Published: The Woolsack, Rosebank, Capetown, Apr. 3 1906.
An autograph letter signed ‘Rudyard Kipling, to ‘The White Man at Kassala’.
Letter amounts to three written pages on hand-addressed letterhead on a folded sheet which measures 197x153 mms unfolded. There is an associated hand-addressed envelope signed by Kipling with the name J. H. Grieve overlaid on a strip of paper; the envelope is a little worn with the corners nibbled.
The White Man at Kassala turns out to be a J. H. Grieve as stipulated on the envelope.
A clean example with just a couple of tiny marks.
Kipling begins this letter somewhat humorously 'I could not read the name of the white man that sent me the letter from Kassala which is dated on the twentieth day of the second month of this (Christians) year. May Allah teach him to write perspicuously for at present he is a calamity to the stranger.'
He continues in response to three questions, regarding the more remote passages of his short story 'They', that were posed in the aforementioned letter. He answers in detail supplying information about "The Egg" which he explains 'is a vision of the soul of man ... coloured according to the nature of the soul and resembles more an egg shaped shadow than any other thing. So it is called The Egg. Some also call it the Aura.' In response to the second question he replies: 'God alone is all knowing in this matter: but it is certain that those who are blind can none the less, in a manner, see.' Finally in answer to the third question he says: 'The man would not see the woman again because there were spirits in her presence and he would have no traffic with spirits. For it is manifest that the dead are dead and the living are the living and they cannot meet. Yet the woman being a virgin and blind was permitted to entertain those innocent spirits. To him a man it was forbidden'.
He ends by sympathizing with the incredible heat and dust which the "white man" must be suffering and concludes: 'I finish my letter. Rudyard Kipling'.
This letter is particularly interesting because it is in his story 'They' that Kipling refers to his daughter Josephine who died in 1899. There are only a couple of places in his writings in which he does this as he was generally shy about revealing details regarding his life.
A History Of British Birds
Published: R. H. Porter, London, 1883-85.
With coloured illustrations of their eggs. In four volumes comprising three volumes of text and one of plates.
Contemporary full crimson morocco over cloth boards with gilt panelled spines in compartments between high raised bands enhanced by gilding the second and fourth with titles and volume numbers stamped direct and the remaining with ornithological emblems placed centrally; teg, rest roughcut; large 8vo.
First Edition. With sixty-eight coloured plates of eggs printed by Lemercier of Paris and numerous textural illustrations.
A very handsome set in excellent condition.
Nissen BBI 851
Dimensions (height / length / width )
26.2cm / 16.3cm / 16.7cm
The Lord of The Rings
Published: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1954-5.
In three volumes comprising: The Fellowship of The Ring; The Two Towers; & The Return of The King.
Full crimson levant morocco by Bayntun-Riviere with double gilt fillet to boards and spines in gilt compartments each with a central ring motif, raised banding embellished with gilt split-rule and titles stamped direct; aeg; 8vo. Housed in matching crimson cloth slipcase.
A First Edition set in mint condition of this legendary work.
The 'Lord of the Rings' Trilogy is arguably one of the greatest works of literature in the twentieth century; containing amazing detail of a new mythology invented world, never really surpassed.
'The Lord of the Rings' is an epic high fantasy novel. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel‚ 'The Hobbit' (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II. Although generally known to readers as a trilogy, Tolkien initially intended it as one volume of a two volume set, with the other volume to be‚ The Silmarillion'; however, the publisher was not interested in the second volume and in 1954-5 printed ‚ 'The Lord of the Rings' as three books rather than one, for economic reasons. It has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many different languages, becoming one of the most popular and influential works in twentieth century literature.
Dimensions (height / length / width )
24cm / 10.5cm / 15.5cm
Published: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., London, 1924-27.
The Complete works in twenty-eight volumes.
Handsome modern full navy morocco with wavy surround in gilt to boards the front bearing central gilt facsimile signature, spines in six compartments the second and fourth with burgundy morocco title labels and the remaining with central lozenge shaped floral emblem, raised and flat gilt banding; teg, rest uncut; 8vo.
The Atlantic Edition. A Limited Edition of 620 sets for Great Britain and Ireland, of which 600 are for sale and 20 are for presentation. This is number 412. Includes photogravure frontispieces and titles in crimson and black.
