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  • La Lettre Rouge... Roman américain. Traduit par Old Nick. by HAWTHORNE (Nathaniel). [Paul Émile Daurand FORGUES, translator]. HAWTHORNE (Nathaniel). [Paul Émile Daurand FORGUES, translator]. ~ La Lettre Rouge... Roman américain. Traduit par Old Nick. Paris: [Lagny for] Gabriel de Gonet, 1853.
    First edition in French of The Scarlet Letter (1850), a signal rarity. Forgues (b. 1813) was a close friend of Stendhal and had been a… (more)

    First edition in French of The Scarlet Letter (1850), a signal rarity. Forgues (b. 1813) was a close friend of Stendhal and had been a critic at the Revue des Deux Mondes, specialising in works in English. Not only did he introduce The Scarlet Letter to French readers, but he also reviewed Moby Dick in 1853 and produced translations of Jane Eyre and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (both under the pseudonym of ‘Old Nick’). Though the text of La Lettre Rouge is considerably abridged from Hawthorne’s original, the Revue britannique in 1853 claimed that ‘Plus d’un passage nous a paru supérieur à l’original... Il y a dans la Lettre Rouge une petite fille appellée Perle, qui est un ravissante créature, un ange comme ceux de Charles Dickens. Malgré son nom diabolique, Old Nick a prêté encore de nouveaux charmes à cetter perle céleste’. Brown, A Bibliography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1968 [1905], p. 98. C.E. Frazer Clark’s bibliography of Hawthorne does not include translations. WorldCat lists US copies at Harvard, Peabody Essex, Johns Hopkins and Virginia.

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  • [Lighthouse duty receipt with a map of Portland Bill, Dorset. by (PORTLAND). STURT, J[ohn, engraver]. (PORTLAND). STURT, J[ohn, engraver]. ~ [Lighthouse duty receipt with a map of Portland Bill, Dorset. n.d., c. 1725].
    A very rare engraved document, a blank receipt for duties levied on ships for the maintenance of the lighthouses on Portland Bill, Dorset. It incorporates… (more)

    A very rare engraved document, a blank receipt for duties levied on ships for the maintenance of the lighthouses on Portland Bill, Dorset. It incorporates a chart of this hazardous promontory and its long shingle barrier, Chesil Beach, with detailed sailing instructions for mariners. Portland Bill had claimed countless lives in shipwrecks, and permanent lights were only erected there in 1716, funded by duties on passing ships — levied at a halfpenny per ton for British ships and a penny per ton for foreign ships. The only copies we have been able to locate are the British Library copy and a partial copy (lacking part of the receipt panel) pasted into a copy of Coker’s A Survey of Dorsetshire (1732) in the Bodleian Library.

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  • Édouard. by [DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de]. [DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de]. ~ Édouard. Paris: Jules Didot, 1825.
    First edition, rare, printed in small numbers (perhaps 100 copies) for private circulation, with the first trade edition following in the same year (printed by… (more)

    First edition, rare, printed in small numbers (perhaps 100 copies) for private circulation, with the first trade edition following in the same year (printed by Advocat). It followed the succès de scandale of Claire Duras’ previous novel Ourika (1823), now prized as the first European novel with a heroine of African origin. ‘Despite not receiving as much scholarly attention as Ourika or finding fame as part of a literary scandal like Olivier ou le Secret, Édouard has been considered Duras’s finest work (Sainte-Beuve, 71). Written in 1821 and first published in 1825, Édouard uses the lens of class to address similar themes of social exclusion and identity conflict to Duras’s two other finished novellas. Set in the 1770s, the plot focuses on the son of a celebrated lawyer from Lyon, and is generally read as an attack on class boundaries...’ French Writing and Culture: The Nineteenth-Century, 1800-1900 (Literary Encyclopaedia) WorldCat lists US copies of the first edition at Cornell, Harvard and Yale only.

