[McCoy, John:] 'The Lord Commissioner', pseud.: A Prophetic Romance: Mars to Earth. Boston: Arena Publishing Company, 1896. First edition. 8vo., pp. [ii], 283, [iii], first and final leaves blank. Some smudgy marks to front endpapers, title-page and pp.14-19; some bookseller's notes pencilled to ffep. Publisher's olive green cloth, gilt title to spine and upper board. A little cocked, edges rubbed with endcaps and corners beginning to wear slightly but still a good, sound copy. Printed cardboard pocket from Pony Public Library, Montana to front paste down and their purple inkstamp to ffep. Once home to a thriving mining community, Pony is now a ghost town with only a few hundred residents. A very scarce first edition copy of this early American science-fiction novel, part of the late nineteenth-century surge of utopian and dystopian literature. Seemingly set in the late 20th century and written largely from the perspective of the pseudonymous Lord Commissioner, the novel imagines a restructured America which now includes Canada and Central America. The President is a woman, the Capitol and its congressmen having been blown up by irate citizens. Founded by the progressive journalist B.O. Flower (1858-1918), Arena Publishing Co. produced over 20 such volumes of 'fantastic' fiction during it's short (1890-6) period of operation. The company was notoriously radical, publishing both fiction and non-fiction books related to progressive causes. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years, 1368; Kopp, 890. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 57; Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography, 724; Rooney, Dreams and Visions: A Study of American Utopias, 1865-1917, pp. 192-93; Sargent, British and American Ref: 51553
Milman, Henry Hart: The Fall of Jerusalem. A Dramatic Poem. New edition. London: John Murray, 1820. 8vo., pp. vii, [i], 167, [i]. Toned and foxed, corner dampmarked. Contemporary half polished calf with marbled boards, spine divided by flat raised bands, gilt-lettered direct, compartments tooled in blind, marbled edges and endpapers, a little rubbed, headcap chipped, boards scuffed. Contemporary ink ownership inscription "Anne Creyke" at upper forecorner of title-page. Signed binding by "W. FORTH / Book-Binder / & Stationer / Bridlington" with his pink ticket at upper forecorner of front pastedown. A new edition, from the same year as the first. Ref: 36525show full image..
Morris, Beverley R[obinson].: British Game Birds and Wildfowl. Illustrated with 60 Coloured Plates. London: Groombridge and Sons, 1855. First edition. Large 4to., pp. iv, 252 + 60 coloured plates. Title-page a little stuck to frontispiece at gutter causing slight separation between it and the next leaf, slight separation between 'Harlequin duck' plate and the next leaf (p.247), 'Tufted duck' plate opposite p.243 loosening, occasional foxing mostly to front and rear. Contemporary half red polished sheep, gilt spine with raised bands and green morocco label, brown marbled boards, green endpapers. Joints, endcaps and corners worn, small split at tail of upper joint, rubbed. Still a very good copy overall. Bookplate of James Amphlett of Llandyssil dated 1868, numbered 12. 60 hand-coloured plates as called for. Engraved and printed by Benjamin Fawcett (1808-1893), one of the most highly esteemed English nineteenth century woodblock colour printers. Ref: 51745
Murdoch, Iris: The Good Apprentice. London: Chatto & Windus, The Hogarth Press, 1985. 8vo., pp. [vi], 522. Turquoise cloth, gilt title to spine. Headcap a little creased, very slightly toned but a very good copy overall. Murdoch's 22nd novel, shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Ref: 51655
Osler, William: Bibliotheca Osleriana: A Catalogue of Books Illustrating the History of Medicine and Science. Sandpiper Books Ltd., 2000. Reprint. 4to., pp. xxxv, 785. Black cloth, small bump to lower-edge of boards, near fine. Dust-jacket, light creasing to edges and a little shelf worn but still very good. A Sandpiper Books reprint of the 1929 Clarendon Press edition. Ref: 46255
