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1st Edition The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit By Charles Dickens

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, 1844, Chapman & Hall, first edition in book form with all of Smith's flaws present, plates as called for (tanned, several close cropped to fore-edge), 100 ? engraved vignette title, lacks errata leaf, all page edges gilt, [Smith I:7]. Beautifully half morocco and gilt bound, with marbled end papers. Illustrator Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz). Delightful presentation dedication on the inner leaf "to John Power Hicks from his affectionate wife Julia E. Power Hicks" A chance to own a first edition first impression of one of the great classics of English literature. Printed and first read before the Crimean War in Russia, and the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' that became infamous in British military history. Original printing imperfections and flaws are detailed in Walter E. Smith and his wonderful work 'Charles Dickens in the Original Cloth'. Smith's comprehensive bibliography of each of Dickens's works enabled all to describe the bindings in detail; identifying them as original and therefore extremely sought after by discerning Dickens enthusiasts and general bibliophiles alike. Feb. 28th 1880" The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (commonly known as Martin Chuzzlewit) is a novel by Charles Dickens, considered the last of his picaresque novels. It was originally serialised between 1842 and 1844. Dickens thought it to be his best work. Like nearly all of Dickens' novels, Martin Chuzzlewit was released to the public in monthly instalments. Early sales of the monthly parts were disappointing, compared to previous works, so Dickens changed the plot to send the title character to America. This allowed the author to portray the United States (which he had visited in 1842) satirically as a near wilderness with pockets of civilisation filled with deceptive and self-promoting hucksters. The main theme of the novel, according to a preface by Dickens, is selfishness, portrayed in a satirical fashion using all the members of the Chuzzlewit family. The novel is also notable for two of Dickens' great villains, Seth Pecksniff and Jonas Chuzzlewit. It is dedicated to Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, a friend of Dickens. The story starts thus; Martin Chuzzlewit has been raised by his grandfather and namesake. Years before, Martin senior took the precaution of raising an orphaned girl, Mary Graham. She is to be his nursemaid, with the understanding that she will be well cared for only as long as Martin senior lives. She thus has strong motivation to promote his well-being, in contrast to his relatives, who only want to inherit his money. However, his grandson Martin falls in love with Mary and wishes to marry her, ruining Martin senior's plans. When Martin refuses to give up the engagement, his grandfather disinherits him.

Martin becomes an apprentice to Seth Pecksniff, a greedy architect. Instead of teaching his students, he lives off their tuition fees and has them do draughting work that he passes off as his own. He has two spoiled daughters, nicknamed Cherry and Merry, having been christened as Charity and Mercy. Unbeknown to Martin, Pecksniff has actually taken him on to establish closer ties with the wealthy grandfather, thinking that this will gain Pecksniff a prominent place in the will.


Old Martin Chuzzlewit, the wealthy patriarch of the Chuzzlewit family, lives in constant suspicion of the financial designs of his extended family. At the beginning of the novel he has aligned himself with Mary, an orphan, to have a caretaker who is not eyeing his estate. Later in the story he makes an apparent alliance with Pecksniff, who, he believes, is at least consistent in character. His true character is revealed by the end of the story.

Young Martin Chuzzlewit is the grandson of Old Martin Chuzzlewit. He is the closest relative of Old Martin and has inherited much of the stubbornness and selfishness of the old man. Young Martin is the protagonist of the story. His engagement to Mary is the cause of estrangement between himself and his grandfather. By the end of the story he becomes a reformed character, realising and repenting of the selfishness of his previous actions.

Code: 20785

1990.00 GBP


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Aur.Theodosii Macrobii, v. cl. & inlustris, Opera Published London 1694

