OTHER AUTHORS AT ASH RARE BOOKS – THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
OTHER AUTHORS AT
OTHER AUTHORS – NINETEENTH CENTURY
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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 : THE TOWER OF LONDON. A HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
London : Henry G. Bohn, 1845. “Sixth edition”. Ainsworth's best-selling tale of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen, and the historical events at the Tudor court of 1553-1554 – notable especially for the close collaboration between the author and his artist, George Cruikshank (1792-1878), who together made numerous visits to the Tower to get the physical details absolutely correct. First published in instalments in 1840 – “Many would have backed Ainsworth's talent against Dickens's in 1840” (John Sutherland).
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AINSWORTH, William Harrison, 1805-1882 : WINDSOR CASTLE : AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
London : Henry Colburn, 1843. First one-volume and first fully illustrated edition. One of Ainsworth’s abidingly popular historical tales, set in the time of Henry VIII – Anne Boleyn, Cardinal Wolsey, Jane Seymour, etc. Originally published in book form in three volumes earlier in 1843, but here with the full panoply of illustrations utilised in the contemporary serialization in the author’s own “Ainsworth’s Magazine”.
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“ANSTEY, F.” – [GUTHRIE, Thomas Anstey, 1856-1934] : THE TINTED VENUS : A FARCICAL ROMANCE.
Bristol : J. W. Arrowsmith, 1885. First edition : in the variant brown binding. A statue of Aphrodite brought to life by the application of an engagement ring and some make-up. Twice filmed, with Maud Cressall playing the Venus in 1921 and Ava Gardner in 1948.
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BLESSINGTON, Marguerite, Countess of, 1789-1849 : THE CONFESSIONS OF AN ELDERLY GENTLEMAN.
London : Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, 1836. First edition. “Now, when a lady tells a gentleman that ‘he is too bad’, he is apt to construe her assertion into a sort of avowal that he is not bad enough ...” – a wise and witty fiction from Lady Blessington, as an elderly gentleman looks back on lost loves and the foolishness of youth. The loves are each depicted in a finely worked engraving by leading engravers from the designs of Edward Thomas Parris (1793-1873) – Louisa, Arabella, Lady Mary, Lady Elmscourt, Lady Emily, and Caroline. “We need not recommend our friends to read this book – they must do so. The playful talents of Lady Blessington are very delightfully exercised ... and all is governed with a refined taste and correct moral sentiment” (The Examiner, 16th October 1836 – concluding a three-page review).
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BROOKS, Shirley (Charles William Shirley), 1816-1874 : SOONER OR LATER.
London : Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1868. First edition. “If future generations wish to see representations and reproductions of how London men talked in the middle of the nineteenth century they will find them in ‘Sooner or Later’ ... the world ... ought to be grateful to him for the excellent novel he has provided – one of the best produced in recent times ... a work of genius, and admirably illustrated by the pencil of Du Maurier” (Edinburgh Evening Courant, 20th January 1868). A much-admired and somewhat controversial novel, too realistic for some Victorian tastes – “His development of character is admirable, especially in men and the queerer kind of women” (Pall Mall Gazette, 3rd February 1868) – from the journalist and playwright Shirley Brooks, later to become editor of “Punch”.
BYRON, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron, 1788-1824 : CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE. CANTO THE THIRD.
London : for John Murray, 1816. First edition of the third canto. “There was a sound of revelry by night ...”, etc.
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BYRON, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron, 1788-1824 : WERNER, A TRAGEDY / THE DEFORMED TRANSFORMED; A DRAMA / MARINO FALIERO, DOGE OF VENICE. AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY ...
London : John Murray / J. & H. L. Hunt / John Murray, 1823 / 1824 / 1821. Three Byron first editions bound together – “Werner” (the traditional first issue, without “The End” and the printer’s imprint on p.188, Byron’s gothic play set in a ruined castle on the Silesian frontier; the scarce “The Deformed Transformed” – a Faustian pact, and “Marino Faliero” (the traditional first issue, with the shorter speech on p.151) – an indecent libel on the Doge’s wife sets the action in train. The last also contains Byron’s long poem, “The Prophecy of Dante”. Three volumes, bound in one.
