ASH RARE BOOKS – ANTIQUARIAN RARE AND FINE BOOKS – FIRST EDITIONS – ANTIQUE MAPS AND PRINTS
ASH RARE BOOKS
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ADAMS, Douglas (Douglas Noel), 1952-2001 : THE HITCH HIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.
London : Pan Books, (1979). First edition : precedes the hardback edition by some months. “People of Earth, your attention please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council ...”. The first appearance in print of the seminal radio series.
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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 : THE LORD MAYOR OF LONDON : OR, CITY LIFE IN THE LAST CENTURY.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1862. First edition. An uncommon Ainsworth historical novel set in the days of Alderman Beckford, William Pitt, John Wilkes, etc.- much admired for the extraordinary detail (and its accuracy) with which Ainsworth brings the period to life. “This is the Ainsworth 3-decker that I waited longest for” (Wolff).
[ANONYMOUS] : THE TURF. A SATIRICAL NOVEL.
London : Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley, 1831. First edition. “The forthcoming satirical novel under this title, is said to exhibit a picture of the life of a young man of fashion, and to develop, in the most spirited manner, the mysteries and chicaneries of the Turf. But these contribute only a small portion of its attractions. The gambling-table at home and abroad – love – debt – opera-dancers – together with the multifarious scenes which present themselves to the young nobleman in his gay career, are unfolded to the view. The name of the author we have heard whispered, but for the present, we forbear to mention it” (Dublin Evening Post, 29th July 1830). True to the spirit of the novel, “which has occasioned so great a sensation in gay circles”, wagers were laid on whether the author’s name would be discovered within a set period – the bets settled at Tattersall’s at the end of April 1831 in favour of those who had bet against it (Morning Post, 6th May 1831). The “Morning Chronicle” attributed it to a “well known sporting baronet”, but the publisher Richard Bentley’s papers note that it was written by “a son of Sir Robert Twisden”, with some additions by Mr Ollier. Ollier is simple enough – Charles Ollier (1788-1859), former publisher of Keats and Shelley, now working as Richard Bentley’s literary adviser. Twisden is a different matter, as no Sir Robert Twisden can be found: I think Sir Roger Twisden is intended – and grandson, not son. Thomas Twisden Hodges (1809-1865), sporting gentleman, later Member of Parliament, cricketer, yachtsman, and crucially at this time a racehorse owner, running a horse aptly named “Naughty Tommy” in various races in the very year of the novel’s publication, seems to have all the right credentials for being the author of this exposé (of prize-fighting as well as racing) – “Lords and blacklegs, ladies and demireps, are mingled together in its pages, – in some portraits we can trace a resemblance, striking, if not flattering, to individuals who have been known, and are now not altogether forgotten” (New Monthly Magazine).
BALLANTYNE, R.M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894 : THE LONELY ISLAND : OR THE REFUGE OF THE MUTINEERS.
London : James Nisbet & Co., 1880. First edition. Ballantyne’s fictionalised take on the Bligh Mutiny, Fletcher Christian, Pitcairn, and subsequent events. “He assures the readers that the merest spider-web of fiction has been employed to bind the facts together. In such a work he excels, and he has never done one better than this” (The Scotsman, 2nd November 1880).
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BALLARD, J.G. (James Graham), 1930-2009 : EMPIRE OF THE SUN.
London : Victor Gollancz, 1984. First edition : in the earlier dust-jacket. The haunting novel based on his wartime experiences as a boy in Shanghai – filmed by Spielberg in 1987.
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BEAUMONT, Francis, 1584-1616 & FLETCHER, John, 1579-1625 : BEAUMONT & FLETCHER.
London : Vizetelly & Co., 1887. First Mermaid edition. The unexpurgated text of the ten major plays in Havelock Ellis’s sought-after Mermaid Series of “The Best Plays of the Old Dramatists” – “The Maid’s Tragedy”, “Philaster”, “The Wild-Goose Chase”, “Thierry and Theodoret”, “The Knight of the Burning Pestle”, “King and No King”, “Bonduca”, “The Spanish Curate”, “The Faithful Shepherdess” and “Valentinian”. Edited, with a long and perceptive introduction, notes, etc., by John St. Loe Strachey (1860-1927).
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BECKETT, Samuel (Samuel Barclay), 1906-1989 : PLAY AND TWO SHORT PIECES FOR RADIO.
London : Faber & Faber, (1964). First edition. Beckett’s one-act play, first performed in English at the Old Vic in April 1964, with Robert Stephens, Rosemary Harris and Billie Whitelaw. For Harold Hobson of the Sunday Times, it established Beckett as “a sombre and profound poet ... By associations, by ceremonies, by the stirring of beliefs he has abandoned but not forgotten, he suggests, he creates, he establishes, he fulfils”. Filmed in 2000 by Anthony Minghella, with Alan Rickman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliet Stevenson. The short pieces for radio are “Words and Music”, broadcast by the BBC in 1962 with Patrick Magee, and “Cascando”, broadcast on Radio 3 in 1964, again with Patrick Magee.
BENNETT, Arnold (Enoch Arnold), 1867-1931 : THE GRIM SMILE OF THE FIVE TOWNS.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1907. First edition. Signed by Arnold Bennett on the front free endpaper. A collection of thirteen bitter-sweet short stories of the Five Towns, all but one previously unpublished. Includes “Baby’s Bath”, “The Silent Brothers”, “Vera’s First Christmas Adventure”, “The Murder of the Mandarin”, etc.
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BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 : OLD LIGHTS FOR NEW CHANCELS : VERSES TOPOGRAPHICAL AND AMATORY.
London : John Murray, 1940. First edition. An early collection of twenty-five poems, including “Upper Lambourne”, “Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden”, “Blackfriars”, “Holy Trinity, Sloane Street”, “Myfanwy”, etc.
BLESSINGTON, Marguerite, Countess of, 1789-1849 : THE CONFESSIONS OF AN ELDERLY GENTLEMAN.
London : Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, 1836. First edition. “Now, when a lady tells a gentleman that ‘he is too bad’, he is apt to construe her assertion into a sort of avowal that he is not bad enough ...” – a wise and witty fiction from Lady Blessington, as an elderly gentleman looks back on lost loves and the foolishness of youth. The loves are each depicted in a finely worked engraving by leading engravers from the designs of Edward Thomas Parris (1793-1873) – Louisa, Arabella, Lady Mary, Lady Elmscourt, Lady Emily, and Caroline. “We need not recommend our friends to read this book – they must do so. The playful talents of Lady Blessington are very delightfully exercised ... and all is governed with a refined taste and correct moral sentiment” (The Examiner, 16th October 1836 – concluding a three-page review).
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[BLOME, Richard, 1635-1705] : A MAPP OF THE PARISH OF ST. PAULS COVENT GARDEN TAKEN FROM THE LAST SURVEY.
