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Tales of Hearsay - Joseph Conrad

1925 - T. Fisher Unwin Ltd, London - First Edition
A posthumous collection of four stories - The Warrior's Soul; Prince Roman; The Tale; and The Black Mate. 
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Price HK$ 2,400



The Secret Agent. A Simple Tale - Joseph Conrad

1907 - Methuen & Co., London - First Edition
‘I confess that it makes a grisly skeleton. But I will submit that telling Winnie Verloc’s story to its anarchistic end of utter desolation, madness an despair, and telling it as I have told it here, I have not intended to commit a gratuitous outrage on the feelings of mankind’ – Conrad, of The Secret Agent in a later edition.

One of the first examples of a double agent ever produced on paper, and the first book to examine terrorism as a plot device, Conrad’s novel follows Adolf Verloc: a spy with an allegiance to an unnamed country, and his brother-in-law Stevie as they track down a conglomerate of anarchists, terrorists, and spies, risking the loss of everything they hold dear. Based on the true events of the Greenwich Bombing of 1894, Conrad’s Stevie follows a similar trajectory to that of French anarchist, Martial Bourdin.

I am afraid that if you want to go down into history you'll have to do something for it.’ 
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Price HK$ 8,000



1903 - Smith Elder, London - First Edition
The second of Conrad and Ford Madox Ford’s three collaborations, on which Conrad writes - There's easy style, plenty of action, a romantic atmosphere, and a happy ending after no end of real hair's breadth escapes.

Set mainly in Jamaica and Cuba during the 1920’s, with smuggling, piracy, sea chases, and the romance between the Spanish Seraphina and Englishman Kemp. 
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Price HK$ 1,100



Stalky and Co. - Rudyard Kipling

1899 - Macmillan and Co., London - First English Edition
“Stalky,’ in their school vocabulary, meant clever, well considered and wily, as applied to plans of action: and ‘stalkiness’ was the one virtue Corkran toiled after.’

Schoolboy japes and mischief abound in this volume about a trio in an English boarding school, based on Kipling’s own experiences as a young man. An amusing and entertaining novel from one of Britain’s most famous authors.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



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



Life’s Handicap: Being Stories of Mine Own People - Rudyard Kipling

1891 - Macmillan, London - First Edition
A compilation of 27 stories and one poem, sixteen stories and the poem appear here for the first time, the remainder were published five months earlier to counteract unauthorised American printings, a common challenge for Kipling. Housed in bespoke sheepskin lined green morocco leather slipcase.

Hiding amongst the more standard colonial short stories of Kipling in this collection, are six of a darker nature, nightmare murder, premonitions, curses, and all - ‘
Bubbling Well Road’, ‘Dream of Duncan Parrenness’, ‘Courting of Dinah Shadd’, ‘At the End of the Passage’, ‘Mark of the Beast’, and ‘Return of Imray’. 
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Price HK$ 1,800



The Light That Failed - Rudyard Kipling

1891 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Complete Edition
The first complete edition, of Kipling’s first novel, written when he was 26 years old, housed in bespoke sheepskin lined green morocco leather slipcase. With all fifteen chapters and the ‘sad ending, together with the first appearance of the poem ‘Mother O’ Mine’, as opposed to the 12 and 14 chapter American editions of December 1890, both ‘Disney’ versions that omitted the sad ending.

In Stewart’s variant a binding of blue cloth with the 56 page publisher’s catalogue dated February, 1891.

‘In 1890, Rudyard Kipling was living in two rented rooms above a sausage shop in Villiers Street, next to Charing Cross station, when he was commissioned to write a novel for Lippincott's Magazine. He worked to an exacting deadline of three months as he grappled with the most complex problem of his literary life.

The result was
The Light that Failed, a richly revealing, semi-autobiographical novel, which, though badly reviewed, has stayed in print for more than 100 years. The spark that ignited it was the reappearance in Kipling's life of his first love, Flo Garrard, and her crippling second rejection of him.’ – Jad Adams, The Guardian (January 2006).  
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Price HK$ 2,000



Puck of Pook’s Hill - Rudyard Kipling

1906 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition [Ads dated N.15.8.06 to rear]
A fine first edition, in bespoke leather and sheepskin slipcase. With twenty full page illustrations by H. R. Miller.

Kipling's popular series of tales and poems set in different historical eras, including Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon England, The Norman Conquest, The Middle Ages and the Tudor Period.

The stories are all told to two children living near Pevensey, East Sussex, by characters magically plucked out of history by 'Puck'. Long thought to be a key inspiration behind C S Lewis’ beloved ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series.
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



 
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