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[CHESNEY, Sir George Tomkyns, 1830-1895] : THE BATTLE OF DORKING : REMINISCENCES OF A VOLUNTEER.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1871. First edition in book form. The founding fiction in the whole of the ‘imaginary wars’ genre – a German invasion and conquest vividly envisioned in the wake of the lightning advances of the Prussian army in the Franco-Prussian War. Letters to the newspapers having failed, Chesney, a distinguished army engineer, successfully took to fiction to publicise the ramshackle state of the British armed forces. Originally published in “Blackwood’s Magazine”, profoundly influential, and subsequently much reprinted.
CLARE, John, 1793-1864 : JOHN CLARE’S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS.
Oxford / New York : Oxford University Press, 1983. First edition. Extensive selections from Clare’s scattered autobiographical writings. Edited by Eric Robinson. Illustrated with wood engravings by John Lawrence.
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CRANE, Stephen, 1871-1900 : MAGGIE : A CHILD OF THE STREETS.
London : William Heinemann, 1896. First British edition. His first book, “regarded as the first work of unalloyed naturalism in American fiction” (Milne Holton) and immediately inviting comparison in Europe with Hardy, Zola and Arthur Morrison’s “Tales of Mean Streets”. Originally published under a pseudonym at Crane’s own expense in 1893, but not issued under his own name until after the success of “The Red Badge of Courage” on both sides of the Atlantic. The British edition has a telling introduction by William Dean Howells (1837-1920) – “the girl herself, with her bewildered wish to be right and good, with her distorted perspective, her clinging and generous affections, her hopeless environments”.
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“CYNICUS” – [ANDERSON, Martin, 1854-1932] : THE SATIRES OF CYNICUS.
London : Cynicus Publishing Co. / Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1892. Second edition. The first and best of Anderson’s volumes of assaults on Victorian hypocrisy – mordant caricature with telling captions and verses – dedicated to the “dear deceitful world”. Originally published in a larger format in 1890.
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[DISRAELI, Benjamin, First Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881] : THE YOUNG DUKE.
London : Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831. First edition. Disraeli’s intriguing early novel of high society – “all rings, ringlets, and a little rouge” – a wastrel redeemed by the love of a good woman, etc., but also the novel in which we first see the evolution of Disraeli’s politics and what was soon to become his particular brand of one-nation conservatism.
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DIXON, Richard Watson, 1833-1900 : THE LAST POEMS OF RICHARD WATSON DIXON D.D.
London : Henry Frowde, 1905. First edition. “Dust and Wind”, “Ode on the Death of Dickens”, two hymns and seven other poems, selected and edited by Robert Bridges, who also contributes a memorial preface.
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“ELIOT, George” – [EVANS, Marian, 1819-1880] : THE LEGEND OF JUBAL AND OTHER POEMS.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1874. First edition. The title poem and nine further poems, including “Brother and Sister”, “Stradivarius”, “Two Lovers”, etc. – “A very welcome addition to our poetic literature, and sustains in a spirited way the noble reputation won by the author of ‘Romola’, as one of our very best caterers for mental and moral food, fancies that soothe, and thoughts that exalt, refine, and purify” (Morning Post, 6th July 1874).
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[GALT, John, 1779-1839] : ROTHELAN; A ROMANCE OF THE ENGLISH HISTORIES.
Edinburgh : Oliver & Boyd / London : George B. Whittaker, 1824. First edition. “Sir Amias de Crosby, you are my husband. I have to a bear a part in whatever concerns your honour and prosperity; and I conjure you, by all that is just, and sacred, and honest, and true, not to question the integrity of the Lady Albertina” – “Rothelan, we hesitate not to say, is not only the happiest production of its clever author – but one of the most interesting and affecting tales we have read for a great while” (Perthshire Courier, 12th November 1824). At the conclusion of the novel in the third volume, there are three additional stories in Galt’s projected “The Quarantine; or, Tales of the Lazaretto” series.
GAMBA, Pietro, Conte, 1801-1826 : A NARRATIVE OF LORD BYRON’S LAST JOURNEY TO GREECE, EXTRACTED FROM THE JOURNAL OF COUNT PETER GAMBA, WHO ATTENDED HIS LORDSHIP ON THAT EXPEDITION.
