ASH RARE BOOKS – ANTIQUARIAN RARE AND FINE BOOKS – FIRST EDITIONS – ANTIQUE MAPS AND PRINTS
ASH RARE BOOKS
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ADCOCK , St. John (Arthur St. John), 1864-1930 – editor : WONDERFUL LONDON : THE WORLD’S GREATEST CITY DESCRIBED BY ITS BEST WRITERS AND PICTURED BY ITS FINEST PHOTOGRAPHERS.
London : Fleetway House, [1926-1927]. First edition. No hyperbole here – vigorous prose and stunning pictures bringing inter-war London vividly back to life. Well over 100 informative essays on every conceivable aspect – from nightclubs to law-courts, and from bookshops to the underworld. Contributors include: E. Beresford Chancellor; G. K. Chesterton; W. H. Davies; Alan Ivimey; Walter Jerrold; E. V. Knox; Bohun Lynch; Arthur Machen; H. J. Massingham; H. V. Morton; J. B. Priestley; Dilys Powell; Edwin Pugh; Frank Rutter; Frank Swinnerton; H. M. Tomlinson; Katharine Tynan; Lady Kitty Vincent; Alec Waugh, etc.
BAEDEKER, Karl, 1801-1859 : GREAT BRITAIN : HANDBOOK FOR TRAVELLERS.
Leipzig : Karl Baedeker / London : T. Fisher Unwin / New York : Chas. Scribner’s Sons, 1910. Seventh edition. Although the advertisements suggest that this copy was not issued until about 1924, the text is still that of the last edition to appear before the Great War and it remains an ever-useful and comprehensive guide to Edwardian Great Britain. Aside from copious general information – money, expenses, passports, railways, coaches, steamboats, hotels, sports and pastimes, history, the Welsh language, architecture and ancient monuments, etc. – there are seventy-eight detailed itineraries, taking the traveller from Dover to the Orkneys and to all points between.
BALLANTYNE, R.M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894 : THE GARRET AND THE GARDEN : OR, LOW LIFE HIGH UP : AND JEFF BENSON OR, THE YOUNG COASTGUARDSMAN.
London : James Nisbet & Co., . First edition. Young Scotsman unwittingly enters a Babylonian London underworld, including the remarkable Tommy Splint – “Splint, ’cause w’en I was picked up, a small babby, at the work’us door, my left leg was broke, an’ they ’ad to put it up in splints; Tommy, ’cause they said I was like a he-cat; w’ich was a lie!”. The second novella in this Ballantyne double-bill relates the story of fun-loving, free-and-easy Jeff Benson on the south-east coast.
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BANVILLE, John (William John), 1945- : NIGHTSPAWN.
London : Secker & Warburg, (1971). First edition. Signed by multiple award-winning John Banville on the title-page — loosely inserted is a 2008 ticket for “An Evening with John Banville”, the occasion on when the book was signed. Night Spawn, Night’s Pawn, Knight’s Pawn — his sometimes disavowed first novel, a fantasy political thriller of sorts set on a Greek island and then in Athens — “crotchety, posturing, absurdly pretentious”, in his own words, but for at least one online commentator, “I am left stunned. I think I have been bludgeoned by beauty”.
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BEERBOHM, Max (Sir Henry Maximilian), 1872-1956 : MORE BY MAX BEERBOHM.
London & New York : John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1899. First edition : the American-printed sheets of the scarcer (and probably earlier) of the two London impressions, with the half-title and the plain title-page. Beerbohm with twenty essays on royalty, actors, the seaside in winter, sign-boards, music-halls, Covent Garden, and much else besides.
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BEERBOHM, Max (Sir Henry Maximilian), 1872-1956 : FIFTY CARICATURES.
London : William Heinemann, 1913. First edition. Edwardian society dissected and made playful in an inspired sequence of Max caricatures – Asquith, Balfour, Sir Edward Carson, Caruso, Roger Fry, Lloyd George, George Grossmith, Thomas Hardy, John Masefield, George Moore, Auguste Rodin, Lord Rosebery, George Bernard Shaw, etc.
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BENEDETTA, Mary : THE STREET MARKETS OF LONDON.
London : John Miles, 1936. First edition. An extraordinary evocation of inter-war London – the buzzing street markets described and pictured with stunning photographs by László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), the Hungarian master. Petticoat Lane, Leather Lane, Farringdon Street, Strutton Ground, Brixton, North End Road, Choumert Road, Berwick Market, New Cut, Lewisham, Lavender Hill, Rye Lane, Battersea, Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush, Club Row, Hildreth Street, East Street, Portobello, Hoxton Street, Chiswick, Ridley Road, Kingston-on-Thames, Caledonian Market, Warwick Street and more, with additional chapters on junk merchants, silver kings, and antique dealers, and photographs too of Billingsgate and Covent Garden.
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BENNETT, Arnold (Enoch Arnold), 1867-1931 : THE OLD WIVES’ TALE : A NOVEL.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1908. First edition. Bennett’s celebrated chronicle of the lives and times of two contrasting sisters. “There is nothing, therefore, surprising in the fact that, in the longest novel he has yet essayed, Mr. Arnold Bennett should have scored his most complete success. We are not sure, indeed, that publication ... does not give its author an entirely new place among contemporary novelists” (Daily Telegraph, 2nd December 1908).
BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 : CONTINUAL DEW : A LITTLE BOOK OF BOURGEOIS VERSE.
London : John Murray, (1937). First edition. An early collection of thirty-three poems – including “Slough”, “Exeter”, “Tea with the Poets”, “Croydon”, and “Tunbridge Wells” – “Produced in impeccable late Victorian style, this slim – nay, svelte – volume celebrates the joys and woes of Suburbia, High, Low, and Broad Balham is here, and Tooting” (Liverpool Daily Post, 18th December 1937).
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BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 : NEW BATS IN OLD BELFRIES : POEMS.
London : John Murray, 1945. First edition. An early collection of twenty-four poems, including “Henley-on-Thames”, “Parliament Hill Fields”, “South London Sketch, 1944”, “May-Day Song for North Oxford”, “In a Bath Teashop”, etc.
[BLAEU, Joan Willem, 1598-1673] : COMITATVS DORCESTRIA, SIVE DORSETTIA; VULGO ANGLICE DORSET SHIRE.
[Amsterdam : Apud Iohannem Blaeu, 1647]. A delightful antique map of Dorset, decorated with ships and shields, the imposing cartouche flanked by bales of wool and hemp. Originally produced by the Dutch master mapmaker Joan Willem Blaeu in 1645, and here with the Dutch language text on the verso of the 1647 edition. “The Blaeus produced the finest maps of the 17th century. The general quality of design, execution, paper and colouring were unsurpassed” (Radford).
