Paul Foster

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KIPLING. RUDYARD. SECOND SEPARATE ENGLISH EDITION. 8vo. (6.5 x 4.6 inches). A rare bibliographical variant, printed in black on white paper cover plus 4pp rather than than the dark burgundy ink on light grey or brown paper noted in the bibliography (Richards; A269 - note). This copy also varies from Richards A269 with the addition of a portrait frontis of Kipling after an illustration by M. Webb which is printed on stiff dark grey paper. The pages are then bound in a contemporary full burgundy soft suede binding with red, white and blue silk tie to the spine. Front panel lettered in gilt and with blind stamped line ruled border with floral corner pieces. Neat three line inscription, dated Xmas 1916, to the front free endpaper and previous owner bookplate, of the noted Kipling and Boer war collectors John and Maggie Phillips on front pastedown. The Phillips' collection was sold by auction in 2017. A little rubbing to the suede binding but overall a lovely presentation of this important work. One of an unknown number that were bound at the time of publication probably by either a bookseller or gift shop to make the thin paper wrappered poem more suitable for presentation as a gift. No copy in this format with this binding and with the portrait has been seen by the author of the most recent and comprehensive Kipling bibliography so this is very likely not a publishers variant, but this is the second copy I have had in this format so it is not a one off bespoke binding. An attractive copy of this rare edition----- The Poem first appeared in the book Rewards and Fairies (October 1910), this separate publication was issued to capitalise on the huge, and instant, popularity of what has become Kipling's most enduring work of verse. A poll taken by the BBC in the UK in 2005 voted it as Britain's favourite Poem, poling twice as many votes as the number 2 choice, Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot. Originally written in 1895, IF was inspired by the actions of Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, a British Officer whose forces were defeated by the Boers in 1895, but who was portrayed as a victorious hero by the British press, the poem is a powerful masterclass in maintaining the British stiff upper lip. ---- David Alan Richards. Rudyard Kipling. A bibliography. A269. Note.
An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China. Including Cursory Observations made

An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China. Including Cursory Observations made, and Information obtained, in travelling through that Ancient Empire, and a small part of Chinese Tartary.

STAUNTON. Sir GEORGE. FIRST EDITION. Three volumes. - 2 quarto text volumes (12 x 9.4 inches), and a folio atlas of plates (16.6 x 12.3 inches). Text volumes in contemporary full brown calf boards with decorative gilt borders. Re-spined in recent brown calf with raised bands, the compartments ruled in blind, two red morocco labels, lined and lettered in gilt. Gilt inner dentelles. Marbled endpapers. All edges marbled. The atlas volume in recent half brown calf. Spine with raised bands, each decorated in gilt. Compartments ruled in gilt. Red title label, gilt. Marbled paper on boards. Text volumes with engraved portrait frontispiece to each, 1 plate and 26 vignettes after William Alexander et al. in all, atlas with 44 engraved views, plans, plates and maps and charts, including large folding world map, 3 natural history subjects and 25 views. Some foxing and sporadic spotting to both text and atlas, a couple of the maps have professional repairs to splits to the folds and slight losses to the fore-edges, but overall a very good set with good strong impressions of the engravings. ------------- First edition of the official account of the first official British Embassy to China, headed by George, Earl Macartney. Macartney was dispatched to Peking in 1792, travelling via Madeira, Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope and Indonesia. He was accompanied by Staunton, and a retinue of suitably impressive size, including Staunton's 11 year-old son George Thomas, who was nominally Macartney's page. It emerged on arrival that the boy was the only one in the party who had bothered to learn Chinese, and was therefore the only one able to converse with the Emperor during the Ambassador's two audiences. The Embassy 'sought to improve commercial relations with China, through Canton (Guangzhou), and to establish regular diplomatic relations between the two countries. Though Macartney and Staunton had an audience with the emperor their proposals were rebuffed. In China [Staunton] closely observed and noted all that he saw, and during expeditions he was able to collect botanical specimens' (DNB) The party returned via Macao and St. Helena, arriving back in 1794. Young George Thomas Staunton became a writer at the HEIC's Canton factory in 1798, advancing to supercargo in 1804 and chief interpreter in 1808, and in 1816 he accompanied Amherst's ill-fated Embassy to Peking as chief of the Canton factory. Hill considers this a 'remarkable account of Chinese manners and customs a the close of the eighteenth century,' and draws attention to the descriptions of the places visited en route, which are 'also of considerable interest,' and the 'important' atlas. ----- Many more photos available on request.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Translated expressly for this edition; with a sketch of the life and writings of the author; by Frederick Shoberl. Bentleys Standard Novels No. XXXII. Complete in one volume. A New edition. Revised.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Translated expressly for this edition; with a sketch of the life and writings of the author; by Frederick Shoberl. Bentleys Standard Novels No. XXXII. Complete in one volume. A New edition. Revised.

