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19th Century and Prior Classics

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  • The Works of Jonathan Swift [Including Gulliver's Travels] – Published 1760

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

    Twelve octavo volumes in contemporary full leather bindings published London, 1760. Printed by C. Bathurst et al. Complete and in good authentic condition. Various plates including, in particular the plates and maps relating to Gulliver’s Travels.

    Each volume bound in full leather. Raised bands to spines with six compartments those free with gilt decoration. Leather title and volume numbers applied in gilt direct. Red lettered title pages. Some rubbing, and tender hinges, occasional marks, generally clean.

    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 published 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.

    The presentation of Gulliver’s Travels is very good. Pages are clean and the plates and in particular the maps are well executed. The relevance to Australia may not be understood by all with Lilliput set south of Sumatra and in the vicinity of Christmas Island; and Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) 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.

    Swift based his understanding of the geography from the accounts of the voyages of William Dampier [As did Defoe re Robinson Crusoe] and the early Dutch voyagers. Dampier visited Christmas Island in 1688. Some early maps showed erroneously two islands instead of one … this may account for Swift’s ‘two island” depiction.

    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.

    Swift’s Works all Twelve Volumes in contemporary 18th C bindings – including Gulliver’s Travels – 1760



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  • World Famous Books in Outline [Simply the Best] – Odhams – First Edition 1948

    World Famous Books in Outline [Simply the Best] – Odhams – First Edition 1948

    Some readers are worried they will not get through all the books they have to read … this understandably can be quite stressful.

    Regarding the great novels, a course in speed reading may help, but this produces its own form of anxiety … am I really giving the book justice etc? Publisher Odhams, London came up with this precis of the best novels in 1948 … there are other books of this type but none as good as Odhams.

    Published in 1948, octavo, 512 pages, with illustrations of some quality and uniform style which helps you along. Very good condition albeit with a solid chip in the dust jacket at spine ends.

    All up 35 books covered, so you can do the maths. Classics include … Pride and Prejudice; Lorna Doone; Jane Eyre; Don Quixote; the Brothers Karamazov; Madame Bovary; Tess; Notre Dame; Vanity Fair; War and Peace; Faust etc … And, some non-fiction … On the Origin of Species for example

    Get ahead of the game … A good way in and a tease for the full work


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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan – Peter Pauper Press

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyan – Peter Pauper Press

    A lovely little production by the superb Mount Vernon, Peter Pauper Press printed delightfully on rag paper.

    The Edward Fitzgerald translation illustrated by Jeff Hill. No date but likely 1970′s

    Unpaginated but 62 pages with 9 full page illustrations, the verses printed crisply within decorative borders. Decorated paper covered boards the design of which carries over to the dust jacket. Very good condition albeit a little ageing to the jacket.

    The Rubaiyat should require no introduction .. every library should have several versions of which this a special one.

    The Rubaiyat by the special Peter Pauper Press.


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  • Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    This is the fourth edition of this most curios collection of “Poems in the Shetlandic” by Haldane Burgess illustrated by Frank Walterson.

    Published in beautiful Lerwick, Shetland by the local publishing company. Octavo, xxii,104 pages including the useful if not essential comprehensive glossary of Shetlandic words at the end. Very good condition in a like dust jacket.

    First published in the 19th century the work comprises forty seven poems which follow a very good biographical memoir of the poet by Manson and a preface by expert Lawrence Graham.

    There are smatterings of English .. “The Shetland words are rather tough, – And there are folk you’d reach – Who’d like the “’Buddie” right enough; – But can’t make out the speech. – I have knocked about the world, – Seen and read a thing or two – And picked up some plain English, – Which I’m pretty sure would do”

    But the fun in this work comes with the translation and the relaxing island style.

    Shetlandic poetry – what a way in to a beautiful dialect ..


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  • Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – Published in 1790 – Two Volume Illustrated Edition by Stockdale London

    Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – Published in 1790 – Two Volume Illustrated Edition by Stockdale London

    The full title of one of the world’s most famous books … “The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventure of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived eight and twenty years all alone in an uninhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River Oroonoque, Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself: With An Account how he was at last as strangely delivered by Pyrates. Written by Himself.” …

    The Second Volume is separately titled … “The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe being the Second and Last Part of his Life” … to which is appended George Chalmers’s “Life of Daniel Defoe”

    A two volume large octavo set bound in contemporary calf. Pagination Volume 1 .. viii,[iii]-iv, 493 pages – 9 full page plates: Volume 2 … [2],vi, 483 pages – 7 full pages plates. Some rubbing to covers and joints repaired, new in period labels to spine, a very good and desirable Robinson Crusoe set. Some age marks to title pages otherwise surprisingly clean internally.

    This is the first edition of the Stockdale version and the best illustrations to date. Engraved frontispieces and plates were by Thomas Stothard (1755-1834) a leading illustrator of the period.

    Robinson Crusoe the most popular, delightful and extraordinary of all of Daniel Defoe’s works. Loved by Dr Johnson who challenged anyone to put it down easily. By 1790 the text of Robinson Crusoe had become abused by other publishers, reduced and amended. Here, Stockdale reverted to the original text of Defoe to which he added the fine illustrations.

    Most may know that Defoe was a great follower of William Dampier the first person to circumnavigate the World twice and eventually three times. Dampier was embroiled in the strange goings on resulting in the leaving of Scotsman Alexander Selkirk on Juan Fernandos Island, off the coast of Chile. He also, rather strangely, was pilot on the vessel that was to pick Selkirk up many year later. The story of Selkirk’s solitary life there, goats etc is the basis of Robinson Crusoe. Defoe had the island transported to the mouth of the Orinoco, for marketing purpose one presumes.

    Late 18th Century and preferred illustrated Stockdale Volumes of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.



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  • Pharais and the Mountain Lovers – Fiona Macleod (William Sharp) – 1924 Edition

    Pharais and the Mountain Lovers – Fiona Macleod (William Sharp) – 1924 Edition

    William Sharp (1855-1905) was a Scottish writer, poet and biographer. He edited poems for Walter Scott, Swinbourne and Arnold … he wrote the best biography of Rossetti who he knew well. As a writer of novels he had moderate success under his own name but under his highly secretive nom de plume Fiona Macleod was highly respected.

    After his death his wife assembled the “Fiona Macleod” works and presented them here bookended with a very worthy Forward and Bibliographical Note.

    Published by Heinemann in 1924, octavo, 401 pages Mountain Lovers being the longer of the two works. Bound in blue/green cloth covered boards with Celtic design to front. Strangely the boards have silver fish nibbles, whilst the rare dust jacket with matching design to front, titles to spine is in perfect condition. The result makes for a pretty attractive copy.

    Pharais subtitled “A Romance of the Isles” … the Scottish Isles that is and the narrative flows in such a mysterious, glamorous manner in true Celtic fashion .. the charm and terror of one night of tragic significance. The Mountain Lovers in a similar vein in the hills of North West Scotland.

    Sharp was so protective of Fiona Macleod … whenever a manuscript note was required in her hand he had it written by his sister Mary Sharp … he kept it up but a few worked it out … that in itself is a good story.

    Beautiful, strong Celtic infused narrative by Fiona Macleod .. well Sharp really


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