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Social and Diplomatic Memories 1884-1893 - Sir James Rennell Rodd G.C.B.

1922 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - Second Impression
The autobiography of 1st Baron Rennell (1858-1941), British diplomat, poet (Oscar Wilde assisted in publishing Rodd’s first book of poems), politician, and scholar of ancient Greece and Rome.

Covering the early years from his childhood, the ‘Balliol set’, and young Bohemian adulthood, to his first posting in Berlin from 1884 to 1888, where he became an intimate friend of the Empress Frederick, and recounts his memories of Bismark and other major figures during that tumultuous time, after this he moves on to Greece, Italy, France, and finally Zanzibar and East Africa at the end of the 19th century.

Finely bound and with a four page hand-written letter from his wife to an ‘unknown friend’, composed at the British Legation, Athens in February 1928.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - William Milligan Sloane

1896 - The Century Co., New York - First Edition
Four magnificent and finely bound quarto volumes of this monumental history on Napoleon, ‘the product of many years of elaborate investigation, it was sumptuously illustrated and composed’. [DAB].

First edition, profusely illustrated with 80 colour plates, 200 black & white and tinted plates, and 17 maps.

Generally there is no mystery in the power of domination: he rules who is indispensable. The Jacobins needed a man, they found him in the unscrupulous Bonaparte; the Directory needed a man, they found him in the expert artillerist; France needed a man, she found him in the conqueror of Italy.’

‘Sloane, who believed "
there exists no record of human activity more complete" than Bonaparte's, also summed up Napoleon's failure in one word -- exhaustion. It was not until his opponents learned the lessons "which he taught his generals by a series of object demonstrations lasting 20 years, that the teacher began to diminish in success and splendor. Judged either historically or theoretically, the strategy of Napoleon is "original, unique and unexcelled." Sloane noted that this was Napoleon's greatest achievement, because it was "his most creative."’ [Vance] 
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Price HK$ 13,000



The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne in the County of Southampton - Gilbert White

1900 - Macmillan and Co. Limited, London - Library of English Classics Edition
A Bayntun-Riviere bound edition of Gilbert White’s best known work – Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne – his compilation of letters written to Thomas Pennant and Daines Barrington, both leading naturalists of their day, in which he discusses his observations and theories regarding the local flora and fauna in a charming, thoughtful, and immediate style.

One of the most published books in the English language, it ‘delighted both Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin’ and has never been out of print since its first appearance in 1789.

‘An enthusiastic gardener, Gilbert White (1720-1793) grew many flowers, vegetables and fruits at a time when many new kinds were being introduced. He was thus the first person in the area to grow crops such as potatoes. He experimented, observed and recorded everything to do with his garden. These interests led him to his insights into natural history.

White's original emphasis was on the study of birds. From his pioneering work in bird observation, he expanded into other areas of natural science. He primarily believed in studying birds and other creatures in the field. This was an unusual approach at a time when most naturalists preferred to carry out detailed examinations of dead specimens in their study. White was thus the first to distinguish the willow wren as three species - chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood warbler - largely on the basis of their songs. He was the first to accurately describe the harvest mouse and the noctule bat. White spent much time observing crickets and other small creatures, recognising that all had a role to play.

White's brother Benjamin was a publisher of many volumes on natural history. Benjamin introduced Gilbert to Thomas Pennant (one of the foremost zoologists of the time) and Daines Barrington. Gilbert corresponded with them and other naturalists, such as Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Later, Darwin used White's observations as the basis for some of his own work.

White's writings inspired many other naturalists. His legacy as an accurate and systematic recorder of the natural world lives to this day.’

References:
Natural History Museum, web. GrrlScientist, ‘Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White’ The Guardian 2013. Mabey, Gilbert White: A biography of the author of The Natural History of Selborne 1986. 
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Price HK$ 1,200



 
Results 17 - 19 of 19 results
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