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Fiction: Historical

Fiction: Historical

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Hostage to Alexander, Andrews, Mary Evans
1 Andrews, Mary Evans Hostage to Alexander
New York David Mckay Company 1962 (c.1961) NO 2nd printing Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (decorative spots and map) Avery Johnson 
(price-clipped) [nice copy, tight and clean, very light spotting on top edge; jacket has a couple of tiny closed tears, small surface-peeled spot on front panel where somebody (not me!) apparently started to remove the foil "guaranteed binding" label (which crosses the spine and extends about an inch into the front panel) but then thought better of it]. "In the Fourth Century B.C., Alexander of Macedon was vying with Darius III of Persia for mastery of the world. This is the story of a great man who not only built a vast empire but, in so doing, put into practice his forward-looking concept of One World in which Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, and all others would be equal citizens. The story is told through the eyes of young Damon, hostage to Alexander." [This edition features the very sturdy pictorial "Hercules Binding" (with illustration identical to the jacket), "designed for maximum wear and hard usage [and] damp-proof, washable, and dirt-resistant." This is possibly a form of "library binding," although this is NOT an ex-library book.] 
Price: 35.00 USD
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The Road to Glory: A Biographical Novel of Napoleon, Austin, F. Britten
2 Austin, F. Britten The Road to Glory: A Biographical Novel of Napoleon
New York Grosset & Dunlap (c.1935) NO Reprint Hardcover 2nd Printing (stated) Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Charles E. Pont 
[front hinge cracked, otherwise a solid copy with minimal shelfwear, some fading to cloth at top edge and base of spine, offsetting to endpapers in gutters, one-time owner's name and date of original purchase at top of ffep; jacket has a small ragged tear at top rear hinge, light edgewear and a couple of tiny nicks here and there]. "This is an amazing novel of the thrilling and little-known first act in Napoleon's marvelous career -- seen exclusively through the eyes of the 26-year-old Bonaparte, with almost the vividness of actual presence." Set during his first Italian campaign, the book "accompan[ies] him from day to day in the vicissitudes which taxed to the utmost his intellect and his courage, sharing his thoughts, his schemes, his emotions, his lover's agonies over the newly-wed and facile Josephine left in Paris," etc.; incorporated into the narrative are "many of the passionate love letters of Napoleon to Josephine." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Brothers Under the Skin, Bader, Salem
3 Bader, Salem Brothers Under the Skin
Los Angeles Bookhaven Press/Kellaway-Ide Company (c.1940) NO Presumed 1st Hardcover Very Good+ in Fair dj 
[solid copy, minimal shelfwear, light age-toning to page edges; jacket missing front flap, edgeworn, ragged tears at top spine corners, a number of creases, a little fading at spine]. Historical novel set in the Middle East, against the backdrop of the last two decades of the Ottoman Empire (roughly 1908-1922). From the Preface: "This gripping narrative, woven around intriguing and authentic international happenings, unfolds in the most ancient metropolis in the history of the world -- Jerusalem, the cradle of Christianity, Judaism and Mohammedanism -- [and] then the story carries one into equally romantic surroundings, such as the Arabian Peninsula, Constantinople, Egypt and England." Moreover, it's stressed to be "important that the reader not construe the author to be anti-British any more than he is anti-Turkish, Arab, Jewish, German or French." Although the usual disclaimers are professed, no bones are made about the author's bona fides: "Verily, only a man who has lived in those locales and played a vital part in the history-making events," can write such a book. Bader, born in Jerusalem in 1902, at age 13 was purported to be the youngest agent of the British Intelligence Service, serving as a "spy, messenger and intepreter" between Lawrence of Arabia and the Bedouin chiefs. Captured at 16, convicted in Palestine by Turkish-German authorities and sentenced to be shot, he was rescued by Lawrence and his Arab allies. He moved to the U.S. in 1925, and became a citizen two years after this book was published; in 1953 he founded the United States Arab-Asian Institute, and was known as a prominent anti-Zionist lobbyist. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Dmitri the Impostor, Bain, F.W. (G. Mercer Adam, Editor-in-Chief)
4 Bain, F.W. (G. Mercer Adam, Editor-in-Chief) Dmitri the Impostor
Akron OH The St. Hubert Guild [1906] NO Unstated edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [worn but still solid copy, binding intact, exterior wear/soiling, gilt lettering on spine dulled but still readable, minor bumping at all extremities, some discoloration to endpapers and a bit of soiling to a few pages]. (The Academy Edition of International Authors) Series (color frontispiece) "A narrative of stirring events in the career of one of the numerous pretenders to the throne of Russia that arose after the strong rule had passed of Ivan IV, or, as he is known in history, 'Ivan the Terrible.' The tale recalls the one by M. Prosper Mérimée, the French historian, novelist, and dramatist, 'The False Demetrius,' which deals with the same character, a claimant for the honors of Russian Tsardom, whose brief rule at the beginning of the 17th century was full of trouble and ended tragically, as Mr. Bain's story does also." [from the introduction by general series editor G. Mercer Adam]. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Who Fought and Bled, Beebe, Ralph