London : John Murray, 1825. First edition. A first-hand account of Byron’s ill-fated venture into the Greek War of Independence – compiled from diaries written at the time by Byron’s chief assistant (and the brother of his mistress Teresa Guiccioli) – “one of the most amiable, brave, and excellent young men he had ever encountered”. Regarded as giving the most reliable account of Byron’s last days, Gamba offers no apologies “for being too minute in any details connected with the name of Byron and the cause of Greece”.
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GISSING, George (George Robert), 1857-1903 : THE WHIRLPOOL.
London : Lawrence & Bullen, 1897. First edition. Gissing’s much admired novel of marriage, money, morals and music – “ruthlessly tears away the veil of respectability which shrouds the dark deeds of London Society” (Dundee Advertiser, 15th April 1897) – “In a word he gives us life itself” (Daily Chronicle). A novel which still echoes, as a recent review on Goodreads testifies – “My favourite Gissing novel – everything close and bitter to his heart came together in this book”.
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GISSING, George (George Robert), 1857-1903 : THE TOWN TRAVELLER.
London : Methuen & Co., 1898. First edition. Probably Gissing’s most cheerful and commercially successful novel – instantly compared to Dickens by all the critics – Mr Gammon, the commercial traveller, and Polly Sparkes, the saucy programme-seller – with a dash of mystery and bigamy. “A thoroughly entertaining novel is a rare joy to both readers and reviewers ... to be recommended to all who like an original touch in their fiction, something with a dash of bitter in it, but sound, stimulating and strong” (St James’s Gazette, 1st September 1898).
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GODWIN, William, 1756-1836 : MANDEVILLE. A TALE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY IN ENGLAND.
Edinburgh : for Archibald Constable & Co., 1817. First edition. “Invisible things are the only realities; invisible things alone are the things that shall remain” – the originator of the psychological novel, “intimately skilled in the perversity of the human mind, and in all the blackest and most horrible passions of the human heart” (Quarterly Review, 1817), takes on the issues of the English Civil War. Published not long before his daughter Mary Shelley produced “Frankenstein” and much admired by Shelley himself, who immediately sent a copy to Byron, describing it as Godwin’s best.
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GOULD, F.J. (Frederick James), 1855-1938 : THE AGNOSTIC ISLAND.
London : Watts & Co., . First edition. An overtly polemical novel from the man credited as the first to use “humanist” in its modern sense – “Little more than a pamphlet; but a clever pamphlet, it must be confessed. Its purpose is to show the superiority of the Agnostic position over that of the Christian ... by imagining a Utopia, in New Guinea, inhabited by Agnostic colonists, who are as near moral perfection as it seems possible for mortal man to get. To them arrive three missionaries sent out to convert the Agnostics ... Two retire and the third is perverted by a charming female Agnostic” (Yorkshire Post, 29th July 1891).
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[HALIBURTON, Thomas Chandler, 1796-1865] : THE ATTACHÉ; OR, SAM SLICK IN ENGLAND.
London : Richard Bentley, 1843. First edition. Sam Slick arrives in England in the unexpected guise of an Attaché to the American Legation at the Court of St. James. A sharp satire on English life by the first Canadian international best-selling author – “If our old friend, Sam Slick, be not the very wittiest person in the world, he is assuredly one of the most humorous. He is one of the few whose humour hath always point and purpose in it, and is ‘near about’ the only Yankee we have ever made acquaintance with who succeeded in warming us to feelings of hearty trustful cordiality” (Morning Post, 8th August 1843).
“HALLIDAY, Andrew” – [DUFF, Andrew Halliday, 1830-1877] – editor : THE SAVAGE-CLUB PAPERS.
London : Tinsley Brothers, 1867. First edition. A collection of stories, poems and occasional pieces by the gifted members of the Savage Club, assembled to afford some charitable relief to the young widow of one of their former members. Contributors include E. L. Blanchard, Andrew Halliday himself, W. S. Gilbert, Tom Hood, Arthur Locker, J. R. Planché, Clement W. Scott, Arthur Sketchley with one of his Mrs Brown stories, G. L. M. Strauss, Walter Thornbury, Artemus Ward, etc. With illustrations by a string of well-known artists, including Frederick Barnard, George Cruikshank, Gustave Doré, George Du Maurier, W. S. Gilbert, Ernest Griset, Arthur Boyd Houghton, Harrison Weir, etc. – engraved apparently free of charge by some of the best engravers in London.