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BLAKE, William, 1757-1827 : SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE : WITH OTHER POEMS.
London : Basil Montagu Pickering, 1866. The first appearance of a highly important edition of Blake – “the poems of William Blake are here for the first time printed in their integrity”. Although a typographic edition of the Songs had appeared in 1839, and Gilchrist and Rossetti had included them in the 1863 biography, neither of those versions were in any sense faithful to Blake’s original text, with Rossetti in particular standing accused of efforts at “improvement”. The anonymous editor of this edition – Richard Herne Shepherd (1842-1895) – gives for the first time, in accessible form, the exact text of Blake’s idiosyncratic engraved publications of 1789 and 1794 (only twenty-two complete copies of each of which survive). The eleven additional poems, two never previously published, and including “Auguries of Innocence”, are printed from Blake’s original manuscripts.
BRADBURY, Ray (Ray Douglas), 1920-2012 : SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.
London : Rupert Hart-Davis, 1963. First British edition. Bradbury’s lyrical, mysterious, dark and fantastic coming of age novel as Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show comes to town – see Mephistophele, the Lava Drinker, the Demon Guillotine, the Dangling Man, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, etc.
CARY, John, 1755-1835 : CARY’S TRAVELLER’S COMPANION, OR, A DELINEATION OF THE TURNPIKE ROADS OF ENGLAND AND WALES; SHEWING THE IMMEDIATE ROUTE TO EVERY MARKET AND BOROUGH TOWN THROUGHOUT THE KINGDOM ... ON A NEW SET OF COUNTY MAPS ...
London : G. & J. Cary, 1828. A charming pocket atlas, which first appeared in 1790, although the maps have here been wholly re-engraved and updated. Comprises general maps of England and Wales, North and South Wales, thirty-nine single-page maps of the English counties, and a large folding map of the turnpike roads of Yorkshire – all delicately hand-coloured – as well as lists of the borough and market towns, market days, distances from London, tables of over 140 primary routes, and a catalogue of Cary maps, atlases and globes. Sir George Fordham wrote of Cary as the prototype of the modern mapmaker, “the most prominent and successful exponent of his time”, the cartographer who “first combined care and beauty of design, with something really approximate to geographical accuracy”.
CHESTERTON, G.K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874-1936 : THE INCREDULITY OF FATHER BROWN.
London : Cassell & Co., (1926). First edition. The third of the Father Brown volumes – eight short stories, including “The Oracle of the Dog”, “The Miracle of Moon Crescent” and “The Doom of the Darnaways” – “That nice old cleric, strange compost of guile and guilessness, has already endeared himself to the public beyond the need of any new commendation. Here he is in excellent form, has never been in better; and one is delighted to observe that age cannot wither him, nor custom stale his infinite variety. Not only can it not wither him, it cannot kill him; characteristically the book opens with the murder of Father Brown, followed by his instant resurrection” (The Sketch, 7th July 1926).
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CONRAD, Joseph, 1857-1924 : VICTORY : AN ISLAND TALE.
London : Methuen & Co., (1915). First British edition : includes an authorial note on the writing of the novel not present in the slightly earlier American edition. “There is, as every schoolboy knows in this scientific age, a very close chemical relation between coal and diamonds” – Conrad’s last masterpiece – “a matchless gift for embodying life as it is lived under extreme physical and psychological pressure”. With the cancel title-page (comma after Essex Street).
[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] : LIONEL LINCOLN; OR, THE LEAGUER OF BOSTON.
London : John Miller, 1825. First British edition. Cooper’s intriguing novel of a conflict of loyalties – Lionel Lincoln, Boston-born of an aristocratic English family, fights for the British in the American Revolutionary War. Praised in particular for the historical accuracy of his accounts of Lexington and Bunker Hill, Cooper’s wider theme of the fragilities of democracy has only been fully recognised in recent years.
[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] : THE HEADSMAN; OR, THE ABBAYE DES VIGNERONS. A TALE.
London : Richard Bentley, 1833. First edition : precedes the American edition. Cooper explores society, politics, feudalism and democracy in this tale of a Swiss noblewoman and her love for the son of an executioner.
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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CRUIKSHANK, George, 1792-1878 – illustrator : SINKS OF LONDON LAID OPEN : A POCKET COMPANION FOR THE UNINITIATED, TO WHICH IS ADDED A MODERN FLASH DICTIONARY CONTAINING ALL THE CANT WORDS, SLANG TERMS, AND FLASH PHRASES NOW IN VOGUE ...
London : J. Duncombe, 1848 [but later]. A late nineteenth-century facsimile of the edition published by John Duncombe (1791-1853) in 1848, although the book itself, as “A Peep into the Holy Land, or, Sinks of London Laid Open”, had first appeared in the 1820s. A classic exposé of the dark side of life in the capital – “A True Picture of London Life, Cadging Made Easy, the He-She Man, Doings of the Modern Greeks, Snooking Kens Depicted, the Common Lodging-House Gallants, Lessons to Lovers of Dice, The Gaming Table”, etc. The fascinating “Flash Dictionary” runs to thirty-six pages at the end of the work, followed by a list of the sixty orders of “prime coves” – rum-bubbers, groaners, duffers, twirlers, gammoners, knackers, priggers, gaggers, dragsmen, bloods, and all the rest.
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[DICKENS, Charles (Charles Culliford Boz), 1837-1896] : DICKENS’S DICTIONARY OF LONDON, 1895-1896. (SEVENTEENTH YEAR.) : AN UNCONVENTIONAL HANDBOOK.
London : For the Proprietors by J. Smith, (1895). The seventeenth and penultimate appearance of this splendidly informal handbook produced by the younger Charles Dickens, eldest son of the novelist. Sixteen pages of maps are followed by a mass of detailed, practical and sometimes quirky information – a calendar of historical and forthcoming events from May 1895 to April 1896, advertising, amusements, analysts, ashes, athletics, auctions, banks, bargains, baths, beggars, bicycling, billiards, bill-posting, bohemia, boxing, bric-a-brac, cabs, charities, chops and steaks, churches, clubs, concerts, cooking schools, co-operative stores, cricket, dog stealers, dress, excursions, fish dinners, flats, fogs, football, gas, horses and carriages, hospitals, hotels, illuminations, jews, ladies shopping, libraries, lodgings, maps, markets, messengers, milk, museums, newspapers, nuisances, nurses, omnibus routes and colours, oysters, postal regulations, poultry and fancy fowls, private wires, racing, railways, restaurants, sea-water baths, servants, sharpers, shoeblacks, Sundays, suppers, theatres, tourist agencies, tramways, vegetarian restaurants, etc., with an appendix on the principal amusements, distance-tables, and some attractive contemporary advertisements.
[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.
