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Fictional Travel and Exploration

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  • Biggles of the Interpol – Capt. W.E. Johns

    Biggles of the Interpol – Capt. W.E. Johns

    Scarce first edition Biggles published by the Brockhampton Press in 1957.

    Octavo, 181 pages, four full page exciting illustrations and a T.E. Lawrence like coloured frontispiece. A little age and a trifle foxing, pretty good and rare dust jacket.

    A collection of Biggles short stories – with our man in Arabia, Brazil and French Guinea- diamonds and thugs add to the various contrivances.

    Biggles outperforms the baddies and the goodies in various exotic locations


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  • Biggles in The Cruise of the Condor – Capt. W.E. Johns

    Biggles in The Cruise of the Condor – Capt. W.E. Johns

    The Cruise of the Condor was one of the first Biggles in the 1930’s. This edition by Thames mid 1950’s.

    Octavo, 247 pages (a lengthy Biggles) in very good condition in a nice dust jacket albeit with a chip to bottom front.

    Biggles and his cohorts use an amphibious aircraft in Brazil seeking treasure and danger – a normal day for Biggles.

    Biggles in Brazil – exciting adventures


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  • In the Great White Land (A Tale of the Antarctic Ocean) – Gordan Stables

    In the Great White Land (A Tale of the Antarctic Ocean) – Gordan Stables

    Adventure book in the Antarctic for the young and young at heart.

    Published by Blackie London but really Glasgow in the early 1930’s.

    Octavo, 288 pages thick spongy paper and despite the spongy quite clean with some marks to the extreme per edge. Coloured frontispiece and three full page illustrations. Prize label on front end papers. Rare in the illustrated dust jacket.

    Three stories and despite the subtitle starts with … “Far Away in the Frozen North” an Arctic adventure on the good barque Walrus and the oft frozen Captain Mayne Brace (great pun). Story two “Under the Southern Cross” requires no clue as to the general location with many icy encounters. Finally “On the Great Antarctic Continent” and the beauty and marvel of the Ice-Cave. The sledging journey across the tableland and the dash for the pole takes its lead from the great Heroic Era accounts.

    Young at heart adventure with a nod to Polar reality.


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  • The Travel Books [the Far East and Spain] – Somerset Maugham

    The Travel Books [the Far East and Spain] – Somerset Maugham

    A triple serving of Maugham … On a Chinese screen; The Gentleman in the Parlour and Don Fernando.

    Thick octavo, 148, 170 and 146 pages of Maugham on the move. Published by Heinemann, London in 1955. A sign of age on the dust jacket edges, otherwise a very good copy especially given its age.

    “The Gentleman in the Parlour” records a journey from Rangoon to Haipong … real Somerset Maugham territory and (as he says) is an exercise in style.

    “On a Chinese Screen” is a reflection on his travels in China during 1920.

    “Don Fernando”, almost self explanatory, is a Maugham Spanish classic. Whilst included under this “Travel” umbrella it is a historical account set in the times of Velasquez and El Greco … and obviously Don Fernando.

    Somerset Maugham perhaps at his best in the East with a helping of Spain thrown in …


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  • Captain Caution – Kenneth Roberts – First UK Edition 1949

    Captain Caution – Kenneth Roberts – First UK Edition 1949

    First UK edition published by Collins, London in 1949.

    American historical adventure writer Roberts highly regarded at the time compared, by some, with Dumas and Victor Hugo … high praise indeed.

    Octavo, 255 pages with the super period dust jacket. A fine copy the condition surprising considering age and time of printing.

    In the main concerning the American War of Independence. Our hero Captain Marvin stocks it up the British but not without a period of imprisonment in the hulks … escapes and takes a prize in true Hornblower fashion. He escapes to France and is victorious in a thrilling naval battle off Madeira.

    Captain Caution is not so Cautious.


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  • Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – Published in 1790 – Two Volume Illustrated Edition by Stockdale London

    Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – Published in 1790 – Two Volume Illustrated Edition by Stockdale London

    The full title of one of the world’s most famous books … “The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventure of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived eight and twenty years all alone in an uninhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River Oroonoque, Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself: With An Account how he was at last as strangely delivered by Pyrates. Written by Himself.” …

    The Second Volume is separately titled … “The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe being the Second and Last Part of his Life” … to which is appended George Chalmers’s “Life of Daniel Defoe”

    A two volume large octavo set bound in contemporary calf. Pagination Volume 1 .. viii,[iii]-iv, 493 pages – 9 full page plates: Volume 2 … [2],vi, 483 pages – 7 full pages plates. Some rubbing to covers and joints repaired, new in period labels to spine, a very good and desirable Robinson Crusoe set. Some age marks to title pages otherwise surprisingly clean internally.

    This is the first edition of the Stockdale version and the best illustrations to date. Engraved frontispieces and plates were by Thomas Stothard (1755-1834) a leading illustrator of the period.

    Robinson Crusoe the most popular, delightful and extraordinary of all of Daniel Defoe’s works. Loved by Dr Johnson who challenged anyone to put it down easily. By 1790 the text of Robinson Crusoe had become abused by other publishers, reduced and amended. Here, Stockdale reverted to the original text of Defoe to which he added the fine illustrations.

    Most may know that Defoe was a great follower of William Dampier the first person to circumnavigate the World twice and eventually three times. Dampier was embroiled in the strange goings on resulting in the leaving of Scotsman Alexander Selkirk on Juan Fernandos Island, off the coast of Chile. He also, rather strangely, was pilot on the vessel that was to pick Selkirk up many year later. The story of Selkirk’s solitary life there, goats etc is the basis of Robinson Crusoe. Defoe had the island transported to the mouth of the Orinoco, for marketing purpose one presumes.

    Late 18th Century and preferred illustrated Stockdale Volumes of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.



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