Showing 1–20 of 206 results

  • 1870s: Lord Lytton’s Works – 16 Volumes

    Bulwer-Lytton’s works are characterized by their richly detailed narratives, exploring themes of love, power, ambition, and societal norms. He was adept at blending elements of the Gothic, historical fiction, and science fiction, which allowed him to reach a broad audience and influence the development of these genres. Notably, he is credited with popularizing the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” in his play “Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy” (1839).

    Among his most celebrated novels are:

    • “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1834): Set in the final days of Pompeii before the city is destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this novel combines historical detail with a compelling narrative of love, betrayal, and fate.
    • “Eugene Aram” (1832): A novel based on the true story of an 18th-century English scholar convicted of murder, exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the pursuit of knowledge.
    • “Paul Clifford” (1830): Famous for its opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” this novel delves into the life of its titular character, from his upbringing in the criminal underworld to his eventual reformation.
    • “The Last of the Barons” (1843): A historical novel set during the Wars of the Roses, focusing on the power struggle between King Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick.
    • “The Coming Race” (1871): An early science fiction novel that explores the concept of a subterranean world inhabited by an advanced society, known as the Vril-ya. This work has been influential in speculative fiction, exploring themes of utopia, technology, and superhuman powers.
  • 1813: The Works of Robert Burns in 4 Volumes

    The Works of Robert Burns; with An Account of His Life, and Criticism of His Writings” is a comprehensive collection that pays homage to Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Published in 1813 by T. Cadell and W. Davies in London, this seventh edition spans four volumes, offering an in-depth exploration of Burns’s life, his extensive correspondence, and his celebrated poetry. The set begins with a detailed account of Burns’s life and a critical analysis of his works, providing valuable insights into the man behind the iconic poems. Subsequent volumes compile Burns’s general and specific correspondence, showcasing his thoughts and interactions, along with miscellaneous poetry and pieces that were previously published, plus some notable additions.

  • 1858: The Plays of Shakespeare, ed. by Howard Staunton

    “The Plays of Shakespeare,” edited by Howard Staunton and published in 1858 by George Routledge & Co in London, represents a significant contribution to the world of Shakespearean literature. Volume I of this series is particularly noteworthy, not just for the meticulous editing by Staunton, a renowned Shakespearean scholar of the 19th century, but also for its incorporation of illustrations by John Gilbert, masterfully engraved by the brothers Dalziel.
    Staunton’s edition is celebrated for its accuracy and attention to detail, offering a purist approach to Shakespeare’s works. His scholarly rigor in presenting the texts made this edition a valuable resource for both contemporary audiences and future generations. The addition of Gilbert’s illustrations enriched the edition, providing visual interpretations of Shakespeare’s scenes and characters that complemented Staunton’s precise editing.

    Published during the Victorian era, a period characterized by a resurgence of interest in Shakespeare’s plays, this edition melded the artistic and literary worlds in a manner that was both innovative and respectful of the source material. The Dalziel brothers, renowned wood engravers of the time, skillfully brought Gilbert’s illustrations to life, capturing the essence of Shakespeare’s drama and contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the publication.

  • 1964: Shakespeare for Young Players, by Robertson Davies

    “Shakespeare for Young Players,” penned by esteemed Canadian author Robertson Davies in 1964, serves as an engaging and accessible introduction to the works of William Shakespeare for younger audiences. Davies, known for his profound contributions to literature and theater, utilizes his expertise to adapt Shakespeare’s complex plays into a format that is more digestible and appealing for children and teenagers. His approach involves simplifying the Bard’s intricate language and themes while preserving the essence of the original works. This book likely offers either adapted narratives or insightful analyses of Shakespeare’s plays, aimed at demystifying the renowned playwright’s content for a younger demographic.

  • 1952: The Admirable Crichton, by J. M. Barrie

    “The Admirable Crichton,” a play written by J. M. Barrie, was first performed in 1902. J. M. Barrie, best known for creating “Peter Pan,” crafted this work as a social commentary wrapped in a comedic format. The play stands out for its satirical take on class distinctions and social structures in Edwardian society.

    The plot revolves around the character of Crichton, a competent and resourceful butler serving the aristocratic Loam family. The central event of the play is a shipwreck that leaves Crichton and the Loams stranded on a deserted island. In this new setting, away from the rigid class structures of British society, Crichton’s practical skills and leadership qualities come to the fore. He becomes the natural leader of the group, reversing the traditional servant-master relationship. This role reversal is central to the play’s exploration of class dynamics and the question of whether social hierarchies are a product of nature or nurture.

