HISTORY BOOKS AT ASH RARE BOOKS
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ASHTON, T.S. (Thomas Southcliffe), 1899-1968 : AN ECONOMIC HISTORY OF ENGLAND : THE 18TH CENTURY.
London : Methuen & Co., (1955). First edition. Professor Ashton, great authority on the industrial revolution, on the people, agriculture and products, internal trade and transport, manufactures, overseas trade and shipping, money, banking, foreign exchange, labour, etc. With statistical tables, etc.
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[CHALLICE, Annie Emma Armstrong, 1821-1875] : HEROES, PHILOSOPHERS, AND COURTIERS OF THE TIME OF LOUIS XVI.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1863. First edition. Drawn from French sources and with emphasis in particular on the story of French influence and intervention in the American War of Independence. With a rich cast of characters including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Voltaire, Mirabeau, William Pitt, Tom Paine, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Horace Walpole, Samuel Johnson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Madame du Barry, Richelieu, Rousseau, Captain Cook, Cagliostro, etc.
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CHARPENTIER, Armand, 1864-1949 : THE DREYFUS CASE.
London : Geoffrey Bles, 1935. First edition in English of "Historique de l'Affaire Dreyfus" (Paris : 1933), translated by J. Lewis May. Reputedly the best account of the trials and tribulations of Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935).
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CHURCHILL, Winston (Sir Winston Leonard Spencer), 1874-1965 : LONDON TO LADYSMITH VIA PRETORIA.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1900. First edition. Churchill’s personal account of the early months of the Boer War and his extraordinary adventures in South Africa. A particularly interesting copy in having been annotated in pencil in numerous places by an eye-witness to a number of the military actions – at Spion Kop, etc. At one point the anonymous annotator identifies himself as the field officer of the East Surreys who pointed out to Churchill “an expansive bullet of a particularly cruel pattern” being used by the Boers. For the most part the officer accepts Churchill’s account – “Very well described. I watched all this”, etc. – adding and identifying a name here and there, but elsewhere he bluntly corrects with a “Wrong” and other tokens of disagreement.
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COOKE, George Wingrove, 1814-1865 : MEMOIRS OF LORD BOLINGBROKE.
London : Richard Bentley, 1835. First edition. The first full-scale biography of the "Man of Mercury" – Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) – politician, exile, writer, historian, philosopher, libertine and wit – a figure, in the author’s phrase, too long "sedulously erased" from the history books. Included as appendices are Bolingbroke’s poems, the articles of impeachment, his will, etc.
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DOYLE, James E. (James William Edmund), 1822-1893 : A CHRONICLE OF ENGLAND : B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485.
London : Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864. First edition. The antiquary and illustrator James Doyle (brother of Richard, uncle of Arthur Conan) compiles and illustrates a sumptous chronicle of England from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the death of Richard III. Long celebrated as perhaps the finest example of Victorian colour-printing, with the glowing colours of Doyle’s illustrations engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (1826-1905) in eight to ten overlays on a hand-press – “as bright as if they had just been painted” (ODNB) – and, as Evans later recalled, “the most carefully executed book I have ever printed”.
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FROUDE, James Anthony, 1818-1894 : ENGLISH SEAMEN IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY : LECTURES DELIVERED AT OXFORD EASTER TERMS 1893-4.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1901. The Silver Library edition of Froude’s celebrated lectures on Hawkins, Drake and the Armada, originally published in 1895 – and here presented in a handsome prize binding.
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GREEN, J.R. (John Richard), 1837-1883 : A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1902-1903. The magnificently “illustrated edition” of Green’s magisterial and hugely popular account, first published in 1874. “It is a history, not of English Kings or English Conquests, but of the English People”. Green was among the first to switch attention from political and military to social and cultural history, although remaining well aware of that “recurring tendency to the formation of oppressive oligarchic structures from which, periodically, ordinary Englishmen had to liberate themselves” (Anthony Brundage in ODNB). The illustrated edition was prepared after his death by Green’s wife, Alice Stopford Green, and his former assistant, Kate Norgate – “It was a favourite wish of my husband’s to see English History interpreted and illustrated by pictures which should tell us how men and things appeared to lookers-on in their own day, and how contemporary observers aimed at representing them”.
