Literature in the English Language has a profound influence on every generation, to a greater or lesser extent. Most of us will have recollections of listening to a story and even reading our first poem or novel; some relish the memory of studying English Literature at school while others will cringe but everyone will have a favourite title or even a character from a piece of writing such as Mr Darcy or James Bond, or Mrs. Dalloway or Bridget Jones.
The major early authors, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, etc., have withstood the test of time and fickleness of fashion and others brought back into favour by the stimulus of film; Anthony Trollope and Elizabeth Gaskell immediately spring to mind; whereas the early exponents of the novel, Defoe and Fielding are largely forgotten or only remembered for one work.
Major events act as a catalyst for some of the most salient and profound writing, often in the face of horrific suffering, as with the war poets or from domestic experiences such as the miserable first marriages of T.S. Eliot and Thomas Hardy. Conversely, for the reader it is often an event, positive or negative that helps us to relate to a specific piece of writing or even author from adolescence to old age; Franz Kafka said; ‘I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us…’, whereas Voltaire was of the opinion; ‘Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world’. Whichever school of thought we relate to there is no denying the importance and relevance of a good read and the privilege of owning a special edition.
Since his under-graduate days Angus dealt in books on a part-time basis until taking a…
Bernard is an experienced international dealer in rare books and works on paper. He began dealing…
Julian heads the travel book department. He has been in the rare book trade for…
DIXON, W. Macneile [Editor]
The Edinburgh Book of Scottish Verse 1300-1900. 1910.
Description First edition, third impression (same month as first), 8vo., xx, 938, pp., printed on India Paper, later full red calf by Zaehnsdorf, gilt panelled, finely gilt tooled to spine, gilt dentelles and all edges gilt, slight splaying of boards,…£250
The Works of Robert Burns. 1800.
If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn't so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. All too human in his…£1,200
Rob Roy. 1816.
Early edition of Scott's historic novel of 18th century Scotland. Rob Roy is set against the backdrop of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, which aimed to restore the Stuart monarchy in the person of James Edward, the 'Old Pretender', son…£300
The poetical works. 1927.
A handsome edition printed on India Paper. Description 8vo., lxxxii, 491pp., portrait frontispiece, small, neat, partially erased ink-ownership to front free endpaper, else fine, later full blue calf by Zaehnsdorf gilt-panelled, red letting piece and rich gilt panels to spine,…£225
Classical Landscape With Figures. Illustrated by the Author.1947.
Revered as the greatest pocket cartoonist to have graced the nation's newspapers, Sir Osbert Lancaster (1908-1986) was a man of many talents. He published sketches of architecture, illustrated book covers and was a successful theatre designer. As such, he was…£275
A Spaniard In The Works. 1965.
A collection of writings illustrated in Lennon's inimitable style. Description First edition, 7 x 5 1/2 inches (140mm x 180mm), 90 (v) pp., publisher's glazed photographic boards by Robert Freeman, a fine copy with none of the usual bubbling to…£225
CARROLL, Lewis. [Various Illustrators]
Russian Alices. Illustrated editions of Alice in Wonderland from the U.S.S.R. and the Post Soviet Era. With contributions by Tatiana Ianovskaia, Olia Harris & Ella Parry-Davies.2016.
This is a complete and unexpurgated version of the text of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland enlivened by an impressive display of Russian illustration and is the very first exploration of the various Russian and Ukrainian illustrated editions of the book.…£125
The Tale of Peter Rabbit. [April 1903]
The first printing to contain the correction on page 51 from 'wept big tears' to 'shed big tears', and the last to feature the illustrations of Mrs. McGregor and the pie, the cover image and two others. Arguably rarer than…£2,500
YEATS, William Butler.
The Collected Works in Verse and Prose of William Butler Yeats. 1908.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. Although he lived in London for 14 years of his childhood (and kept a permanent home there during the first half of…£2,500
The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe [together with] The Farther Adventures… . 1778
Description 2 volumes, small 8vo., [i-iv], [1-5], 288pp.; [i-ii], [1-5], 275pp., fifteenth edition, 11 engraved plates and 1 folding map by J. Lodge, some plate in volume 2 slightly close-shaved on the fore-edge but not affecting image, small marginal stain…£1,200
LE CARRE, John.
Single & Single. 1999.
Description First edition, signed by the Author, 8vo., publisher's maroon cloth gilt, pictorial dust-jacket, slightly rubbed, otherwise a fine copy., published 1999. Bibliography Stock ID: 95217£125
LEIGH FERMOR, Patrick,
Between The Woods and the Water; On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates1986
The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey, as an 18-year-old, across 1930s Europe by foot began in; A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary. Resuming from the very spot by the…£350
RACKHAM, Arthur [Illustrator]; C. S. Evans
This was one of only two works Rackham illustrated in silhouette. There is an extra coloured plate in this edition that is not in the trade edition. Description Limited edition, number 109 of 850 copies signed by Rackham, 4to., (29.5…£1,100
Diamonds are Forever. 1956.
Ian Fleming's fourth Bond novel sees 007 infiltrating the world of diamond smugglers. The 1971 film featured Sean Connery in his penultimate outing in the series and Jill St. John as Bond Girl, Tiffany Case. Description First edition, 8vo., publisher's…£6,200Search