by Ambrosius Aurelius Theodosius Macrobius, Johannes Isacius Pontanus, Johannes van Meurs, Jacobus Gronovius. First printing in England. Published by Dring and Harper of Fleet St. Imprimateur Rob. Ridgely, Feb 25, 169 1/2. 1694 Editio Novissima, Cum Indice Rerum & Vocum Locupletissimo. Calf leather, spine with four raised bands.Macrobius, ca. 400, is considered to be one of the last pagan Roman authors. His most important work is the Saturnalia, an account of a long dicussion held during a symposium on the occasion of the Saturnalia. The subjects discussed are grammar, philology, mythology, history. Macrobius also produced a commentary on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero. The work of this late antique writer is important because he rescued opinions and passages from works that have been lost. The Dutch classical scholar Johannes Isaac Pontanus, 1571-1639, was born at sea (hence his name), when his parents were on their way to Denmark. There he was for some time a helper of Tycho Brahe (NNBW I,1417). In 1606 he became professor of Mathematics at the University of Harderwijk. His edition of Macrobius, which included also notes of the Dutch scholar Johannes Meursius, dates from 1597, a second edition from 1628. § This edition of 1670 was produced by the young Dutch scholar Jacobus Gronovius, 1645-1716, after having finished his studies at the University of Leiden under his father Johannes Fredericus Gronovius, 1611-1671, who was professor of Greek and History from 1658, and from 1665 librarian of the University Library of Leiden. It was Jacobus' first important scholarly feat. In the preface Gronovius tells us that his father allowed him to inspect and cleanse ancient manuscripts, and how he conceived the plan to collate two rather old Macrobius manuscripts that were in a bad shape. ('duorum (.) MStorum situ & squalore horrentium, satis tamen antiquam manum ostendentium')Later, in 1679, Jacobus succeeded his father as professor of History and Greek)

Code: 23302

875.00 GBP


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Briefe Napoleons From Field Marshal Keitel's Personal Library

Briefe Napoleons des Ersten : in drei Banden ; Auswahl aus der gesamten Korrespondenz des Kaisers. Napoleon the First. Selection from all the correspondence of the emperor. Published in 1910; Napoleon's correspondence from 1809 until his death in 1821. Published in 3 volumes this is volume 3. Taken in 1946 from the family library of Field Marshal Keitel, and one of two books from the library we have just acquired. Bearing the Ex Libris Book Label of his family and eldest son, who he lost in the war, Karl-Heinz Keitel SS-Sturmbannfuhrer of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer, awarded the German Cross in Gold, Iron Cross 1st Class for heroism, Iron Cross IInd class, Close Combat Clasp & Wound Badge in black. Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (22 September 1882 - 16 October 1946) was the most famous German field marshal of WW2 who served as chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) for most of World War II, making him the Chief of Defence for Germany and Hitler's number two after Reichmarshall Goring. At the Allied court at Nuremberg, he was tried, sentenced to death, and hanged as a war criminal. He was the third highest-ranking German officer to be tried at Nuremberg. Karl-Heinz Keitel was born on 2 January 1914, in Wolfenbuttel, the eldest son of Wilhelm Keitel who would rise to become Chief of the OKW, the German Military High Command, during World War II. Karl-Heinz joined the Heer in 1934 and served in various cavalry units following the outbreak of war in 1939. In June 1943 he was assigned to the Kavallerie-Schule in Potsdam-Krampnitz, and served as a battalion commander, and later the regimental commander of the Kavallerie-Regiment Nord. On 5 August 1944, he transferred into the Waffen-SS and served with the 22. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia". On 20 October of that year, he was promoted to command SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Regiment 17 / 22.SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia" in the area of Hungary. In November 1944, combined with the Florian Geyer division, the "Maria Theresia" was assigned to the garrison of Budapest. On 12 December he was wounded in action while defending against Red Army probing attacks into Budapest for which he was awarded the Wound Badge in Black.
In March he transferred to the 37. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Lutzow" as its commander, and led the 2000 strong remnants of the division in heavy fighting around Wiener-Neustadt as part of 6. SS-Panzer Armee. He was reportedly promoted Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the closing months of the war. The book's label also bears the label of his wife Dorothee, the daughter of the Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (2 September 1878 - 14 March 1946) was a German Generalfeldmarschall, Minister of War, and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces until January 1938. The marriage of Karl-Heinz and Dorothee was one of the reasons her father, Generalfeldmarschall von Blomberg, was forced to resign by Hitler in 1938 It was in order to avoid a damaging scandal caused by the Generalfeldmarschall's new wife's criminal history as a prostitute that was discovered by Himmler. It was an extraordinary discovery as both Hitler and Goring attended her wedding to Keitel. Another volume that we know of, also originally from Field Marshal Keitel's library, an 1827 first edition of Alexander Pushkin's 'The Robber Brothers' printed in Russian, was apparently given to Keitel in 1941/2, after it's liberation from another but unknown Russian Ex Libris collection during Operation Barbarossa. That volume was given, in its turn in 1945, to Marshal Zhukov, commander of the Army of the USSR, and bears his Red Star stamp, and also Keitel's military stamp. That volume may weel have bee liberated from the Keitel family home library as was this book alongside the other we are offering for sale. Napoleon Bonaparte was General of the French Revolution; the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from 11 November 1799 to 18 May 1804; then Emperor of the French (Empereur des Francais) and King of Italy under the name Napoleon I from 18 May 1804 to 6 April 1814; and briefly restored as Emperor from March 20 to June 22 of 1815. This unique piece is exactly the kind of item we are seeking and finding every day, and thus duly offer for sale in our shop and website. Unique, original pieces for the discerning collector, and items that simply cannot be found any where else. We are now the only shop in Britain that offers such pieces, every day, and have done and hopefully will continue to do so

