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The Yellow Book - Aubrey Beardsley

April 1894-April 1897 - Elkin Mathews & John Lane, London
A complete, clean and better than normally encountered thirteen volume set of this groundbreaking art nouveau publication, in the publisher’s bright yellow illustrated covers with designs by Aubrey Beardsley. Together with ‘A Selection’ published in 1950 and bound in yellow cloth to match the earlier set. Fourteen volumes in total.

From its initial visually arresting issue, for which Aubrey Beardsley was art editor and for which Max Beerbohm wrote an essay, ‘
A Defence of Cosmetics’, ‘The Yellow Book’ attained immediate notoriety.

Published by John Lane and edited by Henry Harland, ‘
The Yellow Book’ attracted many outstanding writers and artists of the era, such as Arnold Bennett, Charlotte Mew, Henry James, Edmund Gosse, Richard Le Gallienne, and Walter Sickert.

Although dominated by the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley, and his decadent fin de siècle aura, many other distinguished artists contributed to the quarterly, notably Frederic Leighton, Will Rothenstein, Walter Sickert and Philip Wilson Steer; contributors to the text included Max Beerbohm, John Buchan, Baron Corvo, Edmund Gosse, Kenneth Grahame, Henry James, E. Nesbit and W. B. Yeats.
 
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Price HK$ 10,000



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



Advice from a Lady of Quality to her Children, in the Last Stage of a Lingering Illness, In a Series of Evening-Conferences on the Most Interesting Subjects. Translated from the French [by Samuel Glasse]. - Louis-Antoine Caraccioli

1778 - Glocester: Printed by R. Raikes and Sold by J. F. and C. RivingtonFirst edition in English
A rare first edition of this 18th century ‘Tuesdays With Morrie

A popular courtesy book written in a series of ‘conferences’ in the place of chapters. These include Virtue, Pride, Generosity, Female Conduct, Friendship, Love of Truth, Brotherly Love, Study, Pleasure, Ambition, Vanity, Relative Duty, Patriotism, Social Duties.

Unlike most courtesy books, Caraccioli's has the semblance of a plot and reads somewhat like a novel, which ends with the death of the main character. Advice from a Lady went through numerous editions in England and America.
 
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Price HK$ 8,500



The Hunting of the Snark, An Agony in Eight Fits - Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], Henry Holiday (illustrator)

1876 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition
‘Just the place for a Snark!’

A finely bound first edition of the author’s magnificent nonsense verse, the tale of the Bellman and his crew’s strange voyage in search of a Snark, and featuring an unlikely cast of characters drawn from his other works,
Jabberwocky and Through the Looking Glass Wonderfully illustrated with nine imaginative woodcuts by Henry Holiday.

‘The Hunting of the Snark is a poem over which an unstable, sensitive soul might very well go mad.’ - Martin Gardner, The Annotated Snark. 
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Price HK$ 6,000



The Life of an Actor. Dedicated to Edmund Kean, Esq. The Poetical Descriptions by T. Greenwood. Embellished with Twenty-seven Characteristic Scenes, etched by Theodore Lane; Enriched also with Several Original Designs on Wood, executed by Mr. Thompson - Pierce Egan, T. Greenwood, Theodore Lane (illustrator)

1825 - Printed for C.S. Arnold, London - First Edition
A finely bound example of Pierce Egan’s wonderful and amusing novel centred around Peregrine Proteus, and his various highs and lows attempting to pursue a career on the stage. Dedicated to Edmund Kean (1789-1833) the greatest of English tragic actors, a turbulent genius noted as much for his megalomania and ungovernable behaviour as for his portrayals of villains in Shakespearean plays.

Illustrated with twenty-seven hand-coloured aquatint plates by Theodore Lane and nine woodcut engravings by John Thompson (1785-1866).

Provenance: From the library of Major-General Sir Harold Augustus Wernher, 3rd Baronet (1893-1973) with his rather theatrical engraved armourial book plate.
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



Emerson’s Essay - First Series; Second Series; - and - Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Garnett

Circa 1893 - Wm. L. Allison Co., New York
‘There is a difference between one and another hour of life in their authority and subsequent effect. Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual. Yet there is a depth in those brief moments which constrains us to ascribe more reality to them than all other experiences.’

A handsomely bound, 19th century collection of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first and second series of essays – including
‘Self-Reliance’, ‘The Over-Soul’, ‘Circles’, ‘The Poet’, ‘Experience’, and ‘Nature’ – his most important works, and those that represent the core of his thinking. Together with ‘Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson’ mostly compiled from Garnett’s earlier biography of Emerson titled ‘Life’, and a short bibliography. Volume I with a frontispiece portrait of Emerson. 
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Price HK$ 900



Tess of The D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

1895 - Osgood, London - First Single Volume Edition
Finely bound early edition, and the first to contain a new additional preface by Thomas Hardy, as well as a frontispiece portrait of the author by H Macbeth-Raeburn

‘In Tess, Hardy presents a world in which the human spirit is battered down by the forces, not of fate, but of social hierarchy. Tess’s eventual death, one of the most famous in literature, is a direct result of human cruelty and as such represents one of the most moving indictments of the lives of nineteenth-century English women in all of literature’ – Alvin Birdy.
 
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Price HK$ 5,500



1941 - The Limited Editions Club, New York - First Edition illustrated by Powers, Number 1, 107 of 1, 500.
‘She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.’

A handsomely bound limited edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic investigation of the American mind, set in 17th century Boston and written in Salem in 1849-50.

Signed by Henry Varnum Poor, whose stone lithograph illustrations enhance Hawthorne’s best known work. With an introduction by Dorothy Canfield.

‘The finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in this country. There was a consciousness of this in the welcome that was given it - a satisfaction in the idea of America having produced a novel that belonged to literature and to the forefront of it.’ - Henry James (1879).
 
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Price HK$ 4,000



 
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