Her Majesty's Government
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty in 1860; 4to; half-leather over marbled boards; 9 maps in pocket at rear. The Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom was a committee formed in 1859 to enquire into the ability of the United Kingdom to defend itself against an attempted invasion by a foreign power, and to advise the British Government on the remedial action required. The appointment of the Commission had been prompted by public concern about the growing military and naval power of the French Empire and was instigated by the Prime Minister, Palmerston, who came to be closely associated with the project. The Commission's report recommended a huge programme of fortification to defend the country's arsenals and naval bases. Many of the recommendations were acted upon; however, the great expense, the length of time taken to complete the various works and their perceived usefulness were all subjects of critical political, press and public debate. The Report concluded that the fleet, army and volunteer forces, did not provide sufficient defence against invasion. The Commissioners considered, the 700 miles from the Humber to Penzance, could not be completely fortified and recommended that "the fortifications of this country should be confined to those points. whose possession would give him sure bases for operations". A detailed plan and costing was produced for each location which required defences, including forts which were already under construction, resulting in a massive programme. The total expenditure projected for the purchase of land and construction costs was estimated at £10 million. The maps included here illustrate the proposed fortifications, a particularly detailed one for Spithead and a large scale map covering Southern England. By the time the fortifications were completed in the 1880s it was clear that the French had not planned to invade. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 71 removed the threat and the forts became known as Palmerston's Follies. The maps are particularly well preserved. The book has some wear to the extremities and is stamped on the front free end paper MASTER COPY NOT TO LEAVE REFERENCE ROOM.
WORLD WAR TWO: Prisoner of War Maganzines
Touchstone, No. 1-15, Autumn 1943 to March 1945, with numerous illustrations, original stapled wrappers. Together with a four page programme for a prison pantomime. A complete set of a prisoner of war magazine, one of the contributors was A.N.L. Munby, the noted bibliophile, author and librarian of King's College, Cambridge. His writings appeared in five issues, and include his first known ghost story, 'The Four-Poster' (issue 12). Issue 9 is inscribed to "Malcom Fry with the editor's compliments." Fry was a contributor of illustrations to the magazine, including "A linocut" (issue 2) and "Eichstätt from the East" (issue 5), and "Two Camp Scenes" (issue 7). He was also the stage director of the Christmas pantomime performance of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors (1944). A fine set, a little light staining to one or two copies.
POTTER, Beatrix (Beatrix Heelis)
Autograph Letter signed to "Dear Miss Wilson", 2pp., 8vo, Castle Cottage, Sawrey, Ambleside, 4th July 1942, regarding the use of the Women's Land Army on farms in the Lake District and their remuneration, signed Beatrix Heelis. "In a general way - a much better class are joining the Land Army, because a healthy out door life appeals to girls instead of the unfortunate conditions pertaining to factory life, and to at least one of the services. As regard wages: they are a lot for a small farmer to pay to a beginner; but what the girl receives in cash is not too much. The wages paid too the Forestry girls are most absurd. One woman doing piece work is said to be receiving £11 a fortnight. It is upsetting to men to hear of such a wage. It is to be hoped the girls don't find winter evenings too dull. I am very glad to think that you who know the possibilities of social amusement & interest in Hawkshead will help them. I have been wishing to help but I am getting slow & tired." Very good folded for posting and a few spots of foxing.
First English Edition; 8vo; original red cloth with titles in gilt; original dust jacket. Translated from the third German edition by J.G.A Skerl, with an introduction by John W. Evans. During his lifetime Wegener was primarily known for his achievements in meteorology and as a pioneer of polar research. He developed an interest in the ancient history of the Earth's continents and their placement. In 1910 he noticed that the eastern coast of South America and the northwestern coast of Africa looked as if they were once connected. In 1911, Wegener also came across several scientific documents stating there were identical fossils of plants and animals on each of these continents. He eventually articulated the idea that all of the Earth's continents were at one time connected into one large supercontinent. In 1912, he presented the idea of "continental displacement" which would later become known as "continental drift" to explain how the continents moved toward and away from one another throughout the Earth's history. In 1915, Wegener published "The Origin of Continents and Oceans," as an extension of his 1912 lecture. He presented extensive evidence to support his claim that all of the Earth's continents were at one time connected. Despite the evidence, however, most of the scientific community ignored his ideas at the time. In 1927 he introduced the idea of Pangaea, a Greek term meaning "all lands," to describe the supercontinent that he believed existed on the Earth millions of years ago. Scientists now believe that such a continent did exist it probably formed about 335 million years ago and began to split apart 175 million years ago. The strongest evidence of this is as Wegener suspected the distribution of similar fossils throughout continental borders that are now many miles apart. For most of his life, Wegener remained dedicated to his theory of continental drift and Pangaea despite receiving harsh criticism from other scientists, many of whom believed the oceanic crust was too rigid to permit the movement of tectonic plates. By the time of his death in 1930, his ideas were almost entirely rejected by the scientific community. It was not until the 1960s that they gained credibility as scientists began studying seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. Wegener's ideas served as a framework for those studies, which produced evidence that supported his theories. The development of the Global Positioning System in 1978 eliminated any residual doubt there may have been by providing direct evidence of continental movements. Today, Wegener's ideas are highly regarded by the scientific community as an early attempt at explaining why the Earth's landscape is the way it is. A crater on the Moon and a crater on Mars are both named in Wegener's honour. A fine copy, spine ends a little bumped. In a very good dust jacket with a tear to top of spine panel, a little wear to the extremities and slightly darkened to the spine.
