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1937 Edwin T Woodhall's book, Jack the Ripper

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  • 1937 Edwin T Woodhall's book, Jack the Ripper

    I am a book collector and have a copy of Edwin T Woodhall's 1937 paperback "jack the Ripper" or when London walked in terror.
    I have been trying to research it and and obtain a current value as it seems it is quite rare.
    Does anyone know about the scarcity of this book and its value as I am keen to sell.



  • #2
    Originally posted by Martin Smith View Post
    I am a book collector and have a copy of Edwin T Woodhall's 1937 paperback "jack the Ripper" or when London walked in terror.
    I have been trying to research it and and obtain a current value as it seems it is quite rare.
    Does anyone know about the scarcity of this book and its value as I am keen to sell.
    I quite rare. I have no idea how much it would sell for. Almost certainly more than I can afford. I really don't know.

    Comment


    • #3
      Martin:
      Is it possible for you to provide a scan of the book's cover ?

      If you can't upload it, you could send it to me and I'll handle it.
      To Join JTR Forums :
      Contact [email protected]

      Comment


      • #4
        The edition you have posted here may not be the 1937 first edition but rather the 1949 third edition instead. What size is it? Either way all three Mellifont editions are considered rare. I seem to recall a third edition for sale last year in the $250 to $500 US range.

        Wolf.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Martin,

          The Woodhall book is relatively rare. Published by the Mellifont Press (No.14), as part of their Celebrated Crime Series, in 1937. Mellifont also published numerous other titles, also written by Woodhall, which had all appeared at earlier dates in hardback.

          Unfortunately, his books were often poorly researched and riddled with inaccuracies and mistakes. He also had a habit of repeating the same stories in different books. However, in spite of his books shortcomings he had quite an engaging style of writing, and I have enjoyed reading many of his books. His Detective and Secret Service Days (c.1929) and Secrets of Scotland Yard (1936) being my personal favourites.

          I paid £30 for my own copy, but that was some years ago.

          Despite the book's apparent scarcity I do believe these cheaply bound paperback editions would have been printed in large quantities, the type of book that would have been seen on sale in railway stations and elsewhere. It's odd they don't turn up more frequently. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

          I've had a quick check on the net, and Amazon are selling a 1997 reprint "from £99!". Lorreta Lay Books is offering the same 1997 reprint for £20, so it's difficult to gauge an accurate price.

          When I first began collecting Ripper related literature such books could often be snapped up cheaply, but interest in the case has, since then, rocketed! I'm often amazed at the current asking prices of books that I paid a few pounds for twenty-five years ago.

          I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

          My regards,

          Sean.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
            The edition you have posted here may not be the 1937 first edition but rather the 1949 third edition instead. What size is it? Either way all three Mellifont editions are considered rare. I seem to recall a third edition for sale last year in the $250 to $500 US range.

            Wolf.
            There is no date inside other than the 1937 under Woodhalls name in the introduction. I have spent a bit of time looking but not been able to find any reference to a 1949 edition of this book online yet.
            Normally printing another edition is indicated within the reprint and I have not been able to find anything in this book referring to a previous edition. This is the reason I assumed it was a 1937 edition (not to say that I am right).

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Martin.

              There were three editions of Woodhall's book printed by Mellifont. The first edition was printed in 1937 as part of their Celebrated Crime Series (No. 14) as Sean has pointed out below. The second edition was printed in 1938. The third edition was printed in 1949 as part of Mellifont's Tower Series (again, No. 14). The sizes for the three books varied, that's why I asked you what size your book was. Answer that question and we will know for sure which edition it is.

              Wolf.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Martin.

                I just had a look over at Casebook and they have a photo of the 1937 first edition cover. It is not the same as your copy so it is likely that you do have the 1949 third edition. As I said originally, however, all three versions are still considered rare.

                Wolf.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looks similar but there are differences.

                  http://www.casebook.org/ripper_media.../woodhall.html

                  There was a thread where Stephen auctioned one too, but I can't find it again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Aha!

                    http://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4925/9887.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
                      Hi Martin.

                      There were three editions of Woodhall's book printed by Mellifont. The first edition was printed in 1937 as part of their Celebrated Crime Series (No. 14) as Sean has pointed out below. The second edition was printed in 1938. The third edition was printed in 1949 as part of Mellifont's Tower Series (again, No. 14). The sizes for the three books varied, that's why I asked you what size your book was. Answer that question and we will know for sure which edition it is.

