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Poetry and Plays and Music Scores

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  • Antarctic Treasure – The Songs of the “Morning”

    Antarctic Treasure – The Songs of the “Morning”

    Published by the Bread and Cheese Club Melbourne in 1943 – quarto, original grey ribbed wrappers, frontispiece of the Morning in McMurdo Sound. Previous ownership inscription on title otherwise a very good copy.

    The Songs of the “Morning” were composed in the Antarctic on the SY Morning the relief ship to Captain Scott’s expedition of 1901-1904. The music was written by Gerald Doorly – Third Officer and the lyrics by John Morrison – Chief Engineer.

    The vessel was originally a Norwegian whaling ship and was refitted for the Antarctic and sailed to Lyttelton, New Zealand before making two trips to the South in support of Scott.

    The Bread and Cheese Club was a Melbourne based art and literary society founded in 1938 with the purpose of fostering “Mateship, Art and Letters”. This all male establishment published only 40 books. Following the death of its founder J.K. Moir it fell into decline and was disbanded in 1988.

    No music has been composed further South – And Bring Back the “Bread and Cheese”

    $120.00

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  • The Songs of Meleager – Frederick Rolfe  – Fine Private Press 1937

    The Songs of Meleager – Frederick Rolfe – Fine Private Press 1937

    A fine private printing for The First Edition Club by the Chiswick Press, London, 1937.

    Made into English with designs by Frederick Baron Corvo (Fr. Rolfe) in collaboration with Sholto Douglas. The excellent preface by A.J.A. Symons gives an excellent background to the talented Baron Corvo (one of his many pseudonyms) and the academic Sholto Douglas.

    A beautiful presentation designed by Christopher Sandford. Octavo, 132 pages. Text in original Greek to the left with translation facing. Gilt decorated green cloth covered binding, top edge gilt. Printed in Monotype Poliphilus Roman and new Hellenic Greek type on Eynsford Mill Toned Wove Had-made paper. The binding executed by the Leighton-Straker Bookbinding Co.

    Rolfe’s translation was based on that of Frederick Jacobs circa 1813. The work had been begun by Douglas … revised and improved by Rolfe to the point that they fell out over the matter. The illustrations had been prepared for a previous abandoned edition … seemingly Rolfe quarrelled there also. Testy chap.

    Melaeger was born in Gurada, Jordan in the 1st Century BC a time when Jordan was very much under the Greek influence. He lived in Kos later in life. He was the first to compile the epigrams of others, wrote satirical prose and sensual poetry.

    A beautiful unusual work – makes a perfect gift

    $160.00

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  • The Hermit of Warkworth – Catnach Press Alnwick Northumberland – Thomas Percy 1806 – Special Provenance

    The Hermit of Warkworth – Catnach Press Alnwick Northumberland – Thomas Percy 1806 – Special Provenance

    This work had been published in the 1770’s in London. Penned by Thomas Percy and concerning his family.

    This edition is of special interest as it was produced by James Catnach of Catnach Press, Alnwick, Northumberland (the seat of the Percy family), Catnach Press has a special position in the history of English printing. The illustrations from wood cuts by Thomas Bewick who would become famous for his beautiful natural history engraving particularly birds. Catnach was to publish a work based on Buffon.

    Special provenance … owned by George Skelly September 19th, 1861 who was an expert on Catnach and lived at The Market Place, Alnwick. If you have never been there, then you should it’s a magical place. There is an inscription from Skelly to Charles Hindley dated Alnwick June 9th, 1876. Hindley a prolific author was to write the definitive history of the Catnach Press and separately James Catnach. He records his thanks for assistance given by Skelly in both.

    The Hermit of Warkworth a Northumberland Ballad in Three Fits (Parts), 170 four line verses in all. Marked as a second edition but dated as the first 1806. Dedication to the Duchess of Northumberland dated October 1805. Small octavo, 102 pages, the equivalent of the last three pages has been bound in in manuscript. Exceptionally neat and in the hand of gift giver George Skelly. The work also contains a short poem to the Duchess; and an “Advertisement” referencing Warkworth Castle and the Hermitage (another special place … more so) and Brinkburn Priory; and the Postscript which deals with the history of the Hermitage. At the end of each “Fit” are a few pages of notes regarding the use of language, places, historical events etc.

    We must give you a few lines from the First “Fit”.

