Historical Sketches of New Haven

by Ellen Strong Bartlett


Ellen Strong Bartlett was an evocative and prolific writer. Historical Sketches of New Haven is in part a collection of her writings that appeared in New England Magazine and The Connecticut Quarterly, and offer a wonderful portrait of New Haven, Connecticut. Bartlett offers centuries of history, photographs, architectural analysis, folklore and more.

Bartlett was born in 1848 to Ellen Root Strong and John Newton Bartlett in New Haven, CT. One of Bartlett’s books was Bits from Great Grandmother’s Diary, a collection of insight from her great grandmother who lived in Farmington and experienced the Revolutionary War. She served as the editor for Connecticut as a Colony and as a State as well.

Old Stories & Sayings from India, Ceylon, Burma, and the Near East

by Isa Fyvie Mayo

Purchase through Amazon

Isabella Fyvie Mayo was an incredible woman. Born in 1843 in London, she enjoyed the benefits of schooling and encouragement of her writing. She worked tirelessly to help her family, but for many years she was uncompensated for her writing. Finally, once she was published it was to great acclaim with Occupations of a Retired Life (1868). She wrote numerous books including, Not by Bread Alone (1890) and Other People’s Stairs (1898). Additionally, she wrote for many popular magazines such as the Sunday Magazine, Girls’ Own Paper, and Pa Mall Gazette.Although she often wrote under the pen name, Edward Garrett, she did much to advance women’s issues as an ardent suffragist. She even became the first woman elected to a public office in Aberdeen. She considered herself an ethical anarchist and active antiracist, especially working to provide a safe haven to those from South Asia.

Old Stories & Sayings from India, Ceylon, Burma, and the Near East is a reprinted work and has been manually cleaned of blemishes.




Foreign Freemasonry: Its Position vis-a-vis of Christianity and of Catholicity

by D. Moncrieff O’Connor

Purchase through Amazon

Social history as a corrective to a historiography is often too limited to diplomacy and wars. It began an upward trajectory as early as the 1930s, but it remains constrained by the frustrating cost and availability of materials that even great research libraries lack. This volume is a case in point.Fraternal movements like Freemasonry have impacted society for hundreds of years. Yet, over time research into their undoubted influence has been handicapped by their codes of secrecy, arcane rituals, and the paucity of continuing tertiary research projects. As a step towards “more light” Westphalia Press has produced a number of scarce titles that will be helpful in understanding the “secret empire” of lodges, initiations, and (candidly) the deliberately inscrutable.




Peasant Art in Sweden, Lapland and Iceland

by Charles Holme

Purchase through Amazon 

Art made by those not traditionally trained has several terms, including outsider art, folk art, raw art and peasant art. This particular work offers a carefully chosen selection of both the decorative
and fine arts of Sweden, Iceland, and the northern-most region of Finland. A comprehensive survey, it includes paintings, jewelry, textiles, metalwork, carving, furniture and pottery.

Charles Holme (1848-1923) was an art critic who promoted peasant art, and edited numerous books to share the artwork, including Old Houses in Holland (1913); Peasant Art in Russia (1912); and The Art of the Book (1914). Holme was born in England, and enjoyed the privileged life as the son and heir of a silk manufacturer. He also worked in the same field, even expanding the business into Japan. He retired in 1892 and then turned full-time to the arts. He began The Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art, serving  as editor from 1895-1919, when he retired, and his son, Charles Geoffrey Holme took over.

A Dictionary of Old English Music & Musical Instruments

by Jeffrey Pulver

Purchase through Amazon 

Jeffrey Pulver wrote numerous works on music, including Paganini, the Romantic Virtuoso, and Aids to Elementary Violin Playing. This particular work seeks to rescue and herald the English history of music, and to elevate it to the status of music found in France, Italy and other European nations in particular. The focus of this work in the words of Pulver:

“The history of music in England, dealing with the five centuries that lie between the period which made the Reading rota possible and the death of Purcell, is a story of unimaginable fascination. Yet in spite of the labours of a few faithful workers who fought, with weak weapons, to win their merited place for the musicians of England in the affection and regard of their countrymen, it was only comparatively recently that we awoke to the fact that our musical history is as glorious a one as that possessed by any other country of Europe.”