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  • Hannah BRECK. by [SAINT-MÉMIN, Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de. [SAINT-MÉMIN, Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de. ~ Hannah BRECK. Philadelphia, 1799].
    A rare ‘physionotrace’ portrait of Hannah Breck (1772-1846, later Mrs James Lloyd). The original charcoal and white chalk drawing from which it was engraved is… (more)

    A rare ‘physionotrace’ portrait of Hannah Breck (1772-1846, later Mrs James Lloyd). The original charcoal and white chalk drawing from which it was engraved is preserved at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts. Hannah Breck was daughter of statesman Samuel Breck (1747-1809), and sister to Samuel Breck (1771-1862), a congressman from Pennsylvania. She married James Lloyd (1769-1831), a senator from Massachusetts, and is referred to as Anna or Hannah in various sources. Dexter, The St. Memin Collection of Portraits (New York, 1862), 24; Miles, Saint-Mémin and the Neoclassical Profile Portrait in America (Washington, 1994), 83.

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  • Aloïze de Mespres, nouvelle tirée des chroniques du XII.e siècle. by [FOURÈS, Pauline]. [FOURÈS, Pauline]. ~ Aloïze de Mespres, nouvelle tirée des chroniques du XII.e siècle. Paris: Gide fils, Octobre 1814.
    First edition, a rare historical novel by an extraordinary woman, conventionally remembered as a mistress of Napoleon. Born Pauline Bellisle in 1778, the daughter of… (more)

    First edition, a rare historical novel by an extraordinary woman, conventionally remembered as a mistress of Napoleon. Born Pauline Bellisle in 1778, the daughter of a clockmaker, and later apprenticed as a milliner, she married French cavalry officer Jean-Noëlle Fourès. When he was posted to Egypt, Pauline travelled with him, evading detection during the voyage dressed in men’s clothing. Napoleon was captivated by her, apparently considering divorcing Joséphine in consequence, and sent her husband away on a spurious mission back to France, then invited Pauline to share his quarters in Egypt. She thereafter took the role of an unofficial consort and divorced her husband, only to be left behind in Egypt when Napoleon returned to France. She narrowly escaped death during the Cairo revolt of 1798 before returning to France herself the following year. Granted a house and pension by Napoleon she remarried, only to divorce once more after a renewed liaison with Napoleon (now emperor). She went into exile in Brazil with a third husband after Napoleon’s fall, returning to France in 1837 and finding success as a painter and musician and gathering an important art collection. She was the author of two novels, Wentworth (1813) and Aloïze (1814), both now very rare. WorldCat locates copies outside France at BL and Yale only. In France, there are copies at Strasbourg and the Bibliothèque nationale.

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  • Un Amant. Traduction française. [Wuthering Heights, in French]. by BRONTË, Emily. T[éodor] de WYZEWA, translator. BRONTË, Emily. T[éodor] de WYZEWA, translator. ~ Un Amant. Traduction française. [Wuthering Heights, in French]. Paris: [Abbeville: A. Retaux for] Librairie Académique Didier Perrin et c[ompagn]ie, 1892.
    First edition in French of Wuthering Heights (1847) which also includes the first significant critical study of Brontë in French as its preface by the… (more)

    First edition in French of Wuthering Heights (1847) which also includes the first significant critical study of Brontë in French as its preface by the translator. Wyzewa was the first writer to formally introduce Emily Brontë into France — the only prior attempt, thirty-four years earlier, had been a brief allusion to her as the sister of Charlotte Brontë in an article by Emile Montégut for the Revue des deux mondes. Wyzewa gives both an account of the critical reception of Wuthering Heights in England and a biographical sketch. The title Wuthering Heights was not attached to the novel in French before the succeeding edition of 1925, entitled Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

    Téodor de Wyzewa, born Teodor Wyżewski in Poland (1862–1917) emigrated to France in 1869. A critic of both literature and music, he was one of the pioneers of symbolism and made his name with brilliant analyses of poems by Mallarmé. Exceptionally rare. Worldcat lists the British Library copy as the only copy outside France. No US copies located. Bénédicte Coste, ‘Un amant: la première traduction française de Wuthering Heights par Téodor de Wyzewa’, Études anglaises 2002/1 (55), pp. 3 à 13.

