comments there were seven Kelmscott Press books in Mosher’s library. The Sheean Manuscript of Mosher’s Library reveals there were at least fourteen Kelmscott books in Mosher’s library.
Strouse, Norman H. A Collector’s Decabiblon. San Francisco: The Gleeson Library Associates, 1972, pp. 3-6 and 21. The first part of this printed address deals with Strouse’s collecting the Mosher books, and how the 1948 sale of Mosher’s library provided the occasion for his first of “ten most exciting experiences as a collector,” thus the title, a collector’s ten top book experiences: A Collector’s Decabiblon.
Strouse, Norman H. How to Build a Poor Man’s Morgan Library. [Limited Edition]. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Library Associates, Christmas 1966, pp. 6-8. This address was delivered at the luncheon of the Syracuse University Library Associates on May 20, 1966 after the dedication of the Mayfield Library. It is based on a talk given before the Book Club of Detroit seven years earlier. Strouse mentions how his various facets of book collecting were grounded in his introduction to fine printing through The Mosher Books.
Strouse, Norman H. “Thomas Bird Mosher — The Passionate Pirate. An Address by Norman H. Strouse.” Unpublished address. November 25, 1960. This thirty-one page address, divided into ten parts, was delivered at The Rowfant Club in Cleveland, OH. The address formed the core ideas for Strouse’s book-length treatment of Mosher in The Passionate Pirate.
Strouse, Norman H. The Passionate Pirate. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1964. A checklist (by series) appears at the end of this book. This list, though in need of revision, provided the model for the “Overview” in Section I of the present new bibliography. The contents of this first biography of Mosher in book form includes the following chapters: Seafarer, Pirate, Publisher, Anthologist, Bibliophile, and Aldus of the XIX Century. For a review of this biography, see James Moran’s review in The Black Art. Vol. 3, No. 3. London: Published by James Moran (Printed by Thomas Rae Ltd-Scotland), 1964/65, front cover and pp. 81-83. This book was also displayed at the Conference on Bibliography held at Penn State, November 1964 at which many of the Bird & Bull Press books were exhibited.
Strouse, Norman H. See also (Free Library) and (Grolier) entries.
Sturm, Rudolf, Herausgegeben. François Villon — Bibliographie und Materialien 1489-1988. Volume I & II. München, London, New York, Paris: K. G. Saur, 1990, entries 198, 187, 212, 217 and 231. Though this is a two volume set, all the bibliographical entries are in the first volume. This bibliography is not only thorough, but it is also delightfully illustrated throughout, sometimes in color.
Sypher, Francis Jacques, editor. A Year’s Letters by Algernon Charles Swinburne. New York: New York University Press, 1974, pp. xxx-xxxi and xxxv-xxxvi. Sypher’s introduction (pp. xi-xxxviii) is an informative publishing history A Year’s Letters, including a bibliography of the work’s appearance. It is interesting to note that Swinburne himself edited Mosher’s edition to first provide a text for his regular publishers, Chatto and Windus.
Tanselle, G. Thomas. Guide to the Study of United States Imprints. Vol. 2. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press for Harvard University Press, 1971, pp. 619-20. This is a list of twenty-four books and articles related to Thomas Bird Mosher (entries GM 8000.04-.41).
Taylor, John Russell. The Art Nouveau Book in Britain. Edinburgh: Paul Harris Publishing, 1980, p.33. Illustration iii shows the C. R. Ashbee device for the Guild of Handicarft which Mosher used on a bound copy of Katharine Tynan’s “A Little Book for Mary Gill’s Friends” taken from September 1907 issue of The Bibelot, and the same device used on p. 8 of Mosher’s privately printed Little Willie (1904).