DITCHFIELD, P.H. (Peter Hampson), 1854-1930 : LONDON SURVIVALS : A RECORD OF THE OLD BUILDINGS AND ASSOCIATIONS OF THE CITY.
London : Methuen & Co., (1914). First edition. A splendidly produced and illustrated survey of “the treasures of beauty and antiquity that still survive in the City of London ... these relics should be seen, sketched, and described before they disappear”. With chapters on the oldest remains, the pre-reformation churches, the Wren churches, the Charterhouse, St. John’s Clerkenwell and Austin Friars, the Inns of Court, City palaces and houses, the City Companies, the London signs, and the river.
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DORRET, James, fl.1744-1761 : A CORRECT MAP OF SCOTLAND FROM NEW SURVEYS.
[Edinburgh? : G. Hamilton & J. Balfour, and A. Kincaid?], 1751. A single-sheet reduction of Dorret’s 1750 wall-map of Scotland - “a greatly improved map ... the basis of practically every map of Scotland for the next forty years ... for the first time a really good outline becomes available” (Moir). Drawn and engraved by Dorret at a scale of ten miles to the inch (1:6336), with a separate inset of the Shetland Isles. No publication details are given, but the earlier wall-map was advertised in Scotland by the Edinburgh booksellers Hamilton, Balfour and Alexander Kincaid, and they may perhaps be responsible for this smaller version.
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DOYLE, A. Conan (Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan), 1859-1930 : HIS LAST BOW : SOME REMINISCENCES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES.
London : John Murray, (1917). First edition. Eight Sherlock Holmes stories, including “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”, “The Adventure of the Red Circle”, “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”, “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”, and the title story itself, “His Last Bow” – Holmes brought out of retirement to serve his country in the Great War. “The great detective stands for so much more than himself. He is a type, a myth, a household word, in two continents” (Westminster Gazette, 3rd November 1917).
FERMOR, Patrick Leigh (Sir Patrick Michael), 1915-2011 : BETWEEN THE WOODS AND THE WATER : ON FOOT TO CONSTANTINOPLE FROM THE HOOK OF HOLLAND: THE MIDDLE DANUBE TO THE IRON GATES.
London : John Murray, (1986). First edition. Inscribed (to Lucy) and signed by Patrick Leigh Fermor on the front free endpaper. On foot across Europe at the age of eighteen in the 1930s – “like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar” – the second instalment (from the borders of Hungary to Transylvania) of a famous journey, reconstructed from maps, memories, and a diary – fascinating on every page. One of the twentieth-century classics – a “sublime masterpiece” (William Dalrymple).
FERMOR, Patrick Leigh (Sir Patrick Michael), 1915-2011 : THE BROKEN ROAD : FROM THE IRON GATES TO MOUNT ATHOS.
London : John Murray (Publishers), (2013). First edition. Signed by both editors, Artemis Cooper and Colin Thubron. The posthumously published final instalment of Fermor’s famous journey on foot across Europe at the age of eighteen in the 1930s – “like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar”. The third leg – from the Iron Gates of Romania via Bucharest and Bulgaria to Salonika and Mount Athos. One of the twentieth-century classics – a “sublime masterpiece” (William Dalrymple).
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FLETCHER, J.S. (Joseph Smith), 1863-1935 : MURDER OF THE ONLY WITNESS : BEING ENTRY NUMBER SIX IN THE CASE-BOOK OF RONALD CAMBERWELL.
London : George G. Harrap & Co., (1934). First jigsaw edition. An elegant Fletcher country-house mystery – the Ellingshurst diamonds go missing, a housemaid is murdered, and the mysterious tenant of the Dower House disappears. Originally published the previous year, but here reissued in the “Harrap Jig-Saw Mystery” series, with a pink tissue insert at p.236 demanding that the reader “Stop!”, followed by instructions to assemble the jigsaw puzzle contained in a compartment at the rear to reveal the culprit, and then to open up the pink-sealed final pages for the full denouement.
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“FORESTER, C.S.” – [SMITH, Cecil Lewis Troughton, 1899-1966] : THE EARTHLY PARADISE.
London : Michael Joseph, (1940). First edition. Don Narciso Rich, a liberal lawyer no longer young and almost portly, volunteers to accompany Columbus on his third voyage to the Americas – “Here is history, not in terms of banner and caravel, but in living terms of greed, ambition, thirst, jealousy”.
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.
FULLARTON, John Archibald, 1804-1882 – publisher : THE PARLIAMENTARY GAZETTEER OF ENGLAND AND WALES, ADAPTED TO THE NEW POOR-LAW, FRANCHISE, MUNICIPAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL ARRANGEMENTS ...
London, Edinburgh & Glasgow : A. Fullarton & Co., 1843. First edition. An extensive and comprehensive gazetteer of England and Wales, arranged alphabetically county-by-county, town-by-town, and village-by-village, from Abberley in Worcestershire to Zennor in Cornwall, paying special attention to the newly-laid railways and the recent parliamentary and poor-law reforms. Also with an analysis of the 1841 census returns. Fullarton’s father, Archibald Fullarton (1781-1836), had earlier published James Bell’s “A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales” (1833-1834), but a copyright dispute with Samuel Lewis (1782-1865) necessitated a wholesale revision of the original text and a change of title, although the attractive maps of the earlier work, with appropriate updating, are for the most part retained.
FUTRELLE, Jacques (Jacques Heath), 1875-1912 : THE CHASE OF THE GOLDEN PLATE.
London : Collier & Co., 1908. First British edition. It begins at a masked ball – a young woman in a Western outfit and a man dressed as a burglar. Love story, crime story, mystery novel. “A puzzle both subtle and intricate ... three distinct sets of intelligence, of different qualities, are set to work to unriddle the mystery” (The Scotsman, 18th May 1908) – police, journalist, and the extraordinary Professor Van Dusen – the “Thinking Machine”. Futrelle’s first “Thinking Machine” novel, originally published in New York in 1906.
GASKELL, E.C. (Elizabeth Cleghorn), 1810-1865 : THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË, AUTHOR OF “JANE EYRE”, “SHIRLEY”, “VILLETTE”, &C.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1857. First edition. A delightfully extra-illustrated and beautifully bound copy of this still controversial biography of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) – “revolution as well as revelation” in Margaret Oliphant’s phrase. Unsold copies were withdrawn in the face of a storm of legal threat and hostility. Extra-illustrated by the insertion of forty additional plates, portraits and views, a number hand-coloured, as are the original frontispiece portrait and view of Haworth.
GREENWOOD, James (James William), 1835-1929 : UNSENTIMENTAL JOURNEYS : OR, BYWAYS OF THE MODERN BABYLON.
London : Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 1872. Second edition. Powerful sketches of London life at the extremes from the campaigning journalist, James Greenwood – “The Lambeth Casual” – At the Hospital Gate; Newgate Market; A Dog Show; Concerning Muffins; The Bones of London; Christmas Eve in Brick Lane; The Leather Market; Watercresses; The Song-Bird Market; The Gleaners of the Thames Bank; The Halfpenny Barber, etc. First published in 1867. “Mr. Greenwood gives us some thirty of his clever sketches, made on the spot and from life, in the dark recesses of the metropolis ... One word as to the style of Mr. Greenwood’s narrative – it is excellent. Graphic and homely, it goes straight home” (The Globe, 14th December 1867).
HARRIS, J. Henry (Josiah Henry), 1847-1917 : A ROMANCE IN RADIUM.
London : Greening & Co., 1906. First edition. A winged Immortal from the planet Muran visits Earth “for the purposes of research – historical and otherwise”. Not much radium and not much romance, as the reviewer for the “Illustrated London News” (5th May 1906) pointed out – but in visiting the House of Commons, being demonstrated at the Royal Society, attending an “at home”, and interviewing prominent people, there is plenty of scope for some delicate satire on Edwardian Society. Written in his retirement by the Cornish journalist J. Henry Harris.
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HOUSEHOLD, Geoffrey (Geoffrey Edward West), 1900-1988 : ROGUE MALE.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1939. First edition. Household, “a discriminating hedonist, well versed in the pleasures of the table and the bed” as Michael Barber in ODNB has it, with his most famous and enduring novel – a laconic English sportsman sets out to bag “the biggest game on earth” – a Hitleresque dictator bent on the perversion of civilisation. Nominated at least once as “the best manhunt book in history”. Filmed as “Man Hunt” by Fritz Lang in 1941, with Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, etc., and again by Clive Donner in 1976, with Peter O’Toole, John Standing, Alastair Sim, Harold Pinter, etc.
HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : THE EARTH-OWL AND OTHER MOON-PEOPLE.
London : Faber & Faber, (1963). First edition. An early collection of twenty-three poems, including “Moon-Tulips”, “Moon-Freaks” and “The Dracula Vine”. Not published in the USA.
HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : HOW THE WHALE BECAME.
London : Faber & Faber, (1963). First edition. His first prose work – eleven Kiplingesque stories on the real manner of the evolution of the owl, whale, fox, polar bear, hyena, tortoise, bee, cat, donkey, hare and elephant. Illustrations by George Adamson (1913-2005).
HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 : THE CAT AND THE CUCKOO.
[Bideford] : Sunstone Press, (1987). First edition : one of 250 numbered copies (of 2,000) signed by both Ted Hughes and the illustrator, Reginald James Lloyd. Twenty-eight animal poems, richly illustrated with full page colour images.
JAMES, Henry, 1843-1916 : THE IVORY TOWER.
London : W. Collins Sons & Co., (1917). First edition : one of just 2,000 copies. James mauling the plutocrats and laissez-faire capitalism – a novel unfinished at the time of his death, but here concluded with his extensive working notes, as well a perceptive preface by Percy Lubbock. “Nearer than anything else we possess to a living image of the creative process itself” (Manchester Guardian).
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JOHNSON, Samuel, 1709-1784 : JOHNSON’S TABLE-TALK: CONTAINING APHORISMS ON LITERATURE, LIFE, AND MANNERS; WITH ANECDOTES OF DISTINGUISHED PERSONS: SELECTED AND ARRANGED FROM MR. BOSWELL’S LIFE OF JOHNSON.
London : for C. Dilly, 1798. First edition. “No, Sir; we had talk enough, but no conversation ...” – the essential Johnson distilled (with Boswell’s entire approbation). Johnson on conversation, wine, marriage, children, education, conduct, manners, London, trade, travelling, life, death, religion, politics, and much else.
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JOHNSON, Samuel, 1709-1784 : LIVES OF THE MOST EMINENT ENGLISH POETS. WITH CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THEIR WORKS.
London : for H. Baldwin; J. Johnson; G. G. & J. Robinson [and numerous others], 1800-1801. New edition, corrected. An attractive early edition of Johnson’s “Lives”, which had first appeared some twenty years earlier. The lives of over fifty poets, some rather more eminent than others, ranging from brief notices to major critical essays on Milton, Dryden, Pope, Addison, Thomas Otway, Richard Savage, Edward Young, etc.
JONES, James (James Ramon), 1921-1977 : FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.
New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1951. First edition. His first and most famous novel, based on his own army experiences in the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, which he witnessed. An immediate success, winner of the National Book Award, always included in lists of the major novels of the twentieth century, and the basis of the memorable and multiple Oscar-winning 1953 film, with Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, etc.
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KNOX, Collie (Columb Thomas), 1897-1977 – editor : FOR EVER ENGLAND : AN ANTHOLOGY.
London : Cassell & Co., (1943). Second impression of the original December 1943 publication – a pleasing presentation copy, inscribed “To Gwen with love from her ageing friend Collie / Christmas 1943” – this his future wife Gwendoline Frances Mary Mitchell (1898-1990), whom he was to marry a few months later. A wide-ranging wartime anthology of uplifting and inspiring quotations on the nature of England and the English, with familiar extracts from Blake, Brooke, Browning, Churchill, Kipling, Masefield, Milton, Shakespeare, Swinburne, Tennyson, Wordsworth, but with a far greater number of lesser-known, more contemporary, and specially commissioned pieces from a variety of voices, including Knox himself and his flatmate, the refugee German actor Olaf Olsen (1919-2000) – “Of a truth, you are a strange, puzzling people. You laugh when you should cry. And when you should cry, you blow your noses very loudly and go for long walks”.
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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.
LAURIE, Robert, 1755-1836 & WHITTLE, James, 1757-1818 - publishers : A NEW PLAN OF LONDON, WESTMINSTER AND SOUTHWARK; 1805.
London : Laurie & Whittle, 1804. An elegant map of early nineteenth-century London on a scale of 3-3/4 inches to the mile (1:1690) - the coverage extending from Pentonville down to Walworth, and from Bayswater across to Stepney. Below the map is an extensive table of public offices and buildings. Engraved by Stephen William Cooke (1768-1854) and first published in 1801.
LEAR, Edward, 1812-1888 : MORE NONSENSE, PICTURES, RHYMES, BOTANY, ETC.
London : Robert John Bush, 1872. First edition. “There was an old person of Ealing, Who was wholly devoid of good feeling” – a very extensive collection of 100 Lear limericks, together with much of his nonsensical botany, and further nonsense rhymes – all with his own idiosyncratic illustrations.
LE QUEUX, William (William Tufnell), 1864-1927 : A SECRET SERVICE : BEING STRANGE TALES OF A NIHILIST.