Code: 19643

875.00 GBP


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1st Edition James Bond, Man with the Golden Gun, by Ian Fleming

London: Jonathan Cape 1965. 1st Edition 1st Impression. Flemings 12th outing for Commander Bond. Minor spotting as to be expected. With dust jacket. Cover artist Richard Chopping (Jonathan Cape ed.). The Man with the Golden Gun is the twelfth novel (and thirteenth book) of Ian Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 1 April 1965, eight months after the author's death. The novel was not as detailed or polished as the others in the series, leading to poor but polite reviews. Despite that, the book was a best-seller.

The story centres on the fictional British Secret Service operative James Bond, who had been posted missing, presumed dead, after his last mission in Japan. Bond returns to England via the Soviet Union, where he had been brainwashed to attempt to assassinate his superior, M. After being "cured" by the MI6 doctors, Bond is sent to the Caribbean to find and kill Francisco Scaramanga, the titular "Man with the Golden Gun".

The first draft and part of the editing process was completed before Fleming's death and the manuscript had passed through the hands of his copy editor, William Plomer, but it was not as polished as other Bond stories. Much of the detail contained in the previous novels was missing, as this was often added by Fleming in the second draft. Publishers Jonathan Cape passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis for his thoughts and advice on the story, although his suggestions were not subsequently used.

The novel was serialised in 1965, firstly in the Daily Express and then in Playboy; in 1966 a daily comic strip adaptation was also published in the Daily Express. In 1974 the book was loosely adapted as the ninth film in the Eon Productions James Bond series, with Roger Moore playing Bond and Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee, as Scaramanga.
The Man with the Golden Gun film was filmed in 1974 the ninth film entry in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel of the same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator, a device that can harness the power of the sun, while facing the assassin Francisco Scaramanga, the "Man with the Golden Gun". The action culminates in a duel between them that settles the fate of the Solex.

The Man with the Golden Gun was the fourth and final film in the series directed by Guy Hamilton. The script was written by Richard Maibaum and Tom Mankiewicz. The film was set in the face of the 1973 energy crisis, a dominant theme in the script. Britain had still not yet fully overcome the crisis when the film was released in December 1974. The film also reflects the then popular martial arts film craze, with several kung fu scenes and a predominantly Asian location, being set and shot in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Macau. Part of the film is also set in Beirut, Lebanon, but it was not shot there. Ian Fleming wrote The Man with the Golden Gun at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica in January and February 1964, completing it by the beginning of March. His health affected him badly during the writing process and he dropped from his usual rate of two thousand words a morning to a little over an hour's worth of work a day.

As with his previous novels, Fleming used events from his past as elements in his novel. Whilst at Kitzbuhel in the 1930s, Fleming's car, a Standard Tourer, had been struck by a train at a level crossing and he had been dragged fifty yards down the track. From that time on he had associated trains with death, which led to their use as a plot device not just in The Man with the Golden Gun, but also in Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love. To show just how much all things original Bond are appreciated in the world of collectors the Walther pistol used by Connery in the poster of From Russia With Love, in 1963, and also drawn in the man With The Golden Gun poster [as shown here] an air pistol, .177 (4.5mm) Walther 'LP MOD.53' Air Pistol, Serial No. 054159, was sold by Christies in 2010 with an estimate of £15,000 to £20,000 for an incredible £277,000. [We dropped out of the bidding at 322,000] Incredible in that it was never used in any film, was an air pistol not a real automatic, and only used in promotional posters. It was 'said' to have been used by accident in fact as they couldn't find a correct Walther PPK on the day of the photoshoot.