[London : for A. Churchill, J. Knapton & others, 1720]. A handsome antique map of Covent Garden – here bounded by Long Acre to the north, Drury Lane to the east, the Strand to the south and Bedfordbury to the west – with Bedford Street, King Street, Henrietta Street, Maiden Lane, Bow Street, Russell Street, etc., clearly marked. The map is decorated with a baroque title-piece and the names of nineteen smaller side-streets, alleys and new buildings are given in a numbered key. Originally produced by Richard Blome in the late seventeenth century, the map remained unpublished until the present updated version (with his name erased) appeared with the 1720 edition of John Stow’s “Survey of London”. The present example offers unusually clear evidence of the reworking of the plate prior to publication.
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[BLOME, Richard, 1635-1705] : A MAPP OF THE PARISH OF ST GILES’S IN THE FIELDS TAKEN FROM THE LAST SERVEY, WITH CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS.
[London : for A. Churchill, J. Knapton & others, 1720]. A fine eighteenth-century map of the central London parish of St. Giles in the Fields, taking in Great Russell Street, Montague House (the site of the British Museum), Bloomsbury, Seven Dials, High Holborn, Drury Lane and Lincolns Inn Fields. A keyed table identifies fifty-eight smaller alleys, yards, courts, inns, etc. Originally produced by Richard Blome in the late seventeenth century, the map remained unpublished until the present version (with his name erased) appeared with the 1720 edition of John Stow’s “Survey of London”.
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BOX, Charles, 1806-1890 : THE ENGLISH GAME OF CRICKET: COMPRISING A DIGEST OF ITS ORIGIN, CHARACTER, HISTORY, AND PROGRESS, TOGETHER WITH AN EXPOSITION OF ITS LAWS AND LANGUAGE.
London : “The Field”, 1877. First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed, signed and dated (30th June 1877) by the author to Samuel Hoare (1841-1915), later Sir Samuel Hoare M.P., Harrow and Trinity (Cambridge), banker, parliamentarian and keen amateur cricketer with the Quidnuncs. One of the monuments of cricket literature – a highly influential account which in attempting to define, perhaps for the first time, the quintessential Englishness of cricket, contrived to make it not just a game, but a lasting repository of high-minded Victorian ideals and the ultimate sporting extension of a deeply-imbued sense of national identity. Box takes in turn the origins of ball-games; the Dark and Middle Ages; progress and development; rising popularity; the moral, social and physical attributes; chapters on each of the major counties; the public schools; the eastern counties; intercolonial matches (in North America and Australia); school and village cricket; curiosities; the grounds; the laws; the poems, songs and ballads; a glossary, and a postscript on Shakespeare and cricket.
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“CAPELLI, Ace” – [FRANCES, Stephen Daniel, 1917-1989] : GET ME HEADQUARTERS.
London : Bernard Kaye, [ca.1950]. First edition. The first of the “Ace Capelli” titles – a name originally used by Stephen Daniel Frances (Hank Janson), and later taken over by Geoffrey Pardoe, Norman Lazenby, and others. 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.
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CHESTERTON, G.K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874-1936 : FOUR FAULTLESS FELONS.
London : Cassell & Co., (1930). First edition. Four inter-related novellas – murder, fraud, treason and theft – the moderate murderer, the honest quack, the ecstatic thief, and the loyal traitor.
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“CROMPTON, Richmal” – [LAMBURN, Richmal Crompton, 1890-1969] : WILLIAM – THE FOURTH.
London : George Newnes, (1924). First edition. Fourteen William stories, including “William and Photography”, “William and the Black Cat”, “William the Showman”, “William Enters Politics”, etc.
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CURTIES, Henry, 1860-1928 : WHEN ENGLAND SLEPT.
London : Everett & Co., 1909. First edition. A German invasion by stealth from Captain Curties R.E. – “Vehicles rumbled by with loads of wounded. Before the headquarters of each of the Territorial Battalions, before each bank and each public building, outside Buckingham Palace, stood stolid German sentries. German officers filled the breakfast rooms of the hotels. The Monument was a German look-out post. The guttural tones of the Teuton answered ‘calls’ on the telephone, censored conversations, ‘cut off’ at a second’s notice. The railway stations and the police stations, the telegraph offices and the newspaper offices were in German hands ... London was under martial law, ‘held up’ by two hundred thousand Germans under arms. How had the enemy entered the city? That was the question. None had witnessed their coming. No transports had been sighted. No trains had been commandeered. There was no news of a landing. Curious – and startling! They had materialised, it seemed, out of thin air” (The Sketch, 13th April 1910).
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“DALTON, Moray” – [RENOIR, Katharine Mary Deville, 1881-1963] : THE STRETTON DARKNESSE MYSTERY.
London : Jarrolds Publishing London, . First edition. Set in a remote Devon village – an unassuming young man attempts to rescue a girl in distress – but is then suspected of murdering the vicar. A largely forgotten author, but one with a loyal and passionate following – five of her books have recently been reprinted – “A crime writer of considerable quality. Indeed to me she is one of the period’s major British crime writers, literate and compulsively readable” (The Passing Tramp). “Fresh, incisive, and sufficiently convincing, and some passages are markedly fine ... Real excitement, with something for the literary connoisseur” (Dundee Courier, 29th December 1927).
DARTON & SON, William, 1781-1854 – publishers : A VISIT TO LONDON : CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF THE PRINCIPAL CURIOSITIES IN THE BRITISH METROPOLIS.
London : William Darton & Son, [ca.1835]. New edition, “with improvements”. A charming guide for children, cast in the form of the visit to London of Mr Sandby, “a gentleman of fortune”, with his wife and their two eldest children, George and Maria. Visits to all the major sites: the Royal Exchange, St. Paul’s, the Tower, Westminster Abbey, Guildhall, the Bank, the Houses of Parliament, the West India Docks, the Royal Palaces and Parks, Smithfield, East India House, the Custom House, the British Museum, etc. – and not forgetting the School for the Blind and the Orphan Asylum. Originally published in 1805 (Adams 94), then said to be written by one “S. W.” – but here much revised to include mention of the new Post Office (completed in 1829) and the Duke of York’s Column (completed 1834), together with a trip on one of the new steam omnibuses. The present edition, not listed by Adams, pre-dates his final edition (Adams 187) and must have been published before William Darton retired in April 1837.
DELAMOTTE, William Alfred, 1806-1872 : FORD’S ILLUSTRATED MEMORIAL OF THE GRAND INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION OF ALL NATIONS, HYDE PARK, LONDON 1851.
