Dear Friend,
We’re leaning left this month with a manuscript speech about Israel by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and his wife's appointments diary from No 5, Lord North Street in Westminster. We nod to the upcoming Paris Olympics and offer photographic memories of summers in Pompeii, as well as Patrick Leigh Fermor on the Mani.
Best wishes,
Christian White

ANNOTATED BY ENGLISH COMPOSER THOMAS STERNDALE BENNETT: Memoirs of the Life of the Late George Frederic Handel — John Mainwaring — 1760

An important early source for Handel’s life and work which has been elaborately annotated by the English composer, Thomas Sterndale Bennett. Full 18th century speckled calf, pleasingly rebacked and with new endpapers and the stamp of ‘T G Odling’ to the front flyleaf - the Gloucestershire collector, Thomas G Odling (1911-2002) was Clerk to the House of Commons; he inherited his great grandfather composer Thomas Sterndale Bennett’s collection from which this volume is drawn. The book lacks the en…… Read more


‘Beasts Sold’, Sowings Made: A Manuscript ‘Day Book 1793’ by a Lincolnshire Land Owner — Christopher Byron — 1793

Most attractive and engaging Day Book kept between 1793 and 1817 by Christopher Byron of the village of Tathwell near Louth in Lincolnshire. Original vellum binding with title in ink to the upper cover; Britannia watermark to paper stock and the author’s inscription to first leaf: ‘Christ’r Byron Tathwell 1793’ Every one of the c150 leaves has been used to record agricultural and other transactions such as hirings, rentals, a census of farm animals harvesting and sowing: ‘Agreed with Josh Green…… Read more


New and Enlarged Edition - Household Receipt Book, or Primitive Physic with Preface by the Rev. John Wesley [with] The Domestic Receipt Book... Second Edition — John Wesley [and] Joseph Worrall — 1832 & 1870

Rare chapbook publication of John Wesley’s recipes bound after an earlier collection of receipts published on the other side of the Pennines in Rochdale. Modern half crushed brown morocco over marbled boards; brown endpapers. 19th century book label of ‘George B Burton Preston’ laid down on the first flyleaf. Worrall’s text is complete but well used, a couple of paper repairs and soiling throughout: pp150. Wesley’s receipts run to 32pp, original wrappers present; most of the top corners of the l…… Read more



Manuscript catalogue of a mid-nineteenth century private Hampshire library, featuring Cambridge University titles, Shakespeare in different editions and William Wilberforce. Octavo format, quarter bound calf over brown-marbled boards. Boards rubbed, losses to paper and calf, corners worn and rounded. Single gilt ruling and lettering to spine, spine sunned, ‘Hants’ struck through in black; all edges speckled in red; yellow endpapers, grubby, hinges sound. 71 leaves - 142 pages - ruled paper, sing…… Read more



A comprehensive manuscript journal of an independent and adventurous English woman’s Continental tour, including lengthy stays in Florence and Rome before continuing to Slovenia, Vienna and Prague. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Quarto format, full black roan, single blind ruling to boards. Boards with gentle edgewear. All edges marbled; cream endpapers, darkened by binder’s glue, front inner hinge starting, rear sound, Charles Benson’s attractive book label, plus pencil notes (in another hand) to front…… Read more


19 Inscribed pamphlet offprints on experimental toxicology: Richerche Sperimentali Del Dott. Raniere Bellini [with] Saggi de Terpeutica Sperimentale [wity] Dello Avvelenamento Prodotto dal Fosforo — Raniere Bellini (Arthur Gamgee) — 1864

19 inscribed offprints presented by their author, the Italian toxicologist Raniere Bellini, to his friend Arthur Gamgee (1841-1909) a British biochemist born in Italy where his father had a practice near Livorno, subsequently teaching at Edinburgh and Manchester universities. Worn green textured cloth binding, a little shaken; ownership signature of Gamgee to the flyleaf with library stamp of the ‘School of Biochemistry Colman Library Cambridge University’. Each imprint written by Raniere Bellin…… Read more


POMPEII [A Collection of Albumen Photographs] — Giorgio Sommer — 1870

A tourist souvenir of Pompeii from the 1870s containing 70 albumen photographs of Pompeii, its ruins, murals and some of the sculptures that ended up in Naples’ museum together with a photographic frontispiece. Sommer (1833-1914) was one of Europe’s most prolific and important photographers who had at least three studios in Naples, near to Pompeii itself. Small album (23x18.5cm) bound in blind-stamped cloth, rubbed to edges and corners; paper endpapers with browning and dust spotting. The indivd…… Read more


