Dear Friend,

Our star item this month is a fine first edition of Sylvia Plath’s only novel which sits nicely alongside the diary of a 'Garden Room Girl' in Clement Attlee’s Downing Street in the 1940s. The reappearance of a lost Shakespearean painting copied from Fuseli is well-timed to coincide with the opening of a new exhibition of the Anglo-Swiss artist’s work in London.

We are pleased to offer books owned and annotated by Henry Williamson, Stevie Smith and Siegfried Sassoon as well as children’s author John Cunliffe. Evelyn Waugh has only signed our first edition of his sole historical novel whereas his coreligionist Saint John Newman went to town with his inscription, offering ‘the kindest wishes and prayers…’

From a very autumnal Yorkshire we send similar warmth,

Christian White - 00 44 (0) 7811 455398 - 287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, Leeds, LS29 8LL, UK

DOWNING STREET DIARIES OF A ‘GARDEN ROOM GIRL’, 1940-1946 — Belinda Jean Crisp — 1940

Diaries of an elite Downing Street secretary or ‘Garden Room Girl’ who served in Whitehall under Winston Churchill and worked at No 10 under Clement Attlee, 1945-1946. Two small diaries. 1. Lorimer’s Ruby Diary, inscribed on the cover ‘B.Crisp 1940’ and on the flyleaf: ‘Belinda Crisp If found please return without turning this page over’, mostly pencilled schoolgirl entries. 2. Walker’s Year by Year Book, Five Year pre-printed Diary bound in faded red cloth over boards. Inscribed opposite title…… Read more


THE BELL JAR - First Edition — Victoria Lucas [pseudonym for] Sylvia Plath — 1963

Excellent first edition of Sylvia Plath’s pseudonymously published modern classic. Publisher’s black boards with Heinemann blind-stamped to lower board; gilt lettering to spine, foxing to top edge. The book is square with sharp corners and no inscriptions: a near fine copy. The dustjacket is one of the best examples on this title that we have seen with minimal rubbing to extremities and light dustsoiling to rear panel, not price-clipped. The book is contained within a protective custom-made drop…… Read more


EARLY MANUSCRIPT COPY Le Diable Amoureux - The Devil in Love — Jacques Cazotte — 1800

Early manuscript copy - apparently English in origin - of a French novel of diabolic seduction that has inspired everyone from Jacques Lacan to Jonny Depp. Small quarto (16.5x20.5cm) bound in (likely) English full sheep, rubbed with some loss close to outer hinges but boards remain well attached. No decoration apart from a gilt roll to the edge of the boards. The paper stock has a Britannia watermark and horizontal chainlines; light green edges to the text block. The manuscript text appears to b…… Read more


HELENA - Signed First Edition — Evelyn Waugh — 1950

Signed first edition of Evelyn Waugh’s only historical novel, based on the eponymous heroine’s search for relics of the true cross. Blue publisher’s cloth, small dent at the top of the front board; uniformly deep blue cloth, sharp corners. In a near very good jacket, lightly nicked at head of the spine and at the top of the front hinge with the front flap. Price sticker for ‘10/6 net’ increasing the original printed price on the front jacket flap. Evelyn Waugh has signed the title page below his…… Read more



Programming manual of an early British computer built by Ferranti Ltd. Folio sized publication in printed card wrappers, 4cm closed tear at the top of the hinge with spine on the upper cover. Circled in biro the number ‘20’ above the printed title on the cover, repeated on the title page. Fading across the top 5cm of the printed covers, together with a little finger marking. Internally, stamped price of 25 shillings on the verso of the cover. Stamp of ‘Mathematics Department Northampton College…… Read more


ALASDAIR GRAY’S NOISILY ANNOTATED COPY The Fabric of the Cosmos — Brian Greene, Alasdair Gray [Annotations] — 2007

Alasdair Gray’s noisily annotated copy. Good condition with some dirty markings to blue paper wrappers. Tear to the spine and chips to a few pages towards the end of the book. Gift inscription to Alasdair from “No 4”, to the upper flyleaf. Marginal annotations to 17 pages in several pens suggesting he revisited the book on a number of occasions. Annotations are detailed and passionate showing real engagement with the subject matter, additionally in more than one occasion Gray takes issue with Gr…… Read more


