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English literature pre-1900

Rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to poetry, novels, short stories, plays, and other original works written in the English language and published before 1900, including literature in English from Scotland, Wales, and the whole of Ireland, as well as literature in English from countries of the former British Empire, including the United States.

Showing items 1-60 of 596

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  1. 132907comp
    First edition, signed limited issue, number 46 of 100 large paper copies signed by the author. Wilde's last and greatest play opened to huge acclaim on Valentine's Day 1895 but was withdrawn after Wilde's failed libel suit against Lord Queensbury led to his arrest. The subsequent "utter social destruction of Wilde" (ODNB)... Learn More
    £50,000

    Stock Code: 132907

    signed

    Reserve

  2. 127552
    First UK edition, tête de tirage copy number 1 of 1,000 copies of this "Grand Edition de Luxe", all on japon and illustrated with ten etchings, each in two states. This edition is translated by T. F. Rogerson, whose translation was first published in the US in 1899. Musset's autobiographical novel was first published in... Learn More
    £675

    Stock Code: 127552

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  3. 134060
    First UK edition (following the US edition of the previous year), large paper issue, one of 250 unnumbered copies. "Morris's visionary novel News from Nowhere became one of the essential early twentieth-century socialist texts, translated into numerous languages and widely distributed in Russia in pre-revolutionary years"... Learn More
    £500

    Stock Code: 134060

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  4. 133975
    First fully illustrated edition. This was the first edition to feature illustrations accompanying the text, as Bentley's 1833 edition and subsequent printings had featured only a frontispiece. Thomson's "light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author's work" (ODNB). The exquisite... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 133975

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  5. 134052
    An attractive set which includes Shakespeare's poems. Learn More
    £600

    Stock Code: 134052

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  6. 133985
    First Trianon facsimile edition, copy VI of 15 copies with an original guide sheet and stencil mounted at rear, from a total edition limited to 526 copies. In one of the most remarkable literary projects of the 20th century, the William Blake Trust established the Trianon Press in 1947 with the intention of creating faithful... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 133985

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  7. 133949
    Limited edition of 470 numbered copies of which this is number 123. Learn More
    £1,575

    Stock Code: 133949

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  8. 110745
    First edition of this collection of short stories in a fine Zaehnsdorf binding. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the whole of "The Explosive Bomb" and several passages in the other stories, apart from "The Destroying Angel" and "The Fair Cuban", for which Fanny Stevenson was solely responsible. There was also a wrappered issue... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 110745

    Reserve

  9. 133920
    First editions, sole printings. The Rhymers' Club was founded by W. B. Yeats in 1890 as an informal poetry society that met at the Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street (where Samuel Johnson, in an earlier age, also used to drink). This set includes both volumes published by the group, featuring poetry by Yeats and 12 other... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 133920

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  10. 133918
    A charming example of a Chivers binding, evidently commissioned as a third anniversary gift, making appropriate use of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's love sonnets, written in the first years of her falling in love with Robert Browning. They include the famous sonnet "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways", though in this... Learn More
    £875

    Stock Code: 133918

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  11. 132612
    First edition in English of Goethe's Faust, translated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. When Faust, Part I first appeared in a finished form (1808) Coleridge expressed concern for the apparent immorality. Despite this, he briefly entertained a proposal in 1814 to translate the work, and returned to and completed the task in 1820-21.... Learn More
    £4,750

    Stock Code: 132612

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  12. 129025
    First edition of Morris's Icelandic epic, his longest and most ambitious poem. Although dated 1877 this work was issued in November 1876. He had published a prose translation, in collaboration with Eirikr Magnusson, in 1870, though this edition presents the first appearance of his solo poetic treatment of the epic. "This... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 129025

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  13. 133737
    First edition, scarce. This highly influential and comprehensive translation of Sappho notably restored the feminine pronouns to her work, and includes "a compilation of explanatory notes, various appendices, and a bibliography that lists editions, translations, and imitations if Sappho over the centuries" (Prins, p. 53).... Learn More
    £450