Tebbel, John. A History of Book Publishing in the United States. Vols. III & IV. New York: R. R. Bowker Company, 1981, pp. 436 & 662, and 427-28 respectively. There are some interesting notes in these references to Mosher, but there is also a good deal of inaccurate information, especially with regard to the Williams Book Store taking over the Mosher Press. The two most noticeable problems are the year assigned to the takeover (should be 1941, not 1942) and the almost complete gloss over the years Flora Lamb ran the Mosher Press. To follow the write-up in Tebbel, one is told “The house [Mosher Press] had virtually ceased publishing before Mosher’s death.” and leaves one with the distinct impression that nothing happened between 1923 and 1941 which, of course, is not the case. In an interesting note, mention is made that “Ben Huebsch, of Viking, whose career in publishing had extended as long as Mosher’s, and who thought him something of a pirate, although brilliant at the trade. Frederic Melcher, of PW [Publisher’s Weekly], held a similar view.” Mention is also made to Pearl Strachan’s article, “Maine’s Noted Press Finds a New Home in Boston” which appeared in The Christian Science Monitor for Feb. 21, 1942.
Thompson, Susan Otis. American Book Design and William Morris. Foreword by Jean-François Vilain. London: The British Library, and New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1996 (reprint of the original R.R. Bowker Company edition of 1977). The standard discussion on printing around the time Mosher published, with an excellent chapter entitled “Thomas Bird Mosher: The Aesthetic Pirate,” pp. 190-197. The foreword mentions or discusses Mosher on pp. xix, xx, xxv-xxvi. Mosher is also mentioned as one of three influences on Will Ransom (p. 135). There are a few corrections to Thompson’s original section on Mosher. On page 194 she mentions that “the Hatch bibliography reveals nineteen titles by Morris…” This is a little misleading. There were fifteen titles published, but when factoring in the duplication between series, one comes up with a total of nineteen books. On p.195, line 9, one should read “eighth” rather than “seventh.” Also on page 194 she mentions there were “seven Kelmscott Press books in Mosher’s personal library.” Subsequent research reveals there were at least fourteen Kelmscotts on his shelves. Lastly, Thompson notes on p. 195 that Mosher used Jenson type as a text face at least once, on George Meredith: a Tribute by J. M. Barrie. In actuality Mosher used it as a text face on at least four other occasions: Hand and Soul, Empedocles on Etna, and on In Praise of Omar. Together these are rather small corrections compared to the overall strength of the original chapter nestled within a “classic” on American book design.
Thompson, Susan Otis. ” ‘Reform in Craftsmanship’ — Books.” in Wendy Kaplan’s “The Art that is Life”: The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920. Boston: Little, Brown and Company (Boston Museum of Fine Arts), 1987, pp. 294-295. Entry 156, highlighting Mosher’s Empedocles on Etna, provides a brief summary of Mosher’s publishing career and life. Thompson notes that the combination of his love of literature and love for fine printing “makes him an enduring figure in the history of American bookmaking.” Thompson notes the influence of both the Kelmscott and Vale Press on Mosher’s books.
Thomajan, P. K. America’s Oldest Private Press. Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press, 1952. “Hal W. Trovillion got started in the private press venture in a novel manner… Back in 1908, inspired by the holiday keepsakes issued by that well-known New York importer of fine handmade papers, Thomas N. Fairbanks, Hal decided to issue some Christmas items… Along about this time Hal came under the influence of Thomas Bird Mosher, was greatly impressed by his literary taste and typographical manners, and as a direct result he aspired to producing his first complete book in 1913, under title of ‘Neapolitan Vignettes’… The Trovillions take pride in carrying on the Mosher tradition– publishing rare gems of literature, old and new, with impeccable taste. In these editions, text, paper, design, decor, printing and binding are molded into one homogeneous whole.” –pp. [3-5]. The text for this book was reprinted from the July 1952 issue of The Inland Printer, and also appeared in the newsletter, “At the Sign of the Silver Horse,” Vol. XIII, No. 1. Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press, August, 1953.
