Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Bookplates of Achmed Abdullah and Jean Wick

 I have a copy of Sign Posts by Faith Baldwin , inscribed
 "To Achmed A very important "signpost" on the paths of friendship- Faith- 24"
 .It has the recipient's bookplate as well as another bookplate belonging to  Jean Wick
.Both plates appear to be by the same artist.

Can anyone out there translate the  script  ?

Faith Baldwin co-authored three books with Achmed Abdullah and was a close friend of the New York literary agent Jean Wick who was his second wife

The following  Wikipedia excerpt about Achmed Abdullah is hard to believe.
If it is fairly accurate it  just goes to show that truth is stranger than fiction.

Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff (Pseudonym Achmed Abdullah)

"Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff was born on 1881 in Yalta, Russia to Grand Duke Nicholas Romanoff, a cousin of Czar Nicholas Romanoff and Princess Nourmahal Durani, the daughter of the Amir of Afghanistan. After his mother's attempts to poison her husband due to his multiple affairs, they divorced, leaving their son and two other children to their maternal grandparents. At the age of 12, he was sent to Eton and then to Oxford University to be educated. Although he was born Russian Orthodox, he was raised as a Muslim by his uncle who adopted him.[1]
Upon his graduation, he joined the British Army, and rose to rank of acting colonel during his 17-year military career. He served in India, Afghanistan, Tibet,[when?] Africa,[where?] China and Turkey. He served the British-Indian army in India, and was also a colonel in a cavalry regiment for one year in the Turkish army as a British spy. He mostly spent the time in the military as a spy because of his wide knowledge of Oriental and Middle Eastern customs and religions. He traveled widely in Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle-East, and China and spoke many languages and dialects. He was made a British citizen by an act[which?] of Parliament, and convicted by the Germans during the First World War for being a spy.
In the early 1910s, he emigrated to the United States and eventually became a successful, well-paid writer, playwright and later on, a Hollywood screenwriter. Abdullah's work appeared in several US magazines, including ArgosyAll-Story MagazineMunsey's Magazine and Blue Book. [2] Abdullah's short story collection Wings contains several fantasy stories, which critic Mike Ashley describes as containing "some of his most effective writing".[3] He got a doctorate from the College of El-Azar, Cairo in Koranic Studies.
Romanoff was married at least three times: to Irene Bainbridge, Jean Wick, and Rosemary A. Dolan. He was the father of 2 daughters with Irene Bainbridge, Phyllis Abdullah (who died in childhood) and Pamelia Susan Abdullah Brower.
In January 1945, Romanoff was admitted to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and a few months later, on May 12, his birthday, he died."


  1. Jump up^ Edward E. Curtis, Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, Facts on File, Inc., 2010, pg. 198
  2. Jump up^ Darrell Schweitzer, "Introduction" to Fear and Other Tales From the Pulps, Wildside Press , 2005, ISBN 1-59224-237-5 (pp. 7-8).
  3. Jump up^ Mike Ashley, "Abdullah, Achmed" in St. James Guide To Fantasy Writers, ed. David Pringle, St. James Press, 1996, ISBN 1-55862-205-5, pp 3-5.
This mounted copy in The William Augustus Brewer Collection at the University of Delaware
indicates that he designed his own bookplate.

See You again Next Sunday.

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