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Ten Thousand A-Year - Samuel Warren

1889 - Little, Boston - Number 69 of a limited 200 copies
A fine and finely bound three volume set, the upper covers blocked in gilt with the crest, coat of arms and motto of ‘Tittlebat Titmouse Esq M.P. according to the description of Sir Gorgeous Tintack, Garter King at Arms.’ Volume I with sepia toned portrait frontispiece on vellum.

Samuel Warren (1807-77) was an English barrister, Member of Parliament for Midhurst, and author of a number of books both fiction and non-fiction.

Ten Thousand A-Year’ is his second novel, one of the most popular of the era and some consider the first to feature a lawyer as the main character. It concerns a firm of attorneys who discover that Tittlebat Titmouse, a poor draper's clerk, may have a claim to the large estate of Yatton. The attorneys commence an action which results in Titmouse displacing the unbelievably pious John Aubrey as the owner of the estate, and its annual income of £10,000. Titmouse revels in his new found wealth, until a new round of litigation is commenced which returns Aubrey to his place as squire of Yatton. Titmouse is disgraced, and ends his life in a lunatic asylum.

The narrator repeatedly tells the reader that the English legal system is close to perfection, but the actual workings of the law in ‘
Ten Thousand a-Year’ paint a more negative picture. Dickens seems to have read Warren's fiction and non-fiction, and to have borrowed images and ideas." [ODNB].

In addition to Warren’s knowledge of the law, he was well versed on asylum and the welfare of the mentally ill, occupying the position of ‘Master in Lunacy’ [1859-77].
 
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Price HK$ 5,200



The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton - Gilbert White

1900 - Macmillan and Co. Limited, London - Library of English Classics Edition
A Bayntun-Riviere bound edition of Gilbert White’s best known work – Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne – his compilation of letters written to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, both leading naturalists of their day, in which he discusses his observations and theories regarding the local flora and fauna in a charming, thoughtful, and immediate style.

One of the most published books in the English language, it ‘delighted both Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin’ and has never been out of print since its first appearance in 1789.

‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986. 
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Price HK$ 1,200



Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman

1900 - David McKay, Philadelphia - First Edition Thus
A finely bound collection of Whitman’s Poems, which includes those poems that were dropped from the different editions, as well as notes to compare the many changes made to the poems by Whitman over the course of their various publications. With engraved portrait frontispiece, numerous illustrations and facsimiles, and an introduction by David McKay, who became Whitman’s publisher after ‘Leaves of Grass’ was declared obscene literature in 1882.

In 1855 Walt Whitman published his first collection of poetry,
Leaves of Grass. The volume received great praise from leading Transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. This encouraged what would become a lifelong project as Whitman expanded and rewrote the volume until his death in 1892. Whitman's innovative use of free verse and the quotidian achieved his aim of reaching out to the everyday American. 
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Price HK$ 8,000



Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Kate Douglas Wiggin

1903 - Houghton, Boston and New York - First Edition
Rebecca was a thing of fire and spirit.... [she] was plucky at two and dauntless at five.’

A finely bound example of this classic tale about the pain of growing up, admired by authors from Jack London to Mark Twain. Beautifully written with a humorous touch.

‘When ten-year-old Rebecca Randall comes to live with flinty aunt Miranda and her sentimental sister Jane in a small town in Maine, they expect to turn her into a proper young lady. Instead, Rebecca will end up changing them.’ [Random House]
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



An Introduction to Polo by “Marco” - Lord Louis “Marco” Mountbatten, Lord Wodehouse

1931 - Country Life Limited , London - Second Impression
A finely bound example of this ‘important milestone on the literature of the game’, illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, sketches and diagrams.

Written ‘under the pen name “Marco”, with editorial help from his friend Peter Murphy. First published in 1931, successive editions have secured its place as a classic in polo literature.’ - Horace Laffaye,
The Polo Encyclopedia.

Viscount Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979) was an experienced English 5-goal player and author. He won the Bluejackets, Duke of York, Whitney, Buenos Aires, Cowdray Park Challenge and Spencer Cups, and the Visitors Tournament at Hurlingham.
 
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Price HK$ 3,800



 
Results 65 - 69 of 69 results