ASH RARE BOOKS – ANTIQUARIAN RARE AND FINE BOOKS – FIRST EDITIONS – ANTIQUE MAPS AND PRINTS
ASH RARE BOOKS
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ARLEN, Michael, 1895-1956 : THE GREEN HAT : A ROMANCE FOR A FEW PEOPLE.
London : W. Collins Sons & Co., (1924). First edition. “Acclaimed, attacked, parodied, and read, to the most fabulous degree of best-sellerdom ... a romance suited to its decade – cynical, sophisticated, yet sentimental, highly coloured, and glittering ... the book certainly cast a spell in its day and influenced many young writers. The character of the heroine, Iris Storm, set a new fashion in fatal charmers; and Arlen’s pictures of London café society were as exact as glossy photographs” (ODNB). Filmed both in 1928 and in 1934 – as “A Woman of Affairs” (with Greta Garbo) and “Outcast Lady” (with Constance Bennett) respectively.
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BARNES, Julian, 1946- : METROLAND.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1980). First edition. Signed by Julian Barnes on the title-page. His first novel – a passage to adulthood and marriage in Betjeman’s Metroland, via a spell in Paris with the exciting Annick during les événements of 1968. Filmed in 1997 with Christian Bale and Emily Watson.
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BARROW, John, 1808-1898 : A VISIT TO ICELAND, BY WAY OF TRONYEM, IN THE “FLOWER OF YARROW” YACHT, IN THE SUMMER OF 1834.
London : John Murray, 1835. First edition. An adventurous illustrated voyage to Iceland with Lieutenant Barrow, via Trondheim in Norway and Lapland, with chapters on Reykjavik, the Geysers, Hafnarfjördur and Bessastadir, Stappen and Snæfellsjökull, with much detail and some statistics on the topography, inhabitants, wildlife, buildings, literature, religion, customs, trade, diet, crime and punishment, etc.
BARTLETT, William Henry, 1809-1854 : SALISBURY. VIEW IN CASTLE STREET, LOOKING SOUTH.
London : Longman & Co., 1829. A handsome antique print – sheep and cattle in ancient Castle Street in the early nineteenth century. Engraved by John Charles Varrall (1794-1855) from an original study by William Henry Bartlett. Originally produced for John Britton’s “Picturesque Antiquities of the English Cities” (London : 1828-1830). The plate is dedicated to the Rev. John Ward, “patron & admirer of embellished literature & of Architectural Antiquities”.
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BATES, H.E. (Herbert Ernest), 1905-1974 : THE STORY WITHOUT AN END AND THE COUNTRY DOCTOR.
London : White Owl Press, 1932. First edition : one of 100 copies (of 130) numbered and signed by H. E. Bates. Two short stories, the first set in a London restaurant.
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BEERBOHM, Max (Sir Henry Maximilian), 1872-1956 : ZULEIKA DOBSON : OR AN OXFORD LOVE STORY.
London : William Heinemann, 1911. First edition : the variant binding in smooth brown cloth, the spine lettered in upper and lower case. Just 2,150 copies were issued in this form, the remainder being put in a more robust library binding. “A diaphanous novel possessed of a delayed explosive charge that detonates today with surprising power ... the finest, and darkest, kind of satire: as intoxicating as champagne, as addictive as morphine, and as lethal as prussic acid” (Robert McCrum) – “Mr Beerbohm in his way is perfect” (Virginia Woolf).
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BELLOW, Saul, 1915-2005 : DANGLING MAN.
London : John Lehmann, 1946. First British edition of Bellow’s first book. “If you have difficulties, grapple with them silently, goes one of their commandments. To hell with that! I intend to talk about mine, and if I had as many mouths as Siva has arms and kept them going all the time, I still could not do myself justice”.
BENNETT, Arnold (Enoch Arnold), 1867-1931 : ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS : A NOVEL.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1902. First edition. A young woman struggles for freedom and independence in the Potteries – “There is excellent material in every character, and the grip of circumstance is strong and capable. Indeed, the picture of ‘The Five Towns’ with the life of prosaic labour, into which the mystery of romance yet creeps, is not only admirable but beautiful” (Contemporary review in The Pilot).
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BENNETT, Arnold (Enoch Arnold), 1867-1931 : THE REGENT : A FIVE TOWNS STORY OF ADVENTURE IN LONDON.
London : Methuen & Co., (1913). First edition. The further adventures of “The Card” – Edward Henry Machin stumbles into theatrical management in London and pursues Isabel Joy, the suffragette, to appear in his play. “There is no one in contemporary fiction so immense as Edward Henry Machin. He never wearies, because he always surprises and because Mr. Arnold Bennett never once errs in his presentation of him. ‘The Regent’ is as good, if not better, than ‘The Card’ and that is, indeed, saying a great deal” (The Globe, 12th September 1913).
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[BERTIUS, Petrus, 1565-1629] : AMERICA.
[Amsterdam : Jodocus Hondius, 1616 (or later)]. A delightful early miniature map of the Americas from Petrus Bertius, complete with a sea-monster and a vast uncharted antarctic continent. Originally produced for the “Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum Libri Septem”, first published by the younger Hondius at Amsterdam in 1616 and reissued in 1618.
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BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 : FIRST AND LAST LOVES.
London : John Murray, (1952). First edition. Betjeman on Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Leeds, London Railway Stations, the Isle of Man, Padstow, Sidmouth, Weymouth, the Isle of Wight, and many other places, as well as on Nonconformist Architecture, Victorian Architecture. Numerous illustrations – many by John Piper.
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BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 – editor : COLLINS GUIDE TO ENGLISH PARISH CHURCHES : INCLUDING THE ISLE OF MAN.
London : Collins, 1958. First edition. A county-by-county guide to the best of the parish churches, judged not only for their architecture, but for atmosphere and aesthetic merit. Betjeman contributes a lengthy historical introduction and many of the introductions to the individual counties, as well as writing or co-authoring the sections on Berkshire, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, London, Oxfordshire and Sussex. With a glossary of architectural terms, an index of architects and artists, etc.
BUCHAN, John, 1875-1940 : THE BLANKET OF THE DARK.
London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1931. First edition. Historical fiction set in Buchan’s much-loved countryside between Oxford and the Severn at the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace – Henry VIII, rebellion, rogues, romance, ruffians and retaliation in not quite equal measures. One of Buchan’s most deeply felt books – English values more readily found in the quiet folk than in their ruling elites.