Code: 22632

3450.00 GBP


Shortlist item
1st Edition The Personal History of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens Ist Impression binding by Bayntun-Riviere

David Copperfield was Dickens' most autobiographical novel. This is only the third version bound by Baytun-Rivière we have seen or had in 20 years. This is an absolute beauty and would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a dear loved one. A classic and charming story by the maestro of Victorian fiction. The Personal History of David Copperfield, 1850, Bradbury and Evans, first edition, first issue in book form (Smith 9), forty plates as called for, top page edges gilt, full morocco by Bayntun-Riviere. Engraved vignette title page (dated) is present. With Illustrations by H.K. Browne. True first issue with error points, including "screamed" for "screwed" on page 132 line 20 (usually lacking). Chapter XXVII is on page 282 rather than page 283 as listed in the table of contents; page 16: line 1 and page 225: line 22 both read "recal" rather than "recall"; Printed and first read before the Crimean War in Russia, and the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' that became infamous in British military history. Original printing imperfections and flaws are detailed in Walter E. Smith and his wonderful work 'Charles Dickens in the Original Cloth'. Smith's comprehensive bibliography of each of Dickens's works enabled all to describe the bindings in detail; identifying them as original and therefore extremely sought after by discerning Dickens enthusiasts and general bibliophiles alike. David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens. The novel's full title is The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account).[note 1] It was first published as a serial in 1849?50, and as a book in 1850. Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens's own life, and it is often considered as his veiled autobiography. It was Dickens' favourite among his own novels. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, "like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield." The story follows the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity. David was born in Blunderstone, Suffolk, England, six months after the death of his father. David spends his early years in relative happiness with his loving, childish mother and their kindly housekeeper, Peggotty. When he is seven years old his mother marries Edward Murdstone. During the marriage, partly to get him out of the way and partly because he strongly objects to the whole proceeding, David is sent to lodge with Peggotty's family in Yarmouth. Her brother, fisherman Mr. Peggotty, lives in a house built in an upturned boat on the beach, with his adopted relatives Emily and Ham, and an elderly widow, Mrs. Gummidge. "Little Em'ly" is somewhat spoilt by her fond foster father, and David is in love with her. On his return, David is given good reason to dislike his stepfather and has similar feelings for Murdstone's sister Jane, who moves into the house soon afterwards. Between them they tyrannise his poor mother, making her and David's lives miserable, and when, in consequence, David falls behind in his studies, Murdstone attempts to thrash him ? partly to further pain his mother. David bites him and soon afterwards is sent away to a boarding school, Salem House, under a ruthless headmaster, Mr. Creakle. There he befriends an older boy, James Steerforth, and Tommy Traddles. He develops an impassioned admiration for Steerforth, perceiving him as something noble, who could do great things if he would?...David Copperfield ? The narrator and protagonist of this veiled autobiography, created on the image of the author himself. He is characterised in the book as having perseverance, but also an undisciplined heart, which is an important point of the latter part of the book. After being adopted by his aunt Betsey Trotwood, he is called "Trotwood Copperfield" in deference to her wishes. Throughout the novel he goes by multiple names: the Peggotty family address him as "Davy", James Steerforth nicknames him "Daisy", Dora calls him "Doady", the Micawbers mostly address him by his last name, and his aunt and her circle refer to him as "Trot".

Code: 20787

2995.00 GBP


Shortlist item
The Story of the George Cross, 1st edition, 17 VC Winners & 21 George Cross

