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First Edition or First of Type

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  • The Mutineer – A Romance of Pitcairn Island – Louis Becke and Walter Jeffrey – First Colonial (Australian) Edition 1898.

    Likely technically the first edition is the London issue of that year. The first and this issue the first Colonial issue by Angus & Robertson both extremely scarce.

    Octavo, 298 pages plus Publishers catalogue. Original dark green cloth covered binding, gilt title to spine. The odd mark to the boards, missing front free end paper and occasional light ageing. Otherwise really not bad and, try to find another one.

    George Lewis Becke (1855-1913) was born at Port Macquarie and must be regarded as the best Australian author of the period in the genre adventure … South Seas … historical based fiction. He has been compared with Robert Louis Stevenson, Melville, Kipling, Conrad etc exalted company indeed.

    Becke had the pedigree – from an early age he escaped to the South Pacific … ferried vessels to Bully Hayes, was tried (and acquitted) as a pirate at Brisbane at the age of 19 etc etc.

    Prolific writer once he settled down. This Bounty Mutiny based story one of the later works and a collaboration. Didn’t get into print in the USA as a relationship between different races didn’t fit the then standards.

    With a novel we at Voyager always like a good short helpful first sentence. We have the first paragraph here just to get you into the mood.

    “It was night at Tahiti, in the Society Islands. The trade-wind had died away, and a bright flood of shimmering moonlight poured down upon the slumbering waters of a little harbour a few miles distant from Matavia Bay, and the white curve of beach that fringed the darkened line of palms shone and glistened like a belt of ivory under the effulgence of its rays. For nearly half a mile the broad sweep of dazzling sand showed no interruption nor break upon its surface save at one spot; there it ran out into a long narrow point, on which, under a small cluster of graceful cocos, growing almost at the water’s edge, a canoe was drawn up”.

    Louis Becke’s scarce and somewhat controversial South Seas story.


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  • Bony and the Kelly Gang – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1960

    Bony and the Kelly Gang – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1960

    An pretty good first edition of this Arthur Upfield book set in the Cork Valley, New South Wales.

    Octavo, 208 pages, dust jacket designed by Christine Aldor chipped to top of spine. Internally very good, some age to page edges.

    Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony to those that know him) has the task of finding who murdered Eric Torby and excise officer. Cork valley is inhabited by a “self-sufficient” Irish community who have for years maintained their independence from Government and in particular excise. This is unfamiliar territory for Bony who is used to the openness of the outback. Disguised as a horse-thief and gaolbird he ferrets out the murder with the usual goings on along the way.

    New challenges for Bony on the Cork Valley …



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  • Bony Buys a Woman – Arthur Upfield – First edition 1957

    Bony Buys a Woman – Arthur Upfield – First edition 1957

    A very good copy of the First Edition published by Heinemann, London etc in 1957.

    Octavo, 237 pages, with slight foxing in the front ends, clean through the text and as good a dust jacket as you will get.

    Undoubtedly a controversial title nowadays. But as often there is a different twist and the buying process is all part of the solution to a murder that only Bony could solve.

    Highly collectable Arthur Upfield, a writer of his times, and one of his better plots. The dijeridoo provides the first clue … Bony risks his life in around the mud of Lake Eyre

    Nice dust jacket art of the said Lake Eyre with a hint of water in the distance.

    Bony out at lake Eyre solving another complex outback murder. An Upfield First in its Jacket



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  • Rumpole on Trial – John Mortimer – First Edition

    Rumpole on Trial – John Mortimer – First Edition

    A first edition published by Viking, London in 1992.

    If you have not been introduced to Barrister Horace Rumpole then go no further and go quick .. here we have a fusion of PG Wodehouse re Jeeves and perhaps Simenon re Maigret … simply superb.

    Octavo, 243 pages all in very fine condition.

    Seven shortish Rumpole cases all with a very different story to then. Ideally read before dozing off, one per night, a week’s delight.

    John Mortimer a man of great wit and prolific. A former practicing barrister himself who turned to the pen. Rumpole perhaps who/ what he is most famous for and also setting a 1980’s trend for very large spectacles.

    Rumpole with quite a few opinions … and the odd drop at Pommeroy’s .. wouldn’t you like to!



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  • The Will of the Tribe – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1962

    The Will of the Tribe – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1962

    First edition published by Heinemann, London in 1962. Octavo, 245 pages.

    Foxing to the somewhat spongy paper in the ends and page edges. Jacket a bit tatty now protected in Brodart. Having said all that a hard to come by valuable first edition.

    In 1905 a sizeable meteor struck in north-western Australia. The locals nicknamed it “the Stranger”. Now another stranger is found … dead … and left in the middle of the crater. No clues as to how he got there … In comes Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte “Bony”. He will resolve it; but not without the usual twists and turns and the beauty of the outback references.

    Bony solves the mystery in the crater … a first edition albeit a bit tired.



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  • Bony and the Black Virgin – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1959

    Bony and the Black Virgin – Arthur Upfield – First Edition 1959

    First edition published by Heinemann, London in 1959. An attractive copy.

    Octavo, 246 pages. Gift inscription on free end paper. Otherwise a very clean and bright copy of an often badly foxed edition.

    Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte “Bony”. Here he is in drought stricken outback New South Wales where two stockmen have been beaten to death. Bony is given little help from the “white folk” and the local aborigines. He becomes intrigued by the tough daughter of a neighbouring farmer, Robin and a young beautiful aborigine, Lottee. He resolves this what turns out to be a simple murder, but consequences follow that are not so simple!

    Bony in the outback another murder resolved – but with consequences!



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