Welcome to Peter Harrington Books

History & culture

A wide selection of rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to history, archaeology, anthropology, folklore, occult, and religion.


From the blog: Magna Carta: Evolution and Emblem

A Noiseless Flash: Hiroshima by John Hersey

Video: Samuel Daniel, The Collection of the History of England, 1634 & 1636.

Showing items 1-60 of 723

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  1. 131156detail
    The Frontenac Edition, the definitive collected edition of Parkman's works, incorporating all of the author's final revisions. Parkman's great epics of the settlement and development of North America - partly based on his own experiences on the Oregon Trail and with Native American tribes - were highly romanticized, yet... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 131156

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  2. 131154detail
    Second edition, first published by the American Stationers' Company from 1834 to 1837. Edited by Jared Sparks, the American historian and President of Harvard College, this edition comprises Sparks' biography of Washington, Washington's official and private letters during both the American Revolution and his presidency,... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131154

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  3. 131150detail
    The Olympic Edition, number 186 of 1,000 copies only. The set collects the historical works of the three great ancient Greek historians, translated by George Rawlinson, Benjamin Jowett, and Henry Graham Dakyns respectively. Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 131150

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  4. 131145detail
    Limited edition, number 337 of 1,000 copies. The set covers the court intrigue of several notable members of European royalty, including Empress Josephine, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Louis XIV. At the time of publication, the Grolier Society (a name chosen to mirror the distinguished Grolier Club) advertised... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131145

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  5. 128638

    The Feminist Movement.

    London & Glasgow: [1913]

    First edition, first impression. Snowden was an influential suffragette, pacifist and political thinker. An early advocate for state funded childcare and "co-operative housekeeping and easier divorce", she was also influenced by the ideas of eugenicists, calling for "state control of marriage, believing that the mentally... Learn More
    £65

    Stock Code: 128638

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  6. 131089comp
    First edition, first printing, signed by Matt Groening with an original sketch of Lisa on the front free endpaper verso. The Simpsons first appeared as a series of short films on The Tracey Ullman Show, the first of which was broadcast on 19 April 1987. After three seasons in that format The Simpsons was developed into a... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 131089

    signed

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  7. 130947
    First edition, first impression, of this scarce work on the folklore of horses. This expansive collection of legends, religion, folk practices, and mythology relating to horses was reviewed contemporaneously as a "learned and delightful chronicle" (Spectator, 1923). In The Bookman's review of the work they noted that they... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 130947

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  8. 128754
    First edition of Webster's correspondence, in an attractive binding. Daniel Webster (1782-1852) served as Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tylor and Millard Fillmore, one of only two individuals to serve under three presidents. He was the chief negotiator for the Webster-Ashburton Treaty,... Learn More
    £425

    Stock Code: 128754

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  9. Worthy women of our first century.
    First edition. This copy with the bookplate of Butler Place to the front pastedown, and the publishers' presentation inscription; "Mrs. Owen J. Wister with respects of the Publishers" to the first blank. As well as co-editing, Mrs Wister contributes a piece on Deborah Logan. Sarah Butler Wister was the eldest daughter of... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 52144

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  10. 120686
    £250

    Stock Code: 120686

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  11. 124005
    First editions of this uncommon work. Mary Delany was a close friend of the duchess of Portland, with whom she shared many intellectual interests, spending most of her summers "at Bulstrode in Buckinghamshire, the favourite country house of the duchess... There the friends improved the gardens, collected shells and botanical... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 124005

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  12. 130297
    Second edition, first published the same year, and one of several editions published in 1774. "After the death of his wife, on 29 September 1761, Gregory wrote A Father's Legacy to his Daughters to relieve his loneliness and to record her opinions about the education of their two surviving daughters... He may have incorporated... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 130297

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  13. 130170
    First edition, first impression. This work, translated by the hunter and explorer John Talbot Clifton (1868-1928), collects together "two or three books on fortune telling by swords" which Clifton discovered "while wandering in Japan" (preface). Learn More
    £375