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HARRIS, John, 1756-1846 – publisher : HISTORICAL PASTIME : OR A NEW GAME OF THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND.
London : for J. Harris, 1803 [but later]. A popular and colourful early nineteenth-century board game, first produced in 1803 – the slip-case so dated here, but with the 1813 rule-book. “No. 1. Battle of Hastings – Pay one to the King ... No. 3. British Baron – Pay one the Norman” – the players pursue their English history through 158 numbered spaces from 1066 to the American War of Independence. “This will naturally excite a curiosity in the youthful mind; and that curiosity will be gratified in the short account of each reign sub-joined. – On the whole, the writer flatters himself, that the public approbation will convince him, that the hours he has devoted to the formation of this little Scheme, have not been spent in vain”. Complete with the 48pp “Rules and Directions for Playing the Historical Pastime ... with a Short Account of the Principal Events”, and the original slip-case.
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HUSKISSON, William, 1770-1830 : THE HUSKISSON PAPERS.
London : Constable & Co., 1931. First edition. Previously unpublished official and private correspondence between Huskisson and other statesmen – Canning, Liverpool, Wellington, etc. – tending to suggest that he had a greater importance and influence than that of being the first man to be run over by a train. Edited by “Lewis Melville” (Lewis Saul Benjamin, 1874-1932), with biographical notes, etc.
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JACKSON, Catherine Hannah Charlotte, Lady, 1814?-1891 : THE OLD RÉGIME : COURTS, SALONS, AND THEATRES.
London : Richard Bentley & Son, 1880. First edition. A gossipy and readable history of French high society from the death of Louis XIV to the demise of Marie Antoinette – libertinage, seeking interviews with Satan, un fanfaron de vices, an actress’s dinners, rival gambling houses, les devotionettes, the coiffure of Madame de Gontaut, and much else besides.
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KNIGHT, Charles, 1791-1873 : CAPITAL AND LABOUR ; INCLUDING THE RESULTS OF MACHINERY.
London : Charles Knight & Co., 1845. First and sole edition of Knight’s "Capital and Labour" – based in part on his earlier "Results of Machinery" (1831), but much amplified and with the statistics updated. Charles Knight, author, pioneer of popular and populist publishing, and social reformer, on the mutual dependence of capital and labour, the introduction of mass-production, etc. – his little books and pamphlets were said (by Thomas Spring-Rice, Melbourne’s Chancellor of the Exchequer) to have "effected more good for the supression of outrage than a regiment of horse".
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LECKY, William Edward Hartpole, 1838-1903 : THE MAP OF LIFE : CONDUCT AND CHARACTER.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1902. An attractively bound reprint of the celebrated historian’s popular discussion of everyday ethical problems. It was in 1902 that Lecky became one of the first people to be granted the new Order of Merit. Originally published in 1899.
MASS OBSERVATION : WAR BEGINS AT HOME.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1940. First edition. The countrywide part-time observers and full-time researchers of the legendary and hugely influential Mass-Observation report on “the anthropology of ourselves” in the first four months of war – the impact of the blackout; gas-masks; air raid neurosis; blimp reassurance; the collapse of the football pools; the drought of news; the A.R.P. wardens; class conflict and evacuation; the red poster fiasco; the Ministry of Information; the rise of jazz; saving versus spending; public versus private opinion; civilian morale; leaders and led. Edited and arranged by Tom Harrisson (1911-1976) and Charles Madge (1912-1996) – “This book is possible because we live in a democracy”.
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ROBERTS, George, 1803?-1860 : THE LIFE, PROGRESSES, AND REBELLION OF JAMES, DUKE OF MONMOUTH, &C. TO HIS CAPTURE AND EXECUTION WITH A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE BLOODY ASSIZE, AND COPIOUS BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES.
London : Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1844. First edition : a later binding up of the first edition sheets, with inserted advertisements dated 1850. An absorbing full-length account of the Monmouth Rebellion, drawing on previously unknown sources and records. The author was a schoolmaster at Lyme Regis (and also at one time the mayor) and is particularly strong on local records and traditions.
