"MY VIEW OF SOME MERRY RASCALS"
(MCMURTRY, Larry) TAYLOR, W. Thomas. Texfake. An Account of the Theft and Forgery of Early Texas Printed Documents. Austin: W. Thomas Taylor, 1991. Royal octavo, original half russet cloth. $450.
First edition, with an introduction by Larry McMurtry, inscribed on the title page, "For Roswitha. My view of some merry rascals. Larry McMurtry."
Texfake exposed a forgery and theft ring in the 1980s in the world of early Texas documents, with side-by-side illustrations demonstrating the differences between authentic copies and fakes, and for which no one was ever prosecuted. Although in retrospect some of the deceptions seem obvious, as McMurtry points out in his introduction, "The urge to collect—or, more basically, to acquire—is deeply atavistic and almost always overrides rationality. Few of those afflicted with the need to acquire want to slow things down by asking awkward questions." Recipient Roswitha Mott is a member of the family that has run the antiquarian book business Howard S. Mott since 1936. McMurtry's well-known engagement with the rare book trade began in his twenties as a book scout, and he ran his own book store, Booked Up, for over 40 years.