BURTON, John Hill, 1809-1881 : THE BOOK-HUNTER ETC.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1862. First edition of “A Vision of Mighty Book Hunters”, “The Prowler and the Auction-Haunter”, “The Collector and the Scholar”, “Librarians”, and other fine essays on book-buying and book-collecting by the Scottish historian John Hill Burton. The book was greeted by “The Saturday Review” on its first appearance as “beyond measure delightful to those who are in any degree members of the above mentioned fraternity”.
“CAPELLI, Ace” : GET ME HEADQUARTERS.
London : Kaye Publications, (1953). [Second edition]. Gangster Joe Keefe of Chicago stares at a prison sentence – not for the “killings, the dope running, the booze running, or the bank robberies” – but for income tax evasion. He heads for London. Capelli was a name originally used by Stephen Daniel Frances (Hank Janson), later taken over by Geoffrey Pardoe, Norman Lazenby, and others.
CARDUS, Neville (Sir John Frederick Neville), 1888-1975 : CRICKET.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1930. First edition. A magisterial collection of nine essays in the English Heritage series – Cardus on the laws and evolutions; the spirit of the game; the Champion (W. G. Grace); overseas cricket and cricketers; the past and present, etc. “There can be no summer in this land without cricket”. With an introduction by J. C. Squire – “Mr. Cardus, I think, expounds more eloquently than before the Doctrine of Cricket as a Fine Art – a peculiarly English Fine Art, and one which gives a fine aesthetic pleasure to multitudes who have never heard the word aesthetic and would be frightened if they did hear it”.
CHATWIN, Bruce (Charles Bruce), 1940-1989 : THE SONGLINES.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1987). First edition. “In Alice Springs – a grid of scorching streets where men in long white socks were forever getting in and out of Land Cruisers – I met a Russian who was mapping the sacred sites of the Aboriginals”. His finest work – a novel of ideas – a “profound journey into the geography of the mind”.
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COLLINS, Norman (Norman Richard), 1907-1982 : LONDON BELONGS TO ME.
London : Collins, 1945. First edition. Now somewhat belatedly recognised as a Penguin Modern Classic, the writer and broadcaster presents a novel of South London in the years from Munich through to the worst of the Blitz – “real Londoners – some in love, some in debt, some committing murders, some adultery, some trying to get on in the world, some looking forward to a pension, some getting drunk, some losing their jobs, some dying, and some holding up the new baby” – “One of the great city novels: a sprawling celebration of the comedy, the savagery, the eccentricity and the quiet heroism at the heart of ordinary London life” (Sarah Waters).
“DELLA, Lew” – [DAWSON, George Herbert, 1916-1980] : LIFE IS SHORT.
London : Milestone Publications, (1953). First edition. The headlines ran “Nude Dame Snatched from Bath”, “Socialite Disappears”, “Dresses at Point of a Gun”, “Bandit Hands her Scanties”, “It was Awful says Maid”.
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DREYFUS, Alfred, 1859-1935 : FIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE.
London : George Newnes, 1901. First edition in English of “Cinq Années de Ma Vie, 1894-1899” (first published in Paris earlier the same year), translated from the French by James Mortimer. The sensational Dreyfus affair – the first two trials, Devil’s Island, etc., in his own words. Dreyfus was not finally exonerated of the trumped-up charges of treason until 1906.
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EVANS, A. (Albert Eubule), 1839-1896 : MISS NEVILLE’S DISCOVERY.
London : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, . First edition. “Miss Neville was a single lady with a comfortable fortune. She lived in a house of her own, at a fashionable watering-place, which we will call Cliffborough, where she spent her time in every species of amusement”. News of the death in a shipwreck of an old friend disturbs her afternoon.
FARROW, G.E. (George Edward), 1862-1919? : THE WALLYPUG OF WHY.
London : Hutchinson & Co., . First edition. The first of the wonderful Wallypug books (for specially nice girls and boys only) – a talking doll takes Girlie to the land of Why, “where all the questions and answers come from ... but, before we start, you must promise me that you will be very kind to the Wallypug, for he is a kind of relation of mine”. The fish with a cold, breakfast for tea, the socialist cockatoo, the invisible joke, the ride with the alphabet, and other superb fantasies.
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FAULKS, Sebastian, 1953- : THE GIRL AT THE LION D’OR.
London : Hutchinson, (1989). First edition. His second novel and the one which made his reputation – a slight, dark-haired girl with two heavy suitcases arrives in the small French town of Janvilliers in 1936 to become a waitress at a seedy hotel. “Like the great novels and stories of Flaubert and Maupassant ... quite out of the ordinary ... beautifully written and in the end extraordinarily moving” (Sunday Times).
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FAULKS, Sebastian, 1953- : BIRDSONG.
London : Hutchinson, (1993). First edition. Loosely inserted is Faulks’ printed compliments slip, inscribed and signed by Faulks to Peter Wilkinson, “for his edition of Birdsong”. His fourth and most famous novel, set before and during the Great War. Soon adapted for radio and the stage, with a television version in 2012, starring Eddie Redmayne and Clémence Poésy.
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GOLDSMITH, Oliver, 1728-1774 : THE POEMS AND PLAYS OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
London : J. M. Dent & Co., 1889. First Temple Library edition : one of 150 numbered copies (of 250) on large paper. A handsome set, delightfully printed on fine paper at the Chiswick Press and bound by Birdsall of Northampton. “The Traveller”, “The Deserted Village”, “Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog”, “When Lovely Woman”, “The Good Natur’d Man”, “She Stoops to Conquer”, and a host of lesser known material. Edited and introduced by Austin Dobson (1840-1921).
GRANT, James, 1802-1879 : SKETCHES IN LONDON.
London : W. S. Orr & Co., 1838. First edition. A compelling view of the “Modern Babylon” from the journalist James Grant – “Everything the Author has described, has either come under his own observation, or been verbally communicated to him by friends who were cognizant of the facts stated, and in whose veracity he could place the utmost reliance”. With chapters on begging imposters, debtors’ prisons, the lumber troop, parliament, penny theatres, workhouses, lunatic asylums, Bartholomew and Greenwich fairs, gaming houses and gamblers, the police, and other aspects of the underworld of the metropolis. Published in instalments at just the same time as “Oliver Twist” was being serialised, the work provides an interesting factual counterpart and companion to the Dickens novel, not least in that the young Hablot Knight Browne (“Phiz”) was responsible for the bulk of the illustrations.
