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“ANDOVER, Henry” – [HOPE, Henry John, 3rd Baron Rankeillour, 1899-1967] : THE DENNISDALE TRAGEDY.
London : Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1936. First edition. A murder mystery set in the Lake District – “ingenious detective story ... The narrator, Richard Carleton, succeeds to a Cumberland property by the death of his half brother and nephews. The house, or rather one room of it, is ransacked and the butler murdered on the night when he comes to take possession. A body is afterwards found on the moors ...” (Northern Whig, 30th March 1936).
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“ANDOM, R.” – [BARRETT, Alfred Walter, 1869- ] : THE IDENTITY EXCHANGE : A STORY OF SOME ODD TRANSFORMATIONS.
London : Jarrold & Sons, 1902. First edition. An uncommon fantasy of identity switching from the irrepressible “R. Andom” – different identities assumed by means of a “magic green packet of transmigration tablets” – “The hero ... is projected into the twenty-first century through the agency of an explosive clock, and this is how he comes in contact with the Identity Exchange ... To those who like fun fast and furious, the story may be cordially commended” (The Scotsman, 10th November 1902). Later republished as “The Marvellous Adventures of Me”.
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[BANVILLE, John (William John), 1945- ] – “BLACK, Benjamin” : CHRISTINE FALLS.
London : Picador, (2006). First edition. “It was not the dead that seemed to Quirke uncanny but the living” - the first of Banville’s addictive Quirke series, written initially under his “Benjamin Black” pseudonym - we meet the pathologist in the morgue long after midnight in 1950s Dublin. “It’s soaked in my recollections. It is more connected to the circumstances of my life than my Banville books” (John Banville).
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BENTLEY, E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) : TRENT’S LAST CASE.
London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, . First edition. His first book and a classic of crime fiction - “Contrasted with the turgid narratives of its own period, its civilized effortlessness and engaging humor are as twin beacons in a fog ... ‘Trent’s Last Case’ stands truly first among modern examples of the genre. It is one of the great cornerstones of the detective story” (Haycraft).
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CHRISTIE, Agatha (Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa), 1890-1976 : THE MIRROR CRACK’D FROM SIDE TO SIDE.
London : Collins for The Crime Club, (1962). First edition. “Miss Jane Marple was sitting by her window” – the last of her true country village mysteries. “The story is of an apparently unmotivated murder at a fête held in Miss Marples’s village, where a famous film star has recently bought the local mansion ... classic Christie sleight-of-hand technique” (Birmingham Daily Post, 4th December 1962).
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[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] : THE PATHFINDER: OR, THE INLAND SEA.
London : Richard Bentley, 1840. First edition. The fourth of the Leatherstocking Tales (although the third in terms of chronology) – the Pathfinder (Hawkeye) escorts a young woman to the shores of Lake Ontario. “We are prepared to meet another escape through the woods, like that in ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ – another race over the waters, as in former sea romances – or another land siege, like the fearful leaguer of the blockhouse ... but in place of any one of these stirring passages, Mr. Cooper gives us all three. The interest of the story is unflaggingly maintained” (The Athenæum). “The most beautiful and natural, the simplest, the truest, and owing the least to mere art – of all Mr. Cooper’s novels” (The Atlas).
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DEVAL, Jacques, 1890-1972 : – AND BLONDES PREFER PARIS.
[Paris] : Publié sous les auspices de La Société Internationale des Intérêts Commerciaux, pour les Chemins de Fer de l’État, par Devambez, . First edition. The well-known French playwright and screenwriter with a witty response to Anita Loos (1889-1981) and her “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1925). Anita Loos’s own copy, with her delightful portrait bookplate by Frank Walts (1877-1941), and two small “From the estate of Anita Loos” stamps. “Four letters twenty two post cards two night letters and one cable from his sweet, sweet Annabel Flowers to her darling, darling George Sabran”. Produced as English-language promotional and publicity material for both French State Railways and a range of French businesses, with overt plugs for perfumes, dresses, resorts, hairdressing, hats, jewels, cars, hotels, restaurants, shoes, etc., and even Kellner the body-builder of the Champs-Élysée. A leaflet list of “firms recommanded [sic]” is loosely inserted.