EXTRA ILLUSTRATED BY EDWARD FRANCIS BURNEY - The Poetical Works Enriched with Elegant Engravings — William Collins [George Daniel’s copy] — 1798

Richly extra-illustrated copy from the library of the poet and book collector George Daniel of Canonbury Square, Islington, containing an allegorical ‘original Drawing by Burney illustrative of Musick.’ Full diced Russia binding by Charles Lewis with gilt decoration and Daniel’s cipher in gilt to the upper cover. Marbled endpapers and all edges gilt. Armorial bookplate of ‘Henry Collins’ to front pastedown, post-dating Daniel’s ownership. Daniel’s long explanatory inscription to the first flylea…… Read more


LOST HAMLET PAINTING COPIED FROM FUSELI: A Platform before the Castle of Elsinore: Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus, and the Ghost — [Henry Fuseli - Johann Heinrich Füssli] William Shakespeare — 1830

Early nineteenth century oil-painted copy of Fuseli’s lost 1789 painting depicting the ghost of Hamlet's father beckoning away his son to hear the terrible story of his death. Oil on wooden panel, 44.5x57.5cm, label to verso from its appearance at the 1969 Zurich Fuseli exhibition, wood repair to verso reinforcing a vertical split in the wood which rises 12cm from the base of the image, just visible in the painting itself. The panel is mounted in a heavy period frame with modern retainers holdin…… Read more


HENRY WILLIAMSON’S ANNOTATED COPY - A New Survey of England: Devon — W G Hoskins - Henry Williamson — 1959

The novelist Henry Williamson’s annotated copy of this topographical history of his adopted county. Near fine example of the third impression with Williamson’s ownership inscription ‘Henry Williamson Georgeham, 1960’ - the Devon village where he lived - on the half-title. Tipped in opposite is a letter presenting the book to him from his startruck cousin Dorothy Shapcote. Williamson has annotated this and left other notes and jottings scattered through the text. A fascinating copy.


LIVERPOOL MANUSCRIPT - Minutes of the Council Meetings of the Liverpool Architectural and Archaeological Society from October 16-1867 to July 4th 1887 — Francis Horner; Thomas Kilpin; Henry Hill Vale, Thomas D Barry; Joseph Boult; Henry Sumners, Charles Aldridge etc — 1867

Manuscript records of one the world’s oldest architectural societies containing hundreds of signatures of leading members of the association including the architect of the Walker Art Gallery. Quarto manuscript book, half green morocco over marbled boards, stationer’s ticket of ‘Joseph A D Watts... Liverpool’ on marbled front endpaper with details for reordering. Red morocco label to upper board: ‘Architectural Society - Council Minute Book’. Manuscript title page on verso of first flyleaf follow…… Read more


MANUSCRIPT ‘TALES, ANECDOTES & SKETCHES’ - The Scrap Book, A Collection — John Willis Borrowdale — 1821

Manuscript collection of 87 traditional and contemporary stories and anecdotes including ‘General Washington - a Fact’, ‘The Spectre Bride’ and ‘Zendonez or the Slave Chieftain.’ Octavo format, quarter-bound calf over brown-marbled boards, gold fillets to calf leather. Boards darkened and slightly rubbed, corners rounded. Blind-tooled spine with gold lettering on red-morocco label, old repair to top spine compartment; all edges marbled; marbled endpapers, hinges sound. 164 leaves - 328 pages - l…… Read more


RARE MONOGRAPH An Analysis of the Structure of Space Time — Roger Penrose — 1970

Rare monograph published by Princeton University on a subject central to Roger Penrose’s research interests. A-4 size reproduced typescript with printed yellow card wrappers, stapled binding with cloth spine. Fading to cover. The text runs to a Table of Contents, 2 preliminaries and 138 leaves plus 6 inserted ‘a’ leaves, all printed on the rectos only. The text is a mixture of reproduced typescript and manuscript mathematical symbols and diagrams and corrections. Pages 12-14 bound in upside down…… Read more


SCOTTISH INDUSTRIALISM - Solutions of Exercises in Mechanics by William B Carmichael, Madras College St Andrews — William B Carmichael — 1869