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“HALLIDAY, Andrew” – [DUFF, Andrew Halliday, 1830-1877] – editor : THE SAVAGE-CLUB PAPERS. SECOND SERIES.
London : Tinsley Brothers, 1869. First edition. Stories, poems and occasional pieces by the gifted members of the Savage Club, assembled to finance their charitable work. Contributors include Dion Boucicault, George Manville Fenn, George Grossmith, Andrew Halliday himself, Arthur Locker, John Oxenford, J. R. Planché, George Augustus Sala, Walter Thornbury, etc. With illustrations by Frederick Barnard, George Cruikshank, Gustave Doré, Gordon Thompson, Harrison Weir and many others, all engraved by the Dalziel Brothers.
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HOOD, Thomas, 1835-1874 : PEN AND PENCIL PICTURES.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1857. First edition. His first book – a collection of whimsical essays, poems, stories, etc., from the younger Tom Hood – enlivened with his own illustrations.
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KINGSLEY, Charles, 1819-1875 : WESTWARD HO! OR, THE VOYAGES AND ADVENTURES OF SIR AMYAS LEIGH, KNIGHT ...
Cambridge : Macmillan & Co., 1855. First edition. Kingsley’s ever-popular saga of the days of Drake, the Armada, etc. – “the most perfect romance that we have yet had from Mr. Kingsley’s pen ... he is in love with the manliness, hardihood, and imagination of our forefathers” (Daily News, 4th April 1855). The first novel ever published by Macmillan and probably unique in Victorian fiction in having a holiday resort named after it (much to Kingsley’s annoyance).
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KINGSLEY, Charles, 1819-1875 : HEREWARD THE WAKE, “LAST OF THE ENGLISH”.
London & Cambridge : Macmillan & Co., 1866. First edition. The last novel published by Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge and friend of Darwin. The final resistance against the Norman conquerors – the “splendid barbarian” and folk-hero Hereward of the Fens, son of Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lady Godiva – and his witch-wife Torfrida, “whose true witchery lay in her intellect, her courage, and her unswerving love” (The Globe, 30th April 1866). “To lovers of the old class of reading wherein the heroic deeds of our forefathers are graphically described, no better volumes could be read” (Cheltenham Chronicle, 10th July 1866).
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KIPLING, Rudyard (Joseph Rudyard), 1865-1936 : STALKY & CO.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1899. First edition. "In summer all right-minded boys built huts in the furze-hill behind the college – little lairs whittled out of the heart of the prickly bushes, full of stumps, odd root-ends, and spikes, but, since they were strictly forbidden, palaces of delight".
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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.
LEAR, Edward, 1812-1888 : LAUGHABLE LYRICS : A FOURTH BOOK OF NONSENSE POEMS, SONGS, BOTANY, MUSIC &C.
London : Robert John Bush, 1877. First edition. More inspired nonsense from Edward Lear – with the present volume containing the first appearance of “The Dong with the Luminous Nose”, “The Pobble Who Has No Toes”, “The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò”, “The Akond of Swat”, etc.
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LEAR, Edward, 1812-1888 : LAUGHABLE LYRICS : A FOURTH BOOK OF NONSENSE POEMS, SONGS, BOTANY, MUSIC &C.
London : Robert John Bush, 1877. First edition. More inspired nonsense from Edward Lear – with the present collection containing the first appearance of “The Dong with the Luminous Nose”, “The Pobble Who Has No Toes”, “The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò”, “The Pelican Chorus”, “The Akond of Swat”, etc.
LEVER, Charles (Charles James), 1806-1872 : ST. PATRICK’S EVE.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1845. First edition : in the more elaborate and earliest binding. Clearly modelled on Dickens’ treatment of social issues in his Christmas books, Lever tackles the Irish issue of absentee landlords – “a very pretty little volume ... dedicated to his children with a desire to inculcate this truth, ‘that prosperity has as many duties as adversity has sorrows’ ... painted with his customary force of genius and his usual glowing and effective colouring” (Liverpool Mail, 29th March 1845).
