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Chet Ross Rare Books

The Foundation Trilogy: Foundation

The Foundation Trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation — Signed Association copy

Asimov, Isaac New York: Gnome Press, 1951, 1952 & 1953. First Editions. First Printings, First Issue. Three octavo volumes. 255, [256: blank]; [2: blank], 247, [248-254: blank]; [x], 210, [211-214: blank] pages. A near fine+ three-volume set with the original first state dust jackets also in near fine+ condition. Two dust jackets have the publisher's $2.75 printed price present with very minor wear to the edges although Volume I dust jacket is price clipped. Volume I dust jacket is the rare first issue with the main character throughout the series name misspelled on the front dust jacket flap. The three volumes and their respective dust jackets are in unusually well-preserved condition -- no fading to spines of books or dust jackets. Bindings are tight, pages are clean and no prior ownership names, markings or bookplates in any of the books with the exception of the association signature on the title page in Volume I. A beautiful set of Asimov s Foundation trilogy, winner of the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series in 1966. This unique association copy is signed and inscribed by David Kyle, who designed the dust jacket for Volume I, Foundation, to renowned science fiction illustrator Stephen E. Fabian. Fabian was a recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2006. He has also been a two-time nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist (1970 and 1971), and a seven-time nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist (1975 1981). The story begins with mathematician Hari Seldon who conceived his theory of psychohistory, a method of predicting the future along mass social change in humanity, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it could predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises. Although the inertia of the Empire's fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which "the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little" to eventually limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To implement his plan, Seldon creates the Foundations two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy to preserve the spirit of science and civilization, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire. A key feature of Seldon's theory, which has proved influential in real-world social science, is an uncertainty or incompleteness principle: if a population gains knowledge of its predicted behavior, its self-aware collective actions become unpredictable.
Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa

Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa, in the Years 1822, 1823 and 1824, by Major Denham, Captain Clapperton and The Late Doctor Oudney, Extending Across the Desert to the Tenth Degree of North Latitude, and from Korika in Bornou, to Sackatoc, The Capital of The Fellatah Empire. With and Appendix.

Denham, Dixon and Clapperton, Hugh London: John Murray, 1826. 1st Presentation Edition, Signed. Royal 4to -- 29.4cm. [lxviii], 336pp., [iv], 272 pp., Appendix. Two volumes in one. Original Tuscan-red boards, spine with a fine contemporary black morocco label, tooled and titled in gilt; with 37 fine engraved and etched plates, charts and maps, and one large fold-out map, of which 35 full-page plates are on India paper, mounted and, of which 28 are also present in 2nd state for a total of 63 plates in all, comprising a “Proof State Before Letters”, and also on India paper, mounted, wood-engraved illustrations. Binding is professionally re-backed with old spine laid down, inner hinges restored. Now contained in a specially constructed black solander box with integral flap-case -- NB: As a result of a binder’s error, this copy was bound without four leaves (signature C of Volume II) and noted at the time on the original incorrectly bound signature in a contemporary graphite hand: “This is a mistake”. These have been supplied from another copy of the first edition. A Very Good copy of the one of the most sought after issues of this masterpiece of African travel. Presentation Copy of the First Edition inscribed on the front free-endpaper, “John Major from the Publisher”. Lowndes: “The most interesting and important work yet published on the subject of African researches. It is written in a plain and perspicuous style, and containing many particulars of an hitherto unknown country.” This, “one of very few copies printed upon thick paper for presents only”. According to Lowndes, there were 2 “lesser” issues of the first edition: the “regular issue”; a “special issue, with the plates mounted on India paper”; and “third issue for presents only” (op.cit.) – the issue that is listed here, which has the plates mounted on India paper. The engravings, after original drawings by Denham and Clapperton, are superbly engraved by Edward Finden, one of the finest steel-engravers in England at the time. Denham and Clapperton, in the company of Dr. Walter Oudney, travelled from Benioleed, near Tripoli, almost due south to Lake Tchad, with excursions in the mountains west of Mourzuk in Fezzan. Dixon attempted to follow the circuit around Lake Tchad but was unsuccessful. In the meantime, Clapperton and Oudney journeyed west from the lake toward the Niger River, but the doctor only made it about a third of the way, and died in Murmur. Clapperton continued west, but was prevented from passing beyond Sackatoo by the local Sultan. He and Dunham subsequently returned to Tripoli and crossed back to England. This exciting narrative is compiled from Denham’s journal, with a chapter by Dr. Oudney on the excursion to the mountains west of Mourzuk. A final section by Clapperton relates to the westward journey form Lake Tchad to Sackatoo and includes an account of Oudney’s death. Among the several appendices are translations from the Arabic or various letters and documents brought back by Denham and Clapperton, including a document relating to The Death of Mungo Park; a translation from Arabic of A Geographical and Historical Account of The Kingdom of Tak-roor, from a larger work composed by Sultan Mahommed Bello of Hausa; Vocabularies of Bornou, Begharmi, Mandara and Timbuctoo; appendices on the Zoology and Botany of the Regions based on samples collected by Dr. Oudney; a note on Rock Specimens; and a Thermometrical Journal kept at Kouka in Bournou. -- Lownnes I p. 629, Howgego D18 Vol. II.
Six Came Back

