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AYCKBOURN, Sir Alan, 1939- : THE NORMAN CONQUESTS : A TRILOGY OF PLAYS.
London : Chatto & Windus, 1975. First edition. Signed by Alan Ayckbourn on the title-page. One of the great theatrical events of the twentieth century – six characters and three interwoven plays: Table Manners in the dining-room; Living Together in the living-room, and Round and Round the Garden – here with a fascinating preface by the author on the “crosswise” writing of the interlocked pieces. The first West End production (1974) starred Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Penelope Keith, Felicity Kendal, etc.
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BETJEMAN, John (Sir John), 1906-1984 : JOHN BETJEMAN’S COLLECTED POEMS.
London : John Murray, (1960). A handsomely bound reprint of the first collected edition of Betjeman, originally published in 1958. Also contains a number of poems not previously published in book form. Some 120 poems, including most of his most famous, compiled, edited and introduced by the Earl of Birkenhead.
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BOYD, William, 1952- : AN ICE-CREAM WAR.
London : Hamish Hamilton, (1982). First edition. His third novel – “It is far too hot for sustained fighting ... we will all melt like ice-cream in the sun”. Evelyn Waugh meets John Buchan as eccentric settlers take up arms in the East African Campaign of the First World War.
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CONRAD, Joseph, 1857-1924 : THE ROVER.
London : T. Fisher Unwin, (1923). First edition. “The rover Peyrol is a superb creation, the eternal ancient mariner yet native to his time and his soil ... Towards the end Lord Nelson himself steps upon the scene, and in three or four masterly pages we see the man as he was, the fragile body and restless mind nearing their supreme triumph and their doom ... the simplest of Mr. Conrad’s books; none the less, we rank it among the greatest” (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 6th December 1923).
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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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DURRELL, Lawrence (Lawrence George), 1912-1990 : BALTHAZAR : A NOVEL.
London : Faber & Faber, (1958). First edition. The second volume in the Alexandria Quartet – “Balthazar’s merciless ‘Interlinear’ to the love-story of Justine”.
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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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EVELYN, John, 1620-1706 : MEMOIRS OF JOHN EVELYN, ESQ. F.R.S. ... COMPRISING HIS DIARY, FROM 1641 TO 1705-6, AND A SELECTION OF HIS FAMILIAR LETTERS ...
London : Henry Colburn, 1827. New and revised edition. Second only to his friend Samuel Pepys as the key diarist of his time – John Evelyn, scholar, man of science, garden designer and architect, founding Fellow of the Royal Society – the execution of Charles I, across Europe in the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell, Charles II, Prince Rupert, the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London, the Dutch War, Robert Boyle, all the great and good of his era, and much else besides. Originally published in two volumes in 1818, edited by William Bray (1736-1832), but here revised and expanded.
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FAULKS, Sebastian, 1953- : ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET.
London : Hutchinson, (2001). First edition. Signed by Sebastian Faulks on the title-page. The ending of the Eisenhower years, the Kennedy campaign, Washington 1959 – a novel to the jazz rhythms of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. “Both tense and affecting ... At the end one releases the breath one has unconsciously been holding ... a modern epic” (Anita Brookner).
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FERMOR, Patrick Leigh (Sir Patrick Michael), 1915-2011 : THE BROKEN ROAD : FROM THE IRON GATES TO MOUNT ATHOS.
London : John Murray (Publishers), (2013). First edition. Signed by both editors, Artemis Cooper and Colin Thubron. The posthumously published final instalment of Fermor’s famous journey on foot across Europe at the age of eighteen in the 1930s – “like a tramp, a pilgrim, or a wandering scholar”. The third leg – from the Iron Gates of Romania via Bucharest and Bulgaria to Salonika and Mount Athos. One of the twentieth-century classics – a “sublime masterpiece” (William Dalrymple).
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FOWLES, John (John Robert), 1926-2005 : THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1969). First edition. Victorian Lyme Regis and the enigmatic Sarah Woodruff – a book for which the note on the dust-jacket about the pagination being correct is perhaps a necessary prelude. Filmed by Karel Reisz in 1981 with a Harold Pinter screenplay, Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, etc.
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FREEMAN, R. Austin (Richard Austin), 1862-1943 : THE FAMOUS CASES OF DR. THORNDYKE : THIRTY-SEVEN OF HIS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AS SET DOWN BY R. AUSTIN FREEMAN.
London : Hodder & Stoughton, . First edition of this thousand-page-plus omnibus collection of all bar three of the Thorndyke short stories which had appeared in the five collections published between 1909 and 1927. The stories are here grouped into six “inverted” and thirty-one “direct” examples, with an absorbing new preface by the author on the nature and methodology of the detective story. “Mr Freeman’s super-detective, Dr Thorndyke, needs no introduction ... each case has some new ingenuity to commend it” (The Scotsman, 14th October 1929).
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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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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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[HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922] : A CRYSTAL AGE.
