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19th Century and Prior Classics

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  • From The Earth to The Moon – Direct in 97 Hours 20 Minutes – Jules Verne

    From The Earth to The Moon – Direct in 97 Hours 20 Minutes – Jules Verne

    An early English translation published by Sampson Low, Marston et al, London in 1886.

    Translated from the French by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King. Described as the “Author’s Illustrated Edition”.

    Octavo, 160 pages plus 32 pages Publisher’s Catalogue. Seven full page illustrations. Original red cloth covered binding with black embossed decoration. Gilt title to front and nice decorative embossed image with gilt moon and red “spaceship”. All page edges gilt, very good condition with unusually clean and bright covers.

    Post American Civil War the Baltimore Gun Club had time on their hands. They decided to design and build an enormous gun (a Columbaid) to land three men (the President, his rival and a French Poet) on the Moon. A hugely influential book. Interesting that the section dealing with the calculations has some scientific merit … we like it.

    Early Jules Verne – nicely presented

    $160.00

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  • La Vita Nuova (The New Life) – Dante – Translated by Dante Gabriel Rosetti – Special Print & Binding c1916

    La Vita Nuova (The New Life) – Dante – Translated by Dante Gabriel Rosetti – Special Print & Binding c1916

    In the early part of the 20thC, George Harrap of London and Brentanos of New York republished Rossetti’s translation of La Vita Nuova. It was produced to several standards circa 1916 and this example we believe is the finest in terms of extravagance of printing and binding.

    La Vita Nuova was written by Dante Alighieri in a ten-year period to 1293 and published in 1295. The general theme is courtly love, embodied in the relationship between Dante and Beatrice. The work is a prosimetrum or collection of liked prose and poetry. It was originally published in the Tuscan vernacular and not Latin, a move that did much to establish the Italian language. The work has been often quoted and is suspected to be “the book of poems” referenced in Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue”.

    It was first translated into English by Garrow in 1848. Two years later Rossetti published his translation and added Dante to his name so much was his admiration for the great man.

    The book is small quarto (25cm by 20cm) 166 pages, bound in deeply tooled full leather with brass protectors to each corner. Top edge gilt Decorated end papers. Richly decorated by Evelyn Paul with gilt highlights. Contains added music by Alfred Mercer. Carries the bookplate of J.N. Vander Ley. Some spotting to the uncut page edges, otherwise a very good copy.

    Dante on Love by Rossetti – Beautiful Book

    $290.00

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  • The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    This is a single volume from Goldsmith’s Works published by Morison, Perth and Edinburgh.

    What makes it interesting as a single volume is that it contains all of his Poetical works along with his narrative on Lord Bolingbroke and Dr Parnell.

    Bound in full original calf with separate red leather title and a volume label. Small octavo, 209 pages, with two full page copper engraved plates. Page edges speckled the whole generally in very good antiquarian condition.

    Some quite lengthy and beautiful poems such as … the Deserted Village, the Traveller, the Hermit … and some amusing ones … A Description of an Author’s Bed-Chamber, the haunch of Venison and we quote here partly due to brevity … Epitaph on Edward Purdon

    Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
    Who long was a bookseller’s hack;
    He led such a damnable life in this world, -
    I don’t think he’ll wish to come back.

    Goldsmith explains … This gentleman was educated at Trinity College, Dublin; but having wasted his patrimony, he enlisted as a foot soldier. Growing tired of that employment, he obtained his discharge, and became a scribbler in the newspapers. He translated Voltaire’s Henriade.

    Oliver Goldsmith interesting Poetry and funnier than you thought.

    $60.00

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  • Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    The author George Manville Fenn was a prolific writer of adventure stories for the young in the Victorian era.

    Published by Partridge and Co, London. Octavo, 416 nicely illustrated. Evenly browned internally otherwise a very good copy. Embossed illustrated boards and spine in near fine condition. Looks a beauty.

    A rare book and we cannot find the title on his “official’ list of publications This edition circa WWI era .. we cannot find any other contemporary copies available.

