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Fictional Travel and Exploration

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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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  • The Master Mariner – Running Proud – Nicolas Monsarrat

    The Master Mariner – Running Proud – Nicolas Monsarrat

    For years Monsarrat had thought about writing an epic maritime story. The result was “the Master Mariner”. This this first part at 524 pages published in 1978. He left his run a bit late, as he sadly died the very next year before completing 200 pages of book two.

    Published by the London, Book Club in conjunction with Cassell. Octavo, 524 pages, and as new a copy as you will find. A super chart illustrates each story element.

    The underlying concept behind the book is intriguing. Master Mariner Matthew Lawe committed a act of cowardice during Drake’s Spanish Armada. As a result he was cursed that he would stay on earth until his guilt was purged. So the scene is set for Lawe to participate in some of the most dramatic events in maritime history. Here we run from the Spanish Armada through Hudson, Morgan, Cook (nut in Quebec with Wolfe) before the Pacific, Nelson and the Nile before the greatest of all sea battles. And in-between working with Pepys at the Admiralty

    A Treasure a real page turner for the marine historian



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  • Ungava: A Tale of Esquimax-Land – Robert M. Ballantyne

    Ungava: A Tale of Esquimax-Land – Robert M. Ballantyne

    One of the most prolific writers of adventure for the young Scottish born Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894) went to Canada at the age of 16. There he worked for six years for the Hudson Bay Company. In his autobiography he said that writing long letters to his mother on the goings on of the fur traders was the stimulus behind his first books.

    His first was “The Hudson Bay Company” and then “The Young Fur Traders” … this book was his fourth. He went on to pen over 100 books to the delight of his adventure seeking followers.

    An early 20th century edition published by Nelson, London. Octavo, 509 pages, blue cloth covered boards with sailing ship design and design to spine, coloured frontispiece. A very good copy indeed.

    A party of explorers head into Eskimo territory to establish a fur trading post at Ungava Bay. Situated in the Nunavik region of Quebec.

    Ballantyne in one of those “live there did that” adventures.


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  • The Realms of Gold [Greek Legends] – George Baker

    The Realms of Gold [Greek Legends] – George Baker

    Originally published in 1954 this is a fine copy of the 1960 reissue. Published by the University of London Press, octavo, 262 pages, illustrated with drawing in the classic style, end paper maps. Very good near find condition with a fine dust jacket.

    Baker a published classicist retells Greek myths and legends in a very readable enjoyable style. Beginning with the quarrel that was to start the Trojan War. Then, the adventures of Perseus and the slaying of the Gorgon. Hercules freeing Athens and the terrible Minotaur. The Quest of the Golden Fleece with a capital “Q”. the wanderings of Odysseus …. To the settlement of the Trojan survivors in Italy and the foundation of Rome.

    The Greek Legends – no Latin required …


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  • The Gold Trail – Henry Stacpoole – First Edition 1916

    The Gold Trail – Henry Stacpoole – First Edition 1916

    From the author of The Blue Lagoon and The Pearl Fishers.

    A first U.S. edition published by John Lane, New York in 1916. Octavo, 308 pages plus publishers advertisements. Original clay coloured cloth covered boards with striking design in black and gilt to front. Inner hinges re-enforced, bookplate removed from front past down, some age marks, internally pretty bright and clean. A pretty good copy of a now very scarce book

    Irish born Henry Stacpoole (1863-1951) was for some time a ship’s Doctor mostly in the South Pacific. He later became a very successful author. His novels often based in New Guinea or the Pacific Islands reflect his in depth understanding of the environment, people etc.

    This novel, titled “The Reef of Stars” in the UK starts in Sydney .. a venture is formed and off to New Guinea … up a river a heroine is found among the local tribes … the unfortunate Maquart goes made over his inability to move a fortune in gold … etc tense stuff in equatorial New Guinea,

    Scarce early novel based in unknown New Guinea


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  • Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson – 1950′s Dakers Edition

    Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson – 1950′s Dakers Edition

    Published by Adam Dakers, London in the 1950’s, part of their Hamlyn Classic Series.

    Octavo, 204 pages, with vibrant coloured frontispiece and our favourite Kidnapped dust jacket. The book is in good condition albeit evenly toned throughout probably due to a post war experiment in having this series printed in Czechoslovakia.

    Vies with Treasure Island as RLS’s most important book … in Scotland no doubt their favourite.

    Kidnapped everyone should have one


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