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
Samuel Daniel, The Collection of the History of England, 1634 & 1636.
Showing items 1-60 of 183
ACOSTA, Jose de. The Naturall and Morall Historie of the East and West Indies.
London : 1604First edition in English of "the most convincing, detailed, and reliable account" of the Americas at this time, in a notably attractive contemporary binding (Hill). While this influential work is well-held institutionally it is scarce in commerce, and especially so in a contemporary binding, with only five such copies appearing at auction in the last... Learn More£18,750.00
Stock Code: 141468
(QUR'AN; Arabic & Latin.) Alcorani textus universus.
Padua : 1698First 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 an analysis and refutation of... Learn More£10,500.00
Stock Code: 115141
FRANCKLIN, William. Researches on the Jeynes and Boodhists;
London : 1827First edition of a key book in the formation of the Victorian discourse about Buddhism and Brahmanism, which also includes include a discussion of serpent worship in various parts of the world.
Francklin (1763-1839) was the son of the classical scholar and dramatist Thomas Francklin. He enjoyed a considerable reputation as an oriental scholar, being... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 96923
ROBERTS, Peter. The Cambrian Popular Antiquities;
London : 1815First edition of this study of Welsh customs and superstitions. Roberts (1760-1819) was a Church of England clergyman and antiquarian and wrote three books on Wales of which this is the third. Cambrian Popular Antiquities collected numerous folk stories, including Arthurian legend, and records ancient traditions still enacted such as various funeral... Learn More£625.00
Stock Code: 90606
FOWLER, Gene. The Great Mouthpiece.
New York : 1931First edition, first printing. An inscribed presentation copy from the author to his daughter, inscribed on recto of front free endpaper: "To my sweet darling,/ Jane, from her/ ever-doting parent,/ Gene Fowler/ 1931". An uncharacteristically benign inscription: Fowler's animus towards children was legendary. William J. Fallon (1886-1927) was one of... Learn More£475.00
Stock Code: 96847
CHEVANES, Jacques de. L'Incredulité scavante, et la credulité ignorante:
Lyons : 1671First edition, a reply to Gabriel Naudé's sceptical Apologie pour tous les grands personnages, qui ont été faussement soupçonnés de magie, recently republished in 1669. Jacques de Chevanes (c.1608-1678) of Autun had personal experience of a witch-hunt in Burgundy in 1648/9, and he includes extracts from a 1670 interview with a woman accused of... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 84955
AMYRAUT, Moïse. La vie de Francois, seigneur de La Nouë, dit Bras-de-fer.
Leiden : 1661First edition of the first significant - and conspicuously scarce - biography of the "Huguenot paladin" François de La Noue (1531-1591), one of the great Protestant captains of the 16th-century Wars of Religion, described by the distinguished American historian John Lothrop Motley as "not only one of the most experienced soldiers, but one of the most... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 116711
FORBES, Edwin. Life Studies of the Great Army.
New York : 1876First edition of one of the finest graphic representations of the American Civil War; this copy from the library of a Union army veteran: bookplate of William Bush Blackwell (1837-1922), who served as a first lieutenant and quarter master with the 26th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry (the "2nd Oneida Regiment") and was later a member of the Military... Learn More£5,000.00
Stock Code: 114470
RASK, Rasmus Kristian. Bejledning til det Islandske eller gamle Nordiske Sprog.
Copenhagen : 1811First edition, a rare interleaved copy owned by Swedish philologist Sven Hylander (1797-1825) with his comments and additions to the work. Hylander was lecturer at the University of Lund and studied Icelandic manuscripts. The famous Swedish poet Esaias Tegner, who was a lecturer in Greek at Lund, wrote an elegy for Hylander on his early death in 1825,... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 112682
GUISCHARDT, Karl Gottlieb. Mémoires critiques et historiques sur plusieurs points d'antiquités militaires
Berlin : 1773True first edition, predating the Paris edition by a year. Guiscahrdt was born in Magdeburg in 1724, the son of Huguenot refugees he was intended for the church, "and at Leiden actually preached a sermon as a candidate for the pastorate. But he abandoned theology for more secular studies, especially that of ancient history" (Britannica, 1911). He served... Learn More£4,000.00
Stock Code: 104149
BROWNE, Edmond Charles, Major. The Coming of the Great Queen,
London : 1888First edition. Attractive and authoritative contemporary account, the Army and Navy Gazette considered that the "chapters on "The Commerce of Burma" on "Dacoity", and on "The Native Races of Indo-China" are of great and permanent value", while the Saturday Review thought that the story of the Third Anglo-Burma War "by river and land, of the taking of... Learn More£650.00
Stock Code: 96838
POUJADE, Jean. Documents d'Ethnographie Navale.