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GREEN, J.R. (John Richard), 1837-1883 : A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1902-1903. The magnificent “illustrated edition” of Green’s magisterial and hugely popular account, first published in 1874. Short only by Victorian standards, “It is a history, not of English Kings or English Conquests, but of the English People”. Green was among the first to switch attention from political and military to social and cultural history, although remaining well aware of that “recurring tendency to the formation of oppressive oligarchic structures from which, periodically, ordinary Englishmen had to liberate themselves” (Anthony Brundage in ODNB). The illustrated edition was prepared after his death by Green’s wife, Alice Stopford Green, and his former assistant, Kate Norgate – “It was a favourite wish of my husband’s to see English History interpreted and illustrated by pictures which should tell us how men and things appeared to lookers-on in their own day, and how contemporary observers aimed at representing them”.
GREENE, Graham (Henry Graham), 1904-1991 : TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT : A NOVEL.
London : Bodley Head, (1969). First edition. “I met my Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than half a century at my mother’s funeral ...”. On Greene’s own admission, the only one of his books written “just for the fun of it” – memorably filmed in 1972 by George Cukor, with Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, etc.
HAGGARD, H. Rider (Sir Henry Rider), 1856-1925 : AYESHA : THE RETURN OF SHE.
London : Ward Lock & Co., 1905. First edition. As Haggard points out in his prefatory note, not so much a sequel to “She” as the conclusion to his famous tale – a conclusion he had deliberately waited twenty years to write. He also points out that the correct pronunciation is “Assha”.
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HALL, S. C. (Samuel Carter), 1800-1889 – editor : THE BOOK OF BRITISH BALLADS.
London : Jeremiah How, 1842-1844. A first edition set of both series of this elaborate and much-lauded production. A copiously illustrated collection of fifty-two of the finest English ballads, each with an introduction – including “Chevy Chase”, “Fair Rosamond”, “Genevieve”, “King Arthur’s Death”, “Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne”, “Sir Lancelot du Lake”, “The Blind Beggar of Bednall Green”, “The Demon Lover”, “The Nut-Brown Mayd”, etc. – illustrated with wood-engravings by the foremost artists and engravers of the period, including, among the artists, Edward Corbould, “Alfred Crowquill”, Richard Dadd, John Franklin, William Powell Frith, Sir John Gilbert, Kenny Meadows, Sir Joseph Noel Paton and Sir John Tenniel, and among the engravers – Frederick Branston, George Dalziel, Edmund Evans, William Folkard, Mason Jackson, Ebenezer Landells, William James Linton, Orrin Smith, Henry Vizetelly and John Walmsley. “The most ambitious English book with wood engravings during the period under survey” (Gordon Ray, “The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914”).
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : WINTER WORDS : IN VARIOUS MOODS AND METRES.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1928. First edition. Hardy’s final collection of poetry – 105 poems – the majority previously unpublished. Includes “The Lodging-House Fuchsias”, “To a Tree in London”, “Henley Regatta”, “That Kiss in the Dark”, and “We are Getting to the End”. Although prepared for the press before his death in January 1928, Hardy did not live to see its publication.
HARDY W.J. (William John), 1857-1919 – editor : MIDDLESEX & HERTFORDSHIRE NOTES AND QUERIES.
London : Hardy & Page / F. E. Robinson, 1895-1898. First edition. A complete run of this relatively short-lived journal – with much valuable and recondite material on London, Westminster, Middlesex and Hertfordshire – including material on Highgate; London servant-tax returns of 1780; enclosure awards; the Thrale family; Watford; St. Albans; Caddington; Finchley; Brentford; Harrow; Hadley; the Strand; Elstree, and hundreds of other topics.
HEANEY, Seamus, 1939-2013 : STATION ISLAND.
London : Faber & Faber, (1984). First edition. One of the most celebrated collections of poems of modern times – over forty poems from Heaney at the height of his powers. “Many of these poems have a tough rind as though the author knew for his purposes deferred comprehension was better than instant. Obliquity suits him. Heaney’s talent, a prodigious one, is exfoliating and augmenting here” (Richard Ellman).
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HIGHMAN, Frank, 1845-1927 : PLAN OF THE CITY OF SALISBURY.
Salisbury : Frank Highman, 1901. A handsome town plan of Salisbury, enlivened with large vignette views of Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, and Old Sarum. On a generous scale of around twelve inches to the mile, the coverage extends from Victoria Park in the north down to the curve of the Avon, and from beyond the railway station in the west to the borough boundary and Milford Hill in the east. Designed by the local engraver and lithographer Frank Highman and surveyed by J. C. Bothams & Son – the local civil engineer and Surveyor to the City for many years, John Champney Bothams (1822-1903), and his son Alfred Champney Bothams (1861-1931). A contemporary owner has added numerous additional details of individual buildings and street-names in manuscript. Apparently produced for a local directory, although no copy of a 1901 edition of the directory has been traced.
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HONE, William, 1780-1842 : ANCIENT MYSTERIES DESCRIBED, ESPECIALLY THE ENGLISH MIRACLE PLAYS FOUNDED IN APOCRYPHAL NEW TESTAMENT STORY, EXTANT AMONG THE UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM ...
London : for William Hone, 1823. First edition. Substantial excerpts and summaries of eight mediaeval mystery plays from the “Ludus Coventriae” cycle, together with material on Christmas carols, engravings of Apocryphal New Testament Subjects, the Descent into Hell, the Feast of Fools, the Boy Bishop, Pageants, the Guildhall Giants, etc. Compiled in the aftermath of Hone’s three successive blasphemy trials, the purposes of the great champion of a free press in bringing these forgotten remnants of popular culture to light were perhaps as much political as antiquarian, in tracing the history of satire, parody and dissent, but his book remains a pioneering work of scholarship in the field.
HOWELL, James, 1594?-1666 : LONDINOPOLIS; AN HISTORICALL DISCOURSE OR PERLUSTRATION OF THE CITY OF LONDON, THE IMPERIAL CHAMBER, AND CHIEF EMPORIUM OF GREAT BRITAIN ...
London : by J. Streater, for Henry Twiford, George Sawbridge, Thomas Dring, and John Place, 1657. First edition. One of the earliest printed histories of London, second only to the early editions of Stow in terms of chronology. Compiled by the versatile and engaging Welsh author, royalist, politician and traveller, James Howell, after his release from a lengthy imprisonment at the time of the Interregnum. With accounts of St. Paul’s and the other ancient churches; the individual wards and precincts; the governance of the City; the walls, streets, gates and prisons; the Inns of Court; the twelve great livery companies; the company halls; the Tower, the Royal Exchange, the Guildhall and other prominent buildings; the Thames; London Bridge; the mayoralty; the city of Westminster and the Abbey; the Strand; Covent Garden; Lincoln’s Inn; Westminster Hall; Parliament, the Admiralty, etc.