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DURRELL, Lawrence (Lawrence George), 1912-1990 : CLEA : A NOVEL.
London : Faber & Faber, 1960. First edition. The fourth and the final instalment of the Alexandria Quartet – Darley returns to an Alexandria at war. “As well as being a rounding-off and, in many ways, an explanation of the previous three books, ‘Clea’ is also a work on its own ... different, perhaps less subtle but, on the whole more moving” (The Sphere, 6th February 1960). One of the most memorable and extraordinary performances in twentieth-century fiction.
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DURRELL, Lawrence (Lawrence George), 1912-1990 : STIFF UPPER LIP.
London : Faber & Faber, (1958). First edition. “As for sport (said Antrobus), the very word makes me uneasy. I’ve never believed in its healing power. Once I was forced to referee a match between H.M.S. Threadbare and the French Fleet which resulted in my nearly being dismembered”. Ten Antrobus tales of diplomatic life, each neatly captured in a full-page Nicolas Bentley illustration.
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FAULKS, Sebastian, 1953- : CHARLOTTE GRAY.
London : Hutchinson, (1998). First edition. Signed by Sebastian Faulks on the title-page. “It would take a mile-long essay to do justice to the many virtues of Sebastian Faulks' wonderful new novel. This riveting account of a young Scotswoman’s odyssey through wartime London, and on into a perilous secret mission in Vichy France, deserves the highest praise ... Proustian cogitations, masterful narrative, and zestful pen portraits. A beautiful, near-masterpiece” (Independent on Sunday). Filmed with Cate Blanchett, etc., in 2001.
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GIBBONS, Stella (Stella Dorothea), 1902-1989 : HERE BE DRAGONS.
London : Hodder & Stoughton, (1956). First edition. A review copy, with the publishers’ slip loosely inserted. “An ample, populous, up-to-the-minute romance, largely about neo-Bohemians and Espresso bars. A strange world to Nell Sely, who has grown up in the wilds as a parson’s daughter” (Illustrated London News, 19th January 1957). “Miss Gibbons has excelled herself. Her book has not only charm but something far better – perspicacity” (Elizabeth Bowen, The Tatler, 24th October 1956).
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GRAVES, Robert (Robert von Ranke), 1895-1985 : POEMS 1926-1930.
London : William Heinemann, 1931. First edition : [one of 1,000 copies]. A collection of forty-five poems, including “Thief”, “Castle”, “Bay of Naples”, “To the Reader over my Shoulder”, “Dragons”, “The Age of Certainty”, etc. “It must also be remarked about Mr. Graves that though a modern of the moderns, and for all his exclusiveness, there is nothing freakish in his technique. The above extract, for example, might quite well have come out of Shakespeare” (Liverpool Daily Post, 4th March 1931).
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GREENE, Graham (Henry Graham), 1904-1991 : THE END OF THE AFFAIR.
London : William Heinemann, (1951). First edition. Adultery and broken hearts in Clapham – the basis of both the 1955 film with Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson, and the 1999 film with Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes.
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JAMES, Henry, 1843-1916 : THE TWO MAGICS.
London : William Heinemann, 1898. First edition. Two stories by James, including the first appearance in book form of “The Turn of the Screw”, still his most compelling and hotly debated story, adapted and filmed on multiple occasions. The second story, “Covering End”, was originally intended as a play for Ellen Terry. “Mr James holds us and thrills us, strikes us with wonder, strikes us with awe; but over and above this, more than anything else, he delights us with the pure, the joyous delight of art, of beauty. It is incredible, it is impossible; and Mr James has done it” (Daily Chronicle, 17th November 1898).
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LAWRENCE, D.H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930 : SONS AND LOVERS.
