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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



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$ 1,800



High Sierra - W. R. Burnett

1940 - Alfred A Knopf, New York. London - First Edition in First State Dust Jacket
‘In the darkness, in a vivid flash, he saw old Barmy’s thin wise face. Dead and buried now, poor guy! What was it he’d said about being buried? Yeah. Barmy said when they planted him he’d be wearing ‘the turning globe’ for an overcoat. Now, who’d think of a thing like that but him? It made you see the little earth lost in space, turning slowly through the night.’

‘In
High Sierra, Burnett, one of the most influential of the ‘Hard-Boiled’ crime writers, changed the typical characterisation of the gangster story from the aggressive, ambitious figure characterisation of the 1930’s to the ageing Roy Earle, a gangster well past his prime. A sense of fatalism pervades the story, and Burnett and John Huston scripted a film version for Warner Bros, which was released in 1941 with Humphrey Bogart as Earle.’ – Encyclopedia of Film Noir.

Housed in custom cloth slipcase.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



Nova Express - William S. Burroughs

1964 - Grove Press, New York - First Edition
‘A masterpiece of fantasy and reality, a carnival of horrors, a doomsday confrontation of man and his world.’

Burroughs’ ferociously political and prophetic novel – a parody of bureaucracy and human frailty, and the third in his linguistically ‘
cut-up’ trilogy, following The Soft Machine and The Ticket That Exploded –fires the reader into the diabolical world of the Nova Mob, poised to wreak havoc and destruction upon the planet. Can Inspector J. Lee of the Nova Police stop them before it’s too late…? 
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Price HK$ 1,600



Hudibras. With Dr. Grey’s Annotations - Samuel Butler

1819 - Charles & Henry Baldwyn, London - New Edition, Corrected and Enlarged
Three volumes finely bound in early 20th century full tan calf. In addition to Butler’s ‘satirical polemic upon Roundheads, Puritans, Presbyterians and many of the other factions involved in the English Civil War’, this edition includes ‘The Author’s Life’ and an extensive introductory preface, combined with Zachary Grey’s details annotations throughout.

Illustrated with numerous woodcut vignettes and eight plates.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



Philo Gubb. Correspondence-School Detective - Ellis Parker Butler

1918 - Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York - First Edition
A near fine first edition, in the original pictorial cloth, and illustrated with twenty full page black and white plates.

A small town good-natured wallpaper hanger, with a fascination for Sherlock Holmes, Philo Gubb’s office also contains a framed diploma from the Rising Sun Detective Agency’s Correspondence School.

Gubb commits a slight case of murder on the King’s English every time he talks, but manages to solve crimes despite his talent for interpreting clues incorrectly and his flair for sporting mail-order disguises that inevitably fail to mask his purposes.

‘Detecktating is my aim and my profession.’
 
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Price HK$ 2,200



The Pleasures of Hope, with other Poems - Thomas Campbell

1822 - Longman, London. Edinburgh - New Edition
A finely bound early edition of this Glaswegian poets most well known work, two parts bound in one, illustrated with engravings by C. Heath from paintings by R. Westall.

‘Thomas Campbell's enormously popular poem, which inverts the theme of Samuel Rogers's
The Pleasures of Memory, established the format that the series of poems on the pleasures would adopt for a generation to come’

In addition to his poetry and lecturing, Campbell was actively involved in the foundation of University College London (originally known as London University).
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



La Chute - Albert Camus

1956 - Gallimard, Paris - First Edition (in French), First printing
Number 233 of of 235 copies on ‘vélin pur fil Lafuma-Navarre’.

A lovely example – largely unopened – of the first edition of Camus’ philosophical novel, described by fellow existentialist Sartre as 'perhaps the most beautiful and the least understood' of Camus’ works. Published in English as ‘The Fall’
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



 
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