Tinker, Edward Larocque. “New Editions, Fine and Otherwise” in The New York Times Book Review. October 5, 1941, p. 28. “In the same year that William Morris in England launched his Kelmscott Press that was to inspire a movement circling the globe, William [sic] Bird Mosher in Portland, Me., matured his plans to provide a better standard of printing on this side of the Atlantic by manufacturing well-made, beautifully designed books at prices within the reach of the general public–prices ranging from $1.50 to $5.
With his hawkeye for the fine and unusual, he selected for his first venture George Meredith’s “Modern Love and Other Poems,” then almost unknown. Choosing excellent materials, he stood over a Portland printer until he had worried him into producing an approximation of the book that Mosher could see in his mind’s eye. It was far superior in taste and design to anything then being done in this country and became the cornerstone of that long series of 500 reprints–as excellent in their choice of text as in the execution of their typography.
Soon these book were sought by bibliophiles all over the world and Mosher became far better known in Bombay, London, Melbourne or San Francisco than he was in Portland; and the catalogues he issued once a year were treasured as collector’s items, for not only were they fascinating typographically but there were also delightful literary jewels, culled from his wide reading, inserted here and there wherever there was room. Richard Le Gallienne described them as “the catalogue raisonné lifted into the region of poetry”…
His ideas of typography were sane and charming, and the only criticism might be the smallness of type and the fragile daintiness of covers. In spite of this, his books and the issues of the “Bibelot” as well are important collectors’ items because they mark the beginning, and were the inspiration of, the renaissance in printing that took place in this country at the turn of the last century.”
(Tinker, Edward Laroque). Trade Prices Current – Press Books – 1937-1938. New York, R. R. Bowker Co., 1938, pp. 67-79. These pages give author (in alpha order), title date and price information on each book. Granted, this list is for 1938, but it helps to give some idea of the retail book prices of Mosher books in comparison to other private press books, as garnered from the American rare book trade.
Trovillion, Violet De Mars, and Hal W. Trovillion. As a Hobby: A Private Press. Herrin, IL: Trovillion Private Press, 1941, p. . From the Preface: “About the time we were becoming enthusiastic in carrying on the Christmas book-making habit, Thomas Mosher was issuing his pretty books and publishing his inspiring monthly Bibelot at Portland, Maine. In our opinion neither before nor since has America had as neatly or as perfectly designed and printed gems of book-making as this optimistic private publisher turned out. He was our ideal, and we have long strived to pattern our products after the sound standards he set.”
(Trovillion) The Private Press — An Exhibition in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of The Trovillion Private Press 1908-1958.Foreword by Frank Luther Mott. [Lmtd to 100 copies]. Carbondale, IL: The Hornstone Press for the Southern Illinois University Library, May 1959. The Mosher productions of Matthew Arnold’s Empedocles on Etna, 1900, and Alexander Smith’s Dreamthorp, 1913 were both included in this exhibition along with the note that Mosher “was an early influence on the Trovillions.”
Turner, David. “Thomas Bird Mosher–A Reappraisal.” Four-page typed address. Portland, ME, Nov./Dec. 1981. Turner addressed the Baxter Society on at least two occasions, the last one of which was on October 19, 1988, during which time he presented a slide show on Mosher. Along with Norma Carlson, David Turner operated Carlson & Turner Books in Portland, ME, which was sold in 1996. Both typescripts are in the Bishop collection.
Van Trump, James D. and Arthur P. Ziegler, Jr. “Thomas Bird Mosher: Publisher and Pirate” in The Book Collector. Vol. II, No. 3. London: The Shenval Press, Ltd., Autumn 1962, pp. 295-312. Though some facts on Mosher and his productions were not available to the authors in 1962 (Strouse’s Passionate Pirate with his checklist only came out in 1964, and the Hatch bibliography in 1966), and there are a few errors on facts pertaining to the different series, this illustrated article ranks as one of the better, with a concise and superb section on the controversy over the Mosher piracies. Some of the errors appear on p. 300 which includes several inaccuracies: the Songs of Adieu is incorrectly assigned to the English Reprint Series, the titles in Bibelot Series books were said to be reprinted ten times in impressions of 1000 each, and the authors said the first three books printed were in the English Reprint Series. On p. 303 Nature Thoughts is identified as a series which, of course, could have been avoided at the time by consulting Mosher’s catalogues.