HUGO. VICTOR. (Eliza Cook. Her copy). NEW EDITION, REVISED. 8vo. (5.9 x 4.2 inches). xiv, 466pp. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece and extra title-page with vignette, the engravings by F. Pickering, and both dated 1833. Original tissue paper guard still present. Half title and title pages are dated 1838. Fine early binding of full burgundy morocco. Spine with elaborate design and lettering in gilt, including the words 'Standard Novels. 32'. Boards with two blind ruled borders and decorative panel borders within. Gilt inner dentelles. yellow coated endpapers. Board edges with gilt decorative design. All edges gilt. A little toning to the two illustrated pages, mostly to the edges and not affecting the images, plus a hint of rubbing to the extremities of the binding but overall a near fine copy. ---- A neat previous owner name of the Poet and Chartist supporter Eliza Cook, dated 1840, is on the inside rear pastedown endpaper. Eliza Cook (the British Library gives her birth date as 1818 but the Oxford Dictionary of national Biography as 1812. Both agree on 1889 for her death) was a proponent of political and sexual freedom for women and herself a Lesbian, and believed in the ideology of self-improvement through education. She published her first work of poetry, Lays of a wild harp in 1835 and went on to produce the popular Eliza Cook's Journal for five years from 1849. ----- A curious binding, resembling a publishers delux leather biding of the period, it is unusual to have the name of the publishers series and number on a bespoke leather binding. However, I can find no record of Bentley ever offering a delux leather binding option to his customers.
THE FLORENTINE HISTORIE. Written in the Italian tongue

THE FLORENTINE HISTORIE. Written in the Italian tongue, by Nicholo Macchiavelli, Citizen and Secretarie of Florence. And translated into English by T. B. [Thomas Bedingfield] Esquire.