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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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ROWSE, A.L. (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 : THE ENGLISH PAST : EVOCATIONS OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1951. First edition. “Now that the great days of England are perhaps over – it is extraordinary to think that we have lived through the very greatest of them in our lifetime – it is somehow consoling to pursue and evoke the past, recent as well as remote”. Twelve essays – on All Souls; on Hillesden and Oliver Cromwell; on Milton; on Jonathan Swift; an afternoon at Haworth Parsonage; on Thomas Hardy and Max Gate; on John Buchan; on Nottingham – “what an astonishing town it is”; on D. H. Lawrence, and on Alun Lewis, etc.
RUNCIMAN, Steven (Sir James Cochran Stevenson), 1903-2000 : THE SICILIAN VESPERS : A HISTORY OF THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD IN THE LATE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
London : Cambridge University Press, 1958. First edition. "The action culminates in a conspiracy hatched in Barcelona and Byzantium, with ramifications in Tunis, Jerusalem and Cyprus, as well as England and Germany".
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STEVENSON, Francis Seymour, 1862-1938 : HISTORIC PERSONALITY.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1893. First edition. An interesting and erudite discourse from the British parliamentarian and scholar on the variety of ways of knowing and understanding the great figures of the past – via history, biography, autobiography, diaries, memoirs, letters, table-talk, characterisation, monumental inscriptions, portraiture and, not least, imaginative literature. With passing reference to Aristotle, Boswell, Julius Caesar, Lord Chesterfield, Goethe, Dr Johnson, La Bruyère, Rousseau, Shakespeare, Theophrastus, Voltaire, etc., etc. The present extra-illustrated copy has been enlivened by the insertion of thirty-seven engraved portraits, culled from various sources, of a number of the figures mentioned (although the hand-coloured plate inserted as a frontispiece would appear to be a portrait of Robert Stevenson, the engineer, rather than of the author).
TROLLOPE, T. Adolphus (Thomas Adolphus), 1810-1892 : A DECADE OF ITALIAN WOMEN.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1859. First edition. “The degree in which any social system has succeeded in ascertaining woman’s proper position, and in putting her into it, will be a very accurate test of the progress it has made in civilisation”. Trollope ponders ten notable Italian women – St. Catherine of Siena, Caterina Sforza, Vittoria Colonna, Tullia d’Aragona, Olympia Morata, Isabella Andreini, Bianca Cappello, Olympia Pamfili, Elisabetta Sirani, and La Corilla (Maria Maddalena Morelli).
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TURBERVILLE, A.S. (Arthur Stanley), 1888-1945 – editor : JOHNSON’S ENGLAND : AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE & MANNERS OF HIS AGE.
London : Oxford University Press, 1933. First edition. A distinguished, literate and well-illustrated survey of all aspects of eighteenth-century life, with authoritative essays by G. M. Trevelyan, Dorothy George, G. D. H. Cole, R. W. Chapman and others – the period; the church; the navy; army; exploration and discovery; travel and communications; London; town-life in the provinces; industry and trade; agriculture and rural life; poverty, crime and philanthropy; manners, meals and domestic pastimes; sports and games; costume; taste; painting and engraving; sculpture; architecture and the garden; interiors; drama and theatre; music; education; science; medicine; the law and lawyers; authors and booksellers; newspapers, etc.
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[YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901] : A BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS OF ALL TIMES AND ALL LANDS : GATHERED AND NARRATED BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HEIR OF REDCLYFFE”.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1908. A collection of fifty historical tales of heroism and self-denial intended as “a treasury for young people”, or “a mother’s storehouse for reading aloud to her boys” – Alcestis and Antigone, The Pass of Thermopylae, The Shepherd Girl of Nanterre, The Keys of Calais, Sir Thomas More’s Daughter, The Children in the Wood of the Far South, etc. Originally published in 1864.
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YOUNG, G.M. (George Malcolm), 1882-1959 – editor : EARLY VICTORIAN ENGLAND : 1830-1865.
London : Oxford University Press, 1934. First edition. A magisterial and richly illustrated study of the background to mid nineteenth-century England, with chapters on Work and Wages (J. H. Clapham), Homes and Habits, Town Life and London (R. H. Mottram), Life in the New Towns, Country Life and Sport (Bernard Darwin), The Navy, The Army, The Mercantile Marine (Basil Lubbock), The Press, Art, Architecture (A. E. Richardson), Music, Drama (Allardyce Nicoll), Holidays and Travel, Charity, Expansion and Emigration, and the Portrait of an Age.
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