Winners Autographs. Written by John Smyth .
The Story of the George Cross, with a Foreword by Air Vice-Marshal Sir Laurence Sinclair, 1st edition, 1968,
colour frontispiece and black & white plates from photos, a few little marks and stains, some annotations, several large red ink stamps of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Collection of Kenneth Williams, upper hinge cracked, numerous signatures mostly to preliminary leaves and endpapers at front and rear, original cloth (rubbed) in chipped dust jacket,
This simply amazing and unique historical collection of original autographs are simple unrepeatable. The autographs include 17 VC winners and 21 George Cross winners plus various frontiersmen. The VC winners' autographs include David Ross Lauder, Bhanbhagta Gurungn, Lachliman Gurungn, Harry Nicholls, Janju Lama, Albert Hill, Rambahadur Limba (twice), William Butler, Edgar Myles, Jackie Smyth, Richard Annand, Charles Upham and William McNally. The George Cross winners' autographs include Stuart Archer (twice), Dennis Copperwheat, Fred Anderson, Leon Goldsworthy, Walter Arnold, Anthony Cobham, Alfred Lungley, Frank Naughton, Nandlal Thapa, Reg Rimmer, Edwin Crossley, Richard Blackburn, Daphne Pearson and Ernest Elston. The story of the VC award to Lt.John ?Jackie? Smyth VC. On 18 May 1915 at Festubert on the Western Front, the British were struggling to hold a captured German trench known as the ?Glory Hole?. At 3.30pm Lieutenant John ?Jackie? Smyth of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs was ordered to venture out across open ground to deliver some much-needed ammunition.

Having watched the horrific consequences of two previous attempts, Smyth faced the daunting prospect of asking for volunteers to undertake the mission. In Smyth?s own words ?the proudest moment of my life was that every man said he wanted to go?.

Accompanied by ten Sikh volunteers, Smyth had to cover a distance of about 230 metres over open ground, exposed to machine-gun fire and enemy snipers. The men were said to have resorted to dragging the heavy ammunition boxes using their pagris (turbans) through mud, water and past the bodies of their fallen comrades.

Eight of the ten Sikhs were killed or wounded in the action. But, against all odds, Lieutenant Smyth, with the aid of Lance-Naik Mangal Singh and Sepoy Lal Singh, successfully delivered the bombs and the trench was held. Inside the dust jacket liner is a handwritten note by its second owner who purchased it in 2004 for ?600.

Code: 21008

1100.00 GBP


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Foxe's Book of Martyrs 1570, An Impartial Hand 1741 Richard Hoare Ex Libris

One of the most foremost and important books of the 16th century. The Book of Martyrs: Containing an Account of the Sufferings and Death of the Protestants in the Reign of Queen Mary. ... Illustrated with Copper-plates. Originally Written by Mr. J. F., and Now Revised and Corrected by an Impartial Hand. A most fine example formerly from the library and private collection [with family crest and library plate] of Richard Hoare descendant of famous abolitionist and 'Sign of the Black Horse' founding banker, Samuel Hoare Jr. Richard, of Marden Hill Hertfordshire, was born in 1824, son of the banker Samuel Hoare (1783-1847) who was grandson of Quaker and abolitionist Samuel Hoare Jr. whose bank, Barnetts, Hoares, Hanbury & Lloyd, first used The Sign of the Black Horse as it's symbol, that was taken over and used by Lloyds Bank as it's logo in 1884. We show a portrait of young Richard Hoare painted by Royal Academician George Richmond
The book was originally produced in 1563 and illustrated with over sixty distinctive woodcut impressions and was to that time the largest publishing project ever undertaken in England. Their product was a single volume book, a bit over a foot long, two palms-span wide, too deep to lift with only one hand, and weighed about the same as a small infant. Foxe's own title for the first edition (as scripted and spelled), is Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church. Long titles being conventionally expected, so this title continues and claims that the book describes "persecutions and horrible troubles" that had been "wrought and practiced by the Roman Prelates, speciallye in this realm of England and Scotland". Foxe's temporal range was "from the yeare of our Lorde a thousand unto the tyme nowe present"

Following closely on the heels of the first edition (Foxe complained that the text was produced at "a breakneck speed"), the 1570 edition was in two volumes and had expanded considerably. The page count went from approximately 1,800 pages in 1563 to over 2,300 folio pages. The number of woodcuts increased from 60 to 150. As Foxe wrote about his own living (or executed) contemporaries, the illustrations could not be borrowed from existing texts, as was commonly practiced. The illustrations were newly cut to depict particular details, linking England's suffering back to "the primitive tyme" until, in volume I, "the reigne of King Henry VIII"; in volume two, from Henry's time to "Queen Elizabeth our gracious Lady now reygnyng..The title plate bears a hand penned note dating the entry in 1847 at Marden Hill. 9.75 inches x 15 inches x 2.25 inches 713 pages , plus index of the victims up to 'H'.