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HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : FIVE AUTUMN SONGS FOR CHILDREN’S VOICES.
Crediton : Richard Gilbertson, (1968). First edition : one of just twenty-six numbered copies (of 500) inscribed with a complete verse from the first song in the poet’s hand and signed and dated 3rd January 1969 by Ted Hughes. A collection of five poems.
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HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : MOORTOWN.
London : Faber & Faber, (1979). First edition : [one of 2,000 copies in hardback] – complete with the separately printed errata slip. A major collection of 125 poems, including “Dehorning”, “Coming Down Through Somerset” and “Teaching a Dumb Calf”, as well as the sequences “Prometheus on His Crag”, “Earth-Numb”, “Orts”, “Adam and the Sacred Nine”, etc.
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HUNT, Leigh (James Henry Leigh), 1784-1859 : MEN, WOMEN, AND BOOKS; A SELECTION OF SKETCHES, ESSAYS, AND CRITICAL MEMOIRS, FROM HIS UNCOLLECTED PROSE WRITINGS.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1847. First edition. A sparkling collection of Hunt’s essays for the magazines – Hunt on fact and fiction; inside an omnibus; a visit to the zoo; beds and bedrooms; the world of books; a few remarks on the rare vice called lying; female beauty; statesmen-poets; English queens; social morality in Suckling and Jonson; the other side of Alexander Pope; the beneficence of bookstalls; bookbinding; British poetesses; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; Pepys in Tangier; Madame de Sévigné – and much else.
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HUTCHINSON, Horace G. (Horatio Gordon), 1859-1932 – editor : THE NEW BOOK OF GOLF.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1912. First edition. Hutchinson, the first official amateur champion in 1886, covers all aspects of the game – with additional essays by Bernard Darwin, May Hezlet Ross and others.
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JACKSON, Catherine Hannah Charlotte, Lady, 1814?-1891 : THE OLD RÉGIME : COURTS, SALONS, AND THEATRES.
London : Richard Bentley & Son, 1880. First edition. A gossipy and readable history of French high society from the death of Louis XIV to the demise of Marie Antoinette – libertinage, seeking interviews with Satan, un fanfaron de vices, an actress’s dinners, rival gambling houses, les devotionettes, the coiffure of Madame de Gontaut, and much else besides.
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JAMES, M.R. (Montague Rhodes), 1862-1936 : A THIN GHOST AND OTHERS.
London : Edward Arnold & Co., 1919. First edition. His third collection of atmospheric tales – five stories, including “The Diary of Mr. Poynter”.
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“JANSON, Hank” – [FRANCES, Stephen Daniel, 1917-1989] : LILIES FOR MY LOVELY.
London : S. D. Frances, . First edition. The sixth book of the first series – Janson in Des Moines, Iowa – “She was a dead dame. But that took an awful lot of believing because folk just don’t die that way ... So that started everything, including a lotta misery for June and a live guy winding up in a coffin that was due for cremation”.
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JEROME, Jerome K. (Jerome Klapka), 1859-1927 : THREE MEN IN A BOAT (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG).
Bristol : J. W. Arrowsmith, 1889 [but later]. First edition : an early issue. Research into the many variants remains inconclusive, but in the present copy the front advertisements are headed with the publisher’s address, the address on the title-page is numbered, the initial “T” to Chapter One has a slight flaw, the ornamental capitals on pages 77 and 95 are inverted, and the verso of the last leaf of text lists forty-six numbered titles in the publisher’s “Bristol Library” series, suggesting a publication date of late 1890 or early 1891.
JONES, Barbara (Barbara Mildred), 1912-1978 : DESIGN FOR DEATH.
London : André Deutsch, (1967). First edition. An extraordinary study – part grim, part comic – of the “beautiful, vulgar, frightening and propitiatory things that people make when confronted by that shocking and unwelcome reminder, the death of another”. With chapters on the corpse; the shroud; the coffin; the hearse; the floral tributes; printing and the word; the procession; the cemetery and the crematorium; the tomb; relics and mementoes, etc.
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JONSON, Ben (Benjamin), 1572-1637 : POEMS.
London : Oxford University Press, 1975. First edition of this authoritative Oxford Standard Authors text, edited and introduced by Professor Ian Donaldson. Includes the Epigrams, The Forest, The Underwood, Ungathered Verse, Songs and Poems from the Plays and Masques, Leges Convivales, Dubia, etc.
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KIPLING, Rudyard (Joseph Rudyard), 1865-1936 : JUST SO STORIES : FOR LITTLE CHILDREN.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1902. First edition. “How the Camel got his Hump”, “How the Leopard got his Spots”, “The Elephant’s Child”, “The Cat that Walked by Himself” and a further eight of the finest stories for children ever written. Illustrated by Kipling – the only one of his books graced with his own fine illustrations.
KITCHIN, Thomas, 1719-1784 : THE WORLD, FROM THE BEST AUTHORITIES.
[London : for J. Knox, 1770]. An attractive double-hemisphere map of the world as known in the west before the discoveries of Captain Cook, with Australia and New Zealand still imperfect and shadowy outlines. Decorated with rococo work in the spandrels and a view of a distant city. Originally engraved by Thomas Kitchin for William Guthrie’s “A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar” (1770).
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KNEALE, Matthew, 1960- : WHORE BANQUETS.
London : Victor Gollancz, 1987. First edition. His uncommon first book – young Englishman trapped in Tokyo, an enforced marriage, and a collision with the world of Japanese organised crime. Winner of Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask awards.
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KNIGHT, Charles, 1791-1873 : PASSAGES OF A WORKING LIFE DURING HALF A CENTURY : WITH A PRELUDE OF EARLY REMINISCENCES.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1864-1865. First edition. The absorbing memoirs of the redoubtable Charles Knight, author, pioneer of popular and populist publishing, and social reformer. With particular passing reference to Thomas Arnold of Rugby, Lord Brougham, Thomas de Quincey, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hood, Leigh Hunt, Lord Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, etc.
LARKIN, Philip (Philip Arthur), 1922-1985 : THE WHITSUN WEDDINGS : POEMS.
London : Faber & Faber, (1964). First edition. A celebrated collection of thirty-two poems and one of the high points of twentieth-century poetry. “The poems were written in or near Hull, Yorkshire, with a succession of Royal Sovereign 2B pencils during the years 1955 to 1963” (Philip Larkin).