Signed by the Author on the limitation page.
Attractively bound Atlantic Edition of Wells' works signed by the author.
A Limited edition of one thousand and fifty sets was also published by Charles Scribner's Sons for America.
Hammond, pp. 153-157.
Wells (1866-1946) in his lifetime was regarded as the chief literary spokesman of the liberal optimism that preceded World War I. No other writer has caught so vividly the energy of this period, its adventurousness, its feeling of release from the conventions of Victorian thought and propriety. His influence was enormous, both on his own generation and on that which immediately followed it. None of his contemporaries did more to encourage revolt against Christian tenets and accepted codes of behaviour, especially as regards sex, in which, both in his books and in his personal life, he was a persistent advocate of an almost complete freedom. Though in many ways hasty, ill-tempered, and contradictory, Wells was undeviating and fearless in his efforts for social equality, world peace, and what he considered to be the future good of humanity.
As a creative writer his reputation rests on the early science fiction books and on the comic novels. In his science fiction, he took the ideas and fears that haunted the mind of his age and gave them symbolic expression as brilliantly conceived fantasy made credible by the quiet realism of its setting. In the comic novels, though his psychology lacks subtlety and the construction of his plots is often awkward, he shows a fund of humour and a deep sympathy for ordinary people. Wells' prose style is always careless and lacks grace, yet he has his own gift of phrase and a true ear for vernacular speech, especially that of the lower middle class of London and south-eastern England. His best work has a vigour, vitality, and exuberance unsurpassed, in its way, by that of any other British writer of the early twentieth century.
Dimensions (height / length / width )
23.5cm / 140cm / 16cm
Published: Crosby Gaige, New York, 1928.
Publisher's black cloth with gilt emblem of a ram on a bank within a spherical panel on front board, spine in bracketed panels with central rosette motif between thick decorative banding, title stamped direct; teg, rest untrimmed; 8vo 234x160 mms; housed in full navy morocco lined clam shell box with single gilt fillet to boards and spine in gilt compartments with delicate floral display cornerpieces within raised banding enhanced with split rule and titles stamped direct; 262x180 mms.
First American Edition. A Limited Edition of '861 copies have been printed on pure rag paper of which 800 numbered copies, signed by the Author, will be for sale. Distributed in America by Random House.' This copy is No. 'Out of Series'.
SIGNED by the Author in her distinctive purple ink to verso of half-title.
Frontispiece and seven photographic illustrations including Virginia Woolf as Orlando. The fine typography is by Frederic Warde and the printing by William Edwin Rudge.
An excellent copy of a very rare edition.
An out-of-series copy of a limited edition of 861. Kirkpatrick
The First American Edition was published some nine days before the UK trade edition. This copy fully agrees with the description in Kirkpatrick's bibliography e.g. 'publisher's device of a ram on a green bank' etc.
Considered one of Woolf's best works Orlando follows the long (over four hundred years) and unusual life of the title character. Woolf examines the meanings of masculinity and femininity as these definitions changed in Europe over the course of four hundred years. In tracing those changes, Woolf presents a feminist overview of history from the days of Elizabeth the First to the end of World War I. Orlando, who was modeled on Woolf's close friend Vita Sackville-West, goes from being a young man in Queen Elizabeth's court to a love affair with a Muscovite princess; from Ambassador Extraordinary to encounters, now as Lady Orlando, with the famous English writers Pope, Addison, and Swift; finally, Orlando experiences childbirth.
This excellent feminist novel emphasizes Woolf's belief that women are the intellectual equals of men (and can be considered a companion piece to her A Room of Ones Own).
Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia née Stephen (1882 - 1941) British author who made an original contribution to the form of the novel and was one of the most distinguished critics of her time.
She was educated at home by her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, and, after his death in 1904, lived in Gordon Square, London, which became the centre of the Bloomsbury group (q.v.). In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1917 they founded the Hogarth Press, which published her books.
After her novels The Voyage Out (1915) and Night and Day (1919) appeared, she began to experiment. She wanted to stress the continuous flow of experience, the indefinability of character and external circumstances as they impinge on consciousness. She was also interested in the way time is experienced both as a sequence of disparate moments and as the flow of years and of centuries. From Jacob's Room (1922) onward, she tried to convey the impression of time present and of time passing in individual experience and also of the characters' awareness of historic time.
In Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), she extended her technical mastery; above all, she gave to each of these novels a tightly organized form, partly by using poetic devices such as recurrent images and partly by restricting the time of the action. Orlando (1928) is a historical fantasy with evocations of England, and especially literary England, from Elizabeth I to 1928. In her long essay, A Room of One's Own (1929), she described the difficulties encountered by women writers in a man's world.
Returning to the novel, in The Waves (1931) she confined herself to recording the stream of consciousness. The reader lives within the minds of one or the other of six characters from their childhood to their old age. Human experience of the 'seven ages of man', rather than character or event, is paramount. The Years (1937) is more expansive and traditional. In Between the Acts (1941), the action, as in Mrs. Dalloway, occurs on a single day, but extended time is suggested by the staging of a village pageant recording English history, while the reader is also kept aware of impending war. In a recurrence of mental illness, after finishing Between the Acts, she drowned herself near her Sussex home.
Woolf wrote two biographies: one is fanciful, a fragment of the life of the Brownings through the imagined memories of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog (Flush; 1933); the other is a full-length biography of the art critic Roger Fry (1940). Her best critical studies are in The Common Reader (1925), The Common Reader: Second Series (1932), The Death of the Moth (1942), and Granite and Rainbow (1958).
Encyclopædia Britannica Article
Dimensions (height / length / width )
26cm / 5cm / 18cm
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Fitzgerald, Edward [Translator]
Translated into English verse. With an introduction by A. C. Benson. Reproduced from a manuscript written and illuminated by F. Sangorski & G. Sutcliffe.
Published: Siegle, Hill & Co., London, .
Stunning full morocco by Bayntun-Rivière, the cover with multiple fillets enclosing design of a chalice encoiled by a snake, the snake formed by a brown morocco onlay, a black morocco onlay forms a Moorish frame and the upper cover is heightened with paste jewels; spine in gilt panels embellished with central floral sprays and double black morocco title labels, raised banding enhanced with spherical tools; aeg; inner dentelles wide with gilt rule and floral cornerpieces; marbled endpapers; Secondo, 330x250 mms; housed in a cloth clam shell box.
A Limited Edition ‘printed on Hand Made paper, to five hundred and fifty copies, of which this is Number 79’. Signed in ink by both J. Sangorski and G. Sutcliffe. Twelve illuminations in gilt and colour. Engraved and printed by André and Sleigh with flourished initials in red and blue.
A fine example of Bayntun-Rivière’s work, probably executed in the 1950s with stunning illuminations.
Sangorski famously presided over the creation of a supremely elaborate peacock binding for the 'Rubaiyat', on commission from Sotheran's, which was sold, and then lost in 1912 when it went down with the 'Titanic'. Sangorski himself was to die only six weeks later in a bathing accident. George Bayntun of Bath acquired the firm of Rivière and Son in 1939.
The "Rubaiyat" was 'done in mathematics by early Arabic scholars and by al-Biruni was continued by Omar Khayyam (died 1122), to whom the Seljuq empire in fact owes the reform of its calendar. But Omar has become famous in the West through the free adaptations by Edward FitzGerald of his roba‘iyat. These quatrains have been translated into almost every known language and are largely responsible for colouring European ideas about Persian poetry. The authenticity of these verses has often been questioned. The quatrain is an easy form to use—many have been scribbled on Persian pottery of the 13th century—and the same verse has been attributed to many different authors. The latest research into the question of the roba‘iyat has established that a certain number of the quatrains can, indeed, be traced back to the great scientist who condensed in them his feelings and thoughts, his skepticism and love, in such an enthralling way that they appeal to every reader. The imagery he uses, however, is entirely inherited; none of it is original.'
"Islamic arts" Encyclopædia Britannica
Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883) is best know for his translation of this work which, though it is a free adaptation and selection from the twelfth-century Persian poet's verses, stands on its own as a classic of English literature. In translating Omar Khayyam, Fitzgerald’s method was to transmit the essence of the poet's mood and thought, often in his own imagery, in a sequence that would be intelligible to English readers.