London : Ward, Lock & Bowden, 1896. First edition in this form. His first novel having been banned in Russia, Le Queux dedicated his second to the Tzar – the sensational but highly sympathetic memoirs of a Jewish Russian nihilist activist. “That I have been compelled to bestow fictitious names upon the actors in these dramas, add and suppress certain incidents, and change the scene in more than one instance, is obvious; nevertheless, I anticipate that many will recognise in Anton Prèhznev’s stories solutions of more than one sensational mystery that has startled Europe”. Twelve of the fifteen extraordinary individual tales, many set in London, had earlier appeared in “Strange Tales of a Nihilist” (1892), but all have here been revised and to some extent re-written; two now appear under different titles, and three have been added, including “The Velvet Paw” – on a foggy December evening in London, Prèhznev is followed on to the underground at Temple tube station by a tall auburn-haired young woman, dressed all in black.
LEWIS, C.S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963 : THE HORSE AND HIS BOY.
London : Geoffrey Bles, (1954). First edition. The fifth instalment of “The Chronicles of Narnia” – an “ancient story, which takes us right back to the reign of High King Peter, tells how the Boy and the Horse together escaped from the cruel country of Calormen, through the city of Tashbaan, across the desert, into Archenland, over the mountains, and so at last (with the help of Aslan) to Narnia itself”.
LEWIS, C.S. (Clive Staples), 1898-1963 : THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW.
London : John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1955. First edition. The sixth instalment of “The Chronicles of Narnia”, taking us back to “the dawn of Narnian time and the day when the Beasts first talked, which was also the first day when people from our world first went to Narnia. It all happened because Diggory’s wicked uncle, who was a magician, sent him to the Wood Between the Worlds”.
LOFTIE, W.J. (William John), 1839-1911 : A HISTORY OF LONDON.
London : Edward Stanford, 1884. Second and best edition – a considerably revised and enlarged version of this wonderfully illustrated major history, first published the previous year. The additions and revisions were such that a separately published thirty-page “Supplement”, with four extra maps, was produced for those who had bought the original edition. Probably the most comprehensive history of London since Stow, the first volume containing a general history, the second a detailed account of each parish in the suburbs. “Mr. W. J. Loftie’s ‘History of London’ will take rank as a classic. No one who is competent to judge will lay down the book without a feeling of admiration” (contemporary review in The World).
MARLOWE, Francis, 1870-1944 : THE HATTON GARDEN MYSTERY.
London : Arthur Gray (Books), . First edition. “At the end of an evening spent in the West End of London this man found his mind a complete blank as to the events of an hour of it, and he discovered in his possession, inexplicably, a parcel of diamonds that represented a fortune. How, where, and with whom, had he spent the mystery hour?” – Philip Granger is soon mixed up with Doc Summers, bland and ambassadorial king of crime (drawn from the life), but the beautiful Olive is intent on saving him.
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 PRIVATEER’S-MAN : ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
London : Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1846. First edition : the secondary issue, with the eight dramatic engraved plates by James Stephenson (1808-1886) which were not included in the first issue. Familiar Marryat terrain with rip-roaring adventures and derring-do – off Hispaniola, Port Royal, Liverpool, Senegal, sharks, tigers, spies, London, the Tower, Jacobites, Bordeaux, Brazil, diamond mines, etc.
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MASEFIELD, John (John Edward), 1878-1967 : THE BOX OF DELIGHTS : OR, WHEN THE WOLVES WERE RUNNING.
London : William Heinemann, (1935). First edition. “‘Christmas ought to be brought up to date’, Maria said; ‘it ought to have gangsters and aeroplanes and a lot of automatic pistols’”. Kay Harker and the battle for the magical box which annihilates space and time — “The children will like it. And grown-ups will probably revel in it” (The Scotsman, 5th September 1935); “One of the most delicious children’s stories I have ever read” (Western Mail, 2nd January 1936). More of a loose companion piece than strictly speaking a sequel to Masefield’s “The Midnight Folk” (1927).
[MOORE, Augustus (Augustus Martin), 1856-1910] : THE DOMESTIC BLUNDERS OF WOMEN : BY A MERE MAN.
London : C. Arthur Pearson, 1899. First edition. The tongue-in-cheek thesis is that nothing about the home could not be better managed by men, from purchasing household requisites to the rearing of children. The second half of the book is made up of a selection of letters – from earnest agreement to howls of outrage – received by the author after parts of the book had appeared in magazines. The author was the truculent Irish journalist, playwright, bohemian, and man-about-town, Augustus Moore, brother of the novelist George Moore.
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : NORFOLK.
[London : George Virtue, 1832]. One of the most attractive and popular of all antique maps of the county, decorated with a “gothick” architectural border, coats of arms, and vignette views of Holkham and Norwich. Originally engraved by William Schmollinger (1811?-1869) for Moule’s partwork series “The English Counties Delineated” (London : 1830-1837) – and here in early state before the addition of railways, etc.
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[MOULE, Thomas, 1784-1851] : WORCESTERSHIRE.
[London : George Virtue, 1831]. A most attractive “gothick” map of the county, bordered with vine-leaves, coats of arms, and inset views of Great Malvern, Worcester, and Croom or Croome Court. Originally engraved by James Bingley (1796-1869) in 1831 for Moule’s part-work series “The English Counties Delineated” (1830-1837) – and here in very early state, before the later additions.
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MURRAY, David Christie, 1847-1907 : THE BRANGWYN MYSTERY.
London : John Long, (1906). First edition. A scarce Edwardian murder mystery from the war correspondent turned novelist. An old man well-known in London and sinfully rich disappears off the face of the earth. A drunken journalist identifies the body seven years later and decides to investigate – then changes his mind. Belle Molloy, whose Irish lilt tends to lapse into broader brogue, and her beautiful young friend Miss Lilian Lee also feature.
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NASH, Irene : FOLLOWING A STAR.
London : Arthur Gray (Books), . First edition. “Someone once said that the parties in Hollywood sounded like school treats compared to those given by Maisie Bellamy” – film critic Peter Day knows everyone in the Elstree set – young Lucinda Carey does not. Conflicts between love and career, “the glamour of the film world; written with first-hand knowledge”.
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NIN, Anaïs, 1903-1977 : THIS HUNGER – .
New York : Gemor Press, (1945). First edition. “The unveiling of women is a delicate matter. It will not happen overnight. We are all afraid of what we shall find”. One of 1,000 copies of the regular edition, illustrated with five woodcuts by “Ian Hugo” – Nin’s husband Hugh Parker Guiler (1898-1985). This copy signed by Nin and amicably inscribed to Raymond Daum – “Hoping we may collaborate!” – Raymond Witham Daum (1923-2003), cameraman and archivist, perhaps best-known for his “Walking with Garbo” (1991). His archive documenting his friendships with Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and other well-known figures is now housed at the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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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”.