    “The Admirable Crichton” is characterized by Barrie’s signature wit and clever dialogue. The play humorously yet thoughtfully examines the artificiality of social status and the true nature of nobility and competence. It poses philosophical questions about equality and the inherent worth of individuals, irrespective of their social standing.

    The play was well-received and has been adapted into various forms, including films and television, testament to its enduring appeal. “The Admirable Crichton” remains a significant work in the canon of British theatre for its engaging narrative, its critique of social structures, and its insightful observations on human nature and societal norms.

  • 1942: The Bobbsey Twins In the Land of Cotton, by Laura Lee Hope

    “The Bobbsey Twins in the Land of Cotton,” authored by Laura Lee Hope is one of the many installments in the beloved Bobbsey Twins series, a popular children’s book series in the early to mid-20th century. The series features the adventures of two sets of twins in the Bobbsey family – Bert and Nan, who are twelve years old, and Flossie and Freddie, who are six. Each book takes the twins on various adventures, often involving mysteries and exciting discoveries, and this particular title is no exception.

    Set in the Southern United States, “The Bobbsey Twins in the Land of Cotton” explores the culture and lifestyle of the region through the eyes of the Bobbsey family. The story, like others in the series, is characterized by its wholesome and light-hearted nature, aimed at imparting moral lessons and entertaining young readers. The book’s portrayal of the South, however, is reflective of the time it was written, and modern readers may find some depictions outdated or stereotypical. The Bobbsey Twins series has been noted for its cultural and historical value, offering insights into the societal norms and attitudes of its time. This particular book, with its engaging narrative and exploration of new environments, continues to be a charming read for those interested in classic children’s literature.

  • Youth: A Narrative, by Joseph Conrad, with notes by Ethel M. Sealey

    “Youth: A Narrative” is a short story by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1898. It is often regarded as a semi-autobiographical work that delves into themes of adventure, youthful optimism, and the harsh realities of life at sea, which were familiar to Conrad from his own experiences. The story is narrated by Charles Marlow, a character who appears in several of Conrad’s other works, most notably in “Heart of Darkness” and “Lord Jim.”

    The narrative of “Youth” centers around Marlow recounting his first voyage to the East as a young man aboard the Judea, a ship destined for Bangkok. The journey is beset with misfortunes: from carrying a seemingly cursed cargo of coal to encountering disastrous weather conditions, the voyage epitomizes the challenges and unpredictability of life at sea. Despite these hardships, the story is imbued with a sense of excitement and invincibility that often accompanies youth. Marlow reflects on these experiences with a sense of nostalgia and longing for the days of his youth, marked by an unshakeable belief in the future and a readiness to face the unknown.

    Conrad’s narrative style in “Youth” is notable for its vivid descriptions and profound reflections. The story, while straightforward in its recounting of a sea voyage, is layered with deeper meanings about the passage of time, the loss of youthful idealism, and the coming to terms with one’s place in the world. Conrad’s own experiences as a sailor lend authenticity to the narrative, making it a compelling and realistic portrayal of maritime adventure.

  • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam & Six Plays of Calderon, translated by Edward Fitzgerald

    “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam & Six Plays of Calderon,” translated by Edward Fitzgerald, represents a unique blend of Eastern and Western literary traditions. Fitzgerald, better known for his translation of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” brings a distinctive touch to both works, showcasing his skill in poetic interpretation and translation.

    “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” a collection of quatrains by the Persian poet Omar Khayyam, gained significant acclaim in the West largely due to Fitzgerald’s translation. First published in 1859, Fitzgerald’s version is not a literal translation but rather a reimagining that captures the spirit and philosophical depth of Khayyam’s poetry. The poems reflect on themes such as mortality, joy, and the fleeting nature of life, resonating deeply with Victorian-era readers and continuing to be celebrated for their lyrical beauty and existential musings.

    In contrast, “Six Plays of Calderon” presents the works of Pedro Calderón de la Barca, a prominent figure of the Spanish Golden Age of literature. Calderón’s plays are known for their intricate plots, philosophical depth, and exploration of themes like honor, justice, and divine providence. Fitzgerald’s translation of these plays, although less famous than his work on “The Rubaiyat,” is significant for bringing the complex and ornate style of Calderón’s baroque drama to an English-speaking audience. These translations are noted for their effort to maintain the poetic and dramatic quality of the original Spanish texts, making them accessible while preserving their artistic integrity.