Code: 19180

1895.00 GBP


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V.Rare Incunabule, Vitae Pontificum, Ist Ed, 1479 By Bartolomaeus Platina

Pope Sixtus IVth's Appointed Vatican Librarian. Over 525 years old. When Bartolomeo Sacchi ('Platina', 1421-1481) wrote his Vitae pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and presented it to Pope Sixtus IV in 1475, he surely could not have imagined how influential it would become over the centuries. His was the first papal history, the lives of the popes from the time of Jesus Christ, to the reign of Sixtus IV, composed as a humanist Latin narrative and, as such, marked a distinct breakthrough in relation to the Liber pontificalis, the standard medieval chronicle of the papacy. Whatever Platina's intentions for the book that was published in 1479, it soon came to be regarded as the official history of the Roman pontiffs, an icon of the earliest printing. Formerly from the library of the renown Abolishionist William Roscoe, sold by him at auction in 1816 for ?1.13/-, due to the financial difficulties of his banking house, and acquired by order of the Library Committee of the City of Bath Reference Library. This book was likely commissioned due to the influences of Pope Sixtus IV [Francesco della Rovere] upon his librarian, it's author, Bartolomaeus Platina. We show in the gallery a painting of Pope Sixtus appointing Platina as the official Vatican Librarian. An Incunable is a most rare book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed?not handwritten?before the year 1501 in Europe. They are the earliest form of printed books. Incunabula include the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, probably the most valuable book in the world. This is a First Edition of Bartholomaeus Platina's great history of the lives of the Popes, the first systematic papal history, not only to create the first detailed history of the Popes but also to villify his mortal enemy Pope Paul IInd Pietro Barbo. This book was created in the era of the great Rennaiscance, in the time of the notorious Borgias and in the year of the notorious Pazzi conspiracy, which was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the de' Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. It was printed at the time that Leonado De Vinci drew the hanging of a Pazzi conspiritor Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano de' Medici. Lorenzo was wounded but survived; Giuliano was killed. The failure of the plot served to strengthen the position of the de' Medici. The Pazzi were banished from Florence. During the time the Platina served as the first librarian at the Vatican under its modern founder, Sixtus IV. Platina started his career as a soldier employed by condottieri, before gaining long-term patronage from the Gonzagas, including the young cardinal Francesco, for whom he wrote a family history. He studied under the Byzantine humanist philosopher John Argyropulos in Florence, where he frequented other fellow humanists, as well as members of the ruling Medici family.

Around 1462 he moved with Francesco Gonzaga to Rome, where he purchased a post as a papal writer under the humanist Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and became a member of the pagan-influenced Roman Academy founded by Pomponio Leto. Close acquaintance with the renowned chef Maestro Martino in Rome seems to have provided inspiration for a theoretical treatise on Italian gastronomy entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On honourable pleasure and health"), which achieved considerable popularity and has the distinction of being considered the first printed cookbook.

Platina's papal employment was abruptly curtailed on the arrival of an anti-humanist pope, Paul II (Pietro Barbo), who had the rebellious Platina locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo during the winter of 1464-65 as a punishment for his remonstrations. In 1468 he was again confined in Castel Sant'Angelo for a further year, where he was interrogated under torture, following accusations of an alleged pagan conspiracy by members of Pomponio's Roman academy involving plans to assassinate the pope.

Platina's fortunes were revived by the return to power of the strongly pro-humanist pope, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), who in 1475 made him Vatican librarian?an appointment which was depicted in a famous fresco by Melozzo da Forl?. He was granted the post after writing an innovative and influential history of the lives of the popes that gives ample space to Roman history and pagan themes, and concludes by vilifying Platina's nemesis, Paul Iia paragraph from Platina's Vit? Pontificum first gave rise to the legend of the excommunication of Halley's comet by Pope Callixtus III,
Vit? Pontificum ("Lives of the Popes", 1479) "Incunable" is the anglicised singular form of "incunabula", Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle", which can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything." A former term for "incunable" is "fifteener", referring to the 15th century. Vitae pontificum, FIRST EDITION, 239 leaves (of 240, lacking first leaf), 39 lines, roman (and a little Greek) letter, capital spaces with guide letters, a few early marginal ink annotations, tears repaired to 2 leaves, small worm trace in upper margin of approximately 30 leaves (touching letters on approximately 20), inner margins of final leaves strengthened at gutter margins and a few other small paper repairs, gnawing to some fore-corners, blindstamp on approximately 6 leaves, late seventeenth/early eighteenth century red morocco gilt, sides panelled with corner, side and central decorations, spine gilt-tooled (including title and publication date) in 7 compartments within raised bands, rebacked preserving most of original spine. [Venice], Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479. William Roscoe's copy of the first editon of Platina's history of the Popes.