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).
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PHILIP & SON, George - publishers : SECTIONAL CARD-MAP OF LONDON [COVER TITLE].
London : George Philip & Son, . First edition. An attractive and inventive map of London, the map divided up into sixteen double-sided individual cards, which could be carried individually in the pocket according to the area required. The coverage, at a scale of two inches to the mile, extends northwards to Cricklewood, Kilburn, Hampstead, Holloway, Highbury, Clapton, Leyton and Stratford; to the east Canning Town, Woolwich, and Eltham; to the south Beckenham, Sydenham, Norwood, Streatham and Wimbledon; and westwards to Hammersmith and Barnes. Additional cards include a key map, a tube and road map of the central area, and bird’s-eye views of theatreland and the City.
PHILLIPS, Hugh, 1886-1972 : MID-GEORGIAN LONDON : A TOPOGRAPHICAL AND SOCIAL SURVEY OF CENTRAL AND WESTERN LONDON ABOUT 1750.
London : Colllins, 1964. First edition. The culmination of Phillips’ extraordinary thirty-year trawl through the parish rate books, the land register, the crown lease book, the licensing records, the insurance documents and the early poll books – building up to more or less a house-by-house reconstruction of large parts of the eighteenth century West End – Berkeley Square, Cavendish Square, Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Hanover Square, Holborn, Leicester Square, Red Lion Square, St. James, St. Martin’s Lane, Soho Square, the Strand, etc.
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PRATCHETT, Terry (Sir Terence David John), 1948-2015 : THE CARPET PEOPLE.
Gerrards Cross : Colin Smythe, 1971. First edition. “There is magic in every carpet. Cities and villages exist right under your feet ...” — his first book. “A reviewer who stumbles upon a book of what he considers to be quite extraordinary quality also finds himself in some difficulty. The language of praise has become so debased — notably by book reviewers — that it’s not easy either to sound convincing or to do justice ... Am I too enthusiastic? Well, it’s that I feel it’s a new dimension in imagination and the prose is beautiful” (Rosemarie Doyle in The Irish Times). Loosely inserted is a manuscript note from the publisher, Colin Smythe, on his business notepaper — “Sorry, I forgot this in my letter: the enclosed may amuse you, also by T. P.”, attached to which are press-cuttings of the review quoted above and ten entertaining 1973 Pratchett cartoons depicting goings-on at the government’s fictional “Warlock Hall” paranormal research establishment, as published in Smythe’s publication, the “Psychic Researcher”, as well as an example of Smythe’s personal ex-libris label.
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 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 (1903-1992).
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RIMMER, Alfred, 1829-1893 : ANCIENT STONE CROSSES OF ENGLAND.
London : Virtue, Spalding & Co., 1875. First edition. A charmingly illustrated study and guide to the town-crosses, market-crosses, Eleanor crosses, roadside crosses, etc., scattered all across England. This copy has been extra illustrated by the insertion of additional matter, including seven early photographs of crosses, etc., at Launceston and Lostwithiel, press cuttings, etc.
ROWSE, A.L. (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 : THE ELIZABETHAN RENAISSANCE : THE LIFE OF THE SOCIETY.
London : Macmillan London, (1971). First edition. An appealing presentation copy, inscribed “For Arthur with constant / devotion and comradeship / in the art / of history and letters / from A. L.” – the recipient being fellow historian Sir Arthur Bryant (1899-1985). A pioneering study of the social life of Elizabethan England, from court to countryside, with chapters on class, food and sanitation, sex, parish and sport, custom, witchcraft and astrology, etc. The early part of the book in particular has been much marked and underlined by Bryant, with occasional disagreement and some minor annotation.
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[RUSSELL, John, 1750?-1829] : MAP OF THE COUNTRY SURROUNDING LONDON, TO THE EXTENT OF THIRTY MILES.
London : J. Robins, 1818. An attractive antique map – London and its environs two hundred years ago. At a scale of half an inch to the mile, the map extends northwards to include Welwyn, east to Basildon and Rochester, south beyond Reigate and Guildford, and west to Beaconsfield. Drawn and engraved by John Russell and originally produced in 1808 for the part-work by “Dr David Hughson” (David Pugh) known as “London; Being an Accurate History and Description of the British Metropolis” (London : 1805-1809) – but here in an updated and corrected later impression.
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SAINT-SIMON, Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de, 1675-1755 : MEMOIRS OF THE DUC DE SAINT-SIMON ON THE TIMES OF LOUIS XIV. AND THE REGENCY.
Boston : Hardy, Pratt & Co., 1902. The elegant “Tour de France” edition, limited to 1,250 sets – this set unnumbered. A celebrated eye-witness account of the French court from 1691 to 1723 – Versailles, Louis XIV, the Duc d’Orléans, Ninon de l’Enclos, Louis de France, Madame de Maintenon, and all the rest. The twenty volumes of the original French edition, edited by Pierre Adolph Chéruel (1809-1891), have here been translated and abridged to four volumes by Katharine Prescott Wormeley (1830-1908).
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SALA, George Augustus, 1828-1895 : TWICE ROUND THE CLOCK; OR THE HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT IN LONDON.
London : Houlston & Wright, . First edition. Vivid sketches of London life, hour by hour – Billingsgate Market at 4 a.m., printing The Times at 5, Covent Garden Market at 6, and so on through the day – commuters, in court, a fashionable marriage, the London Docks, auctions, clubs, a theatrical green room, etc., until a late debate in the House of Commons, a Bal Masque, and Bow Street police station in the early hours of the morning round off the day. “London scenes of every kind, and London people of every grade, he knows thoroughly; indeed, more remarkable even than the microscopic accuracy of his descriptions is the universality of the knowledge which enables him to describe ... he has thoroughly dissected London life, and taken up and laid bare the minutest artery” (Illustrated Times, 29th October 1859).
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SALTEN, Felix, 1869-1945 : BAMBI : A LIFE IN THE WOODS.
New York : Simon & Schuster, (1928). First edition in English. Translated from the original German by the extraordinary American Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), renegade Soviet spy, and with an introduction by John Galsworthy (1867-1933) – “A delicious book. Delicious not only for children but for those who are no longer so fortunate ... a little masterpiece ... I particularly recommend it to sportsmen”.
SAROYAN, William, 1908-1991 : THE TROUBLE WITH TIGERS.
London : Faber & Faber, (1939). First British edition. Six sequences of Saroyan short stories – “Mr. Saroyan is so diverse, so expressive, that he is never a bore and always amusing ... Seldom cynical, occasionally angry, he is always seeing, watching, understanding, and transposing, into his highly artificial prose that achieves the ultra-natural, the ways, foibles, desires and idiocies of mankind ... he has a spate of words at need and sometimes lets them tumble over one another, but always as trained acrobats, never with casual effect or effort” (Birmingham Daily Post, 21st March 1939).
