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Biography/ autobiography

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  • A Thirst for the Sea (about Erskine Childers) – Hugh and Robin Popham

    A Thirst for the Sea (about Erskine Childers) – Hugh and Robin Popham

    A biographical account of the sailing adventures of Erskine Childers author of The Riddle of the Sands.

    First edition, published by Stanford Maritime, London in 1979. Octavo, 178 pages plus tow pages “A portion of the manuscript draft of The Riddle of the Sands”. Illustrated from original photographs and with two charts. Very good condition although minus its front free endpaper.

    Erskine Childers background requires more room than available here. He was a Clerk to the House of Commons and developed a passion for sailing. His adventures in the Sunbeam (1903) and the Asgard (1906) provided the inspiration for his thriller novel … a book that should be read by all.

    Erskine Childers the basis of The Riddle

    $25.00

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  • The Life and Work of Sydney Long  – Joanna Mendelssohn

    The Life and Work of Sydney Long – Joanna Mendelssohn

    A first edition published by McGraw Hill, Sydney as part of the Copperfield Art Series, 1979.

    Folio, 284 pages in complete dust jacket all in very good if not better condition. With numerous illustrations of the great man’s work including 38 in full colour including folding colour frontispiece.

    Sydney Long (1871-1955) was born in Goulburn, New South Wales.

    One of Australia’s greatest artists partly inspired by the Heidelberg School. By 1897 he had developed his own style, with possibly his most admired painting being completed that year … The Spirit of the Plains. Painted in a soft colour palette a naked Grecian wood nymph leading a procession of dancing Brolgas … simply wonderful. His paintings in this style, often with low key eroticism, were the foundation of a new art style Australian Paganism and influenced the likes of Norman Lindsay.

    Long sold his early works at good prices which financed time spent in London just before WWI where he turned to etching and engraving and held positions of distinction in several Societies.

    Sydney Long the definitive work

    $140.00

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  • The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton – Hugh Robert Mill – First Edition 1923

    The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton – Hugh Robert Mill – First Edition 1923

    A first edition of the prestige edition of the biography of Shackleton by his long-time colleague and admirer Hugh Robert Mill.

    Published by Heinemann, London in 1923. Large octavo, 312 pages, 19 illustrations from photographs and four maps in the text. Original blue cloth covered binding with gilt titling to front and spine and gilt shield. A little ageing and spotting to page edges, altogether still a very good copy of a much-prized edition.

    Mill states in his Preface that he had the assistance of lady Shackleton and the great man’s daughters. He also acknowledges that the book is weighted towards the exploratory and whilst referencing Shackleton’s business exploits and War effort they are written with limited depth.

    Regardless of the qualification we find most interesting the chapters on Shackleton’s early life as sea starting as a “Boy” on the Iquique going around the Horn. And

    The rest is “history” … the most popular of all Polar heroes ..

    Shackleton by a man who knew him well.

    $220.00

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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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  • Sepik Pilot –  Wing Commander Bobby Gibbes, DSO, DFC. – James Sinclair – First edition 1971

    Sepik Pilot – Wing Commander Bobby Gibbes, DSO, DFC. – James Sinclair – First edition 1971

    First edition published by Lansdowne, Melbourne in 1971. Octavo, 189 pages with many illustrations from period photographs.

    James Sinclair’s book on the extraordinary life of Bobby Gibbes who flew Tomahawks and Kittyhawks against German and Italian forces in the Western Desert in WWII. Back in Darwin he was Court Martialled for what we would regard as a minor matter.

    A new life opened up for Bobby who went to New Guinea and among other things started an airline “Gibbes Sepik Airways” … at the time quite a challenge … and with all challenges it leads to some remarkable and sometimes amusing stories.

    The Sepik Pilot – New Guinea Legend – Bobby Gibbes

    $90.00

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  • Matthew Flinders Private Journal

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal

    Matthew Flinders Private Journal from 17 December 1803 at Isle of France to 10 July 1814 at London

    Published by the Friends of the State Library of South Australia, a first edition 2005.

    Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony J. Brown and Gillian Dooley. Foreword by Witgar Hitchcock. Preface by Paul Brunton.

    Large octavo, xxxiv, 566 pages, coloured frontispiece & 12 colour plates, 26 black and white illustrations, folding map (London, showing Flinders’ residences etc) & another in rear pocket (Flinders’ General Chart of Australia, or Terra Australia). Bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt stamped on spine, blind decorations on boards. One of 850 copies. A substantial book in very good if not fine condition.

    After useful introductions we start with the last few days on the Cumberland and Flinders’ plans and expectation on arrival at Mauritius. Unfortunately, the Captain-General Decaen, was very suspicious as to the motives of Flinders having arrived in such a “small” ship and carrying papers for the “Investigator”. Consequently, his incarceration began the next morning when he was taken to the Café Marengo which first appeared to be a jail but turned out to be a tavern. Three and a half month later he was transferred to the Maison Despaux and then finally on 25th August 1805 to Plaines Wilhems where he would stay until 19th March 1910 before being released. His journal continues through his journey back to England and the final period during which he was preparing and revising his monumental work for publication.

    Eight appendices are of further interest … Flinders’ Passport from the French Government; A record of his Interrogation; the Captain-General’s Report; Flinders’ letter regarding Thomy Pitot; Avis do Conseil d’Etat; Flinders’ Parole; Question relative to the Isle de France by Vice Admiral Bertie and Flinders’ Last illness and the final five months to July 1814 by Stephen Milazzo.

    Flinders’ own words and what a story they make

    $180.00

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