Paris : 1946-8First editions, all published. Uncommon. An excellent set of these important works of naval ethnography, forming a series on boat construction around the world. The series was planned as a supplement to Admiral François-Edmond Paris' famous Souvenirs de Marine Conservés , first published in 1877, the Fascicule Introductif including an index to Paris'... Learn More£2,250.00
Stock Code: 94734
FINLAY, George. History of the Greek Revolution.
Edinburgh and London : 1861First edition. "Inspired by philhellenism as a law student, George Finlay (1799-1875) took part in the Greek war of independence alongside Lord Byron. While later researching the history and archaeology of the country, Finlay also sought improvements to the administration and economic development of the independent Greek state. Published in 1861, this... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 84577
(DICKENS, Charles.) SMITH, F. Hopkinson. In Dickens's London.
New York : 1914First edition. One of a limited edition of 150 numbered sets, each signed on the limitation leaf by the artist and the publisher. Additionally signed by Smith on the print "Coffee-Room, George Inn". Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 75760
BEVERIDGE, Albert J. Abraham Lincoln.
London : 1928First UK edition, first impression. Highly uncommon in this condition. Beveridge retired from politics in 1922 having unsuccessfully attempted to regain a seat in the Senate and dedicated his last few years to writing. "His great Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858 (posthumously published in 1928) was so thorough and professionalized a biography that he might... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 106658
ACKERMANN, Rudolph. The Microcosm of London.
London : [1808-10]First edition, early issue with a number of the plates in their first state. "Ackermann's The Microcosm of London... is a book of major importance. The architectural drawings were by Augustus Charles Pugin, a French refugee who came to London in about 1798, 'driven from his country either by the horrors of the French Revolution or by private reasons... Learn More£6,000.00
Stock Code: 62650
CLARKE, James Stanier, & John McArthur. The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. From His Lordship's Manuscripts.
1809First edition. "One of the main foundation stones of the Nelson legend" (Wilson, "Nelson Apotheosised" in Cannadine (ed.), Admiral Lord Nelson). McArthur, a former naval purser, had served with Nelson in the Mediterranean and had already begun collecting material for a biography when he saw "an advertisement in the papers announcing that the Nelson... Learn More£3,250.00
Stock Code: 46705
(BASKERVILLE, John.) [New Testament, in Greek.]
Oxford : 1763First edition of the preferred quarto, the octavo edition was published in the same year. The only book to be printed in the Greek type designed and cut by Baskerville himself; "The press made one purchase from Baskerville Savile's Greek types had become unfashionable. Baskerville had been cutting types for just five years but was sufficiently convincing... Learn More£1,650.00
Stock Code: 113574
(BIBLE; English, Douai-Rheims version.) The New Testament of Jesus Christ translated faithfully into English,
Rheims [NT] & Douai [OT] : 1582 & 1609-10First edition of the Roman Catholic version of the Bible, the Old Testament in a contemporary Douai binding, presentation copy from John Knatchbull, vice-president of the English College at Douai to Lady Joanna Berkeley (1555/6-1616), abbess of the Benedictine Convent of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady, Brussels, with his inscription at the head... Learn More£45,000.00
Stock Code: 108480
[WHEELER, Anna, &] THOMPSON, William. Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men,
London : 1825First edition of one of the most important works in the history of feminism and "one of the classics of early nineteenth-century feminist literature" (ODNB). "No book published before his time on this subject, even the famous work of Mary Wollstonecraft, is at once so broad and comprehensive and so direct and practical as Thompson's Appeal" (Richard... Learn More£5,500.00
Stock Code: 102519
(HOLLIS, Thomas.) BLACKBURNE, Francis. Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq., F.R. and A.S.S. [&] Appendix to the Memoirs …
London : 1780First edition, large paper copy, a handsome copy of this biographical memoir of the notable 18th-century "political propagandist" (ODNB). Hollis (1720-1774) "believed citizenship should be active: individuals had an important role to play in public life. He partly fulfilled this responsibility by charitable work as a governor of Guy's and St Thomas's... Learn More£2,750.00
Stock Code: 117415
PRINCE, William. A Short Treatise on Horticulture.