GALLOWAY RARITY The Tales of the Solway — James Aitken - a Gallovidean — 1873

An inscribed copy of this rare book about the manners and customs on the Solway Firth. Small format bound in embossed blue-green cloth, neatly repaired, with yellow-coated endpapers and an albumen portrait of the author tipped in opposite the title page, inscribed below. Collates complete: pp208; a little paper decay at the foot of the title page and running through a few leaves affecting the bottom 2-3mm of the leaves. A few corners torn away, not affecting the text. Very scarce, with copies on…… Read more


The Witchery of Archery: A Complete Manual of Archery — Maurice Thompson — 1879

A good copy only of the ‘new edition’ of 1879. Decorative brown publisher’s cloth binding, worn and with a split running up the outer hinge between front board and spine. Tape repair to gutter of front blue-coated endpapers; bookplate of ‘William Bacon Crittenden’, 1884; later ownership inscription of ‘Howard Curtis 1954’. The sewing has failed internally leaving many gatherings loose. Browned paper stock. Acquired as part of a library of books relating to archery compiled in the old West Riding…… Read more


MINIATURE BLAKE The Songs of Innocence with Designs by Celia Levetus — William Blake — 1899

Miniature edition, first thus, of Blake’s great poems including The Lamb. Decorative cloth covered boards (7.6x6.5cm); all edges gilt. Gift inscription, 1907, to front pastedown. Collates complete: pp118 [6]. Influenced by Walter Crane and Morris the illustrator Celia Levetus became associated with the Birmingham School of artists.


ARTS & CRAFTS WRITER & DESIGNER: An Artistic Archive of Percy Wells — Percy Wells [with] May Morris; Ambrose Heal etc — 1900

The Batsford-published author and arts and crafts designer Percy Wells’s retained collection of drawings, a notebook, letters, photographs, and articles. Wells (1867-1956), a cabinet maker and disciple of William Morris, lectured, taught and wrote extensively during the later phase of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. His typescript autobiography is included in the archive which follows him through an apprenticeship in London’s City Road with early practice as a cabinet maker before worki…… Read more


A Pedigree of the Families Luck and Lock — Edward John Luck — 1900

Privately printed family history with biographies and photographs of family members. Red crushed roan binding; heraldic bookplate; 48 pages of text interleaved with blanks for photographs and additional card blanks with further images to the rear. Inscribed on the front flyleaf: ‘J Lowther Bouch from E.J.L.’ A little grubby along the top of some pages. The text includes a section on the relationship of the philosopher John Locke to the wider family. A rare work that was only ever intended for pr…… Read more


Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship Edited by Edward Carpenter — Edward Carpenter [Laurence Haward] — 1902

Richly provenanced first edition with a letter tipped in to ‘My dear Dent’ presenting this book for Christmas 1907 from Laurence Haward, art collector and influential Curator of the Manchester Art Gallery. Later ownership signature of ‘Nigel Hancock King’s’. A good copy with some soiling to the publisher’s binding. A few pencilled annotations to the sonnets of Michelangelo, probably in the hand of Haward. A homo-erotic Christmas card laid in. Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was one of the founders…… Read more


ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH OF ROSA LUXEMBURG at the Socialist International Congress in 1904 — [Rosa Luxemburg] — 1904

Original, possibly unrecorded, photographic image printed on a postcard and showing Rosa Luxemburg, nestled among a group of international socialist leaders, including Karl Kautsky (Germany), Victor Adler (Austria), Georgii Plekhanov (Russia), Edouard Vaillant (France) and Sen Katayama (Japan). The group were attending the Socialist International Congress of 1904 where they were photographed on a balcony in Amsterdam. In other known examples of this photo session Luxemburg is hatless but seen he…… Read more


FIRST EDITION The Wild Swans at Coole — William Butler Yeats — 1919

Jacketed first trade edition of Yeats’ late, great collection which includes in its title poem, one of the best loved verses in the language. Deep blue cloth with gilt decoration by Sturge Moore, pleasingly bright to the upper board, a little faded to the spine. A near fine copy with a gift inscription dating from the year of publication to the first flyleaf: ‘Mynkie with love from G. Xmas 1919.’ The title page is unopened, otherwise the pages are opened and near fine internally: pp[2] x, pp114…… Read more


THE WIFE’S HANDBOOK: How a Woman should Order Herself during Pregnancy and after Delivery — Dr Henry Arthur Allbutt — 1922

