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RUBAIYAT OF ACCOUNT OVERDUE by  Christopher Morley - Paperback - First Edition - 1935 - from W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera (SKU: 799)


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by Morley, Christopher

  • Used
  • near fine
  • paperback
  • First
Near fine
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Brooklyn, New York
Item Price:
$5.00 shipping to USA
Standard Delivery: 7 to 14 days

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About This Item

New York: Printed by Lew Ney for Gotham Book Mart, 1935. First Edition. Softcover. Near fine. Small quarto. Single sheet folded twice. [4] pp. Lettered "HC" in contemporary red ink in the colophon. Near fine.

The "deluxe" edition of a satirical poem composed by Christopher Morley and designed and printed by Lew Ney to help their friend and patron, Frances Steloff, founder and owner of Gotham Book Mart, during a moment of financial insecurity at the store in the mid-1930s. It "has been printed in this limited edition of 350 copies from Inkanabula type, imported from Italy. It was set by hand, and the type has been distributed." In the 1975 "Special Gotham Book Mart Issue" of JOURNAL OF MODERN LITERATURE (Vol. 4, No. 4), Frances Steloff describes the origin of the poem and its publication. One day in 1935, Steloff was dictating correspondence in the back of the shop, unaware that her friend and Gotham Book Mart regular Christopher Morley had stopped by. "He asked why I looked so glum, and I told him that I had been dictating dunning letters with the remark that if I could collect half of the outstanding accounts I could pay my rent and most of my bills. He asked if he could see a few of the letters, and I handed him the carbon copies. He then asked if he could borrow them. I was uneasy and thought that he might turn them over to an attorney, causing my customers embarrassment. He assured me that he just wanted to look them over and would return them on his next visit. In a few days he called up, 'Frances are you there?' Of course I was, and in a few minutes he was also, holding a page of manuscript. He asked excitedly, 'Are you familiar with the meter of the Rubaiyat?' I was, of course, as it had at one time been a favorite. He then read aloud the 'Rubaiyat of Account Overdue.' . . . Delighted with it, I decided to have it printed in two formats: a single page, to be sent with bills to all past due accounts, stating that a deluxe, autographed edition would be forthcoming on receipt of a check by return mail. That not only brought good results but also a problem - our prompt paying customers then felt it was more rewarding to be delinquent" (pp. 791-792). The present example of the poem was printed in its deluxe format, but not signed, and lettered, "HC" ("hors commerce"), rather than numbered, in the limitation statement. A fine survival from a touching and memorable chapter of the history of Gotham.


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W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera US (US)
Seller Inventory #
Morley, Christopher
Book condition
Used - Near fine
Quantity available
First Edition
Printed by Lew Ney for Gotham Book Mart
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
American literature, poetry, bookselling, New York City, ephemera
Bookseller catalogs
Literature; Book Arts;

Terms of Sale

W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera

7 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 7 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged. Items must be returned in the same condition in which they were received.

About the Seller

W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2014
Brooklyn, New York
Ask Seller a Question

About W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera

W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera specializes in printed and manuscript materials relating to the book arts, social movements, and unusual collections, exhibitions, and performances. We also provide USPAP-compliant, IRS-qualified appraisals and a variety of consulting services for both institutions and private collectors. Member, ABAA & ILAB.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The term quarto is used to describe a page or book size. A printed sheet is made with four pages of text on each side, and the...[more]
The colophon contains information about a book's publisher, the typesetting, printer, and possibly even includes a printer's...[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]

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