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CLEATOR, P.E. Rockets Through Space or The Dawn of Interplanetary Travel. London, Allen & Unwin 1936. Octavo publisher's cloth and dustwrapper; 246pp, 22 plates, 21 ills through the text. A bit browning to edges and endpapers, rather good in a mildly used dustwrapper. Au$650

First edition and hard to find in dustwrapper; harder in such good shape. The first British book on astronautics and often called the first authoritive work to be written in English, which allowing for some qualifications is not totally untrue. Cleator was the founder of the British Interplanetary Society which, faced with a government hostile to any experimentation - practising rocketeers were charged under the 1875 Explosives Act - saw their role as promulgators and educators.


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SCOTT, G. Firth. The Last Lemurian. A Westralian romance. London, Bowden 1898. Octavo publisher's illustrated blocked in colour; three plates by Stanley L. Wood. Small flaws: inner back hinge cracked but firm; edges spotted and a scattering inside here and there. A rather good bright copy. Au$850

First edition of this west Australian lost race thriller. Who can divine the springs of chance and fate? If our disgruntled hero hadn't set off west at that moment he wouldn't have met the tall bushman and if the bushman hadn't learnt some black jabber he wouldn't have heard the story of the country ruled by a giant yellow woman where boulders of gold lie about the place. An author can divine these springs and a good author doesn't carry on about it but gets on with the story.


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EYLMANN, Erhard. Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Sudaustralien. Berlin, Reimer 1908. Quarto publisher's half morocco (rubbed, surface scraping of the mottled paper sides; all solid); 36 plates after drawings by Eylmann (a few colour) and photos, folding table and folding map. A suggestion of browning here and there; a pretty good copy.
Baldwin Spencer's copy with his unmistakeable initials and a couple of pencil annotations. Au$850

After reading a paper by Francesca Merlan* that directly compares the work of Eylmann with Baldwin Spencer and Gillen - working in much the same area at much the same time - I'm convinced that I'd rather read Eylmann if this is ever translated into English. Eylmann made friends with Gillen in 1896 but never met Spencer who was, according to Merlan, concerned that Eylmann "might get in his way". Apparently Gillen just lied, telling Spencer that Eylmann wasn't interested in anthropology. This book must have been something of a give away but by1908 Gillen probably didn't care.
*The Australianist work of Erhard Eylmann in comparative perspective in German Ethnography in Australia; 2017.


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MESTON, Archibald. Report on the Aboriginals of Queensland. Brisbane, Govt printer 1896. Foolscap, disbound; 18pp. Small piece from the gutter of the first leaf at the bottom. Au$200

There might well be someone who had a good word for Meston since his obituaries in 1924. I wonder who they are. There is a mountain of stuff written in recent years about Meston, about this fact finding journey to Cape York and the islands, about the ensuing Aboriginal Protection Act and a job as Protector, about the mass of artifacts he gathered on the trip and sold to the Queensland Museum, about his earlier career as a would be Buffalo Bill of Queensland Aboriginals and the troupe he abandoned in Melbourne when the money ran out ... on and on it goes. And the kindest thing said about him I can find is that he had some good intentions.


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Chinese in Australia. Chinese Immigration (Correspondence and Proceedings of Conference Respecting). Brisbane, Govt Printer 1888. Foolscap, disbound; 31pp. Au$375

Queensland's record of the intercolonial conference on the Chinese Question. The Chinese Question - ie how do we get rid of them? - brought the colonies together as few other problems ever could. Gathered here is a useful compilation of official and unofficial correspondence from all the colonies, including letters and petitions from Chinese residents in Australia and news from America about their new treaty with China. The colonies had to find their way round directions from London where measures such as the poll tax were seen as a threat to Chinese-British relations. The result was The Chinese Immigration Restriction Act of 1888.
One point that maybe deserves more attention is that much of the current proud tradition of strict quarantine in Australia comes from the first intercolonial co-operation in declaring ports of embarkation for Chinese immigrants as Infected Places. Prior to this attempts to establish a national quarantine policy had little success.