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  • Razsuzhdenīe o prestuplenīi︠a︡kh i nakazanīi︠a︡kh... [Dei Delittie e delle Pene / On Crimes and Punishments in Russian]. by BECCARIA, Cesare, marchese di. Dmitri YAZYKOV, translator. BECCARIA, Cesare, marchese di. Dmitri YAZYKOV, translator. ~ Razsuzhdenīe o prestuplenīi︠a︡kh i nakazanīi︠a︡kh... [Dei Delittie e delle Pene / On Crimes and Punishments in Russian]. St. Petersburg: Gubernskom Pravlenīi, 1803.
    First edition in Russian of Beccaria’s Dei Delittie e delle Pene (1764) translated from the French version of Morellot. In his fundamental Enlightenment legal treatise… (more)

    First edition in Russian of Beccaria’s Dei Delittie e delle Pene (1764) translated from the French version of Morellot. In his fundamental Enlightenment legal treatise Beccaria opposed the death penalty and ‘maintained that the gravity of the crime should be measured by its injury to society and that the penalty should be related to this’ (Printing and the Mind of Man). It was enthusiastically read (in French) by Catherine the Great while codifying her own celebrated legal manifesto, Nakaz, in which almost a third of the text came directly from Beccaria, alongside major borrowings from Montesquieu’s L’Ésprit des lois. Given Catherine’s intellectual omnipotence it is perhaps unsurprising that no Russian edition of Dei Delittie e delle Pene itself appeared during her reign, even though its spirit imbued her widely disseminated Nakaz — required reading for anyone involved in Russian law and government. Thus Beccaria’s principles came to serve as ideals for future legislators in Russia and were fully incorporated into Russian criminal law by the end of the nineteenth century. The title of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Prestupléniye i nakazániye, 1866) is only the most prominent emblem of Beccaria’s influence in Russia.

    ‘The first [Russian] translation of Beccaria came out in 1803. It was done by the poet D. Yazykov from the French translation by Morellet, edited by Roederer in 1797... the translation is one of the best in Russian. It manages to convey not only the ideas of the treatise but also the spirit, the language of Beccaria and his contemporaries. It is dedicated to Alexander I...’ (Cizova).

    Dmitry Ivanovich Yazykov (1773-1845), writer, translator, academician and director of the Ministry of Public Education later published a translation of Montesquieu’s Esprit des Lois in 1809–14. Cf. Printing and the Mind of Man 209. Rare: Worldcat lists only the NYPL and Yale copies in anglophone countries. T. Cizova, ‘Beccaria in Russia.’ Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 40, No. 95 (Jun. 1962), pp. 384-408.

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  • ou l’art de combiner l’élégance, la modestie, la simplicité et l’économie dans l’habillement. Avis utiles adressés aux femmes sur la conservation de leur santé et de leur beauté, sir l’agrément des manières et le bon ton dans la Société; par une dame qui a étudié la mode et le bon goût chez les nations les plu civilisées de l’Europe. Traduit de l’anglais. by LE MIROIR DES GRACES LE MIROIR DES GRACES ~ ou l’art de combiner l’élégance, la modestie, la simplicité et l’économie dans l’habillement. Avis utiles adressés aux femmes sur la conservation de leur santé et de leur beauté, sir l’agrément des manières et le bon ton dans la Société; par une dame qui a étudié la mode et le bon goût chez les nations les plu civilisées de l’Europe. Traduit de l’anglais. Paris: [Brasseur aîné for] l’Editeur, Galignani, Delaunay, 1811.
    Sole edition of this rare little handbook of ladies’ fashion and deportment. Advertised as a translation from the English, there is no obvious British analogue,… (more)

    Sole edition of this rare little handbook of ladies’ fashion and deportment. Advertised as a translation from the English, there is no obvious British analogue, though it is an interesting indication of the esteem in which British fashion was held in France at this period. The four plates are especially charming depictions of Austen-era styles. The format is very much that of contemporary almanacs with similar titles, but Le Miroir des Graces appeared only once. WorldCat lists no UK or US copies (copies at BnF, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and Kunstbibliothek Berlin only).

