OTHER AUTHORS AT ASH RARE BOOKS – THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
OTHER AUTHORS AT
OTHER AUTHORS – NINETEENTH CENTURY
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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 : WINDSOR CASTLE : AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
London : Henry Colburn, 1843. First one-volume and first fully illustrated edition. One of Ainsworth’s abidingly popular historical tales, set in the time of Henry VIII – Anne Boleyn, Cardinal Wolsey, Jane Seymour, etc. Originally published in book form in three volumes earlier in 1843, but here with the full panoply of illustrations utilised in the contemporary serialization in the author’s own “Ainsworth’s Magazine”.
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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 : SAINT JAMES’S; OR, THE COURT OF QUEEN ANNE. AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
London : John Mortimer; Parry, Blenkarn & Co., 1844. First edition. Ainsworth at the height of his fame with a tale of political intrigue and power at the court of Queen Anne – the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; Robert Harley, first Earl of Oxford; Henry St. John, first Viscount Bolingbroke, etc. “Many would have backed Ainsworth’s talent against Dickens’s in 1840” (John Sutherland).
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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).
“ANSTEY, F.” – [GUTHRIE, Thomas Anstey, 1856-1934] : THE TINTED VENUS : A FARCICAL ROMANCE.
Bristol : J. W. Arrowsmith, 1885. First edition : in the variant brown binding. A statue of Aphrodite brought to life by the application of an engagement ring and some make-up. Twice filmed, with Maud Cressall playing the Venus in 1921 and Ava Gardner in 1948.
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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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BROOKS, Shirley (Charles William Shirley), 1816-1874 : SOONER OR LATER.
London : Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1868. First edition. “If future generations wish to see representations and reproductions of how London men talked in the middle of the nineteenth century they will find them in ‘Sooner or Later’ ... the world ... ought to be grateful to him for the excellent novel he has provided – one of the best produced in recent times ... a work of genius, and admirably illustrated by the pencil of Du Maurier” (Edinburgh Evening Courant, 20th January 1868). A much-admired and somewhat controversial novel, too realistic for some Victorian tastes – “His development of character is admirable, especially in men and the queerer kind of women” (Pall Mall Gazette, 3rd February 1868) – from the journalist and playwright Shirley Brooks, later to become editor of “Punch”.
BYRON, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron, 1788-1824 : CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE. CANTO THE THIRD.
London : for John Murray, 1816. First edition of the third canto. “There was a sound of revelry by night ...”, etc.
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CARLYLE, Thomas, 1795-1891 : CRITICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS: COLLECTED AND REPUBLISHED.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1857. [Fourth edition]. An attractive standard set of the essays, adding more recent material to the earlier collected editions. Carlyle on Boswell, Robert Burns, Count Cagliostro, Diderot, Goethe, Mirabeau, Schiller, Sir Walter Scott, Voltaire, etc.
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[CHESNEY, Sir George Tomkyns, 1830-1895] : THE BATTLE OF DORKING : REMINISCENCES OF A VOLUNTEER.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1871. First edition in book form. The founding fiction in the whole of the ‘imaginary wars’ genre – a German invasion and conquest vividly envisioned in the wake of the lightning advances of the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War. Letters to the newspapers having failed, Chesney, a distinguished army engineer, successfully took to fiction to publicise the ramshackle state of the British armed forces. Originally published in “Blackwood’s Magazine”, profoundly influential, and subsequently much reprinted.
CLARE, John, 1793-1864 : JOHN CLARE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS.
Oxford / New York : Oxford University Press, 1983. First edition. Extensive selections from Clare’s scattered autobiographical writings. Edited by Eric Robinson. Illustrated with wood engravings by John Lawrence.
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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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[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] : THE MONIKINS. A TALE.
London : Richard Bentley, 1835. First edition. “It is not improbable that some of those who read this book may feel a wish to know in what manner I became possessed of the manuscript ...”. Imaginary voyages to the South Pole – philosophical talking monkeys – a political satire on the lands of Leaphigh (England) and Leaplow (USA) – an American “Gulliver’s Travels”. Precedes the Philadelphia edition published later the same year.
COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 : THE TWO ADMIRALS. A TALE OF THE SEA.
