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  1. BYRD, William, John BULL and Orlando GIBBONS.

    Parthenia or the maydenhead of the first musicke that ever was printed for the virginalls.

    [London, Chiswick Press for W. Heffer & Sons, Cambridge, 1943.]

    Facsimile reprint of the original edition of c. 1612/13, handsomely bound by Zaehnsdorf. At the end is a short introduction to the work by the great Austrian musicologist and bibliographer Otto Erich Deutsch.


  2. [GLUCK, Christoph Willibald.]

    Paride ed Elena. Dramma per musica . . . dedicato a sua altezza, il Signor Duca Don Giovanni di Braganza.

    Vienna, Johann Thomas von Trattner, 1770.

    First edition of Gluck’s Paride ed Elena, which tells the story of events between the judgment of Paris and the flight of Paris and Helen to Troy. It was premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 3 November 1770.


  3. [GRIEG, Edvard.] FINCK, Henry Theophilus.

    Edvard Grieg.

    London, John Lane, The Bodley Head, [1905].

    First edition of Finck’s biography of Grieg, inscribed by both Edvard and Nina Grieg on the front free endpaper and dated (in Nina Grieg’s hand) ‘London 25-5-06’. Beneath these inscriptions is a note by the book’s publisher John Lane: ‘The above autographs were written by my desire in my...


  4. [KING, William].

    The Art of Cookery, in Imitation of Horace’s Art of Poetry. With some Letters to Dr. Lister, and Others: Occasion’d...

    London: Bernard Lintott, [1708].

    First authorised edition. The Art of Cookery, a satire on Horace’s De arte poetica, was written by William King (1663-1712), first king’s scholar at Westminster School and king’s student at Christ Church, Oxford, and then a student of civil law. ‘At Oxford he read widely but, as...


  5. [KITCHINER, William].

    The Cook’s Oracle; Containing Receipts for Plain Cookery on the Most Economical Plan for Private Families...

    London and Edinburgh: James Moyes for A. Constable & Co. and Hurst, Robinson, & Co., 1823.

    Fifth edition. A curious classic of the early nineteenth-century canon of cookery books, the first edition of The Cook’s Oracle was published under the title of Apicius Redevivus, or The Cook’s Oracle in 1817. Later simply known as The Cook’s Oracle, this work gathers recipes...



    The Traveller’s Oracle; or, Maxims for Locomotion: Containing Precepts for Promoting the Pleasures and Hints for...

    London: Henry Colburn, 1828.

    Third edition. Kitchiner’s self-styled profession of medicine not only informed his cookery books, but also his other treatises, such as this one on the peculiarities of travel, its effects on the human body, and on ways of anticipating and controlling the same. Originally published in September 1827...



    The Housekeeper’s Oracle; or, Art of Domestic Management: Containing A Complete System of Carving with Accuracy...

    London: J. Moyes for Whittaker, Treacher and Co., 1829.

    First and only edition. The Housekeeper’s Oracle was published two years after Kitchiner’s death, and, as his son W.B. Kitchiner explains in his preface, it ‘was intended by the late Dr. Kitchiner to have been a Companion to the Cook’s Oracle […]. The object was to guard young housewives...


  8. LAMB, Patrick.

    Royal Cookery; Or, the Complete Court-Cook. Containing the Choicest Receipts in All the Particular Branches of Cookery,...

    London: ‘Printed for Abel Roper, and sold by John Morphew’, 1710.

    First edition, Roper and Morphew issue (another issue of the first edition was published in London by Maurice Atkins in the same year). Patrick Lamb (c. 1650-1708/9) began his career in the royal household as a young servant in the pastry. Following his appointments as master cook to the queen consort...


  9. BALL (The).

    Stated in a Dialogue betwixt a Prude and a Coquet, last Masquerade Night, the 12th of May …

    London: Printed for J. Roberts … 1724.

    First edition, rare, of an amusing verse dialogue between two women preparing to attend one of the popular masquerade balls staged by the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger. Hilaria, a coquette, is effusive about the pleasures of the imminent party and she offers a tempting vision of the delights...


  10. BALZAC, Jean-Louis Guez de.

    Aristippus, or, Monsieur de Balsac’s Masterpiece, being a Discourse concerning the Court … Englished...