Vampires and Vampirism: Collected Stories from Around the World

by Dudley Wright

Purchase through Amazon 

Dudley Wright’s fascinating work offers an academic treatment of the history of vampires. He traces the legend of vampires through history and around the world, making stops at Hungary, Britain, Russia, and various parts of what was then referred to as the Orient. He offers a collection of stories from these regions as well, so readers can draw their own conclusions.

Dudley Wright (1868-1950) is also an interesting character of note. He was born in England, and traveled throughout the world studying religions and other belief systems. He was a professional journalist and wrote for a variety of publications. He became the Assistant Editor of the Freemason and Masonic Editor of the Times of London, and other Masonic works. He spent a lot of his research on looking for a common thread to all religions, and wrote for numerous religious journals, such as Spiritual Power, the Homiletic Review, and the Bible Review. He flirted with various religious, including Buddhism and Catholicism, but he converted to Islam and ultimately returned to the Ahmadiyya movement.


Practical Falconry: To Which is Added, How I Became a Falconer

by Gage Earle Freeman

Purchase through Amazon 

Gage Earle Freeman (1820-1903) wrote a number of articles on falconry. He was introduced to the sport in England and retained a life-long interest in it, often working with kestrel-hawks, peregrine falcons, and sparrow hawks. He was also an esteemed poet, winning four Seatonian Prizes; a father to ten children, and married twice. He attended St. John’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1845 with a B.A. and became an ordained priest in 1847, receiving his M.A. in 1850. In 1889, he became a vicar and a private chaplain to the Earl of Lonsdale, and remained in that position until his death.

This new edition is dedicated to the Duke of St. Albans, remembering school days in Judde House, Tonbridge.


Trail of the Lonesome Pine

by John Fox Jr., Illustrated by F. C. Yohn

Purchase through Amazon 

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is set in the Appalachian Mountains and examines a long-standing family feud between the Falins and the Tollivers, somewhat based on the life of “Devil John” Wesley Wright. The work examines the impact that industrialization and mining have had on the region, set behind a tale of romance and revenge. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine was a best-selling novel in both 1908 and 1909, and went on to several adaptations for the stage, and four times as a film, in 1914, 1916, 1923 and finally in 1936.

The work was written by John Fox, Jr. (1862-1919) who worked as a reporter for the New York Times, the New York Sun, Scribner’s and Harper’s Weekly. He wrote a series of short stories, some becoming fairly successful like The Kentuckians (1898). Fox served as a war correspondent during the Spanish-American War and the Russo- Japanese War, but continued to write a variety of short stories. He also wrote longer fiction, and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, along with The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come became his most popular works. He died of pneumonia in 1919, while living in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. His home was turned into a museum honoring his life and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Curious Epitaphs: Collected from the Graveyards of Great Britain and Ireland: with Biographical, Genealogical, and Historical Notes

by William Andrews FRHS

Purchase through Amazon 

How do you summarize a life in just a few words? William Andrews takes readers on a journey through strange and unusual epitaphs of the 19th century in England, featuring a variety of both notable and obscure figures: servants, soldiers, clergy, musicians, clerks and more. Andrews’ work is not only a collection of epitaphs, as he also describes the burial places in detail and contextualizes his findings when possible. The epitaphs remind us of the long and ever changing history of remembering the deceased. As many of these gravestones have disappeared over time, Andrews’ writings are invaluable to scholars.

Andrews had an interest in the macabre. In addition to authoring Curious Epitaphs, he wrote Bygone Punishments, which examined the dark history of criminal justice in England, including pressing, boiling and hanging. He was not all gloom and doom of course, but loved writing, and penned England in the Days of Old, Literary Byways, and edited volumes such as Bygone Chuch Life in Scotland, Ecclesiastical Curiosities, and The Church Treasury of History, Custom, Folk-Lore.


Productive Bee-Keeping Modern Methods of Production and Marketing of Honey: Lippincott’s Farm Manuals

by Frank C. Pellett

Purchase through Amazon 

Lippincott’s developed a series of manuals regarding agricultural production, including this volume on beekeeping. Among other things, it offers a historical look at apiculture, the practice of human harvesting of products from honey bee colonies, as well as its marketing methodology. Beekeeping has quite a history, dating back to at least 15,000 years ago.

