HISTORY BOOKS AT ASH RARE BOOKS
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BAMFORD, Samuel, 1788-1872 : PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF A RADICAL.
London : MacGibbon & Kee, (1967). Originally published serially in Manchester in the early 1840s and here in a slightly shortened modern edition – one of the most important documents of nineteenth-century radicalism, covering the turbulent years either side of the Peterloo massacre, in the aftermath of which the highly articulate Bamford, both weaver and poet, was charged with treason and wrongly convicted of inciting a riot – “it is a voice that England cannot afford even now to shut its ears to”. With a preface by Tim Hilton.
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BELL, Andrew – publisher : THE HISTORY OF THE MOST REMARKABLE TRYALS IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND, IN CAPITAL CASES, VIZ, HERESY, TREASON, FELONY, INCEST, POISONING, ADULTERY, RAPES, SODOMY, WITCHCRAFT, PYRACY, MURDER, ROBBERY, &C. ...
London : for A. Bell; J. Pemberton, and J. Brown, 1715. First edition. Trials ancient and modern, including trials by ordeal, combat and attainder, as well as by the laws of church and state. A chronological selection, commencing with the trial by fire of Queen Emma before the Conquest, and continuing with similar highlights, some treated at very full length, including the trial of Cecely de Rygeway for the murder of her husband in 1347; the trial by combat of Henry Plantagenet (Henry IV) and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, in 1397; the trial of Richard, Earl of Cambridge, for treason against Henry V; the trials of Sir John Oldcastle both for heresy and for treason in 1413 and 1417 respectively; the trial of Anne Boleyn; the treason rial of Thomas Cromwell; the attainder of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and the treason trial of his son, the Earl of Surrey, in 1547; the trial of Alice Arden of Faversham in 1551; the treason trial of Sir Nicholas Throgmorton in 1554, and the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1586, as well as a number of less well known cases. A further selection was published the following year.
BELLOC, Hilaire (Joseph Hilaire Pierre René), 1870-1953 : HIGH LIGHTS OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
New York : Century Co., 1915. First edition. A handsomely illustrated history of the French Revolution, in six parts, differing in tone from Belloc’s earlier and more formal history published in 1911. The present version was never published in the UK.
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[CHALLICE, Annie Emma Armstrong, 1821-1875] : HEROES, PHILOSOPHERS, AND COURTIERS OF THE TIME OF LOUIS XVI.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1863. First edition. Drawn from French sources and with emphasis in particular on the story of French influence and intervention in the American War of Independence. With a rich cast of characters including Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Voltaire, Mirabeau, William Pitt, Tom Paine, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Horace Walpole, Samuel Johnson, the Marquis de Lafayette, Madame du Barry, Richelieu, Rousseau, Captain Cook, Cagliostro, etc.
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COOKE, George Wingrove, 1814-1865 : MEMOIRS OF LORD BOLINGBROKE.
London : Richard Bentley, 1835. First edition. The first full-scale biography of the “Man of Mercury” – Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) – politician, exile, writer, historian, philosopher, libertine and wit – a figure, in the author’s phrase, too long “sedulously erased” from the history books. Included as appendices are Bolingbroke’s poems, the articles of impeachment, his will, etc.
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DANGERFIELD, George (George Bubb), 1904-1986 : THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND.
London : Constable & Co., (1936). First British edition. One of the most admired, brilliant and beautifully written historical studies of the twentieth-century – Dangerfield locates the ominous conjunction of forces which overwhelmed the Liberal Party – the Lords, the Fenians, the radical workers, and the suffragettes.
DOYLE, James E. (James William Edmund), 1822-1893 : A CHRONICLE OF ENGLAND : B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485.
London : Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864. First edition. The antiquary and illustrator James Doyle (brother of Richard, uncle of Arthur Conan) compiles and illustrates a sumptuous chronicle of England from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the death of Richard III. Long celebrated as perhaps the finest example of Victorian colour-printing, with the glowing colours of Doyle’s illustrations engraved and printed by Edmund Evans (1826-1905) in eight to ten overlays on a hand-press – “as bright as if they had just been painted” (ODNB) – and, as Evans later recalled, “the most carefully executed book I have ever printed”.