MACHIAVELLI. NICCOLO. FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. Folio. (11.1 x 7.5 inches). x11,222pp. Lacking last, blank, leaf. Decorated with woodcut engraved ornamental title page and engraved head and tailpieces. Tiny (3mm deep) chip to the fore edge of the title page and the first few leaves are just a little browned but overall a lovely clean and crisp copy with good margins. Finely bound in recent Grolier period style full calf binding. Spine with five raised bands. Compartments ruled, lettered and fully decorated in gilt. Burgundy title label, gilt. Triple blind ruled border on boards, surrounding a triple blind ruled panel which frames an elaborate decorative onlay and gilt design. A lovely copy in a fine period style binding of this rare work. "The first example in Italian literature of a national biography" (Britannica). "In the Florentine Histories Machiavelli has the chance to make the protagonists speak in their own voices to persuade or dissuade their fellow-citizens to uphold or reject a course. He can show deliberative rhetoric in action, and make ancient Florentines speak to the Florentines of his times to urge them with powerful and wise words not to imitate the errors that caused the decline of the city."- Maurizio Viroli. - Machiavelli. Niccolo Machiavelli did not write that which we call history today. For him, history and historiography were one and the same, and the Florentine Historie is the best example of that. In 1520, Machiavelli was commissioned by Giulio de' Medici to write an account of the history of Florence. The book he produced "is the first example in Italian literature of a national biography, the first attempt in any literature to trace the vicissitudes of a peoples life in their logical sequence, deducing each successive phase from passions or necessities inherent in preceding circumstance, reasoning upon them from general principles, and inferring corollaries for the conduct of the future." (Britannica). It is all the more unusual because Machiavelli followed the humanist style "of inventing speeches. Even though he was not present and could not have been present, he puts appropriate speeches into the mouths of actual historical figures as if they were characters in a play of his. Fact, in their [the humanists] view, needs to be filled out with opinion, and it is the duty of the historian, in the absence of scribes and witnesses, to infer human intention and to make it explicit in speeches, adding sense to actions in order to arrive at truth." (Harvey Claflin Mansfield, Machiavelli's Virtue). The reason behind Machiavelli's historiography as history is that he believed that histories should not just tell an account of what happened and when, but should be beneficial to the people of which they speak. Today, our historians are meant to distance themselves from their subjects; to Machiavelli, an intimate relation to the country about which he wrote was a necessity. The Florentine Historie, therefore, was not solely a commissioned work, but a tribute to "Machiavelli's desire to write a history that would inspire all lovers of the common good of man in whatever age or nation." The speeches he fabricated, the emotions behind the mere events he wrote about "are developed beyond dramatic requirements into expositions of social and political truths suggested by Florentine events. Incidentally, these orations enabled Machiavelli to deal with the problem of the Medici." (Allan Gilbret, Machiavelli). While Florentine Historie would not be considered an honest historical account today, the history that was presented to the Cardinal, by then Pope Clement VII, is perhaps truer than mere factual history. Because "his historical context includes both the facts of his time, which would have influenced his writing of history, and the historiography characteristic of his time, together with the conception of history underlying those historiographic methods," he created a far more complete image of Florence than could ever be garnered from an im

BLAIR’S GRAVE, ILLUSTRATED IN TWELVE PLATES BY BLAKE. The Grave, A Poem. Illustrated by twelve etchings executed by Louis Schiavonetti, from the original inventions of William Blake.

BLAKE. WILLIAM. (Blair. Robert). PORTFOLIO OF 13 PLATES. No text, as issued. (Paper size 14.9 x 11.3 inches. The portfolio is 15.5 x 12 inches). Portrait of Blake, by T. Phillips, RA; Engraved title page (dated 1808) and 11 plates, all stating Ackermann as publisher, dated 1813 and engraved by Louis Schiavonetti, after Blake's designs. The pages have a little bumping to the edges but well away form the engraved area. Plates a little dusty and toned but the impressions are good. The original portfolio is brown Morocco grained cloth with elaborate blind tooled designs to both boards. Gilt lettering to the front board. Only one small piece of one silk tie remaining. Yellow coated endpapers. 3 small clippings from bookseller catalogues, each listing copies of the Blair/Blake book, tipped in to the front pastedown endpaper. Some minor rubbing and bumping to the cloth but the gilt is still very bright and the cloth clean. Overall a very good example of this rare edition. ----- "When Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (1863) made the artist's name familiar again, a deposit of prints left over from 1813 came to light, probably in Ackerman's storehouse. Somebody (possibly John Cameron Hotton) reissued the books. There are no new title pages, no dates or places indicated; but the bindings are in mid-Victorian style, and could not have been made in the first half-century." [A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake By Samuel Foster Damon]. ---- "My theory on that is that Camden Hotten, who produced the 1870 issues, not only got the copperplates from Ackermann (with the Spanish inscriptions for de Mora) but also some remainders of the impressions and letterpress and bound these up in a slightly different fashion. He removed the Spanish on the coppers and had an engraver restore the 1813 English inscriptions, then printed for both the portfolio and the 1870 issue of the text with the engravings."--(Essick).