    London: Printed by Tho. Newcomb for Nat. Eakins … and Tho. Johnson … 1659.

    First edition in English of Aristippe (1657), a treatise on wisdom in political administration dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, who was an admirer. Balzac was particularly reputed for the quality of his prose, seen as raising it to the same perfection as Malherbe did for French verse. ...


  11. BARON, Robert.

    Mirza. A Tragedie, really acted in Persia, in the last Age. Illustrated with historicall Annotations.

    London: Printed for Humphrey Moseley … [1655?].

    First edition of Baron’s last literary endeavour, a violent revenge tragedy influenced by Jonson’s Catiline, mostly in verse, packed with political intrigue, murders ‘and Seraglio’s too’, all fitting subjects for its exotic setting. Not intended for performance, which been impossible...


  12. BOSWELL, James.

    The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Comprehending an Account of his Studies and numerous Works, in chronological...

    London: Printed by Henry Baldwin, for Charles Dilly. 1791

    First edition of the greatest biography in the English language, drawing on material that Boswell had been collecting since his first interview with Johnson in 1763. He ‘is the first of biographers. He has no second’ (Macaulay).


  13. BOTTARELLI, Ferdinando.

    Exercises upon the different Parts of Italian Speech; with References to Veneroni’s Grammar. To which...

    London, Printed for J. Nourse … 1778.

    First edition, very scarce, of a popular Italian tutor for English students, designed to teach grammar and idiomatic phrases through the use of exemplars. Increasingly difficult English phrases are laid out with the uninflected Italian stems below:


  14. CARDONNEL, Adam de.

    Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland [I–II] …

    London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Edwards … also by Edwards’s, in Halifax. 1788.

    First edition, the very rare issue with the plates in sepia, printed directly onto thick wove paper.


  15. CASOTTI, [Laurentio].

    A New Method of teaching the Italian Tongue to Ladies and Gentlemen. Wherein all the Difficulties are explain’d,...

    London: Printed by E. Everingham at the Author’s Expences, and sold by James Round … and by Joseph Archez … and by the Bookseller in...

    First and only edition, very rare, the only publication by Casotti, ‘Italian Minister, and Professor’, dedicated to Henry Petty, Baron Shelburne, (1675-1751) but printed at the author’s expense.


  16. COLET, Claude.

    L’Histoire Palladienne, traitant des gestes & genereux faitz d’armes et d’amours de plusieurs grandz princes...

    Paris, Estienne Groulleau, 1555.

    First edition, very scarce, the issue printed by Groulleau for retail in his own shop; there were three other issues, under the imprints (and publishers’ devices) of Jean Dallier, Vincent Sertenas or Jean Longis, but all naming Groulleau in the colophon.


  17. COLLUTHUS, of Lycopolis.

    The Rape of Helen. Translated from the Greek ... And illustrated with the Notes of Michael Nicander. To...

    London: Printed for and sold by J. Roberts … and by the Booksellers and Pamphletsellers of London, 1731.

    First and only edition, rare, of this translation of Collothus’s Rape of Helen (Αρπαγη Ελενης), ‘a short and charming miniature epic’ (Cambridge Companion to the Epic) written in the late fifth century in Egypt in 392 hexameters.



    Address’d to Men of Honour, Men of Pleasure, and Men of Sense. With a seasonable Admonition...

    London: Printed for A. More … 1726.

    Second edition, unrecorded, published in the same year as the first – apparently from the same setting of type with the title-page altered to add the edition statement.


  19. [LAGARENNE, Félicité, artist].

    [Costumes d’Ivanhoe au bal donné par ... le prince et princess d’Orange à Bruxelles, mercredi...

    Brussels, 1823.

    First and only edition of a fine and rare suite of ten hand-coloured lithographs commemorating a ball inspired by Scott's Ivanhoe, held in Brussels on 5 February 1823 by the Prince and Princess of Orange in honour of the British community in that city. There were thirty-two guests at the ball,...



    ou histoire abrégée des revolutions fréquentes de la Grande-Bretagne; par un esprit desintéressé.

    A Dublin [i.e. the Netherlands]: chez Jaques Pepiat. 1723.

    First and only edition of this curious children’s history of England in French, up to the death of Queen Anne in 1714.