New York : 1828First and sole edition. Despite Prince's objective being to simply "give a few brief remarks as to the Culture of Fruit Trees, &c. by throwing together some of the leading rules, whose adoption has proved most successful" (Preface), A Short Treatise on Horticulture was immensely popular and influential, becoming one of the most important early... Learn More£1,125.00
Stock Code: 116896
STRONG, W. C. A Descriptive Catalogue of Fruits and Ornamental Trees, Shrubs, Vines, and Plants.
Boston : 1867First edition thus. A 24-page descriptive catalogue was printed in 1863. By 1867 William Chamberlain Strong was a well-established nurseryman and an authoritative author on these topics. His Culture of the Grape had been published the previous year, and was considered "a valuable manual" written by the "prophet" of agriculture and chemistry... Learn More£250.00
Stock Code: 116898
(THE PILGRIMS SOCIETY.) Set of five pamphlets recording speeches given at Pilgrim Society occasions.
[London] : 1925-1952First editions, first impressions. This collection of pamphlets dates from 30 January 1925 to 14 October 1952, preserving speeches from Pilgrims Society events held at the Savoy or Hotel Victoria in London. Established in 1902, the objective of the Pilgrims Societies of Great Britain and the United States was, and remains, to encourage and preserve... Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 116863
HERZOG, Asa S., & A. J. Ezickson. Camera, Take the Stand!
New York : 1940First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author, "To A. G. Corley - Who can transmit congeniality & friendship at all times - A. J. Ezickson". "Modern crime fighters have discovered science to be their firmest ally... This book tells the story of that little magic black box and the part it plays in fighting the criminal" (Preface).... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 116419
COWLES, John Clifford. The Whispering Buddha.
Los Angeles : 1932First edition, first printing. John Clifford Cowles (1861-1951) was an American artist, and this was only work of fiction. A review on rear of dust jacket states "Read It Once, You Will Read It Twice" - a claim somewhat undermined by the uncut pages of this copy. Learn More£200.00
Stock Code: 116470
STONE, Robert. Dog Soldiers; [with:] A Hall of Mirrors.
New York : 1975First Ballantine Books editions, first printings. Presentation copies, inscribed by the author on the title pages, "For Dink Bruce, with thanks and best wishes, Bob Stone". The recipient was Benjamin "Dink" Bruce, a cult figure in Key West, Florida. Dink's father Telly Otto Bruce ("Toby") originally moved to Key West at the behest of his Arkansas friend... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 116247
HUBBARD, Benjamin Vestal. Making America Safe for Democracy.
[Chicago] : 1926First edition, first printing, of this plea for constitutional reform published under Calvin Coolidge's presidency. B. V. Hubbard was a journalist and practising lawyer, author of Socialism, Feminism, and Suffragism, the Terrible Triplets (1915). Author's and publisher's compliments slips laid in. Learn More£250.00
Stock Code: 116058
DILKE, Sir Charles Wentworth. Problems of Greater Britain.
London : 1890First edition, an interesting association copy, with the engraved bookplate of Pandeli Ralli (1845-1928), Liberal member of parliament (for Bridport, 1875-80, then Wallingford until 1885), member of the famous Greek merchant family, and longtime confidant of Lord Kitchener, to the front pastedowns. Dilke's essay on imperial defence predicted the threat... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 115748
BLAKE, William. All Religions are One.
Clairvaux : 1970First edition thus, publisher Arnold Fawcus's copy, copy A of 26 lettered copies reserved for the Trustees of the William Blake Trust and the Publishers, in full morocco with a set of proofs showing the progressive states of the collotype process, from a total edition of 662 copies on Arches pure rag paper made to match the paper used by Blake. This... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 115045
COULANGES, Fustel de. La Cité antique.
Paris : 1864First edition of the author's best known work, published at a time of renewed interest in religious history. "Its fundamental idea is that the beliefs of man are the determinants, and even the creators, of his institutions. In the preface to La Cité antique Coulanges wrote: 'The past never completely dies for men. Man may forget it, but he keeps it... Learn More£425.00
Stock Code: 114886
DÖDERLEIN, Christian Albrecht. Ueber Toleranz und Gewissensfreyheit, nach den Grundsätzen des allgemeinen und protestantischen Kirchenrechts.
Berlin : 1777First edition of two works discussing tolerance and freedom of conscience, according to the principles of general and Protestant church law, written in reply to Lüdke's 1774 work on the same subject. Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 114655
KLEIN, Ronald D. Meiji Japan as Western Women Saw it: A Bibliographical Companion.
