Edward Rowe Snow


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Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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Since I am at my vacation home for a short break, I took the time to go to the library and pick up some books ( and review some microfilm ).
I decided on the Edward Rowe Snow series as I had read them as a boy and had enjoyed them greatly.
Upon reading them again I was sadly disappointed.
The stories that were bizarre tales of the sea were still entertaining, but the stories of the shipwrecks were very short and contained the barest of facts.
No little nuggets of interest. So I immediately returned them to the library.
Perhaps they would be more suited for someone who is just getting hooked on disasters, but for someone hoping to learn somethinbg new- there was great disappointment.
 

Kalman Tanito

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I have a book by Edward Rowe Snow that includes pieces of wood from four shipwrecks, including the Andrea Doria and the Titanic.

I would be interested to know if anyone has encountered such an item, and whether the wood might be genuine.

I have been told that book by Rowe with pieces of wood are quite rare and in the ballpark of 100 USD +, but I have met nobody who has one with Titanic wood.

Best regards,

Kalman Tanito
 
Oct 13, 2000
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Kalman,
what is the title of the book you have? I know there was a limited edition of Snow's book New England Sea Drama that had fragments from a few ships, but certainly not Titanic.

if what you have is actually Titanic wood, you are looking at a whole lot more than $100, more like $1,000 I would think. but again, I consider it very unlikely that it would be genuine Titanic wood. but let me know the actual title, and I may be able to find out something more about this for you.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack)
 

Kalman Tanito

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The Edward Rowe Snow book with the Titanic wood fragment that I have is called ”žLegends, Maps and Stories of Boston and New England”.

The booklet was published in Quincy, MA in 1965, and is 62 pages in length, with black and white plates and folding maps. Four thumbnail-sized wood fragments of the Andrea Doria, the yacht America, the Constitution and the Titanic, about one millimeter thick each, come with it, pasted onto a card and slipped in an envelope attached to the back of the book. The people Snow acquired the pieces from are listed along with it. The book and the seven maps of areas mentioned in the book are neatly packed in a cardboard slipcase, illustrated with one of the maps. The contents of the book, apart from the wood fragment, do not deal with the Titanic, however.

At the same time that I bought my book, there was another one for sale with even more wood fragments by the same bookseller. It was called ”žThe Drama of New England in Charts, Maps and Memorabilia”, and it included chips from the following ships: America, Andrea Doria, Annie C. Maguire, Atlantic, Carroll A. Dearing, Chesapeake, Constitution, Kearsage, Mary Celeste, Mayflower, Mount Blanc, Nancy, New Hampshire, Pinthis, Portland, Saint John, Sea Venture, Titanic and Whidah — as well as a chip from old Minot’s Light. This was a collection of charts and maps of New England, and the chips were tipped onto posterboard, with a pamphlet explaining each of the items, including how Snow secured each of the wood chips. Unfortunately, I didn’t have funds to buy this one as well :-( .

The books were apparently part of the collection of newspaperman John Herbert, apparently a friend of the author’s (any info on him?), for the Snow books in the bookseller’s catalogue counted 58 titles, many of them inscribed to Herbert (and many of them dedicated to him as well). There were some other titles with wood fragments as well, without the Titanic wood, for example ”žWomen of the Sea” with a piece of wood from the Alice S. Wentworth and a fern Snow’s mother Alice picked in 1883 at Fern Paradise on Robinson Crusoe’s island off the coast of Chile.

A bookseller from Hanover, MA, the are where Snow lived and worked, told me that during 20 years of bookselling, he had only seen 4 copies of Snow books with wood fragments — but none with one from the Titanic. He has a copy of ”žNew England Sea Drama” with pieces of wood from the frigate Constitution, the steamer Portland, the frigate Somerset, and Old Minot’s Light, and another one that allegedly has tea from the Boston Tea Party. I was told that Snow material has become very collectible in the area, and that the rare ones are usually over $100.

Any additional information that you may have on the books with the Titanic wood fragments and on Snow would be much appreciated. And also thoughts on whether the wood might just be genuine would also be welcome.

Best regards,

Kalman Tanito
 

Kalman Tanito

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In a book catalogue, another Snow book including wood fragments was offered:

Edward Rowe Snow: New England Sea Drama. Signed, limited first edition (the one Michael mentioned), published by Planograph Printing Company, Boston, 1953. Very good + in textured brown cloth covered boards with decorated endpapers. Without a dust jacket. Signed by the author on the verso of the first free endpaper and numbered copy 167 of "an extremely limited number of volumes". Also, glued to that same page are fragments of pieces of wood from the Frigate Constitution, the steamer Portland, the frigate Somerset, and from the Old Minot's Light which came down in a storm in 1851. 62 pages of text and photographs. A very uncommon and unique book."

Price: $450

I can only hope that mine with the Titanic (?) wood is also this valuable :)

All my best,

Kalman Tanito
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Im freinds with an old friend of the late Edward Rowe Snow, who insists Snow would add wood to his books to 'spice them up' a bit, i.e the chances the wood was from Titanic was near zero. But who knows. I have a number of Snow books, a couple with wood slivers from a wreck called Oregon.

Tarn Stephanos
 
Jan 7, 2002
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If anyone is a collector 1st edition, signed Edward Rowe Snow bookss, 'The Brattle Bookshop' in Boston Ma and 'Ten Pound Island ' bookstore in Glocester MA have many signed Snow books. Awhile ago the Brattle bookshop aquired Snow's personal library, including his letters and correspondence. My friend bought a bundle of photos of Snow from when Snow did the Christmas Santa airplane run..

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
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