John D MacDonald Planet Of The Dreamers 1954 First Edition

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John D MacDonald’s fourth book and the first published in hardcover, the US edition from 1951 preceding this UK first edition. The UK edition tends to be much scarcer, as Hale printed very few, most of which went to libraries.

Planet Of The Dreamers
John D MacDonald
1954, Robert Hale, London, Hardcover with Dust Jacket, First UK Edition

You can see our copy for sale here (sold)

1968 Molly Lefebure Scratch & Co First Edition

Scratch-Co-Molly-LeFebureScratch & Co – The Great Cat Expedition

Molly Lefebure, Illustrated by A Wainwright
1968, Victor Gollancz, London, Hard Cover with Dust Jacket, First Edition

Scarce first edition. In the Lake District, an expedition of feline adventurers with dogs as Sherpas and rabbits as porters, sponsored by The Royal Feline Geographical Society sets out to climb the Highest Known Peak, various adventures ensue, encounters with journalists, and later, more dangerously, with foxes. Both a wonderful adventure book, and a witty send up of a mountaineering book, with ‘Alpine Club’ type characters, hairs-breadth rescues and all the tensions of an Himalayan expedition.

The Third Plantagenet – George Duke of Clarence by John Ashdown-Hill

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Ενα παιδάκι είχε πέσει, λέει [το παραμύθι], σ’ένα πηγάδι κι είχε βρήκε μιάν πεντάμορφη πολιτεία – βαθιά περιβóλια, θυμούμαι, μέλι, ρυζóγαλο, παιχνιδάκια …

[The story] says that a little boy fell into a well, and there he found a wonderland – a city with great surrounding walls and, as I recall, honey, rice pudding, toys …

(N. Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek (trans. J. Ashdown-Hill) 7th ed. (Athens: 1973, pp.212–13)

~

There is something very poignant about the image of a little boy falling into a well and finding his heart’s desires, something that reminded John Ashdown-Hill of a young boy’s ambitions, but also his eventual tragic demise.

Boozy Advertising from the U.K.B.G Guide to Drinks

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We found some real gems in this United Kingdom Bartenders Guild guide to drinks. Here’s some vintage advertising from the 1955 edition

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Cointreau in your fruit salad and on your grapefruit. There’s a boozy breakfast…

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Because if they are drinking it in Paris…

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Gin and “It”? The “IT” apparently refers to the Italian vermouth.  Gin and Pep contains a peppermint creme de menthe. The guide also has recipes for Gin Toddy and Gin Cobblers.

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A couple of King George VI’s favourites…

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Elizabeth of York – The Book of Princes and Princesses

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…it was a map of her destiny which he had cast from the stars, and that they had told him it was she who would one day wear the English crown.

“But my brother-but the Prince of Wales?” – asked Elizabeth who had much talk of the baby being heir to the throne.

“I know not,” he answered sadly; “But so it is written. No go back to the Queen, and mind, say nought of this, or it will give her sorely.

Philippa Pearce Tom’s Midnight Garden First Edition

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Gorgeous cover art. The first edition of this book is stunning, and scarce! I have yet to read this book (on my pile) but a friend of mine told me I am going to struggle through the first chapter, and to keep reading.

Tom’s Midnight Garden
A. Philippa Pearce, Illustrated by Susan Einzig
Oxford First Published 1958

You can see our copy for sale here

1933 The Diary Of A Ulysses Passenger Blue Funnel Line

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The Diary Of A ‘Ulysses’ Passenger
by AH
No Date (C.1933), The Blue Funnel Line (Alfred Holt & Co), Liverpool, Textured Card Softcover with String Binding, 62p, First Edition

Promotional book in the form of a diary, describing the joys and wonders (and also some of the mundane events) of a voyage from Liverpool, through Marseilles, Egypt, Ceylon, Java, Australia, Africa and back to London on The Blue Funnel Line Steamship ‘Ulysses’, a four month cruise starting on August 26th 1932. With illustrations.

Copy for sale here

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins First Edition

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I saw David Attenborough with his copy of this exact edition on a documentary. How cool is that? The cover art is stunning.

The Selfish Gene
Richard Dawkins
1976, Oxford University Press, London, Hard Cover with Dust Jacket, 224p, First Edition

Scarce true First Edition of one of the most important scientific books of modern times.

Purchase here (sold)

Enid Blyton and the Mary Pollock Subterfuge

The Children of Kidillin by Mary Pollock
The Children of Kidillin by Mary Pollock

I clearly remember finding this book and laughing when I opened it to the title page. I was just doing an annual tidy of the bookcase when I came across it and it made me smile again. As you can see the former owner has quite emphatically crossed out the author’s name “Mary Pollock” and carefully pencilled in “Enid Blyton”, complete with the two strokes under the “d” in Enid.

In 1940’s, George Newnes published two books by Mary Pollock, Three Boys and a Circus and The Children of Kidillin. The books became so popular that one reviewer was prompted to remark “Enid Blyton had better look to her laurels”.*

50 Years of C.S Lewis and Growing up in the Land of Narnia

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“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis

On this day, 50 years ago, C.S. Lewis passed into the land of Narnia. He will be honoured with a plaque at Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner this year, a well-deserved tribute. I don’t know many people who grew up without having read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The C. S. Lewis: 50 Fans, 50 Years Later Pinterest board has a collection of quotes from authors and other celebrities on what C.S. Lewis has meant to them. The Chronicles of Narnia have been a huge part of my life. I have lost count of how many times I have read them and they are, without a doubt, one of the most beloved children’s book series of all time.

The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen

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Note: Will contain spoilers for The Boleyn King.

The regency period is over and William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne. But England must still contend with those who doubt his legitimacy, both in faraway lands and within his own family. To diffuse tensions and appease the Catholics, William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still he has eyes for only his childhood friend Minuette, and court tongues are wagging.

Where Great Adventures Begin