Tokyo : 2016First edition, a new publication, "the result of a long-term project to identify, collect and annotate the more than 250 works published by western women during the Meiji era (1868-1912)" (General Introduction), with an index of authors. The work is divided into four chapters, covering Tourists and Travelers, Missionaries, Sojourners, and Writers.
Published... Learn More£275.00
Stock Code: 114202
DAVY, Charles. Conjectural Observations on the Origin and Progress of Alphabetic Writing.
London : 1772First edition, in which Davy discusses the Chinese, Hebrew, and Greek writing systems, as well as the "symbolic writing" of the Egyptians. The folding tables show Greek, Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac, Persian, Arabic, and Coptic letters. Davy's observations on the origin of writing are "conjectural" because he argues that, besides the account of God giving... Learn More£950.00
Stock Code: 114068
DURKHEIM, Émile. Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse.
Paris : 1912First edition, first impression, of one of the author's most influential works, his sociological study of religion. "In his last great work, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Durkheim gave his most compelling demonstration of the structuralist method, tracing relationships between social organization, religious beliefs, and such fundamental... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 114093
LELAND, Charles Godfrey Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches.
London : 1899First edition. The work of a Philadelphia-born journalist and folklorist, Aradia, a study of the persistence of "la vecchia religione" in Italy, it was claimed by its author to have been based on a manuscript account obtained from "Maddalena", a Florentine fortune-teller and witch. Although the subject of continuing controversy, the text undeniably... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 114094
TEMPLE, Frederick, et al. Essays and Reviews.
London : 1860First edition of this groundbreaking collection of theological essays, the first assault on Biblical literalism from within the ranks of British theologians. The edifice of literalism had been crumbling for several decades, under assault from the science of Lyell and Darwin and the new Biblical criticism of Baur and Strauss at the University of Tübingen.... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 114187
LUSHINGTON, S. G. & Guy. The Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 1895.
London : 1896First edition of this landmark in British legislation for the rights of women, protecting married women against physical abuse and neglect, and allowing custody of children to deserted wives. Consolidating the 1878 Matrimonial Causes Act and the 1886 Married Women (Maintenance in the Case of Desertion) Act, it extended the power of magistrates in cases... Learn More£600.00
Stock Code: 114011
REED, Lear B. Human Wolves:
Kansas City, MO : 1941First edition, this copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Bill Rogers, sincerely Lear B. Reed". Remarkable memoir by a former FBI agent detailing his years struggling against corrupt politicians and the mob, fighting prostitution, drug trafficking, and political subversion; "Mr. Reed combined in his person the formidable characteristics... Learn More£150.00
Stock Code: 114049
GILLETT, James B., Capt. Six Years with the Texas Rangers, 1875-1881.
New Haven : 1925First Yale University Press edition, which was revised and updated by Gillett and the editor, to include additional historical photos which did not appear in the 1921 privately-printed first. Gillett's memoir is widely considered to be one of the best personal accounts of the Texas Rangers ever written. Decidedly uncommon in the original dust jacket.... Learn More£300.00
Stock Code: 114050
PASLEY, Fred D. Muscling In.
[New York] : 1931First edition of this stark exposé of the impact of the Mob at the onset of the Great Depression. " 'There is scarcely a commodity exposed for sale today that does not cost more because of the racket ' Col. Robert Isham Randolph, President, the Chicago Association of Commerce" (epigraph). The author details how the Mob made its moves into legitimate... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 114051
Paris : 1840-1852First edition in any European language, and the first procurable edition of the original Sanskrit, of the work identified by Sir Aurel Stein as "practically the sole extent product of Sanskrit literature possessing the character of a true chronicle" (cited after Mirsky, Sir Aurel Stein: Archaeological Explorer, p. 23). The 12-year interval between the... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 113705
ASHTON-WOLFE, H. The Underworld:
London : First edition, first impression. Nine true crimes stories described by the Daily Graphic (and trumpeted proudly on the front of the jacket) as "staggering secrets of the sleuth-hound". Harry Ashton-Wolfe (1861-1959) is described by Andrew Lycett, in his biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as "one of Conan Doyle's more colourful friends in the criminological... Learn More£150.00
Stock Code: 113408
WARBURTON, William. The Alliance between Church and State,
London : 1736First edition of Warburton's "controversial defence of the established church and the Test Acts... Warburton argued that religion alone can supply the rewards necessary to ensure that individual virtue continues to underpin the proper function of civil government. The magistrate was to oversee the government of the body, the church that of the soul.... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 113461
KAYE, John William. The Life and Correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm;
London : 1856First edition. Sir John William Kaye (1814-1876) had himself served in the Bengal Artillery before joining the civil service of the East India Company; he wrote extensively on India, his best known work being the valuable The History of the Sepoy War in India, 1857-8 (3 volumes, 1864-76). This remains the primary source of information on Sir John Malcolm... Learn More£450.00
Stock Code: 112004
WESTON, Stephen. The Praise of Paris:
London : 1803First edition. Weston (1747-1830) was an antiquarian and classical scholar who wrote some fifty books, including various editions of Persian poetry, commentaries on Shakespeare, and several studies of classical architecture; notably he produced the first English translation of the Rosetta Stone, presented verbally at a Society of Antiquaries meeting... Learn More£450.00
Stock Code: 111913
[LOCKE, John.] An Essay concerning Humane Understanding.