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ELEGANT, Robert S. (Robert Sampson), 1928- : MAO’S GREAT REVOLUTION.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, (1971). First British edition. “Jammed into the hundred-acre plaza of the Gate of Heavenly Peace one August morning in 1966 were over a million young Chinese. Their bright crimson armbands proclaimed them the Red Guard. They were waiting to see their leader, Mao Tse-tung, ‘the red, red sun in our hearts’, waiting for the words that would send them streaming out over China in an outbreak of destruction and terror stimulated by idealism, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”. A detailed and penetrating history from the multiple award-winning Anglo-American author and journalist, head of the Hong Kong Bureau of the Los Angeles Times in the years that mattered, as well as advisor to Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.
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FITCHETT, W.H. (William Henry), 1845-1928 : WELLINGTON’S MEN : SOME SOLDIER AUTOBIOGRAPHIES.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1900. First edition. “In the course of his studies in military history, Mr. Fitchett has come across four autobiographies by soldiers who served under Wellington – Captain Kincaid, Sergeant Anton, Rifleman Harris, and Cavalie (afterwards General) Mercer ... fighting men of the highest quality. Kincaid led a forlorn hope at Cuidad Rodrigo. Harrison was one of the unconquerable, much enduring rearguard in Moore’s retreat to Corunna. Anton shared in the wild fighting of the 42nd at Toulouse. Mercer fought his battery at Waterloo ... We have every reason to be grateful to Mr. Fitchett for having unearthed them, and for giving us now, in one handy volume, their most salient passages, connected by a thread of narrative and comment”.
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FROUDE, James Anthony, 1818-1894 : ENGLISH SEAMEN IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY : LECTURES DELIVERED AT OXFORD EASTER TERMS 1893-4.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1901. The Silver Library edition of Froude’s celebrated lectures on Hawkins, Drake and the Armada, originally published in 1895 – and here presented in a handsome prize binding.
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GREEN, J.R. (John Richard), 1837-1883 : A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1902-1903. The magnificent “illustrated edition” of Green’s magisterial and hugely popular account, first published in 1874. Short only by Victorian standards, “It is a history, not of English Kings or English Conquests, but of the English People”. Green was among the first to switch attention from political and military to social and cultural history, although remaining well aware of that “recurring tendency to the formation of oppressive oligarchic structures from which, periodically, ordinary Englishmen had to liberate themselves” (Anthony Brundage in ODNB). The illustrated edition was prepared after his death by Green’s wife, Alice Stopford Green, and his former assistant, Kate Norgate – “It was a favourite wish of my husband’s to see English History interpreted and illustrated by pictures which should tell us how men and things appeared to lookers-on in their own day, and how contemporary observers aimed at representing them”.
HEMINGWAY, Ernest (Ernest Miller), 1899-1961 : THE SPANISH WAR.
London : Fact, (1938). First edition. Hemingway with eye-witness reportage of the Spanish Civil War – the saving of Madrid; the Aragon Front; Teruel; Franco advancing; final despatches. Published as No. 16 in the “Fact Monograph a Month” series. There would appear to be no equivalent American edition.
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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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KNOX, Collie (Columb Thomas), 1897-1977 – editor : FOR EVER ENGLAND.
ondon : Cassell & Co., (1943). Second impression of the original December 1943 publication – a pleasing presentation copy, inscribed to the historian Sir Arthur Bryant (1899-1985), “With best wishes and my thanks”, signed and dated Christmas 1943 by Collie Knox. Bryant was one of the numerous contributors to this wide-ranging wartime anthology of uplifting and inspiring quotations on the nature of England and the English, and has made a pencilled correction to his piece headed “Tradition is in Our Bones”. Elsewhere Bryant has placed pencil marks against other passages. There are familiar extracts from Blake, Brooke, Browning, Churchill, Kipling, Masefield, Milton, Shakespeare, Swinburne, Tennyson, Wordsworth, but 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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LANIER, Henry Wysham, 1873-1958 : THE BOOK OF BRAVERY : BEING TRUE STORIES IN AN ASCENDING SCALE OF COURAGE.
