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Yarns for Green Hands:

A Treatise on Practical Yachtmanship.

Published: London: Hunt & Co., 1860

Stock code: 112622

Price: £350

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First edition. Taking his pseudonym from the supposed name of the Flying Dutchman, William Cooper was probably the most prominent yachting journalist of his era. The present work collects articles originally published in Bell’s Life in London, and was Cooper’s first book, much reprinted subsequently under the title of Yachts and Yachting. A handsome little book, decidedly uncommon with six copies traced in libraries worldwide, including the British Library and National Maritime Museum copies, and four in the US, and rarely encountered in the original cloth. Provenance: contemporary armorial bookplate of George Fenwick to the front pastedown, with his ownership inscription to the front free endpaper, above the later inscription “From the collection of George Naish, 1978”. Naish (1909-1977) served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War and worked at the National Maritime Museum following demobilisation, attaining the position of Keeper in 1969, and serving as honorary secretary to the Society for Nautical Research for thirty years (Royal Museums Greenwich, online).

Octavo in sixes (200 x 123 mm). Original blue linen-grained cloth, spine elaborately gilt with the title within a pictorial device incorporating a block, tackle, cable and anchor, blind panelling to both boards, enclosing a gilt yacht device to front, yellow endpapers. 2 folding plates of rigging and sails. Complete with 2 pages of publisher’s advertisements to rear. Extremities lightly rubbed, spine gently rolled, short section of wear towards head of front joint and at foot of rear, plates foxed, spill-burn to p. 12 affecting one letter, sig. D6 creased, the occasional marginal mark, remains a very good copy.

Bibliography: Not in Morris & Howland; Toy 1955.

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