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Detail from a page in the Farnsworth Hours; illumination attributed to Flemish artist Willem Vrelant, ca. 1465, Booth Family Center for Special Collections

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A Gentleman's Library: The Maurice Adelman, Jr. Collection

Howard W. Gunlocke Rare Book and Special Collections Room
November 1, 1994
January 1, 1995



Maurice Adelman, Jr., was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and attended Georgetown University Law School from which he received an L.L.B. in 1958. After living in Washington, D.C. for many years, he moved to New York where he practiced law with the firm Spitzer & Feldman. 


Items in the Exhibition:

A collector’s library reveals much about its creator’s aims and hopes and values, and the happy juxtaposition of taste and scholarly curiosity often makes for a whole greater than the sum of its parts. When an academic library finds itself in unexpected possession of such a collection, the results are almost always gratifying: the recent gift of his collection by Library Advisory Council member Maurice Adelman proves to be very much a case in point.

Among the 1,000 or more printed items in the collection are a sizeable number relating to the history of Catholicism in Great Britain, ranging from “recusant” publications of the seventeenth century to more recent biographical studies and histories of institutions such as Stonyhurst. In this case, the backbone of the Adelman library matches and strengthens an area of obvious interest to Georgetown. But it’s in the fleshing out of the collection that serendipity prevails, as in case of Ronald Knox, where our already strong holdings are enriched and brought nearly to completeness by items in the Adelman gift, including such treasures as a dedication copy of Knox’s Memories of the Future (1923) with the caustic inscription by the dedicatee “This belongs to Laura Lovat, whoever steals it goes to Hell.”

Willa Cather’s is not a name one often thinks of in connection to Georgetown: it may be so now, however, with former library holdings much enlarged by a handsome run of first editions in the Adelman gift, including Cather’s first book, April Twilights (1903). Much the same can be said of Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Helen Whitman, and Agnes Repplier, in all of whose cases the Adelman runs of first editions have brought our holdings much nearer to completeness.

One final case involves an artist in whom we’ve been interested for some time, the woodengraver Clare Leighton; how pleasing to find a long series of her own books, of books by others illustrated by her, and even two original engravings! The list could be extended, but the point is clear. This is a collection that’s found its proper home.

In the ensuing exhibition, Georgetown University Library proudly presents a sampling from the rich store of Mr. Adelman’s collection, while at the same time celebrating the art of the book.



1)     Maud Howe Elliott and Laura E. Richards. Julia Ward Howe 1819-1910. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915.2 vols. First edition, large paper issue. #28 of 450 copies, with a leaf of manuscript inserted in the front of volume 1.

2)     Is Polite Society Polite? And Other Essays. Boston & New York: Lamson, Wolffe, 1895. First edition, original boards. with the signature of Laura E. Richards, one of the author’s daughters.

3)     The World’s Own. Boston: Ticknor, 1857. First edition, in original cloth.

4)     Passion-Flowers. Boston: Ticknor, 1854. First edition, original cloth. Author’s first book.

5)     A Trip to Cuba. Boston: Ticknor, 1860. First edition, original cloth. Presentation inscription (in French, dated 1864) by the author.

6)     Words for the Hour. Boston: Ticknor, 1857. First edition, original cloth.


1)     Hours of Life and Other Poems. Providence: George H. Whitney, 1853. First edition, plain binding.

2)     Edgar Poe and His Critics. New York: Rudd & Carleton, 1860. First edition, probable first printing. Original brown cloth, a heavily-ribbed variant, gilt-stamped.


1)     [Stillingfleet, Edward] The Jesuits Loyalty, Manifested in Three Several Treatises…against the Oath of Allegeance. London: By E. Flesher, for R. Royston, 1677. Date on title altered to “1678” in ink. With the double-page engraved plate.

2)     Richard Challoner. The Young Gentleman Instructed in the Grounds of the Christian Religion. London: T. Meighan, 1735. First edition. Contemporary sheep.

3)     [Care, Henry] English Liberties: or, the Free-Born Subject’s Inheritance … And an Abstract of All the Laws Against Papists. London: George Larkin for Benjamin Harris [1680?]. Probable first edition. Contemporary sheep, rebacked.