    Stock Code: 130170

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  14. 127450
    First edition, first part, all published; decidedly uncommon, five locations only on OCLC, just Smithsonian and Harvard in North America. With the self-explanatory subtitle "From the river Ob to the River Yenisei and Tomsk branch. 124 views of the most important railroads, buildings, cities, villages, views of foreigners... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 127450

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  15. 124565
    Second Dutch edition, following the first of 1729; Kaempfer's History of Japan was first published in London in 1727. Born in Westphalia, Kaempfer graduated in 1676 with a doctorate in languages, history and medicine from Cracow, spending the following four years at Königsberg studying medicine and natural science. In 1681... Learn More
    £8,750

    Stock Code: 124565

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  16. image5
    First edition of "an important work" (Blackmer), extensively illustrated with lithographs, and including a lengthy introductory essay on different aspects of the region, including travel, pilgrim routes, and trade. In 1826 the 17-year-old de Laborde (1809-1869) travelled with his father across Asia Minor and Syria to Cairo,... Learn More
    £19,500

    Stock Code: 107973

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  17. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph.
    One of the Cranwell or "Subscriber's" edition of 211 copies, this one of 170 "complete copies", inscribed by Lawrence on p. XIX "Complete copy. 1.XII.26 TES", with one manuscript correction to the illustration list, a "K" identifying Kennington rather than Roberts as the artist responsible for "The gad-fly". This copy is... Learn More
    £65,000

    Stock Code: 93169

    signed

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  18. 129893
    First editions, only two numbers were published, of this rare German periodical devoted to Indian and Assyrian art and archaeology. Volume I deals with cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, many from Dorow's own collection, and the Tibetan written language; volume II covers Indian and Tibetan mythology and symbolism in Indian... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 129893

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  19. 127310
    First edition of Stein's account of his first expedition (1900-1) to Chinese Turkestan (now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). His findings revealed the extraordinary diversity of cultural forces at work in Khotan and its environs, situated as they were on the Silk Road. The influence of Buddhism was already known but Stein... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 127310

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  20. 122384
    First Hindostanee Press edition, originally published at London in 1799 "for the author"; the Mirror Press of Calcutta issued editions in 1819 and 1820. All first and early editions are rare. "Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 appeared to signal the further possibility of a strategic link-up with India. Until the matter... Learn More
    £3,500

    Stock Code: 122384

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  21. 127460
    Essentially the second impression of this exact facsimile, taken from Stone's copperplate which had been created via direct transmission from the original document. A striking commemoration of America's arrival as an independent nation, with the precocious invocation of "those truths we hold self-evident." In 1820 Secretary... Learn More
    £30,000

    Stock Code: 127460

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  22. 130685
    First editions of this attractively produced and important work, containing the most complete documentary record of the events in the State of Virginia for the years prior to the Declaration of Independence. Learn More
    £125

    Stock Code: 130685

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  23. 130380
    First edition. The reverend and oriental scholar Thomas Maurice (1754-1824) always maintained a strictly biblical analysis of antiquities and oriental mythologies. Much of his work was dedicated to an analysis of Indian antiquities with a view to defending the Pentateuch from the attacks of the sceptical French mythographers.... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 130380

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  24. 130117
    An extravagantly bound copy of the first William Duncan edition of Caesar's Commentaries, perhaps the most influential work in military literature. Duncan's translation was taken from Samuel Clarke's Latin edition of 1712, with the plates of that edition also replicated. It was these plates that led Clarke's edition to be... Learn More
    £8,750

    Stock Code: 130117

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  25. 114702
    A manual of frank advice on pregnancy, contraception, and menstruation, with close to half the book comprising a catalogue of surgical appliances, including contraceptive devices, that can be purchased from the publishers, many of them illustrated. An order form, headed "Private and Confidential", is enclosed at front of... Learn More
    £95

    Stock Code: 114702

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  26. 129881
    Second edition, improved and enlarged, of this superbly illustrated and important study; first published in 1878 and again in 1882. Scarce, one copy only among British and Irish institutional libraries (V&A); OCLC adds just three more (Strasbourg, Erlangen, Sachsiche Landesbibliothek).