The story of J.B. Lippincott & Co. offers a look at the complexities of the publishing industry. J.B. Lippincott & Co. was an American publishing house established in 1836 by Joshua Ballinger Lippincott, which still exists today as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, which itself is an imprint of the publishing conglomerate, Wolters Kluwer, and focuses on technical journals. Initially J.B. Lippincott & Co. published Bibles and other religious materials, before expanding into fiction, almanacs, medical and other books. Later, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine was issued, from 1868-1914 and offered novels, short stories, opinion pieces and other writings. In 1978, Lippincott’s was acquired by Harper & Row, which was then acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 1990.


Old London Taverns: Historical, Descriptive, and Reminiscent

by Edward Callow

Purchase through Amazon 

In February 1900, a journal review of Old London Taverns commented that the author was annoyed by mistakes in recounting pub history. So he embarked on this chronicle:

taverns“He tells us of various taverns, chop-houses, bakers’, butchers’, and kindred topics of considerable variety, places both new and old. He has done good service in putting together these facts, which have, indeed, a great tendency to get forgotten or confused. [As an example]… Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese’ is, perhaps, the doyen of London taverns. Herrick speaks of the ‘Cheese,’ along with the Triple Tun’ (no longer a tavern), in writing to Ben Jonson. This building, of course, perished in the Fire, but its successor has seen guests as famous—Pope, Congreve, Samuel Johnson, Goldsmith, and in later days Charles Dickens, Mark Lemon, and Thomas Hood. It remains much the same, though the ancient simplicity of its bill-of-fare has disappeared. Mr. Callow’s book is one to be commended both for its text and its illustrations.”

This edition is dedicated to John Hamill, whose researches into the beginnings of Freemasonry have made him something of an authority about the rites that the ancient taverns sheltered.

The Basket Maker: An Illustrated Guide to 20th Century Basket Weaving

by Luther Weston Turner

Purchase through Amazon

basketBasket weaving is a long-practiced art form around the world, used in practical and decorative manners. Author Luther Weston Turner developed this illustrative manual to explain how to develop a variety of simple, melon shaped, and circular baskets, as well as mats. He begins with the basics to help familiarize new artisans. Turner does not work in a specific style, though he worked with various Native American tribes at the turn of the century and has borrowed extensively from the stylings he learned. This particular work was originally part of a 1905 series, but became so popular that they were collected and developed into this manual. While he published a small selection of articles on basketry in various journals, such as Manual Training Magazine, this is Turner’s only known book.

Songs of a Sourdough

by Robert W. Service

Purchase through Amazon

Robert Service was born in 1874 and grew up in Scotland as the oldest of 10 siblings. Even as a child he craved excitement, but his energy was channeled into the quiet life of a bank clerk. He did enroll in the English Language and Literature program at the University of Glasgow, leaving after challenging a lecturer to a fistfight when the lecturer questioned Service’s ability despite his top grades. Bored, he departed for Canada. His family bought him a Buffalo Bill type outfit from an auction for the trip; not entirely practical but thoughtful! Once in Canada, Service traveled all the way across the country to Vancouver Island and ironically found himself working for the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The job allowed him to live his dreams of frontier life but without the hardships. It was in 1906 that he became a famous and well-paid poet with Songs of a Sourdough. Later, Service would write The Trail of Ninety-Eight, A Northland Romance, which would be produced as a movie in 1928 by MGM. He continued to write his whole life, penning Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (1912), Poisoned Paradise (1922), Why Not Grow Young? (1928) and Lyrics of a Lowbrow (1951). He died at his villa in France in 1958, the famous scribe of a frontier life that he profited enormously in describing but whose privations he avoided.

Ocean Life in the Old Sailing Ship Days

by John D. Whidden

Purchase on Amazon  |  Purchase on CreateSpace

John D. Whidden served in various roles on ships since the age of twelve. Although he portrayed himself as a roguish boy, he quickly proved himself as a ship’s gofer, and earned a mate’s position by his early twBookCoverImage-8enties. His travels saw him around the world, with stops at major ports such as Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Calcutta, and Liverpool. His life spans the changes in the shipping industry over the 19th and into the 20th century. During the Civil War, Whidden was heavily involved in profitable island trading in the Bahamas to elude Confederate sailors. However, shortly after the close of the war, in 1870, Whidden left sailing as he found it being overtaken by foreign interests. He wrote this work in 1908, partly as a memoir, but also to offer a snippet of the “old sailing ship days” before major changes occurred to its business environment, fundamentally changing its nature.

Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards

by William Andrew Chatto

Purchase through Amazon  |  Purchase through CreateSpace

William Andrew Chatto (1799-1864) initially was employed in the wholesale tea business. However, his real passion was antiquarian scholarship, so in 1834, he gave up the family firm and devoted
himself to writing full-time. His first work was entitled, Recollections of Fly-Fishing in Northumberland, under the pseudonym, Stephen Oliver. He was interested in many subjects, and his varied publications reflect his diverse pursBookCoverImage-3uits, including wood carving, fishing, tobacco and playing cards. In addition to authoring books, he was the editor for New Sporting Magazine, and Puck, a Journalette of Fun. He was elected an honorary member of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1839. He was among the first to suggest that playing cards might have originated in China at the court of Seun-Ho in 1120.

This new edition of his work is dedicated to Yasha Beresiner, past Master of the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers in London.

Eben Holding’s Last Day A-Fishing

by Irving Bacheller

Purchase through Amazon  |  Purchase through CreateSpace

In addition to being a writer, Addison Irving Bacheller (1859-1950) founded the Bacheller Syndicate, the first newspaper syndicate in the United States established in 1885 to provide unique content to fill additionBookCoverImageal space of Sunday papers. It was often with writing by well-known authors like Rudyard Kipling, Conan Doyle and helped to make famous Stephen Crane, publishing parts of The Red Badge of Courage. Bacheller moved into writing fiction full time, drawing on life in the Adirondacks of New York State. His works were often best sellers, including Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country, The Light in the Clearing, and A Man for the Ages.

The History of Playing Cards: Anecdotes for Their Use in Conjuring, Fortune Telling & Card Sharping

by Rev. Ed. S. Taylor

Purchase through Amazon  Purchase through CreateSpace

The History of Playing Cards offers a comprehensive look at the history and usage of cards, tracing their movements through India, China, the Middle East, and through Europe, with a heavy emphasis on cards in France and England. Taylor included a great deal of illustrations, highlighting cards from the 1500-1800s.

Rev. Ed. S. Taylor had written a great deal on the history of cards, and was sought out to compose works on the subject, including History of Playing Cards, English and Foreign. He had passed away while working on this illustrative volume, The History of Playing Cards. As a result, the section on card conjuring, sharping and fortune telling is somewhat abbreviated, but no less enthralling. The Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers, which maintains an extensive collection, is an ancient Trade Guild in the City of London, which still flourishes, with members involved in card manufacture, collection, dealing, playing and other professions.

Naturism in the United States

Purchase through Amazon  |  Purchase through CreateSpace

Naturism in the United States COVER FRONT ONLYThis controversial book has been a stalwart part of the reading lists of those attracted to naturism, which involved much more than simply taking off clothes and lying on a beach. The complex relationship that involves nudity with disciplines as disparate as yoga and environmentalism makes the subject perennially pertinent. Frances and Mason Merrill traveled widely and exhaustively to produce a survey of permanent usefulness.



Homeopathy: B.F. Bittinger’s Historical Sketch of Washington’s Hahnemann Monument 

Purchase through Amazon

One of the more imposing monuments in Washington is not to a general or to a congressman but to a leader in the homeopathic movement. One may wonder whether homeopathic remedies are effective; there is not an iota of proof that the promises the movement makes are ever kept, but homeopathic systems continue to be financed by governments, including India and Britain, and to be patronized by notables such as the British royal family. The monument therefore is one of the capital’s most interesting, if controversial sights.

Lariats and Lassos: Bernard S. Mason’s How to Spin a Rope

Purchase through Amazon  |  Purchase through CreateSpace

By Bernard S. Mason

No self-respecting cowboy would refer to a lasso.  A rope was a rope. Roping was the activity and rope was the instrument.

However, the magic that could be worked fascinated Americans, and the Wild West Show for a time rivaled the circus as exciting entertainment in the nineteenth century. Fascinated, youngsters practiced Lariats and Lassos COVER FRONT ONLYat being Wild Bill Hickoks.  In a later era, Will Rogers entranced audiences with his rope tricks accompanying his famous monologues.

This short introduction to the basics of the lasso was almost a bible to generations of backyard enthusiasts. Certainly it is a reminder of a time when having fun did not require a flat screen.

Original How to Spin a Rope cover