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  • Present Day Japan – Campbell Davidson – 1912

    Present Day Japan – Campbell Davidson – 1912

    Published in 1912 this is a super book on Japan by Campbell Davidson.

    Published by Fisher Unwin, London. Thick octavo, 366 pages with approx. 60 illustrations, many from period photographs. Impossible not to mention the embossed decorative cover and spine … truly makes the book.

    The author writes beautifully in the first person. After a First Impressions introduction we take in Yokohama. Travelling in Japan and what to expect … including “out-door baths”. The National Faith and hidden in there the conquest of Korea. Then on to Kyoto and its beautiful temples; Nikko and the Sacred Bridge; Tokyo its size and simplicity and a part devoted interestingly to Japanese Theatre and “the Forty-seven Ronins”.

    Japan a substantial account of early 20thC Japan.


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  • Smoky Dawson’s Cowboy and Mountain Songs (with instructions for Rope Spinning Tricks)

    Smoky Dawson’s Cowboy and Mountain Songs (with instructions for Rope Spinning Tricks)

    A super music sheet from Australia’s first and greatest Country and western singer songwriter. Smoky Dawson was Herbert Henry Brown (1913-2008). Hall of fame and all that he kept going until the end. Had a terrible childhood nut grew up to lead a talented positive life. A mate of Glen Campbell .. another super talent.

    Published by Allan & Co, Melbourne in the late 1940’s (Trove suggest their copy is 1941 but we know for sure that Smoky was off to the War that year so we doubt it). Could be earlier than the war … some references say its his first published songbook.

    Music arranged for voice, piano, guitar, ukulele and piano accordion. 24 Cowboy, Hill-Bily, Railroad, Mexican, Hobo Songs.

    And we simply love the instructions for rope spinning… so much Voyager has purchased his first spinning rope … albeit still an step number 1.

    Starts with notes and images from photographs of Smoky and his mates and what they have been up to.

    Very good condition, 46 pages, aside from an innocent splosh (weak tea?) top near the spine … evident on a couple of early pages.

    The second verse of Texas Lil goes like this …

    “Oh she rustles cattle and she cheats at cards
    An’ rattlesnakes an’ coyotes are her pards.
    She’s as tough as prairie cactus and just for rifle practice
    She’s amputate your ears at sixty yards”

    Smoky Dawson – Australia’s First Country and Western Cowboy and a first class Legend

    PS – You will see the retailers stamp of Suttons of Ballarat on the front. The Suttons Music Emporium was started in 1891 and a Suttons Music shop still exists today. Must be one of Australia’s oldest retailers and undoubtedly by World standards one of the oldest music retailers. the original magnificent building housed grand piano’s and had stained glass windows of the great European composers.


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  • My Amazon Adventure – Sebastian Snow

    My Amazon Adventure – Sebastian Snow

    A super Readers Book Club, Melbourne edition of Seb Snow’s adventure in the Amazon.

    No date but 1955. Octavo, 285 pages plus index. Illustrated well from photographs taken on the adventure .. so they have that home grown feel that we find truly authentic.

    Snow was only 21 when he set out on what would become a 3,500 mile journey. He travelled from the source of the Amazon in Peru to the mouth of the Para River in Brazil.

    Super, in the moment writing, again an authentic trademark. We love it.

    Snow did not melt in the heat of the Amazon.


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  • Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley – Autobiographies – edited by Gavin De Beer.

    Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley – Autobiographies – edited by Gavin De Beer.

    A first edition published by the Oxford University Press in 1974. Octavo, 199 pages, plus useful index, illustrated. Very nice condition.

    Darwin and his bulldog together in condensed highly readable form. What better pairing – like peaches and cream.

    The editor was one of the many Darwin admirers, wrote a good biography and several other Darwin related works. So it was appropriate that he took the editorial pen to Darwin’s lengthy account of himself … adding Huxley from a far more obscure personal rendition was a masterstroke of compare and contrast

    Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley – gold plated “Two for One”


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  • Adam in Plumes [New Guinea] – Colin Simpson.

    Adam in Plumes [New Guinea] – Colin Simpson.

    A first edition published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1954. Octavo, 268 pages, many illustrations, great condition albeit small piece missing from free end paper. Dust jacket to die for.

    This is Simpson’s fourth book and third non-fiction work, and the second time in New Guinea.

    An often overlooked account of the Wahgi Valley, an astonishing place, so immense in New Guinea. And, the Leahy brothers who following an expedition set out to live among, exploit and integrate (they certainly did that) with the local people.

    Very nicely illustrated with some quite special images … we particularly like the Wahgi man brandishing his stone axe at Jim Taylor … some passion there.

    Adam in Plumes – Well among the Wahgi.


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  • Rider Haggard – His Life and Works – Morton Cohen

    Rider Haggard – His Life and Works – Morton Cohen

    A first edition published by Hutchinson, London in 1960. A special and first, perhaps only, in depth biography on the great Rider Haggard – author of 45 adventure books from “She” to “King Solomon’s Mines”.

    Octavo, 327 pages, a scrape and nick to an otherwise good dust jacket, gift inscription on free end paper, slight splosh on the top, really a good copy of this hard to find book. Illustrated nicely from early photographs.

    Unsurprisingly a friend of Kipling, as well as an obvious penchant for writing in the true adventure style Rider Haggard was a reformer in many ways. Early on he spent quite some time in Africa which seeded his genre. Then back in England he took up farming and introduced many new practices to the activity. He became famous though his works and his work and as a result was called into Public life.

    A well written and extensively researched biography lacking of “the fill” seen in many others.

    Rider Haggard from whom stems Indiana Jones and all of those types … we can only dream.


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