W. H. HUDSON FIRST EDITIONS AT ASH RARE BOOKS

First editions at Ash Rare Books

W. H. HUDSON FIRST EDITIONS AT
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FIRST EDITIONS OF W. H. HUDSON

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[HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922] : A CRYSTAL AGE. [HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922] : A CRYSTAL AGE.

[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”.
Crown 8vo (20cm). [iv],(288)pp. Original black cloth, lettered in gilt on spine, and ruled, blocked and lettered in red; a little rubbed and worn, with the colour of the cloth touched up in one or two places and some evidence of repair to the lower joint; faint creasing to the cloth of the upper cover; slight cracking to the patterned green endpapers; pencilled notes erased from half-title; a few minor internal marks, but a good copy of a scarce book – with a most extraordinary authorial letter. From the well-known library of the recipient of the letter, the distinguished American collector Paul Lemperly (1858-1939), with his decorative bookplate. Lemperly’s “Among My Books” was published in a limited edition in 1929, containing extensive quotation from Hudson’s letter as well as making it clear that at that point, nine years on, he was still trying to hunt down a copy of the book.

£2,000

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HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : BIRDS IN LONDON.

HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : BIRDS IN LONDON.

London : Longmans, Green, & Co., 1898. First edition : in the secondary binding and with the inserted catalogue dated January 1903. A wide-ranging and attractively illustrated survey of the remarkably varied bird-life of the capital from the master naturalist, with much on individual birds, individual areas of London, adaptive behaviour, occasional visitors, the cat problem, rookeries, suggestions for introduction, a bibliography, etc.
Demy 8vo (23cm). xvi,(340) + 40pp. Frontispiece and fifteen plates, colour-printed map, and fifteen further illustrations in the text – by Bryan Hook, A. D. McCormick and from photographs by R. B. Lodge. Original decorative cloth gilt; top edge gilt; minor rubbing at foot; some spotting, mainly of edges, but a very good, bright and attractive copy. Small bookseller’s label of Edward Baker of John Bright Street, Birmingham – “the most expert bookfinder extant”. Payne A16a.

£100

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HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : EL OMBÚ.

HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : EL OMBÚ.

London : Duckworth & Co., 1902. First edition : the cloth issue. Two short stories and two novellas, all set in South America. “They are, really, studies in anthropology ... descriptive cameos – there is no word wanting, there is no word wasted – he gives us precisely the true impression as none but a master of the craft could give it” (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 30th April 1902).
Crown 8vo (19cm). [viii],182,[ii]pp. Original green cloth, ruled, blocked and lettered in black in Duckworth’s Greenback Library format; just a touch of rubbing; a little spotting of endpapers and edges, but a very good and bright copy. With the contemporary bookplate of Robert Washington Oates (1874-1958), creator of the Gilbert White Museum at Selborne, etc. A small contemporary press portrait of Hudson has been attached to the front free endpaper. Payne 21b.

£75

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HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : DEAD MAN’S PLACK AND AN OLD THORN.

HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : DEAD MAN’S PLACK AND AN OLD THORN.

London : J. M. Dent & Sons, 1920. First edition : in the primary binding of green cloth. Two Hudson stories, handsomely printed on laid paper. “We knew Mr. Hudson could make beautiful things, but even he has not made anything more beautiful than this story, unless it may be the second story ... They are like a finer lyric” (Review in the Manchester Guardian). “A little crock of gold ... A masterpiece” (The Nation).
Crown 8vo (20cm). [xii],(206),[x]pp. Frontispiece and illustration. Original green cloth, ruled and blocked in blind on upper cover, blocked and lettered across spine in gilt; a very good, fresh and clean copy. Armorial bookplate of Sir John Gilmour of Lundin and Montrave (1876-1940), war hero, politician, and Home Secretary in the 1930s. Payne A39a.

£50

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HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : A HIND IN RICHMOND PARK.

HUDSON, W.H. (William Henry), 1841-1922 : A HIND IN RICHMOND PARK.

London : J. M. Dent & Sons, 1922. First edition. The great naturalist’s final thoughts – on deer, on ears, the wind, ways back to nature, smell, noses, sense of direction, migration, sound, music, art and the unanswered questions.
Demy 8vo (22cm). (xvi),(336)pp. Original green cloth, ruled, blocked and lettered in black and gilt; spine lettering a touch dull; slight spotting of edges and prelims, but otherwise a good and sound copy. Payne A43a.

£25

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