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MANSON, Marsden. The Yellow Peril in Action. A possible chapter in history. Privately published, San Francisco, January 2 1907. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper; 32pp (including two blank leaves at the end), folding map. Au$125

A salutary piece of yellow peril literature, this is the history of the war between the USA and China - with help from Japan - in 1910. I can tell you now it didn't end well for America.
Manson was the San Francisco City Engineer during the immediate post earthquake years and some of his predilection for technical detail has crept in here. This understandable desire to reinforce polemic with fact is the mark of the amateur and usually the reason why such tales are forgotten but Manson hasn't tried to disguise his aim with fiction: a fair bit is straightforward xenophobic agitprop.
I wonder how much the cataclysm of the San Francisco earthquake and fire had to do with this but I find no direct mention. It's odd that it went to press so soon after the quake - Manson's preface is dated December 1906 - without a word. Did Manson think the shock of the quake was a good prompt for a battered public to take notice of an even greater threat? Certainly there was a movement to push the Chinese out of central San Francisco as rebuilding began. Was this a misguided bit of timing that guaranteed his book would be ignored?


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From Kosmos to Kabuki?

TAUT, Bruno. Alpine Architektur. Hagen, Folkwang 1919. Folio, 40x34cm, publisher's illustrated wrapper printed in silver (back wrapper detached); 37 leaves consisting title and 28 monochrome mounted plates - contents leaf, five section titles and 22 plates - and eight colour lithographs. A used copy, thumbed; some spotting of the mounted monochrome plates as often; plate 28 seems to have been taken out at some time and used for something: it has a tear in one top corner, pin marks in the other and a mild stain; it is loosely re-inserted. A decent enough copy of a book that did not like handling and was awkward to store.
The owner's seal on the title reads Sugawara.* sold

Visionary, the term mostly used to describe this book, is often just another word for lunatic and Taut's utopian scheme for these monumental crystal structures marching across the mountain ranges of the world before heading out into the universe is captivatingly nutty. If this were to be judged on its own we would have just another eccentric, if endearing, relic of a dead end dream. But, in place in a cohesive group of theoretical writing and extensive design, both built and unbuilt, possible and impossible, this book wielded influence beyond its limited circulation in advancing the notion that, for the architect, principle, theory and social concern are tools as important as a T-square.
The Japanese kept their finger on the world's avant-garde pulse with a thoroughness unmatched anywhere else I think and radical modernists or expressionists like Taut and Mendelsohn were appreciated in Japan pretty much before they were in Germany. Taut to the extent that a group of admirers somehow managed to get published in the middle of the second world war a six volume collected works in translation including a outlandishly lavish reprinting of this book.
*There's no doubt that this belonged to Sugawara Eizo who, at the time this book would have reached Japan, was finishing up his apprenticeship/training in the firm of Sone Chujo. He set up his own office in 1922, worked with Wright during his time in Japan and went on to build the Shimbashi theatre, the library at Komazawa University and - his most celebrated work today - the Lion Ginza beer hall.
I find it easy enough to picture plate 28 pinned above Sugawara's desk as he worked on the mosaic designs for the 1925 Shimbashi theatre. In fact, put together Sugawara's mosaics (see below left) and plates 21 and 28 and I can't find any room for coincidence in Sugawara's colour scheme and I suspect that plate 28 was removed and used exactly to match colours. It's possible that notes and instructions for the tile makers were pinned to the top of the plate. A sheet of paper was inserted after plate 21 long enough to cause some browning.
Sugawara's theatre is so close to being an FLW design that I wonder whether Wright himself used these colour schemes. If he did use his assistant's copy for inspiration I'd say Sugawara was lucky to get it back. And I wonder whether Wright and Taut ever collaborated, even unknowingly, on another project.

 


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Furukawa Kohei. 新感覺模様 [Shin Kankaku Moyo]. Kyoto, Uchida 1928 (Showa 3). 25x18cm publisher's cloth; colour woodcut title, one leaf of text and 25 double folded leaves each with a colour woodcut - most with two designs - on one side, accordian style. Minor signs of use, browning and offsetting; a bit of creasing in the gutter of the first two leaves. A rather good copy. Au$1300

And a rather good, beautifully printed, pattern book of geometric designs, Shin kankaku can be translated as new feeling, new sense or sensation. As usual with the best modern Japanese design the designer has not so much borrowed from the west as repossessed Japanese forms strongly flavoured by western adaptation.
And seemingly rare. I found records of a 1929 pattern book by Furukawa from the same publisher but I can't find a mention of this anywhere.


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[LANE, William]. The Workingman's Paradise: an Australian Labour Novel. By John Miller. Sydney, printed by Edwards Dunlop for the Worker Board of Trustees 1892. Octavo publisher's red cloth blocked in blind. Title browned by the endpaper as usual; there was no half title or blank between them. A rather good copy. Au$850

First edition of this influental if fairly impenetrable socialist anarchist novel by the Messiah of the working class. The 1948 edition was on the shelf of every thoughtful Australian in the second half of the 20th century but I've only ever met one person who insisted he read the whole thing. He made many improbable claims.
I think an earlier generation were more thorough: copies of this in good shape have always been hard to find. Lane's preface admits that it's a bit of an unresolved mess but those who want a happy end - like his wife - and those who want Nellie dead of a broken heart - like an unnamed friend - will have to wait for the next book. I dozed off so I'm not sure when the action switched from Nellie to Ned alone and don't know where we left her.