London : Richard Bentley, 1842. First edition. Cooper’s epic and poignant tale of two seamen of complementary abilities, intense lifelong friendship, rivalry, Whig and Tory, culminating at the time of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 – Bonnie Prince Charlie, etc. Long considered one of the finest ever maritime novels.
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CRANE, Stephen, 1871-1900 : MAGGIE : A CHILD OF THE STREETS.
London : William Heinemann, 1896. First British edition. His first book, “regarded as the first work of unalloyed naturalism in American fiction” (Milne Holton) and immediately inviting comparison in Europe with Hardy, Zola and Arthur Morrison’s “Tales of Mean Streets”. Originally published under a pseudonym at Crane’s own expense in 1893, but not issued under his own name until after the success of “The Red Badge of Courage” on both sides of the Atlantic. The British edition has a telling introduction by William Dean Howells (1837-1920) – “the girl herself, with her bewildered wish to be right and good, with her distorted perspective, her clinging and generous affections, her hopeless environments ...”.
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“CYNICUS” – [ANDERSON, Martin, 1854-1932] : THE SATIRES OF CYNICUS.
London : Cynicus Publishing Co. / Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1892. Second edition. The first and best of Anderson’s volumes of assaults on Victorian hypocrisy – mordant caricature with telling captions and verses – dedicated to the “dear deceitful world”. Originally published in a larger format in 1890.
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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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DIXON, Richard Watson, 1833-1900 : THE LAST POEMS OF RICHARD WATSON DIXON D.D.
London : Henry Frowde, 1905. First edition. “Dust and Wind”, “Ode on the Death of Dickens”, two hymns and seven other poems, selected and edited by Robert Bridges, who also contributes a memorial preface.
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DOWSON, Ernest (Ernest Christopher), 1867-1900 : THE COMPLETE LYRICS OF ERNEST DOWSON.
Mount Vernon : Peter Pauper Press, . First edition. An attractively produced edition, the titles of the seventy or more lyrics printed in orange-yellow, the type and paper specially made for the press.
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[GALT, John, 1779-1839] : THE ENTAIL : OR THE LAIRDS OF GRIPPY.
Edinburgh : William Blackwood / London : T. Cadell, 1823. First edition. Family and obsession – “Galt’s most admired work. It won the unconditional praise of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Walter Scott, while Byron was reduced to tears and judged Galt’s portrait of Leddy Grippy one of the most original women figures in the history of literature” (Massimiliano Demata).
[GALT, John, 1779-1839] : ROTHELAN; A ROMANCE OF THE ENGLISH HISTORIES.
Edinburgh : Oliver & Boyd / London : George B. Whittaker, 1824. First edition. “Sir Amias de Crosby, you are my husband. I have to a bear a part in whatever concerns your honour and prosperity; and I conjure you, by all that is just, and sacred, and honest, and true, not to question the integrity of the Lady Albertina” – “Rothelan, we hesitate not to say, is not only the happiest production of its clever author – but one of the most interesting and affecting tales we have read for a great while” (Perthshire Courier, 12th November 1824). At the conclusion of the novel in the third volume, there are three additional stories in Galt’s projected “The Quarantine; or, Tales of the Lazaretto” series.
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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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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GODWIN, William, 1756-1836 : MANDEVILLE. A TALE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY IN ENGLAND.
Edinburgh : for Archibald Constable & Co., 1817. First edition. “Invisible things are the only realities; invisible things alone are the things that shall remain” – his fourth and darkest novel – the philosopher and originator of the psychological novel takes an interest in the issues of the English Civil War. Published not long before his daughter Mary Shelley produced “Frankenstein” and much admired by Shelley himself, who immediately sent a copy to Byron and described it as Godwin’s best.
[HALIBURTON, Thomas Chandler, 1796-1865] : THE ATTACHÉ; OR, SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND.
London : Richard Bentley, 1843. First edition. Sam Slick arrives in England in the unexpected guise of an Attaché to the American Legation at the Court of St. James. A sharp satire on English life by the first Canadian international best-selling author – “If our old friend, Sam Slick, be not the very wittiest person in the world, he is assuredly one of the most humorous. He is one of the few whose humour hath always point and purpose in it, and is ‘near about’ the only Yankee we have ever made acquaintance with who succeeded in warming us to feelings of hearty trustful cordiality” (Morning Post, 8th August 1843).