Verster, Evelyn. Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner (1855-1920); A Bibliography Compiled by… [Cape Town]: University of Cape Town Libraries, 1972. “Presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Higher Certificate in Librarianship, 1947.” There are earlier copies of this brief bibliography dated 1946. The Mosher edition of Dreams is listed as entry 11 but Verster doesn’t list the date of the Mosher edition.
Via, Marie, and Marjorie B. Searl, editors. Head, Heart and Hand: Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester Press, 1994, p. 38. This work is, of course, overwhelmingly devoted to the Roycrofters, but includes a color photograph (plate 38) neatly contrasting an issue of Mosher’s The Bibelot with Hubbard’s The Philistine, in the section entitled “The Roycroft Printing Shop: Books, Magazines and Ephemera” authored by Jean-François Vilain. Both magazines are examples of “The Little Magazines” of the period. “Most of these ‘dinky’ magazines (so named because of their small size and lack of pretensions) lasted only a few issues, while some, like the Philosopher, the Phoenix, and the Whim, endured a few years. Only two, Thomas Bird Mosher’s Bibelot and Hubbard’s Philistine, lasted twenty years. Of the two, Hubbard’s ‘periodical of protest’ (as he liked to call it) was by far the more successful, boasting in 1911 a subscription list of two hundred thousand.” The number of subscribers to The Bibelot peaked to around four thousand from 1907-09.
Vilain, Jean François. “The Literary Pirate: the Covers of the Mosher Books” in Craftsman Homeowner. Vol. IV, No. 1. Spring 1993, p. 3. The contents are basically the above article which appeared in the Trade Bindings Research Newsletter.
Vilain, Jean François. “The Passionate Promoter (Thomas Bird Mosher).” Part II. Arts and Crafts Quarterly Magazine. Vol. V, No. 1. Trenton, NJ: Arts & Crafts Quarterly, [Spring 1992], pp. 28-31. The magazine’s editor mixed up the title of this two-part article. The author intended the article’s title to read: “The Passionate Pirate and the Passionate Promoter: Thomas Bird Mosher and Elbert Hubbard.” Part I of this article dealt with Elbert Hubbard as The Passionate Promoter. Part II should have been The Passionate Pirate. The article covers basic biographical and publishing facts, discusses Mosher’s literary piracy, and contrasts Mosher’s publishing program with that of the Roycrofters under Elbert Hubbard. The article is supplemented with three photographs of books and Mosher’s portrait.
Vilain, Jean François. “Printing and American Arts and Crafts 1890-1910” in Arts and Crafts Quarterly Magazine. Vol. III, No. 3. Trenton, NJ: Arts & Crafts Quarterly, [Summer 1990], pp. 26-31. Mosher is discussed (primarily pp. 26-27) along with Elbert Hubbard of the Roycrofters, and the private presses and designers of the period found in Chicago, Boston, and New York, and elsewhere. A photograph of the title of Mosher’s Fancy’s Following (1900) heads the article.