London : 1690First edition, the Holt issue, traditionally considered the first. Locke worked for nearly two decades on his investigation of "the certainty and the adequacy of human knowledge," concluding that "though knowledge must necessarily fall short of complete comprehension, it can at least be 'sufficient'; enough to convince us that we are not at the mercy... Learn More£50,000.00
Stock Code: 111580
DICKENS, Charles. A Child's History of England.
London : 1852-4 [1851-3]First editions in book form. Dickens's history of England for children, "intensely anti-aristocratic and anti-monarchical" (ODNB), originally appeared anonymously in Household Words between January 1851 and December 1853, with the volumes published in book-form in the December of those years, post-dated to the following years. In style, subject... Learn More£1,375.00
Stock Code: 111255
SPRUCE, Richard; Alfred Russel Wallace (ed.) Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes
London : 1908First edition. One of Wallace's later works was this edition of the botanical papers and diaries of his friend and co-Amazonian explorer Richard Spruce, who had died in 1894. "This work best reflects Spruce's gift for analysis, description, and narrative, along with his dry humour" (ODNB).
Spruce had been sent to South America in 1849 by Hooker,... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 110960
[LEE, N. K. M.] The Cook's Own Book:
Boston : 1832First edition, first issue, of "the first alphabetically arranged culinary encyclopaedia to appear in the United States" (Oxford Companion to Food, p. 17), and one of the most popular American cookbooks of the 19th century (Michigan State University introduction, online). The author's sources are mainly British. The first issue lacks the later 37-page... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 110873
[WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary.] A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke; occasioned by his Reflections on the Revolution in France.
London : 1790First edition of each work, a highly interesting assemblage of three works relating to Burke's controversial Reflections on the Revolution in France, also published in 1790. "Mary's fervour for the principles of the Revolution developed rapidly and was unmixed with any doubts; having learnt her politics from the Dissenters, she continued to adopt their... Learn More£12,500.00
Stock Code: 110724
DEHIO, Georg Gottfried Julius. Untersuchungen über des gleichseitige Dreieck als Norm gotischer Bauproportionen.
Stuttgart : 1894First edition of this unusual work by the Baltic German art historian. Dehio (1850-1932) was born in Reval, now Talinn, Estonia, he was the founder of the Handbuch der deutschen Kunstgeschichte, still publishing to this day. In the present work he sets out his theory of the equilateral triangle as the proportional basis of Gothic architecture. Uncommon,... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 110081
TABARI, Muhammad ibn Jarir al-. Chronique d'Abou Djafar Mohammed Tabari, fils de Djarir, fils d'Yezid;
Paris : 1836First edition in any language of Tabari's Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk ("History of Prophets and Kings"), "the most important of the classical Arabic historical texts still extant" (Encylopaedica Iranica), volume I (all published); this copy with a presentation leaf addressed to noted translator and businesswoman Lady Charlotte Guest (née Schreiber,... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 110201
BILLING, Archibald. The Science of Gems, Jewels, Coins, and Medals, Ancient and Modern.
London : 1867First 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 and coins. A lecturer at the... Learn More£275.00
Stock Code: 109013
MACPHERSON, Duncan. Antiquities of Kertch and Researches in the Cimmerian Bosphorus.
London : 1857First and only edition, uncommon. "An example of the degree of technical virtuosity reached by this time in lithography, giving plates brilliant in effect, the equivalent of modern four-colour process work from photographs. It is very difficult to tell whether, or to what extent, the plates are touched by hand The inks are excellent, with some strong... Learn More£2,250.00
Stock Code: 109135