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  • L’Inganno non conosciuto, o pure non voluto conoscere nell’estrazione de’lotti in conformità di quelli di Genova, Milano, Napoli &c. Opera necessaria a spiegarsi per vedere, se sia possibile illuminare i proclivi all’ interesse. by (LOTTERIES). (LOTTERIES). ~ L’Inganno non conosciuto, o pure non voluto conoscere nell’estrazione de’lotti in conformità di quelli di Genova, Milano, Napoli &c. Opera necessaria a spiegarsi per vedere, se sia possibile illuminare i proclivi all’ interesse. Pisa: Gio[vanni] Dom Carotti, 1732,
    First edition of a rare little treatise (’The Unknown Deception’) against the deceptions and immorality of lotteries, then a major part of civic life in… (more)

    First edition of a rare little treatise (’The Unknown Deception’) against the deceptions and immorality of lotteries, then a major part of civic life in Italy. It traces the origins of lotteries in sixteenth century Genoa, from whence it spread to other cities, before explaining the extreme difficulty of winning. After a series of detailed diagrams and tables, there are chapters on the spurious and superstitious tactics employed by hopeful players and on the immorality of the game. WorldCat lists the Illinois copy only.

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  • An Act to allow a Drawback of the Duties of Customs on the Exportation of Tea to any of His Majesty’s Colonies or Plantations in America; to increase the Deposit on Bohea tea to be sold at the India Company’s Sales; and to impower the Commissioners of the Treasury to grant Licences to the East India Company [drophead title]. by (AMERICA. TEA). (AMERICA. TEA). ~ An Act to allow a Drawback of the Duties of Customs on the Exportation of Tea to any of His Majesty’s Colonies or Plantations in America; to increase the Deposit on Bohea tea to be sold at the India Company’s Sales; and to impower the Commissioners of the Treasury to grant Licences to the East India Company [drophead title]. London: printed by Charles Eyre and William Strahan, 1773.
    First edition of the ‘Tea Act’, which notoriously permitted the East India Company to export tea direct to the American colonies duty-free — leading to… (more)

    First edition of the ‘Tea Act’, which notoriously permitted the East India Company to export tea direct to the American colonies duty-free — leading to the events in Boston Harbour in December the same year (The Boston Tea Party) representing the first salvo of the American Revolution. While intended to clear the struggling Company’s vast reserves of tea, the provisions of the Tea Act required tax to be paid by colonists on purchasing the tea, which like similar so-called ‘Townshend Duties’ levied by the British government, were violently opposed by the American Sons of Liberty.

    Acts of this era were printed in limited numbers, usually estimated at around 1100 copies only. They were separately issued with a general title-page for the entire session (as here) but were habitually bound up into complete sessional volumes with numerous other contemporary acts.

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  • La Constitution en vaudevilles suivie des Droits de l’homme, de la femme & de plusieurs autres vaudevilles constitutionnels. by MARCHANT, [François]. MARCHANT, [François]. ~ La Constitution en vaudevilles suivie des Droits de l’homme, de la femme & de plusieurs autres vaudevilles constitutionnels. Paris: Maradan, 1792.
    A satirical song collection, in the form of an almanac, lampooning the new Revolutionary institutions. The frontispiece (here in rare colour-printed state) is probably the… (more)

    A satirical song collection, in the form of an almanac, lampooning the new Revolutionary institutions. The frontispiece (here in rare colour-printed state) is probably the first book illustration to depict a yo-yo, a toy which became a craze in France in the 1790s under the name of the émigrette, reflecting its popularity among the French nobility at precisely the time they were forced to flee their country. A 1789 painting of the future King Louis XVII now in the Louvre shows him with a yo-yo, while in a revival of the Mariage de Figaro of 1792 Beaumarchais brings his hero on stage playing with his émigrette.

