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English literature pre-1900

Rare books and first editions, including copies in fine bindings, of literature pre-1900, ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Dickens, Shelley and Austen. Browse this category below, or select a different category (left) to modify your search.

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Displaying 48 out of 842

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  1. The Seven Lamps of Architecture.
    New Arrival

    The Seven Lamps of Architecture. 1849

    £500

    First edition. The first of Ruskin’s works to carry his name, and the first to be illustrated, this essay introduces his principles of architecture and is important for laying the foundations for Ruskin’s later work, The Stones of Venice. Read more

  2. Bleak House.
    New Arrival

    Bleak House. 1853

    £625

    First edition. H. K. Browne had experimented with the “dark plate” technique in Dombey and Son (1848) but in Bleak House their sombreness added a new tone to the illustration of Dickens’s books. “As Dickens’s vision of society darkened, Browne adjusted his techniques, pioneering in …Read more

  3. Middlemarch: a study of provincial life.
    New Arrival

    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life. 1871–2

    £20,000

    First edition in book form of George Eliot’s sixth and greatest novel, and rare in original unrestored cloth. The book proved problematic in some ways, being slow in composition and growing too long for the traditional three-decker format. It was Lewes who suggested to Blackwood …Read more

  4. Treasure Island.
    New Arrival

    Treasure Island. 1885

    £1,250

    First illustrated UK edition of Stevenson’s classic, which was originally serialised in the magazine Young Folks between October 1881 and January 1882, and published in book form the following year. The first US edition, issued by Roberts Bros in 1884, was also illustrated, but contained …Read more

  5. The Works.
    New Arrival

    The Works. 1776

    £500

    An attractive set in unassuming contemporary calf, with an engrossing provenance: from the library of the Scottish slave-trader, merchant and diplomat Richard Oswald (1705?-1784), with the simple booklabels of Auchincruive House (his Adam-designed mansion in south Ayrshire) and ownership inscriptions (first page of the opening …Read more

  6. Romola.
    New Arrival

    Romola. 1898

    £200

    First published in the Cornhill Magazine 1862-3, Eliot’s novel of Renaissance Florence became a popular souvenir for late “Grand Tourists” when presented thus. This copy has the ownership inscription of “Mary H. Chapman, London”, dated Florence 1901 to the first blank. Read more

  7. The Book of Shakespeare Gems.
    New Arrival

    The Book of Shakespeare Gems. 1854

    £150

    A handsomely-bound copy of the third edition; first published in 1846. Read more

  8. The Complaint: Or, Night Thoughts.
    New Arrival

    The Complaint: Or, Night Thoughts. 1823

    £175

    Third edition with Westall’s illustrations; first published thus in 1817. Night Thoughts was originally published in nine separate parts between 1742 and 1745. Night Thoughts has been described as “arguably the century’s greatest long poem” (ODNB). Richard Westall was a well-regarded artist and illustrator and …Read more

  9. Pictures from Italy.
    New Arrival

    Pictures from Italy. 1846

    £750

    First edition of Dickens’s second travel book. Dickens toured Italy between 1844 and 1845. “Clarkson Stanfield had agreed to illustrate the text for Dickens but, when he read those passages of the narrative in which Dickens satirises the excesses of Catholic devotion, he resigned from …Read more

  10. Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero.
    New Arrival

    Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero. 1848

    £1,250

    First edition in book form, with the three points traditionally taken to denote first issue (drop-head title in rustic lettering to page 1, the “Marquis of Steyne” vignette on page 336, later suppressed, and “Mr. Pitt” for “Sir Pitt” on page 453, line 31), although, …Read more

  11. Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal.
    New Arrival

    Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal. 1799

    £375

    Second edition of Southey’s first book of prose, which first appeared in 1797. Southey sailed for Portugal at the invitation of his uncle in November 1795 following his estrangement from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and stayed until the following May. “He visited Madrid, but spent most …Read more

