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First edition or First of Type

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  • Poems to Pavlova – Tulloch Cull – First Edition 1913

    Poems to Pavlova – Tulloch Cull – First Edition 1913

    A first edition of this poetic homage to the great ballerina Anna Pavlova.

    Published by Herbert Jenkins, London in 1913. Square octavo, 62 pages after preliminaries with 8 plates from period photographs. Original decorative green cloth covered boards, all in very good condition.

    Russian born Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) hardly requires introduction. Principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes … forever to be remembered as the dying swan.

    Her name was pronounced Pa … vlova unfortunately the pudding designed in her honour Pav … lova has corrupted our understanding. Invented (the pudding) during her tour of Australia in the 1920’s … disputed by Kiwis across the Ditch who believe it was first made in Wellington.

    Anna Pavlova … much more than a meringue with fruit!


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  • The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway – First UK Edition 1952 – with interesting related gift inscription at the coincidental premier of the movie “The Snows of Kilimajaro”

    The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway – First UK Edition 1952 – with interesting related gift inscription at the coincidental premier of the movie “The Snows of Kilimajaro”

    Should be everyone’s favourite short read. Nobel citation – “his powerful style-forming mastery of the art of modern narration, as most lately revealed in his novel The Old Man and the Sea”.

    A first UK edition, technically a few days behind the US issue of 1st September 1952. Octavo, 127 pages with the special and rare double side dust jacket. One with the rather plain style covered in first reviews; the other the adorable colourful wrap around jacket by Tisdall. Not price clipped either way. The jacket in very good condition … the double sidedness means there is a ghost fold either way as the printing technique is not perfectly aligned. The boards and pages are very clean for a book often with some foxing near the ends. A very good if not better copy.

    Attached to front free end-paper and only glued along the inside edge is an interesting inscription reading …

    “I hope this will serve to remind you of a pleasant evening spent at the first British presentation of the Ernest Hemingway film “The Snows of Kilimajaro” – George C Cooper – Picture Post. October. 1952.

    The Picture Post (1938-1957) was the UK equivalent of Life Magazine and had a huge following from the outset. Given the timing it had a very positive role during WWII. Cooper obviously delighted to give his guests at the premier of “Snows” a first edition of Hemingway’s latest, and to be final, success.

    Nobel Classic – Ernest Hemingway – Prized First UK Edition – Relevant Inscription October 1952



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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.


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  • Utopias and Imaginary Voyages to Australasia – John Dunmore

    Utopias and Imaginary Voyages to Australasia – John Dunmore

    Who else could be more qualified to write and present on this subject at the National Library of Australia than John Dunmore?

    Octavo, card cover of 23 delicious pages, the text of Dunmore’s lecture of 2nd September 1987, published by the N.L.A. the following year. A fine copy.

    From Joseph Hall’s “Mundas Alter et Idem’ the first utopian account to be set in the Antipodes, with mentions of La Perouse and “Fragmens” … Aldous Huxley is a bit of a drift … then back to Utopian reality and the Adventures of Alexander Venderchurch and many more esoteric accounts before back to the likes of Gulliver and that endearing Swiss Family.

    A special lecture by Dunmore on down under Utopia – wish I had been there.


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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.


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  • The Glass-Blowers – Daphne du Maurier – First Edition 1963

    The Glass-Blowers – Daphne du Maurier – First Edition 1963

    First edition, published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz, London. Octavo, 320 pages, complete dust jacket, some age to page edges and tape marks to pastedowns. Still a very good first edition.

    Du Maurier found some engraved glass an related letters among her family archive. She was descended from an 18th Century family of glass-blowers. This is the foundation of this novel then thought by critics her best so far. Successful and admired the French Revolution brought an end to all of that.

    As an aside, we love the two little booksellers ticket on the front past-down … first Anthony Hordern’s Sydney, a merchant and retailer, the store in Sydney was for years the largest in Australia and, claimed at one time to be the largest in the World. Knocked down by some idiots to build the World Square in 1986. Then, Tyrrell’s Book Shop, Crows Nest Sydney, where it presumably moved to its second owner. Jim Tyrrell was the doyen of the Sydney book trade from the late 1800′s through his long life … he died in 1961 just before this book was published. His son John and Grandson Bill took over the business and moved it to Crows Nest … the same premises now occupied by the esteemed Antique Book Shop.

    Du Maurier and her ancestors – Make for a good story


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