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Fine Bindings

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  • Fine Binding by Riviere The Lays of Ancient Rome – Lord Macaulay

    Fine Binding by Riviere The Lays of Ancient Rome – Lord Macaulay

    A new edition published in the 1890’s by Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, London.

    Larger form octavo, 210 pages with numerous illustrations original to this edition and some drawn from the “antique” by George Scharf.

    A beautiful full red leather binding by the distinguished binder Riviere. Heavy gold work to boards and spine all edges richly gilt, marbled endpapers with gilt rolls inside board and along board edges. Riviere stamp discretely inside front free endpaper. A little rubbing but still a very good copy that would make a smashing gift.

    For those unaware Macaulay’s Lays are narrative poems recounting events in Ancient Rome. They were written when he was bored in India during his early twenties. They are regarded as a classic … Winston Churchill memorised them while at Harrow to shore up shortcomings in his academic achievements.

    Beautifully bound solid history … a Churchill favourite


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  • The Songs of Meleager – Frederick Rolfe  – Fine Private Press 1937

    The Songs of Meleager – Frederick Rolfe – Fine Private Press 1937

    A fine private printing for The First Edition Club by the Chiswick Press, London, 1937.

    Made into English with designs by Frederick Baron Corvo (Fr. Rolfe) in collaboration with Sholto Douglas. The excellent preface by A.J.A. Symons gives an excellent background to the talented Baron Corvo (one of his many pseudonyms) and the academic Sholto Douglas.

    A beautiful presentation designed by Christopher Sandford. Octavo, 132 pages. Text in original Greek to the left with translation facing. Gilt decorated green cloth covered binding, top edge gilt. Printed in Monotype Poliphilus Roman and new Hellenic Greek type on Eynsford Mill Toned Wove Had-made paper. The binding executed by the Leighton-Straker Bookbinding Co.

    Rolfe’s translation was based on that of Frederick Jacobs circa 1813. The work had been begun by Douglas … revised and improved by Rolfe to the point that they fell out over the matter. The illustrations had been prepared for a previous abandoned edition … seemingly Rolfe quarrelled there also. Testy chap.

    Melaeger was born in Gurada, Jordan in the 1st Century BC a time when Jordan was very much under the Greek influence. He lived in Kos later in life. He was the first to compile the epigrams of others, wrote satirical prose and sensual poetry.

    A beautiful unusual work – makes a perfect gift


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  • The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    Superior production Published by Constable, London in 1933. Signed by the author and numbered 267 of a limited issue of 750 copies. Printed at the “Raven Press” in Harrow with a frontispiece engraved by Horace Walter Bray. Printed on thick cream paper rough cut to fore-edge, gilt to top. Original quarter velum over beige cloth covered boards. Gilt titles to front and spine.

    Very good condition … note on en paper inviting all communications to Miss Waddell’s agent at Lincoln’s Inn.

    A Play by esteemed Irish Playwright Helen Waddell, in a Prologue and Three Acts, over 57 pages, with Dramatis Personae of eight. The Prologue is set twenty years after the main events in the Library of the Chateau of the Prince de Conti. Act I is set in Lenski’s lodgings at the Hague in 173 and II and II in Prevost’s garret in Drury Lane, London in 1733.

    Abbe (Antoine Francois) Prevost (1697-1763) was a Benedictine Priest who fled France for London in 1728 after falling out with the Abbot. He became a teacher and writer and after a love affair with a pupil fled London for the Hague in 1730. There he met the beautiful Lenski (described by others as a lady of doubtful character) … got into trouble with creditors and fled back to London. It is these events which are the subject of this historical drama.

    Back in London, Prevost was briefly imprisoned for forgery. By 1735 he was forgiven by the Catholic faith and returned to Paris in 1735. A prolific writer, whilst all this was going on he published Manon Lescaut in 1731… one of Voyager’s favourites.

    A glimpse into the 18thC Life of Abbe Prevost


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  • Thucydides [The Eight Books of the Peloponnesian War] Thucydides translated by Benjamin Jowett.

    Thucydides [The Eight Books of the Peloponnesian War] Thucydides translated by Benjamin Jowett.

    Two fine volumes comprising the eights books of the Peloponnesian War written by Thucydides the son of Olorus, translated into English with an Introduction, Marginal Analysis, Notes and Indices, to which is prefixed An Essay on Inscriptions and a Note on the Geography of Thucydides.