  12. Characters of Shakespear’s Plays.
    New Arrival

    Characters of Shakespear’s Plays. 1817

    £500

    First edition, Chandos Leigh’s copy, of “the first ever economically priced critical survey of all Shakespeare’s works” (ODNB), and “the first of Hazlitt’s books to achieve immediate success” (Keynes). With Leigh’s armorial bookplate to the front pastedown. Poet and literary patron Chandos Leigh (1791-1850) built …Read more

  13. Jude the Obscure.
    New Arrival

    Jude the Obscure. [1895]

    £500

    First edition in book form, first state, with all 17 pages noted by Purdy retaining their pagination: uncommon thus. Hardy’s last novel originally appeared as a bowdlerised serial in Harper’s Magazine from December 1894 to November 1895, when the European and American editions were published …Read more

  14. Our Mutual Friend.

    Our Mutual Friend. 1865

    £1,250

    First edition of Dickens’s last completed novel. “Our Mutual Friend had a mixed reception (the young Henry James’s harshly dismissive review in The Nation is notorious) but its stock has risen dramatically in recent years and it is now generally regarded as one of his …Read more

  15. American Notes for General Circulation.

    American Notes for General Circulation. 1842

    £1,000

    First edition, first issue, with “xvi” paginated in Volume I. “Not one of Dickens’ books was the subject of so much adverse criticism as the book he wrote after his return from America in 1842” (Eckel). Although complimentary of the United States in many ways, …Read more

  16. The Works.
    New Arrival

    The Works. 1862

    £575

    First Collier edition of Spenser’s works, handsomely bound. Read more

  17. The Poems.
    New Arrival

    The Poems. 1822

    £850

    An attractively bound set collecting the poetical works by Chaucher and Spenser. Part of the British Poets series originally published in 1809. Read more

  18. The High History of the Holy Graal. Translated from the French.
    New Arrival

    The High History of the Holy Graal. Translated from the French. 1898

    £750

    First edition, presentation copy of the very scarce deluxe issue, both volumes number 11 of 200 copies for England from a deluxe limited edition of 250. Each volume is inscribed by the translator on the front free endpaper, “J. Newby Hetherington, with kind regards from …Read more

  19. Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the use of young persons.
    New Arrival

    Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the use of young persons. 1807

    £4,500

    First edition, first impression with the imprint of the printer T. Davison on the verso of p. 235, vol. I, and with the Hanway Street address in the final adverts. The Tales were chiefly the work of Charles’s sister Mary Lamb, who had previously written …Read more

  20. Christmas Books.
    New Arrival

    Christmas Books. 1852.

    £750

    First one volume edition, first impression, of Dickens’s Christmas books, here published together for the first time with a new Preface by Dickens dated September 1852. Read more

  21. Christmas Stories.
    New Arrival

    Christmas Stories. [c.1870]

    £125

    An attractively bound copy. Read more

  22. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
    New Arrival

    The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. [c.1870]

    £95

    A handsomely bound and illustrated copy of Nicholas Nickleby, which was first published in 1839. Read more

  23. The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or The Parish Boy’s Progress. [together with:] A Tale of Two Cities.
    New Arrival

    The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or The Parish Boy’s Progress. [together with:] A Tale of Two Cities. [c.1870]

    £150

    A handsomely bound copy of Oliver Twist, first published in 1838, and A Tale of Two Cities (1859); uniting these two titles was a fairly common practice by Chapman and Hall, as both books are relatively slender. Read more

  24. The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith.

    The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith. 1877

    £275

    Sixth edition. A handsomely bound copy. Read more

  25. The Iliad.
    New Arrival

    The Iliad. 1827

    £175

    A very attractively bound duodecimo edition of Pope’s famous translation of Homer’s Iliad, this copy with gilt stamps of the City of Glasgow to both boards and a lengthy Glasgow school prize plate dated 1845 to the front pastedown. Read more

  26. [Library Edition of the British Poets.]
    New Arrival

    [Library Edition of the British Poets.] [1853-60]