London : William Simpson Ford, . Handsome and scarce, a stylised and simplified plan of Central London, from Hyde Park across to the City of London, with sixty or so of the principal buildings shown pictorially in roundels and vignettes. The plan is framed within a foliate pictorial border – the Great Exhibition at the top, the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Mansion House at the foot, portraits of Victoria and Albert, and images of the national costumes of the countries of the world. Issued as a souvenir of the Great Exhibition, the plan was designed by the artist William Alfred Delamotte, then acting as librarian at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital (which is pictured), also responsible for making sketches of medical conditions for the hospital museum. Lithographed in black on a sepia ground by the Swiss lithographer Johannis Meyer, who had arrived in England in 1848.
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DICKENS, Charles (Charles Culliford Boz), 1837-1896 – publisher : DICKENS’S DICTIONARY OF LONDON, 1879. AN UNCONVENTIONAL HANDBOOK.
London : Charles Dickens, 1879. First edition : the hardback issue. The first appearance of this splendidly informal handbook produced by the younger Dickens, eldest son of the novelist. A mass of detailed and practical information – bus timetables, postal information, church services, newspaper offices, the names of professional envelope addressers (and prices), etc., alongside some lively and frequently offbeat asides on Victorian mores – “Opium Smoking Dens, – The best known is that of one Johnstone, who lives in a garret off Ratcliff-Highway ... a similar establishment of a slightly superior – or it might be more correct to say a shade less nauseating – class is that of Johnny Chang ...”. “Ladies Shopping without male escort, and requiring luncheon, can safely visit any of the great restaurants – care being always taken to avoid passing through a drinking bar”. With a fine array of contemporary advertisements.
DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : MASTER HUMPHREY’S CLOCK.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1840-1841. First edition, in book form, bound from the original parts, of both “The Old Curiosity Shop” and “Barnaby Rudge” – “Master Humphrey” was never reprinted, and even unsold copies were cannibalised (within weeks of issue) to make separate books of the two titles we know today. “I am conscious that my pen winces a little even while I write these words. But it was done, and wisely done; and ‘Master Humphrey’s Clock’, as originally constructed, became one of the lost books of the earth, – which, we all know, are far more precious than any that can be read for love or money” (Charles Dickens, in 1848). A specimen wrapper from both the weekly and monthly issue of the parts is preserved at the rear of each volume.
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DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : PICTURES FROM ITALY.
London : for the Author, by Bradbury & Evans, 1846. First edition. With Dickens to Italy via Lyons and Avignon – Genoa, Parma, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Verona, Mantua, Milan, Rome via Pisa and Siena, Naples, Pompeii, and Florence. With charming illustrations by Samuel Palmer (1805-1881).
[DOUGLAS, Norman (George Norman), 1868-1952] – “NORMYX” : UNPROFESSIONAL TALES.
London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1901. First edition. Beyond the early pamphlets and offprints, Douglas’s first book and his first venture into fiction. He later claimed that just eight copies were sold – a slight exaggeration, but close on 600 copies of the original 750 were still unsold in 1903 and almost certainly pulped. Contains fifteen short stories (including “Elfwater”, “Nocturne”, “The Devil’s Oak”, and “Belladonna”) as well as the fantasy femme fatale novella “Nerinda”, most of the former written in collaboration with his then wife, Elsa Fitzgibbon (1876-1916).
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GAMBA, Pietro, Conte, 1801-1826 : A NARRATIVE OF LORD BYRON’S LAST JOURNEY TO GREECE, EXTRACTED FROM THE JOURNAL OF COUNT PETER GAMBA, WHO ATTENDED HIS LORDSHIP ON THAT EXPEDITION.
London : John Murray, 1825. First edition. A first-hand account of Byron’s ill-fated venture into the Greek War of Independence – compiled from diaries written at the time by Byron’s chief assistant (and the brother of his mistress Teresa Guiccioli) – “one of the most amiable, brave, and excellent young men he had ever encountered”. Regarded as giving the most reliable account of Byron’s last days, Gamba offers no apologies “for being too minute in any details connected with the name of Byron and the cause of Greece”.
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GERHARDI, William (William Alexander), 1895-1977 & LUNN, Brian : THE MEMOIRS OF SATAN : COLLATED BY WILLIAM GERHARDI AND BRIAN LUNN.
London : Cassell & Co., (1932). First edition. Satan narrates the epic of mankind – his versions of the biblical stories, the days when he possessed Tiberius, Nero, the Caliph, Cromwell and Napoleon, his final possession, last days in a Bayswater boarding-house, and cremation at Golders Green. Gerhardi, or Gerhardie to use the spelling he later adopted, and something of a lost masterpiece – Evelyn Waugh once remarked to him, “I have talent, but you have genius”. He was also the principal model for the central character (Logan Mountstuart) in William Boyd’s “Any Human Heart”. His collaborator, Brian Holdsworth Lunn (1893-1956), of the Lunn travel-agency family, historian and schoolmaster, is chiefly remembered for his “Switchback” autobiography, with its portrayal of wartime mental breakdown.
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GISSING, George (George Robert), 1857-1903 : THE WHIRLPOOL.
London : Lawrence & Bullen, 1897. First edition. Gissing’s much admired novel of marriage, money, morals and music – “ruthlessly tears away the veil of respectability which shrouds the dark deeds of London Society” (Dundee Advertiser, 15th April 1897) – “In a word he gives us life itself” (Daily Chronicle). A novel which still echoes, as a recent review on Goodreads testifies – “My favourite Gissing novel – everything close and bitter to his heart came together in this book”.
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GISSING, George (George Robert), 1857-1903 : THE TOWN TRAVELLER.
London : Methuen & Co., 1898. First edition. Probably Gissing’s most cheerful and commercially successful novel – instantly compared to Dickens by all the critics – Mr Gammon, the commercial traveller, and Polly Sparkes, the saucy programme-seller – with a dash of mystery and bigamy. “A thoroughly entertaining novel is a rare joy to both readers and reviewers ... to be recommended to all who like an original touch in their fiction, something with a dash of bitter in it, but sound, stimulating and strong” (St James’s Gazette, 1st September 1898).
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GREENE, Graham (Henry Graham), 1904-1991 : IT’S A BATTLEFIELD.
London : William Heinemann, (1934). First edition. Greene’s first overtly political novel – “the injustice of man’s justice”. Greene called it “a panoramic novel of London” – in some sense an inversion of the traditional detective story, as a communist London bus-driver awaits his hanging.
GREENE, Graham (Henry Graham), 1904-1991 : THE MINISTRY OF FEAR : AN ENTERTAINMENT.
London : William Heinemann, (1943). First edition. Greene’s powerful evocation of London in the blitz – a spy thriller full of guilt, menace and deceit. Informed by his work at the Ministry of Information – and turned into the 1944 Fritz Lang film noir, with Ray Milland and Marjorie Reynolds.