In March 1859 the Rubáiyát was published in an unpretentious, anonymous little pamphlet. The poem attracted no attention until, in 1860, it was discovered by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and soon after by Algernon Swinburne. Its appearance in the same year as Darwin's Origin of Species, when the sea of faith was at its ebb, lent a timely significance to its philosophy, which combines expressions of outright hedonism (“Ah take the Cash, and let the Credit go”) with uneasy ponderings on the mystery of life and death.'
"FitzGerald, Edward" Encyclopædia Britannica
Dimensions (height / length / width )
35cm x 4cm x 27cm
Published: Auber, Paris, 1806.
Tableaux Historiques des Campagnes D’Italie, depuis l’an IV jusqu’a la Bataille de Marengo; suivis De Précis des opérations de l’Armée d’Orient, des détails sur les cérémonies du Sacre, des Bulletins officiels de la Grande Armée et de l’Armée d’Italie dans tout le cours de la dernière guerre d’Allemagne, jusqu’à la paix de Presbourg. Toutes les vues ont été prises sur les lieux memes, et les Estampes sont gravées d’après les dessins originaux de Carle Vernet WITH Précis Historique de la Campagne D’Allemagne.
Nineteenth century case binding covered with a marbled blue paper; spine bears a crimson morocco title-label embellished with a decorative surround; Secondo, 520x360 mms.
First Edition. Half title, vignette title-page, engraved frontispiece of Napoleon on his horse by Simon after Carle Vernet, twenty-four plates by Duplessi-Bertaux and others, after drawings by Carle Venet, one double page map hand coloured in outline by Louvet after Dieu, two medallion portraits of Napoleon and Josephine, one engraved header by Roger after Duplessi-Bertaux and a Napoleonic emblem tailpiece. Occasionally a double-page plate of the Battle of Austerlitz is found at the rear however this is not called for by Ray.
A wonderful copy in incredibly clean condition of this beautifully illustrated book.
Pages 130 to 138 provide information regarding the 'Cérémonies du sacred et du Couronnement de sa Majesté Impériale Napoléon-Le-Grand'. The final part of this work 'Précis Historique de la Campagne D'Allemagne' has separate pagination.
Ray 79; Brunet V, 627.
Carle Vernet (1758-1836) was the son of the popular landscape artist Joseph Vernet, the younger Vernet early exhibited a gift for painting and came to develop an acute eye for natural detail. He rose to fame under the empire with his drawings of the Italian campaign and his paintings of 'The Battle of Marengo' (1804) and 'Morning of Austerlitz'. In addition he had a talent for intimate genre and for drawing rather than for painting. His long series of fashionable studies, often satirizing contemporary manners and costume, were reproduced by the best engravers of the time. After the restoration of the monarchy, Vernet became court painter to Louis XVIII and was popular as a lithographer in addition to painting dogs, horses, and scenes of the hunt.
Dimensions (height / length / width )
53.5cm / 4cm / 36cm
A History of England
Published: J. Mawman, London, 1819-1830.
Eight volumes bound in ten. From the first invasion by the Romans to the accession of Henry VIII. In three volumes; ... to the Accession of Mary. (1820) (1 vol.); ... to the Accession of James I. (1823) (1 vol.); ... To the Commonwealth. (1825) (2 vols.); ... To the twenty-seventh year of the Reign of Charles II. (1829) (2 vols.); ... To the Revolution in 1688. (1830) (1 vol.).
Contemporary full crimson morocco by Henderson & Bisset with lavish decorative and ruled panelling to boards and spines in gilt panels between raised banding the second and third with titles stamped direct and the remaining with large central floral spray and abundant foliate sides; teg; inner dentelles gilt; 4to, 292x239 mms.
First Edition. Large Paper Copy. With half-titles and extra illustrated with six hundred and sixty engraved plates the majority brilliant proof impressions.
A magnificent extra illustrated copy, beautifully bound, and scarce.
'The History of England, From the First Invasion by the Romans to the Accession of Henry VIII' by John Lingard (1771-1851) was the product of decades of study in which he devoted countless hours to the examination and comparison of original authorities and insisted on tracing every statement back to its original author.
Initially published in eight volumes in 1819 the work was later expanded by the author and the title changed to reflect the period covered. The edition that is usually seen is a ten volume set, ‘to the Accession of William and Mary in 1688’. There is an enlarged thirteen volume set published just before Lingard's death which was his final revision, ‘to the Commencement of the Reign of William the Third’. The “History” was abridged and revised adding material to bring its treatment up to the then present and used as a text in English Catholic Schools during the nineteenth century.