    Together, these works highlight Fitzgerald’s contribution to the cross-cultural literary exchange and showcase his ability to navigate and interpret the poetic traditions of vastly different cultures. His translations not only provided Western readers with a window into Persian and Spanish literature but also enriched the English literary landscape with their profound and poetic insights.

  • 1929: Typhoon and Other Stories, by Joseph Conrad

    “Typhoon and Other Stories” by Joseph Conrad is a vivid representation of Conrad’s experiences as a seaman. “Typhoon,” the centerpiece of the collection, is a gripping tale of a steamship and its crew braving a fierce storm, serving as a powerful metaphor for the human struggle against overwhelming odds. Conrad’s narrative is renowned for its intense descriptions and psychological depth, delving into the inner lives of the characters as they face external dangers and their own internal conflicts. The stories in this collection are marked by Conrad’s characteristic themes of isolation, the unforgiving nature of the sea, and the complexities of moral and ethical dilemmas.

    The other stories in the collection, though lesser-known, are equally compelling and explore similar themes of survival, human frailty, and moral ambiguity. Conrad’s writing style, with its intricate narrative techniques and richly descriptive language, brings a unique depth to these stories, setting him apart as one of the great storytellers of the early 20th century. His ability to intertwine personal human dramas with broader themes of existential struggle makes “Typhoon and Other Stories” a profound study of humanity.

  • 1929: Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street, by Eddie Cantor

    “Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street” by Eddie Cantor is a humorous and insightful reflection on the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression. Eddie Cantor, a renowned comedian and entertainer of the era, uses his sharp wit and personal experiences to provide a candid, satirical commentary on the financial chaos and its impact on both Wall Street and the average American.

    Illustrated by Sid L. Hydeman, this book is not just a mere recounting of historical events, but a lively narrative filled with humor and a unique perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in American financial history.

  • A Maker of History, by E. Phillips Oppenheim

    “A Maker of History”, written by E. Phillips Oppenheim and published by Ward, Lock & Co in London. The present copy is a small hardcover volume that measures 17x12cm. Red cloth binding and impressed ornamentation on the cover. The gilt lettering on the spine. Although the book shows moderate wear, including some spatter staining, it is in good overall condition. The 251-page volume contains no writing or marking. There is a partial separation from the spine at the title page.

    “A Maker of History” is a historical novel that takes readers on a captivating journey through time. Set in an era of political intrigue and power struggles, the book explores themes of ambition, loyalty, and the consequences of one’s actions. Oppenheim weaves a compelling plot filled with twists and turns, keeping readers engaged until the very end.

  • Horace Blake, by Mrs Wilfried Ward

    “Horace Blake”, by Mrs Wilfried Ward, published by Hutchinson & Co in London. This undated volume spans 320 pages and is bound in red cloth with impressed ornamentation on the front cover and an advertisement for Fry’s breakfast cocoa on the back cover. The spine features gilt ornamentation and lettering, although there is some wear to the cover boards and fading to the spine. Inside the back cover is a pencil signature with a hotel address at the Ritz. The pages have yellowed due to the age of the book, and there are two small drip stains on the back cover. The book is in fair condition.

    The novel is a work of fiction that follows the story of Horace Blake, delving into themes of love, loss, and the human experience. The author’s writing style and attention to detail make this book a valuable addition to any collection.

  • 1912: The Little Minister, by J. M. Barrie

    “The Little Minister”, by J. M. Barrie, a small hardcover volume published by Cassell in London in early 1900s. This 375-page book is bound in burgundy cloth with gilt ornamentation and lettering on the cover and spine. The cover shows minor wear, with rubbing mostly around the edges, corners, and spine folds. The front blank end paper features an owner inscription dated to 10/12, but there is no other writing or markings throughout the book. Despite a small damp stain with runny color on the corner of the title page (not obtrusive), the book remains well bound. The top page edges are gilt. The book is in good to very good condition.

    “The Little Minister” tells the story of Gavin Dishart, a young and ambitious minister in the fictional Scottish village of Thrums. Set in the late 19th century, the novel explores themes of love, faith, and the clash between tradition and progress. Barrie’s vivid descriptions and engaging characters bring the village and its inhabitants to life, making this book a must-read for fans of classic literature.