                      Wolf.
                      Yes I see that the cover art is different. Size is 7" x 5" So this is a 1949 print which is good to know as I am wishing to sell it and would not have wanted to misrepresent it as something it was not.
                      There seems to very little reference to any 1949 copy anywhere is this because it is rarer? I notice now too that the publishers used the same cover art and just trimmed it to take it down is size.
                      Thanks for your expertise Wolf.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Wolf,

                        I had no idea that Mellifont published this volume on three occasions: I'd always believed the 1937 edition to have emanated from an earlier hardback volume, having been published by Mellifont on one occassion only. Many thanks for your information.

                        My own copy is almost identical to Martin's, minus the price appendage. Also, the dimensions are different: My copy measures seven x four and three quarter inches. Apparently, size does matter!

                        Incidentally, I also own an 1899 (vol. 1) edition of Griffiths Mysteries of Police and Crime, signed by Griffiths and dedicated to one of his publishers. The volume also contains a signed typewritten letter, to the same publisher, with corrections in Griffiths hand. I paid a mere £25 for the volume. Despite Griffiths prolific output I've rarely come across anything signed by him. I've no idea what it's worth.

                        My regards,

                        Sean.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Martin and Sean.

                          This gets a little bit more interesting. The 3rd edition was 7" X 4.75", so Sean's copy is a 3rd edition. The 2nd edition, however, was a little bit bigger. How much bigger? I can't say. I have never seen a 2nd edition, but if Martin's copy is 7" X 5" (instead of 7" X 4.75") it is likely the 2nd edition.

                          Again, all three editions are fairly rare. These were cheap paperbacks not designed to last (so they didn't). As I said, I saw a 3rd edition for sale last year somewhere in the $250 to $500 US range (with the price somewhere closer to the lower end I think).

                          I have a an original copy of Richard K. Fox's The History of the Whitechapel Murders published in 1888. I paid a bit more than £25, Sean. It too was not designed to last so my guess is that it is extremely rare.

                          Wolf.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
                            Hi Martin and Sean.

                            This gets a little bit more interesting. The 3rd edition was 7" X 4.75", so Sean's copy is a 3rd edition. The 2nd edition, however, was a little bit bigger. How much bigger? I can't say. I have never seen a 2nd edition, but if Martin's copy is 7" X 5" (instead of 7" X 4.75") it is likely the 2nd edition.

                            Again, all three editions are fairly rare. These were cheap paperbacks not designed to last (so they didn't). As I said, I saw a 3rd edition for sale last year somewhere in the $250 to $500 US range (with the price somewhere closer to the lower end I think).

                            I have a an original copy of Richard K. Fox's The History of the Whitechapel Murders published in 1888. I paid a bit more than £25, Sean. It too was not designed to last so my guess is that it is extremely rare.

                            Wolf.
                            A more accurate measurement shows this copy to be 5 and 7/8. sorry my conversion from the mm measurement I used it was bit out

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
                              Hi Martin and Sean.

                              This gets a little bit more interesting. The 3rd edition was 7" X 4.75", so Sean's copy is a 3rd edition. The 2nd edition, however, was a little bit bigger. How much bigger? I can't say. I have never seen a 2nd edition, but if Martin's copy is 7" X 5" (instead of 7" X 4.75") it is likely the 2nd edition.

                              Again, all three editions are fairly rare. These were cheap paperbacks not designed to last (so they didn't). As I said, I saw a 3rd edition for sale last year somewhere in the $250 to $500 US range (with the price somewhere closer to the lower end I think).

                              I have a an original copy of Richard K. Fox's The History of the Whitechapel Murders published in 1888. I paid a bit more than £25, Sean. It too was not designed to last so my guess is that it is extremely rare.

                              Wolf.
                              Hi Wolf,

                              Thank you very much for clarifying the situation.

                              Do you think this volume originally appeared in hardback format? If so, I've never come across it.

                              Over twenty five years later I still find scouring bookshops exciting. I've had some good finds in the U.S.

                              I'd love to add an 1888 edition of Fox's book to my collection, in fact that's one book I haven't read!

                              Current prices on certain vintage Ripper related books are staggering: They're rapidly becoming a sound investment. Over the years I've been very fortunate to pick up (cheaply) copies of I Caught Crippen, Days of My Years and The Lighter Side of My Official Life, amongst many other volumes.

                              I also possess numerous photos of people involved or connected to the case, many of which have never been published.

                              Again, many thanks.

                              Sean.

                              Comment

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