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : THE WOODLANDERS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1887. First edition : one of just 860 copies in the primary binding. The story of Grace Melbury, the faithful Giles Winterborne, and the faithless Edred Fitzpiers. Controversial for its time, but “his loveliest if not his finest book” (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch) and “the most beautiful and most noble of Hardy’s novels” (William Lyon Phelps) – and indeed Hardy’s own favourite – “On taking up ‘The Woodlanders’ and reading it after many years, I like it as a story best of all”.
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.
London & New York : Harper & Brothers, (1902). First edition : [one of 500 copies]. A collection of ninety-nine poems – his most extensive collection up to that time – many of them war poems, dating from the time of the Boer War, but others from other places and other times. Includes “The Souls of the Slain”, “The Mother Mourns”, “By the Earth’s Corpse”, “Between Us Now”, “The Darkling Thrush”, “I Have Lived with Shades”, and others.
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.
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HERBERT, George, 1593-1633 : THE WORKS OF GEORGE HERBERT IN PROSE AND VERSE.
London : William Pickering, 1853. A handsomely produced edition of one of the earliest collected works of the Sweet Singer of the Temple, printed at the Chiswick Press and here in a highly attractive binding by Roger de Coverley & Sons. Originally published in 1835-1836 and including all the extant poems, letters, etc., then known, with lives of Herbert by Izaak Walton and Barnabas Oley, notes by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, etc.
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HOUSEHOLD, Geoffrey (Geoffrey Edward West), 1900-1988 : ROGUE MALE.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1939. First edition. Household, “a discriminating hedonist, well versed in the pleasures of the table and the bed” as Michael Barber in ODNB has it, with his most famous and enduring novel – a laconic English sportsman sets out to bag “the biggest game on earth” – a Hitleresque dictator bent on the perversion of civilisation. Nominated at least once as “the best manhunt book in history”. Filmed as “Man Hunt” by Fritz Lang in 1941, with Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, etc., and again by Clive Donner in 1976, with Peter O’Toole, John Standing, Alastair Sim, Harold Pinter, etc.
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HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : THE MERMAID’S PURSE.
[Bideford] : Sunstone Press, (1993). First edition : published in a limited edition of 100 copies by Hughes’ own Sunstone Press, but this copy, without the limitation statement, evidently bound up from a small over-run of sheets remaining at the printers. Twenty-eight poems on the creatures of the sea – “Starfish”, “Whelk”, “Whale”, “Lobster”, etc. – each stunningly illustrated with a full-page colour illustration by Hughes’s Sunstone partner, the artist Reginald James Lloyd (b.1926). A disagreement with his regular publishers, Faber & Faber, over this “naughty adventure” in self-publishing meant that when the Faber edition eventually appeared, after Hughes’ death and six years later, the illustrations were by a different artist (Flora McDonnell) and, attractive as they are, they are simply not the original illustrations of this full collaboration between artist and poet – the work of each inspired by the other.
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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.
[JAMES, G.P.R. (George Payne Rainsford), 1801-1860] : THE FORGERY : OR, BEST INTENTIONS.
London : Thomas Cautley Newby, 1849 [but 1848]. First edition. A complicated tale of a boy of mysterious parentage, gambling losses, forgery, escape abroad, faked death, exile, false names, trials and the eventual establishment of innocence. “Throughout all his books, we find ourselves in the company of an intelligent, cultivated, good-natured, well-mannered gentleman. This, with his lively mode of putting together incidents so as to give the most commonplace a turn of novelty ... sufficiently account for the audience he has obtained” (The Examiner, 16th December 1848).
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“JANSON, Hank” – [FRANCES, Stephen Daniel, 1917-1989] : CONFLICT.
London : New Fiction Press, . First edition. “She’d been sitting at the bar for half-an-hour and during that time she’d ordered and drunk three Martinis. That’s a lot of Martinis for a tight little package to consume in half-an-hour. Especially a dame who’s young as well as cute ...”. The second book in Janson’s fourth series – the subject of twenty-four destruction orders by various local authorities – and one of a number of books that several booksellers on the Isle of Man were prosecuted for selling in July 1953 (Holland pp.133-134).
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JEFFERIES, Richard (John Richard), 1848-1887 : BEVIS : THE STORY OF A BOY.
London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882. First edition : in the variant green (a) binding – Miller & Matthews (B15) make a persuasive case for regarding these slightly taller copies in green as having appeared earlier than the regular copies in brown. Jefferies and his haunting evocation of a Wiltshire childhood – “where there was magic in everything, blades of grass and stars, the sun and the stones upon the ground”.
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JONES, James (James Ramon), 1921-1977 : FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.
New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1951. First edition. His first and most famous novel, based on his own army experiences in the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, which he witnessed. An immediate success, winner of the National Book Award, always included in lists of the major novels of the twentieth century, and the basis of the memorable and multiple Oscar-winning 1953 film, with Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, etc.
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KINGSLEY, Charles, 1819-1875 : HEREWARD THE WAKE, “LAST OF THE ENGLISH”.
London & Cambridge : Macmillan & Co., 1866. First edition. The last novel published by Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge and friend of Darwin. The final resistance against the Norman conquerors – the “splendid barbarian” and folk-hero Hereward of the Fens, son of Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lady Godiva – and his witch-wife Torfrida, “whose true witchery lay in her intellect, her courage, and her unswerving love” (The Globe, 30th April 1866). “To lovers of the old class of reading wherein the heroic deeds of our forefathers are graphically described, no better volumes could be read” (Cheltenham Chronicle, 10th July 1866).
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LANIER, Henry Wysham, 1873-1958 : THE BOOK OF BRAVERY : BEING TRUE STORIES IN AN ASCENDING SCALE OF COURAGE.
London : Bickers & Son, . First edition : the London issue of the American sheets. Thirty-six tales of inspiring bravery, ancient and modern, grouped under the headings of “Facing Death to Avoid It”, “The Treasure-Seekers”, “Soldiers Who Knew No Fear”, “Some Exploits of the Sea”, and “Famous Deeds of Discipline”, with individual chapter titles such as, “How an Artist Outwitted a Pope”, “A Great Novelist among the Corsairs”, etc.
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LEAR, Edward, 1812-1888 : LAUGHABLE LYRICS : A FOURTH BOOK OF NONSENSE POEMS, SONGS, BOTANY, MUSIC &C.
London : Robert John Bush, 1877. First edition. More inspired nonsense from Edward Lear – with the present collection containing the first appearance of “The Dong with the Luminous Nose”, “The Pobble Who Has No Toes”, “The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò”, “The Pelican Chorus”, “The Akond of Swat”, etc.
