Question: What do Cleopatra, the Brontë sisters, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Sherlock Holmes, Paul Kruger, Gandhi, Ernest Hemingway, Dylan Thomas and Salvador Dali have in common? Answer: They all feature in this month’s Shelf Tour list.
This Month at Christison Rare Books # 138 is due out later this month, but for now we take a look at some of the hidden gems on our shelves, including books outside our usual focus areas. Hopefully, the detailed descriptions, pictures, and cheap prices in this “Shelf Tour 3” will help evoke the experience of browsing through a traditional general bookshop.
Apart from the very varied material on offer, some of the books also offer interesting clues as to their provenance. Terence Creagh Coen’s The Indian Political Service and Christoper Hibbert’s Edward VII: A Portrait have the bookplate of Edward F. Lydall, who enjoyed a distinguished career in the Indian Civil Service, including involvement in earthquake relief operations. W. Ruxton Fraser’s St Mary’s of Old Montrose, or Parish of Maryton has the bookplate of Sir Arthur Mitchell, K.C.B., who is best known for his pioneering work on the care of mental health patients, but was also a professor of ancient history, member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and of the Scottish History Society. F. Lion Cachet’s De Worstelstrijd der Transvalers aan het Volk van Nederland Verhaald carries this inscription to its front free endpaper: “Found in a wagon captured by Tpr. G. Johnson Wicker, 2nd Kitchener’s F. Scouts, Senekal, Orange River Colony, 1901.” The Second Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts, under Colonel Wilson, were railed to the Orange River Colony in the second half of 1901, and had numerous engagements with the Boer guerillas during the concluding phase of the Second Anglo-Boer War. It was during this period that this book was acquired by the trooper whose inscription appears on the front free endpaper.
Further highlights include a late-nineteenth century set of The Life and Works of Charlotte Brontë and her Sisters, a complete set of Winston Churchill’s The Second World War, and several early editions of works by African explorers. We hope we have found something for you.
The link to the Shelf Tour list is here:
Lindsay and Wendy