I have this book. What is it?

First, it’s old. I was curious about it’s value, but the few antique book stores I called to required an assessment fee. I know diddly about old books, but maybe someone hear can point me in the right direction.

What am I looking for?
An idea of what this book is.
An idea of value, and lacking that, an idea where I can find out.
Any clue as to it’s rarity.

It seems to be from 1810 written by Cowper and Hawley. The title? “Milton”. I think. It’s not exactly clear. It’s also got a signature (with a couple of sentences), although in quite flowery script and apparently in French so I have no clue yet what that means.

Any ideas? Sorry, this is just a little vague right now.

Here you go.

William Cowper.


Cowper’s edition of Milton, 4 vols., ed. Hayley, W., was published 1810.

If you have a true first edition it’s probably worth a whole bunch, in good condition. However, this translation was reprinted many times during the 19th century. I don’t know enough to tell how how to distinguish a later printing from the original. However, this gives you a starting point to search.

Wow, thanks. Considering I had nowhere to start, that’s quite helpful. It looks first edition and it looks to be 1810 from what I can tell. Not mint (a little scratched on hardcover corners. I guess part of it’s value could come or go based on who signed it and what was said.

You need to check who the publisher is. The various editions came from a number of different publishers, both English and American.

bookfinder.com has some of these later editions, though not an 1810 one. You can compare publishers, bindings and condition. The prices vary considerably.

I have a book entitled “The Best Loved Poems of the American People”
Garden City Publishers, copyright 1936. I’'ve always wonderd if it was valuble. It is definetly good reading.

You can see what booksellers around the country are asking for most any book by going to http://www.abebooks.com and searching for the book (ABE=American Book Exchange). You’ll get a list of every copy of the book for sale in their system, typically hundreds of copies of mainstream 20th century books. Keep in mind that edition and condition are important in determining value, not just the title.

If you cannot find a copy of your book on ABE chances are that it is quite rare. Rare does not necessarily equate to valuable, but most rare books are valuable.

We had that book in our house while I was growing up (in the 60’s). I loved it! Mostly the Whimsy and Humor section (I memorized huge chunks of several poems from there). My mother gave me a copy of it for a graduation present. I still love it.

[/End Hijack]

I have bought from abebooks several times via the Internet, but didn’t know what the name meant.
Thank you. :slight_smile:

While abebooks is a fine site, I recommend starting with bookfinder.com. Bookfinder is a meta-search site that searches not just abebooks, but about twenty other book sites simultaneously. It will almost always find more titles and at a lower price than just searching abebooks.

I tried bookfinder a few years back and found that, at least for out of print book search, their search results were fragmentary and out of date. The site also behaved erratically (but that may have to do with my using Netscape). Have you seen an improvement? I recognize the value of the concept but found the execution left much to be desired. I buy a lot of OOP books online and would like to take advantage of their service.