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 121-180 of 214
HODSON, Thomas. The Accomplished Tutor; or, Complete System of Liberal Education:
London : 1800First edition of a popular and comprehensive educational handbook, further editions followed in 1802 and 1806. It includes a section on double-entry bookkeeping, and chapters on English grammar and elocution, penmanship, arithmetic, stock-holding and merchants' accounts, mensuration and architecture, optics, algebra, annuities, trigonometry, logarithms,... Learn More£600.00
Stock Code: 96467
(NIMATULLAH.) DORN, Johannes Albrecht Bernhard. History of the Afghans:
London : 1829-36First edition. Dorn (1805-1881) was a pioneer in many areas of Iranian studies in Russia. "He was particularly interested in the Pashtuns and published annotated editions and translations of texts on tribal history. Dorn never visited Afghanistan, but he nevertheless established the scientific basis for Afghan studies, particularly the first systematic... Learn More£1,200.00
Stock Code: 96543
FRANKLIN, Benjamin. The Writings.
New York : 1905A handsomely bound set which includes a comprehensive introduction to his works by Albert Henry Smyth covering Franklin's manuscripts, printed editions, works, philosophical, political and economical works, satires and bagatelles, and his correspondence. Learn More£3,000.00
Stock Code: 96403
MERCIER, Louis Sébastien Fragments of Politics and History. Translated from the French.
London : 1795First and only edition in English of a miscellaneous and wide-ranging collection of articles and short essays by the French dramatist and writer Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), best remembered for his utopian fiction L'An 2440, rêve s'il en fut jamais, translated into English as Memoirs of the Year Two Thousand Five Hundred. "There is no better... Learn More£650.00
Stock Code: 95575
CONDÉ, J. A. History of the Dominion of the Arabs in Spain.
London : 1854-5First edition in English, first published in Madrid in 1820-1; far from common in the market. Condé was the director of the library of the Escorial. His work is "characterized by a strong sympathy for Arab culture. For the first time a complete survey, based on Arab sources, was provided of the history of Islamic Spain from 711 to 1492, and a framework... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 95147
AINSWORTH, William Francis. Researches in Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldea;
London : 1838First edition. "Ainsworth was one of the founding members of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1835 he was appointed surgeon and geologist to the Euphrates expedition. This account of the geological work of the expedition is dedicated to Francis Chesney head of the expedition. Ainsworth produced this work very quickly, long before Chesney's own account... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 95148
WEIL, Gustav. Geschichte der Chalifen. Nach handschriftlichen, größtentheils noch unbenützten Quellen.
Mannheim : 1846-51First edition of Weil's path-breaking history of Islam, which relied in large part on Muslim sources still in manuscript. Sets are fairly common in institutions, but rarely encountered on the market.
Weil (1808-1889) was born in Sulzburg in Baden, and was originally destined for the rabbinate, but at a young age found that he had little taste... Learn More£4,500.00
Stock Code: 94297
MARIANA, Juan de. The General History of Spain.
London : 1699First edition in English, and still the only complete edition, of "the standard work on Spanish history up to the 18th century which does not merely report events in lucid chronological order and with admirable objectivity, but includes analyses of the mechanisms of princely power" (Braun, Juan de Mariana and Early Modern Spanish Political Thought,... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 93999
HARRISSON, Tom. Savage Civilisation.
London : 1937First edition, first impression. The publisher's archive copy with small pencil mark to the jacket front panel. Savage Civilisation was the future founder of Mass-Observation's first best-seller, in which he defended the way of life of the cannibals of the New Hebrides and their rights to their own land. "Harrisson's fourth Oxford expedition (1933-5)... Learn More£875.00
Stock Code: 94109
WILLIAMS, John L, & Son (compiled by.) 1889-90. A Manual of Investments.
Richmond, Virginia : 1890First edition of the 6th annual Manual of investments produced by the banking house of John L. Williams of Richmond, Virginia, presentation copy inscribed by the author, "George Wayne Andrew with compliments & regards of the Author & acknowledgements for valuable assistance rendered in the compilation of this work. May 1890".
"Our Manual was... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 93439
RHOTERT, Hans, ed. Transjordanien. Vorgeschichtliche Forschungen.
