First edition of this rare Minerva Press novel, an extravagant gothic tale set in medieval Scotland.more...
A notice in the Critical Review of November 1797 was unable to identify its author positively but compared it with Musgrave’s first novel, Cicely (1795). ‘The author has allowed her or his imagination a wider scope, but has plunged into a series of adventures in rapid succession, which defy all possibility of belief... Horrors are multiplied on horrors, new characters on new characters, until the reader is bewildered in a maze... The story is supposed to have happened in the reign of James III. of Scotland; and the agency of witchcraft is introduced in compliment to that monarch’s credulity... The scene is, indeed, a copy from Macbeth’s visit to the witches; but it wants the additional charm of Shakespeare’s genius. With such helps as witches, ghosts, caverns, and ruined castles, we should be too scrupulous in expecting probability: but there are bounds even to fiction...’
Vol II contains a final advert for the second edition of Cicely, or the Rose of Raby, ‘just published’ . Unlike Cicely, Edmund did not receive a second edition, though it appeared in French in 1798/9 and an extract, entitled The Adventure James III of Scotland had with the weird Sisters was reprinted in the 1799 collection Gothic Stories. Indeed, more than one version of the story appeared in early nineteenth-century fiction, implying some influence..see full details
A remarkable manuscript account of a French campaign in Bavaria and Bohemia during the first Silesian War, in the form of extracts from (unpublished) letters from an artillery major.more...
It is subtitled: ‘Extrait des lettres ecrittes par Mr. Du Gravier surtout ce qui s’est passé depuis le depart des Trouppes de France pour la Bavière, jusqu’au retour de celles que Mr. Le M[arécha]l de Belisle a ramenée de Prague.’ The campaign was led by the Maréchals de Broglie and de Belle Isle and the detailed extracts cover the march to Prague, its storming by French troops in 26 November 1741, the subsequent siege at the hands of the Austrian army and the escape of some 14,000 French troops from the city in December 1742..see full details
An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in print without an index), a gazetteer to its Atlas, and an index to various other books, such as Valmont de Bomare’s Histoire Naturelle and Lacroix’s Géographie.more...
A homespun affair, the volume is rather haphazardly arranged and presented in homemade boards covered in rather fine contemporary wallpaper. It includes references to regions, cities and landmarks in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (the latter including mentions of Cabot, Columbus and Penn) and several ingenious diagrams of the rivers of France..see full details
First edition, bound in red morocco with Napoleonic emblems by Rosa, who together with Bizouard, Bozerian, Tessier, Simier, Lefebvre and Doll, supplied bindings for the Imperial household.more...
Written under the encouragement of the First Consul this is an important work in defining the purpose of modern diplomacy. Flassan was (like Napoleon) a product of the École militaire de Paris and served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before becoming professor of history at the military school at Saint Germain-en-Laye.see full details
A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each drawing on one side of fine double-folded paper, captioned in ink in Chinese.more...
Albums such as these were produced in Chinese studios for the export market and were especially popular with Europeans for their exact portrayal of various aspects of Chinese life of the period: customs, costumes, occupations, flora and fauna. They ‘depicted those phases of Chinese life which fascinated the Westerner but defied descriptions to friends and family at home. Before the advent of the camera, this medium played an extremely vital role in revealing Oriental culture to the West.’ (Crossman, The China Trade, 1972). Though marketed to curious Europeans these albums represent important interpretations of Chinese life by indigenous Chinese artists. The present example is notable for being dated 1843, at the very end of the First Opium War just as five ports in China were being opened to the British.
These albums were luxury products, each one individually produced, and therefore priced beyond the means of any but the wealthy. Individual artists were never identified.