Vilain, Jean François, and Philip R. Bishop. “The Covers of the Mosher Books” in Trade Bindings Research Newsletter. (#5) Edited by Linda Herman and Cynthia Bruns. Fullerton, CA: CSUF Library, June 1992, pp. 16-20. This article summarized the cover design research findings of Bishop and Vilain in preparation for the Temple Exhibit listed below. The article briefly mentions the examples of British designers whose work appears on the Mosher books. It also touches upon the American designers like Bruce Rogers, Frederic Goudy, Earl Stetson Crawford, and Thomas Maitland Cleland
Vilain, Jean François, and Philip R. Bishop. Thomas Bird Mosher and the Art of the Book. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company, 1992. This 112 page monograph commemorated the 100th anniversary of the books published by Thomas Bird Mosher, and reassesses his place in publishing history as a more central figure in the American revival of the printing arts. Widely known as a literary pirate, the study also shows him to be a “graphics pirate”, borrowing much from English artists. It offers new research on Mosher’s designs, methods and sources. The catalogue accompanied an exhibition at Temple University (summer 1992), and contains seventy-one black and white photographs in addition to detailed entries for books and materials exhibited. The work also contains an extensive index. Additions to Hatch were included in the ‘Addenda & Corrigenda’ section. For a critical review of this book see: PBSA, Vol. 87, No. 4. December, 1993, pp. 530-31. The chapter “Moshers’s Place in Printing History” is available, as are the exhibition entries.
Wade, Allan. A Bibliography of the Writings of W. B. Yeats. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1958, entries 12, 13, 13A, and 231. The references are to various edition of Yeats’ The Land of Heart’s Desire including the 1903 privately printed “First revised book edition” and the 1903 Lyric Garland Series edition which followed, and the Miscellaneous Series edition of 1909.
Walsdorf, John J. William Morris in Private Press and Limited Editions: A Descriptive Bibliography of Books by and about William Morris. Foreword by Sir Basil Blackwell. Phoenix, AZ: The Oryx Press, 1983. The Mosher Press is one of the major presses included in this extensive bibliography and is amply represented including lengthy descriptions and photo-illustrations.
Warde, Frederic. Bruce Rogers — Designer of Books… and Irvin Haas. Bruce Rogers: A Bibliography. New York, Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1968, p. 9. A reprint of the 1925 and 1936 editions respectively. The first work contains a list of books printed under Bruce Roger’s supervision, and the second work contains unrecorded work by Rogers from 1889-1925 missed in Warde.
Warren, Arthur. The Charles Whittinghams, Printers. New York: The Grolier Club (Printed by DeVinne), 1896. A rich source book for Chiswick Press designs used by Mosher for many of his books, including some of his more substantial productions: The Germ, Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair, The Story of David Gray, and head- and tail-pieces for many, many others in Mosher’s different series. Apparently Mosher was an original subscriber to the book, and a copy was recorded in his library (see the Mosher library sales catalogue, Part I, #362). It presents an extensive overview of the Chiswick Press and the many initials, head bands, and border designs of Charlotte Whittingham and her sister, Elizabeth Eleanor, mostly all engraved by Mary Byfield. Reproductions of the border designs used on the covers of Our Lady’s Tumbler (1900), The Silence of Amor (1902), and The House of Usna (1903) can be seen in Warren’s sections on “The Borders” and “The Woodcuts”: pp. 251-258 (borders copied by Mary Byfield from a 1525 Book of Hours printed by Geoffrey Tory of Bruges and reused in a prayerbook published by Longmans), and pp. 267-275 (border designs for Keble’s Christian Year ). Mosher or his printer may have photo-mechanically reproduced these designs, or a type supply house may have offered them. That he may have photo-mechanically done so seems to be supported by his manipulation of the designs in some instances, including switching design elements, or enlargements and reductions in some instances.
Way, W. Irving. An Autobiographical Fragment. [Los Angeles]: Reprinted from the Feb. 1968 issue of Hoja Volante by Roby Wentz and Grant Dahlstrom for a joint meeting of the Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs, 1974, p. 5. The long and warm friendship between Mosher and Way is mentioned in an end note by Homer P. Earle.