Stuttgart : 1938First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by Rhotert on the front free endpaper to an unnamed recipient, thanking them for their support for the Forschungsinstituts für Kulturmorphologie. The leader's account of the work of the Nordgruppe der XII. Deutschen-Innerafrikanischen Forschungsexpedition in the Transjordan and Libya includes the first scientific... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 92497
FORESTA, Merry A. American Photographs, The First Century:
Washington : 1996First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title, "For Carl Mautz whose dedication and research are one of the field's invaluable assets. With thanks, Merry Foresta." Drawn from the collection of Charles Isaacs in the National Museum of American Art, this attractive book presents a vivid snapshot of life in... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 91188
BURCKHARDT, Jacob. Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien.
Basel : 1860First edition. Written by Burckhardt (1818-1897) between 1855 and 1858, Die Kultur der Renaissance is a milestone in cultural history. While the author's definition and historical description of the Renaissance have been rightfully questioned, "no criticism can detract from the powerful spell which Burckhardt's book has exercised upon such widely different... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 91256
SPENCER, Walter. The Glory in the Garret.
London : 1932First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To my colleague and friend, David R. Mace from Walter Spencer, with every kind thought. June 27th 1932." A Methodist minister's account of Christian missions among the slums of South London. Learn More£65.00
Stock Code: 91344
DUCPETIAUX, Edouard. De la peine de mort.
Brussels : 1827First edition. De la peine de mort was the Belgian journalist and prison reformer's first book, written when he was twenty-three years old. Ducpétiaux earned himself a name and an official position as inspector general of prisons on the strength of this passionate and ambitious plea for the abolition of capital punishment. He argued that the alternative... Learn More£550.00
Stock Code: 91158
FOWLER, Gene. Father Goose.
New York : First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on front free endpaper: "To Jimmy ('Four') Starr, my friend and colleague, with regards, Gene Fowler. Sept - 1934." Starr was an American screenwriter, gossip columnist, and film reviewer. Fowler's book is a biography of Mack Sennett, a director and actor active in Hollywood during... Learn More£475.00
Stock Code: 90705
GUTMANN, John. The Restless Decade.
New York : 1984First edition, first printing. Gutmann's mostly urban photographies of Depression-era USA, predominantly San Francisco. Edited by Lew Thomas, the book also includes an essay by American art historian Max Kozloff. Signed by Gutmann on half-title. Learn More£250.00
Stock Code: 89935
CHAUVIN, Léon. Études de chiffres arabes,
Paris : 1845First and only edition, uncommon, WorldCat locates copies at BnF, Oxford, Tel Aviv, University of California, Swiss National Library, and Kunstbibliothek - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. An interesting study of the morphology of Arab numerals with reference to calligraphy, illustrated with a series of elegant proportional studies lithographed by Villain,... Learn More£350.00
Stock Code: 90010
HANGER, George, fourth Baron Coleraine. The Life, Adventures and Opinions of Col. George Hanger. Written by Himself.
London : 1801First edition. Extraordinary autobiography of this "irascible, violent, dissipated, extravagant, and individualistic" character. Educated at Reading School, Eton College, and the University of Göttingen, Hanger entered the army as ensign 1st Foot Guards in 1771 (ODNB). He "retired" in 1776 in a snit having been passed over for promotion, but later... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 89615
(PARANORMAL.) FORT, Charles. Lo!
London : 1931First UK edition, first impression. Originally published in the US the same year. Perhaps Fort's most popular work, this is his third published non-fiction book, in which he is widely credited as having coined the term teleportation. Charles Fort (1874-1932) was an American writer and researcher into examples of the occult, supernatural, and paranormal.... Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 88854
MOORE, Charles. A Full Inquiry into the Subject of Suicide.
London : 1790First edition, written to combat Hume's Essay on Suicide (1783) and "one of the fullest surveys of philosophical and religious thought up to that time" (Encyclopedia of philosophy); "the most extensive treatise on the 'natural, social, moral, and religious' aspects of suicide the risk of which the psychiatrist must continually bear in mind. From it... Learn More£4,750.00
Stock Code: 88469
MAGNUS, Olaus. Historia delle genti et della natura delle cose settentrionali.