Lady Churchill, the original owner of the album, was born Lady Frances Fitzroy, the fifth daughter of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third duke of Grafton. In 1801 she married Francis Almeric Spencer, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Marlborough and created first Baron Churchill of Wychwood in 1815. It is unlikely that the elderly Baron Churchill and his wife were in China at the time she received the album, and much more probable that it was presented to Lady Churchill in England as a gift, possibly by one of her military sons such as George Augustus Spencer, who was an officer in a regiment serving in China. .see full details
A rare highwayman’s narrative, purporting to be an autobiography handed by Munn to the Yarmouth gaoler on the morning of his execution. Thomas Munn of Benenden and Canterbury was one of Kent’s less illustrious exports. From a relatively prosperous family of Kentish brick-makers he became notorious in Canterbury as a cheat and bogus wine merchant before decamping for Essex where he met his end; being hanged for robbing the Yarmouth mail. The first-person narrative contains many fascinating episodes, including the account of a same-sex encounter in a Southampton Inn. Munn was joined in bed by the son of the innkeeper on the pretext of keeping warm, who then admitted, ‘I love to lie with a naked man’ and began ‘to act a Part so Contradictory to Nature’ that Munn leapt up and threatened him with a penknife. He reflected: ‘It was what I never met with before, no since, but had Philosophy enough in me, to think it a pity to expose a young Man, tho’ he pointed at a very heinous Sin; and certainly we that commit Crimes beyond what is common, ought to be pitied, for no Man is certain if he comes under the same Temptation, that he shall be able to withstand it...’
The Huntington library holds a copy (perhaps unique) with variant imprint, also giving Harris as bookseller, but with Essex and Suffolk booksellers named..see full details
NORDENDORF, C.C. de. Attack Step Quickstep. Danville (Va.): Mrs E. L. Nordendorf, . Not found in OCLC.
2. SCHILLING, Fred[erick]. Brothers hasten on to Battle. Brooklyn: D.S. Holmes, . OCLC: Lincoln Presidential Library only.
3. DOANE, Howard. Bury me in the Valley. Cincinnati: John Church, [n.d.]. OCLC: Ohio State University only [possibly another edition].
4. MCNAUGHTON, J.H. The faded Coat of Blue or the nameless Grave. Ballad. Buffalo, Penn & Remington, . Stain to lower margins. OCLC: UC Santa Barbara and Library Company of Philadelphia.
5. CLARK, James C. Fremont’s Battle Hymn. Quartett. Rochester: Joseph P. Shaw, . Not found in OCLC.
6. PARKHURST, Mrs. E. A. Funeral March, to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln, the Martyr President of the United States of America. New York: Horace Waters, 1865. Advert on final page cropped (with some loss) at foot. Issue without vignette portrait.
7. MACK, E. General McClellan’s Grand March. Philadelphia, Lee & Walker . Issue without coloured lithograph plate. OCLC: Michigan, Duke, Pennsylvania and Brown Universities.
8. WINNER, Septimus. Give us back our old Commander. Philadelphia, Winner & Co, . OCLC: LC and Morgan.
9. EASTBURN, The hearty Welcome Home. Philadelphia: Smith, 1865. OCLC: no copies of Smith imprint but 2 of Auner: AAS and NYHS and one of Johnson imprint: NYHS.
10. BECKEL, J. C. Monody on the death of Abraham Lincoln. Sixteenth President of the United States. Born Feb. 12th, 1808, died by the hand of an assassin April 15th, 1865. Philadelphia: Marsh, 1865. OCLC: this issue Lincoln Museum only plus one copy of a Cincinnati imprint of same year at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
11. WHEELOCK, O. Richmond Falls, the War is O’er: Philadelphia: March, 1865. No hard copy found in OCLC.
12. CASONELLA. A Song of Peace. New York, W. A. Pond, 1865. OCLC: UPenn, Ocean State, Brigham Young, AAS. .see full details
A commemorative volume (’Not for Publication’) issued to accompany the Nepalese Prime Minister’s visit to HMS Dreadnought on exercise in the English Channel.more...
The superb photographs depict: The Dreadnought, a submarine (4 plates: beached; on the surface; in the act of diving; submerged), a torpedo boat destroyer (2 plates: ‘going 30 knots’, ‘going 36 knots’). The Nepalese deputation witnessed a demonstration of firing from the Dreadnought and of the deflection of torpedoes with its safety nets. Dreanought, pride of the British navy, launched in 1906 was a revolutionary battleship which stimulated the Anglo-German arms race and gave its name to an entire class of heavily armoured craft. It was widely publicised as part of British naval propaganda and shown-off to numerous foreign visitors. The Nepalese Prime Minister was the Maharaja Sri Teen Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1863–1929), one of three nephews who had ordered the assassination of their uncle Maharaja Ranodip Singh Kunwar in the Nepali coup of 1885.
