“Nothing New: The Persistence of the Bestseller,” an exhibition of materials that showcases much of the original collection DeCoursey Fales donated to New York University 50 years ago, will be on display at NYU’s Fales Collection, located on the third floor of the NYU Bobst Library (70 Washington Square South), from March 30 through May 11, 2007. The Fales Collection is the University’s repository of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature and also houses the Special Collections from the NYU Libraries.
Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public; photo ID is required for admission. For more information call 212.998.2596.
DeCoursey Fales collected many novelists in depth: Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, “Ouida,” Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. What Fales meant by “in depth” is that in addition to first editions, he collected second, third, and fourth editions. Piracies, parodies, and paperback reprints abound. Examples of all these will be on display, including The Pickwick Papers and Vanity Fair in original monthly parts.
Novels in the long-standard three-volume format, such as The Moonstone and Jane Eyre, are featured, along with later “Yellowback” reprints and cheap paper editions.
The exhibition is organized into thematic cases, each one exploring a different facet of the Fales Collection. Fales’ strength in both Gothic fiction, including a first edition of Dracula, and in Detective fiction - works by Edgar A. Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Arthur Conan Doyle - is showcased.
Along with many familiar names once-popular works by writers whose names have faded from memory are on view: Richard Marsh, Mary Jane Holmes, E.D.E.N. Southworth, and many others.