LE QUEUX, William (William Tufnell), 1864-1927 : THE INVASION OF 1910 : WITH A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE SIEGE OF LONDON.
London : Eveleigh Nash, 1906. First edition. A fictional tour-de-force from Le Queux with an exhaustively researched account of an all too plausible German invasion – communication beyond Beccles cut off, further landings at Hull and Goole, desperate fighting in Essex, Colchester abandoned, the Battle of Epping, the Fall of London, revolts in Shoreditch and Islington, etc. Le Queux was aided by “a number of the highest authorities on strategy”, including Field Marshall Earl Roberts, former Commander in Chief, who provides an introductory letter, as well as the naval historian Herbert Wrigley Wilson, who contributes the chapters on the fighting at sea. Originally serialised in the “Daily Mail”, with questions asked in the House over the need to suppress it, the book became an extraordinary international success, translated into multiple languages.
LEVER, Charles (Charles James), 1806-1872 : ST. PATRICK’S EVE.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1845. First edition : in the more elaborate and earliest binding. Clearly modelled on Dickens’ treatment of social issues in his Christmas books, Lever tackles the Irish issue of absentee landlords – “a very pretty little volume ... dedicated to his children with a desire to inculcate this truth, ‘that prosperity has as many duties as adversity has sorrows’ ... painted with his customary force of genius and his usual glowing and effective colouring” (Liverpool Mail, 29th March 1845).
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MARCHANT, Benjamin : REMARKS AND REFLECTIONS ON SELECT PASSAGES IN THE BOOK OF PSALMS.
North Shields : by T. Appleby, 1802. A reissue of the original 1801 publication. “Principally intended, and calculated for the edification and comfort of such of the Children of God as are much exercised with temptations, and in trying circumstances”. Compiled by the local schoolmaster Benjamin Marchant of Ballast Hills – “The writing of this book has cost me many thoughts”.
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MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE CASUARINA TREE : SIX STORIES.
London : William Heinemann, (1926). First edition. Six short stories set in the Far East – “Before the Party”, “P. & O.”, “The Outstation”, “The Force of Circumstance”, “The Yellow Streak”, and “The Letter”, together with an introduction and a postscript. One of Maugham’s finest collections, notable in particular for “The Letter”, adapted for the stage by Maugham himself and the basis of the famous Academy Award winning William Wyler 1940 film, starring Bette Davis.
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MAXWELL, Gavin, 1914-1969 : RING OF BRIGHT WATER.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., (1960). First edition. “Nowhere in Scotland is more evocative of a specific book than Sandaig, near Glenelg, Inverness-shire, which Maxwell disguised as Camusfeàrna ...” (ODNB). Otters, nature, and the basis of the 1968 film, with Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna, etc.
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MILNE, A.A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956 : NOW WE ARE SIX.
London : Methuen & Co., (1927). First edition. “We have been nearly three years writing this book. We began it when we were very young ... and now we are six”.
MILNER, Thomas, 1808-1882 : THE GALLERY OF NATURE: A PICTORIAL AND DESCRIPTIVE TOUR THROUGH CREATION, ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE WONDERS OF ASTRONOMY, PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, AND GEOLOGY.
London : for the Proprietors by William S. Orr & Co., 1846. First edition. The Reverend Milner with a hugely popular Victorian exploration of the wonders of the physical world. Originally published in parts 1844-1846 – “a well-written and profusely illustrated serial, beautifully printed, and so cheap that, even in these days of cheap literature, it excites surprise how so much can be given for so little money. It is work that ought to be in the library of every Mechanics’ Institute, Artizans’ Society, or Athenaeum in the kingdom: it deserves the most widely-extended sale that is possible; and nothing but that can adequately reward those who have embarked in the undertaking” (Leicester Chronicle, 8th February 1845).
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MITFORD, Mary Russell, 1787-1855 : OUR VILLAGE: SKETCHES OF RURAL CHARACTER AND SCENERY.
London : G. & W. B. Whittaker / Geo. B. Whittaker / Whittaker, Treacher & Co., 1824-1832. First edition. A complete first edition set of the five-volume series of her much-loved and most famous work – sharp, affectionate, precise and amused sketches of village life in Regency England – “Our landlord has a stirring wife, a hopeful son, and a daughter, the belle of the village; not so pretty as the fair nymph of the shoe-shop, and far less elegant, but ten times as fine; all curl-papers in the morning, like a porcupine, all curls in the afternoon, like a poodle, with more flounces than curl-papers, and more lovers than curls ...”. Walks in the Country, A Country Cricket-Match, A Christmas Party, Christmas Amusements, The Mole-Catcher, Children of the Village, The Cribbage Players, and so much more.
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : CITY AND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
London : G. Virtue, . A highly attractive antique map – a town-plan decorated with the coats of arms of the city and the colleges, as well as inset views of the town and the front of Christ Church. Originally engraved by John Cleghorn (1784-1873) in 1830 for Moule’s part-work series “The English Counties Delineated” (1830-1837) – and here in very early state, with the engraver’s name still present.
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : SURREY.
[London : George Virtue, 1832]. One of the most attractive and popular of all antique maps of the county, originally engraved by William Schmollinger (1811?-1869) for the part-work “The English Counties Delineated” (London 1830-1837) prepared by the antiquary Thomas Moule. Decorated with a “gothick” architectural border, a strapwork title, coats of arms, and views of Richmond Bridge and Dulwich College. Originally engraved in 1832 and here in very early state, before the addition of railways, etc.
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NEVILLE, Richard (Richard Clive), 1941-2016 : PLAY POWER.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1970). First edition. Exploring the international underground with one of its prime movers and makers – psychedelic shrines in Katmandu; New York yippies posting marijuana cigarettes to strangers; Living Theatre wrecking marriages as conscientious social sabotage; international situationists adding LSD to the Paris événements; Mick Jagger in a party frock freeing butterflies before half a million; freaks throwing money at stockbrokers – ah, the sixties – if you can remember them, you weren’t really there.
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“OLIVER, Stephen” – [CHATTO, William Andrew, 1799-1864] : SCENES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF FLY-FISHING, IN NORTHUMBERLAND, CUMBERLAND, AND WESTMORLAND.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1834. First edition. “A bottle of Reading sauce, a box of ‘peptic pills’, and a portable frying-pan ought to form part of every angler’s travelling equipage”. Fly-fishing in Coquetdale, Glendale and the Northern Hills, together with an appendix – “a well-written review of the older angling literature” (Westwood & Satchell), as well as a list of trout streams all across the north of England and the Borders. Father of the publisher, Chatto was also the editor of “The New Sporting Magazine” – “must have a place in every library” (Blackwood’s Magazine).