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SASSOON, Siegfried (Siegfried Loraine), 1886-1967 : COLLECTED POEMS.
London : Faber & Faber, (1947). First edition. Almost 300 Sassoon poems, drawn from his eight earlier published collections, and including the previously unpublished “Microcosmos”.
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SEUTTER, Matthaeus, 1678-1757 : SYNOPSIS PLAGÆ SEPTEMTRIONALIS, SIVE SUECIÆ DANIÆ ET NORWEGIÆ REGN. ACCURATISSIME DELINEATUM STILO ET STUDIO MATTH. SEUTTERI, S.C.M. GEOGR. AUG. VIND.
[Augsburg : Mattheus Seutter, 1740]. A boldly engraved full-size antique map of the whole of Scandinavia, with a striking allegorical cartouche. Produced at Augsburg for his “Atlas Novus” by Matthaeus Seutter, Geographer to the Emperor Charles VI.
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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.
“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).
SIMS George R. (George Robert), 1847-1922 – editor : LIVING LONDON : ITS WORK AND ITS PLAY, ITS HUMOUR AND ITS PATHOS, ITS SIGHTS AND ITS SCENES.
London : Cassell & Co., 1902-1903. First edition : bound from the original monthly parts. “Everything is entirely original – articles, illustrations, and treatment” (Pall Mall Gazette). Over 170 separate essays, all heavily illustrated, on every conceivable aspect of life in Edwardian London – from smart shopping in Whiteley’s to hardship shopping in the farthing shop in the East End, multiple wedding services in Walworth, ghettos of Russian and Italian immigrants, from sweatshops to polo playing at Ranelagh. Contributors include St. John Adcock, R. Austin Freeman, Arthur Griffiths, Marie Belloc Lowndes, Arthur Morrison, Edwin Pugh, W. Pett Ridge, Sims himself, and a raft of others with particular expertise on various topics. Many of the illustrations are from specially taken photographs, but others are from many of the leading illustrators of the day – H. M. Brock, Gordon Browne, Lucien Davies, Hal Hurst, H. M. Paget, Fred Pegram, F. H. Townsend, etc. “A brilliant literary and pictorial panorama of this wonderful metropolis of ours” (The Globe, 25th March 1903). T
SMART, Elizabeth (Elizabeth Ann), 1913-1986 : BY GRAND CENTRAL STATION I SAT DOWN AND WEPT.
London : Editions Poetry London, (1945). First edition. “I am standing on a corner in Monterey, waiting for the bus to come in, and all the muscles of my will are holding my anticipation to face the moment I most desire”. Smart’s celebrated fictional account of her love affair with the poet George Barker (1913-1991) – “a visceral journey into the human heart, written in a language so urgent, raw and lyrical that each sentence is a bruise or a kiss” (Raffaella Barker).
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SOMERVILLE, E.OE. (Edith Anna OEnone), 1858-1949 & “ROSS, Martin” – [MARTIN, Violet Florence, 1862-1915] : ALL ON THE IRISH SHORE : IRISH SKETCHES.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1903. First edition. Eleven short stories, with illustrations by Somerville. “Once more the authors write of what they have seen and heard, with a direct simplicity which is akin to genius … Such work should live forever” (Leeds Mercury, 25th May 1903).
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SOMERVILLE, E.OE. (Edith Anna OEnone), 1858-1949 & “ROSS, Martin” – [MARTIN, Violet Florence, 1862-1915] : FURTHER EXPERIENCES OF AN IRISH R.M.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1908. First edition : in the primary binding, the white cloth band extending across both front and back covers. The second volume of Major Yeates stories — eleven tales, illustrated by Somerville. “The present volume quite bears out the brilliant reputation … won by the original R. M. stories. It could not possibly be superior, and we are loth to admit that it is any way inferior … Miss Somerville and ‘Martin Ross’ deserve the unqualified gratitude of the reading public” (Irish Times, 2nd October 1908).
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STOPPARD, Tom (Sir Thomas), 1937- : ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD.
London : Faber & Faber, [ca.1998]. A twenty-fourth printing of the 1968 second edition. Inscribed, “To Ira Nadel” and signed by Tom Stoppard on the front free endpaper. The introductory cast-list of the 1967 National Theatre production is further signed by John Stride (1936-2018) and Edward Petherbridge (b.1936), who played the title roles. Loosely inserted is a National Theatre postcard of Stride and Petherbridge in that original production. Nadel was the author of “Double Act : A Life of Tom Stoppard” in 2002.
STOPPARD, Tom (Sir Thomas), 1937- : LORD MALQUIST & MR MOON.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1968. First American edition. Signed by Tom Stoppard on the front free endpaper. Stoppard’s anarchic novel of modern London – the penniless dandy Lord Malquist, his fanatical Boswellian biographer (Moon), a lion banned from the Ritz, an Irish Saviour on a donkey, three irresistible women, etc.
STOPPARD, Tom (Sir Thomas), 1937- : ARTIST DESCENDING A STAIRCASE AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW? TWO PLAYS FOR RADIO.
London : Faber & Faber, (1973). First edition : the wrappers issue. Signed by Tom Stoppard on the title-page. “Stoppard uses radio as a carver uses wood: we are given a near flawless miniature by a craftsman utterly at home with his tools” (Jeremy Rundall in the Sunday Times).
STOPPARD, Tom (Sir Thomas), 1937- : JUMPERS.
New York : Grove Press, . First American edition. Signed by Stoppard on the front free endpaper. A review copy, with the publisher’s slip loosely inserted – the slip revealing that the actual publication date was 1974, to coincide with the first American production of the play in that year, and not the 1972 of the copyright date, which has confused countless cataloguers. “Simply dazzling. It takes your breath away with its sheer exuberance of literacy, its cascade of words and conspicuous display of intellect. It is also extraordinarily funny” (Clive Barnes in the New York Times, 20th February 1974).
TAMBIMUTTU, M.J. (Meary James Thurairajah), 1915-1983 & DICKINS, Anthony (Anthony Stewart Mackay), 1914-1987 – editors : POETRY [LONDON].
London : Poetry, 1939. The first issue of this legendary magazine, originally called simply “Poetry”, the first series of which ran until 1951. This copy signed next to their contributions by nine of the original contributors – Audrey Beecham, Dorian Cooke, Walter de la Mare, Lawrence Durrell (twice), Clifford Dyment, Philip O’Connor, Herbert Read, Edwin Smith and Stephen Spender (twice). Other contributors to a highly impressive first issue include George Barker, Gavin Ewart, John Gawsworth, J. F. Hendry, Rayner Heppenstall, Louis Macneice, Nicholas Moore, Keidrych Rhys, Tambimuttu himself, Dylan Thomas and Laurence Whistler.