“HALLIDAY, Andrew” – [DUFF, Andrew Halliday, 1830-1877] – editor : THE SAVAGE-CLUB PAPERS. SECOND SERIES.
London : Tinsley Brothers, 1869. First edition. Stories, poems and occasional pieces by the gifted members of the Savage Club, assembled to finance their charitable work. Contributors include Dion Boucicault, George Manville Fenn, George Grossmith, Andrew Halliday himself, Arthur Locker, John Oxenford, J. R. Planché, George Augustus Sala, Walter Thornbury, etc. With illustrations by Frederick Barnard, George Cruikshank, Gustave Doré, Gordon Thompson, Harrison Weir and many others, all engraved by the Dalziel Brothers.
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HOOD, Thomas, 1835-1874 : PEN AND PENCIL PICTURES.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1857. First edition. His first book – a collection of whimsical essays, poems, stories, etc., from the younger Tom Hood – enlivened with his own illustrations.
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“HOPE, Anthony” – [HAWKINS, Sir Anthony Hope, 1863-1933] : RUPERT OF HENTZAU.
Bristol : J. W. Arrowsmith, . First edition : the first issue, with just the thirty-two earlier titles listed in the advertisements for Arrowsmith’s 3/6 series. A sequel to “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1894) – Ruritania three years on. Illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson.
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IRVING, Washington, 1783-1859 : ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE, OR SCENES BEYOND THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS OF THE FAR WEST.
London : Richard Bentley, 1837. First edition. A superb account of the celebrated expeditionary explorations of the Far West by Captain Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville (1796-1878) – the Oregon Trail, the Snake River, Hell’s Canyon, the Bear River, the California Trail, etc. Bonneville met Irving in New York in 1835 and subsequently sold him his maps and notes to frame the narrative. Precedes the Philadelphia edition of the same year, which was published as “The Rocky Mountains”.
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JACKSON, Lucie E. : THE ABBEY ON THE MOOR.
London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1900 [i.e. 1899]. First edition. A dying request, a kiss and its consequences, haunted houses, ghosts, secret panels, snowstorms, etc.
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[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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JEFFERIES, Richard (John Richard), 1848-1887 : AMARYLLIS AT THE FAIR : A NOVEL.
London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1887. First edition. His late novel, to some extent autobiographical and based on his own family and their small Wiltshire farm.
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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).
LAUDER, Sir Thomas Dick, 1784-1848 : LEGENDARY TALES OF THE HIGHLANDS. A SEQUEL TO HIGHLAND RAMBLES.
London : Henry Colburn, 1841. First edition. Lauder’s second collection of carefully preserved highland legends – a world of warlocks, water-kelpies, dominies and fighting men, with the Legend of the Clan-Allen Stewarts, etc.
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.
LEVER, Charles (Charles James), 1806-1872 : ST. PATRICK’S EVE.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1845. First edition : in the more elaborate and earliest binding. Clearly modelled on Dickens’ treatment of social issues in his Christmas books, Lever tackles the Irish issue of absentee landlords – “a very pretty little volume ... dedicated to his children with a desire to inculcate this truth, ‘that prosperity has as many duties as adversity has sorrows’ ... painted with his customary force of genius and his usual glowing and effective colouring” (Liverpool Mail, 29th March 1845).
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LONGFELLOW, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 : THE NEW ENGLAND TRAGEDIES.
London : George Routledge & Sons, 1868. First British edition. “A solid man of Boston; a comfortable man with dividends, And the first salmon and the first green peas ...”.
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McGONAGALL, William (William Topaz), 1825-1902 : MORE POETIC GEMS SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF WILLIAM McGONAGALL POET AND TRAGEDIAN ...
Dundee : David Winter & Son / London : Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1962. First edition. Over fifty new poems from the Great McGonagall discovered in Dundee Public Library. With his own biographical sketch and reminiscences.
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MAGGS, Derek, 1926-1992 – editor : MAKE HASTE, SWEET LOVE : OR THE IMPORTUNATE POET TO HIS LOVE. POEMS CHOSEN BY DEREK MAGGS.
