London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1848. Hardcover. 8vo. This is the UNCOMMON FIRST EDITION of renowned writer Wilkie Collins’s first book, a biography of his father, published when he was only 24. The biography was completed the year after his father, the noted artist William Collins, died. According to Gasson’s Wilkie Collins: An Illustrated Guide, William Collins had always intended for his son to write his biography. To an extent, William’s journals, correspondence, and notes were written with this in mind. Wilkie also received assistance from his father’s friends. The book received generally good reviews, and was praised by writers such as Maria Edgeworth and Walter de la Mare. Wilkie's first novel, Antonina, was published in 1850. Very good in contemporary three-quarter brown leather that has some scuffing and rubbing, with marbled boards and end papers, gilt title, and rules on spine, and gilt to top edges. The interior pages are clean and solid. Includes an engraved portrait of William Collins, and the volumes are extra-illustrated by the insertion of 57 plates by many artists of the period. No publisher catalog. Volume I has xii, 348 pages; Volume II has vi, 354 pages. This set may require an extra shipping fee. BIO/091507. Very Good.
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London: George Bell and Sons, 1890. Hardcover. First Edition. Author's scarce first book. Very good in original red cloth boards with gilt title to spine. A few spots of soiling to the boards, minor wear to edges, light browning to the spine, and a few spots of foxing to interior, but still a nice copy. The signature of the previous owner, B. Wallis, is written on the front end page. 250 pages plus 2 pages of ads. LIT/052010. Very Good.
London: Macmillan & Co., 1891. Hardcover. First Edition. Lanoe Falconer was the pseudonym of Mary Elizabeth Hawker (1848-1908), the English novelist and short story writer. This scarce book was a very popular supernatural novel in its day. In very good condition in original dark blue cloth boards. Light bumping to corners and chipping to spine. Interior pages clean with some splitting to signatures but text block is holding. 197 pages plus 44 page classified catalogue. LIT/031511. Very Good.
London: John Lane, 1895. Hardcover. 1 of 500 copies. First Edition. This is a very scarce “modern” play by the famous publisher. In a note, Heinemann writes that it was not his object to write anything that “would satisfy the usual requirements of a stage play...but simply to snatch one dramatic moment out of a story of to-day...” Bound in original grey-green boards with paper title label. Label is chipped and corners of boards slightly bumped. The interior is clean with most of the pages unopened. In very good condition. 69 pages +13 pages of ads. LIMITED/051011. Near Fine.
Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1856. Hardcover. INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION. Inscribed by Oliphant: “Royal Phelps from his sincere friend The Author London Febr 57.” Oliphant was a well known traveler, author, diplomat, and mystic who served as the private secretary to Lord Elgin in the mid 1800s among many other roles. Royal Phelps was a prominent New York merchant and trader in the West Indies. It is unclear where they might have met. This uncommon book is generally in very good condition in the original green cloth binding with faded gold title and gold stamped portrait on front cover. Neatly rebacked spine with most of the original spine intact; fading and spotting to front and rear covers; and bumping to corners. Interior is clean save for some foxing to illustrations and offsetting from them to facing pages, and light aging to page margins. Two nice foldout maps, five illustrations, and four woodcut vignettes. 234 pages plus 16 pages of ads. MIDEASTHIS/071508. Very Good.