    Finely bound in full blue polished calf by Relfe Brothers as a prize at Dulwich College. Octavo, 267 pages and 514 pages after preliminaries. Lavish gilt to board borders, edges and internally, gilt design to front, raised bands to spines with separate red leather title labels, gilt designs to compartments. Top edge richly gilt with typical Relfe rich marbled endpapers, prize label on Vol I. The odd tiny rub, overall a very good near fine set in sumptuous bindings.

    A second edition published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford in 1900 with revisions by Forbes and Abbott of Jowett’s standard translation of the great classic. Jowett was Master of Balliol College and Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University. Regarded as the most accurate and scholarly translation embellished by Jowett’s notes and commentaries.

    Thucydides (cBC460-cBC400) Greek historian and a military general. He began writing about the fourth century BC wars between Sparta and Athens as soon as they broke out believing they would be of greater substance than any previous war. What is known about Thucydides comes mainly from this work. He was born into a wealthy Thrace family with connections in high places and large estates in Thrace. He owned gold mines on his estates. During the war he was blamed by the Athenian’s for the loss of Amphipolis to the Spartans even though it was already lost by the time his forces made it to the town. As a result he was exiled and spent much of his time on his estate and took to writing the “history” in earnest. He is regarded as the first “scientific” history writer … meaning he based his work on proper observations and facts and wrote up the events without bias. He intended his work to survive as a true record … he wrote “it is not written for display, to make an immediate impression, but to be a possession for all time”

    Thucydides – the War between Sparta and Athens 4th Century BC
    Complete in two volumes finely bound by Relfe Brothers



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  • Love and The Luxembourg – Richard Aldington – First American, Fine, Limited and Signed – 1930

    Love and The Luxembourg – Richard Aldington – First American, Fine, Limited and Signed – 1930

    Beautiful presentation of Aldington’s lengthy poem a first American edition published by Convici, Friede Inc New York 1930. Limited edition of 475 copies of which this is number 400. The book was designed by Frederic Warde and printed by William Edwin Rudge … signed nicely by Richard Aldington and Frederic Warde.

    Large octavo, 53 pages plus the limitation. Bound in stylish burgundy cloth cover boards with gilt flower design to front with gild boarders and gilt designs to spine. Top edge nicely gilt other edges rough cut. Slipcase as issued. A fine copy.

    Richard Aldington (1892-1962) was a founding poet of the Imagist movement. He fought on the Western Front during WWI and wrote “Death of a Hero” widely acclaimed. Much can be said about him .. his friendships included Ezra Pound (an early mentor), D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Elliot, Joyce, Hemingway .. says it all … what a period!

    Love and the Luxembourg is about his love for American writer Brigit Patmore (For B.) who he was in a relationship with 1928-1936 … he left her for her daughter in law.

    Later in life he wrote a brief biography on T.E. Lawrence which suggested various things previously unsaid about the great man’s character. Aldington was never forgiven for this “abuse” and lived the rest of his life out in France.

    Aldington a special poet with literary contacts


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  • The Bronte Sisters Complete Works – Complete In Twelve Volumes – Finely Bound by Dent London -1893

    The Bronte Sisters Complete Works – Complete In Twelve Volumes – Finely Bound by Dent London -1893

    Published by J. M. Dent of London, 1893 a first in this form. The complete works of the three Bronte Sisters … Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

    Beautifully bound in three quarter leather with floral papered boards, raised bands and six compartments to the spine with bright gilt detail and titles. Top edge nicely gilt. A little scuffing to the rear board on one volume and the odd inoffensive mark. Internally bright and clean no marks or foxing. A very good if not better set.

    Nicely illustrated with three images in each volume engraved by B.S. Greig.

    Comprising Jane Eyre (2 volumes); Wuthering Heights including Agnes Grey (2 volumes);Tenant of Wildfell Hall (2 volumes); Villete (2 volumes); Shirley (2 Volumes) The Professor (1 volume) and Poems (1 volume)

    The sisters hardly require introduction, surely the greatest ever literary family. They lived in Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Charlotte (1816-1855) was the first to be successful with Jane Eyre; then Emily (1818-1848) with Wuthering Heights both using male nom de plume as was then fashionable. Younger sister Anne (1820-1849) took longer to be recognised before The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was seen for the literary treasure that it is.

    Bronte Sisters Complete 1893 Edition in Fine Bindings. 125 years old.


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