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Sick Heart River - John Buchan

1941 - Hodder Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of Buchan’s last book, published posthumously.

The review in the April 1941 edition of Punch sums it up nicely:-

‘"
If thou hast a woe, tell it not to the weakling, tell it to thy saddle-bow, and ride singing forth." John Buchan took this Proverb of Alfred as text for his book Sick Heart River (Hodder and Stoughton, 8/3) which is as good a sermon to lift the downhearted as has ever been given in the form of a novel. When Sir Edward Leithen, a former British Attorney-General, received his notice of death from a specialist, "his memory sprawled over places he had seen" and he decided to go to Quebec to make his soul and to "die standing". One journey led to another in quest of a famous French-Canadian who, in a mood of mental sickness, had suddenly left his wife and important office in New York; and was "wanted" by American people because of his genius over international affairs. The tale that follows of two white men, their half-breed guides and some "Hare Indians", their fight with and against Nature in a lonely place is soul-stirring in more than one way and makes as brave a book as the late Governor-General of Canada ever gave us.’

The fictional Sick Heart River is in the real region of the Nahanni River in Canada's Northwest Territories. It is in some of the most rugged terrain in Canada. The area was only just being mapped when Buchan, as Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir, passed nearby during his voyage down the Mackenzie River in the summer of 1937. Having heard much about the mysterious South Nahanni, Buchan was fascinated by it and wanted to go there, but did not make it before he died in February, 1940. [Galbraith, 2001]
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Trouble A-Brewing. A Novel of Detection - John Bude (Pseud. Ernest Carpenter Elmore)

1946 - Macdonald and Co.(Publishers) Ltd., London - First Edition
An exceptional example of this scarce first edition, in the dust jacket without price-clipping and only a little colour touch-up to spine and outer corners.

Featuring Chief Inspector Meredith who ‘
proves himself more than a match for any murderer; even for one who first poisons his victim and then hides the body in a hogshead of beer’. 
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Price HK$ 3,000



The Last Night of the Earth Poems - Signed and with Silkscreen Print - Charles Bukowski

1992 - Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa - No. 105 of 225 signed and numbered copies. First Edition
No. 105 of 225 numbered copies with an original signed and dated silkscreen print, also signed in the colophon.

One of Bukowski’s most successful collections of poetry.

‘These poems were written when Bukowski was in his seventies. Old man Bukowski reflects on his life in his typical raw style. It features classic Bukowski poems like the beautiful ‘
The Bluebird’ and the epic apocalyptic horror that is ‘Dinosauria, we’.’ - Outsiders & Misfits. 
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Price HK$ 8,500



Hot Water Music - Signed - Charles Bukowski

1983 - Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara - No. 60 of 400 signed and numbered copies. First Edition
A signed first edition of what is considered one of Bukowki’s best short story collections, the other two being ‘Notes of a Dirty Old Man’ and ‘Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness’.

‘With his characteristic raw and minimalist style, Charles Bukowski takes us on a walk through his side of town in Hot Water Music. He gives us little vignettes of depravity and lasciviousness, bite sized pieces of what is both beautiful and grotesque.

The stories in Hot Water Music dash around the worst parts of town – a motel room stinking of sick, a decrepit apartment housing a perpetually arguing couple, a bar tended by a skeleton – and depict the darkest parts of human existence. Bukowski talks simply and profoundly about the underbelly of the working class without raising judgement.

In the way he writes about sex, relationships, writing, and inebriation, Bukowski sets the bar for irreverent art – his work inhabits the basest part of the mind and the most extreme absurdity of the everyday.’ - from the
Harper Collins edition. 
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Price HK$ 8,000



A Complete History of the most Remarkable Transactions at Sea - Josiah Burchett, Esq; Secretary of the Admiralty

1720 - Printed by W.B. for J. Walthoe, London - First Edition
'This volume is particularly important in the literature of naval history, not only as a narrative of naval operations in the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession, but as the first general naval history written in the English language.' [ODNB]

A stunning large folio, in contemporary binding, illustrated with nine folding naval charts by Hermann Moll, engraved allegorical frontispiece, engraved portrait, the royal privilege leaf (sometimes missing), engraved head and tail-pieces and initial letters, and title page printed in red and black.
 
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Price HK$ 22,000



Travels in Nubia - John Lewis Burckhardt

1819 - John Murray, London - First Edition
Illustrated with an engraved portrait and three maps, two of which are folding.

Edited from Burckhardt's journals by Lieutenant Colonel William Martin Leake (1777-1860); he also wrote the biographical memoir which is prefaces the ‘Travels’. John Lewis Burckhardt of Kirshgarten (1784-1817) was a pioneering Swiss explorer who is best remembered for his rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra in modern Jordan.

In 1809 Burckhardt was commissioned by the African Association and their president, Sir Joseph Banks, to discover the source of the River Niger. Posing as a Muslim convert and going by the name of Sheikh Ibrahim he spent two years exploring and studying Arabic and Islamic law in Aleppo, before travelling widely in Arabia and Egypt This volume, first published posthumously in 1819, contains Burckhardt's account of his two visits to Nubia (modern Upper Egypt and Sudan) in 1813 and 1814. Burckhardt was the first western scholar to explore the Sudanese Nile valley, and one of the first western explorers successfully to cross the Nubian Desert. In this valuable volume, he describes in fascinating detail the many ancient ruins along the Nile and the logistics and hardships of his desert crossing. [CUP]

On his return to Cairo, Burckhardt, unable to set off for the Niger, compiled his journals into books which he sent to London for publication. He died in 1817 of dysentery and is buried in a Muslim cemetery under the name of Ibrahim ibn Abdallah.

In an article on Burckhardt published in 1973, Professor William Adams wrote of his first journey to Dongola in the Sudan, ‘I doubt if any ethnographer in history ever returned from a five-week field trip into totally unfamiliar country with a more balanced and comprehensive account’. [DEI].
 
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Price HK$ 9,000



East of Mansion House - Thomas Burke

1928 - Cassell and Company, London - First Edition
‘A London native, Burke knew the city intimately and brought it to life in essays, mood pieces, and short stories, most of which had a melodramatic atmosphere of crime.’ – Stenbrunner & Penzler. 
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Price HK$ 1,200



A Day in Canton - Inscribed - Seddie L. Burkholder

1907 - By the AuthorFirst Edition
Inscribed with a large flourish from the author to a Mrs Wright.

Rare first and only edition of this little travelogue, self published by Burkholder who was a long time Asia resident, later spending at least 22 years in Manila (see ‘A Day In Manila’). Illustrated with a diagram of the ‘Cycle of Cathay’, three full page and eleven in-text black and white illustrations from photographs.
 
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Price HK$ 4,000



 
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