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ADAMSON, John William, 1857-1947 : ‘THE ILLITERATE ANGLO-SAXON’ AND OTHER ESSAYS ON EDUCATION, MEDIEVAL AND MODERN.
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1946. First edition. Essays on Asser, literacy in England in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, mediaeval education, etc.
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BRIGGS, Susan (Susan Anne), Lady, 1933- : KEEP SMILING THROUGH.
[London] : Fontana/Collins (1976). First paperback edition. A richly illustrated study of the Home Front 1939-1945, an extraordinary told via posters, advertisements, cartoons, film-stills, propaganda photographs, ephemera and much else. With a foreword by Vera Lynn.
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DAVIS, Sally, 1953- : JOHN PALMER AND THE MAILCOACH ERA.
Bath : Postal Museum at Bath, 1984. First edition. An illustrated study of John Palmer (1742-1818) and the development of the first modern postal delivery service.
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FISHER, F.J. (Frederick Jack), 1908-1988 – editor : ESSAYS IN THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF TUDOR AND STUART ENGLAND IN HONOUR OF R. H. TAWNEY ...
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1961. First edition. Ten essays in honour of the great economic historian’s eightieth birthday – by Robert Ashton, Maurice Beresford, D. C. Coleman, Jack Fisher himself, Christopher Hill, Lawrence Stone, Joan Thirsk and others.
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GRIMSHAW, Anne, 1946- : THE HORSE : A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BRITISH BOOKS 1851-1976. WITH A NARRATIVE COMMENTARY ON THE RÔLE OF THE HORSE IN BRITISH SOCIAL HISTORY, AS REVEALED BY THE CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE.
London : Library Association, (1982). First edition : limited to 1,000 copies, signed by the author. An exhaustive bibliography, with much interesting commentary.
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HARRIS, Sir John (John Hobbis), 1874-1940 : A CENTURY OF EMANCIPATION.
London : J. M. Dent & Sons, (1933). First edition. Written to mark the centenary of Britain’s decision to abolish slavery – a history and an examination of systems of slavery and semi-slavery post 1833, focussing on the aftermath of slavery and the continued existence of over five million slaves at the time of writing. With much on Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Dr. Lushington, Lord John Russell and William Wilberforce, and on slavery in South Africa, China, the Congo, the French Colonies, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, the Portuguese Colonies, Sierra Leone and Zanzibar. A copy with an interesting provenance, presented by the Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society in 1956 to the late Barry Cambray Bloomfield (1931-2002) for his work in cataloguing the Society’s library.
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MANWARING, G.E. (George Ernest), 1882-1939 & DOBRÉE, Bonamy, 1891-1974 : THE FLOATING REPUBLIC : AN ACCOUNT OF THE MUTINIES AT SPITHEAD AND THE NORE IN 1797.
London : Geoffrey Bles, (1935). First edition. “A chapter in Social History, a queer, poignant, naked-nerved chapter, which even at the present day contains lessons that have never been properly learnt”.
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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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NUGENT, Edmund C. (Sir Edmund Charles), 1839-1928 : COUNTRY-HOUSE CHARADES FOR ACTING.
London : John Camden Hotten, . First edition. A dozen short plays in various styles – the operatic, the sensational, the bombastic, the farcical, the burlesque, the pathetic, the domestic, the maritime, the shoppy, the fantastic and juvenile, etc. – designed for under-rehearsed and jovial amateur players, complete with music, etc. The author was variously a captain in the Grenadier Guards, a Justice of the Peace, and subseqently High Sheriff of Norfolk.
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OWEN, Robert, 1771-1858 : A NEW VIEW OF SOCIETY & OTHER WRITINGS.
London : J. M. Dent & Sons, (1927). First Everyman edition. “Robert Owen, shop-boy and manufacturer, factory reformer and educationist, Socialist and Co-operative pioneer, Trade Union leader and secularist, founder of ideal communities and practical man of business, was something of a puzzle to his own generation, and is no less a puzzle to posterity” – the essential texts, edited and introduced by G. D. H. Cole, and here in the attractive pre-war Everyman format.
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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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RICHARDS, J.M. (Sir James Maude), 1907-1992 : THE CASTLES ON THE GROUND.
London : Architectural Press, (1946). First edition. “Ewbank’d inside and Atco’d out, the English suburban residence and the garden which is an integral part of it stand trim and lovingly cared for in the mild sunshine ... ” – Richards’ faultless homage to and defence of suburbia, written while he was serving overseas. If not regarded as a minor classic, then it should be. Illustrated with memorable two-colour lithographs by John Piper.
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RICHARDSON, Joanna : THE BOHEMIANS : LA VIE DE BOHÈME IN PARIS 1830-1914.
London : Macmillan & Co., (1969). First edition. With much passing reference to Charles Baudelaire, Roger de Beauvoir, Jules Claretie, Theophile Gautier, Arsene Houssaye, Charles Monselet, Henry Murger, Gerard de Nerval, etc.
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SAYERS, Dorothy L. (Dorothy Leigh), 1893-1957 : THE MYSTERIOUS ENGLISH.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1941. First edition. Wartime speech on the nature of Englishness – “mongrels who are proud to be mongrels and, partly because of the fact, are not a ‘volk’ but a nation”. Macmillan War Pamphlets No. 10.
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SCOTT, J.W. Robertson (John William Robertson), 1866-1962 : THE STORY OF THE WOMEN’S INSTITUTE MOVEMENT IN ENGLAND & WALES & SCOTLAND.
Kingham : Village Press, 1925. First edition. The earliest history of the W.I. – “the most important body formed during the century”.
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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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VIZETELLY, Ernest Alfred, 1853-1922 : WITH ZOLA IN ENGLAND : A STORY OF EXILE.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1899. First edition. A powerful account of Emile Zola’s exile in England in the wake of the celebrated “J’Accuse ...” letter and headline concerning the Dreyfus furore. Compiled by Ernest Vizetelly, son of the English publisher who went to prison for publishing Zola, and himself the translator of many of Zola’s novels.
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WEBB, R.K. (Robert Kiefer), 1922-2012 : THE BRITISH WORKING CLASS READER 1790-1848 : LITERACY AND SOCIAL TENSION.
London : George Allen & Unwin, (1955). First edition. A classic and ground-breaking study – with much on Henry Brougham, William Cobbett, Charles Knight, Harriet Martineau, Francis Place, Hugh Seymour Tremenheere, etc.
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WEIDENFELD, A.G. (Arthur George), Baron, 1919-2016 – editor : OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES : THE TENTH CONTACT BOOK.
London : Contact Publications, (1948). First edition. A fascinating set of essays in the absorbing “Contact” series, in this instance grouped around the theme of “Class” in the immediate post-war world. Topics include changing class barriers, the English upper class, the middle class, the backstreets, the City of London, nationalisation, clothes and class, Philip Toynbee on the burden of one’s background, the social frontiers of psychiatry, Tyrone Guthrie, Geoffrey Grigson and Lady Violet Bonham-Carter for and against the public funding of the arts, Harold Macmillan on the place of government in a free society, etc. With illustrations from Pearl Falconer and others.
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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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