Wheeler, Charles V [Van Cise]. (auction catalogue) The Important Private Library of Charles V. Wheeler of Washington, D.C. Part II (No. 126). English Literature. Early Printing, Colored Plate Books, First Editions, Association Items and The Edward FitzGerald Collection — The most complete ever offered.” New York: The Walpole Galleries, July 29 & 30, 1919. Many of the Rubáiyát items in this catalogue were once in the collection of Thomas Bird Mosher, however, only select items are identified as once belonging to Mosher.
Wheeler, Charles Van Cise. “A Bibliography of Edward FitzGerald, Composed of largely items in the collection of C.V.C. Wheeler including the collection formed by T. B. Mosher…” Unpublished typescript – carbon copy. 3 vols. Washington, D. C.: Prepared… for proposed very limited edition for private circulation only, 1919. Wheeler purchased Mosher’s Rubáiyát collection and had intended to have Mosher publish a bibliography of FitzGerald’s version of the Rubáiyát. This never came to pass, and Wheeler deposited his three-volume typescript in the Library of Congress in March 1920 (Call No. Z8301 .W56 [Office]). The carbon copy volumes were given by Wheeler to The Newberry Library in Chicago in May 1928 (Special Collections, Case Y 12 F585). The first volume includes British and American editions; the second foreign editions, parodies, etc.; and the third contains unique items, among other things. Page 118 of Volume I indicates that each Old World Edition (except for the 9th edition) included 100 numbered copies printed on Japan vellum, but this appears to be incorrect for the Old World Rubáiyáts of 1898 and 1899. Items which were once in the Mosher collection are so identified throughout the typescript. Volume I, p. 117 of the Wheeler bibliography records the FitzGerald Rubáiyát in The Bibelot Series; pp. 118-128 record the Old World Series Rubáiyáts, pp. 178-186 are reserved for the Vest Pocket Series editions; p. 176 lists the 1899 privately printed edition as the “Grigsby Edition”; and pp. 215-16 contain information on the 1902 facsimile edition.
Wheeler, Henry O. “The Mosher Books.” Unpublished address. Forty-eight page typewritten paper read before the Zamorano Club. Los Angeles, CA, September 30, 1936. A copy of this address is in The Donohue Rare Book Room, The Gleeson Library, University of San Francisco. Wheeler’s talk covers, among other things, the close relationship between Mosher and W. Irving Way. Way was once part of the Chicago publishing firm, Way & Williams, and later moved to Los Angeles where he became a book distributor to California dealers. He was also curator of the Zamorano Club. Wheeler discusses the many Mosher books he acquired from Way’s collection through Jake Zeitlin, including those with lengthy inscriptions and letters (quoted throughout). Through the same dealer he also acquired several books bearing the bookplates of Mosher, Henry W. Poor, and Herman M. Schroeter. Obviously, Wheeler was not only a Mosher enthusiast, but likewise had great respect for his former colleague, W. Irving Way.
Wheelock, John Hall. A Bibliography of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920, p. 23. The citation is to Mosher’s publication of Theodore Roosevelt–A Tribute (1919) by William Hard.
White, William. “Thomas Bird Mosher and A Shropshire Lad” in Serif 5, No. 2. Kent, OH, , pp. 30-33.
Who’s Who. 4th ed. 1906-07. The Mosher entry varies slightly from edition to edition of Who’s Who.
Wick, Peter A., ed. The Turn of a Century 1885-1910: Art Nouveau – Jugenstil Books. Cambridge, MA: Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, The Houghton Library, Harvard University, 1970, pp. 13-14 (entry #8, John Gray’s Silverpoints). The reference notes the Silverpoints design by Charles Ricketts which Mosher used on his own 1906 catalogue of The Mosher Books.