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MACDONELL, A.G. (Archibald Gordon), 1895-1941 : ENGLAND THEIR ENGLAND.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1942. First illustrated edition. The most famous village cricket match in all fiction – although some find Macdonell’s account of the League of Nations, of which he had just as much personal experience, even funnier. Not wholly disguised behind their fictional names are J. C. Squire (William Hodge), Nancy Astor (Lady Ormerode), J. B. Morton (Tommy Huggins) and the still-surviving Invalids Cricket Club. First published in 1933 but here for the first time with the memorable illustrations of John Evans and a prefatory note in memory of Archie Macdonell by Squire.
“MARKHAM, Steve” : PLAY IT SMART.
London : Bernard Kaye Agency, . First edition – the ninth of the Steve Markham titles, written for the most part by Stephen Frances (Hank Janson) and/or Geoffrey Pardoe. “If you ever want to knock anybody off, you hire the cold blooded Tweedy Twins ... but Lola fell heavily for Johnny Tweedy and she didn’t know till too late that Johnny spelt death, just by looking at you. Johnny’s brother Bill fell for Lola but he was too late ...”.
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[MARRYAT, Frederick, 1792-1848] : MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY.
London : Saunders & Otley, 1836. First edition. Marryat’s amiable and abidingly popular tale of the making of a seaman – although as one modern critic has it, “there’s something here to offend almost everyone”. Contemporary critics found it “a work of great power and surpassing beauty, sufficient of itself to have established his reputation as a man of genius” (London Courier, 19th December 1836).
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MASEFIELD, John (John Edward), 1878-1967 : THE MIDNIGHT FOLK : A NOVEL.
London : William Heinemann, (1927). First edition. Kay Harker seeks the stolen fortune of his sea-faring great-grandfather – a celebrated fantasy novel for children.
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MILNE, A.A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956 : THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER.
London : Methuen & Co., (1928). First edition. “One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went round to Piglet’s house to see what Piglet was doing”. Illustrations, endpapers, and cover-design by the inimitable Ernest H. Shepard.
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MITCHELL, Gladys (Gladys Maude Winifred), 1901-1983 : THE NODDING CANARIES.
London : Michael Joseph, (1961). First edition. A review copy, with the publisher’s slip loosely inserted – and from the library of the crime writer, reviewer and broadcaster “Anthony Lejeune” (1928-2018). Dame Beatrice is called on by a school-mistress friend to extricate her from the possibility of an attempted murder charge – and then there’s a corpse – “a combination of murder, archaeology and games mistresses” (Illustrated London News, 2nd September 1961).
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : HERTFORDSHIRE.
[London : George Virtue, 1831]. A highly attractive “gothick” map of the county prepared by the antiquary Thomas Moule. Decorated with an ornamental border, coats of arms, and inset views of Cashiobury and St. Alban’s Abbey. Engraved by William Schmollinger (1811?-1869) and originally produced in 1831 for the part-work series “The English Counties Delineated” (London : 1830-1837) – and here in earliest state (Hodson 94.i) before the addition of railways, etc.
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : UNIVERSITY AND TOWN OF CAMBRIDGE.
[London : George Virtue, 1834]. An attractive town-plan decorated with the coats of arms of the city and the colleges, and a vignette view of Trinity. Originally engraved by John Crane Dower (1791?-1847) in 1834 for Moule’s “English Counties Delineated” series (London : 1830-1837).
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“O’BRIEN, Flann” – [O’NOLAN, Brian, 1911-1966] : THE DALKEY ARCHIVE.
London : MacGibbon & Kee, 1964. First edition of the last novel published in his lifetime – “the best comic fantasy since ‘Tristram Shandy’” – mad scientist plots the end of the world, time travel used to age whiskey, both James Joyce and St. Augustine with speaking parts, etc.
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“ORWELL, George” – [BLAIR, Eric Arthur, 1903-1950] : NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR : A NOVEL.
London : Secker & Warburg, 1949. First edition. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen ...”. The most compelling and chilling novel of the twentieth century – not least in that it can no longer be wholly regarded as fiction.
RAVEN, Simon (Simon Arthur Nöel), 1927-2001 : FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES.
London : Anthony Blond, (1965). First edition. It’s 1959 and they were all at the wedding – ministers, patrons, editors, friends high and low, and a skeleton at the feast. The second volume in the “Alms for Oblivion” sequence.
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REED, W. – publisher : RAILWAY MAP OF ENGLAND & WALES, SHEWING THE ACTUAL & PROPOSED LINES, ALSO THE DISTANCES TO THE PRINCIPAL SEAPORTS OF FOREIGN STATES.
London : W. Reed, [ca.1845]. A handsome map of England and Wales, displaying the burgeoning railway network on a silk scarf or handkerchief. The map shows both completed lines and those under proposal and can be fairly precisely dated – the line from London to Exeter is completed (1844), but not the extension to Plymouth (1846); the line to Colchester is completed (1843), but not the extension to Ipswich (1846), etc. The publisher may possibly be identified with William Reed, linendraper, of Church Street, Rotherhithe.
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ROBINSON, W. Heath (William Heath), 1872-1944 : TEMPEST : AN UPROARIOUSLY FUNNY FAMILY GAME.
[London] : Thomas De La Rue & Co., [ca.1930]. “Blow at the Vane, With Might and Main, Your Temper True, It Shows to You”. A card-game for four to eight players – fifty-four cards designed by Robinson, divided into nine sets of winds and temperaments (Sunny, Raging, Blustering, etc.), each comprising six cards (Ferocious Feminist, Howling Highbrow, Vile Vulgarian, etc). Housed in the original decorative compartmented cardboard box, complete with all fifty-four cards, a set of rules, and the wooden compass with its metal weathervane spinner.
ROBINSON, W. Heath (William Heath), 1872-1944 & BROWNE, K.R.G. (Kenneth Robert Gordon) : HOW TO BE A MOTORIST.
London : Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), . First edition. “In England nowadays it is practically impossible to be both law-abiding and a car-owner; try as the latter may to keep abreast of the regulations, new ones pop up at the rate of six a week” – Heath Robinson causing havoc on the roads – “How a Car Works”; “How to Choose a Car”; “How to Drive a Car”; “Maintenance and Simple Repairs”; “Road Sense and Etiquette” (“no car looks its best with half a bicycle and a total stranger impaled on its front”); “Special Bodies”; “Accessories”; “Foreign Touring and Caravan Life”, etc.
SALA, George Augustus, 1828-1895 : THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN DANGEROUS : WHO WAS A SOLDIER, A SAILOR, A MERCHANT, A SPY, A SLAVE AMONG THE MOORS, A BASHAW IN THE SERVICE OF THE GRAND TURK, AND DIED AT LAST IN HIS OWN HOUSE IN HANOVER SQUARE.
London : Tinsley Brothers, 1863. First edition. A rare novel from Sala, probably at this time the most popular journalist in the country. The adventures of a buccaneering captain of the eighteenth century – “adventures of every kind, perilous and perplexing, manifold and marvellous” (The Sun, 23rd May 1863) – set variously in London, Jamaica, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Malta, Algiers and Constantinople. Despite the improbability of some of the adventures, Sala is at pains to point out in an extended preface that all are based on true happenings, giving sources for many of them.