Six Came Back

Brainard, David L. New York & Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1940. 1st Edition, 1st Printing. 8vo – 22.2cm. 305 pages, frontispiece portrait, black-and-white photographic plates, cartographic endpapers. Publisher’s blue cloth with bright gilt titles on cover and spine. In Near Fine Condition — a lovely copy of an important first hand account of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition under the command of Lieutenant Adolphus Greely. This volume contains Brainard’s entire diary, a portion of which (the last four chapters) was published in 1929 as “Outpost of the Lost.” An unusually well-preserved and complete copy. Arctic Bibliography 2071 First person account by Sergeant David Brainard, one of the six lone survivors of the 25 man Greely Expedition - officially called The Lady Franklin Bay Arctic Expedition that sailed from St. John's, Newfoundland in July 1881 with Lt. Adlophus W. Greely in command. On the day of sailing, Sergeant Brainard began his diary – this was the first publication of Brainard’s complete diary account that documented one of the tragic stories of Arctic polar exploration. Brainard was one of three men who pushed up the Greenland coast to plant the American flag in the snow of the most northern latitude men reached at the time. Brainard also achieved Farthest West crossing Grinnell Land from east to west and for the first time sighting the Western Ocean. An important and very scarce book — also a very good read.
Topography of Troy

Topography of Troy, and Its Vicinity Illustrated and Explained by Drawings and Descriptions. Dedicated by Permission, to her Grace The Duchess of Devonshire.

Gell, William Inscribed and Signed by Lord Byron. London: C. Whittingham, for T.N. Longman and O. Rees, 1804. First Edition. Folio – 43.5cm. (iv), 124 pp. Title leaf with hand-coloured engraved vignette, dedication leaf, 28 hand-coloured plates including 3 fold-out plates and 2 hand coloured maps, 13 engravings in the text, all but 2 coloured -- the entire sequence numbered 1--45, one unnumbered plate at page 21. ¾ tan calf with red morocco spine label and bright gilt decorations on spine. A lovely and complete copy in Near Fine Condition. Rare. The production of this very handsome folio was intended to provide accurate illustrations of the scenery covering the whole region of Troy. William Gell visited the Troy in December, 1801 during his first trip to Greece. He used a camera lucida (an instrument in which rays of light are reflected by a prism to produce on a sheet of paper an image, from which a drawing can be made) to produce in a very short time extremely accurate small-scale sketches of vast landscapes and scenes. The final production of this very handsome folio with its forty-five plates was meant to supply accurate illustrations of the scenery covering the whole region of Troy. This is a very impressive publication. Travel, 399. Blackmer Library 660. “Certainly the most beautiful book on Troy ever printed” --A.K. Lascarides, The Search for Troy, 1553-1874, 1977 Inscribed and Signed by Lord Byron on the verso of the second blank front free leaf reading: Sir William Gell’s Topography of Troy cannot fail to insure the appreciation of every man possessed of a classical taste as well for the information. Sir W. conveys to the mind of the reader as for the ability & research the work’s display. Ld. Byron
The Importance of the Cape of Good Hope

The Importance of the Cape of Good Hope, As a Colony to Great Britain, Independently of the Advantages it Possesses as a Military and Naval Station, and the Key to Our Territory Possession of India.

Fisher, Richard Barnard London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1816, First hardbound edition. 3rd (and best) edition with additions. 8vo – 22.7cm. [xxiv], 190 pp. Fold-out hand-colored aquatint frontispiece, fold-out hand-colored plan in outline. Original boards re-backed with original spine laid down and original endpapers. A very clean and complete copy with no foxing and pages untrimmed. “The first two editions of the work were issued in pamphlet form, and the present volume possesses additions to the letterpress of earlier productions. Fisher was of the opinion that the Hottentots had ‘no language’ and that the few words they pronounced were either Portuguese or Dutch. Fisher complains that there were no taverns, hotels, or even shops in Cape Town, and draws a by no means favorable picture of it inhabitants, who he says, have ‘a most inordinate sense of pride’ while ‘they seem to pride themselves on their dexterity in imposition, and none suffer so much from it as English military and navy. He also quotes Barrow as saying ‘that the inanity of their minds and the indolent habit of their bodies are not even surmounted by self-interest,’ and reference is made to the extreme brutality displayed by the “Africans” (Afrikanders) to their slaves. There is an article on the wines of the colony, and others having reference to the trade in dried fruits, ostrich feathers, ivory, &c. Under the title ‘Further Considerations,’ many suggestions are made for the betterment of the government of the colony ’ Mendelssohn Volume 1. Pp. 547.
Narrative of a Voyage Round the World