  • 2021 First Edition: Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr

    “Cloud Cuckoo Land”, written by Anthony Doerr and published by Scribner in New York in 2021, is a thought-provoking and beautifully crafted novel. This first edition, first printing with a full number line spans across 626 pages, offering an immersive reading experience. The book is in brand new condition, with no writing or markings, and the dust jacket is not price clipped.

    Cloud Cuckoo Land takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through time and space, interweaving multiple narratives that span from ancient Constantinople to present-day Idaho. This contemporary novel explores themes of hope, resilience, and the power of storytelling, as it follows the lives of five unforgettable characters whose paths converge in unexpected ways. With Doerr’s exquisite prose and meticulous attention to detail, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a literary gem that will captivate readers and leave them pondering the profound connections that bind us all.

  • 1966 First Edition: Tai-Pan, a Novel of Hong Kong, by James Clavell

    Tai-Pan, a Novel of Hong Kong, by James Clavell. The present edition was published by Atheneum in New York in 1966. This 594-page cloth hardcover volume showcases the lettering on the cover and spine, with only slight rubbing to the spine. The book is inscribed with the owner’s name on the front endpaper but is otherwise in impeccable condition, as good as new, with no other writing or markings. Deckled fore-edges.

    This is Clavell’s second novel that delves into the captivating story of Dirk Struan, the Tai-Pan of the Noble House, and the founding of British Hong Kong. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century Hong Kong, this epic tale explores the power struggles, political intrigue, and fierce competition that shaped the region’s history. With meticulous attention to detail and a richly developed plot, Tai-Pan immerses readers in a world of adventure, betrayal, and honor. A must-read for fans of historical fiction and those seeking a deeper understanding of Hong Kong’s fascinating past.

  • 1990: Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies, by Hermann Hesse

    “Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies”, written by Hermann Hesse and translated by Rika Lesser, is a collection of enchanting tales that transport readers into a world of imagination and introspection. Published by The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York in 1990, this edition features an insightful introduction by Theodore Ziolkowski.

    The compilation showcases Hesse’s mastery in storytelling, exploring themes of transformation, identity, and the power of art. Slight rubbing on cover, as good as new otherwise. While a slight crease on the spine indicates that the book has been opened, it has never been fully read.

  • 2006: Czech Fairytales, by Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova

    Czech Fairytales, translated by Renata Peskova, is a beautifully illustrated book that brings together the enchanting tales of Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova. Published by Vitalis in Prague in 2006, this hardcover volume features a striking red cloth spine and a convenient bookmark ribbon. With 113 pages of captivating stories, this brand new book is a must-have for fairy tale enthusiasts. The tales within this collection transport readers to a world of magic and wonder, exploring themes of love, bravery, and the triumph of good over evil. Whether you are a fan of classic fairy tales or looking to discover the rich folklore of Czech literature, this book is sure to delight readers of all ages.

  • 1996: Folktakes, by Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova

    Folktales is a beautifully illustrated collection of Czech folktales, translated into English by Vera Gissing and Lucy Dolezalova. The book features stories from two renowned Czech authors, Karel Jaromir Erben and Bozena Nemcova, and is accompanied by stunning illustrations by Josef Lada.

    This 118-page book is brand new and in excellent condition. The stories in this book cover a wide range of themes and topics, from love and betrayal to magic and adventure. Each tale is unique and offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Czechia.

  • 2001: Nauč mě mluvit – 500 slov, říkadla, pohádky

    Nauč mě mluvit – 500 slov, říkadla, pohádky is designed to help children learn to speak Czech, a valuable resource for parents and educators looking to introduce young children to the Czech language and culture.

    With its colorful illustrations and engaging content, it is sure to captivate young readers and provide a fun and educational introduction to the Czech language.

  • 1962: Maigret Takes a Room, Sunday by George Simenon

    Maigret Takes a Room, Sunday by George Simenon is a gripping detective novel, and the present copy was published by The Companion Book Club in London in 1962. Set in the atmospheric streets of Paris, the story follows the renowned detective, Maigret, as he investigates a mysterious murder that takes place in a small hotel room. Simenon’s masterful storytelling keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they unravel the complex web of clues and suspects alongside the intuitive detective.

    The present copy is tightly bound, in very good condition. Dustjacket is not price clipped.