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
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.
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.
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
The Diary Of A ‘Ulysses’ Passenger
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.
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”.*
“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 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.