Venice : 1565First edition in Italian. Magnus's great ethnographical and geographical survey of Scandinavia, Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), was first published in Latin in 1555. This Italian translation re-uses the woodcuts, with a few variations, illustrating all aspects of life: local customs, warfare, trades and occupations,... Learn More£8,750.00
Stock Code: 87741
STAPLEDON, Olaf. A Modern Theory of Ethics.
London : 1929First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "A. M. Carr-Saunders, with compliments from W. O. S. 3rd February 1929". A Modern Theory of Ethics was Stapledon's first published work of prose, based on the thesis for his PhD in philosophy awarded at the University of Liverpool in 1925. The recipient,... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 87348
(FUTURE WORLD NOVEL.) The Reign of George VI.
London : 1763First edition of a scarce futuristic novel. "Uncanny in its choice of dates and in its prediction of the emergence of Russia and the United States as world powers, it describes a war between Britain and Russia (1900-01) which escalates into a world war between the British Empire and a coalition of Russia and France (1917-20) who between them have occupied... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 87375
PERLIN, Estienne; P. de la Serre; [PUGET DE] LA SERRE, [Jean]. Description des Royaulmes d'Angleterre et d'Escosse; Histoire de l'Entrée de la Reyne Mère dans la Grande Bretagne.
London : 1775First compiled edition. This volume, prefaced in English, contains two French travellers' accounts of their visit to the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: "The two pieces here offered to the public contain the idea which some of our neighbours formed of us in the two last centuries. The physician, in the sixteenth... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 87462
TARAFA, Francisco. De origine, ac rebus gestis Regum Hispaniae liber,
Antwerp : 1553Scarce first edition of a chronicle of the rulers of Spain from Tubal, son of Noah, to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. From the library of the Fugger banking library of Augsburg, in a characteristic binding with later shelf mark on front free endpaper. New World discoveries are referred to on pages 182 and 196 (Columbus); the persecution of Jews in Catalonia... Learn More£3,750.00
Stock Code: 87485
HAZLITT, William; Duchess d'Abrantès; Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourienne. The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte [together with] Memoirs of Madame Junot [and] Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Paris & Boston : 1895Edition des Amateurs, limited to twenty-five sets this being 21/25. A particularly handsome set made up of Hazlitt's Life in 6 volumes, Bourienne's Memoirs of Napoleon in 4, Madame Junot, the Duchess d'Abrantes's Memoirs in 6. A balanced selection of Napoleonic biography containing the views of Hazlitt, a committed English Napoleonist, and Bourienne,... Learn More£4,850.00
Stock Code: 86732
STONEQUIST, Everett V. The Marginal Man: A Study in Personality and Culture Conflict.
New York : 1937First edition. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To Don McLaren, with deep appreciation of your friendship and collaboration, Everett, December 21, 1948." Learn More£225.00
Stock Code: 86930
KRIPKE, Saul A. A Completeness Theorem in Modal Logic.
New Brunswick, NJ : 1959First edition, first impression of the author's first major work, published when he was only eighteen years old. Saul Kripke (1940- ) is one of the most original and influential logicians and philosophers of the present day. In 1977 the New York Times magazine described him as "one of the most penetrating minds of our time. His achievements span the... Learn More£1,700.00
Stock Code: 86372
GIDDINGS, J. L. The Archaeology of Cape Denbigh.
Providence, RI : 1964First edition, first impression. James Louis Denbigh (1909-1965) was a professor anthropology at Brown University and pioneer in the application of dendrochronology (the study of tree rings) to Arctic archaeology. "Working with samples from living trees and driftwood from old Eskimo village sites on the Kobuk, he established a tree-ring chronology for... Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 86686
RIBADENEIRA, Pedro de. Tratado de la tribulacion, repartido en dos libros.
Madrid : 1589First edition of a work on the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Ribadeneira (1527-1611), a member of a noble Castilian family, studied at the universities of Paris, Louvain, and Padua, before becoming a leading diplomat and administrator within the Jesuit order, and St. Ignatius Loyola's first biographer. Here he justifies the intended invasion and looks... Learn More£9,750.00
Stock Code: 84941
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£1,750.00
Stock Code: 84097
WAUGH, Evelyn. Edmund Campion. Jesuit and Martyr.