    £2,250

    First edition. Including work by Addison, Akenside, Armstrong, Beattie, Blair, Bowles, Burns, Butler, Chaucer, Churchill, Collins, Cowley, Cowper, Crashaw, Denham, Dryden, Dyer, Falconer, Gay, Goldsmith, Graehame, Gray, Green, Herbert, Johnson, Kirke White, Milton, Parnell, Percy, Pope, Prior, Quarles, Scott, Shakespeare, Shenstone, Smollett, Somerville, Spenser, Surrey, …Read more

  27. The Complete Poetical Works.
    New Arrival

    The Complete Poetical Works. 1903

    £250

    A very attractively bound copy of Wordsworth’s complete poems. Read more

  28. The Poems.
    New Arrival

    The Poems. 1900

    £750

    First Robinson, first impression, of the poems of Edgar Allen Poe, scarce, and attractive in the original decorated cloth. This copy has a charming contemporary gift inscription with an apparently original six-line poem signed “E.V.H.”: “Thou knewest not the haven hush / of those who …Read more

  29. Tales from Shakespeare.
    New Arrival

    Tales from Shakespeare. 1899

    £750

    First Bell-illustrated edition, rare deluxe issue, of the Lambs’ Tales of Shakespeare. Charles & Mary Lamb’s Tales of Shakespeare done for children was first published in 1807. This is the first edition with the illustrations of prominent Arts & Crafts figure Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933), …Read more

  30. A Shropshire Lad.
    New Arrival

    A Shropshire Lad. 1898

    £475

    First Grant Richards edition, first impression, second overall following the first printing of 500 copies published by Kegan Paul two years earlier, and then transferred by Housman to Grant Richards, reset and reprinted in an equally small edition of 500 as as here. This copy …Read more

  31. Don Juan.
    New Arrival

    Don Juan. 1926

    £350

    First Austen-illustrated edition, first impression, an attractive copy with the very scarce dust jacket, which is hard to find in collectable condition. Read more

  32. Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.
    New Arrival

    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems. 1885

    £475

    First edition thus, signed by Bertram Dobell on the front free endpaper (conceivably denoting this as his retained copy), one of the scarce 50 copies on Whatman’s Hand-made Paper from a limited edition restricted to 404 copies (4 were on vellum, and 350 copies were …Read more

  33. Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.
    New Arrival

    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems. 1885

    £150

    First edition thus, this an excellent copy in the original blue boards of one of the 350 copies on toned paper, from a limited edition restricted to 404 copies (4 were on vellum and 50 on Whatman’s Hand-made Paper). This facsimile was issued as number …Read more

  34. Poems.
    New Arrival

    Poems. 1861

    £195

    First Nimmo edition, attractively illustrated and including a Life of Lord Byron by Alexander Leighton, and handsomely bound. Read more

  35. The Poetical Works.
    New Arrival

    The Poetical Works. [1920s]

    £200

    A very attractively bound comprehensive edition of Shelley’s poetical works on India paper. Read more

  36. Maud, and other poems.
    New Arrival

    Maud, and other poems. 1867

    £200

    A strikingly bound copy of Tennyson’s Maud, inscribed as an Eton College gift in 1869. This edition includes The Charge of the Light Brigade among the other poems. Read more

  37. The Novels.

    The Novels. 1894

    £2,000

    Limited to 1250 copies printed for America of which this is number 1152. Read more

  38. Clovis Dardentor.
    New Arrival

    Clovis Dardentor. 1897

    £1,250

    First English edition, first impression, of this Verne caper first published in French in the previous year. This is an exceptionally nice copy in the scarce green variant cloth. Read more

  39. The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke.
    New Arrival

    The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke. 1930

    £250,000

    First edition in English, copy B of seven copies printed on vellum, with three extra sets of loose proofs signed by the artist, marked A to G. This is the most luxurious presentation of one of the most remarkable printed books of the 20th century. …Read more