Lingard was accorded no recognition by the British intellectual establishment. ‘History of England’ is a substantial scholarly work which while giving full treatment to the history of England on relevant matters takes a Catholic approach.
A Hunter’s Life
Cumming, Roualeyn Gordon
Published: 1850, London. John Murray.
Five Years of a Hunter’s Life in the Far Interior of South Arfica ( 2 volumes in 1).
Contemporary half green calf, red title label, raided bands with gilt.
Illustrated with 17 plates and one map. Signed by John Madden, Hilton Park 1880.
After several years in the military, the author devoted his to hunting. Apart from his sporting adventures, Cumming met Livingstone in the bush. On his return to England he took with him thirty tons of trophies. "One of the classics of African big game hunting and exploration that recounts the seemingly limitless herds of game in the region of Cumming's era and a necessary title in the big game library." - Czech. Czech p43; Mendelssohn I, 398-9.
Japan and China
Published: T. C. & E. C. Jack, London, 1903-04.
In twelve volumes. Their History, Arts and Literature.
Period full crimson morocco by Morrell with panelling to boards comprising bamboo and lotus corner ornaments and spines in six panelled compartments between raised banding enhanced by gilt rule the second and third with title, author and volume number stamped direct and the remaining with the bamboo and lotus devices echoing the boards; teg, rest uncut; inner dentelles wide with binders mark and lavish bamboo and lotus tools; large 8vo, 239x172 mms.
Edition De Luxe. Limited to Thirty-Five Numbered Copies for the United Kingdom, of which this is Number 16. Printed on Japon paper with half-titles stating the Limitation Number, titles in crimson and black, twelve beautiful window mounted water-coloured silk frontispieces, twenty mounted hand-coloured wood block prints, one hundred and ninety-nine coloured, tinted and half tone plates, twenty-seven black and white line drawing plates; all with variant coloured captioned tissue-guards. In addition there are two large coloured folding maps and one double page map. The original cloth boards and spine for volume one are bound in at the rear.
A scarce set in almost mint condition, bound by the renown Morrell. A magnificent publication, with stunning illustrations, surveying Japanese and Chinese art, life and history.
Brinkley was a resident in Japan for over forty years and the publication of this monumental treatise corresponded with the West’s fascination of the Orient at the close of the nineteenth century. Numerous limited editions of this ‘Oriental Series’ were published including ‘The Viceroy Edition’ limited to fifty copies and ‘The Library Edition’ limited to one thousand copies; both were published in 1901-02 and in twelve volumes. However, it is uncommon to find such a beautifully bound set, limited to only thirty-five copies.
Dimensions (height / length / width)
24cm / 17cm / 51cm
Indians of North America
Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, London, 1859.
Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America from Canada to Vancouver’s Island and Oregon through the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Territory and back again.
Contemporary half sage green calf over marbled boards with both raised and thick gilt banding, maroon morocco title label; crimson sprinkled edges; 8vo.
First Edition. With the half title, large folding map which is hand-coloured in outline and eight chromolithographic plates by Vincent Brooks. There are also several woodcuts within the text.
An exceptionally clean copy of this very important work. Scarce to find complete in such spectacular condition.
An Artist's Fascinating Account and Illustrations of his Travel Among the Native Americans of Canada.
Born in Ireland in 1810, Paul Kane was brought as a child to Toronto in about 1818, the son of a soldier turned wine merchant. When he was sixteen, he was apprenticed and worked as a furniture decorator for ten years, and during this time he also studied art under Thomas Drury, the drawing master of Upper Canada College. From 1841 to 1843, he traveled in Europe to learn to paint by copying masterpieces, and in London, Kane met George Catlin. Catlin inspired him to paint a gallery of Canadian Indians, and he returned to Toronto in 1845. For the next three years, Kane made his way to Vancouver and back, by riverboat, canoe, horseback, sloop, and snowshoes. He sketched in pencil, later watercolor, and sometimes made oil sketches on paper from life. His lifestyle was nomadic, as he moved from place to place with different tribes, recording rituals and spectacular landscapes. His first-hand, gripping account of his experiences, along with his splendid, sympathetic illustrations, insured the success and influences of this publication.