    Several issues are known from 1792. An issue with identical pagination and the same plate but with the imprint ‘chez les libraires royalistes’ is usually cited as the first. In this issue Maradan has put his own name on the title. cf. Martin & Walter, 22975; cf. Cohen-de Ricci, p. 677 (’Frontispice non signé, attribué par Mehl à Debaucourt. Ce frontispice existe en couleurs (avant la lettre) en bistre et à la sanguine’).

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  • Marmion. by SCOTT, Sir Walter. SCOTT, Sir Walter. ~ Marmion. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1855.
    A handsome A. and C. Black publisher’s binding. (more)

    A handsome A. and C. Black publisher’s binding.

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  • The Lord of the Isles. by SCOTT, Sir Walter. SCOTT, Sir Walter. ~ The Lord of the Isles. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1857.
    A good example of splendid A. and C. Black publisher’s binding, the design almost certainly by John Leighton. The binding was offered in several colours:… (more)

    A good example of splendid A. and C. Black publisher’s binding, the design almost certainly by John Leighton. The binding was offered in several colours: red, green and blue, some with additional blocking in blue or red. This variant is perhaps the most elaborate, in three colours.

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  • North Coast and other Poems. by BUCHANAN, Robert. BUCHANAN, Robert. ~ North Coast and other Poems. London: George Routledge, 1868.
    First edition. A splendid Victorian gift book with wood engravings by the Dalziel brothers and a striking Celtic binding design. ‘This unsigned cloth binding is… (more)

    First edition. A splendid Victorian gift book with wood engravings by the Dalziel brothers and a striking Celtic binding design. ‘This unsigned cloth binding is one of the most elaborate designs of the period. The calligraphic writing recalls Celtic models, although it also refers to the Viking art of the north-east of England. Buchanan’s glum poetry bears little relation to the splendour of the binding, which acts as a hard sell for the book’s contents. To maximize sales, the binding was issued in several colours’ (Simon Cooke, Victorian Web).

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  • Album. by (MONOGRAMS and CRESTS). (MONOGRAMS and CRESTS). ~ Album. [British: c. 1850-60].
    A well-presented Victorian monogram album containing over 1600 cut monograms. Many here are private monograms and include a large number of women’s christian names, while… (more)

    A well-presented Victorian monogram album containing over 1600 cut monograms. Many here are private monograms and include a large number of women’s christian names, while there are pages devoted to regiments, naval ships, clubs, associations and Oxford and Cambridge colleges. The presentation is typical, but especially neat and varied, with the cut monograms arranged on decorative pen and watercolour grounds. These are often geometric (circles and other interlocking figures are frequent) but include a gothic window, patriotic flags, mossy borders, anchors and a heraldic garter. Monogram collecting was hugely popular in the mid-nineteenth century and collections like this usually included genuine examples cut from stationery, together with others specially produced by stationery companies capitalising on the fashion. These latter monograms, evidently sold in sets can be quite elaborate, often featuring gold inks and sometimes with amusing and whimsical subjects.

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  • Idylls of the King. by FORTESCUE-BRICKDALE, Eleanor, illustrator. Alfred TENNYSON, Lord. FORTESCUE-BRICKDALE, Eleanor, illustrator. Alfred TENNYSON, Lord. ~ Idylls of the King. London: Hodder & Stoughton, [ 1911].
    Number 184 of 350 copies, signed by the artist. ‘Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale never married, and from 1903 to 1943 she lived with her sister, Kate, who… (more)

    Number 184 of 350 copies, signed by the artist. ‘Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale never married, and from 1903 to 1943 she lived with her sister, Kate, who was also unmarried, at 23 Elsham Road, Shepherd's Bush. She travelled often to the continent and was clearly influenced by the fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century art which she saw on visits to Italy. There were further exhibitions of her works at Leighton House in 1904, with a catalogue containing appreciative remarks by George Frederic Watts, and at Dowdeswell’s in 1905 and 1909. She continued her illustrative work, which from about 1905 consisted of both line drawings and watercolours made for reproduction as half-tone colour plates. In 1911 two editions of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (de luxe and popular) were published with illustrations from her watercolours while the originals were on show in another of her one-woman exhibitions, this time at the Leicester Galleries. From that year she taught in the art school in Kensington founded by Byam Shaw’ (Oxford DNB).

