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Classics

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  • Sir Samuel Walker Griffith’s – Literal translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri. [Printed Draft Signed and Gifted to Governor of Queensland] 1903

    Sir Samuel Walker Griffith’s – Literal translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri. [Printed Draft Signed and Gifted to Governor of Queensland] 1903

    A unique item, a printed DRAFT of S.W.G’s mammoth translation of Dante’s Inferno. More so as it is signed by S.W.G. as a gift to the then Queensland Governor Sir Herbert Chermside.

    Printed by Powell & Company, Adelaide Street Brisbane … legal and Government Printers, in 1903. Octavo softcover, probably later basic re-enforcement to spine. 136 pages comprising in its entirety of The Inferno and a Title which is a repeat of the cover. Aged somewhat externally with darkening to the card boards. Internally bright and clean with a few tears to the inner crease of one gathering, nothing troublesome. S.W.G’s minor correction by hand in three spots. The final work, itself very scarce was published in Sydney in 1908.

    Sir Samuel Walker Griffith GCMG QC (1845-1920) politician, Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and a principal author of the Constitution of Australia. In 1865 he gained the T.S. Mort Travelling Fellowship and spent most of his time in Italy becoming very much attached to the Italian people and their literature. This the first translation of Dante by an Australian is a remarkable body, scarce, indeed unique in this form.

    The Draft of a little known and important work by a leading light in the history of Australia

    $370.00

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  • The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

    The complete unabridged Modern Library edition. Published in 1951 (by reference to the number of book on the list back of dust jacket). Thick octavo, 630 pages. With a forward by Morris Ernst dated 1930 regarding the difficult time the book had had in America because of draconian obscenity laws. Well here it is unadulterated.

    Translated by John Payne, which must have been a lengthy task and one well done. It has stood the test of centuries and was a source of inspiration for Chaucer, Shakespeare and Keats.

    Good condition albeit with two previous owners names on the end papers and later date stamp on half title. Light chips to dust jacket and a hint of fading, now protected in Brodart.

    A lusty bawdy delight by Boccaccio translated by Payne

    $40.00

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  • The Peculiar Use and Signification of Certain Words in the Latin Tongue: or, a Collection of Observations, wherein the Elegant, and Commonly Unobserv’d Sense of very near Nine Hundred Common Latin Words. William Willymott – 1713

    The Peculiar Use and Signification of Certain Words in the Latin Tongue: or, a Collection of Observations, wherein the Elegant, and Commonly Unobserv’d Sense of very near Nine Hundred Common Latin Words. William Willymott – 1713

    A scholarly book from the early eighteenth century. One that will give any reader a leg forward in the intellectual stakes.

    Published by R Bonwick printed at the Cambridge University Press in 1713. A second edition. Scarce.

    Octavo, 4, 374 pages bound in original full panelled calf, spine with raised bands, losses to ends, joints tender. Some long gone worming to the margin of a few of the last leaves, otherwise a pretty good proper antiquarian copy.

    We have no date of birth but William Willymott died in 1737. He was born at Royston, Cambridgeshire and educated at Eton and then Kings College, Cambridge were he graduated B.A. M.A. L.L.D. by 1707. He was made a Fellow. He became an usher at Eton and then founder pf Isleworth Private School. He was suspected as having an attachment to the Pretender which hampered his career. He considered law but changed his mind and took orders … living at the Rectory Milton near Cambridge. He died at the Swan Inn at Bedford … not a bad pub.

    Overcome your Latin deficiencies with Willymott – 1713

    $190.00

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  • The Fortunes of Fifi – Molly Elliot Seawell – First Edition 1903

    The Fortunes of Fifi – Molly Elliot Seawell – First Edition 1903

    A first edition published by Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis in 1903. Interestingly, carries the booksellers sticker of Dymock’s Book Arcae, 428 George Street. Dymocks, Australia’s favourite book store was started in 1879 but soon moved to the aforementioned address as the business took off.

    Fifi is a young actress in fourth rate theatre in Paris. Napoleon is involved in a minor way. She has confidantes and admirers and much love and lost love ensues. She turns out to be related to a certain person in very high place … things get rich and in a tangle which really she is not that thrilled with – eventually, she ends up with the one she should. Complex and intriguing romance. The outline is easily told … it became an early silent movie circa WW! And was very successful.

    Octavo, 239 pages, with decorative end papers that match the delightful pictorial covers. A very good copy.

    Classic Romance based in Paris, became one of the very first movies.

    $50.00

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  • Petronius – The Satyricon – Private Press – Norman Lindsay Illustrated – 1910

    A Revised Latin Text of the Satyricon with the Earliest English Translation (1694) Now First Reprinted with an Introduction together with One Hundred Illustrations by Norman Lindsay

    Published privately by Ralph Straus, London 1910. Folio, (33cm by 26cm), 303 pages, 100 leaves of plates.

    First English translation side by side with the Latin on alternating pages. The Satyricon, Satyricon liber (The Book of Satylike Adventures) a work of fiction by Gaius Petronius. It is and example of Menippean satire.

    Gaius Petronius Arbiter (27AD-66AD) was born in Marseille. He became a Roman Courtier in the reign of Nero. He is well mentioned by Tacitus, Plutarch and Pliny the Elder who regarded him as a “judge of elegance”. Petronius became a member of the Senatorial Class who devoted their lives to pleasure … he was essentially a fashion advisor to Nero. Sleeping by day he devoted night time to amusement … he had a reputation of being very good at it!

    In the Satyricon, Petronius uses a new style of writing in that each of the characters are well and openly described. Previously, such literature focused mainly on the plot. There is no holding back in terms of moral issues, and it is thought that the main character Trimalchio (who is on the naughty side) is a cameo of Nero.

    Petronius fell out of favour and committed suicide in a rather strange manner.

    Goings on in the Days of Nero – with numerous Norman Lindsay Illustrations.

    $390.00

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  • A Journey to the Interior of the Earth – Jules Verne – c1905

    A Journey to the Interior of the Earth – Jules Verne – c1905

    Jule Verne classic published by Ward Lock, London, early 20th century, likely pre-WWI. Part of the “Lilley series” – with catalogue at rear indication forty volumes available and another ten in preparation which appears circa 1905. Octavo, 256 pages.

    Lovely pictorial image pasted to front board, with “framing” decoration, which is repeated on the spine. The aforesaid image is repeated as a frontispiece. Some foxing to title and page edges. Generally, given the excellent covers, still a good to better copy for its age.

    Often Journey to the “Centre” here the ”Interior” but we still come out in Iceland, where else? Another slightly unusual translation which adds to the fun.

    Century old Jules Verne – off into the Centre (Interior)

    $80.00

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