Welcome to the blog for Lighthouse Books, ABAA. My name is Michael Slicker. We are a family-owned and operated antiquarian bookstore that has been open more than thirty-five years, located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Please have a look around the blog. Bookmark us or subscribe to an RSS feed so that you will be alerted when we make updates. Please follow the links to our spot on AbeBooks and our online bookstore for listings of some of what we have available. Thank you for visiting us online. You can visit us in person at 1735 First Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg. We specialize in rare books, unusual books, antique maps, vintage photographs and more.
It is the birthday of English writer Henry Fielding (1707), whose most famous novel, Tom Jones (1749) was written after a successful career as a playwright, novelist, jurist, and magistrate. Much of his work satirized contemporary English life. Tom Jones concerns comic exploits of a lusty young man who was found by a wealthy country gentleman and raised from infancy. His apparent low class origins prevents his developing a budding romance with a wealthy neighbor’s daughter. The book was full of sexual promiscuity and quite unusual for the era in which it was published. Sir Walter Scott called Fielding the father of the English novel. Fielding and his brother, John, also founded London’s first police force, the Bow Street Runners, in 1749.
Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park (1906).
It is the birthday of naturalist John Muir (1838), who founded the Sierra Club and helped preserve Sequoia National Park and Yosemite Valley in the West, and influenced President Theodore Roosevelt to protect other vast wilderness areas. In 1867, Muir set out on a wilderness walk from Indiana to Florida. He ended up at Cedar Key, where he began working at a sawmill. He nearly died of malaria there but recovered and took a ship to Cuba. His journal was published as A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916) two years after his death. Muir wrote extensively about the wilderness and the importance of preservation, including Our National Parks (1901), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), and The Yosemite (1912).
It is the birthday of Texas revolutionary hero Deaf Smith (1787), whose intelligence gathering during the Texas war for independence helped lead to the victory over the Mexican Army and the establishment of the Republic of Texas. At first Smith, who had settled in the San Antonio area after moving from Mississippi in the early 1820s, refused to become involved in the growing dispute between the Mexican government and Texian settlers. But when he returned from a hunting trip and Mexican soldiers wouldn’t let him return to his home, Smith was furious. He joined the Texian Army and spent the rest of the war spying on the Mexicans. Later, he formed a company of Texas Rangers.
It is the birthday of English philosopher and critic George Henry Lewes (1817), who flouted Victorian social norms and openly lived with author George Eliot, though were never married. Lewes had an open marriage with his wife, Agnes. Lewes went to Germany with Marian Evans (who later wrote under the name George Eliot) to do research. Evans considered the trip a honeymoon, and afterward, referred to Lewes as her husband. Lewes wrote about theater, literature, science, and philosophy. His most well-known books are The Biographical History of Philosophy (1846) and Life of Goethe (1855).
It is the birthday of financier J.P. Morgan (1837), who was one of the richest and powerful men in America in the era of the Robber Barons. He supplied gold to the U.S. Treasury to end the Panic of 1896. He personally averted the banking Panic of 1907 by locking financial leaders in his New York mansion until they agreed to solutions to the problem. He merged companies to form General Electric and U.S. Steel. He underwrote the rescue of The New York Times from financial disaster. Morgan was an avid collector of art, books and gemstones. He contributed to the American Museum of Natural History and helped start the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His private collection formed the foundation of the Pierpont Morgan Library.
Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.
We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.
This blog is your online connection to Lighthouse Books, ABAA, offering updates on our activities and an insider's look at some of our offerings. We hope you'll enjoy it and visit often. We'd love to hear from you.