Narrative of a Voyage Round the World, in the Uranie and Physicienne Corvettes, Commanded by Captain Freycinet, During the Years 1817, 1818, 1819 and 1820; on a Scientific Expedition Undertaken By Order of the French Government, in a Series of Letters to a Friend

Arago, Jacques London: Treuttel and Wurtz, Treuttel, Jun. and Richter. 1823, First English Edition. Quarto – 27.5 cm. 2 parts in 1, fold-out frontispiece map and 25 lithograph plates -- complete; later full-tan calf with gilt decorative ruled border on front and rear boards, spine with five raised bands, bright gilt decorative compartments and fuchsia morocco title label. Despite the clear evidence of the 'Directions for placing the Plates' present here, there has been some unnecessary confusion about the collation of this book. Ferguson omitted the map from his plate count, while Hill erroneously called for a map and 26 plates. This very clean copy, with the map and 25 plates is complete and in Near Fine+ condition. The first edition in English of this private narrative of the 1817-1820 Freycinet expedition to Australia and the Pacific - in fact the first appearance in English of any account of the voyage. Originally published in French, Arago's book in its many subsequent editions became one of the voyage best-sellers of the nineteenth century. The English edition is much rarer than the French edition. The very large multi-volume French account of the voyage was far more serious and scientific in tone. Arago was the official draftsman on the voyage, and the excellent lithograph plates here are all after Arago’s drawings. WITH: A 3-page letter written and signed by Arago dated 8 April 1842 to Minister M. Piobert discussing the voyages of Dumont Durville and La Place. “The “Uranie” with a crew of 125 men under the command of Captain Louis de Freycinet, entered the Pacific from the West to make scientific observations on geography, magnetism and meteorology. Arago was the artist of the expedition which visited Western Australia, Timor, Hawaii and New South Wales. The original ship wrecked off the Falkland Islands. Two months later, the expedition continued aboard the “Physicenne” which stopped for a time in Rio de Janeiro. Captain Freycinet’s wife, Rose Pinon, was smuggled on board at the advent of the voyage and made the complete journey, causing some discord among the crew. Freycinet named an island he discovered after her – Rose Island among the Samoa Islands. These entertaining letters, written in a lively and witty literary style, provide vivid descriptions of the topography and the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands. The book achieved great success”. Hill 28-29.
Voyage of “Discovery” -- Signed

Voyage of “Discovery” — Signed, dated and Inscribed by Scott, plus With two lenghtly poetic verses penned in the rear of Volume II

Scott, Captain Robert Falcon C.V.O., R. N. London: Smith Elder & Co 12 October 1905, 1st Edition, 1st Impression. 8vo – 24.6cm. Volume I pp. [I-vii], viii-xx, 556, photogravure frontispiece, title printed in red and black. 3 maps (1 double-page, 1 full-page, 1 folding in end-pocket), 7 color plates, 2 photographic panoramic views on 1 double-page plate, 119 mostly photographic illustrations on 84 plates, 1 full-page plan in text, 16 text vignettes; Volume II pp. [i-v], vi-xii, 508, photogravure portrait frontispiece, 2 maps (1 full-page, 1 folding in end pocket) 5 color plates, 8 panoramic views on 4 double-page plates, 124 mostly photographic illustration on 82 plates, 13pp., index; With 260 full-page and smaller illustrations by Dr. E.A. Wilson and other members of the expedition, photogravure frontispieces, 12 colored plates in facsimile from Dr. Wilson’s sketches, panoramas and maps. In two volumes and collated complete. Publisher's ribbed dark blue cloth, covers with raised bright gilt medallions, spines lettered in gilt. A Near Fine set with prior bookplate inside front covers. Also with original publisher’s notice bound inside front cover of Volume I. Very clean internally with tight hinges. Volume I is signed and inscribed on the half-title page: “To Lady Brownrigg with the Author’s compliments, Oct. 12, 1905, Rob. F. Scott”. Very Rare being signed by Scott. Conrad p. 121; Spence 1050, Renard 1372, Rosove 286.A1a (with errata). “A classic of expedition literature as Scott mixes geographical, scientific and metaphysical observations with the sure hand of an Edwardian gentleman.” —Conrad 121 Additionally, two lengthily inscriptions/poems have been penned on the rear end-page of Volume II. The second eight-line verse appears to be penned by Scott due to similarities in the script style of Scott’s inscription and signature on the half-title page. The first inscription reads: There is something greater in great men than their talents, for the most consummate talents in themselves will not make a great man. There is in them besides their talents, their spirit, their character, that magnetic fluid, as it were, that enables them to influence their fellow men, which makes them a binding and stimulating power. The second poem appears to be by Scott's hand and reads: Think what a pageant of immortal acts, Done in the unapproachable face of time. By the high, transcending human mind . Think of the soldiers and priests; Artists, & captains of discovery, God's chosen, His adventures esp the heights of thought & deed – how many of them that led The forlorn hopes of the world!.
Sydpolen: Den Norske Sydpolsfaerd med Fram 1910-1912 -- The South Pole: The Norwegian South Pole Expedition with Fram]1910-1912. Complete as published in 40 parts -- with tipped-in signature of Roald Amundsen