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  • Poems... new and enlarged edition. by ROSSETTI, Christina G. ROSSETTI, Christina G. ~ Poems... new and enlarged edition. London: Macmillan and Co, 1901.
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  • Alphabetical Catalogue of Library at Arthurstone. by (LIBRARY CATALOGUE - ARTHURSTONE). (LIBRARY CATALOGUE - ARTHURSTONE). ~ Alphabetical Catalogue of Library at Arthurstone. [Scotland, c. 1870s].
    A substantial library catalogue from Arthurstone House, Meigle, Perthshire, listing over 2500 titles with their respective press and shelf locations. The books cover a wide… (more)

    A substantial library catalogue from Arthurstone House, Meigle, Perthshire, listing over 2500 titles with their respective press and shelf locations. The books cover a wide variety of subjects (science, literature, art, classics, travel, topography and agriculture) and date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century (with the largest concentration in the later eighteenth and earlier nineteenth centuries). This is a typical country house collection in a library probably formed in the later eighteenth century and reorganised after 1869, when this handsome catalogue was evidently produced. The earliest book we have noticed is a 1550 edition of Macchiavelli, while among the latest works is Darwin’s Naturalist’s Voyage of 1845. Other authors and works include Sir Walter Scott, Charles Lyell, Shakespeare, Swift, Descartes and Ossian and there are copies of Cook’ second and third voyages, nine works on chess and eighteen on America, several pages of entries for ‘Scotland’, together with a quantity of pamphlets, many on military subjects.

    Arthurstone (Perthshire, close to both Perth and Dundee) dates from around 1789 but was remodelled and extended by the industrialist and philanthorpist Peter Carmichael who added a library and a billiard room when he purchased the house in 1869. The library apparently featured oak panelling, along with intricately carved busts of literary figures ncluding Robert Burns, Wordsworth and Shakespeare.

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  • [Album and commonplace book]. by SHERINGHAM, M. SHERINGHAM, M. ~ [Album and commonplace book]. c. 1826.
    A very good lady’s album and commonplace book in which 34 pages bear illustrations, mostly watercolours and a large proportion full- or half-page of flowers,… (more)

    A very good lady’s album and commonplace book in which 34 pages bear illustrations, mostly watercolours and a large proportion full- or half-page of flowers, birds, butterflies, shells, a feather, and two excellent trompe l’oeils with writing materials and playing cards. A witty frontispiece depicts a beggar woman with a sack labelled ‘The Smallest Piece will be acceptable’ and is captioned ‘A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles (Winter’s Tale)’ while a pencil portrait (of the compiler?) is of another beggar girl holding a sign ‘Scraps thankfully received’. The texts include: ‘What is Life?’, ‘A Ship sinking in a Storm’ (Byron), ‘A Mother’s Grief’, ‘Lines on the death of his Eldest Son by the late Right Honorable George Canning’, ‘The Moss Rose, from the German’, ‘The Blush’, ‘To an early Primrose’ (Henry Kirk White), ‘Woman’ and ‘On a Lady sleeping’.

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  • Summer Time in the Country... with Illustrations by Birket Foster, Harrison Weir, and John M. Carrick, Engraved by the Brothers Dalziel. by WILMOTT, Robert Aris. WILMOTT, Robert Aris. ~ Summer Time in the Country... with Illustrations by Birket Foster, Harrison Weir, and John M. Carrick, Engraved by the Brothers Dalziel. London: George Routledge, 1880.
    First edition. (more)

    First edition.

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