Rare Books a Mother Could Love

This Sunday the United States celebrates Mothers Day, and many of us are still searching for the perfect gift ideas. If your mother has a predilection for rare books, choose the perfect volume for her personal library.

Evoke Childhood Memories

Classic children’s books give Mom an opportunity to reminisce about her youth–and to share a piece of her childhood with future generations. Choose a title from a beloved series.

Poppy_Ott_First_EditionsThe Poppy Ott series by Leo Edwards (pseudonym for Edward Edson Lee) was published in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Though these books were primarily marketed for boys, plenty of girls fell in love with Poppy Ott and his penchant for stumbling into adventure.

Brownies_First_Edition_Palmer_CoxPalmer Cox’s Brownies series recounts the adventures of mischievous, fairy-like sprites in humorous verse. These books were already beloved classics by the turn of the 20th century and maintained their popularity long after.

Nancy-Drew-First-EditionMildred A Wirt wrote the perennially popular Nancy Drew series under the pen name Carolyn Keene. Nancy Drew and her friends always managed to find a mystery, and the series remains in print today.

Japanese-Fairy-TalesThe Japanese Fairy Tales series, published in Tokyo in the 1890’s, offer a beautiful glimpse into the mores and stories of Japan. Bound in the “yamoto toji” style, the books are in french-fold format and printed on crepe paper.

Bring Art to the Shelves

The right rare art book is both visually stunning and intellectually engaging. If your mother loves art–or beautiful objects–one of these rare items may be the ideal gift.











Lewis Lott produced his Collection of Beautiful Miniatures in the 1860’s. It includes faithful reproductions of 70 original miniature paintings, mostly from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Chang Dai-ChienChang Dai-chien was one of the most renowned and prolific Chinese artists of the 20th century. This collection, published by the East Society, includes 130 reproductions of his paintings since 1944.

Avalon-Bay-California-Frank-HebertFrances Hebert’s original watercolor of Santa Catalina Island’s Avalon Bay in California depicts an elevated view of the bay, from the hills to the South-Southeast. It’s matted and mounted in a gilded wooden frame.

Share a New Perspective on a Favorite Author

Some legendary authors, like Walt Whitman, are famous for leaving behind copiously annotated manuscripts. These documents provide a more dynamic view of the author’s work, but they’re not the only way to offer a fresh perspective on a beloved writer.

Hospital-Sketches-Louisa-May-AlcottLouisa May Alcott is famous for Little Women, but fewer people know that she served in a hospital. Hospital Sketches and Camp and Fireside Stories includes six sketches about Alcott’s time working in the hospital.









Anais Nin’s first book was DH Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study. The work gives us insight on both Lawrence and Nin, an unusual combination and an interesting item for collectors of either author.

Amergin-Sven-BerlinPoet, artist, and dancer Sven Berlin was a member of the St. Ives art colony–until a falling out with other writers over his novel The Dark Monarch. This original draft of Berlin’s Amergin the White Stag contains magnificent pen and ink drawings to be used as illustrations, along with Berlin’s notes to the typist, chapter notes, etc. It’s truly an intriguing manuscript.

Even if none of the above suits your mother, all of us here at Tavistock Books wish all mothers the very best of days!  We thank you for visiting our blog, and hope you enjoy your day!



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