4)     Herbert, Lucy. Several Excellent Methods of Hearing Mass. Bruges: John de Cock, 1742. First edition.


Bound with:

5)     Butler, Alban. The Moveable Feasts, Fasts, and Other Annual Observances of the Catholic Church. Dublin: B. Wogan, 1807. First edition. Later half calf, rubbed.

6)     Gerard, John. Sonyhurst College: Its Life Beyond the Seas 1592-1794 and on English Soil 1794-1894. Belfast: Marcus Ward, 1894. First edition, original cloth (upper cover stained).

7)     The Old Fashion Farmer’s Motives for Leaving the Church of England and Embracing the Roman Catholic Faith. [n.p.] 1778. First edition. Early half calf and marbled boards. NUC locaes only 1 copy, at the University of California; not in ESTC.

8)     [Milner, John] The End of Religious Controversy. London: Keating & Brown, 1818. First edition. Contemporary calf, rebacked.



1)     Manning, H.E. (Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster). Autograph letter, signed, 1 p., May 24, 1889, to a Mrs. Allen, in reference to someone substituting for him and hoping the recipient is “better, & in future will be less frisky.” Matted and framed.

2)     Newman, John Henry. Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England. London: Burns & Lambert, 1851. First edition, original cloth.

3)     Challoner, Richard. Martyrs to the Catholic Faith. Edinburgh: T.C. Jack, 1878. 2 vols. In 1, illustrated. Original decorated cloth.

4)     Cellier , Elizabeth. Malice Defeated. London: For Elizabeth Cellier, 1680. Apparently incomplete at end.


Bound with:

Titus Oates. An Exact and Faithful Narrative of the Horrid Conspiracy. London: For Tho. Parkhurst, 1680.


Miles Prance. Mr Prance’s Answer to Mrs. Cellier’s Libel. London: For L. Curtis, 1680.


R. H. Remarks on Some Eminent Passages in the Life of the Fames Mr. Blood. London: For John Norris, 1680.

Four items bound together. Full contemporary sheep, rebacked at an early date.

5)     Lefroy, W. Chambers. The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire. London: Seeley, 1883. Firs edition, original cloth; illustrated with 12 etchings and 33 engraved plates.

6)     [Jesuits] The Tryals and Condemnation of Thomas White, alias Whitebread [etc.] All Jesuits and Priests; for High Treason. London: For H. Hills, 1679.


Bound with:

Edw. Fitz-Harris [and] Oliver Plunket. The Tryal and Condemnation of … for High-Treason … also the Tryal and Condemnation of … London: For Francis Tyton, 1681.


Thomas, Earl of Stratford. An Impartial Account of the Arraignment, Trial & Condemnation of … London: For Joseph Hindmarsh, 1679.


Thomas Walcot et al. The Tryals of … for High-Treason. London: For Richard Royston, 1683.


Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury. The Proceedings … upon the Bill of Indictment for High-Treason. London: For Samuel Mearne, 1681.


George Wakeman et al. The Tryals of … for High Treason. London: For H. Hills, 1679.


George Treby. A Collection of Letters and Other Writings… Horrid Popish Plot. London: For Samuel Heyrick, 1681.

Seven items in one volume. Contemporary calf, rebacked with original spine laid down. In a custom folding box.


7)     Lovat, Simon, Lord. The Whole Proceedings in the House of Peers, upon the Impeachment … against … for High Treason. London: For Samuel Billingsley, 1747.


Bound with:

William, Earl of Kilmarnock; George Earl of Cromertie; and Arthur, Lord Balmerino. The Whole Proceedings in the House of Peers, upon the Indictments of … for High Treason.

London: For Samuel Billingsley, 1746.


William, Viscoun Stafford. The Tryal of … for High Treason. London: Assigns of John Bill, 1680/1. Second issue, with the errata printed at the bottom of the final page. Title leaf excised.

Three items in one volume, early quarter sheep.



1)     [Blackberry branches] Wood engraving, approx. 123x45 mm [n.d.] Matted and framed.

2)     Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). New York: Random House, 1931. First edition, original cloth. #238 of 450 signed by the artist.