SALAMAN, Malcolm C. (Malcolm Charles), 1855-1940 : OLD ENGLISH MEZZOTINTS.
London : The Studio, 1910. First edition. A handsomely bound and richly illustrated monograph, with an admirably researched history of the genre.
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SELLAR, W.C. (Walter Carruthers), 1898-1951 & YEATMAN, R.J. (Robert Julian), 1898-1968 : 1066 AND ALL THAT : A MEMORABLE HISTORY OF ENGLAND COMPRISING, ALL THE PARTS YOU CAN REMEMBER INCLUDING ONE HUNDRED AND THREE GOOD THINGS, FIVE BAD KINGS, AND TWO GENUINE DATES.
London : Methuen & Co., (1930). The first edition of this enduring classic – “the result of years of research in golf-clubs, gun-rooms, green-rooms, etc. ... for Pheasant read Peasant, throughout”. Illustrated by John Reynolds (1909-1935).
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[SEWELL, William, 1804-1874] : HAWKSTONE : A TALE OF AND FOR ENGLAND IN 184-.
London : John Murray, 1845. First edition. A key novel in the whole Tractarian, Young England, Oxford Movement controversies of the times – a lament for the loss of Anglican faith, hostility to the industrial world, profound opposition to Rome and the Jesuits – and yet also a lurid and sensational novel, widely read and hugely popular, especially in the United States. “Hawkstone has the rare merit of being written throughout with more or less of intellectual power. It does not contain a single page in which the evidence of mind is not apparent” (John Bull, 29th March 1845).
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SHAKESPEARE, William, 1564-1616 : THE PICTORIAL EDITION OF THE WORKS OF SHAKSPERE.
London : Charles Knight & Co., [1838-1843]. The first Charles Knight edition. Comprises two volumes each of the comedies, histories and tragedies, as well as the poems, a volume of seventeen doubtful plays sometimes ascribed to Shakespeare (or Shakspere, as Knight insists on having it), together with commendatory verses, a history of critical opinion, material on Shakespeare in Germany, indexes, and a final volume of Knight’s full-length biography. All furnished with introductory notices, notes, variant readings, a glossary, music to the songs, etc. – and profusely illustrated throughout by the leading wood-engravers of the day from the designs of William Harvey (1796-1866) and others. Using the latest technology, Charles Knight (1791-1873) was in the vanguard of bringing the price of books within everyday reach and bringing education and edification in their train with the use of copious illustration – here insisting on illustrations of “the realities upon which the imagination of the poet must have rested ... the localities ... the portraits of the real personages ... accurate costume in all its rich variety”.
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SOMERVILLE, E.OE. (Edith Anna OEnone), 1858-1949 & “ROSS (Martin)” – [MARTIN, Violet Florence, 1862-1915] : IN THE VINE COUNTRY.
London : W. H. Allen & Co., 1893. First edition : in the slightly plainer variant binding, lettered in black on upper cover. “These two amusing Irish ladies ... have been doing the vine country of Médoc, and here we have their impressions of wine-making and French rural life ... They have made a very pleasant book out of their adventures with a kodak ... One description of a rustic ball, which wound up with an ancient dance danced by four ancient dames, is surpassed in humour only by the illustrations, which are throughout very good” (Glasgow Herald, 23rd February 1893).
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[SOMERVILLE, E.OE. (Edith Anna OEnone), 1858-1949 & “ROSS (Martin)” – [MARTIN, Violet Florence, 1862-1915]] : THROUGH CONNEMARA IN A GOVERNESS CART.
London : W. H. Allen & Co., 1893 [but 1892]. First edition : in the more attractive of the two green variant bindings. “This is a very funny book of adventure which reads like a novel. Two Irishwomen disgusted with London weather, undertook a trip through Connemara” (Cork Constitution, 21st November 1892). With illustrations by W. W. Russell, worked up (not wholly to her approval) from Somerville’s original sketches.
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SOMERVILLE, E.OE. (Edith Anna OEnone), 1858-1949 & “ROSS (Martin)” – [MARTIN, Violet Florence, 1862-1915] : SOME IRISH YESTERDAYS.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1906. First edition. “A new volume of stories from the vivacious joint pens ... is always welcome ... the stories, like their predecessors, are instinct with life and humour, and are told in a style which is at once restrained and roystering, a rare enough combination” (The Bystander, 24th October 1906). A collection of thirteen illustrated stories and articles, together with Somerville’s delightful pictorial “Slipper’s ABC of Fox-Hunting”.
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STEVENSON, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 : KIDNAPPED : BEING MEMOIRS OF THE ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR IN THE YEAR 1751 ...
London : Cassell & Co., 1886. First edition : the first issue, with the various errors – “nine o’clock” for “twelve o’clock” in the first line of p.64, etc., without the numerals at the foot of the last page of text, and with the advertisements dated April 1886.
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STEVENSON, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 : THE MERRY MEN AND OTHER TALES AND FABLES.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1887. First edition. A powerful collection of six stories from Stevenson, including the title story – a dramatic tale of shipwreck and treasure hunt in the Hebrides; the moving and philosophical “Will o’ the Mill”; “Markheim” and murder in an antique shop; the horror classic “Thrawn Janet”; the gothic “Olalla”, set in Spain, and the interesting and unusual “The Treasure of Franchard”.
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[SURTEES, Robert Smith, 1803-1864] : JORROCKS’S JAUNTS AND JOLLITIES ; OR, THE HUNTING, SHOOTING, RACING, DRIVING, SAILING, EATING, ECCENTRIC, AND EXTRAVAGANT EXPLOITS OF THAT RENOWNED SPORTING CITIZEN, MR. JOHN JORROCKS, OF ST. BOTOLPH LANE AND GREAT CORAM STREET.
London : Walter Spiers, 1838. First edition. The first appearance of Jorrocks – ten stories from the “New Sporting Magazine” here revised and polished for their first publication in book form.
TAYLOR, J.H., John Henry, 1871-1963 : TAYLOR ON GOLF : IMPRESSIONS, COMMENTS AND HINTS.
London : Hutchinson & Co., 1902. First edition. One of the great masters of the game, five times Open Champion – with a masterly overview of the whole subject: the rise and progress of the game; Irish and Welsh links; golf overseas; artisan golfers; university and public school golf; championships and their courses; money; hints on learning; golf for ladies; medal play; match play; lengthening courses for the improved new balls; inland and seaside courses; clubs; driving; approaching; putting, etc., etc. All illustrated with forty-eight photographs, mainly of Taylor in action – many by the pioneer of action photography George William Beldam (1868-1937). “Always remember that however good you may be, the game is your master”.