    Dark was the night, and wild the storm,
    And loud the torrent’s roar;
    And loud the sea was heard to dash
    Against the distant shore.

    Musing on man’s weak hapless state,
    The lonely hermit lay;
    When, lo! He heard a female voice
    Lament in sore dismay.

    With hospitable haste he rose,
    And wak’d his sleeping fire:
    And snatching up a lighted brand,
    Forth hied the reverened sire.

    All sad beneath a neighbouring tree
    A beauteous maid he found,
    Who beat her breast, and with her tears
    Bedew’d the mossy ground

    O weep not, lady, weep not so;
    Nor let vain fears alarm;
    My little cell shall shelter thee,
    And keep thee safe from harm.

    The Hermit of Warkworth – Based on a True story – and another Magical Place … we love it!

    $220.00

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  • Australian Poetry 1942

    Australian Poetry 1942

    Published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1942. Poetry selected by Robert D. Fitzgerald intended to represent the cream of Australian poetry for the year.

    Being a war year, for some a particularly special issue. Numerous poems reflecting on Australian’s overseas … Garry Lyle – To My Brother in the Navy; Shawn O’Leary – The Olive Tree; Maurice Biggs – Battle Dress and The Wounded; John Quinn – Syrian Memory; R.S. Byrnes – Song out of Syria. And others on softer homely themes.. love, the bush …

    Small octavo, 79 pages with 36 pages. Dust Jacket, often missing and in very good condition. Original inscription on end papers.

    Australian Poetry from WWII and at Home

    $25.00

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  • The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith -1791

    This is a single volume from Goldsmith’s Works published by Morison, Perth and Edinburgh.

    What makes it interesting as a single volume is that it contains all of his Poetical works along with his narrative on Lord Bolingbroke and Dr Parnell.

    Bound in full original calf with separate red leather title and a volume label. Small octavo, 209 pages, with two full page copper engraved plates. Page edges speckled the whole generally in very good antiquarian condition.

    Some quite lengthy and beautiful poems such as … the Deserted Village, the Traveller, the Hermit … and some amusing ones … A Description of an Author’s Bed-Chamber, the haunch of Venison and we quote here partly due to brevity … Epitaph on Edward Purdon

    Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
    Who long was a bookseller’s hack;
    He led such a damnable life in this world, -
    I don’t think he’ll wish to come back.

    Goldsmith explains … This gentleman was educated at Trinity College, Dublin; but having wasted his patrimony, he enlisted as a foot soldier. Growing tired of that employment, he obtained his discharge, and became a scribbler in the newspapers. He translated Voltaire’s Henriade.

    Oliver Goldsmith interesting Poetry and funnier than you thought.

    $60.00

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  • The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    The Abbe Prevost – A Play by Helen Waddell – First Limited Numbered Signed edition – 1933

    Superior production Published by Constable, London in 1933. Signed by the author and numbered 267 of a limited issue of 750 copies. Printed at the “Raven Press” in Harrow with a frontispiece engraved by Horace Walter Bray. Printed on thick cream paper rough cut to fore-edge, gilt to top. Original quarter velum over beige cloth covered boards. Gilt titles to front and spine.

    Very good condition … note on en paper inviting all communications to Miss Waddell’s agent at Lincoln’s Inn.

    A Play by esteemed Irish Playwright Helen Waddell, in a Prologue and Three Acts, over 57 pages, with Dramatis Personae of eight. The Prologue is set twenty years after the main events in the Library of the Chateau of the Prince de Conti. Act I is set in Lenski’s lodgings at the Hague in 173 and II and II in Prevost’s garret in Drury Lane, London in 1733.

    Abbe (Antoine Francois) Prevost (1697-1763) was a Benedictine Priest who fled France for London in 1728 after falling out with the Abbot. He became a teacher and writer and after a love affair with a pupil fled London for the Hague in 1730. There he met the beautiful Lenski (described by others as a lady of doubtful character) … got into trouble with creditors and fled back to London. It is these events which are the subject of this historical drama.

    Back in London, Prevost was briefly imprisoned for forgery. By 1735 he was forgiven by the Catholic faith and returned to Paris in 1735. A prolific writer, whilst all this was going on he published Manon Lescaut in 1731… one of Voyager’s favourites.

    A glimpse into the 18thC Life of Abbe Prevost

    $80.00

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