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PASCAL, Blaise, 1623-1662 : PROVINCIAL LETTERS, CONTAINING AN EXPOSURE OF THE REASONING AND MORALS OF THE JESUITS.
London : Gale & Fenner, 1816. An attractive early nineteenth-century edition of Pascal’s satirical masterpiece – here called forth by Pope Pius VII’s recent restoration of the Inquisition and the revival of the Index and the Jesuits. Edward Gibbon claimed to have learnt his gift of irony from Pascal and is said diligently to have re-read this book once each year. Although first translated into English as early as 1657, there would appear to have been only one other earlier translation than the present one.
“PERRELLI, Nick” – [DAWSON, George Herbert, 1916-1980] : PRIVATE EYEFUL.
London : Milestone, (1953). First edition. “The missing negatives were important right enough – a photographic record of the archives the Crime Commission had prepared for their next strike at the underworld ... Perrelli at the peak of his ability to chill and to thrill”. Although the “Nick Perrelli” name was used by various authors, American copyright records note this title as the work of George H. Dawson.
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POOL, Phoebe (Phoebe Dorothy), 1913-1971 – editor : POEMS OF DEATH. VERSES CHOSEN BY PHOEBE POOL WITH ORIGINAL LITHOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL AYRTON.
London : Frederick Muller, (1945). First edition. An extensive and powerful anthology of the poetic response, ancient and modern, to the grim reality of death – William Blake, Robert Browning, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Donne, Dryden, T. S. Eliot, Graves, Hardy, Herrick, Keats, Marlowe, Marvell, Milton, Poe, Pope, Shakespeare, Spenser, Swift, Swinburne, Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Tourneur, Webster, Whitman, Wordsworth, Yeats and many more – stunningly illustrated with full-page lithographs by Michael Ayrton (1921-1975) at the top of his form. The art historian Phoebe Pool worked with the spy Anthony Blunt, with whom she co-wrote a book on Picasso, and committed suicide in 1971 under suspicion of having been his courier. In the “New Excursions into English Poetry” series produced by Adprint.
POTTER, Beatrix (Helen Beatrix), 1866-1943 : THE TALE OF MR. JEREMY FISHER.
London : Frederick Warne & Co., 1906. First edition. “Once upon a time there was a frog called Mr. Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups at the edge of a pond”.
POWELL, Anthony (Anthony Dymoke), 1905-2000 : AGENTS AND PATIENTS.
London : Duckworth, 1936. First edition. “Ablaze with sports-cars and cocktails and bailiffs and film-directors and innuendoes, and even poor old Freud is hoisted out of his dismal coffin of the early nineteen-twenties and put through his creaking paces. It is all very amusingly done, and the glitter is maintained with a vast deal of switching on and off of artificial lights” – A. G. Macdonell’s review in “The Bystander”, 29th January 1936.
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RAVEN, Simon (Simon Arthur Nöel), 1927-2001 : THE RICH PAY LATE.
London : Anthony Blond, (1964). First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed, signed with forename, and dated by Simon Raven in the year of publication – “Rosemary, With best wishes from Simon, October, 1964” – the recipient being Rosemary Whitamore, a neighbour in Deal. Ambitious young men down from the University in 1950s London – the opening novel in the “Alms for Oblivion” sequence.
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REYNOLDS, James, 1817-1876 – publisher : TRANSPARENT DIAGRAM OF THE PHASES OF THE MOON.
London : James Reynolds, [ca.1850]. One of the well-known series of educational diagrams on card published by James Reynolds of the Strand – in this case constructed with cut-outs and translucent paper so that the chart can be held to light to illuminate the sun and the lunar phases. The diagram has clearly written explanatory text above and below the image.
RICHARDS, J.M. (Sir James Maude), 1907-1992 : THE CASTLES ON THE GROUND.
London : Architectural Press, (1946). First edition. “Ewbank’d inside and Atco’d out, the English suburban residence and the garden which is an integral part of it stand trim and lovingly cared for in the mild sunshine ... ” – Richards’ faultless homage to and defence of suburbia, written while he was serving overseas. If not regarded as a minor classic, then it should be. Illustrated with memorable two-colour lithographs by John Piper.
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ROBINSON, W. Heath (William Heath), 1872-1944 & HUNT, Cecil, 1902-1954 : HOW TO RUN A COMMUNAL HOME.
London : Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), . First edition. A scarce wartime compilation, but one of Heath Robinson’s best and most brilliant – inspired by the Beveridge Report, which the authors claim was itself based on their earlier “How to Build a New World”. With sections on the Communal Spirit, Mating, Household Arrangements, Babycraft, Education, Housekeeping, Rites and Ceremonies, Fun and Games, etc. “Beside them, Beveridge is a timid amateur”.
RUSSELL, Bertrand (Bertrand Arthur William, Third Earl Russell), 1872-1970 : HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND ITS CONNECTION WITH POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY.
London : George Allen & Unwin, (1946). First British edition. A fluent, witty, elegant, and sweeping survey of the philosophic tradition, treated as much as social and cultural history as in terms of pure philosophy – the Pre-Socratics; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; the Cynics, Sceptics, Stoics, and Epicureans; Jewish, Mohammedan, and Catholic scholars; and the modern tradition – Machiavelli, Erasmus and More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Byron, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Bergson, William James, Dewey, etc. “I was sometimes accused by reviewers of writing not a true history but a biased account of the events that I arbitrarily chose to write of. But, to my mind, a man without bias cannot write interesting history – if, indeed, such a man exists” (Bertrand Russell).
“SAGAN, Françoise” – [QUOIREZ, Françoise, 1935-2004] : BONJOUR TRISTESSE : A NOVEL.
London : John Murray, (1955). First edition in English. Sagan’s first and most enduring novel – an overnight sensation. Filmed by Otto Preminger in 1958, with Jean Seberg, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Mylène Demongeot, Juliette Gréco, etc. Translated by Irene Ash (1906-1989). First published in Paris in 1954.
“SARTO, Ben” – [FAWCETT, Frank Dubrez, 1891-1968] : THE OLDEST PROFESSION.