London : Bickers & Son, . First edition : the London issue of the American sheets. Thirty-six tales of inspiring bravery, ancient and modern, grouped under the headings of “Facing Death to Avoid It”, “The Treasure-Seekers”, “Soldiers Who Knew No Fear”, “Some Exploits of the Sea”, and “Famous Deeds of Discipline”, with individual chapter titles such as, “How an Artist Outwitted a Pope”, “A Great Novelist among the Corsairs”, etc.
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LAWRENCE, John, 1928- & LAWRENCE, Robert, 1960- : WHEN THE FIGHTING IS OVER : A PERSONAL STORY OF THE BATTLE FOR TUMBLEDOWN MOUNTAIN AND ITS AFTERMATH.
London : Bloomsbury Publishing, (1988). First edition. Inscribed to Brian and Elspet [the actor Brian Rix and his wife Elspet Gray] and signed “John and Robert” by the authors – “Your support and love have been so invaluable”. The horrendously wounded hero of Mount Tumbledown and his father give a personal and controversial account, with the editorial assistance of Carol Price.
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LECKY, William Edward Hartpole, 1838-1903 : THE MAP OF LIFE : CONDUCT AND CHARACTER.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1902. An attractively bound reprint of the celebrated historian’s popular discussion of everyday ethical problems. It was in 1902 that Lecky became one of the first people to be granted the new Order of Merit. Originally published in 1899.
MASSINGHAM, H.J. (Harold John), 1888-1952 & MASSINGHAM, Hugh, 1905-1971 – editors : THE GREAT VICTORIANS.
London : Ivor Nicholson & Watson, . First edition. Essays by various well-chosen hands on forty Victorians – including Edmund Blunden on Matthew Arnold, Rebecca West on Charlotte Bronte, G. K. Chesterton on Charles Dickens, Neville Cardus on W. G. Grace, Laurence Housman on Florence Nightingale, Hugh Walpole on Anthony Trollope, etc.
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MIDON, Francis, 1705- : THE HISTORY OF THE RISE AND FALL OF MASANIELLO, THE FISHERMAN OF NAPLES, CONTAINING AN EXACT AND IMPARTIAL RELATION OF THE TUMULTS AND POPULAR INSRRECTIONS, THAT HAPPENED IN THAT KINGDOM, (IN THE YEAR 1647.) ON ACCOUNT OF THE TAX UPON FRUITS.
London : for C. Davis and T. Green, 1729. First edition. “I have as little as possible interrupted the Thread of the Narration with idle and prolix Digressions or Reflections” – if only all historians were as disciplined as this London writing-master in his only book – an account of a popular uprising against an iniquitous tax on fruit – “All sorts were included, as well dry as green; as Mulberries, Grapes, Figgs, Apples, Pears and Plumbs; whereby the common sort of People were deprived of their usual Nourishment and Support, and reduced to the lowest Misery and Distress”. The uprising was led by the young Tommaso Aniello (1620-1647), known as Masaniello, whose short life and brief victory led to many depictions as a popular hero in art, theatre and opera, as well as discussion in the works of writers as diverse as John Locke and Tom Paine.
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“ORWELL, George” – [BLAIR, Eric Arthur, 1903-1950] : ORWELL : THE WAR COMMENTARIES.
London : Gerald Duckworth & Co. / British Broadcasting Corporation, (1985). First edition. The rediscovered texts of George Orwell’s wartime radio broadcasts, transmitted weekly from December 1941 (Pearl Harbor) through to February 1943. Passages originally deleted by the wartime censor have been restored where legible. “The first large-scale unpublished work of Orwell’s to appear since his early death in 1950”. Edited, introduced and extensively annotated by the late W. J. (Bill) West (1942-1999), who discovered the lost original manuscripts.