    Stock Code: 133737

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  14. 83794
    First edition, wrappers issue, of the defining stage work of the period, ushering in one of the theatre's first truly developed neurotic female protagonists almost a decade before Freud's first work of psychoanalysis. Under the illusion that it was necessary for copyright protection, Ibsen had 12 sets of sheets sent to England... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 83794

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  15. 130714
    Deluxe edition, limited to 350 unnumbered copies only. Rubáiyáts with Brangwyn's illustrations were published from 1906 onwards; this edition, the most comprehensive and elaborate, includes seven illustrations by the artist hitherto unpublished. Learn More
    £375

    Stock Code: 130714

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  16. 131012detail
    First edition, the London issue (following the unobtainable Bristol issue of the same year, listed by Healey in 13 copies, of which none are thought to remain in private hands), this copy in a finely decorated and unrestored contemporary binding.
    This is the first edition, and the earliest obtainable issue, of the collection... Learn More
    £11,000

    Stock Code: 131012

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  17. 130449comp

    Dracula.

    Westminster: 1897

    First edition, first issue. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "Henry Williams from his old friend Bram Stoker July 1897". With the relevant issue points: printed on thicker paper stock, without the advert for The Shoulder of Shasta which appears in later impressions on the verso of the... Learn More
    £135,000

    Stock Code: 130449

    signed

    Reserve

  18. 126172
    First edition of Clare's second book of poetry. A farm labourer's son, John Clare (1793-1864) had published his first work, Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery, the previous year. It became something of a publishing sensation, with the 1,000 copies of the first edition selling out in two months. Clare was celebrated... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 126172

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  19. The Charge of the Light Brigade.
    First separate edition, extremely scarce in this format, one of 1,000 copies published for distribution to the troops in the Crimea, with a note in manuscript at the foot of the mount: "My father Col. Adolphus Burton C.B. was in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava. G.D.B. his eldest daughter, Grace, whose married... Learn More
    £42,500

    Stock Code: 111544

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  20. 102920comp
    First edition, presentation copy to George Keats, inscribed by the author, his brother-in law, "George Keats, the gift of the author", on the title page of all three volumes. George Keats (17971841), younger brother of the poet John, never met Llanos, but was pleased to have as "a friend and brother" a man of letters, and... Learn More
    £13,500

    Stock Code: 102920

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  21. 132384comp
    First US edition, first issue binding (BAL's "A" state), a superb association copy of the American masterpiece in its complete form; Charles Warren Stoddard's copy, inscribed by him on the front free endpaper, "Charles Warren Stoddard Waihee Maui H. May 84". The tightly-knit literary and geographical connections between... Learn More
    £30,000

    Stock Code: 132384

    Reserve

  22. 131910
    First edition in German of Persuasion, Austen's last completed novel, representing the first translation into German of any of Austen's novels. Persuasion was first published in 1818 in an edition with Northanger Abbey. The present edition was translated by Wilhelm Adolf Lindau (1774-1849), a translator... Learn More
    £12,500

    Stock Code: 131910

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  23. 131742
    First edition of this rare first publication of Shakespeare in Ottoman Turkish, done by Hasan Bedreddin and Mehmet Rifat from the French translation of Jean-Francois Ducis, and performed 1867-1877 in Gedikpasa theatre in Istanbul, the first theatre in Turkey where plays were performed by Turkish actors rather than travelling... Learn More
    £5,750

    Stock Code: 131742

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  24. 129571
    Three Men in a Boat is a humorous account of a two week boating holiday..."> First edition, first issue, with the requisite issue points: the imprint reading "Quay Street", with no street number, 37 titles listed in the Bristol Library advert, and Prince Prigio advertised as "Ready in October" on the rear pastedown. Three Men in a Boat is a humorous account of a two week boating holiday... Learn More
    £475