5 Beebe, Ralph Who Fought and Bled
New York Coward-McCann, Inc. (c.1941) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
(price-clipped) [nice clean solid copy, with just a bit of shelfwear to the bottom edge, attractive private-library bookplate on front pastedown; jacket is edgeworn, with tiny tears and minor paper loss at several corners, a little creasing, 2-inch tape-repaired closed tear and associated creasing at bottom of front panel, vertical creasing to front flap, a few nicks to edges of rear panel]. Two of the land campaigns of the War of 1812 furnish the setting for this novel. "It is chiefly the story of the Ohio country and Michigan Territory, and the campaigns of the Western Army against the British at Detroit--and across the river at Sandwich in Canada- -and also at Frenchtown. Both attempts by the Americans resulted in disaster--disaster at Detroit because of the faint-heartedness (or worse) of the commanding officer, General Hull; at Frenchtown because of sheer carelessness and ignorance." 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Salt Lake, Benoit, Pierre (translated from the French by Florence and Victor Llona)
6 Benoit, Pierre (translated from the French by Florence and Victor Llona) Salt Lake
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1922 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [solid enough book with binding intact, but should be considered a reading copy only due to external wear and bumping, an unsightly beverage-ring scar on the front cover (see scan), and internal tape repait to a page that had been ripped in half]. Uncommon novel, originally published in France in 1921. It's "historical fiction" in a sense, but as the New York Times described it in 1922, "it is not a history of Salt Lake City as occupied by the Mormons so much as the story of the mental and physical anguish of a young widow who is unsuspectingly drawn into marriage with a Mormon and finds herself the second wife -- one of three wives, and perhaps others." A stage adaptation was presented in Paris in 1926, about which the Times correspondent commented that the playwright "obviously knows very little about Utah and the history of the Mormons and Mormonism and was forced to rely entirely upon Pierre Benoit, who also unfortunately knows very little concerning them, a fact which did not prevent his novel from obtaining immense popularity in France." (Nor did it prevent Benoit, whose best-known work is probably "L'Atlantide" (1919), from becoming a member of the Académie française in 1931.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Dangerous Refuge, Bentley, Joyce
7 Bentley, Joyce Dangerous Refuge
London Hurst & Blackett Ltd. 1974 0-09-118610-2 / 9780091186104 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Biro 
[nice copy, minimal shelfwear, faint dust-darkening to top edge; jacket rubbed/edgeworn, mild soiling]. The author's first novel, about "Lucy Pitt, [a] Latin mistress at a fashionable boarding school for young ladies [who takes] the coach north to Manchester, a journey not to be undertaken lightly in the year 1793 by an unescorted female. But Lucy was an independent young woman, with an adventurous spirit and had lived and travelled in India. However, nothing in her previous life could have prepared her for what she was to encounter, when, having endured what proved to be a nightmare journey, she arrived in Manchester only to be plunged headlong into a series of horrific events surrounding a particularly vicious parochial scandal." 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Border Iron, Best, Herbert
8 Best, Herbert Border Iron
New York The Viking Press 1945 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by Erick Berry 
(price-clipped) [solid copy, a trace of soiling to top and bottom edges of covers, light foxing to fore-edge; jacket moderately worn at extremities, rear panel somewhat dirty, minor discoloration at inside edges of flaps]. "Only a man who knows the Massachusetts and New York countryside intimately could write so absorbing and exciting a book as [this one]. The story moves against a glowing and detailed background which completely transports the reader to the time and surroundings in which it takes place. It tells how a very real boy, Tod Randall, and his important black and white sheepdog, Limb, solve a border dispute over iron ore from Massachusetts for a furnace in York Province in the 1740s. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Tennessee Outpost, Bolton, Ivy
9 Bolton, Ivy Tennessee Outpost
New York/Toronto Longmans, Green and Co. 1939 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Good dj Illustrated by Louise Mansfield 
[nice clean copy with only minimal shelfwear, vintage bookplate affixed to verso of ffep with yellowing scotch tape; jacket is bright and attractive despite some edgewear, a one-inch missing piece at top of spine (partially affecting first word in title) and several old tape-repairs along bottom hinges and at top and bottom edges of rear panel]. (line drawings) Historical fiction for juvenile readers, "a lively story of courage and patriotism" about a 16-year-old boy who "took a part in keeping Tennessee for the United States in an undeclared but bitter fight with the Spaniards." Real-life pioneers James Robertson, John Sevier and Andrew Jackson figure in the action. (And is it my imagination, or does the woman standing next to Our Hero in the jacket illustration not look an awful lot like Snow White?) 