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TENNYSON, Alfred (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron), 1809-1892 : MAUD, AND OTHER POEMS.
London : Edward Moxon, 1855. First edition. Eight poems – one of Tennyson’s major collections (and his own favourite to the end of his days), which added not only “Come into the garden, Maud ...”, but also “Half a league onward ...”, “Their’s not to reason why ...” and “Cannon to the right of them ...” to the universal canon of most quoted lines.
TENNYSON, Alfred (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron), 1809-1892 : IDYLLS OF THE KING.
London : Edward Moxon & Co., 1859. First edition : the probably earlier variant state without the printers’ imprint on the verso of the title-page. “The brave Geraint, a knight of Arthur’s court ...” – Tennyson commences his great Arthurian cycle of poems with “Enid”, “Vivien”, “Elaine” and “Guinevere”.
TENNYSON, Alfred (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron), 1809-1892 : ENOCH ARDEN, ETC.
London : Edward Moxon & Co., 1864. First edition. A collection of sixteen poems from Tennyson at the height of his powers, including “Sea Dreams”, “The Voyage”, “Tithonus”, etc. – “‘Enoch Arden’, the first poem in the volume, and from which it takes its name, is as beautiful a poem as we have had even from Tennyson” (Westmorland Gazette, 20th August 1864).
TENNYSON, Alfred (Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron), 1809-1892 : TENNYSON’S SUPPRESSED POEMS : NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME COLLECTED.
New York & London : Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1903. First edition. Over fifty poems omitted from the Collected Works, or only included in an unreliable text – culled from the earliest editions, from annuals and periodicals – and together “possessing a value much beyond that of a mere collection of literary curiosities” (from J. C. Thomson’s preface). Includes a number of sonnets, as well as earlier versions of some of his best-known works.
THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : THE ENGLISH HUMOURISTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1858. First edition. Thackeray’s perceptive lectures on Swift, Congreve, Addison, Steele, Prior, Gay, Pope, Hogarth, Smollett, Fielding, Sterne and Goldsmith. Also bound in at the front of the present volume is Richard Hannay’s “A Brief Memoir of the Late Mr Thackeray” (Edinburgh : Oliver & Boyd, 1864).
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[THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863] – “PENDENNIS, Arthur – editor” : THE NEWCOMES. MEMOIRS OF A MOST RESPECTABLE FAMILY.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1855. First edition. Set in the decades following on from “Vanity Fair” (and reintroducing some of the characters in peripheral roles), Thackeray gives his most complete exploration of character, wealth, marriage and religion. “One of the few immortal novels ... As a novel of English upper and middle class life, it remains without a rival” (Helen Rex Keller).
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THORNDIKE, Russell (Arthur Russell), 1885-1972 : DOCTOR SYN : A TALE OF THE ROMNEY MARSH.
London : Robert Holden & Co., (1915 [but 1926]). [Second edition]. The first and most famous of the Doctor Syn novels – the piratical vicar of Dymchurch – rum-running, night-riding and coffins. Thorndike starred in his own touring production of a stage version in the 1920s, produced by his sister – Dame Sybil Thorndike (1882-1976) – who contributes a foreword to the present edition. It was filmed in 1937 with George Arliss, Margaret Lockwood, etc.
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TICKET-OF-LEAVE MAN : CONFESSIONS OF A TICKET-OF-LEAVE MAN. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
London : George Vickers, 1863 [i.e.1862]. First edition. “Yes, I am a thief! I will not say that I glory in the title ... but, as I am about to write my ‘Confessions’, as other men, great in their way – and I am a very great man in mine – have done before me, I may as well start fair, and own myself at once what I am, what I always have been, what I was born, bred, and brought up – A THIEF!” – the book was announced in the “London Evening Standard” on 11th December 1862 as to be published in ornamental boards at a shilling and sixpence on the 15th December – “The disclosures made in this volume will be read with deep and peculiar interest. It is full of information”. Sometimes attributed to Irving Lyons, author of “The Boy Pirate” and “Black Rollo, the Pirate”, although no contemporary person of that name has been traced. The book was evidently not a success: 896 copies were auctioned off at Hodgson’s in October 1863, along with 50,000 assorted others books classified as “capital popular books, railway reading, &c.”.
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TIMBS, John, 1801-1875 : CURIOSITIES OF LONDON : EXHIBITING THE MOST RARE AND REMARKABLE OBJECTS OF INTEREST IN THE METROPOLIS ...
London : David Bogue, 1855. First edition. The final realisation of an idea first hatched in 1828 – an encyclopaedic dictionary of London – from the Adelphi to the Zoological Gardens – mixing the “entertaining and anecdotic” with “social statistics and other Great Facts”. Compiled by John Timbs F.S.A., author, journalist and antiquary. As “agreeable a book as you could wish to meet with. There is so much out-of-the-way reading in it – such apt introduction of personal experience” (The Examiner, 5th May 1855).
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : THE THREE CLERKS.
London : Richard Bentley, 1858 [but 1857]. First edition. “The best of the new novels. The author has left Barchester Cloisters and now finds his way into the civil service, upon which he has ideas as strong as those he has expressed about ecclesiastical endowments ... unusually good, and the character-painting ... excellent” (The Examiner, 19th December 1857). Trollope regarded it as “certainly the best novel I had as yet written” – notable also for what he regarded as his first successful love scene and the first appearance of Chaffanbrass.
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : ORLEY FARM.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1862. First edition, in book form, bound up from the original monthly instalments published between March 1861 and October 1862. Wills, codicils, property, family and love – “The plot of ‘Orley Farm’ is probably the best I have ever made ... I do not know that there is a dull page ... especially proud of its illustrations by Millais, which are the best I have seen in any novel in any language” (Trollope).
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1873. First British edition. One of Trollope’s best and most enjoyable – and “one of the most entertaining, worthless, attractive women in the history of the novel: the totally amoral Lizzie Eustace” (P. D. James). “The novel is rare in fine state, for it had great library popularity ... few copies in good original condition have survived the zeal of contemporary readers” (Sadleir, writing in 1928).
TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : LONDON TRADESMEN.
London : Elkin Mathews & Marrot / New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1927. First edition : limited to 530 numbered copies. Eleven witty Trollope sketches written in 1880 for the “Pall Mall Gazette” and never previously published in book form – The Tailor, The Chemist, The Butcher, The Plumber, The Horsedealer, The Publican, The Fishmonger, The Greengrocer, The Wine Merchant, The Coal Merchant and The Haberdasher. With a foreword by Michael Sadleir.
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WALLIS, James, fl.1810-1825 : WALLIS’S NEW POCKET EDITION OF THE ENGLISH COUNTIES OR TRAVELLERS COMPANION IN WHICH ARE CAREFULLY LAID DOWN ALL THE DIRECT & CROSS ROADS, CITIES, TOWNES, VILLAGES, PARKS ...