Beautifully laid out collection of illustrated academic exercises by a teacher at St Andrews’ Madras College. Oblong quarto bound in quarter blue roan over textured royal blue paper covered boards with ‘Voluntaries’ in gilt to the upper board; a little rubbing only. Yellow coated endpapers. An albumen portrait photo of the author is mounted opposite the manuscript title page. The 32 leaves are a mixture of calculations, drawings and clipped chromo-lithographic images and engraings, quite beautif…… Read more


SIEGFRIED SASSOON’S ANNOTATED COPY Royal Society of Portrait Painters Illustrated Catalogue — [Siegfried Sassoon’s Copy] — 1926

Siegfried Sassoon’s annotated copy of a catalogue of a London exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. Card wrappers, discoloured and stained to rear. Sassoon’s cipher book label to the verso of the front cover. Collates, pp6; xlv plates; pp40 text; [pp] 8 adverts. The plates include paintings by William Orpen, Sir John Lavery and Howard Somerville. Sassoon has annotated the catalogue entries about 40 times in pencil with crosses in the margin and around 15-20 verbal notes. De Glehn is ‘good’,…… Read more


SIGNED BY 7 OF FLETCHER CHRISTIAN’S DESCENDANTS - Pitcairn Island Refuge of the Bounty Mutineers — Maurice Allward — 2000

Copy number 19 of 20 copies, signed by descendants of Fletcher Christian and with specimens of island plants inserted. Padded burgundy leather binding with gilt lettering; breadfruit specimen tipped to second flyleaf and signed family tree to third with seven signatures by descendants of the island’s first settler, Fletcher Christian, signed by Maurice Allward at the head of the page. Signature and limitation statement to title page. 128 pages of history and half-tone images with Tapa Cloth spec…… Read more


SIGNED BY HORATIO HORNBLOWER! The Naval Chronicle, Volume III, from January to July 1800 — C S Forester — 1800

Perhaps the only book ever inscribed by Horatio Hornblower - or rather C S Forester - in the guise of his greatest creation. The novelist has inscribed the flyleaf: ‘Horatio Hornblower, Capt., sends his thanks and best wishes via C. S. Forester.’ Half red morocco over marbled boards, gilt anchors in the flat spine compartments; binding a little bumped. Marbled endpapers; Forester/ Hornblower’s inscription appears between the ownership inscription of ‘Engineer Commander Alex R Newman R.N. retired…… Read more


IRISH LAND SURVEY - A Report, Survey and Valuation of Several Estates Fields and Premises in the County of Wexford — William Croote - 3rd Earl of Portsmouth — 1827

Manuscript Irish property valuation completed on behalf of the lunatic British nobleman John Charles Wallop, 3rd Earl of Portsmouth. Folio format (36x23cm) bound in marbled wrappers with paper label to upper cover. Wrappers separating along spine; manuscript note to the lower wrapper: ‘Nov.r and Dec.r 1827 Matter of the Earl of Portsmouth. Report Survey of Valuation of Mr Wm Croote of part of the Irish Property.’ Old vertical fold mark to the manuscript. Manuscript title page signed at the tail…… Read more


THE BIBLIOGRAPHER’S COPY OF DARWIN’S FIRST PUBLICATION A Letter Containing Remarks on the Moral State of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c. — Charles Darwin; Captain Robert Fitzroy — 1836

Presentation photocopy from Quentin Keynes to Darwin’s bibliographer, inscribed on the front pastedown: ‘for R.B. Freeman as a small token of appreciation for his frequent bibliographical advice Quentin Keynes London June 1968’. Green buckram with gilt lettering to the spine. This bound copy reproduces the title page of Volume II, number 4 of the periodical with pages 221-238 following. An old bookseller’s description notes that this Xerox comes from a copy in Cape Town and it duly appeared in F…… Read more


UNCORRECTED PROOF COPY - For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958 — Geoffrey Hill — 1959

Pre-publication proof of Geoffrey Hill's first mainstream collection of poetry. Printed card wrappers inscribed ‘June’ to upper cover - presumably the month of first publication. Collates [14] pp59 [5]. Very good condition throughout, the text clean and unmarked. Hill taught at Leeds University from 1954-1980 which probably explains the appearance of this volume among a library of books recently acquired in Yorkshire. The poems in this volume have been described as ‘largely vatic in nature’ - th…… Read more


