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The Works of Alexander Pope - with a Memoir of the Author, Notes, and Critical Notices on each Poem, by the Rev, G. Croly, LL.D. - Alexander Pope

1835 - A.J. Valpy, London - First Edition
In four small finely bound volumes, with engraved frontispiece and engraved title to each volume.

English essayist, critic, satirist, and one of the greatest poets of Enlightenment, also known for his translation of Homer. Alexander Pope [1688-1744] wrote his first verses at the age of 12. His breakthrough work,
An Essay on Criticism appeared when he was twenty-three. It included the famous line ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’. Pope's physical defects made him an easy target for heartless mockery, but he was also considered a leading literary critic and the epitome of English Neoclassicism. His translation of Homer is still considered  
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Price HK$ 8,000



A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell

1952 to 1975 - Heinemann, London - First Editions (Vol.I third printing), in First Edition dust jacket (Vol.II second issue)
A bright and complete twelve volume set of Anthony Powell’s dodecahedral masterpiece 'A Dance to the Music of Time', tracing a colourful group of English acquaintances across a span of many years from 1914 to 1971.

The slowly developing narrative centres around life's poignant encounters between friends and lovers who later drift apart and yet keep reencountering each other over numerous unfolding decades as they move through the vicissitudes of marriage, work, ageing, and ultimately death.

Until the last three volumes, the next standard excitements of old-fashioned plots (What will happen next? Will x marry y? Will y murder z?) seem far less important than time's slow reshuffling of friends, acquaintances, and lovers in intricate human arabesques’ [Robert L Selig;
Time and Anthony Powell, A Critical Study.] 
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Price HK$ 15,000



Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character - Edward B. Ramsay

1871 - Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh - Twentieth Edition
A fine and magnificently bound edition. Important association copy, inscribed by Ramsay to Doctor Robert Carruthers of Inverness, with Ramsay’s hand written note going on to say that this ‘is the 20th edition and I suppose to be my last - the concluding part from page 316, on the subject of a “closer union amongst Christians is entirely new in the Edition’. Dr. Carruthers is also thanked by Ramsay in the introduction (see page X). This work actually went through a further two editions before Ramsay’s death in 1872.

First published in 1857, and extended throughout Ramsay’s life, it consists of his personal recollections, anecdotes and opinions. In addition to the entertaining preface, chapters cover
Scottish Religious Feelings, Old Scottish Conviviality, The Old Scottish Domestic Servant, Humour Proceeding from Scottish Expressions Including Scottish Proverbs, and Scottish Stories of Wit and Humour. 
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Price HK$ 5,500



Social and Diplomatic Memories 1884-1893 - Sir James Rennell Rodd G.C.B.

1922 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - Second Impression
The autobiography of 1st Baron Rennell (1858-1941), British diplomat, poet (Oscar Wilde assisted in publishing Rodd’s first book of poems), politician, and scholar of ancient Greece and Rome.

Covering the early years from his childhood, the ‘Balliol set’, and young Bohemian adulthood, to his first posting in Berlin from 1884 to 1888, where he became an intimate friend of the Empress Frederick, and recounts his memories of Bismark and other major figures during that tumultuous time, after this he moves on to Greece, Italy, France, and finally Zanzibar and East Africa at the end of the 19th century.

Finely bound and with a four page hand-written letter from his wife to an ‘unknown friend’, composed at the British Legation, Athens in February 1928.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



Baronagium Genealogicum: or the Pedigrees of the English Peers - Sir William Segar, Joseph Edmondson

1764-84 - Engraved and printed for the author, London - First Editions
The most beautifully illustrated and comprehensive record of 18th century Heraldry. A magnificent and extremely rare complete set of six large uncut folio volumes, with 658 copperplate engravings (104 of which are double page) many by the master engraver Francesco Bartolozzi a founder member of the Royal Academy. The plates consist of 279 coats-of-arms (3 double-page), 364 genealogical tables (101 double-page), six titles, six dedication pages, and three specific family dedication pages.

Ranked to begin with Royalty, this massive work took 20 years to produce, making it necessary to publish a supplement with new peerages. Provenance - Sir John Smith, Bart., F.R.S. of Sydling St.Nicholas, Dorset, whose initials JS are gilt-stamped to the morocco spine labels and engraved bookplates to the front pastedowns.
 
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Price HK$ 150,000



The Works of William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare, Alexander Dyce

1891 - Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London - Sixth Edition
An attractively bound ten volume set of Shakespeare, volume I with Dyce’s Life of Shakespeare, prefaces, and history of the early editions, volume X containing a 526 page glossary. 
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Price HK$ 18,000



1880 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition
I think you do me much honour by preserving my scribbles’ writes the colourful and eccentric Sharpe in the tipped in letter that accompanies his finely bound Ballad Book, re-edited by David Laing, with additions from Sharpe's manuscripts, and which he first printed only 30 copies in 1823, although according to Henderson, the majority of the added ballads in 1880 were of more or less questionable authenticity (ODNB). The final portion of the book prints Sir Walter Scott’s commentary on the original poems, and is taken from correspondence between Scott and his friend Sharpe.

Scarce. Illustrated with a colour frontispiece portrait, woodblock engraving plate and headpiece (as used for the original 1823 edition).

A speculative note regarding the letter - As stated in the editor’s introduction (ix) ‘
Mr Sharpe’s own annotated copy’ was carefully followed to produce this work, a copy that was ‘in the possession of Sir James Gibson-Craig’. Gibson-Craig had one of the finest collection of Scottish works ever assembled, and other correspondence from Sharpe to Gibson-Craig did begin with ‘Signor Mio’, leading us to speculate that this letter accompanied the original and rare 1823 printing of which only 30 were produced, and which in this case was later given by Sharpe to Gibson-Craig. 
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Price HK$ 5,000



Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - William Milligan Sloane

1896 - The Century Co., New York - First Edition
Four magnificent and finely bound quarto volumes of this monumental history on Napoleon, ‘the product of many years of elaborate investigation, it was sumptuously illustrated and composed’. [DAB].

First edition, profusely illustrated with 80 colour plates, 200 black & white and tinted plates, and 17 maps.

Generally there is no mystery in the power of domination: he rules who is indispensable. The Jacobins needed a man, they found him in the unscrupulous Bonaparte; the Directory needed a man, they found him in the expert artillerist; France needed a man, she found him in the conqueror of Italy.’

‘Sloane, who believed "
there exists no record of human activity more complete" than Bonaparte's, also summed up Napoleon's failure in one word -- exhaustion. It was not until his opponents learned the lessons "which he taught his generals by a series of object demonstrations lasting 20 years, that the teacher began to diminish in success and splendor. Judged either historically or theoretically, the strategy of Napoleon is "original, unique and unexcelled." Sloane noted that this was Napoleon's greatest achievement, because it was "his most creative."’ [Vance] 
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Price HK$ 13,000



 
Results 41 - 48 of 63 results