Price: 80.00 USD
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Starforth, Borden, Lucille Papin
10 Borden, Lucille Papin Starforth
New York The Macmillan Company 1937 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
[minor wear at spine ends, light dust-soiling to top edge, one-time owner's signature on ffep; jacket worn and wrinkled along top and bottom edges, various small tears and shallow chipping, unobtrusive tape-repair to base of spine]. "Maris, the chief character in the novel, is playmate and then lady-in-waiting to the Princess Mary Tudor, and the action takes place partly in the reign of Henry VIII, then of Edward VI, of Mary Tudor, and the first year of Queen Elizabeth." A sequel to the author's earlier novel "White Hawthorn" (1935). 
Price: 65.00 USD
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Ashes of Gold [with letter from author], Botsford, Helen Virginia
11 Botsford, Helen Virginia Ashes of Gold [with letter from author]
New York Dodd, Mead & Company 1942 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[light shelfwear, very slight fraying to bottom front corner; jacket slightly chipped at top of spine, minor soiling to rear panel, a couple of short closed edge-tears]. Novel set in Mexico during the period prior to the Mexican Revolution, concerning the impact on a small mountain village in Mexico when the gringos arrive, in particular on the ultimately exploitative relationship between an American mine owner and the locals who work in his mine: "Finally came the day of revolution, the glorious, long-looked-for revolution that was to give them back their land." It's noted in the jacket blurb that the author was the "daughter of a mining engineer [who] has lived in a mining village in the jungle of Mexico two days by muleback from the nearest wagon road." The book, her first (and only) novel, was a recipient of an Honorable Mention in this publisher's Intercollegiate Literary Fellowship competition. Affixed to the front pastedown, in its original envelope, is a typed note from the author to a friend, dated May 15, 1942, commenting on the recent publication of the book and various matters related to her personal life and travels. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Fusee: The Adventures of Ethan Allen, Boyd, Dusty
12 Boyd, Dusty Fusee: The Adventures of Ethan Allen
New York Carlton Press Inc. (c.1975) 0806201398 / 9780806201399 Presumed 1st Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[minimal shelfwear, mild tanning of pages, two previous owners' signatures on ffep (plus an annotation from one about when and where he bought the book); jacket mildly soiled, a couple of small closed tears, chipping with a little paper loss at both ends of spine]. Vanity-press novel about the exploits of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution. The author (shown examining his horse's teeth in the rear jacket photo) is described as once having been the "star of his own television program, 'Dusty Boyd, the Happy Cowboy' [and] a comic book with the same title." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Thunder Before Seven, Brand, Anna
13 Brand, Anna Thunder Before Seven
New York Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. 1941 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[heavily bumped at top front hinge, otherwise a good solid copy, internally clean except for discoloration (browning) to endpapers and pastedowns; jacket moderately edgeworn, dime-sized piece missing at top left-hand corner of front panel, small chip at top rear hinge]. Historical novel of Texas during the period of Mexican rule. The book's hero, Blazeley Tyler, "was a man peculiar to this era, and of the stuff of which heroes are made. But there were women in Blazeley's life [who] were capable of reducing Blazeley Tyler's heroic stature. And so, ironically, after doing his part in fomenting the Texas Revolution, Blazeley was not to be found among the immortals at the Alamo. Instead he was one of that terrified mass of humanity struggling along the boggy Texas trails before the oncoming, vengeful Mexicans." 