    The German archaeologist Emil... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 129881

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  27. 130473
    An attractive cabalistic manuscript, offering a list of 30 sample questions which the colourful tables will answer (love, battles, success in studies, the weather, etc.), with lists of birds, animals, etc., for augury. Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 130473

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  28. 130427
    Second edition, first published the same year. Benjamin Vaughan (1751-1835) was diplomatist, political reformer, and merchant. He was a mediator in the Anglo-American peace talks in Paris in 1782-3, and returned to Paris several times following the outbreak of revolution in France in 1790. These letters first appeared in... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 130427

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  29. 130510
    First edition, first printing, of this expansive photographic collection of Gothic sculpture. This work, which crucially combines architectural elements of art history with their contextual social history, highlights the rich material culture found within and without medieval places of worship. Lester Burbank Bridaham (1899-1992)... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 130510

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  30. 130506
    The Sicilian Vespers..."> First edition, first impression, of Runciman's medieval history of the Mediterranean, taking as its turning point the Palermo revolt, on 30 March 1282, against the Angevin King Charles. The jacket blurb makes a pleasing incidental advertisement for the book, noting that "Readers of Dante will find The Sicilian Vespers... Learn More
    £150

    Stock Code: 130506

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  31. 122166comp
    First and limited edition, number 64 of 500 copies privately printed, presentation copy inscribed by the author, "To W. S. S. Rodgers with my friendship and affection 1/19/38 W. P. Chrysler", on the first blank leaf. The book's foreword describes the printing of this edition, designed as a Christmas remembrance for the Chrysler... Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 122166

    signed

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  32. 129011
    First Calcutta edition of "the first systematic introduction of the Rajputs to the European world" (Freitag, Serving Empire, Serving Nation, p. 25). This copy designated the second on the title page.. It is, in fact, second Indian edition based on the text of the 1829-32 Smith, Elder & Co. first. The plates were adapted... Learn More
    £4,750

    Stock Code: 129011

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  33. 124800
    First edition, uncommon, no copy traced on OCLC. A superb example in the elaborate provincial publisher's binding. Following the enactment of Nicholas II's ukase On Tolerance Development in 1905, which lightened strictures on the observances of the Old Believers, Uralsk merchant Andrey Vasillievich Simakov established the... Learn More
    £4,250

    Stock Code: 124800

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  34. 126285
    First edition of Frazer's ground-breaking study of comparative religion. "Frazer's true subject is nothing less than humanity's long upward struggle towards an understanding of itself and the world. In Frazer's view that movement towards the light began in earliest times with the priest-king employing magic to compel the... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 126285

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  35. The Mildenhall Treasure.
    First separate and illustrated edition. Signed by Ralph Steadman. A true story about a Suffolk ploughman, who uncovered the greatest hoard of Roman treasure in the British Isles. Learn More
    £80

    Stock Code: 44726

    signed

    Reserve

  36. 130382
    First edition. Published 22 years after the author's death, Ritson's Life of King Arthur combines an impressive degree of knowledge regarding early Arthurian materials together with an unsentimental and rigourous scepticism, which placed much of the Arthurian legend as the invention or adaptation of Geoffrey of Monmouth... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 130382

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  37. 118887
    First edition, first issue, of the first Persian-Arabic-English dictionary: "the first Persian dictionary to appear in England" (Hamilton). Rare, with three copies only traced at auction. Most of the limited print run is likely to have perished in the inhospitable conditions of the Indian subcontinent: the subscribers' list... Learn More
    £9,750

