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  • Black Widow – America’s Most poisonous Spider – Thorp and Woodson

    Black Widow – America’s Most poisonous Spider – Thorp and Woodson

    What a super subject for a standalone book.

    First edition published by The University of Morth Carolina Press in 1945.

    Octavo, 222 pages, illustrated with spidery goodness. A very good copy and very clean and well produced given the end of WWII publishing date.

    All about the Widow as one would expect. Comparison’s with other spider devils, experiments on people .. the life cycle and habits of this avoidable octopod.

    Would make a great gift for someone who has it all …


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  • The Living Sea – John Crompton

    The Living Sea – John Crompton

    A first edition of this interesting easy to read book about the natural history of the oceans. Quite broad in content … starts with prehistory and then moves into Whales (nice content), Manatee, Sharks, Rays back to Caelacanth .. all the good stuff.

    Published by Collins, London in 1957. Octavo, 256 pages, some sketch like illustrations. And the dust jacket … we had to have it just for

    Good period all rounder dressed to impress.


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  • Winners Medal [Fruits in Syrup] – Agricultural Society of New South Wales – 1878

    The Agricultural Society of New South Wales issued these sumptuous medals to class winners. This one was issued for the 1878 show.

    9.0 cm in diameter cast in bronze and makes quite a statement. Made by Hardy Brothers of London and Sydney. A few bumps around the edge and a hint of compression, still beautifully defined and imposing.

    Features the female form depicting “New South Wales” standing and looking forward holding alighted torch and holding the wreath of a victor. Around her are four children representing the four seasons with harvest wheat, grapes and sheep to tend. Below in three small panels the arts, agriculture and industry are represented.

    On the obverse the victor’s wreath circling the engraved winners details under the slogan of the event “Practice with Science”.

    “Sydney Jam Preserving Coy for best Collection of Fruits in Syrup – Sydney 1878”

    A good and early example of this grand Agricultural Winners Medal.


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  • Jack Thwaites – Pioneer Tasmanian Bushwalker and Conservationist – Simon Kleinig

    Jack Thwaites – Pioneer Tasmanian Bushwalker and Conservationist – Simon Kleinig

    Published by Forty Degrees South, Hobart in 2008. A very good copy of a hard to come by book.

    Soft cover, perfect bound, 261 pages, illustrated throughout including images from hand drawn maps.

    This is a different sort of biography. We have the background of Jack Thwaites born in 1902 at Kendall in the Lake District, England. Arrived in Tasmania with his family at the age of ten. Around 1928 Jack began his ambitious walking trips. He was three years ahead of Bert Nicholls who is famed for cutting the Overland Track between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair .. the first genuinely up Frenchman’s Cap and likewise to the mountains in the South West.

    This book is partly written around the diaries he kept during these long hikes, often written in pencil at the evening camp fire. Many diaries are missing … such a pity.

    Simon Kleinig called on the help of many to produce this intimate and rewarding book not the least Jack’s grand children Anne and Bill Thwaites who also manged to find some memorable images of this pioneering walker.

    Jack Thwaites – The First Real Tasmanian Bush Walker.


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  • Shipwreck Archaeology in Australia – Michael Nash

    Shipwreck Archaeology in Australia – Michael Nash

    A fine copy of Michael Nash’s all embracing Australian shipwreck book.

    Published by the University of Western Australia Press in 2007. Squarish large octavo, 244 pages, very nicely illustrated throughout, end paper illustration of the dreadful goings on at the Batavia camp.

    Pulled together by Nash with contributions from a number of other experts in the field, or the water really.

    The fifteen wrecks dealt with in detail are presented chronologically starting with the Batavia (1629) .. then a leap to Hunter’s Sirius (1790) .. the Pandora (1791) all the way to the Tasman (1883). We say fifteen but the last is a place for wrecks Garden Island (1906-1945). Notes, glossary etc finish what is a really good reference or stand alone work.

    The other dimension with this book is the back history of many of wrecks – First Fleet; Bounty Related; Slavers; Walers etc and for some another aspect such as Experimental Reconstruction (Zanoni 1867); Timber Shipbuilding techniques (Water Witch 1842).

    Australian Wrecks – the way in to the subject – no better presentation.


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  • Contested Places – Tasmania’s Northern Districts from Ancient Times to 1900 – Shayne Breen – Signed

    Contested Places – Tasmania’s Northern Districts from Ancient Times to 1900 – Shayne Breen – Signed

    A scarce book published in 2001, in limited numbers, by the University of Tasmania the author completed a Doctorate on which this work is based. Regarded as an innovative piece of historical research. Signed by the author.

    Octavo, soft cover, perfect bound, 226 pages, illustrated, a fine copy.

    Tasmania’s Northern Districts comprises the municipalities Deloraine, Westbury, Evandale and Longford a large agricultural area.

    Contested Places refers to the competing groups in the region up to 1900. Starting with the dispossession of the Aboriginal people. Then the conflicts between large landholders and landless labourers and tenant farmers. Specific issues relating to the eradication of pests are dealt with as well as the harder to grasp philosophy of social law and interactions between colonial society and the bush.

    A solid scholarly work for those interested in social contest and the impact of people in the natural environment in Tasmania.


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