Gohd Rare & Collectible Books News

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Chinese science, the self's problems, Alice in Wonderland, Jane Austen, The Singapore mutiny, Persian Fairy Tales, an Asian corner, the Preserving Machine.

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Austen

 

We have some interesting travel books and classics from various genres. First, we have Volume 1 of Joseph Needham's monumental work, Science and Civilisation in China. This seven volume set, first published in the 1950s, is still being edited and revised, and was listed as one of Modern Library's 100 Best Non-fiction Books of the 20th century. Another classic of East Asia is Abbe Huc's Travels in Tartary and Thibet. Ours is a 1937 publication focusing only on Tartary and Tibet, although the original 1850 edition included a volume on China. Although he was a Catholic missionary, Huc had a high regard for Tibetan Buddhism and the Chinese religions. He was a colourful writer, making his Travels a popular book that was quickly translated into various European languages. Two more travel books this week, both on Southeast Asia. The first, A Tour in Southern Asia by Horace Bleakley, covers Singapore, Saigon, Angkor, Malaya, Java, Sumatra, Colombo, etc. Most interestingly, it covers the 1915 mutiny involving up to half of 850 sepoys (Indian soldiers) against the British in Singapore during the First World War, and also contains some lovely photographs of the region. The second, In a Corner of Asia, is one of Sir Hugh Clifford's many collections of essays on Malaya. Also this week is the only hardcover edition ever published of The Preserving Machine, a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, best known for The Man in the High Castle, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book which inspired the popular movie Blade Runner. An obscure title this week is The Self and Its Problems by Charlotte E. Woods, containing a series of lectures held in The Theosophical Society in London. The book explores concepts of the self in Western philosophy, touching upon the ideas of Descartes, Kant, and others, and also provides the Theosophical Society's more esoteric point of view. Lastly, some popular classics. Persian Fairy Tales and Alice in Wonderland are two titles adults and children alike can enjoy, while our Complete Works of Shakespeare is a convenient 3-volume set that allows you to enjoy Shakespeare's plays without having to heave a massive volume off your shelf. Also, a lovely edition of Austen's Pride & Prejudice.

 

China

Science and Civilisation in China, vol 1 – Joseph Needham (1954)

Science and Civilisation in China (1954–2015) is a monumental series of books initiated and edited by British biochemist, historian and sinologist Sir Joseph Needham. They deal with the history of science and technology in China. Very influential.

Persian

Persian Fairy Tales – Eleanor Brockett (1965)

Twenty-five fairy tales of ancient Persia, about minarets and Sultans, djinns and demons. Includes The Envious Vizier, Zal and the Wonder-Bird, and How Rustem Slew the White Demon.

 

 

Machine

The Preserving Machine – Philip K Dick (1969)

A collection of science fiction stories. The title story is a poignant fable about the worth of aesthetics, beauty, and high culture, in the face of change. The fable also turns the coin the other way, with aesthetics used to question the value of evolution and survival, asking at what expense they come.

 

Asia

A Tour in Southern Asia – Horace Bleackley (1928)

1st edition. A travelogue of Southeast Asia by a once-famous author, with 21 photographic plates. Covers Singapore, Saigon, Angkor, Malaya, Java, Sumatra, Colombo, etc. Most interestingly covers the 1915 mutiny within the Singapore military against the British.

 

 

Pride

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

Illustrated with portraits by Chris Duke. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. 

 

Self

The Self and Its Problems – Charlotte E. Woods (1922)

1st edition. Part of the Blavatsky lectures series, this one from 1919. About the idea of the "self" in Western philosophy seen in the historical context, from Descartes to Kant, but also through the lens of Theosophical mysticism.

 

 

Shakespeare

The Works of Shakespeare, Chronologically Arranged (1925)

With black-and-white plates. Vol 1 – Comedies. Vol 2 – Histories. Vol 3 – Tragedies. Introduced by Charles Whibley. Scholars have decided upon a specific play chronology based on allusions to historical events in the plays; the records of performances of the plays; the publication dates of sources; the dates that the plays appear in print.

 

Tartary

Travels in Tartary and Thibet – Abbe Huc (1937)

Covers: The French mission of Peking, Tartar manners and customs, festivals, an interview with a Tibetan Lama, the flooding of the Yellow River, Tartar veterinary surgeons, irrigation projects, comparative studies between Catholicism and Buddhism, war between two living Buddhas, and the Chinese account of Tibet.

 

 

Corner

In a Corner of Asia – Sir Hugh Clifford (1926)

'Tales and Impressions of Men and Things in the Malay Peninsula'. During his twenty years in Perak, Clifford socialised with the local Malays and studied their language and culture deeply. He served as British Resident at Pahang, 1896–1900 and 1901–1903, and Governor of North Borneo, 1900–1901.

 

Alice

Alice in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.
‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’ Two volumes, complete.

 

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