ASH RARE BOOKS
HIGHLIGHTS FROM ASH RARE BOOKS
HIGHLIGHTS FROM ASH RARE BOOKS
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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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BAYLY, A. Eric (Arthur Eric Cochrane), 1879-1900 : THE SECRET OF SCOTLAND YARD : A MYSTERY.
London : Sands & Co., 1900. First edition. A rare, early, and entertaining murder mystery which opens with a young “unofficial investigator” in an office off Fenchurch Street. “One apparent murder, two advertisements in an agony column, two veiled ladies, a secret society, two or three villains, a highly suspicious private detective ... and another from Scotland Yard, more knave than fool, are the main ingredients” (Pall Mall Gazette, 19th April 1900). And to those we might add the anonymous letter, the overheard telephone call, the strange visitor, the cab-ride to an empty house beyond Ealing Common, and the corpse handcuffed to an insensate young man – “a maze of mysteries”.
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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 A collection of thirteen bitter-sweet short stories of the Five Towns, all but one previously unpublished.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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BENT, William, 1747-1813 – publisher : THE NEW WEEK’S PREPARATION FOR A WORTHY RECEIVING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER, AS RECOMMENDED AND APPOINTED BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ...
London : for W. Bent, (1792). An interesting late eightenth-century edition of both parts of this popular devotional guide, constantly in print since its first appearance in the 1730s. The present copy was bound, almost certainly in Liverpool, for “Pudsey Dawson, Esqr. Bailiff, 1797”, whose name is unusually but prominently tooled in gilt on the upper cover. Dawson (1752-1816) was rather more than just a bailiff, serving as Mayor of Liverpool at one time (Pudsey Street is named after him and there is a portrait in the Liverpool Record Office). A man of notable piety as well as wealth, remembered as one of Liverpool’s “most active, enlightened and useful citizens”, he was also the founder of the first school for the blind in the country. An internal inscription records his gift of the book to his eldest daughter, Mary Dawson (1779-1855) on Christmas Eve, 1803.
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BERGHAUS, Hermann, 1828-1890 : CHART OF THE WORLD ON MERCATORS PROJECTION.
Gotha : Justus Perthes, 1871. The seventh revision of this standard nineteenth-century wall-chart, originally published in 1863 and specifically designed for the British market to show “the lines of oceanic mail steam communication and overland routes, the international aerial and submarine telegraphs; and the principal tracks of sailing vessels; showing some continental surface characteristics, the oceanic currents and important deep-sea soundings”, etc. Twenty-five inset maps and plans add more detail of air currents, magnetic variation, projected canals, overland crossings, the principal ports, etc.
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[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] : THE WATER WITCH; OR, THE SKIMMER OF THE SEAS.
London : Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1830. First British edition. Alida de Barbérie is abducted by pirates – the brigantine “Water Witch” is pursued by Captain Ludlow. Set in and around the still half-Dutch New York of the early eighteenth century – the press was unanimous: “the mystery of the story, and the life and spirit of his characters, have, indeed, seldom been equalled, and is nowhere surpassed” (Morning Chronicle) – “Cooper, the American novelist, has no living superior” (The Scotsman). Precedes the American edition by two months, although a slightly earlier edition published in Dresden is known in a handful of copies.
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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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DAVIES, W.H. (William Henry), 1871-1940 : THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A SUPER-TRAMP.
London : A. C. Fifield, 1908. First edition. The first appearance of the book which made Davies’ name – a tramp by road and rail on both sides of the Atlantic in the late nineteenth century. A work of “primitive splendour and directness” (Osbert Sitwell). “Another effect of this book on me is to make me realize what a slave of convention I have been all my life. When I think of the way I worked tamely for my living during all those years when Mr. Davies, a free knight of the highway, lived like a pet bird on titbits, I feel that I have been duped out of my natural liberty” – from the preface by George Bernard Shaw.
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[DISRAELI, Benjamin, First Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881] : THE YOUNG DUKE.
London : Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831. First edition. Disraeli’s intriguing early novel of high society – “all rings, ringlets, and a little rouge” – a wastrel redeemed by the love of a good woman, etc., but also the novel in which we first see the evolution of Disraeli’s politics and what was soon to become his particular brand of one-nation conservatism.