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LONGFELLOW, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 : THE NEW ENGLAND TRAGEDIES.
London : George Routledge & Sons, 1868. First British edition. “A solid man of Boston; a comfortable man with dividends, And the first salmon and the first green peas ...”.
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McGONAGALL, William (William Topaz), 1825-1902 : MORE POETIC GEMS SELECTED FROM THE WORKS OF WILLIAM McGONAGALL POET AND TRAGEDIAN ...
Dundee : David Winter & Son / London : Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1962. First edition. Over fifty new poems from the Great McGonagall discovered in Dundee Public Library. With his own biographical sketch and reminiscences.
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MAGGS, Derek, 1926-1992 – editor : MAKE HASTE, SWEET LOVE : OR THE IMPORTUNATE POET TO HIS LOVE. POEMS CHOSEN BY DEREK MAGGS.
London : Magpie Press, (1966). First edition : one of about 100 numbered copies in wrappers (of about 130). A selection of fifteen poems of love and urgency, designed and printed by Derek Maggs – Herrick, Waller, Spenser, Keats, Shakespeare, Jonson, and of course Marvell, etc.
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MITFORD, Mary Russell, 1787-1855 : OUR VILLAGE: SKETCHES OF RURAL CHARACTER AND SCENERY.
London : G. & W. B. Whittaker / Geo. B. Whittaker / Whittaker, Treacher & Co., 1824-1832. First edition. A complete first edition set of the five-volume series of her much-loved and most famous work – sharp, affectionate, precise and amused sketches of village life in Regency England – “Our landlord has a stirring wife, a hopeful son, and a daughter, the belle of the village; not so pretty as the fair nymph of the shoe-shop, and far less elegant, but ten times as fine; all curl-papers in the morning, like a porcupine, all curls in the afternoon, like a poodle, with more flounces than curl-papers, and more lovers than curls ...”. Walks in the Country, A Country Cricket-Match, A Christmas Party, Christmas Amusements, The Mole-Catcher, Children of the Village, The Cribbage Players, and so much more.
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MORRISON, Arthur (Arthur George), 1863-1945 : TALES OF MEAN STREETS : LIZERUNT : SQUIRE NAPPER : WITHOUT VISIBLE MEANS : THREE ROUNDS AND OTHERS.
London : Methuen & Co., 1894. First edition. Morrison’s extraordinary vision of the late Victorian mean streets of the East End of London – “Unquestionably an achievement of art ... something more than remarkable. The tune is new in the sense in which the new woman, and the new drama, and the new hedonism, and the other clamant bores of the period are not new ... It is akin to a shock, to a sudden gust of east wind. But to those who care for all humanity ... it should be something like a godsend” (Pall Mall Gazette, 19th November 1894).
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OLIPHANT, Laurence, 1829-1888 : TRAITS AND TRAVESTIES : SOCIAL AND POLITICAL.
Edinburgh & London : William Blackwood & Sons, 1882. First edition. Oliphant in top form with a dozen essays, sketches and stories of a gently satirical turn – “A Turkish Effendi on Christendom and Islam”, “Moral Reflections by a Japanese Traveller”, “The Autobiography of a Joint-Stock Company”, “The Newest American Railroad”, “A New Method of Social Evolution”, “Knight-Errantry in the Nineteenth Century”, etc. “A more thoroughly enjoyable book has not appeared in many a long day” (Morning Post, 19th August 1882).
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PALGRAVE, Francis Turner, 1824-1897 – editor : THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF THE BEST SONGS AND LYRICAL POEMS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Cambridge : Macmillan & Co., 1861. First edition : one of the 2,000 copies of the first impression, with the roman rather than gothic half-title, just four notes on p.323, etc. The original appearance of a perennial favourite – close on 300 of the finest poems in the language from seventy-five or so poets – from Sir Thomas Wyatt, Marlowe and Shakespeare, to Shelley and Keats. With a preface and some extensive notes by Palgrave.
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PALGRAVE, Francis Turner, 1824-1897 – editor : THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF THE BEST SONGS AND LYRICAL POEMS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Cambridge : Macmillan & Co., 1861. First edition : mixed issue – with the four (rather than six) notes on p.323, obviously indicating the earlier printing, but with the gothic (rather than plain) half-title. The original appearance of a perennial favourite – close on 300 of the finest poems in the language from seventy-five or so poets – from Sir Thomas Wyatt, Marlowe and Shakespeare, to Shelley and Keats. With a preface and some extensive notes by Palgrave.