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MAKOWER, Walter. The Radioactive Substances, their properties and behaviour. London, Kegan Paul 1908. Octavo publisher's red cloth; xii,301pp and publisher's list, 34 illustrations and diagrams. An excellent, bright copy. International Scientific Series XCII. Au$135

First edition. Makower started as a chemist but moved to physics studying under Thomson at Cambridge. He went on to work with Rutherford in 1906 and later collaborated with Moseley and Geiger.


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TROLLOPE, Anthony. Barchester Towers. London, Longman &c 1857. Three volumes octavo contemporary half gilt calf. A scattering of mild spots or browning here and there but rather good and handsome. Neat inscription on the first title: Bettington Libry 59, and Bettington on the other two titles. Au$2750

First edition with the desirable issue point. A colonial aristocracy copy I'd say. The James Brindley Bettington dynasty (there were dozens of them, one after the other - if one died in infancy the next boy born got the name) was most definitely colonial aristocracy and Oatlands House stayed in the family from the late 1830s until 1926 when the house was emptied. Which fits well with the Angus & Robertson stamp on a front fly and the hefty price of five guineas.


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Mineda Hiroshi. 世界新式乗物双六 [Sekai Shingata Norimono Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Kodansha 1926 (Taisho 15). Colour broadside, 55x79. Mildly used, a short tear repaired and a nick in the bottom margin; pretty good. Au$350

In this new year gift game the kids already have the glazed faces of over privileged world travellers. The only time they show excitement is when defying death by riding on top of an electric train.


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Yamada Takanori. 少年野球双六 [Shonen Yakyu Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekai 1921 (Taisho 10). Colour broadside 55x79cm. Used, a bit rumpled and browned with some short tears and a small chip in the margin. This is - some mitigation - an untrimmed copy with ample margins and trim marks in the top margin. Not bad. Au$500

An early and rare baseball sugoroku, this was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai. Baseball has cameos in earlier games but I haven't yet found an earlier sugoroku devoted to it.


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Niizeki Kennosuke (?) 冒険漫画宝島探険双六 [Boken Manga Takarajima Tanken Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shogakukan 1935 (Showa 10). Colour broadside 54x78cm. A bit used: rumpled with some short tears in folds. Not bad. Au$325

This exciting adventure with the natives, giant apes and tigers of a coral island was the new year gift from the Shogaku magazine for third graders. An exemplary lesson as to why every eight year old should be issued a service revolver before they leave the house.


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BOOTHBY, Guy. Love Made Manifest. London, Ward Lock [1899]. Octavo publisher's decorated blue cloth blocked in gilt. Endpapers a bit browned as usual, a pleasing bright copy. Au$125

First edition. From Apia to Sydney to Belgrave Square our hero wins his way to fame and fortune only to find a peril worse than any of Boothby's opium addled Asiatic fiends lying in wait for him.


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SHIEL, M.P. The Dragon. London, Grant Richards 1913. Octavo publisher's illustrated ochre cloth blocked in red and black. A couple of spots; a particularly good copy. Au$650

First edition.


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HASKOLL, W. Davis. Railway Construction, Second Series. Also Railways in the East, and generally in high thermometrical regions. London, Atchley 1864. Two volumes quarto, publishers blindstamped cloth (one spine repaired); iv,201pp, 91 plates (most folding). Some spotting but quite a good copy. Au$650

Despite the misleading title this is a re-issue of Railways in the East - published the year before - with a new title page. Why it was re-issued this way is puzzling.
Essential for the engineer in Asia Minor, Haskoll's earlier work Railway Construction laid out the principles and Railways in the East applies the lessons. With chapters on labour and materials, a chapter specific to Turkey, tunnels, bridges, stations, docks and jetties, rolling stock, masonry ... illustrated with working drawings of executed works.


