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The Friends of Eddie Coyle - George V. Higgins

1972 - Alfred A. Knopf, New York - First Edition
‘What I can’t get over is that so good a first novel was written by the fuzz.’ – Norman Mailer. By ‘fuzz’ Mailer is referring to U.S. Attorney George Higgins.

A fine copy housed in a custom chemise and slipcase, which also contains specially made pockets that contain three reviews:-

New York Times – ‘I don’t know what kind of lawyer George Higgins is, but I know now that he’s a writer. With “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” he’s given us the most penetrating glimpse yet into what seems the real world of crime’;

Life magazine – Shove over, Raymond Chandler, if you don’t want an elbow in the eye, And somebody pull up a chair for George Higgins, the new boy in the back room. Hard-nosed George is an assistant U.S. attorney by trade. But that first cops-and-robbers novel tucked under his arm qualifies him for the corner table where all the best tellers of low tales sit, taking their Dashiell Hammett straight with a Hemingway chaser’;

Time magazine – ‘George Higgins’s pungent, ironic dialogue precisely registers the feints and formalities of a world in which unguarded speech can often be fatal He risks confusing us in order to make us sink or swim as his characters must learn to do. Alertness is richly rewarded’.

When asked to name the top ten mysteries, Elmore Leonard said, ‘My all-time favorite, the one book that has made a lasting impression is
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins. That would be my list’. 
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Price HK$ 2,500



The Iron Man. A Story In Five Nights - Ted Hughes, George Adamson (illustrator)

1968 - Faber and Faber, London - First Edition First Impression
A fine copy of this wonderful book in the scarce dust jacket with only a hint of the fading usually encountered to the spine.

With five full page black and white illustrations of the giant metal man of unknown origin, by George Adamson, who also provided the dust jacket and matching book cover illustration.

The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff.
How far had he walked? Nobody knows. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows.
Taller than a house, the Iron Man stood at the top of the cliff, on the very brink, in the darkness.


The basis for the 1999 animated film ‘
The Iron Giant’, so named to avoid the obvious clash with Marvel’s rather more violent creation. Brad Bird’s first film as a director, see any resemblance here to ‘The Incredibles’? 
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Price HK$ 12,000



1931 - Mundanus Ltd. Victor Gollancz Publisher, London - First Edition
It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr. Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter. Murder is a serious business.’

Outstandingly original, a notable and influential example of the inverted detective story, subtly presented by Anthony Berkeley’s alter ego, Iles, Ingenious, subtle, unconventional and a favourite of Alfred Hitchcock.

An exceptional example of the first printing which was published in delicate wrappers using Gollancz’s ‘Mundanus’ imprint.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



The Riddle Of The Tsangpo Gorges - Captain F. Kingdon-Ward

1926 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - First Edition
A near fine example of this important work, describing the period spanning 1924-25, during which Kingdon-Ward made what was probably his most famous and successful expedition, in the company of Lord Cawdor, to Bhutan and south-east Tibet, during which, in addition to ‘The Riddle’, related to the existence, or not, of the ‘Falls of Brahmaputra’, he collected ninety-seven varieties of rhododendron, and the first viable blue poppy seed.

The Brooke-Hitching copy, housed in custom slipcase. Illustrated with a folding coloured map, and 21 photographs on 16 plates.
 
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Price HK$ 16,000



Departmental Ditties. Barrack-Room Ballads And Other Verses - Rudyard Kipling

1890 - United States Book Company, New York - First Edition of Barrack-Room Ballads, First American Edition of Departmental Ditties. First Issue.
A fine example of this large collection of Kipling’s classic verse, 66 in total, a compilation that includes the first printings of thirteen ballads and four ‘Other Verses’ printed two years later under the separate title of ‘Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads’.

Most proving that we never learn, and many reliving the experiences of soldiers and civil servants sent around the world to defend the Empire, all for little pay and less appreciation.

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains, An’ got to your Gawd like a soldier........’ – The Young British Soldier. 
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Price HK$ 3,000



The City Of Dreadful Night - Rudyard Kipling

1899 - Alex. Grosset, New York - The First American Edition
The text’s initial appearance in the United States was through its inclusion in ‘Out of India’ , published in 1895, but this unauthorised printing constitutes the first separate American edition. all eight sketches from the authorised 1891 London edition ‘The City of Dreadful Night and Other Places’.

All that aside, this is a superb example of the most magnificently presented edition, including a full page frontispiece of the author from Strang, and two full page black and white illustrations by Charles Farrand.

In 1898 Kipling first travelled to Calcutta and this is the account of the visit, and if you have travelled to what is now ‘Kolkata’ over the past 30 or so years and been taken aback but its sheer personality, then I believe the Calcutta of the late 1800’s was an even more powerful visual and tactile experience, as Kipling here wonderfully describes.
 
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Price HK$ 1,400



Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet - Captain William Henry Knight, Forty-Eighth Regiment

1863 - Richard Bentley, London - First Edition
An exceptional example of this title, and the preferred issue with the mounted ‘Portion of a Thibetan Praying Wheel, Monastry of Hemis’ mounted opposite page 200. The Brooke-Hitching copy, housed in custom slipcase, complete and without restoration, scarce as such.

In addition to the fragment of prayer wheel, there are eight full page tinted lithographic plates, eight full page black and white engraved plates, and 29 in-text illustrations.

Nothing could exceed the beauty of the view as we approached our intended halting-place. Having crossed the torrent by a wooden bridge, the mountains we had been winding through showed out in all their grandeur, while above us, inaccessible peaks, with sharp and fanciful projections, nestled their mighty heads among the fleecy clouds, which hung about after the recent rains

Captain William Henry Knight journeyed through Kashmir and Tibet in 1860 in the company of another officer and a porter. Having spent a year and a half in India with his regiment, Captain Knight had managed to obtain a six months' leave of absence in order to escape the hot season and journey through the cool foothills of the Himalayas. His goal in this volume was to represent ‘
a faithful picture of travels in regions where excursion trains are still unknown, and Travelers' Guides unpublished’. 
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Price HK$ 20,000



In the Forbidden Land: An Account of a Journey in Tibet - A. Henry Savage Landor

1898 - William Heinemann, London - First Edition
A near fine and thus scarce first edition of Landor’s autobiographical narrative about his failed attempt to reach Lhasa from the West, during which he was captured and tortured (at one point forced to ride many miles on a saddle mounted with iron spikes), and his discovery of the sources of the Indus and the Brahmaputra rivers.

Together with a letter dated February 7th 1889 to a Mr. Browne from Landor, offering to show his sketches any day that would be convenient, and saying that he will be staying at 903, 16th Street, Washington DC for ‘about a fortnight’.

This was the first expedition in which Landor, an accomplished painter, used a camera as well as paintings and drawings, resulting in these profusely illustrated volumes containing photogravure frontispiece, eight colour chromolithographic plates, fifty full-page black and white plates, 196 in-text drawings schematics and vignettes, and a folding map to the rear (outlined in colour) drafted from Landor’s own surveys.

A detailed account, which pays a great deal of attention to geography and science, and one of the earliest works about the high Himalayas, which were virtually unknown to Europeans during Landor’s time. Although there was heated disagreement about the veracity of his tale, it was an international best-seller.

‘The book about his experiences,
In the Forbidden Land, was translated into all the major European languages… In energy and resourcefulness, in courage and power of endurance, Landor was the equal of any of the previous generation of great explorers’ – Dictionary of National Biography. 
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Price HK$ 9,000



 
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