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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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[PEACOCK, Thomas Love, 1785-1866] : GRYLL GRANGE.
London : Parker, Son & Bourn, 1861. First edition : in Carter’s primary binding of green pebble-grain cloth. Peacock’s final novel – a country house, eccentric guests – and full to the last of his “inveterate prejudices and pugnacious hostility to every modern innovation” (Garnett).
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PEACOCK, Thomas Love, 1785-1866 : THE PLAYS OF THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK : PUBLISHED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
London : David Nutt, 1910. First edition. The first publication of three Peacock plays discovered among the manuscripts acquired by the British Museum in 1903 – “The Dilettanti”, “The Circle of Loda” and “The Three Doctors”. Edited and introduced by Peacock’s biographer, Arthur ButtonYoung (1877-1960).
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REID, Mayne (Thomas Mayne), 1818-1883 : THE BANDOLERO; OR, A MARRIAGE AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.
London : Richard Bentley, 1866. First edition. “La Puebla de los Angeles is peculiar, even among the cities of modern Mexico; peculiar in the fact, that two-thirds of its population are composed of priests, pelados, poblanas, pickpockets, and picarones of a bolder type”. Love and bandits in the mountains.
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RUDING, Walt (Walter), 1870-1895 : AN EVIL MOTHERHOOD : AN IMPRESSIONIST NOVEL.
London : Elkin Mathews, 1896 [i.e. 1895]. First edition. The short-lived Ruding’s scarce and only novel – he died at the age of twenty-five less than a month after it was published. Slated by the critics and undeniably flawed, but very consciously a new kind of fiction – startling, impressionistic, psychological, experimental and fin-de-siècle – and marked out as so by a dramatic cobwebby cover and a fine frontispiece by Aubrey Beardsley.
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SAVAGE, Richard Henry, 1846-1903 : A DAUGHTER OF JUDAS : A TALE OF NEW YORK CITY FIN-DE-SIÈCLE LIFE.
London : George Routledge & Sons, 1895. First British edition. “A remarkably pretty woman had just whirled past in a sleigh ... ‘How in the world did she turn up in New York in January! Too much rapid transit in this world!’ ... This year of ninety reminds me that my life has been deficient in sleigh-rides”. The colourful and adventurous soldier-turned-popular-author here going completely over the top in Victorian yellow-back format. Originally published in Chicago in 1894. “Colonel Richard Henry Savage wields a pen of power” (Saturday Review, 5th November 1892).
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[SCARGILL, William Pitt, 1787-1836] : TALES OF A BRIEFLESS BARRISTER.
London : Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley, 1829. First edition. “The characters, though under assumed names, are reported to be admirable portraits of many celebrated living personages” (Morning Post, 28th October 1829). Two well-told stories, “founded on certain actual occurrences that have recently occupied the attention of our courts of law” (London Evening Standard, 6th November 1829). “In the former [Second Thoughts are Best] ... a young foolish fellow runs away from his home and gets into all the vices of London, becomes acquainted with a gang of gypsies, is taken up for a burglary, and then repents and becomes a philosopher and gentleman. From ‘New Neighbours’ we learn the art of becoming acquainted with those who live next door to us, an art, by-the-bye, very little known in London” (Monthly Review, March 1830). Scargill, also the author of “Blue-Stocking Hall” (1827), etc., had already secured a reputation for his acute observation of human foibles and frailties, laced with wit and humour.
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[SCOTT, Sir Walter, 1771-1832] : WOODSTOCK ; OR, THE CAVALIER. A TALE OF THE YEAR SIXTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-ONE.
Edinburgh : Archibald Constable & Co., 1826. First edition. Scott in the thick of the Civil War – Cromwell, Charles II, etc. Written rapidly to earn his way out of financial difficulties, the reviewers found the novel flawed and occasionally wayward in its history, but it became a huge commercial success and remains one of his most popular titles.
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[SEWELL, William, 1804-1874] : HAWKSTONE : A TALE OF AND FOR ENGLAND IN 184-.
