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The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. - James Boswell

1900 - Macmillan and Co., London
‘To write the Life of him who excelled all mankind in writing the lives of others, and who, whether we consider his extraordinary endowments, or his various works, has been equalled by few in any age, is an arduous, and may be reckoned in me a presumptuous task.’ - James Boswell.

A three-volume set, finely bound by Riviére. James Boswell’s epic biography of the extraordinary life and times of Samuel Johnson, was an immediate best seller when it was first published in 1791, and later acknowledged as ‘the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature’.

‘Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigourous mind’ - Samuel Johnson. 
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Price HK$ 4,500



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
The 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



1876 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition, Presentation Binding one of 100 in red
With the small four page pamphlet 'An Easter Greeting to Every Child Who Loves Alice' dated Easter 1876, loosely inserted

‘Just the place for a Snark!’

A bright copy, and internally spotless –one of 100 in the deluxe presentation scarlet cloth binding, personally commissioned by Dodgson – 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$ 25,000



Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - together with - Through the Looking-Glass, and what Alice found there - Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], John Tenniel (illustrator)

1870 1872 - Macmillan and Co., London - Early Edition, First Edition
“Whilst Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were intended for children “fresh from God’s hand”, it is equally enthralling and delightfully magical for adults as they follow Alice on her vibrant adventures escorted by her famous companions. Who can possibly not have been carried away into the fantastically crazy world of the Mad Hatter? Or never have heard of Tweedledee and Tweedledum? Who cannot have been struck by Carroll’s love for sophisticated play with words?.” - Stephanie Chan.

A finely bound pair, in which Tenniel’s illustrations, 42 in
Wonderland and 50 in Looking-Glass, perfectly capture Alice’s upside-down world and are considered to be his finest and most enduring achievement. 
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Price HK$ 15,000



The bibliographical Decameron - Rev. T. F. Dibdin

1817 - Printed for the author by W. Bulmer and Co. Shakespeare Press, London - First Edition
A stunning contemporary bound example of Dibdin’s enthusiastic and richly illustrated three volume exploration of bibliographical history from illuminated manuscripts to book collectors and contemporary book auctions. In-text engravings, thirty five full page plates and two double page plates.

‘Perhaps the most lavish of all Dibdin's works. Its publication was a financial success and doubtless marks the high-water mark of the Dibdinian bibliomania’. (Jackson 40).
 
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Price HK$ 20,000



A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in the Northern Counties of England and in Scotland - Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin

1838 - Printed for the author by C. Richards, London
Dibdin’s two volume bibliographic tour of the libraries of Northern England and Scotland, in contemporary bindings, richly illustrated with in-text engravings, forty full page plates as listed and two more not called for (’Facade of Entrance into the Glasgow Cemetery’ (701) and ‘Seal of Cardinal Beaton and of the University of St. Andrew’ (888))

Full of anecdotes, footnotes that tempt one astray from the text, and Dibdin’s thoughts on a variety of encounters, for example on drinking too much ‘Whiskey’ –

‘We were now then at Dumfries. During and after dinner, I made attacks upon the whiskey in every possible direction: with and without aqueous dilution – with and without saccharine infusion: but to no purpose. “Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, WHISKEY, still thou art a bitter draught”*. With or without sugar, or water – hot or cold – still thou art brimstone and fire to-day, and fire and brimstone to-morrow. As it was my
first, so it was my last, experiment upon this generally seductive liquor with the Scotch. In the everlasting toddy-potations at Glasgow, I could never be brought to hear my part in brandishing a ladle or emptying a rummer. Even its infusion into the punch-bowl there, though that bowl came fresh and foaming from the “cunning” hand of the good Joseph Hunter, Esq. – even then, the slightest infusion of this pellucid dram seemed, to my palate, to opison the wholeof its contents. “Ah, sir, but you should just live in the mountains a twelvemonth – and then!” – “Execrate it the more”, replied I. My disputant thought me a “hopeless character:” and I bade a longum vale to whiskey

*Substitute “slavery” for “whiskey”, and the quotation is from Sterne. They place very small bottles or decanters of this liquor by the side of a glass, before you; and I believe sixpence will supply you with a portion . . . sufficient to make your head ache for a week. It is poetically called “MOUNTAIN DEW” !’ [Volume II page 446].
 
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Price HK$ 5,000



The Faces in the Fire the Shadows on the Wall; with Other Tales and Sketches - George Frederick Pardon, T. H. Nicholson (illustrator)

1856 - James Blackwood, London - First Edition Thus
A bizarre, yet fascinating ‘copycat’ take on the success of Dickens’ yuletide publications, although denied in Pardon’s introduction, together with a new Christmas tale and other sketches previously unpublished.

With wonderful four hand-coloured engravings and and ten black and white woodcut vignettes by artist T. H. Nicholson.
 
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Price HK$ 1,200



 
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