London : Modern Fiction, . First edition. “As usual with Sarto books, it is the result of personal observation, plus access to police records and secret news files ... an innocent young girl from the country finds herself caught up in the toils of a Manhattan exploiter – with tragic results. One big, breath-catching thrill from first word to last, but shot with sadness and regret”.
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SAYERS, Dorothy L. (Dorothy Leigh), 1893-1957 : THE FIVE RED HERRINGS.
London : Victor Gollancz, 1931. First edition. Lord Peter Wimsey on a fishing holiday in Galloway – artist found dead by a stream – six suspects, five are red herrings. “Miss Dorothy Sayers is well-known as the writer of bland and beautiful detective stories and her just published ‘The Five Red Herrings’ is no exception to her rule. All the threads of a vastly complicated plot are kept in the writer’s hand from beginning to end; Lord Peter Wimsey is as poised and penetrating as ever and her Scottish policemen make us long to go to Scotland and get ourselves arrested” (Liverpool Echo, 26th March 1931).
SCHIMANSKI, Stefan, -1950 & TREECE, Henry, 1911-1966 – editors : A MAP OF HEARTS.
London : Lindsay Drummond, . First edition. A collection of twenty-one wartime short stories – from Mulk Raj Anand (Lottery), John Heath-Stubbs (That on Parched Mountains), J. F. Hendry (The Catacomb of Love), Rayner Heppenstall (The Bird has Flown), Inez Holden (To-day at the Bureaucracy), Gwyn Jones (Take us the Little Foxes), Mary Lavin (The Statue in the Grounds), John Pudney (The City of Copious Libations), Alan Ross (Pain), William Sansom (From the Water Junction) and others, including the two editors themselves. With biographical notes on the contributors.
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SEARLE, Ronald (Ronald William Fordham), 1920-2011 : BACK TO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE AND OTHER UGLY MOMENTS.
London : Macdonald & Co. (Publishers), (1951). First edition. An outstanding presentation copy, inscribed “For John with best wishes and never failing regard from St. Trinians and Ronald Searle”, the message and signature incorporated in a placard being held aloft by a St. Trinian’s girl in a delightful original pen, ink and wash sketch by Searle on the front free endpaper.
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SEUTTER, Matthäus, 1678-1757 : ACCURATISSIMA ANGLIÆ SCOTIÆ ET HIBERNIÆ TAB. DENUO IN LUCEM EDITA.
Augsburg : Tob. Conrad Lotter, [ca.1760]. A fine and scarce antique map of the British Isles, with an elegant military lion and unicorn cartouche. In another corner an angel with a trumpet bears aloft the arms of the four nations, and there are sailing ships off the coast. Originally engraved by Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777) for Seutter’s “Atlas Minor” in the 1740s and here in a slightly later state with Lotter’s own imprint.
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“SKETCHLEY, Arthur” – [ROSE, George, 1817-1882] : MRS. BROWN IN LONDON.
London : George Routledge & Sons, [1869 (but later)]. An undated early reprint of the original 1869 production. Sketchley’s brilliantly successful comic creation of the Cockney Mrs Brown, with her breathless monologues on London Zoo, the Lord Mayor’s Show, Madame Tussaud’s, the Tower, Cremorne Gardens, the Crystal Palace, Rosherville, and the Thames Tunnel. Probably the best-known of the whole series of Mrs Brown books on the topics of the day.
SMILES, Samuel, 1812-1904 : LIFE & LABOUR : OR CHARACTERISTICS OF MEN OF INDUSTRY CULTURE AND GENIUS.
London : John Murray, 1887. First edition. Samuel “Self-Help” Smiles with “many fresh instances of what can be accomplished by honest force of will and steady accomplishment” from right across the range of human endeavour. Treated thematically, there are inspiring chapters on Man and Gentleman; Great Men – Great Workers; Great Young Men; Great Old Men; Lineage of Talent and Genius; The Literary Ailment (Over Brain-Work); Health and Hobbies; Town and Country Life; Single and Married, and the Evening of Life.
SNOW, C.P. (Charles Percy Snow, 1st Baron), 1905-1980 : HOMECOMINGS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1956. First edition. The sixth novel in the “Strangers and Brothers” sequence, taking Lewis Eliot through the war years, from Munich in 1938, via the end of one marriage and the beginning of another, to the unsettled post-war years.
SPARK, Muriel (Dame Muriel Sarah), 1918-2006 : THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1963. First edition. “Few people alive at the time were more delightful, more ingenious, more movingly lovely, and, as it might happen, more savage, than the girls of slender means”.
STERNE, Laurence, 1713-1768 : THE WORKS OF LAURENCE STERNE IN TEN VOLUMES COMPLETE.
London : for J. Dodsley, J. Johnson, G. G. J. and J. Robinson, T. Cadell, J. Murray [and others], 1793. A handsome early collected edition of Sterne, comprising “Tristram Shandy”, “A Sentimental Journey”, three volumes of sermons and two of letters, as well as “A Fragment in the Manner of Rabelais” and “The History of a Watch-Coat”, together with his own memoir of his life and family.
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STRAUSS, G.L.M. (Gustave Louis Maurice), 1807?-1887 & OTHERS : ENGLAND’S WORKSHOPS.
London : Groombridge & Sons, 1867. A reissue of the original 1864 edition. An extraordinary glimpse into the world of Victorian manufacture, with detailed essays describing visits to twenty-one specific metal workshops in Birmingham and elsewhere, six chemical workshops in London and elsewhere, two glass workshops in London and Birmingham, ten provisions and supply workshops – candle manufactories in London, match, paraffin, tobacco, mustard, vinegar and ale works – as well as a cotton mill in Darley and the Gray’s Inn Pianoforte Manufactory.
STRINDBERG, August (Johan August), 1849-1912 : BY THE OPEN SEA.
London : Frank Palmer, (1913). First edition in English of “I Hafsbandet” (1890). Strindberg’s novel of isolation and resistance – a clever outsider arrives at a remote village in the archipelago as the Superintendent of Fisheries. Translated by Ellie Schleussner.
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TAVERNER, Eric (Eric Sherwood), 1892-1958 : TROUT FISHING FROM ALL ANGLES : A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MODERN METHODS.
London : Seeley, Service & Co., 1929. First edition. An excellent guide to all aspects of the subject, from its literature, to tackle, casting, entomology, trout-flies, fly-dressing, etc., with additional chapters on trout scales by G. Herbert Nall, and on the legal aspect of fishing by Alban Bacon, etc. In the much-admired “Lonsdale Library” series.
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TAYLOR, Basil, 1922-1975 : ANIMAL PAINTING IN ENGLAND FROM BARLOW TO LANDSEER.