London : Duckworth & Co., 1913. First edition : Roberts’ variant (1), with the cancel title dated 1913. “Review copies have been noted both with the bound-in title without date and with the tipped-in title with date ... as Duckworth’s records were destroyed during the war, a final solution to these bibliographical problems may be impossible” (Roberts). “No other English novelist of our time has so great a power to translate passion into words, but that is neither the beginning nor end of his art” (London Evening Standard, 30th May 1913).
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LAWTON, John, 1949- : OLD FLAMES.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, (1996). First edition. Signed by John Lawton on the title-page. The second of the much-admired Frederick Troy series – Chief Inspector Troy is assigned to bodyguard and spy on Nikita Khrushchev on his visit to England – “A splash of Greene, a twist of Deighton, a small measure of history – Lawton has produced a thrilling cocktail” (The Times).
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LAWTON, John, 1949- : A LITTLE WHITE DEATH.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, (1998). First edition. Signed by John Lawton on the title-page. The scarce third novel in the much-admired Frederick Troy series – it is 1963 – a defection, a ministerial resignation, an overdose and a suicide – all echoes of very real events – an “unputdownable narrative of spying, sexual intrigue, political scandal and murder ... a haunting novel, transcending the bounds of genre fiction” (A. N. Wilson in the Daily Telegraph).
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“LE CARRÉ, John” – [CORNWELL, David John Moore, 1931-2020] : A LEGACY OF SPIES.
London : Viking, (2017). First edition : the “exclusive signed edition”, signed by John le Carré on an additional preliminary leaf dated September 2017. Both a prequel and a sequel to “The Spy who Came in from the Cold” – a swansong for George Smiley, Peter Guillam, Bill Haydon, Jim Prideaux and other memorable spies of fiction. “Poignant and brilliant” (Robert McCrum in The Guardian).
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MACLAREN-ROSS, Julian (James), 1912-1964 : MEMOIRS OF THE FORTIES.
London : Alan Ross, 1965. First edition. Recollections of “Fitzrovian Nights” – and of Francis Bacon, Cyril Connolly, Graham Greene, Nina Hamnett, John Minton, Elizabeth Smart, Stevie Smith, Tambimuttu, Dylan Thomas, Woodrow Wyatt, and many more – together with six of the best of the Maclaren-Ross short stories of the period, including “I Had to Go Sick” and “A Bit of a Smash in Madras”. “With its glimpses of Connolly in his Bloomsbury office and Graham Greene at home in Clapham Common, [it] is one of the great literary source-books of the age” (D. J. Taylor in The Guardian, 7th December 2012).
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MITFORD, Nancy, 1904-1973 : THE WATER BEETLE : ILLUSTRATED BY OSBERT LANCASTER.
London : Hamish Hamilton, (1962). First edition. A collection of fourteen sparkling essays, including Nanny in the young Mitfords’ nursery; her thoughts on chic (English, French and American); on reading for pleasure; a hilarious visit to non-U Russia; an essay on Ireland, with a subversive lapse into bad language, and much else besides. Later published in France as “Snobismes et Voyages”.
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NAIPAUL, V.S. (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad), 1932-2018 : MR STONE AND THE KNIGHTS COMPANION.
London : André Deutsch, (1963). First edition. “Marks the first time this very distinguished West Indian author has written a novel which deals exclusively with the English against their own background. The result is completely successful ... beautifully written, restrained and sensitive” (The Sphere, 8 June 1963).
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SCOTT, Geoffrey, 1884-1929 : THE PORTRAIT OF ZÉLIDE.
London : Constable & Co., 1925. First edition. Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805), known as Zélide, “lived in her father’s moated castle in Holland, like a fairytale princess in a tower. She was the clever, sexy, mercurial young Dutch blue-stocking with whom Boswell fell disastrously in love in 1764 ... this tender, funny, faintly salacious portrait of a ‘belle-esprit’ is one of the most exquisite biographical miniatures ever written (Richard Holmes)” – a best-seller in its day and winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize – “Its success proves that sheer literary quality will make a book go” (James Milne, in the Graphic, 14th November 1925).