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Kagawa Genteki [or Gen'yu or Shikei] & Kagawa Genetsu. 産論翼 [San Ron Yoku or Sanron Yoku depending on the transcriber]. Tokyo, Osaka &c Heian Saiseikan &c 1775 (An'ei 4). Two volumes* 260x178mm, wrappers with title labels and added manuscript; 32 more or less full page woodcut illustrations. Covers dusty, a small stain to the top edge at the very end and a mild patch of stain or discolouration on three leaves of illustrations. Signs of use but a pretty good copy. The owner's signature and seal reads Yazawa I'm told.
*Plus - a bonus - another two volumes sold and bought as Sanron Yoku but which turn out to be volume two - with the illustrations - of Sanron Yoku and volume one of the original Sanron. By the same publishers at the same time. So we have two sets of the illustrations and one and a half times the text of the one along with half the text of the other. A most handy thing, I think. Au$900

First edition. According to the experts, Japanese obstetrics has a definite birthdate. In 1765 Kagawa Genetsu published Sanron, the first Japanese book on obstetrics and in 1775 his pupil Kagawa Genteki followed up Sanron Yoku - a revision and supplement to the Sanron which includes case histories and, more important to me, pictures. The Sanron was not illustrated.
This is a bridge between traditional and modern - western influenced - medicine. Kagawa the younger disavowed the more terrifying of his master's tools and introduced new techniques based on European methods. This work was the basis of obstetrics until way into the 19th century. The captivating woodcuts are of gracefully formed, raven haired babies-to-be that can only be Japanese.


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Kingsford Smith. Van DIJK, Evert. Over den Oceaan Onze Oost-West Vlucht Europa-Amerika. Amsterdam, Scheltens & Giltay 1930. Octavo publishers cloth; photo illustrations. Signs of use, the usual browning of the paper. A decent second hand copy. Au$50

Only edition? The account of the 1930 Kingsford Smith trans-Atlantic flight by his his co-pilot.


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RUSSELL, W. Clark. The Romance of a Transport. NY, Cassell, 1893. Octavo publisher's decorated green cloth blocked in green and gilt. A rather good copy. Au$150

First edition; the English edition with it's better known title, 'The Convict Ship', appeared in 1895. A thriller, detailing the adventures of a young woman who joins a convict ship dressed as a boy to accompany her wrongly convicted love to Australia, their escape and search for truth and vengeance. Plenty of death and villainy flavoured with salt water and tobacco juice as you would expect from Russell.
This American original was unspotted by Miller/Macartney. Trove finds two copies in Australian libraries, presumably added since Macartney's work.


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DEFOE, Daniel. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, ... Translated into the New Zealand Language under the direction of the Government. [He Korero Tipuna Pakeha No Mua, Ko Ropitini Kuruho, Tona Ingoa.] Wellington, printed at the Independant Office 1852. Octavo, contemporary cloth with the original printed wrappers bound in; [8],157pp and four lithograph plates by T.S. Ralph. Separate title pages in Maori and English.
Neatly annotated with paragraphs marked with red dots, sections numbered in pencil and some authoritive looking corrections to the text. An attractive copy. Au$1,750

I gather from the preface that it was decided that Robinson Crusoe so accords with Maori narrative that it is likely "to be within their comprehension." It should have been a welcome respite from all the scripture offered by the missionaries but according to 'Books in Maori' fiction was not valued. I think it was while before anything so frivolous was offered again.
An early entrant for secular literature in any Pacific language, it is an abridgement, translated by H. Tacy Kemp. I'm told there are some small but not insignificant changes to passages about Crusoe and Friday.


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GULL, William Withey. A Collection of the Published Writings ... edited and arranged by Theodore Dyke Acland. London, New Sydenham Society 1894-96. Two volumes octavo blindstamped cloth; xii,600; lxxii,184pp, 20 plates and a few illustrations in the first, 2 plates in the second. A few small flaws to the cloth of the first volume; a bit of foxing at the beginning of the second; quite a good pair. I: Medical Papers. II: Memoir and Addresses. Au$200

About a generation ago Gull emerged as a strong candidate for Jack the Ripper despite all and any evidence. Usually this is the most convincing argument for the prosecution: unless it was true why would so much evidence be needed to refute the charge? But sadly I conclude that we can view Gull only as a distinguished medico who, among other achievements, identified anorexia.


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Morita Hisashi. 世界夢旅行双六 [Sekai Yume Ryoko Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Sekai Shonen 1919 (Taisho 8). Colour broadside 79x54cm. Used with several tears in folds and an old repair. Au$100

A good sugoroku but not a great copy, this dream adventure was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Sekai Shonen.
Morita was a busy illustrator and art director for the Takarazuka Revue through the twenties.