    Stock Code: 118887

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  38. The Science of Gems, Jewels, Coins, and Medals, Ancient and Modern.
    First edition. Presentation copy inscribed by the author to sculptor John Graham Lough: "To John Graham Esq. and his amiable wife, this volume conveys the sincere regards, of the Author and his wife" (half-title). Archibald Billing (1791-1881) was a physician by trade and an amateur artist and collector of engraved gems... Learn More
    £275

    Stock Code: 109013

    signed

    Reserve

  39. 129216
    First French edition, translated from the English by Daniel de Larroque, following the London edition of 1697. "Prideaux 1648-1724 lamented how many Deists had charged Christianity with imposture, and he meant to hold up Islam as an actual fraud against which Christianity's legitimacy would become more apparent. Knowing... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 129216

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  40. Alcorani textus universus.
    First edition of Marracci's Qur'an, "the greatest pre-modern European work of Qur'anic scholarship" (Burman). The second volume, "Refutatio Alcorani", comprises the second obtainable edition of the original Arabic, a Latin translation considered "by far and away the best translation of the Qur'an to date" (Hamilton), and... Learn More
    £10,500

    Stock Code: 115141

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  41. 129073
    Well preserved copy of this meticulously engraved copy of the Magna Carta, "a sacred text, the nearest approach to an irrepealable "fundamental statute" that England has ever had" (Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, I, p. 173). The work of John Pine (1690-1756) engraver, publisher, print- and mapseller, Bluemantle... Learn More
    £6,500

    Stock Code: 129073

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  42. 130076comp
    Signed limited edition, number 48 of 50 copies signed by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albie Sachs and Paul Alberts. A remarkable collaboration, this is the only limited edition signed by both Mandela and Tutu - Nobel Peace Prize winners in 1993 and 1984 respectively - alongside a third major figure in the anti-Apartheid... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 130076

    signed

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  43. 125082
    A single paper leaf from the 1462 Fust and Schoeffer Bible, being the text of II Chronicles, chapter 17, commencing at the end of verse 13, leading through to the end of verse 17. The Fust and Schoeffer bible was the fourth bible ever printed, following Gutenberg's bible in circa 1455, and two others circa 1460. It was the... Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 125082

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  44. 103233
    First edition, first issue, of the Panopticon, corrected and annotated in Bentham's hand. "The Dublin edition has not been recorded in any bibliography, although it is known to have been printed" (Chuo). This is one of six copies sent to Bentham in May 1791, and one of the very few to survive from the printing of 500 copies,... Learn More
    £25,000

    Stock Code: 103233

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  45. 104633
    First edition. "The format shows that this volume consists of two distinct bodies of work, i.e., one that is the unfinished work on the church written about 1809-1813, the other the stricture on the National School Society, apparently drafted later as an appendix to the Chrestomathia" (Chuo). Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 104633

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  46. 128417
    Limited edition, number 1 of 3,000 copies, in a handsome binding. A card, with the copyright date of 1979, is loosely inserted, presenting the book: "Dear Nod this book was limited to three thousand copies this is signed by the world famous bookbinder Robert Green (see cover page number one - R/G1). For Nod with thanks and... Learn More
    £500

    Stock Code: 128417

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  47. 127251
    The Secret Rose Yeats was at the height of his powers as a prose mythographer, spanning and joining together the two loci of his imagination:..."> First edition, first impression, first issue binding with "Lawrence & Bullen" at the foot of spine and first state ribbed blue cloth, most scarce indeed in such nice condition. With The Secret Rose Yeats was at the height of his powers as a prose mythographer, spanning and joining together the two loci of his imagination:... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 127251

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  48. 128765
    One of three issues published in 1569, this polemical work was published at the height of the Revolt of the Northern Earls, the unsuccessful attempt by Catholic nobles to depose Elizabeth and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. The pamphleteer and lawyer Thomas Norton (1530/32-1584) was no relation to the prominent rebel... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 128765

