Edward Bellamy collection
Date Published: 1888 to 1892
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Edward Bellamy was an American author, journalist, and political activist, best known for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (1888), in which a Boston gentleman is placed in a trance in 1887, awakens in the year 2000, and is transported from a world of war and want to one of peace and plenty. In his fictitious time-traveling story, Bellamy predicted shopping malls, credit cards, and cars. His socialist vision inspired the formation of numerous “Nationalist Clubs” dedicated to the propagation of his political ideals. The Nationalist, a monthly magazine for the nationalization of industry and the brotherhood of humanity, was produced in May 1889 by the Boston Club No. 1. This short-lived magazine was succeeded on 31 January 1891 by a weekly magazine, The New Nation, which attempted to reach a broader readership.
The collection dates from 1888 to 1892, and contains 16 items, specifically, 1 letter, 1 book, and 14 issues of two magazines.
1 Autographed Letter Signed (ALS):
• ALS to Mr. Babbitt, sent from Chicopee Falls, Mass., 18 September 1889, thanking Babbitt for his praise of Looking Backward and expressing Bellamy’s hope for the growth of the Nationalist Club movement, especially with at the ballot box. Folds, slight tear, hole at the center but not affecting the text; with a news clipping about Bellamy’s widow, Emma S. Bellamy.
1 Book (with tipped-in signature):
• Looking Backward 2000-1887. Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1888. First ed., first state, with Press of J.J. Arakelyan as printer on the verso of the title leaf and “wore” for “were” on p. 210, line 8. Card signed by Bellamy affixed to the front pastedown. Orange cloth with black lettering and gold stamped design on the upper board and spine. Rubbing and small tears at corners and spine ends with small shelf wear scrapes on front and back. Slight lean. Top and fore-edge of first 20 pp. of text block darkened by small water stain. Two embossed library stamps on pp. 7 and 25 (Steep Falls Library) with penciled notation withdrawn written over both. Opposite rear pastedown there is a faintly visible transfer of some text from something that had been adhered inside rear cover, presumably a book plate. Aside from these defects, the text block is clean and bright.
14 issues of two magazines:
• The Nationalist. Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 1889). Boston: Nationalist Publishing Co. , 32,  pp., sewn wrappers. Ownership signature and stamp on the front of the wrapper, a few tiny tears. This issue contains “How I Came to Write 'Looking Backward'” by Bellamy (pp. 1-4); “Heirs of Time Inscribed to Edward Bellamy” (a poem, p. 5) by Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson; and reports of the formation of Nationalist Clubs across America
• The New Nation 2, nos.40-53 (1 October-31 December 1892). 13 weekly issues of this rare reformist periodical edited and largely written by Bellamy, bound together without covers.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.