1920s era ‘fifty-sixth’ edition of the earliest book by an English doctor to describe contraceptive methods, a publication that saw its author struck off from the medical register. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The book is bound in printed wrappers, no date but OCLC suggests 1922. A little dog-earring to early leaves, otherwise unmarked. One terminal advertisement leaf. Collates [2] pp82. Five institutional copies at Edge Hill, Royal College Nursing 2xBL and Uni California. Despite being repeatedly repr…… Read more


EARLY OLYMPIC MERCHANDISE: Labels from the Paris Olympics — Paris Olympics — 1924

The first games to feature the Olympic motto, the Paris games of 1924 also featured a huge marketing campaign of Luggage Labels, Poster Stamps, Stamps, Cigarette & Cigar Labels, and Posters created for the Olympiad and approved by the Olympic Committee. These fragmentary survivals include a label in the red, blue, and white of the French flag: ‘Jeux Olympiques. Paris Mai. Juin. Juillet 1924’ (15.5x9.5cm) not in Dubois’ Catalog of Olympic Labels; a little chipping to edges. And four Cigar Box Ins…… Read more


‘TO MY FLORENTINE FRIENDS...’ The Letters of Bret Harte — Bret Harte - Geoffrey Bret Harte — 1926

Inscribed first edition from the author’s son: ‘To my Florentine friends with affectionate greetings from Geoffrey Bret Harte April 1926’, written on the front flyleaf. Publisher’s blue cloth; a crease to the upper cover where it has been bent. Spotting to early leaves but internally very good. Geoffrey Bret Harte himself published a book on Italian life, hence his Florentine friends. He did not however achieve the success of his father, a leading short story writer of the fin de siecle.


IN A SCARCE DUSTJACKET The Moonstone: A Romance — Wilkie Collins — 1933

1933 edition found here with its most uncommon dustjacket designed by Mabel Victoria Leith, (b. 1897), an English artist who, after working as a draughtsman for ship designs in the Great War, lived and made art in Australia and Canada. A very good copy with the name of ‘R Carter’ to the front flyleaf; the jacket has been price clipped from the spine leaving a 3x3cm hole. Leith’s jacket design leans into the novel’s exotic backstory rather than Collins’ country house detective fiction.


XI OLYMPIADE, BERLIN - 1936: Olympic Photo Album with Signatures of Swimmers from the Olympic Pool — Olympics — 1936

Ninety two photographs documenting the experience of an ordinary German family that attended the Berlin Olympics of 1936 with American swimmers in the pool, athletics in the newly built stadium and adoring crowds giving Hitler the Nazi salute. The photographs feature the opening ceremony and athletics events such as the hurdles as well as dressage which took place at the Olympiade in Berlin. The latter part of the album documents the swimming and diving competitions and water polo with close-ups…… Read more


JOHN PIPER Paintings, Drawings & Theatre Designs 1932-1954 — John Piper, S John Woods — 1955

First trade edition bound in brown buckram with a green device to the upper board. Aquatint frontispiece 'Figures from a Seal' and four auto-lithographs specially drawn for the book. Internally the book is fine and in a near fine dustjacket - a lovely copy of this beautifully made book. This collaboration between Piper and Woods was one of the first full length monographs of Piper's works.


INSCRIBED The Uses of Literacy — Richard Hoggart — 1957

A signed first edition of Richard Hoggart's career-making study of ‘Aspects of Working Class Life with special reference to publications and entertainments.’ Orange-brown cloth, near fine; a little spotting to the text, inscribed in blue ink, warmly, on the title page. In a good jacket, complete but nicked and with short tears close to the edges; some browning and soiling to the jacket, not affecting the book itself. Not price-clipped. Very uncommon thus.


WITH WRAPAROUND BAND Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese — Patrick Leigh Fermor — 1958

First edition with the Book Society’s wraparound band still present. Very good plus book, spotting to the edges of the text block and first few pages; bright red board otherwise internally fine; offsettin from an early newspaper review laid into the final in at the end. In a very good plus example of John Craxton’s magnificent dustjacket; tiny puncture to the jacket fold with the rear flap.


Brownjohn's Beasts, A Night in the Gazebo, The Observation Car, Four New Poems, Synopsis [and seven other inscribed collections] — Alan Brownjohn — 1961

Eleven inscribed books by Alan Brownjohn, presented to his friend Dennis Saunders who ran poetry conferences for teachers in Kent in the 1950s-1980 - several of these events at Eversley College are mentioned in Brownjohn’s inscriptions. Mostly very good to fine condition, the inscriptions are warm and affectionate.