  40. The Scholemaster
    New Arrival

    The Scholemaster 1570

    £25,000

    First edition of the most important Tudor work on education. Known for his beautiful handwriting, Roger Ascham (1514/15–1568) was appointed tutor to Princess Elizabeth in 1548, Latin Secretary to Queen Mary in 1553 and private tutor to Queen Elizabeth in 1558. The Scholemaster was written …Read more

  41. The Arte of English Poesie.
    New Arrival

    The Arte of English Poesie. 1589

    £45,000

    First and only contemporary edition; “an ambitious work of literary history and criticism as well as a rhetorical handbook for the practising poet” (ODNB). Puttenham’s examples are drawn mostly from early to mid-16th-century writers, poetry such as Richard Tottel’s Songs and Sonnets or the works …Read more

  42. Utopia.
    New Arrival

    Utopia. 1684

    £2,250

    First edition of Gilbert Burnet’s translation of More’s Utopia. Utopia tells of the best order of society, the ideal commonwealth, which is to be found on the island of Utopia. Its protagonist is the Portuguese traveller Raphael Hythlodaye, who relates that he accompanied Amerigo Vespucci …Read more

  43. The Poetical Works.
    New Arrival

    The Poetical Works. 1823

    £600

    A very handsomely bound library set of Walter Scott’s poetical works, printed in Edinburgh during Scott’s lifetime. Read more

  44. The Scottish Chiefs.
    New Arrival

    The Scottish Chiefs. 1831

    £150

    First published in 1810, this edition is “revised, corrected, and illustrated with a new introduction, notes, etc. by the author”. Porter’s historical novel, considered one of the first examples of the genre, retells the heroic story of The Wallace and The Bruce in the long …Read more

  45. The Cricket of the Hearth.
    New Arrival

    The Cricket of the Hearth. 1906

    £1,250

    A fine vellucent binding by Cedric Chivers, delicately embellished with mother-of-pearl. The vellucent technique was developed by Cedric Chivers in the early 1900s. In contrast to the earlier method used by Edwards of Halifax, the painting was not done on the underside of the transparent …Read more

  46. The Golden Treasury.

    The Golden Treasury. 1909

    £300

    First complete edition of this anthology, attractively bound by Bayntun. The Golden Treasury “remains one of those rare instances in which a critical work has substantive imaginative value, and entitles its author to rank among creative artists” (ODNB). The anthology was published in two …Read more

  47. A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1895

    £250

    First edition thus, Shakespeare’s classic fairy comedy with illustrations and designs by prominent Arts & Crafts figure Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933). Bell’s charming production is quite a scarce edition, especially in nice condition with the original decorated cloth, as here. Read more

  48. The Castle Inn.

    The Castle Inn. 1898

    £65

    First edition, later issue. Read more

  1. New Arrival
    The Seven Lamps of Architecture.
    More details
     

    RUSKIN, John. RUSKIN, John.

    The Seven Lamps of Architecture.

    £500

  2. New Arrival
  3. New Arrival
    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life.
    More details
     

    ELIOT, George. ELIOT, George.

    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life.

    £20,000

  4. New Arrival
  5. New Arrival
  6. New Arrival
  7. New Arrival
  8. New Arrival
    The Complaint: Or, Night Thoughts.
    More details
     

    YOUNG, Edward. YOUNG, Edward.

    The Complaint: Or, Night Thoughts.

    £175

  9. New Arrival
    Pictures from Italy.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    Pictures from Italy.

    £750

  10. New Arrival
    Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero.
    More details
     

    THACKERAY, William Makepeace. THACKERAY, William Makepeace.

    Vanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero.

    £1,250

  11. New Arrival
    Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal.
    More details
     

    SOUTHEY, Robert. SOUTHEY, Robert.

    Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal.

    £375

  12. New Arrival
    Characters of Shakespear’s Plays.
    More details
     

    HAZLITT, William. HAZLITT, William.

    Characters of Shakespear’s Plays.

