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Fiction: Historical

Fiction: Historical

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"Irlich": The Stalin Assassination, Costopoulos, Tom
21 Costopoulos, Tom "Irlich": The Stalin Assassination
Granada Hills CA The NPC Publishing Company (c.1979) 0932634001 / 9780932634009 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[top corners slightly bumped; jacket a bit rubbed, a little corner wear, no tears or chips]. "...a story of a young man brought up in a tumultuous era. ... At twenty- three, Western intelligence recuits him for a vital mission to Mt. Kwanmo, near the Russian border. While preparations are underway, he vanishes over Korea below the 38 parallel. In his disappearance, a chain of incredible, chilling events flare up across the continents of the Red world. Six months later, the night after Stalin is assassinated, he re-appears in Bulgaria as a top Soviet officer. He is now General Irlich and Stalin's heir, or is he? More devastating, did he kill Stalin? ... a serious, compelling story set in historic and tumultuous times." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Montana Road, Drago, Harry Sinclair
22 Drago, Harry Sinclair Montana Road
New York William Morrow & Co. 1935 First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [general overall wear, soiling to yellow cloth, spine a little turned, agency sticker on front pastedown, two previous owners' addresses (in pencil) on ffep]. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Saxenhurst: A Story of the Old World and New, Eddy, Daniel C.
23 Eddy, Daniel C. Saxenhurst: A Story of the Old World and New
Philadelphia American Baptist Publication Society (c.1896) NO First Edition Hardcover Good 
(decorated cloth; no dust jacket) [light external soiling, bumped at all corners, slight exposure of board at lower front corner, some wear to spine ends, vintage bookseller's rubber-stamped name (Bertrand Smith's Acres of Books, Long Beach, Calif.) on front pastedown; gilt/maroon decoration on front cover and spine still reasonably bright and attractive]. (B&W plates (photos and drawings)) Historical/religious fiction set in 17th-century England and America, backgrounded by the English Civil War, the execution of Charles I, the rise and rule of Oliver Cromwell, and so on. To escape all this trouble, and to gain a measure of religious freedom, a man and wife (she being the daughter of the Earl of Dorset, occupant of the titular house) emigrate to America, specifically Salem, Massachusetts. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Guns Forever Echo [*SIGNED*], Ellis, Kenneth M.
24 Ellis, Kenneth M. Guns Forever Echo [*SIGNED*]
New York Julian Messner, Inc. (c.1941) NO First Edition Hardcover Good Signed by Author
(no dust jacket) [moderately shelfworn, light bumping and minor wear evident at corners and spine ends, front hinge starting, vintage bookseller's rubber-stamped name (Bertrand Smith Acres of Books, Long Beach, Calif.) on front pastedown]. (endpaper maps) INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the 2nd ffep: "For A. George Volck / With Sincere Personal Regards / Kenneth Wallis / 1941." Historical novel tracing five generations of the Elys clan of Great Yarmouth, England, through the 13th and 14th centuries, climaxing with the Battle of Crécy (1346), one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years' War. (The book's inscribee was a Hollywood agent of relatively minor stature, although he did represent actress Lillian Gish during the 1930s; he was partnered for a time with a fellow named Peter B. Hawks (no relation to Howard) in the Hawks-Volck Agency.) Signed by Author 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Dance of the Assassins [*SIGNED*], Fagyas, M[aria]
25 Fagyas, M[aria] Dance of the Assassins [*SIGNED*]
New York G.P. Putnam's Sons (c.1973) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Joseph Trepiccione Signed by Author
[no significant wear to book, but some fading to cloth at spine and around edges of covers (apparently the gray-background jacket didn't keep out the sun); jacket has a one-inch closed tear and associated minor creasing at bottom of front panel, a bit of wear along top edge and rubbing and tiny tears at several upper corners and at top of spine]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the half-title page. Historical thriller centering around the assassinations of the King and Queen of Serbia in 1903. Signed books by this Hungarian-born author are exceedingly uncommon; the wife of playwright and screenwriter Ladislaus (aka Leslie) Bush-Fekete, she was also known by her married name, Maria Bush-Fekete. The inscription in this book, to screenwriter Daniel Taradash and his wife, is signed "Marika." Signed by Author 
Price: 175.00 USD
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A Wall for San Sebastian, Faherty, William Barby, S.J.
