ASH RARE BOOKS – ANTIQUARIAN RARE AND FINE BOOKS – FIRST EDITIONS – ANTIQUE MAPS AND PRINTS
ASH RARE BOOKS
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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 : 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).
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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”.
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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.
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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”.
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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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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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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).
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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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FREEMAN, R. Austin (Richard Austin), 1862-1943 : THE PENROSE MYSTERY.
London : Hodder & Stoughton, (1936). First edition : the first issue, with the top edge stained blue. Wealthy collector of antiquities disappears after a hit-and-run – Thorndyke investigates.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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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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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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.
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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”.
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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”.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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[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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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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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”.
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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).
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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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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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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.
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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.
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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).
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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”.
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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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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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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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YEATS, W.B. (William Butler), 1865-1939 : WORDS FOR MUSIC PERHAPS AND OTHER POEMS.
Dublin : Cuala Press, 1932. First edition : limited to 450 copies printed and published by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats at the Cuala Press. A collection of forty-six poems, including some of Yeats’ finest work – “Byzantium”, “Coole Park 1929”, “The Nineteenth Century and After”, “The Crazed Moon”, “Quarrel in Old Age”, “I Am of Ireland”, the “Crazy Jane” sequence, etc.
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