London : John Murray, 1845. First edition. A key novel in the whole Tractarian, Young England, Oxford Movement controversies of the times – a lament for the loss of Anglican faith, hostility to the industrial world, profound opposition to Rome and the Jesuits – and yet also a lurid and sensational novel, widely read and hugely popular, especially in the United States. “Hawkstone has the rare merit of being written throughout with more or less of intellectual power. It does not contain a single page in which the evidence of mind is not apparent” (John Bull, 29th March 1845).
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SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 : THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS OF PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
London : Oxford University Press, 1927. A handsomely bound edition of the comprehensive Shelley edited and introduced by Thomas Hutchinson (1856-1938) and first published by the OUP in 1904. Includes the prefaces by Mary Shelley written for the 1824 and 1839 editions of his poems.
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SMITH, Albert (Albert Richard), 1816-1860 : THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE GENT. / THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE BALLET-GIRL. / THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE FLIRT.
London : David Bogue, 1847-1848. First editions of three of Smith’s highly entertaining “Social Zoologies”, the second with a partially trimmed inscription from Smith to Colonel Sir William Robert Clayton M.P. (1786-1866). The first was written “that all might clearly see who the Gents were, and shun them accordingly”. It led to a highly successful sequence of similar separately published “studies”, both by Smith and others. The present bound volume preserves what are probably the three most amusing of these highly ephemeral little publications.
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STEVENSON, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 : KIDNAPPED : BEING MEMOIRS OF THE ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR IN THE YEAR 1751 ...
London : Cassell & Co., 1886. First edition : the first issue, with the various errors – “nine o’clock” for “twelve o’clock” in the first line of p.64, etc., without the numerals at the foot of the last page of text, and with the advertisements dated April 1886.
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STEVENSON, Robert Louis, 1850-1894 : THE MERRY MEN AND OTHER TALES AND FABLES.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1887. First edition. A powerful collection of six stories from Stevenson, including the title story – a dramatic tale of shipwreck and treasure hunt in the Hebrides; the moving and philosophical “Will o’ the Mill”; “Markheim” and murder in an antique shop; the horror classic “Thrawn Janet”; the gothic “Olalla”, set in Spain, and the interesting and unusual “The Treasure of Franchard”.
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STRINDBERG, August (Johan August), 1849-1912 : BY THE OPEN SEA.
London : Frank Palmer, (1913). First edition in English of “I Hafsbandet” (1890). Strindberg’s novel of isolation and resistance – a clever outsider arrives at a remote village in the archipelago as the Superintendent of Fisheries. Translated by Ellie Schleussner.
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SURTEES, Robert Smith, 1803-1864 : JORROCKS’S JAUNTS AND JOLLITIES : THE HUNTING, SHOOTING, RACING, DRIVING, SAILING, EATING, ECCENTRIC AND EXTRAVAGANT EXPLOITS OF THAT RENOWNED SPORTING CITIZEN MR. JOHN JORROCKS OF ST. BOTOLPH LANE AND GREAT CORAM STREET.
London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1903. A handsome and lavishly produced edition of Surtees’ classic of sporting humour, produced for the Trübner Sporting Library series. John Jorrocks originally surfaced in the “New Sporting Magazine” in 1831, and first appeared in book form in 1838, but here appears with the original illustrations from all the various early editions – by Henry Alken, “Phiz” and William Heath – including an Alken illustration previously unpublished. With an interesting introduction on the history of the book and its illustrations by Joseph Grego (1843-1908), noted authority on illustration and its techniques.
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TICKET-OF-LEAVE MAN : CONFESSIONS OF A TICKET-OF-LEAVE MAN. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
London : George Vickers, 1863 [i.e.1862]. First edition. “Yes, I am a thief! I will not say that I glory in the title ... but, as I am about to write my ‘Confessions’, as other men, great in their way – and I am a very great man in mine – have done before me, I may as well start fair, and own myself at once what I am, what I always have been, what I was born, bred, and brought up – A THIEF!” – the book was announced in the “London Evening Standard” on 11th December 1862 as to be published in ornamental boards at a shilling and sixpence on the 15th December – “The disclosures made in this volume will be read with deep and peculiar interest. It is full of information”. Sometimes attributed to Irving Lyons, author of “The Boy Pirate” and “Black Rollo, the Pirate”, although no contemporary person of that name has been traced. The book was evidently not a success: 896 copies were auctioned off at Hodgson’s in October 1863, along with 50,000 assorted others books classified as “capital popular books, railway reading, &c.”.