26 Faherty, William Barby, S.J. A Wall for San Sebastian
Fresno CA Academy Guild Press (c.1962) NO First Edition Hardcover Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) John Vise 
[a solid copy, but Good only due to some rust-colored staining along both hinges, wear to top edge of boards (almost as if the book had been shelved upside-down for a long time; boards exposed at a couple of points), top 1/8" of the spine is missing, pages browned; the jacket is moderately edgeworn, split (2") at bottom front foldover, mild diagonal crease along bottom of front panel, top quarter- inch of spine missing (no text affected)]. Novel about a former soldier, now a Franciscan friar, who arrives at his first mission to find it recently devastated by Comanche raiders. Faced with the need to rebuild the mission and to prepare for the return of the Comanches, "he found himself attacking the problems of San Sebastian more as a soldier than as a man of God. As the outside tensions mounted, so did the conflict in his own soul." Basis for the 1968 film GUNS FOR SAN SEBASTIAN -- although the movie mucked around with the plot quite a bit, making the book's friar a bandit and sometime revolutionary (played by Anthony Quinn) who is only mistaken for a priest when he arrives in San Sebastian and gets involved in its troubles. (A half-breed character played by Charles Bronson was apparently the invention of the filmmakers.) 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Last Frontier, Fast, Howard
27 Fast, Howard The Last Frontier
New York Duell, Sloan & Pearce 1941 NO 3rd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good- dj 
[solid copy, moderate shelfwear to bottom edge, internally clean; jacket edgeworn, small tears/slight paper loss at several corners, 1-1/4" tear at bottom rear hinge, a little paper loss at top of spine (affecting "The" in title), general surface wear]. (endpaper maps) Fictionalized treatment of the 1878 trek of a remnant of the Cheyenne Indian tribe from Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) back to their home in the Black Hills of Wyoming. The same events were later fictionalized by Mari Sandoz in her 1953 book "Cheyenne Autumn," which in turn served as the basis for John Ford's 1964 film of the same name. (Arch-conservative Ford, of course, wouldn't have had anything to do with avowed communist Fast.) 
Price: 15.00 USD
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A Shadow of Gulls, Finney, Patricia
28 Finney, Patricia A Shadow of Gulls
New York G. P. Putnam's Sons (c.1977) 0-399-11979-5 / 9780399119798 First American Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Jerry Harston 
[nice copy, light shelfwear to bottom edge and minor bumping to bottom corners; jacket shows light wear at extremities, minor soiling to rear panel]. Historical romance set in Celtic Ireland; the author's first novel. Nice photo of the then-19-year-old author on the rear panel, the caption of which informs us that "she plans to study history at the university and is already at work on her second novel." 