Sydpolen: Den Norske Sydpolsfaerd med Fram 1910-1912 — The South Pole: The Norwegian South Pole Expedition with Fram]1910-1912. Complete as published in 40 parts — with tipped-in signature of Roald Amundsen

Amundsen, Roald Kristiania: Jacob Dybwads, [May-September] 1912. 40 parts, First Edition, First Printing. 8vo. Collated Complete with: Sepia photographic frontispiece of Amundsen, 47 plate leaves, 4 maps including 3 coloured two being fold-out, numerous text illustrations, publisher s instructions for private binders at front of Part XXI. Original paper wrappers decorated with circular photograph set within a surround of penguins, the first two parts coloured silver and the remainder light blue-green as called for. All 40 parts complete and in Very Good to Good+ condition; pages untrimmed as issued. RARE original 40 parts First Issue of Amundsen s classic account of his victorious expedition to the South Pole. Rosove 8.A1.1 VERY RARE ORIGINAL PARTS ISSUE of Amundsen's classic account of his victorious expedition to the South Pole. Amundsen disembarked from the Fram at Buenos Aires in May 1912 to meet his sponsor Don Pedro Christophersen. He was invited to stay on one of Christophersen's estancias to write up his account of the expedition. The Fram returned home without him, leaving Buenos Aires on 7 June 1912, the second anniversary of their departure from Christiania. The sudden contrast was not lost on Amundsen: 'Here I am, sitting in the shade of palms, surrounded by the most wonderful vegetation, enjoying the most magnificent fruits, and writing -- the history of the South Pole. What an infinite distance seems to separate that region from these surroundings! And yet it is only four months since my gallant comrades and I reached the coveted spot . On December 14, 1911, five men stood at the southern end of our earth's axis, planted the Norwegian flag there, and named the region after the man for whom they would all gladly have offered their lives -- King Haakon VII. Thus the veil was torn aside for all time, and one of the greatest of our earth's secrets had ceased to exist. Since I was one of the five who, on that December afternoon, took part in this unveiling, it has fallen to my lot to write -- the history of the South Pole'. With: the original publisher s decorative boards issued to bind the 40 parts. With: tipped in signature of Roald Amundsen Noticeably lacking the heroic tone of Scott's accounts, Amundsen's typically modest narrative of the Norwegian endeavor 'speaks of what is achieved, not of their hardships. Every word a manly one. That is the mark of the right man, quiet and strong' (Nansen, Introduction). Written before the outcome of Scott's Terra Nova Expedition was known, the differences between the two expeditions were already being outlined, and the battle-lines in what would become an ongoing debate already being drawn: 'For the victory is not due to the great inventions of the present day and the many new appliances of every kind. The means used are of immense antiquity, the same as were known to the nomad thousands of years ago, when he pushed forward across the snow-covered plains of Siberia and Northern Europe. But everything, great and small, was thoroughly thought out, and the plan was splendidly executed. It is the man that matters, here as everywhere. Let no one come and prate about luck and chance. Amundsen's luck is that of the strong man who looks ahead' (Nansen, ibid). This original parts issue of Sydpolen was followed by Jacob Dybwads' 2-volume edition and translated immediately into English, Danish, French, and German. Rosove lists only 2 copies of the original parts issue (one of which lacks the binding advertisement and instructions) calling it 'VERY SCARCE'. He lists no copies in public institutions. Most part issues were bound together by contemporary binders, the original printed wrappers being 'variably retained', and even these bound sets Rosove considers 'uncommon' (4 listings). No set of the original parts issue is recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975