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EGAN, Pierce, 1772-1849 : LIFE IN LONDON; OR, THE DAY AND NIGHT SCENES OF JERRY HAWTHORN, ESQ. AND HIS ELEGANT FRIEND CORINTHIAN TOM, ACCOMPANIED BY BOB LOGIC, THE OXONIAN, IN THEIR RAMBLES AND SPREES THROUGH THE METROPOLIS.
London : for Sherwood, Neely & Jones, 1821. First edition : the second issue, with the footnote on p.9. Pierce Egan’s roaring and runaway success – racy, slangy, and riotous adventures among the highest of high life and the lowest of low life in Regency London – “In his particular line, he was the greatest man in England” (John Camden Hotten). The sparkling text which took the country by storm as it appeared in instalments between August 1820 and July 1821 is gloriously accompanied by the superb aquatints of the brothers Isaac Robert and George Cruikshank, many depicting recognisable London scenes.
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“ERSKINE, Rosalind” – [LONGRIGG, Roger Erskine, 1929-2000] : THE PASSION-FLOWER HOTEL / PASSION FLOWERS IN ITALY / PASSION FLOWERS IN BUSINESS.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1962-1965). First edition set of all three novels in Longrigg’s succès de scandale – purportedly written by the fifteen-year-old Rosalind Erskine, Nabokov meets Angela Brazil as well brought up nymphets set up a bordello in the gym of their highly respectable boarding-school. Adapted into a musical by Wolf Mankowitz and John Barry, and later filmed in Germany with Natassja Kinski.
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FADEN, William, 1749-1836 : THE COUNTRY TWENTY-FIVE MILES ROUND LONDON, PLANNED FROM A SCALE OF ONE MILE TO AN INCH.
London : W. Faden, 1815. The “third edition” of this large and handsome map of the Greater London area – extending on a one-inch scale northwards to take in Tring and Hertford, east to Chelmsford and Basildon, south to Tonbridge, Dorking and Guildford, and west beyond Beaconsfield and Windsor. Faden was a maker of serious maps for serious purposes – “the turnpike roads are all laid down from an actual measurement with a perambulator” – and this map, originally published in 1788, was the best of its time. It was regularly updated – the present issue revised to include the new Regent’s Park and new Strand (Waterloo) Bridge – and remained in print until at least 1880.
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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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FRASER, George MacDonald, 1925-2008 : FLASHMAN IN THE GREAT GAME.
London : Barrie & Jenkins (1975). First edition. What caused the Indian Mutiny? It began with Lord Palmerston commissioning Flashman at Balmoral – the Siege of Cawnpore, Lucknow, etc., with notable appearances from Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Lord Cardigan, Florence Nightingale, etc.
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FREEMAN, R. Austin (Richard Austin), 1862-1943 : THE PENROSE MYSTERY.
London : Hodder & Stoughton, (1936). First edition : the first issue, with the top edge stained blue. Wealthy collector of antiquities disappears after a hit-and-run – Thorndyke investigates.
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GRAVES, Robert (Robert von Ranke), 1895-1985 : I, CLAUDIUS: FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS BORN B.C. 10 MURDERED AND DEIFIED A.D. 54. / CLAUDIUS THE GOD AND HIS WIFE MESSALINA ...
London : Arthur Barker, 1934. First editions of the two separately published volumes of Graves’ “I Claudius” masterpiece. “I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as ‘Claudius the Idiot’, or ‘That Claudius’, or ‘Claudius the Stammerer’, or ‘Clau-Clau-Claudius’ or at best as ‘Poor Uncle Claudius’, am now about to write this strange history of my life ...”.
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GREENE, Graham (Henry Graham), 1904-1991 : THE HEART OF THE MATTER.
London : William Heinemann, (1948). First edition. “If one knew, he wondered, the facts, would one have to feel pity even for the planets? If one reached what they called the heart of the matter?” – the moral crisis of Henry Scobie in Sierra Leone – and the heart of Greene.
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GUNN, Thom (Thomson William), 1929-2004 & OTHERS : OASIS : [ISSUES 1-5].
Cambridge : Oasis, -1952. A complete set of all five issues of this Cambridge poetry periodical. Contains mainly reprinted work by established poets, especially W. B. Yeats, but also Thom Gunn’s early poem “Two Ghosts” (not to appear in book form until 1979), and original poems by Norman Buller, Chris Busby, John Coleman, R. J. Dannatt, Peter Green, Milton Grundy, Karen Lowenthall, John Mander, M. H. Millgate, Brian Rowley, and Harold Silver.