WRITER JOHN CUNLIFFE’S ANNOTATED COPIES - A Pictorial Guide to Lakeland Fells Vols 1-VII & Outlying Fells — Alfred Wainwright; John A. Cunliffe — 1973

A set of ‘Wainwright’ owned and annotated by the Lakeland writer John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat and a longtime resident of Kendal. Seven volumes from Cunliffe’s library, all later editions from the 1970s and afterwards in well-used condition. The first volume has Cunliffe’s ownership inscription to the front pastedown ‘John and Sylvia Cunliffe 17 March 1973 Brighton’; Cunliffe has laminated the jacket of this volume. In it he notes at the head of the ‘Ascent from Patterdale’ page ‘31 Aug…… Read more


BRIGHTON MARITIME ARCHIVE: Waldram Day and Night Pier Signals - Pamphlet & Signals — Edward Waldram — 1898

The archive of the inventor of Waldram’s Day and Night Pier Signals, including his unrecorded pamphlet and a part set of hand-painted miniature tin signalling flags - and compass. Edward Waldram proposal for a new set of Brighton maritime signals is housed within a custom-made wooden box (35x17x9cm) with a brass label on top: ‘International Code of Signals. Edward Waldram’. Waldram sets out his plans in what seems to be an unrecorded pamphlet: Brighton West Pier, Notice to Masters of Steam Vesse…… Read more


NORFOLK MANORIAL COURT BOOK: Sutton Outsoken 1650 usqe 1660 — Court Official — 1650

Commonwealth period Manorial Court Book for the district of ‘Sutton Outsoken’ in central Norfolk detailing fines against manorial custom as well as transfers of copyhold property. Small folio size manuscript bound in a reused vellum indenture from 1623. Manuscript title to front cover: ‘1650 usqe 1660’ - 1650 up to 1660 - with the letter ‘D’ below. There are 92 foliated leaves (184 pages of manuscript) followed by four pages of index (to people being admitted and surrendering property) and 16 bl…… Read more


CAPTAIN SCOTT’S OWN STORY - The Strand Magazine — Captain Scott, Leonard Huxley, Herbert G. Ponting — 1913

A very early appearance in print of Herbert Ponting’s famous polar photographs. Bound in grey cloth binding with gilt lettering to front board in very good condition with slight wear to spine and bumping to edges. Speckled edge stain. Browning of end papers and insect damage to bottom right corner of upper flyleaf. Split to gutter between pages 4-5. The book brings together a four part article originally published in The Strand; ‘To the South Pole: Captain Scott’s Own Story, Told From His Journa…… Read more


‘WITH THE KINDEST WISHES AND PRAYERS OF THE AUTHOR...’ A Letter to the Rev Pusey & 7 other Publications — Saint John Henry Newman, William Gladstone, Gilbert Scott, Thomas Capel — 1866

Inscribed with ‘Prayers’ from a saint - John Henry Newman’s Letter to Pusey inscribed in his hand on the verso of the title page: ‘with the kindest wishes & prayers of the Author Decr 10. 1872’. Collection of 8 Anglo-Catholic church pamphlets bound in contemporary half calf with marbled boards, spine label lettered in gilt on maroon leather, some rubbing to the leather. Light brown coated endpapers with the ownership inscription of ‘Isabel J Crewe 1878’ (possibly the long-lived daughter - 1830-1…… Read more


[ANNOTATED BY STEVIE SMITH] Mother, What is Man? — Stevie Smith — 1942

Presentation copy with 4 autograph corrections to the text by the poet. This is a first edition of Stevie Smith's 3rd volume of poetry, illustrated by the author, bound in blue cloth, rubbed, internally near fine. On the first flyleaf is written: ‘To Jane and Mark from Stevie with love.’ Above is a pencil note stating that ‘Jane = Tabrisky (Degras)’ and ‘Mark = “Benney” (Degras)’. Smith’s corrections appear at pages 18, 49 and 54. In the first of these ‘dammed’ in the line ‘Poet, thou art dead a…… Read more


Dr. Christian White
Christian White Rare Books
287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8LL
07811 455398