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OSWALD, John : TEXT BOOK OF HISTORICAL & GEOGRAPHICAL TERMS AND DEFINITIONS, INCLUDING THE PRINCIPAL STATUTES FROM THE SAXON PERIOD TO THE PRESENT TIME, WITH A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF BRITISH IMPORTS, AND A COMPLETE INDEX.
Manchester : James Galt & Co., 1898. Twenty-seventh edition. An updated and expanded version of this once-popular shilling guide, intended as an aid to examination students – synopses of the statutes chronologically from the Synod of Whitby to the Voluntary Schools Act of 1897; history definitions alphabetically from the Abhorrers to Yeomen; geography from Affluent to Zone; and imports from Agates to Zinc. First published in 1876.
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PARKER, Harry, 1884-1959 : NAVAL BATTLES FROM THE COLLECTION OF PRINTS FORMED AND OWNED BY COMMANDER SIR CHARLES LEOPOLD CUST ...
London : Parker Gallery, 1911. First edition : a variant with the Parker Gallery label pasted over the original T. H. Parker imprint. A catalogue of the collection of 287 prints, with extensive descriptive and historical notes, an index of artists and engravers, a general index, etc. – the whole forming an illuminating history of the British navy. With an interesting introduction by the naval historian, Commander Charles Napier Robinson (1849-1936).
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READ, Jan (John Hinton), 1917-2012 : THE NEW CONQUISTADORS.
London : Evans Brothers, (1980). First edition. The extraordinary tale of the British volunteers and mercenaries who helped gain independence for the countries of South America – “the swashbuckling and fearless Lord Cochrane; William Brown, the amateur admiral; the embattled William Miller of Peru”, etc.
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ROBERTS, George, 1803?-1860 : THE LIFE, PROGRESSES, AND REBELLION OF JAMES, DUKE OF MONMOUTH, &C. TO HIS CAPTURE AND EXECUTION WITH A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE BLOODY ASSIZE, AND COPIOUS BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES.
London : Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1844. First edition : a later binding up of the first edition sheets, with inserted advertisements dated 1850. An absorbing full-length account of the Monmouth Rebellion, drawing on previously unknown sources and records. The author was a schoolmaster at Lyme Regis (and also at one time the mayor) and is particularly strong on local records and traditions.
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ROLLIN, Charles, 1661-1741 : THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE EGYPTIANS, CARTHAGINIANS, ASSYRIANS, BABYLONIANS, MEDES AND PERSIANS, MACEDONIANS AND GREEKS.
London : for James, John and Paul Knapton, 1734-1736. First edition in English. Rollin’s sprawling history of the ancient world – by far the most influential and popular account of its time – reprinted again and again until the late nineteenth century. Although three supplementary volumes were published in 1737-1739, the set was evidently regarded by many readers as complete in ten volumes by 1736 and a good number of sets in the major institutions are similarly restricted to this number. A nineteenth-century pencilled instruction at the front of the present set confirms that only ten volumes were ever sent to the bookbinder “to be lettered and gilt on the backs” – in fact to be labelled. Originally published in Paris from 1730 onwards.
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ROTH, Philip (Philip Milton), 1933-2018 : OUR GANG (STARRING TRICKY AND HIS FRIENDS).
New York : Random House, (1971). First edition. A raging satire on Richard Nixon, still President in 1971, and the debasement of political language to the Orwellian formula — “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. Dwight Macdonald in the New York Times called it “far-fetched, unfair, tasteless, disturbing, logical, coarse and very funny ... in short, a masterpiece”.
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ROWSE, A.L. (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 : THE ENGLISH PAST : EVOCATIONS OF PERSONS AND PLACES.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1951. First edition. “Now that the great days of England are perhaps over – it is extraordinary to think that we have lived through the very greatest of them in our lifetime – it is somehow consoling to pursue and evoke the past, recent as well as remote”. Twelve essays – on All Souls; on Hillesden and Oliver Cromwell; on Milton; on Jonathan Swift; an afternoon at Haworth Parsonage; on Thomas Hardy and Max Gate; on John Buchan; on Nottingham – “what an astonishing town it is”; on D. H. Lawrence, and on Alun Lewis, etc.
