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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 Pagan Trinity – Beatrice Irwin – First Edition 1912 – Presentation Copy to “Cheiro”

    The Pagan Trinity – Beatrice Irwin – First Edition 1912 – Presentation Copy to “Cheiro”

    An unusual book of poetry dedicated to French artist sculptor Auguste Rodin. The opening poem inspired by Rodin…” The Hand of God”

    Presentation copy inscribed boldly “To Count Louis Hamon with best regards from Beatrice Irwin Feb 15 /12” … the recipient was also known as Cheiro, a famous cheiromancer (palmist) and author of sought after works on that subject.

    A first edition published by John Lane, The Bodley Head, London in 1912. Octavo, 144 pages half vellum binding with nice marbled paper covered boards, top edge gilt. A nice copy with the super dedication.

    A volume of mystical verse reflecting the poet / actress’s interest in colour – music – poetry relationships, then very fashionable in Europe, America, and Russia through the works of Alexander Scriabin. Irwin Beatrice also know as Lady Rosslyn a spiritualist and followed of the Baha’i faith. Virginia Woolf described the style as neo-Paganism and of significance. Her theatrical career was extensive and included a season in Australia in 1907 when she played in Brewster’s Millions in Sydney and Melbourne. Her views on colour were sophisticated and well known … she influenced Australian artists in that regard including Roy de Maistre.

    The book is arranged in under the following descriptions … Plastic poems; Colour poems; Tone Poems; The Music of Japan and Songs of the Elements. We like it.

    Cheiro, or Count Hamon was born William John Warner in Ireland in 1866. He became an internationally renown clairvoyant, palmist, numerologist … anything occult. He read for so many of the famous including Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Eddison etc. To read about some of his predictions will surprise. It is no surprise however that he had a connection with the mystical Beatrice Irwin.

    Mystical poetry by the colourful Beatrice Irwin – Cheiro’s copy nicely inscribed.

    $160.00

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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.

    $90.00

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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.

    $140.00

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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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  • Secret Memoirs of  the Duke and Dutchess of O***** (Orleans) –  Madame d’Aunoy – First Edition 1708

    Secret Memoirs of the Duke and Dutchess of O***** (Orleans) – Madame d’Aunoy – First Edition 1708

    Title continues … Intermix’d with the Amorous Intrigues and Adventures of the Most Eminent Princes of The Court of France

    Made into English from the Paris Edition. Published in London, and printed by S.P.R. Burrough and J. Baker in Cornhill E. Curll without Temple Bar. E Sanger at the Post-House, and A Collins at the Black Boy on Fleetstreet, and Sold by J. Morphew near Stationers-Hall, 1708

    First English edition translated from the French of the 1690’s. Small octavo, 293. Strange pagination as the printer obviously had his pages mixed up so several times out of order but text runs exactly. Rebound in full leather, in period style by Roger Perry. Four raised bands with separate red leather title label to second compartment. Blind rules to bands and board edges. A delightful item.

    An expose of the amorous goings on of the Duke and Duchess of Orleans. The Duchess was Henrietta of England (1644-1670) youngest daughter of King Charles I. She fled England at the age of three with her governess for the French Court. She married King Louis XIV brother Philippe Duke of Orleans. Phillipe a reputed bisexual had been party to a series of sexual scandals prior to the marriage which was secured after the restoration of the Monarchy in England by a dowry from her brother Charles II.

    An interesting piece if factually based fiction and not at all vulgar.

    The author Madame d’Aulnoy was Marie Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Baroness d’Aulnoy (1650-1705). Lucky to have got away with it we would say.

    Early expose of the amorous lives of the Duke and Duchess of Orleans.

    $340.00

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