Two years later, Dreadnought was at the centre of an embarrassing episode in which several members of the Bloomsbury Group (including Virginia Woolf) led by Horace de Vere Cole masqueraded as an Abyssinian royal party on a similar state visit, inspecting the ship in full costume, talking among themselves in Latin and Greek and exclaiming ‘Bunga Bunga!’ at every appropriate opportunity. They narrowly escaped arrest..see full details
First edition of this codification of the laws governing the Cornish tin industry.more...
The Convocation of Tinners exercised ancient rights of jurisdiction over much of Cornwall; customary rights exercised long before the codification of English law and which had been confirmed by royal charters since the time of Edward I. Stannary law was sanctioned by the crown in recognition of the special responsibilities of the Cornish tinners in providing a valuable raw material. It has been claimed that the right to hold Convocations has never been formally repealed by the English crown, a legal anomaly exploited by the Cornish nationalist movement. A previous codification had been printed in 1725. .see full details
The handbill explains the reason for this benefit flight undertaken by Green in the Great Nassau Balloon in a long newspaper extract.more...
The balloonist had made an ascent from Vauxhall on August 20th but had crashed near Gravesend (’Mr. Green received several bruises, and had a narrow escape from a dreadful death’) and his balloon (The Abion) was torn to shreds. The wreckage was displayed at Cremorne Gardens as an attraction ‘for the inspection of the curious and scientific’.see full details
An autograph manuscript of Claire Duras’s Pensées de Louis XIV; her first book, composed in March 1821, but not published in print until Didot’s small edition of 1827 (very rare with OCLC recording the Bn copy only).more...
Claire Duras is best known as the author of the novel Ourika (1824) famously recounting the true story of black slave girl brought up in France. Ourika, like the Pensées de Louis XIV, was first aired in her celebrated literary salon, described as ‘among the most brilliant of the Restoration period’ (Oxford Companion to French Literature). Duras was an important member of the circle around Chateaubriand who she met while in exile in England and who became a frequenter of her salon. Duras’ dedication inscription in our manuscript is to their mutual friend, Louise Angélique de Vintimille (1763-1831) another well-known salon hostess.
Like Chateaubriand and many of their circle in Restoration Paris, Duras looked back at the reign of Louis XIV as a golden age and eagerly read his Mémoires in the two editions published respectively by Montagnac and Grouvelle in 1806. It was a fashionable preoccupation to select, collect and discuss the maxims of the Sun King, presumably as a barometer of contemporary government, but surely also as treasures of cultivated French pros. In the Pensées Duras selects 70 extracts, ranging from a couple of lines to over a page each, drawn from the 1806 edition together with a few from the seventeenth-century editions. She opens with: ‘Choisir de bons sujets et maintenir la règle, voila la science de tout bon gouvernement’, supposedly written by the King on the first leaf of a journal given him Madame de Maintenon, according to an anecdote recounted by Madame de Genlis in 1811. Others include ‘Il n’y a rien qui puisse faire en si peu de tems de si grands effets que la bonne ou la mauvaise réputation des princes’; ‘Il faut beaucoup de lumières pour savoir discerner au vrai ceux qui nous flattent d’avec ceux qui nous admirent’ [a line previously selected by Chateaubriand in his review of one of the 1806 editions of Louis XIV’s Oeuvres]; ‘Le plus sûr chemin de la gloire est toujours celui que montre la raison’; ‘L’art de connoître les hommes se peut apprendre, mais ne se peut enseigner’; ‘La décision a besoin d’un esprit de maître’..see full details
First edition, rare, of this collection of children’s songs.more...
Ludovica Brentano, later baroness Desbordes (1787-1854), affectionately known as Lulu, was grand daughter of Sophie von La Roche (the first widely known German female novelist) and she became patron of the Grimm brothers; contributing two tales to their Kinder- und Hausmärchen..see full details
A collection of devotional texts by or about the first official mistress of Louis XIV, who, after her fall from favour, retired to a Carmelite convent in 1674 and took the veil.more...