Provenance: William Roscoe (1753-1832), historian and author of Lorenzo de Medici (1796) and The Life of Pope Leo X (1805), with a 10-line pencil note in his hand, above which an ink note reads "Notes by Wm. Roscoe vide infra. Coll. By him". One of this books former owners was the renown William Roscoe (8 March 1753 ? 30 June 1831). He was an English historian, leading abolitionist, art collector, M.P. Lawyer, banker, botanist and miscellaneous writer, perhaps best known today as an early abolitionist. 11.25 inches x 7.5inches x 2.25 inches.

Code: 20006

4950.00 GBP


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Thomas Carlyle's 'Heroes.., From Field Marshal Keitel's Personal Library

A Thomas Carlyle: On Heroes and Hero-Worship and the Heroic in history. German Josef Neuberg. R. v. Decker, Berlin, 1917, taken in 1946 from the family library and home of Field Marshal Keitel, bearing the Ex Libris book label of his family and eldest son, who he lost in the war. Karl-Heinz Keitel SS-Sturmbannfuhrer of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer, awarded the German Cross in Gold, Iron Cross 1st Class for heroism, Iron Cross Iind class, Close Combat Clasp & Wound Badge in black. Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (22 September 1882 to 16 October 1946) was the most famous German field marshal of WW2 who served as chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) for most of World War II, making him the Chief of Defence for Germany and Hitler's number two after Reichmarshall Goring. At the Allied court at Nuremberg, he was tried, sentenced to death, and hanged as a war criminal. He was the third highest-ranking German officer to be tried at Nuremberg. Karl-Heinz Keitel was born on 2 January 1914, in Wolfenbuttel, the eldest son of Wilhelm Keitel who would rise to become Chief of the OKW, the German Military High Command, during World War II. Karl-Heinz joined the Heer in 1934 and served in various cavalry units following the outbreak of war in 1939. In June 1943 he was assigned to the Kavallerie-Schule in Potsdam-Krampnitz, and served as a battalion commander, and later the regimental commander of the Kavallerie-Regiment Nord. On 5 August 1944, he transferred into the Waffen-SS and served with the 22. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia". On 20 October of that year, he was promoted to command SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Regiment 17 / 22.SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Maria Theresia" in the area of Hungary. In November 1944, combined with the Florian Geyer division, the "Maria Theresia" was assigned to the garrison of Budapest. On 12 December he was wounded in action while defending against Red Army probing attacks into Budapest for which he was awarded the Wound Badge in Black.
In March he transferred to the 37. SS-Freiwilligen-Kavallerie-Division "Lutzow" as its commander, and led the 2000 strong remnants of the division in heavy fighting around Wiener-Neustadt as part of 6. SS-Panzer Armee. He was reportedly promoted Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the closing months of the war. The book's label also bears the label of his wife Dorothee, the daughter of the Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (2 September 1878 - 14 March 1946) was a German Generalfeldmarschall, Minister of War, and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces until January 1938. The marriage of Karl-Heinz and Dorothee was one of the reasons her father, Generalfeldmarschall von Blomberg, was forced to resign by Hitler in 1938 It was in order to avoid a damaging scandal caused by the Generalfeldmarschall's new wife's criminal history as a prostitute that was discovered by Himmler. It was an extraordinary discovery as both Hitler and Goring attended her wedding to Keitel.
This is a typical book that struck home to the Nazi psyche as it extols the virtues of a radical new thinking progressive hero that could lead a stagnant peoples out of the darkness of old fashioned ideals and values. It could not have been more perfect for the supporters of Adolf Hitler and his new Nazi principles. Progress through National Socialism, where the working classes could rise up rid themselves of the shackles of the old, backward thinking nobility and upper classes. Effectively communism but with a different hat. It is certainly not to say that Carlyle was any way connected with their views at all, but the premise of a Heroic new thinker to lead his people to a working class based Arian promised land fitted Hitler and his supporters perfectly. Thomas Carlyle: On Heroes and Hero-Worship and the Heroic in history. German Josef Neuberg. R. v. Decker, Berlin, The book, a series of six lectures that Carlyle delivered to London audiences in 1840, represents not so much soundly based ideas about the making of history as it does Carlyle?s view of how the world would be if powerful and inspired people were to have the power he thought they deserved. The book thus became England?s contribution to the nineteenth century cult of the ?great man,? a dream that was most seductively attractive to intellectuals forced to put their ideas in the marketplace with all the other merchants, but closed off from the real power that was being exercised in the newly industrialized world by economic entrepreneurs. Like most nineteenth century historians and philosophers, Carlyle promotes the notion that progress is good and inevitable; unlike many of his contemporaries, however, he does not believe that the passage of time in and of itself assures progress. Only when persons of heroic temperament step forward to lead the masses can true progress for society occur. The persons featured in On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History were just such people; their actions, and their willingness to live in accordance with the vision of society that motivated them, changed history for the better. Carlyle finds no one around him acting in a way to set his own age right; given to commercialism and self-gratification, the people of nineteenth century Europe lack the will or the leadership to make something worthwhile of their lives. If his work is not totally successful in conveying a portrait of heroism good for all times, it does succeed in showing Carlyle’s disenchantment with the nineteenth century and its lack of political heroes, as he saw it. Another volume that we know of, also originally from Field Marshal Keitel's library, an 1827 first edition of Alexander Pushkin’s The Robber Brothers printed in Russian, was appently given to Keitel in 1941/2, after it's liberation from another but unknown Russian Ex Libris collection during Operation Barbarossa. That volume was given, in its turn in 1945, to Marshal Zhukov, commander of the Army of the USSR, and bears his Red Star stamp, and also Keitel's military stamp.