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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 : 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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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 : EARTH-MOON.
London : Rainbow Press, (1976). First edition : one of just twenty-six lettered copies (of 226) printed for the author’s personal use and signed by Ted Hughes. A collection of thirty-one poems, designed and printed on hand-made paper by Sebastian Carter at the Rampant Lions Press in Cambridge. The ten illustrations, printed in blue, are by Ted Hughes himself.
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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 : 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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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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“LAVELLE, Marc”- [WILLIS, Ernest Lister Hale (Lisle), 1919-1988] : CURVES SPELL DEATH.
London : Edwin Self & Co., [ca.1952]. First edition. Three hoodlums bust into the apartment of naked and beautiful newspaper-woman Venetia Maynard.
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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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MASON, A.E.W. (Alfred Edward Woodley), 1865-1948 : THE FOUR FEATHERS.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1902. First edition. Mason’s enduring tale of courage, cowardice and redemption – made into popular films on at least seven occasions from 1915 onwards, of which perhaps the most memorable is that directed by Zoltan Korda and starring Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith, and June Duprez.
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MORRISON, Arthur (Arthur George), 1863-1945 : TALES OF MEAN STREETS : LIZERUNT : SQUIRE NAPPER : WITHOUT VISIBLE MEANS : THREE ROUNDS AND OTHERS.
London : Methuen & Co., 1894. First edition. Morrison’s extraordinary vision of the late Victorian mean streets of the East End of London – “Unquestionably an achievement of art ... something more than remarkable. The tune is new in the sense in which the new woman, and the new drama, and the new hedonism, and the other clamant bores of the period are not new ... It is akin to a shock, to a sudden gust of east wind. But to those who care for all humanity ... it should be something like a godsend” (Pall Mall Gazette, 19th November 1894).
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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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“ORWELL, George” – [BLAIR, Eric Arthur, 1903-1950] : NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR : A NOVEL.
London : Secker & Warburg, 1949. First edition. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it”. The most compelling and chilling novel of the twentieth century – not least in that it now appears to have been widely adopted as an instruction manual. “Every statue and street and building has been re-named, every date has been altered ... History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right”.
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[“PARROTT, Ursula”] – [TOWLE, Katherine Ursula, 1900-1957] : EX-WIFE.
London : Brentano, (1929). First British edition. An intriguing and sensational first novel, first published anonymously in New York earlier the same year, and soon turned into a film as “The Divorcee” (1930), for which Norma Shearer won an Academy Award for best actress. “As a young woman’s comment on marriage, divorce and sex equality, seen in a city like New York, it is a profoundly moving revelation” (Daily Mirror). Towle herself, who usually wrote under the name Ursula Parrott, had been divorced in 1928 – and was again in 1932, 1938 and 1944. Nine of her other novels and short stories were also made into films, including “Strangers May Kiss”, “Next Time We Love” and “There’s Always Tomorrow”.
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PASTON FAMILY : THE PASTON LETTERS A.D. 1422-1509.
London : Chatto & Windus / Exeter : James G. Commin, 1904. A “new and complete” library edition : limited to 600 numbered sets. “The most curious papers of the sort I ever saw” – the extraordinary treasure trove of the letters and papers of several generations of the Paston family of Norfolk and London, chronicling their lives, tribulations, successes and failures, as they rose from humble beginnings to high society – “They are the richest source there is for every aspect of the lives of gentlemen and gentlewomen of the English middle ages ... The history of the family in the fifteenth century is theirs alone” (ODNB). Although collections of the letters had appeared from 1787 onwards, this edition, with nearly 1,100 letters and papers, edited by James Gairdner (1828-1912) of the Public Record Office, was much the most comprehensive to appear until modern times.
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ROLLIN, Charles, 1661-1741 : THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE EGYPTIANS, CARTHAGINIANS, ASSYRIANS, BABYLONIANS, MEDES AND PERSIANS, MACEDONIANS AND GREEKS.