London : 1947Second edition, with a new introduction by the author. Inscribed by Waugh on the half-title, "With happy & grateful memories of Dundee, from Evelyn Waugh. Oct 26, 1949". At the outbreak of the Second World War Waugh joined the marine infantry brigade and, after seeing action on the Libyan coast in April 1941, returned to Britain and spent about a year... Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 82521
(IRISH FAMINE.) Thirteenth Annual Report of the Poor Law Commissioners:
London : 1847First edition of this report, a considerable portion of which deals with the Great Famine in Ireland, then in its third year. The text includes two folding plates depicting the layout of the Limerick Union Poorhouse and three plates showing plans for temporary fever wards and accommodation for those affected by the famine. Learn More£175.00
Stock Code: 82620
ELLIS, Alfred Burdon. The Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West Africa.
London, : 1887First edition. Ellis was commissioned second lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment in November 1873 and accompanied them to the Second Ashante war later that year. "This was the beginning of a long connection with west Africa" (ODNB), serving in many different capacities, military and civil. "Ellis was an able and ambitious soldier But of some... Learn More£200.00
Stock Code: 81446
HAMILTON, Elizabeth. Memoirs of the Life of Agrippina, the Wife of Germanicus.
Bath : 1804First edition. Hamilton (1756?-1816) was a Belfast-born novelist and essayist. She is best-known for her writings on the philosophy of education. In her Memoirs of Modern Philosophers of 1800 a "popular satirical attack on what she perceived as the excesses of contemporary radical thought. She is sceptical about the claims of freethinkers such as William... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 81656
JUAN DE SANTA MARÍA, fray. Christian Policie: or, The Christian Common-Wealth.
London : 1632First edition in English; rare. The translation is actually by the Hispanophile James Mabbe, though Edward Blount, as was his habit, signs the dedication as if he were its translator. (A variant issue of the same year has Blount's name instead of Richard Collins's in the imprint: the two booksellers were close neighbours in St Paul's Churchyard.) Edward... Learn More£4,000.00
Stock Code: 81871
PRICHARD, James Cowles The Natural History of Man
London, Paris & Madrid : 1855An attractively bound and illustrated fourth edition of an important book, edited and enlarged by Edwin Norris, first published in 1848. Physician and ethnologist James Cowles Prichard was (along with William Lawrence and Charles William Wells) one of the three British scientific precursors to Darwin and evolutionary theory. His central idea was the... Learn More£650.00
Stock Code: 80676
SCHEBESTA, Paul. Among the Forest Dwarfs of Malaya.
London : 1929First edition. Schebesta was a Moravian missionary, ethnologist, linguist, and physical anthropologist. The present work was the result of his first scientific field-trip, undertaken in 1924-5 on behalf of the Anthropos Institute, of whose journal he was the editor, to study the Semang people. The expedition established pygmy research as the major theme... Learn More£150.00
Stock Code: 76160
SHAW, George Bernard. On Going to Church.
East Aurora, NY : 1896First edition, pirated by Elbert Hubbard, founder of the Roycroft movement. Inscribed by the author on the title page, "I repudiate all responsibility for this bowdlerised piracy. Elbert Hubbard, who perpetrated it, is dead. Why not bury it with him? G. Bernard Shaw. 27/5/22." Additionally inscribed by Hubbard on the front free endpaper, "To Leonard... Learn More£1,400.00
Stock Code: 73675
[HAWKINS, Thomas.] A View of the Real Power of the Pope, and Of the Power of the Priesthood over the Laity.
London : 1733First edition. An interesting example of the apparently widespread attitude of ordinary English Catholics at this time, exhibiting considerable anti-clericalism and impatience bordering on disgust with papal temporal power. The work includes one chapter rich with thinly disguised personal details settling the author's score with various English priests.... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 72617
[CHALLONER, Richard.] The Catholick Christian Instructed
London : 1737First edition of this Catholic catechism. Challoner (1691-1781) was eventually vicar apostolic to the London district; he published a wide variety of religious works; in Cardinal Wiseman's words, "supplied, in fact, almost the entire range of necessary or useful religious literature for his Catholic fellow-countrymen". His career spanned a period when... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 72621
(BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER; French & English.) Le Livre des Prieres Communes, Et de l'Administration des Sacremens,
Oxford : 1717An attractive early Georgian binding for this bilingual BCP. "A reissue of the French-English 1717 'Book of common prayer', with a new titlepage and preliminaries in French added before the original parallel French and English titlepages, and slight resetting by removal of ornaments in the direction lines" (ESTC). In this copy, the French title appears... Learn More£1,000.00
Stock Code: 71427
WYSE, Sir Thomas. An Excursion in the Peloponnesus in the Year 1858.