London : Magpie Press, (1966). First edition : one of about 100 numbered copies in wrappers (of about 130). A selection of fifteen poems of love and urgency, designed and printed by Derek Maggs – Herrick, Waller, Spenser, Keats, Shakespeare, Jonson, and of course Marvell, etc.
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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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MARRYAT, Frederick, 1792-1848 : THE PHANTOM SHIP.
London : Henry Colburn, 1839. First edition. Marryat’s celebrated tale of the Flying Dutchman, ghost ships, holy relics, Arabian magic, demon pilots, and the Inquisition, which also manages to incorporate the story of the White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains, often separately anthologised and credited as “the first significant werewolf tale in English, and still one of the best” (Bleiler).
MARRYAT, Frederick, 1792-1848 : THE TRAVELS AND ROMANTIC ADVENTURES OF MONSIEUR VIOLET, AMONG THE SNAKE INDIANS AND WILD TRIBES OF THE WESTERN PRAIRIES.
London : Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1843. First edition : the second issue, with the variant title. “A vigorous, dashing sketch of the prairies of California, the wildernesses of the Rocky Mountains, and the swamps of Texas” (Court Journal). Originally issued a little earlier as “Narrative of the Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet in California, Sonora and Western Texas”, Sadleir suggests that the book was relaunched with a more exciting title specifically for the gift-books for boys market. Scarce in either incarnation, Marryat’s novel, full of factual information drawn from (unacknowledged) contemporary sources and his own visit to the Americas, is perhaps the earliest children’s book with an American Wild West setting. It is certainly the first work of fiction to contain Mormon characters and remains an important source of information on the pre Gold Rush California of the 1830s.
MILFORD, H.S. (Sir Humphrey Sumner), 1877-1952 – editor : THE OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH VERSE OF THE ROMANTIC PERIOD 1798-1837.
London : Oxford University Press, 1935. First edition. A fine and comprehensive anthology of the Romantic Movement – beginning, wittily enough, with William Combe in search of the picturesque, and ending with the young Tennyson and Browning.
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MITFORD, Mary Russell, 1787-1855 : OUR VILLAGE: SKETCHES OF RURAL CHARACTER AND SCENERY.
London : G. & W. B. Whittaker / Geo. B. Whittaker / Whittaker, Treacher & Co., 1824-1832. First edition. A complete first edition set of the five-volume series of her much-loved and most famous work – sharp, affectionate, precise and amused sketches of village life in Regency England – “Our landlord has a stirring wife, a hopeful son, and a daughter, the belle of the village; not so pretty as the fair nymph of the shoe-shop, and far less elegant, but ten times as fine; all curl-papers in the morning, like a porcupine, all curls in the afternoon, like a poodle, with more flounces than curl-papers, and more lovers than curls ...”. Walks in the Country, A Country Cricket-Match, A Christmas Party, Christmas Amusements, The Mole-Catcher, Children of the Village, The Cribbage Players, and so much more.
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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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MORRISON, Arthur (Arthur George), 1863-1945 : GREEN GINGER.
London : Hutchinson & Co., 1909. “Second edition” – i.e. the second impression of the immediately sold out original edition published just weeks earlier. A collection of sixteen short stories – some humourous, some criminous, some fantastical – “The note of the book is its high spirits, its undoubted humour. Mr. Morrison makes his readers laugh, and that is no small thing in these days. ‘A Lucifo Match’ is delicious” (The Sphere, 17th April 1909).
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PATER, Walter (Walter Horatio), 1839-1894 : MARIUS THE EPICUREAN : HIS SENSATIONS AND IDEAS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1885. First edition. The great stylist’s philosophical novel of ancient Rome – the young Marius, secretary to the stoic Marcus Aurelius, pursues integrity and the aesthetic life. One of the most remarkable novels of the period, stretching the boundaries of fiction, and exploring questions of morality, religion, philosophy and gender. A key text of the modern movement, influencing authors as diverse as Hardy, Joyce, Wilde and Woolf. “We consciously looked to Pater for our philosophy” (W. B. Yeats).
[PEACOCK, Thomas Love, 1785-1866] : GRYLL GRANGE.