London : for James, John and Paul Knapton, 1734-1736. First edition in English. Rollin’s sprawling history of the ancient world – by far the most influential and popular account of its time – reprinted again and again until the late nineteenth century. Although three supplementary volumes were published in 1737-1739, the set was evidently regarded by many readers as complete in ten volumes by 1736 and a good number of sets in the major institutions are similarly restricted to this number. A nineteenth-century pencilled instruction at the front of the present set confirms that only ten volumes were ever sent to the bookbinder “to be lettered and gilt on the backs” – in fact to be labelled. Originally published in Paris from 1730 onwards.
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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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“SHUTE, Nevil” – [NORWAY, Nevil Shute, 1899-1960] : A TOWN LIKE ALICE.
London : William Heinemann, (1950). First edition. “A novel from one of the best of living story-tellers ... He writes of England, a little, of Malaya during the war and after it, and of the Australian outback most of all ... To be able to produce, and with every page to sustain that extraordinary tension, is this writer’s individual gift ... it has given us some mesmerically readable novels, of which A Town like Alice ... is the best so far” (The Sphere, 17th June 1950).
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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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TEMPLE THOMSON & CLARK : THAMES WHARVES.
London : J. D. Potter, [ca.1905]. A striking and unusual map displaying (in two portions) the stretch of the tidal Thames from Charing Cross to Gravesend – the upper portion going downstream to Barking Reach, the larger lower portion from Halfway Reach on to Gravesend. At a scale of four inches to one sea mile, the prinicipal feature is the identification in red of over 180 steamship wharves, with notes on vessel lengths, average spring and neap depths, etc. Compiled by the steamship owners and brokers Temple, Thomson & Clark, from their address at 38 Leadenhall Street – premises they appear to have occupied for a short while either side of 1905 – and published by the nautical equipment firm established by John Dennett Potter of the Minories.
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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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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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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 : [SWORD OF HONOUR – THE CROUCHBACK TRILOGY].
London : Chapman & Hall, 1952-1961. A first edition set of the separately published “Men at Arms” (1952), “Officers and Gentlemen” (1955) and “Unconditional Surrender” (1961). “Waugh’s most profound and substantial work” (Anthony Gardner).
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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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“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 : MONEY IN THE BANK.
London : Herbert Jenkins, . First British edition. A tangled country house tale of missing diamonds, the forgetful but profound Viscount Uffingham disguised as his own butler, the formidable game-huntress Clarissa Cork, con-man Soapy Molloy and his sharp-talking wife, beautiful niece, rugby-playing hero, etc. Written by Wodehouse whilst in internment camp and first published in the USA in 1942.
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WOOLF, Virginia (Adeline Virginia), 1882-1941 : A HAUNTED HOUSE AND OTHER SHORT STORIES.
London : Hogarth Press, (1943) [i.e. 1944]. First edition. Eighteen short stories, twelve of them either previously unpublished or unpublished in book form. With a foreword by Leonard Woolf. “All the great qualities of Mrs. Woolf’s work are to be found in this volume ... the magical power of observation, the finest sensibility of the age, the loving command of language ... that elusiveness which is at the same time, in Mrs. Woolf’s hands, a kind of precision” (Birmingham Daily Post, 11th February 1944).
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WORMS, Laurence & BAYNTON-WILLIAMS, Ashley : BRITISH MAP ENGRAVERS : A DICTIONARY OF ENGRAVERS, LITHOGRAPHERS AND THEIR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYERS TO 1850.
London : Rare Book Society, 2011. First edition. An illustrated dictionary of well over 1,500 members of the map-trade in the British Isles from the beginnings until the mid nineteenth century, including all the known engravers and lithographers, all the known globemakers and retailers, the principal mapsellers and publishers, the key cartographers, the makers of map-based games and puzzles, and others. Each entry includes a list of published work, the known biographical facts (in most cases based on fresh and original research), addresses and dates, details of apprentices, etc. Twenty-five years in the making, the book contains previously unpublished material on almost every page.
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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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YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901 : LOVE AND LIFE : AN OLD STORY IN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY COSTUME.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1880. First edition. “There is always a pleasurable feeling of expectation in opening a new novel by Miss Yonge and that lady’s many admirers need not be told that there is a certainty of more or less satisfaction from anything she writes” (Morning Post, 14th September 1880). A lost inheritance, a secret love – Major Delavie and his three daughters encounter the wonderfully villainous Lady Belamour.
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