London : 1865First edition. Wyse was appointed minister-plenipotentiary to Greece in 1849, at the time of his arrival in Athens Greek politics "were complicated and divisive. Each of the three protecting powers that had guaranteed Greek independenceBritain, France, and Russiawishing to advance its interests in the region, became entangled in factional politics"... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 71507
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£2,875.00
Stock Code: 71516
(WILSON, James.) The Life and Dreadful Sufferings of Captain James Wilson, In various Parts of the Globe,
Portsea : 1810First edition. Uncommon: Library Hub records only the SOAS copy, WorldCat locates 12 other copies worldwide, five of them in Australia and New Zealand and five in the USA, two of these in Hawaii. "Although there are several account of James Wilson's life, sufferings and missionary voyage, this was the earliest biography of him to appear. Written anonymously,... Learn More£4,500.00
Stock Code: 70373
EMERSON, Ralph Waldo. Autograph letter signed to Elizabeth Hoar.
Concord, : 1856RWE returns a book of newly published poems written by a neighbour (" which I have kept longer than was right, from liking & because one is always expecting a better day & mood to read these pastoral verses. I find them always pleasing, with a solid honesty quite free from prettiness or showiness And whilst they particularly please me that he praises... Learn More£4,500.00
Stock Code: 70151
PRESCOTT, William H. The Works.
The Aztec edition, limited to 250 numbered sets. A stunning set beautifully bound and well illustrated. Includes his History of the Conquest of Mexico, History of Ferdinand and Isabella, History of the Conquest of Peru, History of the Reign of Philip the Second, plus his biographical and critical miscellanies. Learn More£4,750.00
Stock Code: 69123
MACAULAY, Catharine. The History of England
London : 1769-72First octavo edition, complete to that date (the first four volumes are dated 1769, while the fifth bears no edition statement and is dated 1772). Catharine Macaulay's history was published episodically, the first volume in 1763, the fourth in 1768, and the fifth (covering events to the Restoration) in 1772. Her decision to leave London for Bath in... Learn More£1,750.00
Stock Code: 68942
WINSOR, Justin (ed.). Narrative and Critical History of America.
1889This Riverside Press edition, one of a limited edition of 550 numbered copies of what was for a century the standard reference work on American History. The editor, Justin Winsor (1831-1897) was a writer and prominent librarian at the Boston Public Library and later at Harvard University, where he professionalized library management and became one of... Learn More£1,500.00
Stock Code: 68725
(WEREWOLVES.) The Romance of William of Palerne:
1867First edition thus, no 1 in the extra series of publication by the Early English Text Society (formed 1864). The French verse romance was composed c. 1200, commissioned by Countess Yolande (who is generally identified to be Yolande, daughter of Baldwin IV, Count of Hainaut). The English poem in alliterative verse, commissioned by Humphrey de Bohun,... Learn More£350.00
Stock Code: 68780
MACLAUCHLAN, Henry. The Roman Wall,
1857-64First editions. The first named with the inscription, "Presented to Henry Lawes Long Esq., by The Duke of Northumberland, Syon 27th August 1859" to the first blank and circular, sepia lithographed Long armorial bookplate to the front pastedown; the second inscribed "With the Duke of Northumberland's Compliments" verso of the first blank. In 1804 Henry... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 68827
HEARD, Gerald. These Hurrying Years.
London : 1934First edition, first impression; rare in the dust jacket. Gerald Heard (1889-1971) was a British author and philosopher whose innovative works examined history in the context of humankind's evolving consciousness. This book is his attempt to write a "history of our own times" and to determine the underlying causes of modern events. His conclusion, that... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 68865
BANCROFT, Hubert Howe. The Works.
San Francisco : 1886First edition, the complete set of what is still considered by historians to be the most important single source of early Western American history. "Colossal co-operative undertaking; nothing approaching it has ever been attempted in this country" (Howes). Although the first title-page is dated 1886, the set was published 1883-90. Vols. 11 and 33 were... Learn More£7,500.00
Stock Code: 68597