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Otake Kokkan. 小学教科双六 [Shogaku Kyoka Sugoroku]. Tokyo, Shonen Sekei 1907 (Meiji 40). Colour broadside 78x54cm. Quite a nice copy. Au$385

School life for small boys and girls; this was the new year gift from the boys' magazine Shonen Sekai. Boys and girls learn to read but then their ways seem to part: boys learn about rats while girls do flowers, boys learn to count while girls sew, boys write while girls fold paper.
Otake by 1907 was a well regarded, prize winning, Nihonga painter who was firm about maintaining Japanese tradition but like many such artists was a busy producer of prints and illustrator of magazines, books and advertisements.


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DAKIN, W.J. The Art of Camouflage. Second edition - with appendices. Sydney, Australasian Medical Publishing Company 1942. Octavo publisher's printed wrapper; 83pp, numerous illustrations, one colour. Signs of use; a most acceptable copy. Au$250

A hard book to find these days, this is Australia's major contribution to the slender literature of this elusive subject - from an eminent biologist which makes sense and printed by a medical publisher which might make sense, somehow. Until this local literature consisted of reprints of two English military manuals. The first edition appeared the year before but profound changes were called for quickly and this edition has been "almost rewritten".
The book has "Secret (for official use only)" printed on the front cover - a command reinforced by a red stamp telling us not to communicate this to the press or any unofficial person.


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Grosseteste. CROMBIE, A.C. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100 - 1700. Oxford Univ Press 1953. Octavo, very good in publisher's cloth; x,369pp, 16 plates. Au$65


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Wada Sanzo. 色名総鑑 [Shikimei Sokan]. Tokyo, Shunjusha 1931 (Showa 6). 195x115mm publisher's cloth case with title label with 160 mounted colour samples on 56 accordian folding card leaves and wrappered book; 178pp and some tables (two folding). The usual browning or offsetting of the card and still a nice copy in the original printed card outer folding case.
Colour samples named in Japanese, English and occasionally French or German; two of the tables are multi language lists of colour names. The top edge of the colour cards are gilded and the apparently plain paper lining of the case has a pattern of transparent glazed shapes printed on it. Au$475

First edition of Wada's first serious attempt at colour nomenclature. Wada, though at the top of the art ladder in Japan insisted on pursuing new directions and founded the Japan Standard Color Association, now the Japan Color Research Institute, in 1927. In these early years science, art and aesthetics went hand in hand.
Yet another significant book missed by the peurile Osborne 'Books on Colour Since 1500'.


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STEUART, Sir Henry. The Planter's Guide; or a practical essay on the best method giving immediate effect to wood, by the removal of large trees and underwood; Edinburgh, Blackwood &c 1828. Octavo, uncut in original cloth backed boards, printed spine label; [8],xxii,473pp & publisher's list, 5 plates, the frontispiece double page. A little spotting of the plates. Au$300

First edition; not a rare book but a pretty outstanding copy and not unimportant in the history of landscape. Steuart sits for the most part in the mainstream of the picturesque though he was savaged for his advocacy of the oval and circle as a natural form - which hearkens back to earlier platonic ideals. I'm told this slip of judgment was excised from later editions.
Where his influence is important is in his practical advice, drawn from his own work on his estate at Allanton, showing how the removal and replanting of large trees made feasible the re-ordering of entire landsapes. Re-ordering nature is of course nothing new but it had taken vast amounts of money, labour and, most important, time. Steuart's methods offered, comparatively, something close to instant gratification.


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English head hunters

DUCKWORTH, W.L.H. Studies From the Anthropological Laboratory the Anatomy School Cambridge. Cambridge Univ Press 1904. Octavo, endpapers spotted but very good in publishers cloth (the spine a touch dulled); x,291pp, some photo illustrations, drawings and tables through the text. Au$125

The anthropology collection at the Museum of Human Anatomy at Cambridge - now incorporated into the Duckworth Collection - is the glory of British head-hunting. It contains thousands of skeletal remains, mostly skulls, of humans and primates. Duckworth begins with an introductory account of the museum before heading into a number of papers on morphology and descriptions of specific skulls, or groups of skulls.
Much of course is of local interest - there are large numbers of Aboriginal skulls. Their return was demanded by Australian aborigines but refused by the Museum - on grounds that may seem more valid than the original purpose for their collection: recent advances in genetic analysis offer more cogent explanation of racial relationships than the primitive theories of 19th century anthropologists. The same reason they were collected.


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WOOD, H.F. [Harry Freeman]. The Englishman of the Rue Cain. London, Chatto & Windus 1889. Octavo publisher's illustrated cloth blocked in black and grey (spine faded and a bit rubbed). Canted but rather good and fresh inside. Au$135

First edition of this murder mystery set in Paris involving a missing heir, cross dressing villains, a cavalcade of detectives and all manner of complications.


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