Prior, Matthew: Poems on Several Occasions. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, and John Barber, 1718. Large Paper Copy (460 x 280mm). Folio, pp. [xlii], 506, [vi], including engraved frontispiece. Paper with Strasburg bend watermark (fleur-de-lys surmounting a shield), which generally denotes a subscriber's copy, as normal copies were issued with the London arms watermark.. Finely engraved title-page vignette, head-and tail-pieces, ornaments and initials. Occasional offsetting, a little light marginal foxing, some leaves a bit toned (e.g. 5F), ink stain to p.8 showing through to p.7 but not obscuring text. Contemporary Cambridge-style panelled calf, neatly rebacked, spine heavily gilt with raised bands and red morocco label, edges sprinkled red; corners, some edges and a scrape to lower board neatly repaired. Horizontal closed tear to headcap, lightly rubbed, inner hinges repaired, a few spots and smudges to endpapers and three dots of red sealing wax to each paste-down. A very handsome copy of the finest edition of this work. Early 18th-century Jacobean style armorial bookplate with arms of the Tryon family to front paste-down, with 'M.8.' pencilled beneath. Rowland Tryon Esq. and William Tryon Esq. both appear in the List of Subscribers. Rowland Tryon was a nephew of Sir Philip Warwick and inherited Frognal House in Bromley from him in 1691. Though his family were from working class origins, Rowland had made his fortune trading in the West Indies. He died in 1720 and left the house to his brother William, a wealthy City financier and philanthropist. To the title-page verso, bookplate of Sir Peter Thompson in the Chippendale style, with the motto 'Nil Conscire Sibi', signed Mynde. Thompson (1698–1770) was a successful merchant and enthusiatic book collector. 'Much of his posthumous claim to fame rests on his book collection which included the pioneering topographical works of William Borlase and William Stukeley, and many manuscripts and annotated works of contemporary antiquaries, particularly Joseph Ames and John Lewis. Books bearing his bookplate are to be found in several major libraries. He left his library to his namesake, Captain Peter Thompson of the Dorset militia, who was his godson and relative, and who kept the books packed up in boxes in the house until 1781. However, the collection remained intact until 1815 when it was sold by E. H. Evans.' (ODNB) Having been questioned by a secret committee investigating corruption and treason in the Tory party in 1715, Prior found himself confined in the home of the serjeant-at-arms of the House of Commons for more than a year before being released 26th June 1716. Upon his release, his political career irretrievably over, he was in a desparate situation financially. 'To assist him, Bathurst and Lord Harley conceived the scheme of bringing out his poems in a subscription edition. Details of the plan were worked out at a meeting in January 1717, at which Bathurst, Harley, Prior, Pope, Gay, Arbuthnot, and Erasmus Lewis were present. Jacob Tonson, who was much experienced in subscription publication, was to be its publisher, and Alexander Pope, who had himself recently brought out his Iliad in a very successful subscription, would be a valuable adviser. When the volume finally appeared in mid-March 1719, it was a large, handsome folio, 1 foot across and 1 yard tall, 500 pages long, with a list of 1445 persons who had subscribed for 1786 books. The book reprinted and reordered all the poems from the 1709 edition of Poems on Several Occasions and added a number of poems written since that time, notably Solomon and Alma. Though he probably did not make as much money as is commonly cited (4000 guineas), Prior undeniably made a small fortune by this publication and found himself comfortably off for the rest of his life, independently wealthy and no longer dependent on repayments from a remiss and recalcitrant government.' (ODNB) The size of this volume, the largest issued, has often attracted comment. In his note to the 1905 edition of Poems on Several Occasions, its editor A.R. Waller writes: 'This folio was issued in three sizes [...] Of these eighteenth-century examples of large-paper issues Mr Austin Dobson remarks, "with the small copy of 1718 Johnson might have knocked down Osborne the bookseller; with the same work in its tallest form... Osborne the bookseller might have laid prostrate the 'Great Lexicographer' himself." Those who have seen the "greatest" copy will not doubt the truth of this statement. Desirous of being suitably equipped in the "Battle of the Books", I have used a medium copy measuring 16 3/8 ins. x 10 3/4 ins.' In imperial terms, the copy here measures 18 1/2 ins. x 11 3/4. ESTC T75639; Foxon 641 Ref: 52035