Price: 65.00 USD
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To the Sun, Fisher, Arista Edward
29 Fisher, Arista Edward To the Sun
New York Cosmopolitan Book Corporation 1929 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[attractive copy, very light wear to bottom edge, nice vintage bookplate on ffep, 1931 purchase date in ink at top corner of ffep; jacket shows unobtrusive spotting/soiling, and has a couple of tiny edge-tears]. A biographical novel about William Shakespeare, per the jacket blurb "a book that would have charmed any Elizabethan, because it has vitality and the breath of life," an opinion shared by a contemporary reviewer, who observed: "Instead of an unconvincing, clothes-horse god of letters, Mr. Fisher has given us a perfectly credible and vigorous Elizabethan playwright who, it is not hard to believe, may also have been Shakespeare." Further praising the book as "clearly the result of sound scholarship and finely imaginative study," the same critic also noted that "no faint flavor of pedantry is left to mar the result." The first book by the author, described as "a young American college instructor living in Paris," who later wrote as "A.E. Fisher"; many years in the future he tilled this soil again, cranking out no few than three additional novels about various facets of the Bard's life, all published between 1962 and 1965. This book is scarce to begin with, all the more so with a jacket in such nice condition. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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The Scotswoman, Fletcher, Inglis
30 Fletcher, Inglis The Scotswoman
Indianapolis/New York The Bobbs-Merrill Company (c.1954) 978-9997512420 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[very nice copy, top corners slightly bumped, original date of purchase written in red ink at top of front pastedown, general appearance is bright and unread; jacket has minor wrinkling at spine ends, one unobtrusive closed tear at top of front panel, slight wear at top corners matching bumped corners of book]. (endpaper maps) "This is a novel of the American Revolution and more particularly of its regional origins and first conflicts. It faithfully and dramatically restores one of the most romantic but least known episodes in our early history. For this is the American story of Flora MacDonald, whose Scots valor and feminine compassion once saved the fugitive Bonnie Prince Charlie. Though the famous thrills of that episode in the Hebrides are freshly illuminated here, the story centers in the North Carolina sequel -- an almost lost chapter of American history which is even more moving and more revealing of Flora's nobility and brave resolve. As always in an Inglis Fletcher novel, action, adventure and romance abound." This is one of the author's "Carolina series" of historical novels, comprising a dozen books (published from 1942 through 1964) that cumulatively covered two centuries of North Carolina history, from 1585 to 1789. [Note that this is NOT the book club edition; it's the stated "First Edition," in an unclipped jacket with the original price ($3.95).] 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Foster Brothers, Frankland, Edward
31 Frankland, Edward The Foster Brothers
New York The John Day Company (c.1954) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) T. Greenley 
[very nice copy, tight and clean, slight bumping to base of spine; jacket shows light wear at extremities, one tiny closed tear at bottom corner of front panel]. "A novel of life in eleventh-century England as it really was." "To Vikings of the eleventh century, the prospect of English plunder seemed preferable to the Spartan life of their homeland. And so in the year 1002 two young men, Arnvid and Gunnar, set forth from Iceland to seek their fortunes in the weak and divided cluster of petty kingdoms and Danish colonies that was England a half century before the Norman conquest. Arnvid's and Gunnar's common upbringing has only served to make them rivals. Now, under the stress of combat and the hardship of a medieval campaign, Gunnar's ambition and Arnvid's vacillation clash in a contest which their mutual ove for the coldly beautiful Astrid brings to a tragic climax." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Doņa Lona; A Story of Old Taos and Santa Fe, Grant, Blanche C.
32 Grant, Blanche C. Doņa Lona; A Story of Old Taos and Santa Fe
New York Wilfred Funk, Inc. (c.1941) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[quite a decent copy, light soiling to page edges, a couple of very minor dents at top of front cover, slight bumping to a couple of corners, attractive vintage bookplate (with a sort of Lady Godiva motif, if you catch my meaning), original date of purchase written at upper corner of front pastedown; jacket worn and soiled, various small tears and chips, some paper loss at spine ends (affecting first word of title), but with the front panel largely intact]. "The life and loves of a beautiful Spanish girl in old New Mexico. This romance of old Taos and Santa Fe revolves about the famous characters of the period such as General Sam Houston and Kit Carson.It is a colorful story of a beautiful woman who became a power in Mexican and later American politics and also a leader of local society. It is a tale of the many loves in Doņa Lona's exciting life in a brilliant setting of the development of the great Southwest." (I also have another copy, signed by the author; see separate listing.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Doņa Lona; A Story of Old Taos and Santa Fe [*SIGNED*], Grant, Blanche C.