London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1887. First edition. An anonymously published landmark in dystopian fiction, with the narrator recovering from unconsciousness into a future William Morris arts-and-crafts ecological world without cities, money or politics – pre-dating Morris’s own “News from Nowhere” by several years, and Wells’s “A Modern Utopia” by even more. Inserted, in its original envelope, is a remarkable single-page signed autograph letter on his North Parade, Penzance, notepaper, dated 31st December 1920, from W. H. Hudson, replying to an enquiry about the scarcity of the book – “I am pleased to learn the first edition is scarce as I would be glad to have it out of existence. The book is a poor thing but in the later editions one or two of the most glaring absurdities are eliminated. The first edition had an ugly black and red cover. I have succeeded in recovering a few copies for the pleasure of destroying them”.
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JAMES, Henry, 1843-1916 : THE AWKWARD AGE.
London : William Heinemann, 1899. First edition : [one of 2,000 copies]. Eighteen-year-old Nanda enters the decadent fin-de-siècle marriage market – “We begin by being afraid that we shall not understand enough, we end by fearing that we may understand too much ... It is a strong book, but there is one thing greater than its strength, and that is its audacity” (Morning Post, 29th June 1899). A copy from the library of Sir Stephen Spender (1909-1995). Spender’s “The Destructive Element” (1935) remains one of the most interesting and influential studies of James and his contemporaries.
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JEFFERIES, Richard (John Richard), 1848-1887 : THE DEWY MORN. A NOVEL.
London : Richard Bentley & Son, 1884. First edition : just 625 sets were printed, of which only 425 were initially sent for binding. “Meadow and brook, wheat-fields and hills – a simple landscape, yet such as is not to be surpassed by any on earth. A common landscape – there are hundreds such in England – yet beyond compare. There are none like it elsewhere in the wide world” – Jefferies in his element in his native Wiltshire, with a novel characterised as “a sad little episode of cottage life, very tragic in its termination” (Reading Mercury, 20th September 1884). “Human nature, especially rustic human nature, has seldom if ever had a closer student or a more picturesque exponent” (The Graphic, 20th September 1884).
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LANG, Andrew, 1844-1912 : THE DISENTANGLERS.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1902. First edition. “Wild, roaring fun” (Daily News, 20th November 1902). Two well-connected but impoverished young men recruit a team of likewise young, charming and penniless men and women, available for hire to disrupt and disentangle unfortunate or unsuitable romantic attachments before too much harm can be done either to the lovers or, more particularly, their families – “Adventure of the Exemplary Earl”, “Adventure of the Lady Novelist and the Vaccinationist”, “Adventure of the Fair American”, and other tales. “In ‘The Disentanglers’ we have the apotheosis of the detective-story, with, as Mr. Lang’s Canadian millionaire would say, ‘every modern improvement’, divorced, too, from ‘all that cheap revolver business’, to quote the hero and Disentangler-in-Chief ... Apart from the excellent construction and swing of the stories, there is endless fun in the sly digs at literature, modern and ancient – at the penny novelette, the British Museum girl, and the Celtic minor poet” (The Sketch, 3rd December 1902).
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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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McEWAN, Ian (Ian Russell), 1948- : THE INNOCENT.
London : Jonathan Cape, (1990). First edition. Signed by Ian McEwan on the title-page. “It is 1955 and post-war Berlin is crawling with subterfuge” – a young British technician involved in electronic surveillance encounters a beautiful young German called Maria.
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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, Alun Lewis, John Minton, Elizabeth Smart, Stevie Smith, Tambimuttu, Dylan Thomas, Ruthven Todd, 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”.
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MASEFIELD, John (John Edward), 1878-1967 : SARD HARKER : A NOVEL.
London : William Heinemann, (1924). First edition. “A singularly interesting and well-written novel of breathless adventure ... the book is so well written, its adventures so abundant, that I would wish to end with unqualified praise and say that this should be, and will be, one of the books that all must read” (The Sphere, 8th November 1924).
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MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE PAINTED VEIL.
New York : George H. Doran Co., (1925). First edition. Published a month earlier than the London edition and retaining a textual integrity which the British publication did not – two separate libel actions having necessitated changes in the names of characters in the latter, as well as the substitution of the fictional place-names of Tching-Yen, Pleasant Vale, and The Mount, for the real places of Hong Kong, Happy Valley, and The Peak. “Like many other of Mr. Maugham’s stories, the scene of his latest – and best – book is laid ‘East of Suez’. The theme, a loveless marriage and its disastrous aftermath, though old as the hills, is invested with modernity and freshness by means of a photographic realism” (Nottingham Journal, 21st May 1925). Filmed in 1934 (Greta Garbo), and in 2006 (Naomi Watts).
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MAUGHAM, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 : THE RAZOR’S EDGE : A NOVEL.