Code: 19641

975.00 GBP


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A Wonderful Edition of The Trial of King Charles 1st for Treason Pub.1684

Owned by the William Tanckred MP, the 'High Sheriff of Yorkshire' & 'Master of the Harriers' to the later King William IIIrd. Titled; Nalson (John), "A True Copy of the Journal of The High Court of Justice for the Tryal of K. Charles I?, printed by H.C. for Thomas Dring, London 1684". Inscribed twice by its principle owner Christopher Tancred (8 April 1659 ? 22 November 1705), of Whixley in Yorkshire. He was the Member of Parliament for Aldborough from 1689 to 1698, and he also served as High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1684 and Master of the Harriers to King William III. It is very rare to get an inscribed original copy to an original Parliamentarian of the 17th century. We know of only one other copy like it owned by another Member of Parliament at the time of printing. The trial of Charles I was one of the most momentous events ever to have taken place in Westminster Hall. Kings have been deposed and murdered, but never before had one been tried and condemned to death whilst still King.

The trial of Charles I in Westminster Hall

Sound of trumpets
Following the end of the Civil War Charles I was brought to trial in Westminster Hall on 20 January 1649. The Serjeant at Arms rode into the Hall carrying the mace and accompanied by six trumpeters on horseback. The King's trial was proclaimed to the sound of trumpets and drums, at the south end of the Hall.

Bringing the King through a large crowd at the north was too great a risk; on the other hand, it was important that the trial be held in public. The court was divided from the public by a wood partition from wall to wall, backed by railings, and guards were stationed on the leads.

The King appeared before his judges four times, charged with tyranny and treason. The exchanges always took a similar form with the King challenging the court's authority and its right to try him.
The peculiar nature of the trial reflects not simply the fact that a King was on trial but that both the King and his judges took their stand on what are still crucial principles - the King on his right to trial by a properly constituted court acting on the basis of established law, and his accusers on the need to call to account a King they had described as a tyrant who shed the blood of his people.

The King's persistence disconcerted the judges, but there was little doubt about the outcome, and the death sentence was proclaimed on 27 January.

Eleven years later, after the restoration of the monarchy (under Charles II), many of the surviving regicides were tried in the Old Bailey (Sessions House), and ten were condemned and executed.

The bodies of the key men who ordered the execution of Charles I - Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton - were exhumed and their heads stuck on poles on one of the Hall's towers. Cromwell's remained there for more than 20 years. Complete with the print of the Kings portrait which is often lacking. With wear and with appropriate small faults.12.5 inches x 8 inches.

Code: 23151

1950.00 GBP


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