    £500

  13. New Arrival
    Jude the Obscure.
    More details
     

    HARDY, Thomas. HARDY, Thomas.

    Jude the Obscure.

    £500

  14. Our Mutual Friend.
    More details
     

    DICKENS. Charles. DICKENS. Charles.

    Our Mutual Friend.

    £1,250

  15. American Notes for General Circulation.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    American Notes for General Circulation.

    £1,000

  16. New Arrival
  17. New Arrival
  18. New Arrival
    The High History of the Holy Graal. Translated from the French.
    More details
     

    (ARTHURIANA.) EVANS, Sebastian, trans. (ARTHURIANA.) EVANS, Sebastian,...

    The High History of the Holy Graal. Translated from the French.

    £750

  19. New Arrival
    Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the use of young persons.
    More details
     

    (SHAKESPEARE, William.) LAMB, Charles [& Mary.] (SHAKESPEARE, William.) LAMB,...

    Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the use of young persons.

    £4,500

  20. New Arrival
    Christmas Books.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    Christmas Books.

    £750

  21. New Arrival
    Christmas Stories.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    Christmas Stories.

    £125

  22. New Arrival
    The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

    £95

  23. New Arrival
    The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or The Parish Boy’s Progress. [together with:] A Tale of Two Cities.
    More details
     

    DICKENS, Charles. DICKENS, Charles.

    The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or The Parish Boy’s Progress. [together with:] A Tale of Two Cities.

    £150

  24. The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith.
    More details
     

    FORSTER, John. FORSTER, John.

    The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith.

    £275

  25. New Arrival
    The Iliad.
    More details
     

    HOMER. HOMER.

    The Iliad.

    £175

  26. New Arrival
    [Library Edition of the British Poets.]
    More details
     

    GILFILLAN, George. GILFILLAN, George.

    [Library Edition of the British Poets.]

    £2,250

  27. New Arrival
    The Complete Poetical Works.
    More details
     

    WORDSWORTH, William. WORDSWORTH, William.

    The Complete Poetical Works.

    £250

  28. New Arrival
  29. New Arrival
  30. New Arrival
    A Shropshire Lad.
    More details
     

    HOUSMAN, A. E. HOUSMAN, A. E.

    A Shropshire Lad.

    £475

  31. New Arrival
  32. New Arrival
    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.
    More details
     

    SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe.

    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.

    £475

  33. New Arrival
    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.
    More details
     

    SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe.

    Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude: and Other Poems.

    £150

  34. New Arrival
  35. New Arrival
  36. New Arrival
    Maud, and other poems.
    More details
     

    TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord. TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord.

    Maud, and other poems.

    £200

  37. The Novels.
    More details
     

    LEVER, Charles. LEVER, Charles.

    The Novels.

    £2,000

  38. New Arrival
    Clovis Dardentor.
    More details
     

    VERNE, Jules. VERNE, Jules.

    Clovis Dardentor.

    £1,250

  39. New Arrival
    The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke.
    More details
     

    (CRANACH PRESS.) SHAKESPEARE, William. (CRANACH PRESS.) SHAKESPEARE,...

    The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke.

    £250,000

  40. New Arrival
    The Scholemaster
    More details
     

    ASCHAM, Roger. ASCHAM, Roger.

    The Scholemaster

    £25,000

  41. New Arrival
    The Arte of English Poesie.
    More details
     

    [PUTTENHAM, George.] [PUTTENHAM, George.]

    The Arte of English Poesie.

    £45,000

  42. New Arrival
  43. New Arrival
    The Poetical Works.
    More details
     

    SCOTT, Sir Walter. SCOTT, Sir Walter.

    The Poetical Works.

    £600

  44. New Arrival
    The Scottish Chiefs.
    More details
     

    PORTER, Jane. PORTER, Jane.

    The Scottish Chiefs.

    £150

  45. New Arrival

Displaying 48 out of 842

1 2 3 18