(Catalogues), Breslauer, Martin. An Illustrated Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts: Number Sixty. Fine Mss. and Books of Five Centuries. Including Two Highly Important Middle English MSS.; Books printed in the 15th amd 16th Centuries, outstanding for their Woodcut Illustrations and their Typographical Interest; Early Books of Calligtaphy and Type Specimens; Signed and other Fine Bindings; Autograph Letters; A Rare 15th Century Print in the Dotted Manner; Modern Press Books; Books of Scholarly and Scientific Interest. Bibliographical Encyclpædias and Other Essential Works of Reference on Mss., Printed Books and the Graphic Arts. "THE TENTH MUSE." Being a Collection of Books illustrative of Forgery and alleged Forgery and Mystification in History, Science and Literature. London: Martin Breslauer, 1946. Printed staple bound wraps. 8vo., 76pp.
Begining on page 38 we find a Catalogue within a Catalogue - "THE TENTH MUSE" Being a Catalogue of a Collection illustrative of FORGERY AND ALLEGED FORGERY IN HISTORY, SCIENCE AND LITERATURE In Manuscript and Print INCLUDING MAJOR AND MINOR RARITIES OF ENGLISH AND CONTINENTAL LITERATURE. The offerings herewith consume 31 pages of the catalogue and are numbered 101 thru 464. This copy inscribed to Douglas Adams from Jerry Morris [a.k.a MoiBibliomaniac].
" THE TENTH MUSE, the crafty Muse of literary forgery," as Andrew Lang calls her in one of his essays, must have been an afterthought of the procreator of her nine fair sisters ; where there is original thought, a true work of art, representation of historical events, the plagiary, the fraudulent imitator, and the mystificator, will soon be at work. It is the last two that this collection of some 400 volumes which unfold a fascinating chapter in the story of the human mind is dedicated. We here mainly contemplate its darker recesses ; mercenary greed, misguided ambition, unhealthy pretension on one side, credulity, carelessness and stupidity on the other––enough material to satisfy a Swiftian taste in human frailty, and the curiosity of the modern psychopathologist.
But the scholar and the book-lover are not being conducted on a tour of unrelieved grimness through a gallery of literary deformities ; they will meet the bright flash of genius, literary masterpieces in convincing disguise, and the edifying spectacle of the greatest in the realm of knowledge being hoaxed by what, in retrospect, often appear to be the fabrication of pigmies. Nor must we omit to pay tribute to the ever-watchful eye of scholarship which, even if temporarily blinded, has always espied treachery in the end, saving her domain from impurity and disgrace, and the incursion of the trespasser.
In assembling this collection over a period of years (for much of the material he could only come by after patient waiting and constant vigilance) the collector had one purpose in mind : the critical study of the forger's ever-varying methods, the foundation of a veritable literary criminology which could be instrumental in the discovery and the exposure of other fabrications. For this purpose the most revealing cases were selected ; the inclusion of works appeared to be justified if they had, at one time or another, been seriously suspected by responsible critics, and the presence of a publication, with the critical material appertaining to it, does not in all cases mean that it is in fact a forgery ; for these and other reasons it is impossible for us to guarantee the "authenticity" of forgeries.
We feel that in every library whether public or private, a shelf should be reserved for these ficticious productions, which would combine the attributes of a literary "Enfer" and a cabinet of distorting mirrors. The collection offered in the following pages will provide an abundance of material such as will not easily be found again.
The compiler of the catalogue has attempted a classification which as he is himself aware is by no means watertight, but may he hopes, serve its purpose ; titles have been arranged under their true, and not their pretended authors, and in chronological order of publication.
Literary forgeries and mystifications.
Rare books -- Catalogs.