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TROLLOPE, Frances, 1779-1863 : THE VICAR OF WREXHILL.
London : Richard Bentley, 1837. First edition. A novel with the reputation of being her best – a stinging satire on evangelicanism, with an unscrupulous vicar who manipulates the more susceptible women of the parish: a powerful plea for the better education of women and a prescient foreshadowing of priestly abuse.
[UPHAM, Edward, 1776-1834] : RAMESES; AN EGYPTIAN TALE : WITH HISTORICAL NOTES ON THE ERA OF THE PHARAOHS.
London : for G. B. Whittaker / Bath : John Upham / Exeter : Charles Upham, 1824. First edition. Bookseller, orientalist and quondam mayor of Exeter, Upham intended his anonymous tale to introduce readers to the full glories of ancient Egypt – “a series of data, whereby may be formed a knowledge and appreciation of this ancient and illustrious kingdom, resorted to by the wisest and best of the philosophers, the sages, and legislators of Greece, and pronounced by them to be ‘the mother of arts, and the fountain of wisdom’”. Each volume concludes with copious historical notes.
WARD, Mrs Humphrey (Mary Augusta), 1851-1920 : THE HISTORY OF DAVID GRIEVE.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1892. First edition. An early novel of faith and doubt from the sterling Mrs Humphry Ward, Tasmanian-born grand-daughter of Dr. Arnold of Rugby.
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YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901 : MAGNUM BONUM : OR, MOTHER CAREY’S BROOD.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1879. First edition. A physician dies leaving his widow with a medical discovery to be passed on to whichever of his sons is best equipped to perfect it and most apt to benefit the world with it. “The chief interest of the novel, however, is due to Miss Yonge’s never-failing genius for working up minute and photographic details, stroke by stroke, until we know her characters so well that it will be strange if we ever forget them” (The Globe, 30th January 1880).
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YONGE, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901 : LOVE AND LIFE : AN OLD STORY IN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY COSTUME.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1880. First edition. “There is always a pleasurable feeling of expectation in opening a new novel by Miss Yonge and that lady’s many admirers need not be told that there is a certainty of more or less satisfaction from anything she writes” (Morning Post, 14th September 1880). A lost inheritance, a secret love – Major Delavie and his three daughters encounter the wonderfully villainous Lady Belamour.
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ZANGWILL, Israel, 1864-1926 : THE OLD MAIDS’ CLUB.
London : William Heinemann, 1892. First edition. “The Old Maids’ Club was founded by Lillie Dulcimer in her sweet seventeenth year. She had always been precocious, and could analyse her own sensations before she could spell. In fact, she divided her time between making sensations and analysing them ...”. Twenty entertaining tales from the annals of the club, including the very funny “Algebra of Love”, “The Man in the Ironed Mask”, “The Old Young Woman and the New”, “The Mysterious Advertiser”, “The Beautiful Ghoul”, etc. – “Two books for the holiday season, to be read lounging in a hammock, or under the shadow of a cliff, are Mr. Zangwill’s ‘Old Maids’ Club’, and Mr. Grossmith’s ‘Diary of a Nobody’. The former is very droll in places ...” (Cheltenham Looker-On, 20th August 1892). “Worth all the inanities of Jerome K. Jerome and all the thin fun of Barry Pain bundled together” (Glasgow Evening Post, 30th June 1892).
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ZOLA, Émile (Émile Édouard Charles Antoine), 1840-1902 : THE FAT AND THE THIN (LE VENTRE DE PARIS).
London : Chatto & Windus, 1896. Second edition in English. “The Belly of Paris” – set in and around Les Halles, the great central food market of Paris, and Zola’s first novel entirely to concentrate on the working class. Originally published French in 1873 and in English by Henry Vizetelly in 1888, the year before he was imprisoned under the obscene libel laws specifically for publishing Zola, and here in a revised translation with a new introduction by his son, Ernest Alfred Vizetelly (1853-1922).
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