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20th Century Classics

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  • Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck

    Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck

    First published in 1935 this is the book that brought success for John Steinbeck.

    This is the Modern Library edition, a 1970’s issue, Steinbeck had passed away in 1968 as noted on the back flap … although not updated in the “Note on the Author”.

    As well as the “Note’ we have Steinbeck’s own remarks about the book. He struggled a bit with the critics interpretation of the characters in the book … he held them close to his heart.

    Octavo, 317 pages with illustrations by Ruth Gannett. A nice copy.

    The story of “Danny’s House” and the lives and exploits of the Paisanos that lived there.


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  • Islands in the Stream – Ernest Hemingway  – First Edition 1970

    Islands in the Stream – Ernest Hemingway – First Edition 1970

    This is the first UK edition published by Collins, London in 1970.

    Large octavo, 398 pages with end paper maps. Very good if not better condition.

    A major novel left among Hemingway’s writings at the time of death. Mary Hemingway said “The book is all Ernest’s. We have added nothing to it” … we believe her …

    Hemingway’s Last Novel and a good one!


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  • Ernest Hemingway – A Comprehensive Bibliography – Compiled and described by Audre Hanneman.

    Ernest Hemingway – A Comprehensive Bibliography – Compiled and described by Audre Hanneman.

    The definitive work published by Princeton University Press in 1967. Significant involvement from Scribner’s as one would expect.

    Large octavo, 568 pages. Complete dust jacket with a couple of small spots, very clean inside a very good copy of a book more often found ex public library.

    Following a Forward by Charles Scribner Jnr an a useful Preface by the compiler we have Part I … which comprises a Chronological List of Hemingway’s books then the main game .. Books and Pamphlets (American and English [mainly Cape] Editions). Here we have the full description of each work and progressive edition.

    Following that … Contributions and First Appearances in Books and Pamphlets; Contributions to Newspapers and Periodicals; Translations; Anthologies and Library Holding (Letters, Ephemera etc)

    Part Ii provided information on books and articles about Hemingway an Part III, really and appendix of references to previous notes.

    This is certainly the “go to” reference … it is before Islands in the Stream and we can see one or two omissions and small errors. But don’t be put off.

    Ernest Hemingway – the reference for collectors an admirers.


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  • Whalers of the Midnight Sun  – Alan Villiers [A Fiction Based on His Experiences] – 1964

    Whalers of the Midnight Sun – Alan Villiers [A Fiction Based on His Experiences] – 1964

    Maritime hero Alan Villiers brings his undoubted experience to this adventure book aimed at young boys.

    A new edition and first of its type, Angus and Robertson 1964. Octavo, 248 pages with ten full pages illustration from woodcuts by Charles Pont. A little aging to page edges and gift inscription back of half title, nice bright jacket, all up a pretty good copy.

    Endpaper maps of the voyage from Hobart, Tasmania down to Macquarie Island; the Balleny Islands; the Ross Sea; Grahams Island before heading north to Montevideo.

    A Norwegian expedition picks up some extra crew at Hobart, a motely band of youths and a stow away, little Alfie, who appears at Macquarie Island. Adventure ensues.

    Alan Villiers, a yarn about Whaling, from personal experience.


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  • A Woman – Rhys Davies – 1931

    A Woman – Rhys Davies – 1931

    A fine first of type edition published in 1931, having been published as part of a collection the previous year. A beautifully written and presented short story by the gifted Rhys Davies.

    Printed by Capell at the Bronze Snail Press London. Octavo, 39 pages, number 131 of a limited edition of 165 copies (plus an additional 17 for presentation). Printed on English hand-made paper and hand numbered and signed nicely by the author. Quarter gold toned buckram over an almost iridescent metallic designed paper covered boards.

    Rhys Davies (1901-1978) was born in Wales and became o prolific writer … this is one of almost 100 short stories and the best presented. Whilst he lived most of his adult life in London his work is often set in Wales … as is “A Woman”. He was friendly with D.H and Frieda Lawrence and stayed with them in France shortly before this work was penned and D.H. Lawrence’s passing. Davies smuggled Lawrence’s “Pansies” into Britain and saw to its publication.

    “A Woman” a forthright story about the development of a young woman in South Wales into “A Woman” .. with all the challenges of the time and place. Beautifully written.

    A book with a short poignant story … would make a super gift.


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  • Graham Greene – Collected Stories

    Graham Greene – Collected Stories

    A second printing of the Collected Series of Greene short stories. Includes the entirety of previous collections titled … May We Borrow Your Husband; A Sense of Reality and Twenty-One Stories. Added to A Sense … are three stories previously not published in book form … The Blessing, Church Militant and Dear Dr Falkenheim.

    One of the advantages of the “Collected Series” is the introduction by GG himself. Here we learn how the stories came about, what makes a great short story (try Chekhov’s – The Lady with the Dog) and also GG’s struggles with the form and the problem of knowing the outcome at the start compared with a fuller form novel of “entertainment’ as he preferred for his “shorter novel” the writer can be taken down various paths unknown at the outset. Well still did a rather good job anyway and the language often in these mere morsels often unfamiliar and rewarding.

    Publishes by the Bodley Head in 1974, octavo 562 pages … 40 stories all up. Dust jacket designed by Michael Harvey. Very good condition bar previous ownership signature on free end paper.

    Graham Greene – short stories, many and varied – great bedtime reading


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