    Stock Code: 129571

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  25. 125694
    First edition of this scarce Byron item, produced at the Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice and reproducing, with facing English and Armenian text, Byron's letters relating to his sojourn there in 1816, and his own translations of various ancient Armenian texts. Also included are several Byron poems... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 125694

    Reserve

  26. 132751
    First edition thus, one of 300 copies, inscribed to Jane Morris on the blank preceding the title, "To Mrs. Morris from The Editor", and probably bound for presentation. Ouseley's translation was originally published in 1800 but had become rare by the 1880s and the Orcadian scholar Clouston considered it worth reprinting.... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 132751

    Reserve

  27. 132842
    First edition, sole impression, of this scarce anthology of German and Italian poetry translated into English by noted Victorian fantasy writer George MacDonald, including the Spiritual Songs of Novalis. Also presented are English renditions of Luther, Schiller, Goethe, Heine, Petrarch, Milton (from his Italian), and others.... Learn More
    £875

    Stock Code: 132842

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  28. 132573comp
    First edition thus, revised and expanded from The Early Italian Poets (1861), presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the title page, "To Moncure D. Conway from his friend DG Rossetti, 1875". A significant association: Conway (1832-1907) was an American reformer, prominent Unitarian minister, and author who left... Learn More
    £3,250

    Stock Code: 132573

    signed

    Reserve

  29. 131642
    First illustrated edition, with Hanoverian provenance, from the library of Princess Augusta of Cambridge (1822-1916), granddaughter of George III and by marriage Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, with her crowned initials to covers, stamp to title page, and Christmas gift inscription (dated 1841) presenting the book... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 131642

    Reserve

  30. 131665
    First separate edition, with the scarce original wrappers bound in, and with two autograph notes signed by the author in volume I, one loosely inserted: "dans l'ombre ou nous marchons / Dieu nous sert a nommer le mot que nous cherchons, Alex. Dumas (In the shadow where we tread / God serves us to name the word we are looking... Learn More
    £75,000

    Stock Code: 131665

    signed

    Reserve

  31. 129730
    First edition of the work that introduced Hungarian literature to the English-speaking world, and for a long time the only Western source for Hungarian poetry. The volume includes the work of more than 20 poets, more than 60 national songs, and above 50 pages of valuable biographical sketches. Bowring (17921872), a politician,... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 129730

    Reserve

  32. 133533
    First fully illustrated edition. This was the first edition to feature illustrations accompanying the text, as Bentley's 1833 edition and subsequent printings had featured only a frontispiece. Thomson's "light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author's work" (ODNB). The exquisite... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 133533

    Reserve

  33. 133172
    First French edition, the second edition overall. This rare edition also constitutes the first public acknowledgement of Mary Shelley as an author a feature commonly claimed for the 1823 second (English) edition. Though Mary's name is misspelled and she is misdescribed as the "niece" of William Godwin, this unauthorized... Learn More
    £45,000

    Stock Code: 133172

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  34. 132611
    Faerie Queene, first published as the Two Cantos of Mutabilitie in 1607. Thomas James Mathias (1753-1835) was an English..."> First edition, presentation copy with a slip inscribed "Dall'Autore" pasted to the top corner of the title page, of this very scarce Italian translation of the final part of Spenser's Faerie Queene, first published as the Two Cantos of Mutabilitie in 1607. Thomas James Mathias (1753-1835) was an English... Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 132611

    signed

    Reserve

  35. 133592
    First edition, first issue (state A, with the word "Shropshire" on the paper spine label measuring 33 mm wide, one of 250 copies thus), of Housman's influential poetry collection. The entire first printing, made at Housman's expense after Macmillan rejected the book, consisted of 500 sets of sheets, of which 250 were bound... Learn More
    £6,750

    Stock Code: 133592

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  36. 131200
    First edition of this allegorical "Suit of Armour" produced for the edification of Britain's youth and an early example of this type of "moveable" book with flaps that could be lifted, for which there was a vogue in the 1820s. The first of these was The Toilet (1820), which focused on the toilet articles from a lady's dressing-table,... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131200