Her penitence, lasting until her death in 1710 was widely discussed and generated many accounts as well as her own Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu, first published in 1680, frequently reprinted and forming the last part of our manuscript collection. The texts here all seem to have been collected from these printed sources. Contents:
—L’Abrégé de la vie de la pénitence de Madame la duchesse de La Vallière. pp. 1-22 —Lettres de la soeur de la Vallière à Monsieur le maréchal de Bellefond soit avant soit depuis son entrée aux Carmélites. pp. 22-107 —Elévations de coeur à nôtre Seigneur Jesus-christ par rapport à la sainte Communion composées par la soeur Louise de la Miséricorde et tirées mot à mot de l'extrait écrit de sa main. pp. 107-118 —Lettre circulaire des Carmélites. pp. 118-141 —Sermon de messire Jean-Louis de Fromentières (...) pour la vêture de Madame de La Vallière. pp. 142-207 —Sermon pour la profession de Madame Françoise de la Baume Le Blanc de la Vallière duchesse de Vaujour prononcé en présence de la Reine le 4 juin 1675 dans l'Eglise des carmélites du fauxbourg saint Jacques. pp. 207-271 —Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu en forme de prières. pp. 271-350..see full details
First edition, first issue - ‘de la plus grande rareté (Carteret) - printed for private circulation in an edition variously estimated at between 25 and 40 copies.more...
A remarkable copy, as issued, retaining the original printed wrappers in their entirety. From the library assembled at the Chateau de Cirey by Diane-Adelaide de Simiane, and presumably given to her by the author.
Ourika, based on fact, and influenced by Rousseau and Chateaubriand, is the complex story of a black African child raised in aristocratic circles in Revolutionary France. It is the first fully developed attempt to portray a black heroine in Europe and the first French novel with a black female narrator.
This first edition, which contains no date of publication, precedes the 1824 first trade edition published by Ladvocat by at least three months and was in circulation in December of 1823, on the evidence of several excited notices in the contemporary press (Pailhès). It is known in two issues, this copy being of the first, with the title page bearing only the title and a quote from Byron: ‘This to be alone, this, this is solitude!’. A second issue followed swiftly with the Byron quotation moved to the head of the text on p. 3 and 16 minor textual corrections; issue points which were recognised and enumerated by Louis Scheler in his article ‘Un best-seller sous Louis XVIII: Ourika par Mme de Duras’, Bulletin du bibliophile, 1988, 11-28. In both issues no author’s name is given and the place of publication and the printer (the Imprimèrie Royale) appear only as a colophon on p. 108. Scheler also cites Mme de Duras’s letter of 14 January, 1824, in which she notes that the first edition was of no more than 30 copies, though it is unclear whether this relates to the first issue only or the first and second. Scheler illustrates the upper wrapper of a first issue copy, but copies retaining the wrapper are of great rarity, with most of the few known copies of the edition being in contemporary or later leather bindings. This copy, never bound, yet retaining its original freshness is a remarkable survival.
OCLC locates only the Bn and Harvard copies of the first edition, none being uncut copies or retaining the printed wrappers. Harvard actually holds copies of the 2 distinct issues.
Ourika soon became a bestseller, with early translations into English, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Danish..see full details
First separate edition of the extract from the Mémoires de la Société royale et central d’agriculture.more...
A report on the newly-invented English system of road building recently pioneered by John Loudon McAdam. It includes a short description of new road-building and paving in London (Saint James, Regent Street and Guildhall)..see full details
First edition of the official report of Curzon’s administration of Indian home affairs during his period as Viceroy.more...
Curzon’s office was contentious and was concluded following a bitter feud with Kitchener. His belief in traditional sovereignty was frequently at odds with emergent Indian nationalism but many of his achievements have been long lasting, especially in the field of law, education and cultural heritage. Nearly 100 pages of the Home Department report are devoted to his judicial reforms with a further hundred concern policing and penal policies. His work reforming the University system is recounted in detail and there are interesting accounts of the merger between the Calcutta City Library and the Imperial Library to form what became the Indian National Library. Medical, sanitary and plague issues also occupy a full part.
This is one of several official reports on aspects of Curzon’s administration, subtitled: Public Works; Department of Commerce and Industry; Department of Revenue and Agriculture and Railway Board. All are very scarce. COPAC and OCLC between them list copies of the Home Department report at Bodley and Syracuse only..see full details