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TAYLOR, Elizabeth, 1912-1975 : MRS PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1971. First edition. Widowed and elderly Laura Palfrey takes a taxi through the rain to join the other residents at the Claremont Hotel on the Cromwell Road — but she later tells a lie. Both her funniest and her saddest book, reviewed by Kingsley Amis as a “continuously fascinating novel, always pushing the reader one way and another”. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, a television adaptation in 1973 won Celia Johnson a BAFTA Best Actress, and Joan Plowright took on the title role for the 2005 film.
THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : THE HISTORY OF HENRY ESMOND, ESQ. A COLONEL IN THE SERVICE OF HER MAJESTY Q. ANNE. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1852-1853. First edition : a mixed set, with the second and third volumes marked “second edition” (i.e. the second printings of the first edition). Opening in 1691 in the days of William of Orange and Queen Mary, ending under Queen Anne in 1718, and generally considered the best historical novel of its time. Interesting in bringing in Addison, Steele and Swift as characters, Trollope thought it Thackeray’s masterpiece, although George Eliot found it “the most uncomfortable book you can imagine”.
THORNBURY, Walter, 1828-1876 : HAUNTED LONDON.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1865. First edition. A delightfully extra-illustrated copy, augmented and expanded to two volumes by the insertion of some sixty additional engravings, portraits and views. “Deals not so much with the London of the ghost-stories ... as with the London consecrated by manifold traditions – a city every street and alley of which teems with interesting associations, every paving-stone of which marks, as it were, the abiding-place of some ancient legend or biographical story; in short this London of the present haunted by the memories of the past”. With separate chapters on Charing Cross, Drury Lane, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Long Acre, St. Giles, St. Martin’s Lane, the Savoy, Somerset House, the Strand, Temple Bar, etc., and a fund of out-of-the-way anecdote of Londoners past.
THORNE, James, 1815-1881 : HANDBOOK TO THE ENVIRONS OF LONDON, ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED, CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF EVERY TOWN AND VILLAGE, AND OF ALL PLACES OF INTEREST, WITHIN A CIRCLE OF TWENTY MILES ROUND LONDON.
London : John Murray, 1876. First edition. A very useful dictionary, based on personal visits, of what are now the London suburbs – from Abbey Wood to Yiewsley, with short histories, notes on the principal buildings, population figures, etc. “Until now ... there has been nothing approaching Mr. Thorne’s work in fulness of detail or convenience of arrangement. If Londoners remain any longer ignorant of the many attractive spots that are still to be found just beyond their own doors, it will not be for want of pleasant and trustworthy guidance” (Pall Mall Gazette, 16th February 1877).
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : THE WARDEN.
London : Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1855 [but 1854]. First edition. Trollope’s fourth book and the first of the Barchester novels. Only 1,000 copies were printed, of which Sadleir believed perhaps as many as 400 were later pulped. “Now, of course, ‘The Warden’ is rare. The demand for Trollope first editions far exceeds even the total limits of the original printing number. In consequence the price has risen rapidly” (Sadleir – writing in 1928).
TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : JOHN CALDIGATE.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1879. First edition. A scarce late Trollope, featuring on Sadleir’s “A”-list of rarities (XIX Century Fiction, 1951). Disinherited son makes good in the goldfields of Australia, returning home a wealthy man to marry Hester Bolton, but the delightfully wicked Euphemia Smith turns up to claim a prior marriage. Trollope makes interesting use of his Post Office experience to hinge the story on a forged postmark. “Mr Trollope has perhaps never hit upon a story that more strongly arouses the reader’s attention and sympathy, and never told one with more mastery of the whole situation, in small things no less than in great” (The Graphic, 26th July 1879).
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WALFORD, Edward, 1823-1897 / COLLINS, William Lucas, 1815-1887 : JUVENAL / PLAUTUS AND TERENCE.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1872-1873. First editions of two companion volumes in Blackwood’s “Ancient Classics for English Readers” – the historian Edward Walford with a complete introduction to Juvenal, with a biography, chapters on satires and satirists, morals at Rome, women at Rome, town-life at Rome, Juvenal’s modern imitators, etc., while the clergyman and classicist W. Lucas Collins provides a similar service for Plautus and Terence, with chapters on ancient comic drama, Menander, and full analysis of the comedies.
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WALLIS, Edward, 1787?-1868 – publisher : A NEW MAP OF THE WORLD.
London : Edward Wallis, [ca.1820]. An extremely uncommon jigsaw map of the world, produced for educational purposes – the world in hemispheres, with six ancillary maps showing circles, zones, parallels, meridians, definitions, etc. First produced by Wallis’s father, John Wallis (1745?-1818) in 1800, but here with some revision – Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) now shown as a separate island, additional island groups in the Pacific, etc.
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WATSON, James D. (James Dewey), 1928- : THE DOUBLE HELIX : A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE STRUCTURE OF DNA.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, (1968). First British edition. “Watson, 40, is American. He was a gangling, crew-cut, Anglophile student of twenty-two when he went to Cambridge and met Dr. Francis Crick. Two years later they had solved the problem of DNA ... But the discovery was not made by supermen. In London yesterday Watson, whose book reveals the failings, foibles and petty jealousies of many scientists still well known in Britain, spoke of the bumbling way in which the discovery was made” (Daily Mirror, 16th May 1968).
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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).
WAVELL, A.P. (Archibald Percival, First Earl), 1883-1950 : OTHER MEN’S FLOWERS : AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY COMPILED BY A. P. WAVELL (FIELD-MARSHAL VISCOUNT WAVELL G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., C.M.G., M.C.)
London : Jonathan Cape, (1944). The first edition of this enduringly popular anthology – the best of English poetry – all of which, it is said, Wavell knew by heart. Includes around 180 poems drawn from all periods and arranged thematically – “Music, Mystery and Magic”; “Good Fighting”; “Love and All That”; “The Call of the Wild”; “Conversation Pieces”; “The Lighter Side”; “Hymns of Hate”; “Ragbag”, and “Last Post”, each with an introduction by Wavell.
WHEATLEY, Henry B. (Henry Benjamin), 1838-1917 : LONDON PAST AND PRESENT : ITS HISTORY, ASSOCIATIONS, AND TRADITIONS.
London : John Murray, 1891. First edition. A monumental dictionary of London from the well-known Abbey Road, and Abbey Street, Bermondsey, to the Yorkshire Stingo and the Zoo. “There is scarcely an unregarded, shabby-genteel street in Bloomsbury, or Chelsea, or Clerkenwell which has not its shred of history or literature connected with it” (London Evening Standard, 5th February 1891). Ostensibly based on Peter Cunningham’s “Handbook of London” (1849), but so far extended and updated as to be essentially a new work.
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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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