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  37. 129439detail
    First edition of Mary Shelley's first book, a rare survival in the original publisher's boards. The History of a Six Weeks' Tour was put together by Mary while she and Percy were living at Marlowe, which is where she finished Frankenstein, which was published on 1 January 1818. It comprises Mary's eighty one page journal... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 129439

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  38. 117956
    Very scarce broadside poem by the "World's Worst Poet", William McGonagall (1825-1902), signed at the head, "Sir. Wm. Topaz. McGonagall. Poet". Gord Bambrick in "The Real McGonagall" acknowledges that "William McGonagall is best known as the world's worst poet. His unique style of versification breaks the laws of rhythm,... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 117956

    signed

    Reserve

  39. The War of the Worlds.
    First edition, first issue, with the 16-page publisher's catalogue at the end, dated 1897 and headed by New Letters of Napoleon I. The War of the Worlds was originally printed as a serial in Pearson's magazine from April to December 1897. Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 111454

    Reserve

  40. 132935
    First Boydell edition. This lavish edition was the brainchild of John Boydell (1720-1804), who had been responsible for the publication in mezzotint of some of the most impressive paintings of the period. He and his nephew Josiah Boydell conceived this set, with typography by Bulmer and paper by Whatman, to be embellished... Learn More
    £8,750

    Stock Code: 132935

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  41. 118722comp
    First edition, superb presentation copy to a fellow poet, with an original unpublished manuscript poem laid-in. This set is inscribed by Browning in each volume to Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821-1895), the well-connected Victorian poet and bibliophile who was well-acquainted with the likes of Arnold, Carlyle, Dickens, Eliot,... Learn More
    £12,500

    Stock Code: 118722

    signed

    Reserve

  42. 131206
    First Bentley edition in an uncommon contemporary binding. This is the third edition overall, and the first English edition to be illustrated. In 1832-3 Richard Bentley bought the copyright to all Austen's novels, which had not been reissued since 1818, to include them in his Standard Novels series, of which this is no.... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131206

    Reserve

  43. 131209

    Sense and Sensibility.

    London: 1833 [but 1832]

    First Bentley edition in an uncommon contemporary binding. This is the third edition overall (pre-dating the first American by a few months), and the first English edition to be illustrated. In 1832-3 Richard Bentley bought the copyright to all Austen's novels, which had not been reissued since 1818, to include them in his... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 131209

    Reserve

  44. 131022

    Poems.

    London: 1881

    First edition, first issue. One of only 250 copies for the first issue; 750 copies were printed in total, but the remaining 500 copies were equally split between the second and third issues, with new title pages stating second and third editions. Publisher's presentation copy, with the title page stamped "with the publisher's... Learn More
    £3,000

    Stock Code: 131022

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  45. 130774
    First edition thus, limited issue, number 23 of 20 copies (numbers 6-25) printed on handmade paper by the Chiswick Press and bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in red morocco, from a total run of 250 copies. Shelley's elegy for Keats, first published in 1821 (the year of Keats's death) is considered among the finest of Shelley's... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 130774

    Reserve

  46. 62939
    First edition in book form of Hardy's great novel of the Napoleonic war, written to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Trafalgar. Purdy notes that the novel was published in an edition of 1,000 copies and remarks that the three-line border "is less common than the 2-rule binding". The story was first published in slightly... Learn More
    £30,000

    Stock Code: 62939

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  47. 132331
    Jane Austen's novels..."> First Clarendon edition, large paper edition, limited to 1,000 sets, of which 950 were for sale, presentation copy (and therefore presumably one of the 50 copies not for sale), inscribed by the editor in the first volume to his youngest son, "Michael Edward Chapman, from his father, the editor".
    Jane Austen's novels... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 132331

    signed

    Reserve

  48. 132087comp
    First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the vol. I half-title, "Mrs. Lombard, from her old friend, H. James, Paris. Nov. 3d 1879". The Lombards were from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and friends of the James family. Mrs Lombard (born Harriet H Jones, 1821-1884) often travelled in Europe with her daughters... Learn More
    £12,500

    Stock Code: 132087

    signed

    Reserve

  49. 76687
    First and only edition, one of 5,000 copies printed of this facsimile of the first draft of Alice's Adventures in the author's hand (about 12,700 words compared to more than 26,700 in the published version), with his own illustrations, the later issue with white endpapers, apparently consisting of remainder sheets put into... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 76687

    Reserve

  50. 131659comp

    The Ambassadors.

