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Gift Guide 05

Curated by Angus Robb
Gift Guide 05

From H.G. Wells' sought-after writings to W. Somerset Maugham's timeless masterpiece, explore the personal favourites of Angus Robb, our Literature Specialist. 
Gift Guide 05
1. H.G. WELLS. The Works. New York, 1924-1927. £5,500

Today, a comparatively small about of the author’s writings are still highly sought-after but if only one takes the plunge and explores some of the less obvious titles, it would be a revelation.

2. W. Somerset MAUGHAM. The Razor’s Edge.  New York,1944. £2,750

For me, one of the 50 best novels ever written and it this edition would be one book from our stock that I would like to own.  If one has never read it, do.  It will not be a happy adventure although it is not without its humour.  In short, it is highly erudite and yet accessibly written.

3. Sylvia PANKHURST. Writ on Cold Slate. London, [1922]. £3,750

This collection of poetry by a pioneer of women's suffrage was born of personal experience, suffering and determination on the front line of the cause; indeed it was written during one of her terms in prison.

4. George ELIOT [pseud. of Marian Evans]. The Mill on the Floss. Edinburgh,1860. £3,500

Writing under a pseudonym, George Eliot (Marian Evans), is another author, with a fine canon of work, all of which is overshadowed by Middlemarch.  However, The Mill on the Floss is equally, beautifully crafted but far more visceral in portraying the unfair subjugation of women in the 19th century.

5. KING EDWARD VII. Autograph Letter Signed as King, to Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany (’My Dear Willy...’). Marienbad, 5 September, 1905. £2,800

Edward VII was regarded as highly informed and diplomatic when it came to foreign affairs.  This is very telling in this assuming and 'domestic' private letter to his nephew, heir apparent to the last Kaiser.

6. Richmal [Lamburn] CROMPTON. Autograph Letter Signed. 1961. £400

Even during her lifetime and certainly since her death, many assumed the author of the Just William stories was male but quite the opposite.  There is one particular line in this delightful letter, in which she apologises for not enclosing a photograph of herself.....because she does not have one.  How refreshing in the photo-obsessed world of today. 

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Shapero Rare Books is an internationally renowned dealer in London, specialising in antiquarian & rare books and works on paper, with particular expertise in fine illustrated books from the 15th to the 20th century, travel & voyages, natural history, modern firsts, rare children’s books, guidebooks, Hebraica & Judaica, Eastern European, and Islamica

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