    Hvalross is Norwegian for Walrus. Steve Young is an orphan whose uncle, Captain Young has disappeared on a voyage in and around Spitzbergen in the Arctic Ocean. The Captain’s friends charter a boat the Norwegian “Hvalross” to search for him. Sixteen year old Steve goes along much to the disgust of the ships Doctor who thinks young fellows are just a nuisance. Gales, storms, intense cold and Polar Bears … strong currents complete darkness all add to the adventure.

    Scarce adventure on the “Walrus” up around Spitzbergen …

    $120.00

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  • A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder – James De Mille -1900

    A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder – James De Mille -1900

    Published by Harper, New York in 1900. A very good clean copy of this Utopian, Hollow Earth fantasy. By James De Mille and in true Jules Verne style.

    Octavo with original deep red cloth covered boards with black and gilt lettering and device. 291 pages, frontispiece of the author and seven plates.

    During a voyage in the yacht Falcon in 1850 a strange copper cylinder is retrieved from the Ocean. It contains the manuscript of Adam More of Keswick, Cumberland. His is an incredible tale. He was crewing on a vessel taking convicts to Van Dieman’s Land in 1843. On the return journey they went by Desolation Island where they were becalmed … venturing out to catch seal the got into all sorts of trouble and eventually found themselves in an unusual world with the Antarctic among strange people, strange creatures and strange goings on. Regarded as one of the best in the genre …

    From Hobart Town to the centre of the Antarctic and the people that live there

    $150.00

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  • The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St Patricks, Dublin, Accurately in Six Volumes, Adorned with Copper Plates; with Some account of the Author’s Life, and Notes Historical and Explanatory, by John Hawkesworth

    The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St Patricks, Dublin, Accurately in Six Volumes, Adorned with Copper Plates; with Some account of the Author’s Life, and Notes Historical and Explanatory, by John Hawkesworth

    Six large quarto volumes in contemporary full leather bindings published London, 1755, first editions in this form. Printed by C. Bathurst, C. Davis, C. Hitch etc. Complete and in very good condition. Various plates including, in particular the plates and maps relating to Gulliver’s Travels.

    Each volume bound in full leather with gilt moniker centre front. Raised bands to spines with six compartments those free with gilt decoration. Black leather title and volume labels showing some age and Vol 1 with loss. Gilt lines to boards and gilt knurling to board edges and on board inside edges. Marbled end paper, marbled page edges

    The first noted owners of the set are of interest. Isaac Blackburne born in 1759 to Thomas Blackburne High Sheriff of Lancashire. He went to school in Manchester and then Oriel College, Oxford where he qualifies BA in 1782 and MA 1785. During the “French Wars” he was Captain in Lord Stanley’s Lancashire Regiment. His sister Anne Blackburne was a distinguished botanist who corresponded with Linnaeus. She was the first person to cultivate pineapples in England. Isaac died 17th December 1830. The volumes record the passing to his son Thomas Blackburne via his sister Mary the following year.

    Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) barely requires introduction. An Anglo-Irish satirist, political pamphleteer for the Whigs and then the Tories, poet and cleric who became the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Whilst Gulliver’s Travels is foremost in most minds he also wrote and included here – A Modest Proposal; A Journal to Stella; Drapier’s Letters; The Battle of the Books; A Tale of a Tub etc. The foremost satirist in the English language and Master of both the Horatian and Juvenalian styles of that creed.

    The presentation of Gulliver’s Travels is excellent. Pages throughout are clean and the plates and in particular the maps are well executed and full quarto page size. The relevance to Australia may not be understood by all with Lilliput set south of Sumatra and with Van Diemen’s Land featuring in the south east … Houyhnhnms Land and the Yahoos, as everybody knows, was discovered in 1711 and sits off the coast of South Australia.

    The “biographer” John Hawkesworth requires mention, a man of distinction not the least in that he wrote up the official account of James Cook’s First Voyage in the Endeavour and the discovery of the East Coast of Australia.

    Superior Quarto Swift’s Works in Six Volumes including Gulliver’s Travels Full leather binding – 1755

    $1,690.00

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