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20th Century Classics

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  • The Invisible Island –  Alexander MacDonald – 1911

    The Invisible Island – Alexander MacDonald – 1911

    A Story of the Far North of Queensland … by Alexander McDonald and illustrated by Charles M Sheldon.

    Published by Blackie & Sons, London, Glasgow, octavo 360 pages with pictorial image to front cover and spine. A little age otherwise a very good copy and especially clean internally.

    The book opens on an island in the south west of the Gulf of Carpentaria … “Through the dank, shimmering heat haze the island loomed in ghostly outline”

    Six full page illustrations including the frontispiece.

    Adventure and gold in the Far North

    $60.00

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  • The Quest of the Black Opals – Alexander McDonald – 1908

    The Quest of the Black Opals – Alexander McDonald – 1908

    A Tale of Adventure in the Heart of Australia … by Alexander McDonald and illustrated by William Rainey R.I.

    Published by Blackie & Sons, London, Glasgow and Bombay in 1908.

    Octavo 352 pages with nice pictorial covers. Some age to page edges otherwise a very good copy.

    The opening sentence sets the scene nicely … “In that desolate tract of country beyond the borders of Queensland through which the mystic Cooper flows, lies a wealth of fire-flashing opal awaiting only the advent of him who can take it away”.

    Six full page illustrations including the frontispiece, plus a full page map near the front and a small map reference Burke and Wills.

    Adventure stirred up by Opals in the Heart of Oz

    $60.00

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  • The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    Superior production Published by Constable, London in 1933. Signed by the author and numbered 267 of a limited issue of 750 copies. Printed at the “Raven Press” in Harrow with a frontispiece engraved by Horace Walter Bray. Printed on thick cream paper rough cut to fore-edge, gilt to top. Original quarter velum over beige cloth covered boards. Gilt titles to front and spine.

    Very good condition … note on en paper inviting all communications to Miss Waddell’s agent at Lincoln’s Inn.

    A Play by esteemed Irish Playwright Helen Waddell, in a Prologue and Three Acts, over 57 pages, with Dramatis Personae of eight. The Prologue is set twenty years after the main events in the Library of the Chateau of the Prince de Conti. Act I is set in Lenski’s lodgings at the Hague in 173 and II and II in Prevost’s garret in Drury Lane, London in 1733.

    Abbe (Antoine Francois) Prevost (1697-1763) was a Benedictine Priest who fled France for London in 1728 after falling out with the Abbot. He became a teacher and writer and after a love affair with a pupil fled London for the Hague in 1730. There he met the beautiful Lenski (described by others as a lady of doubtful character) … got into trouble with creditors and fled back to London. It is these events which are the subject of this historical drama.

    Back in London, Prevost was briefly imprisoned for forgery. By 1735 he was forgiven by the Catholic faith and returned to Paris in 1735. A prolific writer, whilst all this was going on he published Manon Lescaut in 1731… one of Voyager’s favourites.

    A glimpse into the 18thC Life of Abbe Prevost

    $80.00

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  • The Little Green Road to Fairyland – By Annie R Rentoul and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite – First Australian edition 1948

    The Little Green Road to Fairyland – By Annie R Rentoul and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite – First Australian edition 1948

    This is the first Australian printing of this beautifully illustrated, and written, children’s book by Australian Rentoul sisters Annie and Ida (Outhwaite by marriage).

    First published in London in 1922 in a deluxe limited issue. This first Australian edition was issued in 1948 still under the original publishers name, Adam and Charles Black, Soho Square, London and printed by Speciality Press, Collins Street, Melbourne.

    Quarto, 94 pages with sixteen plates, half in colour by Ida. Still has the hard to come by dust jacket albeit signs of tape repair (tape now removed) an a little pink crayon near the edge. Gift inscription inside otherwise internally very clean, with all the plates … sometimes pilfered.
    Reference Muir 739.

    Collectable first Australian printing – beautiful Ida Outhwaite plates delightful Annie Rentoul narrative.

    $180.00

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  • Brighton Rock – Graham Greene – First Australian edition 1944

    Brighton Rock – Graham Greene – First Australian edition 1944

    First Australian edition published by Invincible Press printed by “Truth”. Published in 1944. Softcover, octavo, stapled 175 pages showing some usual even toning of war paper – still a pretty good copy. Cover design identical to the UK first.

    The Publisher summary on the front cover is taken from the Heinemann first UK edition of 1938 … “A story of murder and love, of guilt and faith, of the perpetual conflict between evil and good, Brighton Rock is one of the most powerful and exciting novels the publishers have handled” … and it certainly is …

    Many regard this as Greene’s greatest work. Being short in form he still regarded it as an “Entertainment” rather than a fully formed and sized novel.

    Dickie Attenborough starred in the first film adaptation … now recognised as a classic … Dickie was brilliant in the role of the central character

    Graham Greene Collectable

    $90.00

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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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