DUKE and DUCHESS of WINDSOR
Two typed letters one signed by the Duke of Windsor and one by the Duchess of Windsor, to Rossmore Assets Limited. Both letters state that if either one survives the other the "the residue of my estate, after providing for legacies as contained in my Will, shall pass to you as sole universal legatee." The letters state Rossmore Assets have complete discretion as to the disposal of the estates - but go onto make a number of suggestions including the granting of pecuniary legacies, and hopes that chattels of historical interest should be given to museums, and charitable gifts, 2 pages, 4to, Paris, 27 December 1971. Partially erased pencil note to top of the Duchess's letter stating "to be signed by us both before Saturday Jan 3." A three page manuscript memorandum in the hand of lawyer Sir Godfrey Morley signed by the Duchess of Windsor, providing "suggestions for the dispersal of my residuary estate", asking that specific groups of items be given to appropriate members of the Royal family (".Letters and papers of historical interest which I may not have given to the Queen in my lifetime to be given to the Queen on my death.") and the residue be used to establish a charitable foundation "in memory of the Duke of Windsor"; on headed mourning stationery, Paris, 1 July 1972. The Duke of Windsor had just one month previously on 28 May 1972. A typed letter signed by Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma to Sir Godfrey Morley, explaining that the Duchess was "worried about what to arrange in her Will for the late Duke's possessions", and outlining "certain suggestions which she asked me to repeat in writing", largely corresponding to the wishes expressed in the memorandum of 1 July 1972., and confirming the Royal family's "readiness to agree to anything which the Duchess may decide along these lines", 2 pages, 4to, Broadlands, 6 July 1972. Rossmore Assets was a company created by the Duke of Windsor to allow the Duchess to enjoy full benefits of his estate during her lifetime, and for the residue to then to return to Britain and be distributed for charitable purposes. Sir Godfrey Morley of Allen & Overy had been the Duke's lawyer. Plans for the distribution of the Duchess's own property were bitterly contested in her final years. Sir Godfrey Morley was dismissed in 1973 and, as the Duchess's health declined, power of attorney passed to another lawyer, Suzanne Blum. A deeply controversial figure, she was accused of manipulating the estate for her own advantage. The Duchess's jewellery was ultimately sold in a record-breaking auction Sotheby's to benefit the Marie Curie Institute, whilst the remaining chattels were sold to Mohamed Al-Fayed.
FIRST WORLD WAR
Photograph album, original cloth boards; lettered in gilt; 29cm by 20cm; 62 half plate gelatin silver prints, mounted recto and verso with printed captions above and below, A superb photographic study of work on the Home Front, especially high lighting the dangerous and heavy work undertaken by Woman. Unfortunately the photographer is not named. The Falkirk Iron Company produced cast iron goods, with around 1500 employees in 1914. The business switched to the production of munitions and in 1915 the works became a 'Government Controlled Establishment'. It produced 10,000 tons of munitions, many of these delivered by women. A printed note to the front paste down of the album gives a detailed breakdown on the munitions produced which included 2,199,870 Mills Grenades and 356,760 Fuse Plugs.