Harmondsworth : Penguin Books, (1955). First edition. A charming little monograph by the art historian Basil Taylor, the man who brought British painting back into favour and inspired Paul Mellon’s collecting – with an introductory essay, numerous plates (some in colour) – all with notes, biographical notes on the artists, etc.
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TENNYSON, Alfred (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron), 1809-1892 : GARETH AND LYNETTE ETC.
London : Strahan & Co., 1872. First edition. Two of Tennyson’s Arthurian Idylls, “Gareth and Lynette” – Gareth dreams of knighthood, and “The Last Tournament” – the foundling with the ruby necklace.
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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.
London : Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, [ca. 1930]. An attractively bound standard library edition in the Oxford Thackeray series first published in 1908. The text is that of the revised edition of 1864, but all of the original illustrations from the original parts published 1847-1848 are retained. Edited and introduced by George Saintsbury (1845-1933).
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THOMAS, Dylan (Dylan Marlais), 1914-1953 : ADVENTURES IN THE SKIN TRADE.
London : Putnam, (1955). First British and first separate edition : a pencilled note states this to be the first issue, without the copyright notice on the verso of the title-page – a point not mentioned by Rolph. The unfinished and partly autobiographical novel, originally published with other material a few months earlier in the USA. With a foreword by Vernon Watkins.
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“TREVOR, William” – [COX, William Trevor, 1928-2016] : ANGELS AT THE RITZ AND OTHER STORIES.
London : Bodley Head, (1975). First edition. “Good short stories are hard to come by, but when William Trevor produces a new collection one can be sure that they are more than merely good”. Twelve stories, including the title story, as well as “Afternoon Dancing”, “Mrs Silly”, “Office Romances”, etc.
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
London : Strahan & Co., 1869. First edition. A jealous husband and a wilful wife, with a host of intriguing sub-plots in one of his best-known novels. With plates and text illustrations by Marcus Stone R.A. (1840-1921).
“VANE, Roland” – [McKEAG, Ernest Lionel, 1896-1974] : NIGHT HAUNTS OF PARIS.
London : Federation Press, (1926). First edition. Although better known in the Archer Press edition of 1949 with its Reginald Heade cover (almost universally regarded as the first edition), this early Vane – “the most daring exposure ever written of the world’s wickedest city” – has a much longer history. The Federation Press, already here operating from Gramol House, later became the Gramol Press under the direction of Arthur Gray and Frederick Mowl – both of whom later suffered imprisonment in Wormwood Scrubs for transgressing the bounds of pre-war public decency with their racy publications. The lure of Montmartre, among the Apaches, black women and white men, gambling dens, tempting English girlhood, and more.
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“WATERS” – [RUSSELL, William, 1805?-1876?] : RECOLLECTIONS OF A DETECTIVE POLICE-OFFICER.
London : J. & C. Brown & Co., 1856. First edition. The very first appearance in fiction of a Scotland Yard detective – stories by “Waters”’ of the Yard, the narrator invented by journalist William Russell – the very first English detective stories. Originally published in Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal between 1849 and 1852, with some of the stories appearing in book form in New York in 1852, the present publication is the first appearance of all eleven, with a final twelfth tale not previously published.
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : LOVE AMONG THE RUINS: A ROMANCE OF THE NEAR FUTURE.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1953. First edition. “Despite their promises at the last Election, the politicians had not yet changed the climate” – a hero called Plastic, a golden-bearded woman, a state-run euthanasia centre, and a wicked satire on the Welfare State. “With decorations by various eminent hands including the author’s”.
WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : BASIL SEAL RIDES AGAIN : OR, THE RAKE’S REGRESS.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1963. First edition : limited to 750 numbered copies signed by Evelyn Waugh. His last published work of fiction, resurrecting Peter Beste-Chetwynde, Lady Metroland, Ambrose Silk, Basil Seal, etc.
WENTWORTH-JAMES, Gertie de S. (Gertrude de Soilleux), 1874-1933 : SECRET PLACES.
London : Stanley Paul & Co., (1924). First edition. One of the author’s “smartly witty novels, self-consciously progressive especially about sex, published between 1908 and 1929” (Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction). “A frank and convention-defying story” (Aberdeen Press, 1st January 1925). The rather supercilious Lily Kesterton lives in the worst part of Kensington with her rather dull husband, but longs for high society and the smart set of bright young things exemplified by her friend Mrs Flare – a character who could slip effortlessly and without alteration into the pages of any of Evelyn Waugh’s early novels. “An entertaining and brightly written story. All the characters are well drawn” (Times Literary Supplement).
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“WESLEY, Mary” [SIEPMANN, Mary Aline, 1912-2002] : JUMPING THE QUEUE.
London : Macmillan London, (1983). First edition. Signed by the author (as Mary Wesley) on the title-page. Her scarce and startling first novel.
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WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : THE INIMITABLE JEEVES.
London : Herbert Jenkins, 1923. First edition : the second issue, listing eleven titles on the verso of the half-title. The second “Jeeves” title – “Jeeves Exerts the Old Cerebellum”, “Aunt Agatha Speaks Her Mind”, “The Great Sermon Handicap”, and fifteen further Jeeves and Wooster short stories (introducing Bingo Little for the first time).
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WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : THE MATING SEASON.
London : Herbert Jenkins, . First edition. The fifth Jeeves & Wooster novel – with the debut of Catsmeat Pirbright and the continuing saga of Gussie Fink-Nottle and Madeline Basset.
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WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : THE OLD RELIABLE.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1951). First edition. “When Carmen Flores, the volcanic Mexican star, perished in an aeroplane crash, her palatial Hollywood home was bought furnished by Mrs. Adela Cork, the famous Adela Shannon of the silent films”. Impecunious brother-in-law and safe-cracking butler hunt for the explosive missing diary.
WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : COCKTAIL TIME.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1958). First edition. Uncle Fred knocks Sir Raymond Bastable’s hat off with a brazil nut fired by catapult from the Drones Club. The third Uncle Fred novel – meddling, blackmail, scandal, and a pseudonymous and much-disowned novel called “Cocktail Time” – with Pongo Twistleton, Beefy Bastable, publishers, agents, etc.
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WOOLF, Virginia (Adeline Virginia), 1882-1941 : NIGHT AND DAY.
London : Duckworth & Co., (1919). First edition : [one of 2,000 copies printed]. Her second novel – an intriguing exploration of contemporary mores – love, marriage, happiness and success.
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