33 Grant, Blanche C. Doņa Lona; A Story of Old Taos and Santa Fe [*SIGNED*]
New York Wilfred Funk, Inc. (c.1941) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Signed by Author
[clean and solid, mild spotting on top edge; jacket edgeworn, various tiny tears and dog-earing along top edge, chipping with a little paper loss at top of spine]. SIGNED by the author on the title page. "The life and loves of a beautiful Spanish girl in old New Mexico. This romance of old Taos and Santa Fe revolves about the famous characters of the period such as General Sam Houston and Kit Carson.It is a colorful story of a beautiful woman who became a power in Mexican and later American politics and also a leader of local society. It is a tale of the many loves in Doņa Lona's exciting life in a brilliant setting of the development of the great Southwest." [I also have a not-signed-by-the-author copy, for those who don't care about that sort of thing; see separate listing.] Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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I, Claudius; from the autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, born B.C. 10, murdered and deified A.D. 54, Graves, Robert
34 Graves, Robert I, Claudius; from the autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, born B.C. 10, murdered and deified A.D. 54
New York Harrison Smith and Robert Haas 1934 NO 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good- in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) "Rand" 
[light wear to book at extremities, binding just starting to crack between first and section signatures (with slight misalignment of first and second signatures visible at fore-edge), slight indentation and dampstain at top edge of rear cover, light foxing to top edge and fore-edge; jacket shows some wear along top and bottom edges, slight fading at spine, light soiling to rear panel]. (B&W photographs) Biographical/historical fiction at its very finest, not only a compelling read itself but also the basis for one of the most highly-regarded television adaptations of all time, the 1976 BBC production starring Derek Jacobi in the title role. The rather droll jacket blurb catches the spirit of the goings-on wonderfully: "The action is alternately strange, tragic and ludicrous, for Rome knows herself under a long-standing curse ... and has lost all moral self-control. Poison, blasphemy, treachery, incest, black magic, unnatural vice flourish. Insane cruelties are committed. Nobody seems to care." Very uncommon in the original dust jacket, by an uncredited artist who makes old Claudius look like a fairly benign guy. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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The City of Libertines, Hardy, W.G.
35 Hardy, W.G. The City of Libertines
New York Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc. (c.1957) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Ben Feder Associates 
[solid copy, light shelfwear and mild soiling to bottom edge, slight age-toning to all page edges; jacket edgeworn and lightly rubbed, shallow chipping at top of spine, a little soiling to rear panel]. Historical novel centered around "one of the great love affairs" of ancient Rome, the liaison between Clodia, "the beautiful patrician of Rome whose affairs and intrigues shocked even that licentious capital," and Catullus, "whose passion led to suffering, and whose suffering was fused into poetry which is read to this very day." (Cicero and Julius Caesar figure into the action, as well.) The author, "one of the leading classicists of our time," was head of the Department of Classics at the University of Alberta, and had written a number of other historical novels prior to this one. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Maid of Sark, Hathaway, Sibyl, Dame of Sark
36 Hathaway, Sibyl, Dame of Sark Maid of Sark
New York/London D. Appleton-Century Company 1939 NO First Edition Hardcover Good in Good dj Illustrated by (from paintings by) J.M.W. Turner 
[ex-library, marked as such only with stamping on top edge and upper corner of front pastedown (with "withdrawn" stamps in both places), moderate shelfwear but still a solid copy; jacket rubbed and soiled, with numerous small tears at edges and corners, small black stain at upper right corner of front panel]. (color frontispiece, 3 color plates, 5 B&W plates) An "exquisite story of love and adventure, laid on the picturesque island of Sark in the sixteenth century," telling of "Guillette, the young, blue-eyed daughter of Gilles the fisherman, and of her love for Lucas the minstrel [and also] of how, during a Breton raid, the leader, Buron the Destroyer, became enamoured of Guillette, of how they escaped from Sark and brought in aid which defeated the Bretons