(Widener, Harry Elkins) [Rosenbach, A. S. W., compiler]. A Catalogue of the Books and Manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson in the Library of the Late Harry Elkins Widener. With a Memoir by A.S.W. Rosenbach. Philadelphia: Privately Printed, 1913. pp. 157-158. Entry 116 describes a pure vellum copy of R.L.S.’s Father Damien printed by Mosher in 1905. Widener lost his life with his father in the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. Rosenbach noted, “he was the youngest collector who ever formed a noteworthy collection; his years were but twenty-seven. In the history of collecting, among the glittering names in the chronicle of books, there is not one that combined with youth the knowledge, the enthusiasm, the fine discrimination that he possessed… He was not merely a gatherer of rare and precious volumes, but a deep scholar, and an original and zealous investigator of the science of books.” That an imprint from T. B. Mosher would have been selected by Widener is evidence of the value Mosher’s imprints had to this connoisseur of books. The Widener literature collection was eventually transferred to Harvard where it finally resided in the rare book collection of the new library building built and dedicated by the Widener family in 1905 in honor of their son.
Williamson, Dr. G. C. Behind My Library Door — Some Chapters on Authors, Books and Miniatures. With Illustrations. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1921, pp. 201-203. Williamson recounts an episode when he gave Mosher’s Félise to A. C. Swinburne, via Swinburne’s mother, for signing. She viewed the book as a compliment to her son, and Swinburne himself replied that he considered the selection from his poems, “a judicious one.”
Wirth, Alexander C. Complete Bibliography of Lizette Woodworth Reese. Baltimore: The Proof Press, 1937, p. 10. This early bibliography lists fourteen first editions of Lizette Woodworth Reese’s books including A Branch of May first published by Baltimore: Cushing & Baily, 1887 (Mosher in 1909), A Handful of Lavender first published Boston & New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1891 (Mosher in 1915), and A Quiet Road Boston & New York, 1896 (Mosher in 1916). The only book Mosher published first was A Wayside Lute in 1909. See also the Lizette Woodworth Reese Collection. University of Virginia Library, 1971.
Wise, Thomas J. A Bibliography of The Writings in Prose and Verse of Algernon Charles Swinburne. 2 vols. London: Printed for Private Circulation, 1919. Reprinted London: Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1966, entries No. 33 and 56 and Vol. I, pp. 220, 304, 412. References are for Mosher’s editions of The Heptalogia (1898), Laus Veneris (1899), Poems & Ballads–Second & Third Series (1902) and Under the Microscope (1899).
Wolf, Thomas. “Thomas Bird Mosher: Historical Aspects of his Life and Work.” Unpublished summer research grant paper. Swarthmore, PA: Swarthmore College, 1967. This 136 page research paper included original research done at the Huntington, Columbia, and Houghton libraries, and includes sections entitled “The Mosher Legacy”, “Operating a Private Press (Mosher-style)”, and “Cultural Custodian as Anthologist”. The appendices include the text of the T. B. Mosher-Andrew Lang controversy as it appeared in The Critic, and an unpublished defense of Mosher’s piracy written by Mosher himself. According to a note under the dedication, “this paper represents the first half of a full-scale biography of Thomas Mosher.” So far as is known, no further work was completed. The paper is especially helpful in placing Mosher and his publishing activities with that small group of individuals around the turn-of-the-century who were concerned with spreading literature among the middle-class, and with protecting and helping to restore Anglo-Saxon culture in the midst of the transformations of modern industrial society.
Wright, Samuel. A Bibliography of the Writings of Walter H. Pater. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1975. Contains a biography of Mosher (“Thomas Bird Mosher: Man of Letters,” pp. 157-59) and references on books and articles about Mosher (pp. 159-60). Wright also provides an account of “Walter Pater in Mosher’s The Bibelot (pp. 161-62) and Pater’s books reprinted in Mosher’s various series (pp. 162-63).