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  49. 129033
    First octavo edition, following the folio edition of 1836-44. A magnificent record of Native American dignitaries "the most colourful portraits of Indians ever executed" (Howes). McKenney, who was Superintendent of Indian trade from 1816 until 1822 and headed the US Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1824 to 1830, collaborated... Learn More
    £15,000

    Stock Code: 129033

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  50. 128756
    First edition thus, a translation in Scots dialect of Buchanan's De Maria Scotorum Regina, from the Latin edition printed the same year, but including a number of items not in the Latin edition. Buchanan's attack on Mary may have been written under political instructions and certainly contains false allegations. In the wake... Learn More
    £17,500

    Stock Code: 128756

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  51. 129947
    A handsome, well-illustrated set of Sloane's monumental biography of Napoleon, first serialized in the Century Magazine in 1984-6, and published in book-form in 1896. Sloane's investigation of Napoleon's youth in Corsica was the most detailed yet published, and sought to show that his childhood had a major impact on his... Learn More
    £950

    Stock Code: 129947

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  52. 117480
    First edition. Patrick Colquhoun (1745-1820) was a prominent member of Glaswegian society and served as the city's lord provost from 1782-84. Colquhoun was the founder of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures, Britain's first chamber of commerce, and served as its first chairman, promoting new commercial opportunities... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 117480

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  53. 128809
    First edition of the Chartwell Edition, the first illustrated edition of Churchill's famous history, the second overall. With an autograph letter signed from Winston Churchill pasted to the front pastedown of the first volume (unrelated to the book). The letter is from the earliest stages of Churchill's political career,... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 128809

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  54. 129555
    First editions, first impressions, one of 3,000 sets, originally issued only to owners of the Centenary edition of the Collected Works, and available in either full vellum or the present binding. Contents include Churchill's periodical contributions as well as his prefaces and introductions to works by other authors. Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 129555

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  55. 125420
    First edition. Godwin's touching and frank account of his wife Mary Wollstonecraft's life marks an important step in the development of the art of biography. The details of her sexual liaison with Imlay, the birth of her illegitimate daughter, and her suicide attempts, all scandalized contemporary readers for whom biographies... Learn More
    £3,500

    Stock Code: 125420

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  56. 122030
    First printing of this very scarce publication issued by the Communist Party USA. This defiant statement against General Franco and his benefactors in Germany and Italy was issued to promote the Party's head and deputy head, Earl Browder and James Ford respectively, in the 1936 US Presidential Campaign. Roosevelt's neutral... Learn More
    £300

    Stock Code: 122030

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  57. 129387
    One of two 1765 editions of Pichon's work, the other printed in The Hague (also issued with a London-imprint title page), of unknown priority. The French churchman Thomas Jean-Pichon (1731-1812) can be claimed as part of the anti-philosophe reaction, with his writings countering the enlightenment and the Encyclopédie. The... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 129387

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  58. 123963
    First edition, issued in "The Leisure Hour Library - New Series". "This book is the result of an independent inquiry into many matters of interest concerning the administration of London which have not been dealt with popularly before. It attempts to show how five millions of people are supplied with food; how the streets... Learn More
    £200

    Stock Code: 123963

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  59. 126996
    First edition, first impression, one of 3000 copies. This is an illustrated guide to the monuments and the city of Hatra in Northern Iraq, which was taken over by ISIS in 2015. Some of the monuments pictured in this book have since been destroyed, making this an important record of Iraq's lost archaelogical heritage. Written... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 126996

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  60. 127306
    First edition, with the bookplate and strictly contemporary ownership inscription of Bernard Rackham, who spent twenty years as head of ceramics at the V & A and is credited with "putting ceramic studies in England on a firm footing" (ODNB). This, "the first book in English on lustre pottery" (Spectator, 13 November 1920),... Learn More
    £125

    Stock Code: 127306

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