ERIC IDLE’S OWN PROGRAMME RECORDING HIS ‘PROFESSIONAL COMEDY DEBUT’ - Just Wild about Henry — Eric Idle - Steven Frears, Michael Pennington etc [Henry Miller] - Cambridge University Theatre Company — 1963

Broadside programme from the estate of former Python Eric Idle which he describes as marking his ‘professional comedy debut’. Directed by Steven Frears no less at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963 this was also the British premier of Miller’s surreal and only play. A single sheet (25x15cm) printed on both sides; a little browned otherwise fine. Recently sold by Eric Idle to a US bookdealer and thence to us. Otherwise unrecorded. Frears’ Edinburgh production was mounted on a specially built revolvin…… Read more


Ariel- FIRST EDITION — Sylvia Plath — 1965

A very smart first edition of Sylvia Plath's masterpiece. A near fine copy with lovely bright red boards, no gift inscriptions, clean unmarked text. A tiny mark to the front flyleaf from a staple attached to a review of the collection in the New Statesman which has been laid into the book along with Al Alvarez’s famous Observer review. A little dustiness along the top edge. The jacket is also near fine with lovely bright colour, a trifle sunned to the spine. An excellent copy of this key work in…… Read more



A working cardboard cut drawn, painted and operated for animation purposes by the artist and creator of Captain Pugwash, John Ryan. Backed onto card, the cutouts are window mounted (38x30cm) and depict a Middle Eastern carpet seller demonstrating his wares. Two working levers allow the man to move his arm and his mouth as he speaks; the mount is detached and numbered ‘41’. It’s not known which of Ryan’s creations this comes from, perhaps Sir Prancelot. CONTEXT: John Ryan (1921 – 2009) was a Brit…… Read more



Appointments diary from their family home in Lord North Street, Westminster, of Mary Wilson, wife of the past and future Prime Minister Harold Wilson, during his phase as Leader of the Opposition to Edward Heath’s Tory government in 1973. From dinners with Lord Goodman to her packing list for the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool in October 1973, this is an intimate, oblique view of life at the apex of British political life. For example, the second week of April seems to have been particular…… Read more


First Love Last Rites — Ian McEwan — 1975

Near fine first edition of McEwan’s debut collection. Square binding with sharp corners, no inscriptions, a fine book with a little dustiness along the top edge making it near fine. In a very nearly fine jacket, not price clipped. A pretty classy launch to McEwan’s literary career.


Cambridge Poetry Festival 1981 4-9 June SIGNED POSTER — [David Gascoyne] Annie Stevenson, Michael Farley, Nicki Jackowska etc — 1981

Repeatedly signed poster for the 1981 Cambridge Poetry Festival, presented to the English surrealist poet David Gascoyne and his wife Judy. (29x42cm) worn and stained with old folds and printed on the verso with the year’s progamme that included readings by W S Graham, Margaret Atwood, Joseph Brodsky, George Steiner, Gascoyne himself and an exhibition of work by Leonard Baskin. Gascoyne had only recently started again making public appearances after a period of ill health, a fact reflected in th…… Read more


‘THE CREATION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL’: Manuscript of a Speech by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson — Harold Wilson — 1981

Written by the former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, this is the first section of a speech which he delivered - and then revised for subsequent reuse - around the time of the publication of his book-length account of ‘the creation of the State of Israel’. A lifelong and unwavering Zionist, Wilson wrote into his 1981 publication, Chariot of Israel, his own involvement in Israeli history during his period as Prime Minister overlapping with the Six Days War. This archive comprises the first p…… Read more


‘DIVISION OF THE LAST FEW YEARS OF TORY GOVT’ - Thatcherism Judged by former Prime Minister Harold Wilson — Harold Wilson — 1983

A sheaf of documents and ephemera retained by Harold and Mary Wilson at their Westminster flat in Ashley Gardens including notes in the former Prime Minister’s hand about the history of the Labour Party and the state of Britain in the autumn of 1983 - shortly after Margaret Thatcher won her first landslide. Wilson was prompted to make these observations by a request for advice from an old Huddersfield friend living in the town of his birth - Mary Wilson has passed on this information to him in a…… Read more


SIGNED BY 5 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLISTS If Not, Now, When? One Man’s Extraordinary Quest for Olympic Glory — Greg Searle — 2012

First edition signed for ‘Richard...’ by Greg Searle, and 4 other British Olympic Gold Medallists for rowing: Katherine Grainger (now Chancellor of the University of Glasgow), Alex Gregory, Pete Reed and Zac Purchase. A fine first in a fine jacket. A lovely association copy, presented in another Olympic year.


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