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26 October 2017: New in November...

We are constantly adding new works to our collection, and have something for every interest and specialism. Should you be after some advice or help, either for a gift or for yourself, please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our experts will be able to assist you. Here are a few examples of some of our recent acquisitions.

1971 Laurence Olivier Signed Shakespeare The Complete Works William Shakespeare

We have recently added to our collected an attractive copy of the works of Shakespeare, bound in full morocco and housed in the original slipcase. What makes this work even more special is that it is signed by noted actor and director Laurence Olivier to the title page.

Olivier dominated the stage of the mid-20th century, portraying and directing a wide variety of roles both in theatre and film. Throughout his illustrious career, Olivier was perhaps best known for the wide variety of Shakespearean roles and plays he starred and directed in, both on stage and screen. On stage, Olivier himself played a variety of the Bard’s leads, including Richard III, Othello and Macbeth, to name a few. Following on from his success in Shakespearean stage productions, he first moved across into Shakespeare on film, playing Orlando in 'As You Like It'. In 1943, at the behest of the Ministry of Information, Olivier began working on 'Henry V'. Originally, he did not intend to take the directorial duties, but eventually ended up directing and producing the film, as well as playing the titular role. This would not be the last time that Olivier starred, directed and produced Shakespeare’s plays on screen, with him doing the same with 'Hamlet' and 'Richard III'. This unique work that has recently been added to our collection is a fantastic piece for any collector, reflecting the prolonged relationship between Olivier and the plays of Shakespeare.

1894 The Green Carnation by Robert Hichens First Edition Scarce Oscar Wilde

This scarce and hugely influential work by author Robert Hitchins was first published anonymously. The Green Carnation’s characters are heavily based around the relationship between Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, more commonly known as Bosie, whom the author personally knew. His time around both the characters sought to accurately recreate the atmosphere and relationship between them.

Upon release, the work caused much controversy, with a reviewer for the The Observer writing ‘nothing so impudent, so bold or so delicious has been printed these many years’.  Later the same year, Wilde was forced to write a letter to The Pall Mall Gazette, denying he was the anonymous author. The following year, it was withdrawn from circulation, but by that point the damage had already been done. Soon after, Wilde was famously tried for gross indecency and was sentenced to two years of hard labour. The prosecution referenced the work at his trial, much to the dismay of the author. The work that has recently been added to our collection is the scarce first edition, first impression of the work and is bound in the original green cloth, although a version in paperboards was published simultaneously.

1982 Aesop's Fables A Selection Translated by Ian Warren Signed Weissenborn

This particular copy of Aesop’s Fables that has recently been added to our library contains the engravings of German born artist Hellmuth Weissenborn. Weissenborn left Germany during the rise of the Nazi party, as his wife was a Jewish woman. In Britain, he originally struggled to find work and was initially interned in the Isle of Man for six months. Upon release he embarked on a new phase of his career as a printmaker and formed The Acorn Press with his second wife.

This charming work of the well-known Aesop’s Fables is a limited edition copy published by Weissenborn’s Acorn Press, and is number thirteen of two hundred copies. The work is also signed by the translator Ian Warren, with a note also stating that the illustrator Hellmuth Weissenborn sadly died during the publication, so was unable to sign the work. What’s more, the work also contains an additional handwritten noted from translator Ian Warren gifting the book to a friend and explaining his plans to translate more of the famous works from the original Greek text. The collection of stories is profusely illustrated with many coloured engravings from Weissenborn. 

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