Price: 85.00 USD
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North by Night, Burchard, Peter
14 Burchard, Peter North by Night
New York Coward-Mccann, Inc (c.1962) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj painting) the author 
(price-clipped) [solid copy, moderate shelfwear, some soiling to top edge, long diagonal trim at top of half-title page (possibly to remove previous owner info); jacket mildly edgeworn]. (maps by the author) Civil War novel for young readers, about a young Union prisoner who escapes, with a friend, from a Confederate jail in South Carolina, and sets out on a long arduous journey to his home in Connecticut. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Barbary Brew: A Romantic Novel, Charters, Zelda Stewart
15 Charters, Zelda Stewart Barbary Brew: A Romantic Novel
New York Stackpole Sons (c.1937) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good- dj 
[solid copy, some wear to the lower extremities (slight fraying at bottom corners and base of spine), light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket has minor tears at a couple of corners, small nick at fore-edge of front panel, slight paper loss around top of spine (no text affected), moderate soiling]. Historical romance set against the backdrop of the American war with Tripoli (1801-1805). "The infant American Republic had no navy with which to fight pirates at the beginning of the nineteenth century -- and that is how the young American physician, who is the hero of [this book], came to be captured, held as a slave, and projected into a torrid romance in the harem of a Barbary king in Tripoli. Corsairs, harem girls, international intrigue, war and high romance are the ingredients of [the story]. Rich in atmospheric detail and local color, [the novel] is an exciting historical romance -- with a difference." The New York Times, in reviewing the book, found the story incredible, but allowed as how the author, "unpracticed novelist or not, deserves great credit for two things -- for hitting upon a scene as fresh as that of [the Tripolitan War] and for the studious care with which she has built that scene into a detailed and credible background for her story." 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Dorothy, Childs, Joy
16 Childs, Joy Dorothy
London Robert Hale 1984 0-7090-1661-2 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Ramon Sola 
[nice clean copy, spine slightly turned but no significant wear; dust jacket lightly scuffed at spine, faint edgewear, rear panel shows light soiling, a couple of small closed tears at top & bottom edges]. Historical romance set in Elizabethan England, presenting an alternate version of the story of Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Deep Are the Valleys, Closs, Hannah
17 Closs, Hannah Deep Are the Valleys
New York The Vanguard Press (c.1960) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[nice clean book, minor age-toning to top page edges, but no significant wear; jacket slightly faded at spine, with minor wear along top and bottom edges, a few itsy-bitsy tears, light browning at edges of jacket flaps]. The author's second historical novel (in what would later be known as "The Tarn Trilogy"), set in 13th-century France. This book re-encounters "Wolf of Foix, the searching young idealist," who is obsessed with avenging the death of his patron -- "an obsession that takes him from brutal warfare to the quiet endurance of the Cathar believers; from the frivolity of the effete to alchemists' dens in Spain and pagan rituals in the caverns of the Pyrenees." 
Price: 75.00 USD
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King Hal's Fifth Wife, Clover, Sam T.
18 Clover, Sam T. King Hal's Fifth Wife
Los Angeles Saturday Night Publishing Company 1933 1st (unstated) Hardcover Very Good+ 
(purple cloth, no dust jacket) [clean and tight, top 3/4" of spine cloth faded, tiny brown spot on bottom edge]. (color frontispiece, halftone illustrations) "In Vindication of the Memory of the Much-Maligned Katharine Howard." In addition to the color frontispiece, there are four half-tone illustrations in the text, and both endpapers are a half-tone of Hampton Court. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Son of Haman, Cochran, Louis
19 Cochran, Louis Son of Haman
Caldwell ID The Caxton Printers, Ltd. 1937 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Roberta Asseln 
[solid, good-looking copy, light browning/soiling to page edges; jacket a bit edgeworn but still very attractive, marred only by some paper loss at top of spine (losing about one-third of "Son") extending to the top corner of the rear panel]. "Lije Smith is the illegitimate son of Nancy Smith, who comes to the river town of Delta City some time after the Civil War. Her lover has deserted her in New Orleans, and she gives herself up to the task of making a man of her son." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Human Rope, Comorre, Patrick A.
20 Comorre, Patrick A. The Human Rope
New York Vantage Press (c.1960) First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Fair dj 
[moderate shelfwear, old sale price stamped on ffep, faint foxing on fore-edge; jacket water-damaged (especially along spine, which is faded, peeled, and has a couple of holes in it), internally stained with some bleed-through on rear panel and left edge of front panel; about the best that can be said for the jacket is that at least the front panel is complete and only moderately stained/ soiled]. As with many "write-what- you-know" vanity-press novels, this one appears to be derived from personal experience (in this case that of the author's father). The novel is set in the 1930's, and deals with the unionization efforts of workers in a Pennsylvania steel mill -- "men who are sick in body and heart of exploitation and are willing to risk their lives in the struggle to gain recognition of their rights as workers." Before one jumps to the conclusion that this is a "radical novel," however,take note that the greatest danger to the workers' organizing efforts is posed by "Mother Nellie Gore[!], the communist who controls the international, [who] has decided to turn the Amesbridge organization into a membership grab for the party. She intends to force a strike--and a bloody one--that will fail, blame the 'capitalist system' for the failure, and thereby recruit disillusioned workers as party members." (Damn commies!) The jacket blurb informs us that the author, "born in Pennsylvania, was taken to California at the age of nine because his father, a steelworker, was unable to go back to work locally after the big steel strike of 1933." Thus does life become art, sorta. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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