    New York & London: 1904

    Mary Jameson Judah (1851-1930) was an accomplished hostess, giving dinners with monumental menus in..."> First US edition, second printing (dated a year after the first), presentation copy, inscribed by the author, "For Mary Jameson Judah in remembrance of March 16th and 17th 1905. Henry James", on the front free endpaper.
    Mary Jameson Judah (1851-1930) was an accomplished hostess, giving dinners with monumental menus in... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 131659

    signed

    Reserve

  51. 132657
    First complete and first illustrated edition, including Thomas Birch's Life; Spenser's letter to Walter Raleigh; commendatory verses; numerous dedicatory verses by Spenser; an exact collation of the two original editions of 1590 and 1596 which combine to give the first complete text in one edition including the fragment... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 132657

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  52. 132630
    First edition, scarce thus in an unrestored contemporary binding, of Doré & Jerrold's beautiful and influential "Pilgrimage" around the great metropolis of 19th-century London, Doré's chiaroscuro engravings reflecting the closeness and contrast of London's social classes. It was this aspect in particular that gained the... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 132630

    Reserve

  53. 132158
    First edition of this notoriously scathing review of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, appearing in this volume of The Quarterly Review and penned by John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), a serial foe to all young Romantics and Jacobins, who only a few month later savaged, no less notoriously, Keats's Endymion, and... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 132158

    Reserve

  54. 127590
    A most attractive copy of Defoe's fabricated travel narrative, first published in 1724, in which an "unnamed English captain-entrepreneur... leads three ships in a trading (and occasional privateering) circumnavigation that also includes encounters with native peoples, sometimes violent but more peaceable and profitable"... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 127590

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  55. 122160comp
    Signed limited edition, number 571 of 750 copies signed by the artist. Learn More
    £3,500

    Stock Code: 122160

    signed

    Reserve

  56. 132591
    First edition thus, an attractive version of "probably the single most influential work of prose in the Persian tradition" (Encyclopaedia Iranica). "The school-boy lisps out his first lessons in it; the man of learning quotes it; and a vast number of its expressions have become proverbial". Eastwick, an orientalist and diplomat... Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 132591

    Reserve

  57. 131682
    Fourth quarto edition of Macbeth, adapted by William Davenant; Davenant's version of Macbeth had first appeared in 1674 (printed twice in that year). As was common practice with play texts in the 17th century, Macbeth is here bound up with 11 other popular plays of that era, allowing it to be seen in its contemporary context.... Learn More
    £15,000

    Stock Code: 131682

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  58. 125578
    First Dublin edition, the fourth overall, first published in London in 1788. With two pleasing female gift inscriptions, the first on the half-title dated 1792 from Elizabeth Pim to Anne Jackson, who in turn re-presented the book half a century later in 1842 to her niece Elizabeth Garrat.
    Original Stories was Mary Wollstonecraft's... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 125578

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  59. 102817
    First edition, possibly Jane Austen's first appearance in print. This scarce periodical was written by James and Henry Austen while they were at Oxford. Some scholars have suggested that in issue number 9, the letter signed "Sophia Sentiment" was the work of their sister Jane when she was 14. Although Gilson does not include... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 102817

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  60. 132450
    First edition. Following the failure of his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden was not a runaway success. The edition of 2,000 took five years to sell through, but it was from the very first an immensely influential text, and remains so today: "For almost a hundred years an inspiration to nature... Learn More
    £8,500

    Stock Code: 132450

    Reserve

Showing items 1-60 of 596

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