Prior, Matthew: Poems on Several Occasions. London: printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper and H. Lintot, 1754. 12mo., pp. [xxiv], 402, [vi], including portrait frontispiece. Sporadic toning and foxing, particularly to margins. Contemporary polished brown calf, raised bands, red label to spine, traces of red to edges. Spine rubbed with surface crackling, upper joint and head of lower joint repaired, inner hinged repaired, endpapers toned at edges. Still very good overall. Inscription of E. Richmond Swales to front paste-down. Older inscription with the surname Le Mesurier to title-page. COPAC finds this issue as a single volume (1754) and also as a two-volume set (1754-1767). Whilst nothing internally indicates any lack, a barely visible 'I' to the spine suggests that this volume may once have been accompanied by a second work. Matthew Prior (1664–1721), was a gifted poet and diplomat. Prior began his education at Westminster School, but his father's death in 1675 forced him to leave and begin work in his brother's tavern. The following year Charles Sackville, sixth earl of Dorset (patron of Dryden and Congreve amongst others), visited the tavern and observed the twelve-year-old Prior reading Horace whilst working behind the bar. 'Dorset asked Matthew to construe a passage or two of Horace, then to turn a Horatian ode into English. He did so with such skill that on subsequent visits to the tavern Dorset often asked him to entertain his friends and himself by turning Horace or Ovid into English verse. Finally, the earl of Dorset offered to pay Prior's tuition to return to Westminster School, if his uncle Arthur would pay for his clothing and other necessities. The Priors gratefully accepted this offer, and Matthew returned to Westminster School about 1676, becoming a king's scholar there in 1681, an award based on his distinction in classical languages.' (ODNB) Prior went on to win one of the first five Duchess of Somerset scholarships to St John's College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1687. Poems on Several Occasions' first appearance was in 1707, in a pirated edition produced by Edmund Curll. Tonson printed the first official edition, meticulously prepared by Prior, in 1709. 'Prior himself spoke of the poetry contained in this collection as divided into four categories—'Public Panegyrics', 'Amorous Odes', 'Idle Tales', and 'Serious Reflections'—but some of its most famous poems ('Henry and Emma', 'An English Padlock', and 'Jinny the Just') do not fit easily into any one of these four categories.' (ODNB). The book proved extremely popular and a second edition was printed in the same year, followed by further editions in 1711, 1713, and 1717. ESTC T75658 Ref: 52037
Rabelais, François: (Motteux, [Peter Anthony], ed.: Missy, César de, trans.:) Oeuvres [...] Suivies des Remarques Publie´es en Anglois par M. Le Motteux, et Traduites en Francois par C. D. M.. Paris: Ferdinand Bastien, An VI (1797-8). 'Nouvelle Édition'. 3 vols., 8vo., pp. [iv], xvi, 3-479, [i] + 21 plates; [iv], 634, [ii] + 15 plates; [iv], 595, [i] + 7 plates, i.e. bound with only 43 of the 76 plates called for. Intermittent foxing throughout, occasional small marks, a little worming (single hole to first and last 4 leaves and first 2 plates of vol. I, and to vol.II pp.25-111 increasing and then dwindling away), paper flaw to vol.II leaf 2O1 affecting text but not legibilty. 19th-century dark brown morocco, raised bands, compartments outlined in gilt, gilt titles and borders, a.e.g., marbled endpapers. A few light scuffs to spines, joints and edges a bit rubbed, good. Standard paper edition; 250 copies each of folio, quarto and octavo formats were printed on superior paper. Ref: 51706show full image..
[Riccardi Press ephemera] The Riccardi Press Books, Printed in the Riccardi Fount Designed by Mr. Herbert P. Horne. London: Philip Lee Warner, publisher to the Medici Society, 1913. A single folio (135 x 100mm when folded) Riccardi Press catalogue, advertising recent publications in the following series: i. Illustrated Quarto Series; ii. Scriptiorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Riccardiana; iii. Octavo Series. Ref: 52177
Saville, Malcolm: (Prance, Bertram, illus.:) The Neglected Mountain. A Lone Pine Story. London: The Children's Book Club, n.d.(c.1953). 8vo., pp. 248. Green cloth, black title to spine, illustrated endpapers. Tiny dent to front board, head of spine a little faded, very good. Published by The Children's Book Club (a Foyles book club) in association with George Newnes. Ref: 51658