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SHAW, George Bernard, 1856-1950 : THE INTELLIGENT WOMAN’S GUIDE TO SOCIALISM AND CAPITALISM.
London : Constable & Co., 1928. First edition. “You can introduce almost any measure of Socialism or Communism into England provided you call it by some other name. Propose Socialistic confiscation of the incomes of the rich, and the whole country will rise to repel such Russian wickedness. Call it income-tax, supertax, and estate duties, and you can lift enough hundreds of millions from the pockets of our propertied class to turn the Soviet of Federated Russian Republics green with envy”. Begun as a letter to his sister-in-law, Shaw’s mansplaining apologia for socialism eventually ran to eighty-four chapters. He later claimed that although he had taken “the utmost pains to make it intelligible, clear, lucid, unambiguous, simple, and unmistakeable ... only one man in the civilized world has understood it; and that man is Albert Einstein”.
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SIDNEY, Sir Philip, 1554-1586 : APHORISMS OF SIR PHILIP SIDNEY; WITH REMARKS, BY MISS PORTER.
London : for Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, 1807. First edition. An extensive collection of quotations from Sidney, given under a multitude of headings – Man, Birth, Education and Study, Reason and Wisdom, Virtue, Glory, and over fifty more, including Courtesy, Friendship, Curiosity, Custom, Justice, Woman, Love, Faith, etc. – interspersed with occasionally lengthy notes, remarks, and interpretation by Jane Porter (La Penserosa) (1776-1850), the well-respected pioneering historical novelist. Edited, introduced, and dedicated to Gustavus IV of Sweden, by Porter.
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STARK, Freya (Freya Madeline), 1893-1993 : TRAVELLER'S PRELUDE / BEYOND EUPHRATES : AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1928-1933 / THE COAST OF INCENSE : AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1933-1939 / DUST IN THE LION’S PAW : AUTOBIOGRAPHY 1939-1946.
London : John Murray, (1950-1961). A complete first edition set of the four volumes of Stark’s autobiography – the first volume signed by the author on the half-title. From her picaresque childhood, through her life and travels in the Arab and Persian world, to World War II – “It is difficult to know which to admire more, her vivid description of her experiences or the realism of the lessons which she draws from them ... Our future is uncontrollable if we are unable to read our past” (Sir Charles Petrie in The Illustrated London News, 28th October 1961).
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THORNBURY, Walter, 1828-1876 : HAUNTED LONDON.
London : Hurst & Blackett, 1865. First edition. “This book 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.
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TIMBS, John, 1801-1875 : ROMANCE OF LONDON: STRANGE STORIES, SCENES AND REMARKABLE PERSONS OF THE GREAT TOWN.
London : Richard Bentley, 1865. First edition. “From the building of the first bridge at London to the startling incident of a few days since” – the history of London in highly entertaining story and anecdote, with sections of Historic Sketches; Remarkable Duels; Notorious Highwaymen; Rogueries, Crimes and Punishments; Love and Marriage; Supernatural Stories; Sights and Shows, and Public Amusements; Strange Adventures and Catastrophes; Remarkable Persons; and Miscellanous. “The indefatigable prince of compilers has once more plied his industrious scissors to good purpose” (Illustrated London News, 24th June 1865).
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TREVELYAN, G.M. (George Macaulay), 1876-1962 : ENGLISH SOCIAL HISTORY : A SURVEY OF SIX CENTURIES : CHAUCER TO QUEEN VICTORIA.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., (1944). First British edition. “The history of a people with the politics left out” – Trevelyan’s magisterial survey of English life over six centuries – “a series of successive scenes ... for in Chaucer’s time the English people first appear as a racial and cultural unit ... ... unless we become a totalitarian state and forget all our Englishry, there will always be something mediaeval in our ways of thinking, especially in our idea that people and corporations have rights and liberties which the State ought in some measure to respect, in spite of the legal omnicompetence of Parliament”.
