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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


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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


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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 …


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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


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  • The Adventures of Captain Hatteras  – Jules Verne

    The Adventures of Captain Hatteras – Jules Verne

    Published in London Ward and Lock and early English translation circa 1895. A two-part story … “The English at the North Pole” and “The Ice Desert”. Octavo, 223 pages. Which the super pictorial boards in the “‘blue format” … it was also published with a green background.

    Some foxing mainly on the page edges but also on the first and last few pages otherwise clean. Still a pretty good copy of a desirable Verne.

    Some say based on Sir John Franklin and then later to have an influence on Peary and Frederick Cook in their choice of routes to the North Pole!

    First published in French in 1866 and, accepting the Franklin reference above, influenced for sure by the Hayes expedition to Ellesmere Island. It was published as part of the “Voyages Extraordinaire” which was to include “Five weeks in a Balloon”, Journey to the Centre of the World” and “From the Earth to the Moon”. Interestingly, a bit like “Star Wars” it was published as book number two in the sequence even though it was the first published.

    Hatteras sets off for the North Pole, has a mutiny which results in the loss of his ship. They have to hole up for the winter and build accommodations through knowledge of Russian Ice palaces and create fire using ice lenses. After the thaw they build a new ship from remnants of another shipwreck and head north to find an island bang on the pole. Volcanic and Hatteras enters the crater and it doesn’t go too well for him from there.

    The second part “The Ice Desert” is based on an island which is a northerly extension of Ellesmere … New America … and more adventures ensue.

    Jules Verne’s Polar Adventures


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  • The Lost City – By Major Charles Gilson – 1920′s

    The Lost City – By Major Charles Gilson – 1920′s

    Another adventure by Charles Gilson in striking pictorial covers published in the 1920’s. Gilson has been promoted since he wrote “On Secret Service”. Another Voyager favourite.

    Published by “The Boy’s Own Paper”, Bouverie Street, London. Octavo, 378 pages with frontispiece in colour and eight other illustrations.

    The longer title, as usual, gives a clue … “The Lost City … being the Authentic Account by Professor Miles Unthank of the search for the Sarcophagus of Serohis, and the Theft of the Mystic Scarab, formerly in the British Museum”. We love it!

    Collectable … The Lost City


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