London : Parker, Son & Bourn, 1861. First edition : in Carter’s primary binding of green pebble-grain cloth. Peacock’s final novel – a country house, eccentric guests – and full to the last of his “inveterate prejudices and pugnacious hostility to every modern innovation” (Garnett).
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PEACOCK, Thomas Love, 1785-1866 : THE PLAYS OF THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK : PUBLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
London : David Nutt, 1910. First edition. The first publication of three Peacock plays discovered among the manuscripts acquired by the British Museum in 1903 – “The Dilettanti”, “The Circle of Loda” and “The Three Doctors”. Edited and introduced by Peacock’s biographer, Arthur ButtonYoung.
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REID, Mayne (Thomas Mayne), 1818-1883 : THE BANDOLERO; OR, A MARRIAGE AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.
London : Richard Bentley, 1866. First edition. “La Puebla de los Angeles is peculiar, even among the cities of modern Mexico; peculiar in the fact, that two-thirds of its population are composed of priests, pelados, poblanas, pickpockets, and picarones of a bolder type”. Love and bandits in the mountains.
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RUDING, Walt (Walter), 1870-1895 : AN EVIL MOTHERHOOD : AN IMPRESSIONIST NOVEL.
London : Elkin Mathews, 1896 [i.e. 1895]. First edition. The short-lived Ruding’s scarce and only novel – he died at the age of twenty-five less than a month after it was published. Slated by the critics and undeniably flawed, but very consciously a new kind of fiction – startling, impressionistic, psychological, experimental and fin-de-siècle – and marked out as so by a dramatic cobwebby cover and a fine frontispiece by Aubrey Beardsley.
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SCHREINER, Olive (Olive Emilie Albertina), 1855-1920 : UNDINE.
London : Ernest Benn, (1929). First British edition : in a secondary but nonetheless striking dust-jacket – an art deco design by “Barbara” in Benn’s 3/6 Library format. Her first novel, previously unpublished but pre-dating “The Story of an African Farm” (1883) and taking up the same themes of childhood and adolescence in nineteenth-century South Africa. With an explanatory introduction by her husband, Samuel Cron Cronwright-Schreiner.
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[SCOTT, Sir Walter, 1771-1832] : WOODSTOCK ; OR, THE CAVALIER. A TALE OF THE YEAR SIXTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-ONE.
Edinburgh : Archibald Constable & Co., 1826. First edition. Scott in the thick of the Civil War – Cromwell, Charles II, etc. Written rapidly to earn his way out of financial difficulties, the reviewers found the novel flawed and occasionally wayward in its history, but it became a huge commercial success and remains one of his most popular titles.
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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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SHARP, Evelyn (Evelyn Jane), 1869-1955 : AT THE RELTON ARMS.
London : John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1895. First edition. “Morality is mainly a question of circumstance, and largely dependent on the chances of detection”. Her first novel – the beautiful, witty, wise, cynical and deeply unconventional Lady Joan Relton. Although published in the “Keynotes” series, with the usual Aubrey Beardsley title-page, Sharp’s attitude towards her fin-de-siècle contemporaries was at best ambivalent: “I am tired of being a Bohemian; every little pigmy who writes ballads and lets his hair grow and doesn’t wash is a Bohemian ...” says one of the characters. Sharp, herself deeply unconventional, later found fame and notoriety as one of the most powerful and eloquent voices in the suffragette movement.
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SHELLEY, Lady (Jane St. John Gibson), 1820-1899 – editor : SHELLEY MEMORIALS : FROM AUTHENTIC SOURCES.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1859. First edition. Appalled by the biographies produced by Thomas Medwin (1847) and Thomas Jefferson Hogg (1858), it fell to Shelley’s daughter-in-law to provide a response from the family, based on the surviving original documents – “we were anxious that the numerous misstatements which had gone forth should be corrected”. The poet’s early life; Oxford; first marriage; Godwin; literary correspondence; poetical labours and domestic sorrows; Switzerland; Italy; Byron; the death and obsequies; Mary Shelley, etc. – all sourced from original material, private journals, letters, etc. Shelley’s fragmentary “Essay on Christianity” and a number of letters here appear for the first time. Lady Shelley’s preface is also interesting on the number of forged Shelley letters already in circulation.
