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French Language or translation from or about the French

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  • The Fortunes of Fifi – Molly Elliot Seawell – First Edition 1903

    The Fortunes of Fifi – Molly Elliot Seawell – First Edition 1903

    A first edition published by Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis in 1903. Interestingly, carries the booksellers sticker of Dymock’s Book Arcae, 428 George Street. Dymocks, Australia’s favourite book store was started in 1879 but soon moved to the aforementioned address as the business took off.

    Fifi is a young actress in fourth rate theatre in Paris. Napoleon is involved in a minor way. She has confidantes and admirers and much love and lost love ensues. She turns out to be related to a certain person in very high place … things get rich and in a tangle which really she is not that thrilled with – eventually, she ends up with the one she should. Complex and intriguing romance. The outline is easily told … it became an early silent movie circa WW! And was very successful.

    Octavo, 239 pages, with decorative end papers that match the delightful pictorial covers. A very good copy.

    Classic Romance based in Paris, became one of the very first movies.


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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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  • Maigret Victorious – Georges Simenon – First Collection 1975

    Maigret Victorious – Georges Simenon – First Collection 1975

    Published by the Book Club with arrangement with Hamish Hamilton, a first of type 1975.

    Octavo, 281 pages all in excellent condition.

    Three on a plate – Maigret’s Memoirs (better than most); the Headless Corpse (A Voyager favourite) and Maigret and the Saturday Caller.

    Maigret trifecta – get your pipe lit!


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  • Au Pole de Sud a Bicyclette – Emillio Salgari

    Au Pole de Sud a Bicyclette – Emillio Salgari

    The French translation of an Emilio Salagari classic translated by J. Fargeau. Salagari being the Italian equivalent of Henty and in some respects Jules Verne. Written in the Italian in the 1890’s this French version was published in 1931 a fifth edition.

    Collected because of the genre, the crazy story involving the South Pole and the superb decorative covers by Fontanez. Although, like quite a few, Fontanez should have brushed up his knowledge of natural history.

    Extra large octavo, 240 pages with illustrations in the text. Paper with an even browning as usual. The green percaline covered boards with title back and apine decorated boldly in polychrome with penguins, seals and polar bear (mmhh), with three intrepid explorer on an eight wheeled steam assisted velocipede. Top edge gilt. Good condition, bright covers.

    A classic Polar Adventure – on a tandem!


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  • The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt  – and her novel “In the Clouds” – Edited Sandy Lesberg

    The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt – and her novel “In the Clouds” – Edited Sandy Lesberg

    Original memoirs from early childhood through the First American Tour edited and introduced by Sandy Lesberg. Also, the first English language publication of her only novel “In the Clouds”.

    Large octavo, 256 pages of which the last 52 comprise the short novel.

    A first edition 1977 published by Peebles Press, New York and London. A very good copy.

    Nicely illustrated from period photographs, and Clouds illustrated with line drawings by Georges Clairin.

    The adventurous Bernhardt not satisfied with being the most admired actor of the 19thC took to some strange activities … riding whales, collecting exotic animals, early ballooning and, was a accomplished artist and sculptor.

    Sarah Bernhardt by Sarah Bernhardt


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  • Sarah Bernhardt – William Embodden (Introduction Sir John Gielgud)

    Sarah Bernhardt – William Embodden (Introduction Sir John Gielgud)

    A first edition published by Studio Vista (part of Cassell), London in 1974.

    Quarto, 176 pages, some signs of age still a very good copy of a excellent work on Bernhardt, not the least for the introduction by Sir John Gielgud.

    Nicely illustrated throughout from period photographs. Includes our image of Sarah as Frou-Frou.

    Accompanied by a useful appendix listing the plays in which she acted chronologically and a healthy bibliography.

    Sarah Bernhardt – well-presented and with exceptional images.


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