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TROLLOPE, Anthony, 1815-1882 : AYALA’S ANGEL.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1881. First edition. Lucy and Ayala Dormer left destitute by the death of their gifted but improvident artist father. “Possibly the most unjustly neglected of all Trollope’s novels ... and yet it is one of the most charming ... the lightest and airiest of them all, it has a gaiety and happiness and playfulness that Trollope ... never exceeded ... what vigour of scene and creation, what vitality of action and dialogue it contains” (Hugh Walpole). “The author has not written a better or pleasanter novel for a good many years” (Pall Mall Gazette, 28th May 1881).
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : LABELS : A MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL.
London : Duckworth, 1930. First edition. Waugh on his travels – Monte Carlo, Naples, Messina, Haifa, Port Said, Cairo, Malta, Crete, Constantinople, Athens, Corfu, Venice, Ragusa, Barcelona, Algiers, Malaga, Gibraltar, Seville and Lisbon – “piquant and entertaining, and, of course, pleasantly outspoken ... a jolly book, then, in which Mr. Waugh manages to advertise quite a number of picturesque objects, including himself. I enjoyed every word of his book, and have no hesitation in recommending it” (Ralph Straus in The Bystander, 1st October 1930).
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : MR. LOVEDAYS LITTLE OUTING AND OTHER SAD STORIES.
London : Chapman & Hall, (1936). First edition. A collection of eleven short stories, including “Period Piece”, “Excursion in Reality”, “Love in the Slump”, “Bella Fleace Gave a Party”, etc. “One of the few living authors who is incapable of being a bore. One of the few whose books are worth buying and keeping ... Mr. Waugh is the much-imitated author of our time. Yet we all know that he is inimitable” (Daily Mirror, 30th June 1936).
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : MR. LOVEDAY’S LITTLE OUTING AND OTHER SAD STORIES.
London : Chapman & Hall, (1936). First edition. A collection of eleven short stories, including “Excursion in Reality”, “Love in the Slump”, and “Bella Fleace Gave a Party”. “One of the few living authors who is incapable of being a bore. One of the few whose books are worth buying and keeping ... ‘Excursion in Reality’ is a brilliant study of the unreality of cinema production ... Mr Waugh is the much-imitated author of our time. Yet we all know that he is inimitable” (Daily Mirror, 30th June 1936).
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WAUGH, Evelyn (Evelyn Arthur St. John), 1903-1966 : SCOOP : A NOVEL ABOUT JOURNALISTS.
London : Chapman & Hall, (1938). First edition. “Up to a point, Lord Copper” – the wrong Boot is sent to Ishmaelia. “Mr. Evelyn Waugh has let himself go with a whoop on the trail of sensational journalism ... easily the funniest book of the season” (Illustrated London News, 25th June 1938). The present copy has the front panel of the original dust-jacket laid in to the front free endpaper – the rare and quickly suppressed earlier version of the jacket, with the “Daily Beast” masthead clearly mimicking that of Beaverbrook’s “Daily Express”, and making the butt of Waugh’s satire all too plain. This was rapidly replaced by a plainer jacket with the masthead removed.
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YEATS, W.B. (William Butler), 1865-1939 : POEMS, 1899-1905.
London : A. H. Bullen / Dublin : Maunsel & Co., 1906. First edition. “I walked among the seven woods of Coole ...” – fifteen poems (some previously published in a limited edition), including “In the Seven Woods”, “Never Give all the Heart”, “The Withering of the Boughs” and “Under the Moon”, together with much revised versions of three verse plays (“The Shadowy Waters”, “On Baile’s Strand” and “The King’s Threshold”). Yeats’ preface provides a highly interesting commentary on his work at this period. “We have gradually come to think of Mr. Yeats as the greatest of the younger poets who use the English tongue” (Daily News).
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