3)     Wood-Engraving and Woodcuts. London: The Studio, 18932. First edition, original decorated boards.

4)     “Worship and Praise.” Wood engraving, approx. 80x85 mm [n.d.] #8 of 50. Signed, titled, and numbered in pencil. Matted and framed.

5)     Woodcuts. Examples of the Work of Clare Leighton. Introduction by Hilaire Belloc. London: Longmans, 1930. First edition. #264 of 450 signed by the artist, with an additional Christmas, 1930, presentation inscription.

6)     Country Matters. New York: Macmillan, 1937. First American edition, in dust jacket.

7)     Letters to Women (Joseph Auslander). New York: Harper, 1929. First edition. #65 of 128 on handmade paper.

8)     The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Thornton Wilder). London: Longmans, 1929. First edition thus.


1)     Shadows on the Rock. New York: Knopf, 1931. #84 of 199 copies on Japan vellum, signed by the author.

2)     Not Under Forty. New York: Knopf, 1936. First edition, in dusk jacket.

3)     My Mortal Enemy. New York: Knopf, 1926. First trade edition, in dust jacket and original printed slipcase.

4)     April Twilights. Boston: Badger/Gorham Press, 1903. First edition. Original boards, Francis Kettaneh bookplate.

5)     Alexander’s Bridge. Boston: Houghon Mifflin, 1912. First edition. Author’s first novel. Original smooth blue cloth (second binding).

6)     Youth and the Bright Medusa. New York: Knopf, 1920. First edition. Signed by the author in the front free endpaper.

7)     Lucy Gayheart. New York: Knopf, 1935. First edition, #245 of 749, signed by the author. Original cloth, spine faded.

8)     The Song of the Lark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915. Later printing. With presentation inscription from John Cather, the author’s brother.


1)     An Open-Air Pulpit. London: constable, 1926. First edition, original cloth. The dedication copy, signed in three places by the dedicatee, Laura Lovat.

2)     (contrib.) Baker Street Studies. London: Constable, 1934. First edition, in dust jacket. Edited by H. W. Bell.

3)     Other Eyes Than Ours. London; Methuen, 1926. First edition, in dust jacket.

4)     Essays in Satire. London: Sheed & Ward, 1928. First edition, #30 of 250 copies signed by the author.

5)     Memories of the Future. London: Methuen, 1923. First edition, original cloth. Presentation inscription, “Laura from Ronald,” and succeeding that “This belongs to Laura Lovat, whoever steals it goes to Hell.” The book is dedicated to Laura Lovat and three others.

6)     A Spiritual Aeneid. London: Longmans, 1918. First edition, original cloth. With a presentation inscription from the author.

7)     A Selection from the Occasional Sermons … Edited by Evelyn Waugh. London: Dropmore Press, 1949. First edition, in dusk jacket, #466 of 550 copies. Inscribed “This book was given to be by Evelyn Waugh. A[rnold] L[unn]”

8)     Reunion All Around. London: Society of SS Peter  & Paul, 1914. First edition, in original wraps.


Thackeray, William Makepeace. A Book of Drawings … With a Note by Agnes Repplier. Philadelphia: Pennell Club, 1925. First edition, boards, in original slipcase. One of 110 copies signed by Repplier and Joseph Pennell.


Progress at Pelvis Bay. London: Murray, 1936. First edition, in dust jacket. Author’s first book. With first editions of five other titles written and/or illustrated by Lancaster.


1)     Meynell, Alice. Essays. London: Burns & Oats, 1914. First edition, original boards. #2 of 250 copies.

2)     Waugh, Evelyn. The Holy Places. London: Queen Anne Press, 1953. First edition thus, Original cloth, in dust jacket. #155 of 1,000 copies.

3)     Blackstone, William. An Analysis of the Laws of England. The Third Edition. Oxford” Clarendon Press, 1758. Old calf, rebacked.

4)     Sharp, John. A Sermon Preached at Trinity-Church in New-York, in America, August 13, 1706. At the Funeral at the Right Honourable Katherine Lady Cornbury. London: H. Hills [1706] First English edition. Recent half calf. Copies in the John Carter Brown Library and two other American libraries only.