Helen Churchill Candee Books


Mar 15, 2001
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I was amazed at the low cost for Titanic survivor Helen Candee's book "The Tapestry Book". It would seem to me that since she was a passenger aboard the Titanic that anything written by her would be valuable. I noticed you can buy that book now for like 12.00 dollars on Ebay.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Depends on where you go to find it. A rare and antique book store here near Providence has it for 85 dollars. I got one on ebay for $9, and it does appear often. I was gratified to see it on the shelf at the University of Rhode Island textile school- and all the professors knew her name and work- but none of them knew about her Titanic connections- but they do now! :)
 
Mar 15, 2001
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I imagine that if the seller knew that the book was written by a Titanic survivor, he or she would up the price. However, generally speaking, how much value does a book like this have? Is it only valuable to someone interested in the Titanic? Most people have never heard of Helen Candee.Its a great looking book.
 
Mar 15, 2001
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I just looked over at Abebooks.com and you can get the book all day long for $3.00. I think sometimes in the past I have paid way too much for certain books. I purchased a memorial edition of the Lusitania disaster in excellent shape for $60.00. I should have checked out Abebooks first as I see I could have gotten a copy for $25.00.
 
May 12, 2005
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Darren:

There’s a thread under the Gilded Age topic that addresses some of your questions. As to Helen Churchill Candee’s books, particularly The Tapestry Book, being of value only to Titanic buffs. Her book on wage-earning for women is listed in feminist bibliographies as a landmark study, her works on interior design and textiles are in most decorators’ libraries, and her travelogues on Asia are considered classics in that genre as well. A decorator I know has had a 1912 first edition of The Tapestry Book in her collection for years, never knowing Helen Candee was on Titanic; when I told her, she rolled her eyes and laughed, "Who WASN’T on the Titanic?" So it didn’t make the book more valuable to her. It was —— and is ——valuable to her because of the subject Candee was writing on.

So, it all depends on your perspective. People interested in a field in which a victim or survivor was prominent will likely have heard of them in relation to their work first (i.e., Archie Butt, W.T. Stead, Karl Behr, Lucile, etc), rather than as a passenger on Titanic. But some Titanic enthusiasts tend to view these people in a bubble —— they see their importance ONLY as it relates to Titanic and have very little interest in or respect for their lives apart from the disaster.

By the way, the 1935 re-release of Candee’s Tapestry Book has a nice cover but the original 1912 issue is the better one as far as the quality of the images. Her "Jacobean Furniture" (1916) is also very nice, and fairly relevant, since some of Titanic’s most elegant spaces were decorated in that style.

Randy
 
Mar 15, 2001
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I agree with everything you are saying Randy and see why someone who is in the business of interior design would like Helen Candees book. I just wonder to myself that if the book was listed in the Titanic category on Ebay, wouldn't you think someone could get more money for that book? A book I would love to have is John J. Astor's "Journey Into Other Worlds". I have read that it is a very nice looking blue book with gold lettering. Another one is one I am sure you have and that is Lady Duff Gordons Discretions and Indiscretions. I see at Abebooks, only one is listed by a book dealer and they are asking $350.00. I guess its more rare of a book and also more valuable because it does go into depth about the Gordons being on the Titanic.
 
Mar 20, 1997
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I don't recall specific prices as it was over five years ago, but I remember being pleasently surprised at how inexpensive it was to get several of Jacques Futrelle's mystery novels on e-bay. Especially since it was still at the tail end of the Titanic craze generated from the Cameron film. And they definitely looked like earlier printings including the edition of My Lady's Garter with his picture and May's dedication.
 
Sep 5, 2005
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Darren:

Candee's tapestry and interio design books recently have been listed in the Titanic section on ebay, and even at less than $10, sometimes they are not bid on.
 
Jul 23, 2008
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I just received my copy of The Tapestry Book from the USA and am really enjoying it.

I purchased mine very cheaply on ebay. I,too, was rather surprised how reasonable it was considering the author was a Titanic survivor! Still, I'm delighted to add it to my bookshelf.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I,too, was rather surprised how reasonable it was considering the author was a Titanic survivor!<<

The previous owner may not have been aware of that or thought it important. A lot of the interest I've noted on eBay is for relics from the ship herself...whether they're genuine is a very good question...or ships connected to the disaster, or the possessions of the more famous survivors.
 

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