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Poetry and Plays and Music Scores

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  • Sarah Bernhardt – Francoise Sagan – First UK Edition

    Sarah Bernhardt – Francoise Sagan – First UK Edition

    The late 19th century stage legend – has anyone really matched the talent and reputation of Bernhardt. Her talents as a sculptor and painter underestimated.

    Here we have a real twist a fictionalised biography / autobiography through letter exchanges between the author and Sarah – long after the latter’s death. The author, a sensational writer who had already had great success with the provocative “Bonjour Tristesse”.

    A fist UK translation published by Macmillan in 1989. Octavo, 232 pages with illustrations from period photographs. Good condition albeit the pages toasted a bit as common with the issue.

    Exotic treatment of Bernhardt’s Life


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  • Robert Graves – Poetry 1932

    Robert Graves – Poetry 1932

    Scarce ephemeral collection of poetry from the rather extraordinary Robert Graves.

    Graves a companion of T.E. Lawrence at Oxford would write an important biography of the Arabian Lawrence. And, the brilliant historical novel I Claudius. If it were not for his poetry he may have won the Nobel Prize [it’s a story worth understanding].

    Here we have a simple paper wrappered cover with brick red cloth and paper label. The format embraced by The Augustan Books of Poetry Series published in 1932.

    33 pages with 23 poems and an introduction referencing Graves’s role in WWI etc.

    Robert Graves an unusual poet and an unusual and spirited life …


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  • Complete Set – The London Aphrodite – Literary Periodical (in Six Parts) – Ed. Jack Lindsay and P.R. Stephensen.

    Six original publications of Jack Lindsay’s London based Franfrolico Press, published in 1929. Banned in the USA for alleged obscenity … quite tame and very artistic really.

    Nearly 500 pages in total. A pot-pourri of Australian and European literary and artistic talent. Norman Lindsay contributed with his unusual imagery. Octavo, card covered, some age but generally a good and importantly complete set. Occasionally black and white plates and scattered vignettes by Norman Lindsay. Literary contributions from Aldous Huxley, Norma Douglas, Liam O’Flaherty, Sacheverell Sitwell and other icons of the pen.

    Aphrodite – all of them and a wonderful read.


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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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  • Nugae Canorae Medicae – Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan – First edition 1850 – With Additional Contemporary Manuscript Content

    Nugae Canorae Medicae – Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan – First edition 1850 – With Additional Contemporary Manuscript Content

    Translates literally “Silly Medical Songs” and they are. Andrew Douglas Maclagan (1812-1900) was an eminent Scottish surgeon and toxicologist. In his lifetime he was President of five of the mots distinguished Societies in Scotland. As a toxicologist he was called to Court to give evidence … as a young man he supported the prosecution in the Burke and Hare affair.

    Printed by Thomas Constable, Edinburgh in 1850 – a first edition (it was reprinted in 1873). Effectively self published. Maclagan vaguely covered his identity as the author is names as “The Poet Laureate of the New Town Dispensary”. Octavo, bark brown embossed cloth covered boards with gilt titling to front, 82 pages with manuscript additions to rear end paper. Remnant seal to back paste down.

    Given the period any reader will be pleasantly surprised how amusing the said poem/songs are … and much fun must have been had with them. Footnotes have been provided which explain the circumstances and sometimes individuals at fault or lampooned. No punches held.

    What makes this copy more charming is the manuscript addition. Internally they sometimes correct the events suggested. At the rear we have in neat manuscript further ditties by Maclagan that are not in the published work. Clearly someone who knew the great man very well. 19thC press clipping re Maclagan affixed front free end.

    Silly Songs by a most distinguished physician.


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  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – Trans Edward Fitzgerald

    A Folio Society production from 1970. Their usual lavish production works well in this case – we are not always a fan.

    Edward Fitzgerald had a couple of goes at translating The Rubaiyat – this is his first and best we think.

    Tall octavo, unpaginated, 75 verses after introductions and a page of helpful notes at the end. Nicely, artistically, illustrated by Virgil Burnett. Decorative end paper, gilt and silvered ornate pattern over red cloth covered boards, gold paper covered custom slipcase.

    A nice and attractive Rubaiyat that would make a super gift.


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