London : William Heinemann, (1944). First British edition. An American airman traumatised by the Great War searches for meaning in life in Chicago, Paris and India. “Mr Somerset Maugham’s new novel ... is in some ways the most important he has written ... Do not think from all this that the novel is preachy-preachy, because it is not: it is as full of Maugham sparkle and wit, naughtiness, sex and satire as anyone could wish. My own view is that this is the best non-war novel we have had since 1939. I read it several times with deep appreciation and delight” (Aberdeen Evening Express, 20th July 1944). Filmed in 1946 with Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney and Anne Baxter (who won an Oscar), and again in 1984 with Bill Murray, Theresa Russell, Catherine Hicks, Denholm Elliott, etc. Originally published a few months earlier in the USA.
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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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ROHDE, Eleanour Sinclair, 1881-1950 – editor : THE OLD-WORLD PLEASAUNCE : AN ANTHOLOGY.
London : Herbert Jenkins, 1925. First edition. An engaging anthology of prose and verse relating to gardens and gardening, culled from wide-ranging and often little-known sources from the reign of Charlemagne to the end of the eighteenth century. With separate sections, inter alia, on castle gardens; the joys of gardening; the gardener; women gardeners; lovesome flowers; sundial mottoes; the orchard; bee lore; astrological lore; gardening calendars, etc. With a bibliography of sources. Compiled by the distinguished gardener and garden designer Sophie Rohde of Reigate. “Will interest the gardener and historian alike, and even the general reader cannot fail to find much that will please him in these enchanting pages” (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 4th February 1926).
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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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TARKINGTON, Booth (Newton Booth), 1869-1946 : CLAIRE AMBLER.
New York : Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1928. First edition. “You like men to be in love with you but not to trouble you by telling you” – Tarkington’s popular novel of the evolution of a flapper, “slim, lovely, alluring, modern to her painted fingertips ... will thrill younger readers and startle and amuse their fathers and mothers”.
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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1848. First edition, bound from the original monthly parts published between January 1847 and July 1848. The parts in first state, with the “rustic” heading to the first chapter, the inadvertent “Mr. Pitt” rather than “Sir Pitt” on p.453, and the notorious “Marquis of Steyne” wood-engraving (p.336) – an illustration said to have been suppressed, under threat of court action, for its allegedly libellous resemblance to the Third Marquis of Hertford. This has been disputed, but the portrait certainly only appears in the earliest copies of the book – and disappeared very early in the book’s life cycle.
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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : CHRISTMAS BOOKS : MRS. PERKINS’S BALL. OUR STREET. DR. BIRCH.
London : Smith, Elder & Co., 1866. An early collected edition of Thackeray’s gentle and engaging social satires, delightfully illustrated with his own drawings, which were originally published as Christmas books between 1846 and 1848. “Eschewing what has become a species of conventional Christmas mannerism – depending for interest and genial tone of colouring neither upon yule logs, nor plum puddings, nor branches of mistletoe, nor smoking boar’s heads garnished with bay sprigs and rosemary – Mr. Thackeray’s Christmas offering has all the peculiar and original characteristics of the individual mind of its producer ... the very incarnation of riot-running fancy” (Morning Chronicle, 29th December 1846).
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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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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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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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[UMPHELBY, Fanny, 1788-1852] : THE CHILD’S GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE; BEING A COLLECTION OF USEFUL AND FAMILIAR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON EVERY-DAY SUBJECTS, ADAPTED FOR YOUNG PERSONS ... BY A LADY.
London : Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1870. Forty-fourth edition. A quite extraordinary compilation for the nineteenth-century child, condensing into under 500 pages an encyclopaedic amount of information on all manner of topics. Conceived in the form of Socratic question-and-answer dialogue, we learn of everything from acorns to zinc – from just one opening at random, “What is goulard?”, “What is benzoin?”, “What is storax”, “What is gum-guaiacum”, “What forms the famous diamond cement?” – all confidently and succinctly answered. Originally published as “262 Questions and Answers” in 1825, the book rapidly became a standard text, much expanded through multiple editions until at least a sixty-third edition in 1913, the text initially augmented after the author’s death by her nephew Robert Arthur Ward (1826-1898).
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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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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : MEN LIKE GODS.
London : Cassell & Co., (1923). First edition. Journalist from Sydenham and other earthlings find themselves in Utopia, an evolved civilisation in a world without government or religion, “as clean as starlight and as sweet as cold water on a dusty day” – “Let it be said at once, in this book Mr. Wells is at his best. Indeed, if one had to name the novel that represents his many-sided genius most completely, one could hardly fail to name ‘Men Like Gods’“ (Sylvia Lynd in the Daily News, 8th March 1923).
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WOLFE, Tom (Thomas Kennerly), 1931-2018 : FROM BAUHAUS TO OUR HOUSE.
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, (1981). First edition. Wolfe on modern architecture – smart, well-researched, and devastating – “Every child goes to school in a building that looks like a duplicating-machine replacement parts wholesale distribution warehouse ... Every new $900,000 summer house ... has so many pipe railings, ramps, hob-tread metal spiral stairways, sheets of industrial plate glass, banks of tungsten-halogen lamps, and white cylindrical shapes, it looks like an insecticide refinery”, etc.
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