London : J. Wallis, [ca.1814]. First edition : the second state, with the addition of plate numbers to Wallis’s delightfully engraved sequence of maps. A very pretty pocket atlas of the English counties, generally dated to 1810, although surely post-dating Wallis’s larger county atlas of that year and probably datable to about 1812, with the present issue (distinguished by the addition of plate numbers) probably dating from about 1814.
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : BLACK MISCHIEF.
London : Chapman & Hall, (1932). First edition. His third novel – the modernisation of the Azanian empire.
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : BRIDESHEAD REVISITED : THE SACRED AND PROFANE MEMORIES OF CAPTAIN CHARLES RYDER : A NOVEL.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1945. First edition. “Chapter One : I meet Sebastian Flyte – and Anthony Blanche – I visit Brideshead for the first time”.
WEBB, Geoffrey, 1920-1962 & MASON, Edward John, 1912-1971 : DICK BARTON : SPECIAL AGENT.
London : Contact Publications, . First edition. One of apparently only three contemporary spin-offs of the Dick Barton radio phenomenon – and the most significant. Nine Dick Barton stories by the original BBC scriptwriters (later to write “The Archers”), all appearing in book form for the first time, with six of them as yet un-broadcast. With numerous stirring text illustrations, cover design and colour frontispiece by George Mitchell.
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY.
London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, (1910). First edition : the first issue with the advertisement for John Masefield’s “Trepanned” – a quirky title subsequently discarded before publication. “What could be more human or more humorous than Mr Polly as haberdasher’s apprentice, haberdasher incendiary, and tramp” (Montrose Standard, 13th May 1910) – “He hated Foxbourne, he hated Foxbourne High Street, he hated his shop and his wife and his neighbours – every blessed neighbour – and with indescribable bitterness he hated himself”. High comedy in the drapery trade – Wells wouldn’t quite concede that this was his best book, but “certainly it is his happiest book, and the one he cares for the most”.
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : THE BULPINGTON OF BLUP : ADVENTURES, POSES, STRESSES, CONFLICTS AND DISASTER IN A CONTEMPORARY BRAIN.
London : Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), . First edition : in the primary binding in black cloth, with the pictorial endpapers. “I am a liar in a world of lies” – a much under-rated late Wells novel – a Jungian exploration of the psychological impact of the Great War, the principal character based at least in part on Ford Madox Ford. Dedicated to Wells’ current mistress, Odette Keun.
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WHITE, Gilbert, 1720-1793 : THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SELBORNE.
London : for C. & J. Rivington; J. & A. Arch [and others], 1825. A most attractive edition of White’s 1789 classic. White was the first to take a census of birds, to study their territories and analyse their migration patterns, the first to understand the concept of a food chain. “The young Charles Darwin would grow up with White’s book at his side – [he] is the indispensible precursor to those great Victorians who would transform our ideas about life on earth ... Lyell, Spencer, Huxley and Darwin” (Robert McCrum).
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WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : IF I WERE YOU.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1931). First British edition. Anthony, Fifth Earl of Droitwich, is poised to marry Violet Waddington, the soup heiress – but then his old nurse turns up to expose the skeleton in the family cupboard. Butlers, aunts, barbers and socialists. First published three weeks earlier in New York.
WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : QUICK SERVICE.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1940). First edition : in the variant red cloth. The Wodehouse mix at Claines Hall, a Tudor mansion at Loose Chippings in Sussex, with impecunious peer, lively fiancée, dyspeptic trustee, wealthy American, over-zealous butler, etc.
WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : ICE IN THE BEDROOM.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1961). First British edition : in the primary binding, lettered in gilt, and in the primary dust-jacket, the principal lettering in yellow and white. Freddie Widgeon is in the chips, or thinks he is – kindly American Thomas (a.k.a. Soapy) G. Molloy has given him a hot financial tip. Mainly set in “South London Argus” territory. First published in New York earlier in 1961.
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WODEHOUSE, P.G. (Sir Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975 : STIFF UPPER LIP, JEEVES.
London : Herbert Jenkins, (1963). First British edition. “It was the instinct of self-preservation transcending better judgement and personal inclination that sent Bertie Wooster hot foot to Totleigh Towers ...” – Jeeves, Wooster, Gussie Fink-Nottle, and Madeline Bassett – “moulder of men”.
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WOOLF, Virginia (Adeline Virginia), 1882-1941 : THE VOYAGE OUT.
London : Duckworth & Co., (1920). First American edition : the London issue of the American sheets. Her first book, originally published in 1915 but very extensively revised for the 1920 New York edition. Beyond the somewhat limited issue of these sheets supplied to Duckworth by the George H. Doran Company in 1920 and again in 1927, this textually highly significant version of the novel has never appeared in this country.
WROTTESLEY, George, 1827-1909 : LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF FIELD MARSHALL SIR JOHN BURGOYNE, BART.
London : Richard Bentley & Son, 1873. First edition. Throughout the course of his career Sir John Fox Burgoyne (1782-1871) was everywhere that mattered – with Sir John Moore at Corunna, with Wellington at Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and Vitoria, with Pakenham at the Battle of New Orleans, and later in life even with Raglan in the Crimea. Wellington once wrote, “If Burgoyne only knew his own value, no one would equal him”. A presentation copy, inscribed to E. B. de Fonblanque “from his grateful friend”, signed by Wrottesley (Burgoyne’s son-in-law and himself a Royal Engineer) and dated March 1873 – this the historian Edward Barrington de Fonblanque (1821-1895), who later published his own “Political and Military Episodes in Latter Half of the Eighteenth Century, Derived from the Life and Correspondence of the Right Hon. John Burgoyne” (Burgoyne’s father). Tipped in to the front endpaper is a signed, four-page manuscript letter, dated 14th August 1869, from Sir John Fox Burgoyne to Fonblanque, with some acid comments concerning Zéphyr-Joseph Piérart’s “Le Drame de Waterloo” (1868), a copy of which Fonblanque had lent him. Fonblanque has added a note on Burgoyne at the end of the letter – “a fine specimen of a scientific soldier & the most amiable man I ever knew”. Fonblanque has also had a photograph of Burgoyne bound in at the front of the second volume.
YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901 : MAGNUM BONUM : OR, MOTHER CAREY’S BROOD.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1879. First edition. A physician dies leaving his widow with a medical discovery to be passed on to whichever of his sons is best equipped to perfect it and most apt to benefit the world with it. “The chief interest of the novel, however, is due to Miss Yonge’s never-failing genius for working up minute and photographic details, stroke by stroke, until we know her characters so well that it will be strange if we ever forget them” (The Globe, 30th January 1880).
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