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Pictorial Covers

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  • Stories of King Arthur & His Knights – U Waldo Cutler (After Malory) – 1911

    Stories of King Arthur & His Knights – U Waldo Cutler (After Malory) – 1911

    Published by George Harrap, London in 1914 a first edition of this type.

    Retold from Malory’s “Morte DArthur” by Uriel Waldo Cutler (1854-1936). Cutler’s efforts well recognised and first in print in 1904

    Octavo, 236 pages with a lovely pictorial cover and spine in pretty good condition. Prize label on front end paper to some bright spark dated 1921.

    Nicely illustrated with a striking colour frontispiece of “Sir Lancelot before the Cross” by Stella Langdale. Fourteen other full page plates from work by Rosseti, Burne-Jones and others.

    The legendary tales were first put down in one place by George of Monmouth in the early thirteen century. In the fifteenth century Sir Thomas Malory produced the definitive work “Le Morte Darthur” completed in 1470, This was at the time Caxton really got going with his printing press so Malory’s work was destined to be promoted and preserved.

    Naturally, the language and expression of Malory’s writing reflects the period and “modern” writers have edited the text to be readable nowadays. Waldo Cutler did a magnificent job and presents Arthur here in 42 progressive tales.

    A scarce nicely presented Arthur

    $90.00

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  • The Invisible Island –  Alexander MacDonald – 1911

    The Invisible Island – Alexander MacDonald – 1911

    A Story of the Far North of Queensland … by Alexander McDonald and illustrated by Charles M Sheldon.

    Published by Blackie & Sons, London, Glasgow, octavo 360 pages with pictorial image to front cover and spine. A little age otherwise a very good copy and especially clean internally.

    The book opens on an island in the south west of the Gulf of Carpentaria … “Through the dank, shimmering heat haze the island loomed in ghostly outline”

    Six full page illustrations including the frontispiece.

    Adventure and gold in the Far North

    $60.00

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  • The Quest of the Black Opals – Alexander McDonald – 1908

    The Quest of the Black Opals – Alexander McDonald – 1908

    A Tale of Adventure in the Heart of Australia … by Alexander McDonald and illustrated by William Rainey R.I.

    Published by Blackie & Sons, London, Glasgow and Bombay in 1908.

    Octavo 352 pages with nice pictorial covers. Some age to page edges otherwise a very good copy.

    The opening sentence sets the scene nicely … “In that desolate tract of country beyond the borders of Queensland through which the mystic Cooper flows, lies a wealth of fire-flashing opal awaiting only the advent of him who can take it away”.

    Six full page illustrations including the frontispiece, plus a full page map near the front and a small map reference Burke and Wills.

    Adventure stirred up by Opals in the Heart of Oz

    $60.00

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  • Heroes of the Polar Seas – J Kennedy Maclean – First edition 1910

    Heroes of the Polar Seas – J Kennedy Maclean – First edition 1910

    Title continues … A Record of Exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic Seas by J Kennedy Maclean. Thick octavo, 382 pages. Magnificent pictorial boards, rich gilt to all page edges, well illustrated and with two excellent fold out maps of the top and the bottom with swathes unexplored areas.

    The pictorial boards may give the impression this was for a younger audience. The quality of the content and writing suggest the market was father and son. Very good condition, prize label “Madras College”.

    Written chronologically with an introduction of “Gains and losses of Polar Enterprise” before the “Pioneers”. The search for the North-west passage and Franklin and much about his horrors. Nares and then the fatal “Jannette” an incredible story often lost in these accounts. The discovery of Franz Josef Land and the North-east Passage by Nordenskiold (see or commemorative medal). Nansen followed by Andree’s Balloon attempt (see our second printing and commemorative medal). Peary and the success of the North Pole after twenty years … and Cook.

    In the South, Scotland’s share of the then exploration and Scott’s Discovery Expedition. Shackleton’s Farthest South (so close) and the great race for the Pole.

    At the time of publication Scott was already there with the Terra Nova and a large experienced team to continue his previous work and to attempt the Pole. The end of the book suggests that the Scots and the Germans were making preparation but nothing of Amundsen … who a year later in December 1911 would beat Scott and his colleagues to the desolate spot at the very bottom of the World … Scott and his party perishing on the return.

    Polar Exploration nicely done and 1910 the year before the attainment of the Pole and the tragedy

    $190.00

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  • Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    Steve Young or the Voyage of the “Hvalross” to the Icy Sea – Fenn – circa 1915

    The author George Manville Fenn was a prolific writer of adventure stories for the young in the Victorian era.

    Published by Partridge and Co, London. Octavo, 416 nicely illustrated. Evenly browned internally otherwise a very good copy. Embossed illustrated boards and spine in near fine condition. Looks a beauty.

    A rare book and we cannot find the title on his “official’ list of publications This edition circa WWI era .. we cannot find any other contemporary copies available.

    Hvalross is Norwegian for Walrus. Steve Young is an orphan whose uncle, Captain Young has disappeared on a voyage in and around Spitzbergen in the Arctic Ocean. The Captain’s friends charter a boat the Norwegian “Hvalross” to search for him. Sixteen year old Steve goes along much to the disgust of the ships Doctor who thinks young fellows are just a nuisance. Gales, storms, intense cold and Polar Bears … strong currents complete darkness all add to the adventure.

    Scarce adventure on the “Walrus” up around Spitzbergen …

    $120.00

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  • The Wonders Of The Modern Railway – Archibald Williams – 1913

    The Wonders Of The Modern Railway – Archibald Williams – 1913

    We really love the series of book written by Archibald William, this is one of his early ones having only at this time published “the Romance of Modern Engineering” and the Romance of Early Exploration” … there were more to come in this vein.

    Published by Seeley, London in 1913 a first edition. Octavo, 163 pages plus Publisher’s Catalogue. The much preferred embossed pictorial binding with superb images to front [the Railway Pass between Lucerne and Brienz] and spine, titles in gilt. Some scattered foxing on the spongy paper … still a delightful rarity. Eight illustrations from period photographs.

    Contents includes .. How the Midland Railway came into being; the Great Western Railway or the struggle of the gauges; the building of the Canadian Pacific and what it had done for Canada; the first of the Transcontinentals; the Highroad to Orange Land; the USA Railroads; the Railway as Conqueror and Mountain Railways.

    Delightful historic record of the “Modern” Railway

    $60.00

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