Writers’ Program (Maine). Portland City Guide. Compiled by workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administrations in the State of Maine… Sponsored by the City of Portland. American Guide Series. [Portland, ME]: The Forrest City Printing Company, 1940, pp. 166-167, 258. Though it is good to see that Portland formally paid homage to Mosher in its 1940 city guide, the information on Mosher and The Mosher Press contains several errors. Page 166 indicates “in 1895 Mosher started under his own name the Bibelot series of reprints…” It becomes clearer as one reads on that the “series” being discussed is, in fact, not a series at all, but rather the periodical, The Bibelot. This muddled description only perpetuates the confusion between The Bibelot itself, “The Bibelot Series,” and the “Reprints from ‘The Bibelot’ Series.” Additionally, the write-up often refers to a series as an “edition,” e.g., the “Brocade edition.” Another error is the 1859 date assigned to the original edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It was the 1855 edition which Mosher used as the basis for his type facsimile. The write-up also indicates that “the Mosher Press was the first in America to adopt the dolphin and anchor device…” This is not the case, for Mosher was preceded by at least two Boston publishers who used an anchor and dolphin device decades before him: Hilliard, Gray, and Company, and Roberts Brothers. Furthermore, the writers indicate that the anchor and dolphin device was first introduced in the “Venetian Series.” This is also incorrect in that the “Venetian Series,” started in 1910, only uses an anchor device. Combined anchor and dolphin devices began as early as 1902 in the “Reprints of Privately Printed Books,” the “Quarto Series,” and in the privately printed books. On p. 258 the write-up indicates Mosher’s office was at 45 Exchange Street since “that company came into existence in 1895.” Mosher only moved to that location in 1896, prior to which his office was at 37 Exchange Street. Otherwise, the Mosher entry is roughly accurate, including its final statement that Mosher “was better known as a publisher in London than in Portland.”
Wroth, Lawrence C. “Printing in the Mauve Decade” (“Notes for Bibliophiles” column) in the New York Herald, February 8, 1942, p. 18. “From William Morris to Thomas Bird Mosher seems an unusual jump, and yet it is perfectly clear that while Morris was performing the service which we have described above [Morris’s impact on printing, and turning the book into an object of art], and while Elbert Hubbard in the United States was trying to smuggle himself into Morris’s mantle, Mosher was attempting a revivification of the typographical tradition, applying to the task a narrow but exquisite taste. Then and now his friends have claimed too much for him. The tradition of good printing had not died out in the United States; Joel Munsell, John Wilson, Theodore Low DeVinne, and Walter Gilliss, were among those, past and present, who had kept it alive; D. B. Updike was about to set up the Merrymount Press, and Bruce Rogers, already known, was soon to be at the Riverside Press. None the less, the normal reader of good literature felt that a new delight had entered his life when the first number of the “Bibelot,” Mosher’s monthly reprint of prose and poetry was put into his hands. The large number of “Mosher books,” embodying reprints and first publications of verse and other forms of belles lettres, which the reader saw in the next twenty years continued to give him delight. Here was a publisher who, employing for his books the type faces of common use, required that they be set with thoughtfulness and care, and printed faultlessly upon selected paper, and who carried to fulfillment the requirements thus established by the closest supervision of his printers. If the pattern of the typical Mosher book seldom varied, neither did the excellence of its production. Occasionally when he stepped off the accustomed path Mr. Mosher’s taste failed him. Blowing up Edward Calvert’s matchless miniature wood engravings and copperplates to twice their size and printing them from photo-engravings was an instance in point. But within the limits set by the general rum of his books he did a superb service, unforgotten by his readers, in a period when even the best typography was struggling with the illness caused by too much complacency on the one hand and by undigested William Morris on the other.”
Yorke, Dane. “That Man Mosher.” Unpublished typescript. Biddeford, ME, ca. 1947. Consists of fifty-eight pages of typewritten material forming a chapter on the early formative years of Mosher’s life up to 1891. The account presents information which is sometimes contrary to, or new to, the established folklore and myth repeated over and over in various tributes and memorial essays. The typescript, Yorke’s notes, and supporting documentary material (manuscripts, diaries, programs, booklets, and correspondence) are in the Bishop collection.