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20th Century Classics

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  • The Quiet American – Graham Greene (Collected Edition)

    The Quiet American – Graham Greene (Collected Edition)

    Turned into a classic movie (how many of Greene’s novels have not been?), with Michael Caine, based in Indo-China a striking story of new and old world

    This is the “Collected Edition” a 1989 printing. Octavo, 211 pages to the novel but with the xxx page introduction by Greene that make this issue something extra.

    A couple of innocent chips to the jacket and a gift inscription on the front end paper, otherwise a very good copy of a surprisingly hard edition to find.

    Greene – One of his Best – With the Quiet American.


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  • Ayesha – The Return of the She – H. Rider Haggard – First Edition 1905

    Ayesha – The Return of the She – H. Rider Haggard – First Edition 1905

    A big call, but perhaps H Rider Haggard’s best book, a sequel to “She” the celebrated romance published 1887. Reads independently.

    First edition published Ward an Lock. London in 1905. A very good copy against others. Thick octavo, 284 pages with illustrations, frontispiece and 31 plates, by Maurice Greiffenhagen. Elaborate dark blue cloth covered binding with gilt titles to spine and front board with decorative gilt symbol and embossed green lines surrounding. Some foxing to page edges and the end papers, overall a very good copy.

    A gothic fantasy, like Star Wars it’s the last publsihed but the first novel in the Ayesha … Allan Quartermain series. It had been serialised in the Windsor Magazine such was the publishing fashion … HG Wells, Conan Doyle etc.

    Haggard links the name Ayesha to Muhammad’s wives and the Arabic name … pronounced Assha.

    A film was produced in 1935 title “She”.

    The novel is intrinsically set in Tibet although the back story in Egypt, Arabia .. CS Lewis channeled “She” when writing Jai into the sixth book of Narnia .. Freud and Jung reference the character… Tolkien admired and used elements … get the idea.

    Ayesha a classic the second time around.


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  • The Glass-Blowers – Daphne du Maurier – First Edition 1963

    The Glass-Blowers – Daphne du Maurier – First Edition 1963

    First edition, published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz, London. Octavo, 320 pages, complete dust jacket, some age to page edges and tape marks to pastedowns. Still a very good first edition.

    Du Maurier found some engraved glass an related letters among her family archive. She was descended from an 18th Century family of glass-blowers. This is the foundation of this novel then thought by critics her best so far. Successful and admired the French Revolution brought an end to all of that.

    As an aside, we love the two little booksellers ticket on the front past-down … first Anthony Hordern’s Sydney, a merchant and retailer, the store in Sydney was for years the largest in Australia and, claimed at one time to be the largest in the World. Knocked down by some idiots to build the World Square in 1986. Then, Tyrrell’s Book Shop, Crows Nest Sydney, where it presumably moved to its second owner. Jim Tyrrell was the doyen of the Sydney book trade from the late 1800′s through his long life … he died in 1961 just before this book was published. His son John and Grandson Bill took over the business and moved it to Crows Nest … the same premises now occupied by the esteemed Antique Book Shop.

    Du Maurier and her ancestors – Make for a good story


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  • The Doomed Oasis (A Novel of Arabia) – Hammond Innes

    The Doomed Oasis (A Novel of Arabia) – Hammond Innes

    Hammond Innes a master of the thriller.

    First published 1960, this is the 1962 Readers Book Club edition which we prefer for its more evocative dust jacket.

    Octavo, 286 pages, very good condition.

    Set in Arabia a ex British Army Colonel has taken to Arab life. His son a wayward lad from Cardiff flees trouble to the same locale to be a geologist. Accused of murdering his father things get a bit hot under the Arabian Sun. Packed with action among the sand dunes.

    Hammond Innes and Adventure and Thrills in the Desert


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  • Fruit of the Poppy – Robert Wilder First Edition 1965

    Fruit of the Poppy – Robert Wilder First Edition 1965

    First edition of the upmarket version of Fruit of the Poppy by Robert Wilder, author of Flamingo Road etc.

    Published by Allen, London in 1965. Octavo, 267 pages. Very good condition albeit some dust jacket nicks to spine.

    An early war on drugs novel and more interesting for its serious approach to the story… no car chases or ambushes. Set in the Mexican valleys we have a proper novel in the style of Greene or Le Carre. Judge for yourself.

    Powerful 1960’s novel against the Mexican drug trade


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  • Maigret Victorious – Georges Simenon – First Collection 1975

    Maigret Victorious – Georges Simenon – First Collection 1975

    Published by the Book Club with arrangement with Hamish Hamilton, a first of type 1975.

    Octavo, 281 pages all in excellent condition.

    Three on a plate – Maigret’s Memoirs (better than most); the Headless Corpse (A Voyager favourite) and Maigret and the Saturday Caller.

    Maigret trifecta – get your pipe lit!


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