SMITH, Albert (Albert Richard), 1816-1860 : THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE GENT. / THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BALLET-GIRL. / THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE FLIRT.
London : David Bogue, 1847-1848. First editions of three of Smith’s highly entertaining “Social Zoologies”, the second with a partially trimmed inscription from Smith to Colonel Sir William Robert Clayton M.P. (1786-1866). The first was written “that all might clearly see who the Gents were, and shun them accordingly”. It led to a highly successful sequence of similar separately published “studies”, both by Smith and others. The present bound volume preserves what are probably the three most amusing of these highly ephemeral little publications.
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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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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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SURTEES, Robert Smith, 1803-1864 : JORROCKS’S JAUNTS AND JOLLITIES : 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 : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1903. A handsome and lavishly produced edition of Surtees’ classic of sporting humour, produced for the Trübner Sporting Library series. John Jorrocks originally surfaced in the “New Sporting Magazine” in 1831, and first appeared in book form in 1838, but here appears with the original illustrations from all the various early editions – by Henry Alken, “Phiz” and William Heath – including an Alken illustration previously unpublished. With an interesting introduction on the history of the book and its illustrations by Joseph Grego (1843-1908), noted authority on illustration and its techniques.
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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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TROLLOPE, Frances, 1779-1863 : THE VICAR OF WREXHILL.
London : Richard Bentley, 1837. First edition. A novel with the reputation of being her best – a stinging satire on evangelicanism, with an unscrupulous vicar who manipulates the more susceptible women of the parish: a powerful plea for the better education of women and a prescient foreshadowing of priestly abuse.
[UPHAM, Edward, 1776-1834] : RAMESES; AN EGYPTIAN TALE : WITH HISTORICAL NOTES ON THE ERA OF THE PHARAOHS.
London : for G. B. Whittaker / Bath : John Upham / Exeter : Charles Upham, 1824. First edition. Bookseller, orientalist and quondam mayor of Exeter, Upham intended his anonymous tale to introduce readers to the full glories of ancient Egypt – “a series of data, whereby may be formed a knowledge and appreciation of this ancient and illustrious kingdom, resorted to by the wisest and best of the philosophers, the sages, and legislators of Greece, and pronounced by them to be ‘the mother of arts, and the fountain of wisdom’”. Each volume concludes with copious historical notes.
WARD, Mrs Humphrey (Mary Augusta), 1851-1920 : THE HISTORY OF DAVID GRIEVE.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1892. First edition. An early novel of faith and doubt from the sterling Mrs Humphry Ward, Tasmanian-born grand-daughter of Dr. Arnold of Rugby.
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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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ZANGWILL, Israel, 1864-1926 : THE OLD MAIDS’ CLUB.
London : William Heinemann, 1892. First edition. “The Old Maids’ Club was founded by Lillie Dulcimer in her sweet seventeenth year. She had always been precocious, and could analyse her own sensations before she could spell. In fact, she divided her time between making sensations and analysing them ...”. Twenty entertaining tales from the annals of the club, including the very funny “Algebra of Love”, “The Man in the Ironed Mask”, “The Old Young Woman and the New”, “The Mysterious Advertiser”, “The Beautiful Ghoul”, etc. – “Two books for the holiday season, to be read lounging in a hammock, or under the shadow of a cliff, are Mr. Zangwill’s ‘Old Maids’ Club’, and Mr. Grossmith’s ‘Diary of a Nobody’. The former is very droll in places ...” (Cheltenham Looker-On, 20th August 1892). “Worth all the inanities of Jerome K. Jerome and all the thin fun of Barry Pain bundled together” (Glasgow Evening Post, 30th June 1892).
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ZOLA, Émile (Émile Édouard Charles Antoine), 1840-1902 : THE FAT AND THE THIN (LE VENTRE DE PARIS).
London : Chatto & Windus, 1896. Second edition in English. “The Belly of Paris” – set in and around Les Halles, the great central food market of Paris, and Zola’s first novel entirely to concentrate on the working class. Originally published French in 1873 and in English by Henry Vizetelly in 1888, the year before he was imprisoned under the obscene libel laws specifically for publishing Zola, and here in a revised translation with a new introduction by his son, Ernest Alfred Vizetelly (1853-1922).
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