ROWSE, A.L. (Alfred Leslie), 1903-1997 : RALEGH AND THE THROCKMORTONS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1962. First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed to fellow historian Arthur Bryant and his wife – “For Arthur and Anne – admiration – affection – encouragement from A.L.” Rowse’s ground-breaking interpretation of Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh – “the most brilliant, various and glittering of all Elizabethans”, relying on the recently discovered Throckmorton diaries.
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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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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STEVENSON, Francis Seymour, 1862-1938 : HISTORIC PERSONALITY.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1893. First edition. An interesting and erudite discourse from the British parliamentarian and scholar on the variety of ways of knowing and understanding the great figures of the past – via history, biography, autobiography, diaries, memoirs, letters, table-talk, characterisation, monumental inscriptions, portraiture and, not least, imaginative literature. With passing reference to Aristotle, Boswell, Julius Caesar, Lord Chesterfield, Goethe, Dr Johnson, La Bruyère, Rousseau, Shakespeare, Theophrastus, Voltaire, etc., etc. The present extra-illustrated copy has been enlivened by the insertion of thirty-seven engraved portraits, culled from various sources, of a number of the figures mentioned (although the hand-coloured plate inserted as a frontispiece would appear to be a portrait of Robert Stevenson, the engineer, rather than of the author).
TRELOAR, Sir William Purdie, 1843-1923 : WILKES AND THE CITY.
London : John Murray, 1917. First edition. An engaging and well-researched life of one Lord Mayor of London – the turbulent and magnificent John Wilkes (1725-1797) – by one of his successors in that office. Duels, the “North Briton”, general warrants, habeas corpus, expulsions from the Commons, the Middlesex elections, the mayoralty and all the rest.
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TURBERVILLE, A.S. (Arthur Stanley), 1888-1945 – editor : JOHNSON’S ENGLAND : AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE & MANNERS OF HIS AGE.
London : Oxford University Press, 1933. First edition. A distinguished, literate and well-illustrated survey of all aspects of eighteenth-century life, with authoritative essays by G. M. Trevelyan, Dorothy George, G. D. H. Cole, R. W. Chapman and others – the period; the church; the navy; army; exploration and discovery; travel and communications; London; town-life in the provinces; industry and trade; agriculture and rural life; poverty, crime and philanthropy; manners, meals and domestic pastimes; sports and games; costume; taste; painting and engraving; sculpture; architecture and the garden; interiors; drama and theatre; music; education; science; medicine; the law and lawyers; authors and booksellers; newspapers, etc.
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[YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901] : A BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS OF ALL TIMES AND ALL LANDS : GATHERED AND NARRATED BY THE AUTHOR OF “THE HEIR OF REDCLYFFE”.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1908. A collection of fifty historical tales of heroism and self-denial intended as “a treasury for young people”, or “a mother’s storehouse for reading aloud to her boys” – Alcestis and Antigone, The Pass of Thermopylae, The Shepherd Girl of Nanterre, The Keys of Calais, Sir Thomas More’s Daughter, The Children in the Wood of the Far South, etc. Originally published in 1864.
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YOUNG, G.M. (George Malcolm), 1882-1959 – editor : EARLY VICTORIAN ENGLAND : 1830-1865.
London : Oxford University Press, 1934. First edition. A magisterial and richly illustrated study of the background to mid nineteenth-century England, with chapters on Work and Wages (J. H. Clapham), Homes and Habits, Town Life and London (R. H. Mottram), Life in the New Towns, Country Life and Sport (Bernard Darwin), The Navy, The Army, The Mercantile Marine (Basil Lubbock), The Press, Art, Architecture (A. E. Richardson), Music, Drama (Allardyce Nicoll), Holidays and Travel, Charity, Expansion and Emigration, and the Portrait of an Age.
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