Photograph album, original cloth boards; 41cm by 32cm. A comprehensive photographic record of the Antarctic Whaling Expedition 1945-46 of the factory ship Southern Venturer. Southern Venturer was built in 1945 by Furness Shipbuilding Co, Haverton Hill-on-Tees, she made one voyage a year to the Antarctic to service the whale catchers and process the catch. This album contains over three hundred and twenty images of various sizes including interior views of the ship, studies of wildlife, ice flows and bergs, crew members working and relaxing, capturing and processing of whales both on-board ship and onshore, topographical views of Leith Harbour and Grytriken South Georgia. Also included are related newspaper and magazine cuttings and other contemporary and later paper ephemera. Particularly interesting is letter by Hewer to his mother addressed from "Southern Venturer" Still in the Ice 22nd January 1946. The letter details that this was his first voyage and that he was "tired of all this whaling business. It is so very regular and monotonous & I am just longing for the day when I shall walk into No 10 [Marlborough Avenue, Hull] again. He describes the ice and the wildlife and it is clear from the letter that one of his intentions on signing up was to make a photographic record and he clearly was a skilled photographer. "This is my first long spell away from home & believe me it seems like years. I can still see you looking out of the sitting room window on the day I left to catch the train . it would bring back memories to you of my poor Dad". The stresses of such a voyage are laid bare by the description of the suicide of a Norwegian member of the crew who was found hanging in the rope locker. This is an important record of a forgotten industry. One of the newspaper cuttings justifies the killing - "an oil cargo alone of 34,000 tons, sufficient whale - oil almost to abolish the margarine ration and certainly enough to ease the soap supply situation." The album is in a fine condition.
Collection of ten autograph signed letters. Nineteen pages; 8vo, Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, 28th October 1953 to 10th June 1954. Epstein was commissioned by the Sir Stafford Cripps Memorial Trust to create a bust of the British Labour Politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1947-50. Each letter is addressed to David Hardman, secretary of the Sir Stafford Cripps Memorial Trust. In the first letter Epstein invites Hardman to come and see the bust of Cripps, explaining that it is not finished however adding that Lady Cripps is also keen to see it, and explaining 'I am a little uncertain about showing it yet to Lady Cripps who of course will have a not unnatural anxiety about it & I want really a decision from you before I show it [to] her'. The sculptor also comments on being shown an unsuitable place in St. Paul's that had been allocated to the bust although adding that he now understands he can choose any place he wishes for the memorial. In his second letter Epstein thanks Hardman for a payment of £337 and announces 'Tomorrow I am showing the bust to Lady Cripps, not without some trepidation! I think I have interpreted Sir Stafford in the right spirit.' and in further letters discusses the inscriptions to appear on the bust, preparations for sending the work to the foundry ('I have been today to the foundry & the more I think of it the less I like the idea of glasses on the bust. After all God made Sir Stafford without spectacles'), also requesting the final payment from the committee, updating Hardman on the progress at the foundry, discussing his thoughts on the pedestal ('Dove silver grey will look very fine & show up the bronze.'), and also commenting on a meeting at the foundry ('The reception .was somewhat curious I thought. The ecclesiastic talked as if we were attempting a crime when I asked about the site of the bust & Mr. Attlee was like a frozen turnip. A somewhat chilling affair.'), stating that he hasn't the heart to battle with the Cathedral authorities and also asking for confirmation of the date of the unveiling and requesting 5 or 6 tickets to give to friends who would like to attend ('I recall that the Dean hinted that a crowd would not be welcome! What a silly idea .I don't mind in the least the vagaries of the ecclesiastical mind. Of course it is their cathedral.') and in the final letter Epstein thanks Hardman for 'photographs of [the] great event, when we were shoved out after half an hour' and asks if he saw Tom Driberg's account? One letter has some light age wear and another has a minor tear, a few with ink annotations (presumably in Hardman's hand).
A collection of pamphlets bound in one volume. Recently bound in half calf, 8vo. The Contagious Diseases Acts were originally passed by the Parliament in 1864 with additions made in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee had been established to inquire into venereal disease in the armed forces. On the committee's recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. Since there was no definition of prostitution, the question was left to the police officer's discretion, and women could be arrested even if there was no actual evidence of prostitution. The women were then subjected to compulsory examination. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence was completed. Men suspected of frequenting prostitutes were not subjected to the same treatment. The law was initially aimed at working-class women in towns near military bases, due to the concern that sexually transmitted infections were hampering Britain's forces. The original act only applied to a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by 1869 the acts had been extended to cover eighteen "subjected districts". The lack of provision for the physical examination of prostitutes' male clientele, became one of the many points of contention in a campaign to repeal the Acts. The book includes contemporary pamphlets/reports relating to the Acts, mostly in support of extending them, including one by Elizabeth Garrett (the first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon). This phamphlet has the tipped in signature of her sister Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Fine.