and established the peace in Sark which has lasted to the present day." Much is made in the jacket design and copy of the author being "the acknowledged Feudal Chief, Owner, Landlord, and Ruler of the tiny island of Sark in the English Channel"; there is also a good deal of information (within the confines of a jacket-blurb biography) about the governmental and societal workings of Sark. Dame Sibyl continued to rule as the island's 21st Seigneur (you'll have to look it up yourself) until her death in 1974, a reign of 47 years -- albeit technically interrupted by the German occupation of the Channel Islands from mid-1940 through the end of the war in May 1945, during which she remained on the island. She published an autobiography, "Dame of Sark," in 1961. NOTE that in addition to the illustrative plates, there is also a map of Sark on both endpapers. NOTE ALSO that although both the title page and the jacket copy state that the book is illustrated with "color plates from paintings of Sark by J.M.W. Turner," in fact only the book's frontispiece and three of the plates are in color; the remaining five are in black and white; since this is a first printing of the book (evidenced by the "(1)" on the last page of the text, per Appleton-Century standard practice, I'm not sure if this constitutes some kind of flaw, or a variant printing, or is simply a case of falsehood-in-advertising. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Wampum and Sixpence, Hayes, Marjorie
37 Hayes, Marjorie Wampum and Sixpence
Boston Little, Brown and Company 1936 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by Eunice Stephenson 
[slight bumping to top corners, otherwise a solid clean book with minor shelfwear to bottom edge; jacket has very slight paper loss at bottom corners, a bit of wrinkling/creasing at spine ends]. (B&W drawings, endpaper maps) Historical fiction for young readers, set in the Connecticut River valley in the 17th century. The story revolves around a pioneer family, specifically the children (a brother and a sister) and their relationship with a Native American boy and his sister, the latter paid taken in by the white folks after their parents die of smallpox. (Brought to them by the settlers themselves, no doubt!) Anyway, the four kids become the best of friends and do a little cultural commingling: "While the Indian children learned the ways of white people Oliver and Betsy learned the ways of the wildnerness from them." The plot thickens, however, when a raiding band of warlike Pequots (because "not all the Indians were friendly," you see) carry off all four children. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Lotus Land, Highland, Monica [pseud. for Carolyn See, Lisa See, and John Espey]
38 Highland, Monica [pseud. for Carolyn See, Lisa See, and John Espey] Lotus Land
New York Coward-McCann (c.1983) 0-698-11202-4 / 9780698112025 3rd impression Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Ben Stahl 
[spine slightly turned, moderate dust-soiling to top edge, previous owner's signature on ffep; jacket shows minor surface wear, light soiling (mostly to rear panel)]. A multi-generational, multi-ethnic novel of Los Angeles, spanning the 1880's through World War II, "a story whose color, violence, and drama are equaled only by the history of Los Angeles itself." The authorial bio blurb on the jacket is a great joke, stating that Ms. Highland "was born in Shanghai, was a Van de Kamp's waitress, studied demotic Greek in Thessaloniki, and is a Rhodes scholar. Although she has published widely during her long and varied life, her many-faced personality has coalesced for the first time in the writing of [this novel]." 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Undaunted, Hoffman, Nathan
39 Hoffman, Nathan Undaunted
Los Angeles Wetzel Publishing Co., Inc. (c.1937) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[moderate bumping to bottom corners, otherwise a nice clean book with minimal shelfwear; jacket edgeworn (and possibly insect-nibbled along the right edge of the front panel), faded at spine, with various tiny nicks and chips]. Historical "novel of Romantic Ireland," set against the background of Ireland's struggle for independence from England in the 19th century. At first glance, the jacket illustration -- which appears to be the flag of Israel crossed with a version of the "Irish harp" flag dating back to the 17th-century Confederacy of Ireland -- seems like an utter historical dislocation, especially as Israel didn't come into existence as a sovreign nation until eleven years after this book was published! However, the rear jacket blurb begins to hint at what the author is up to, namely the task of positioning British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli as a champion of the cause of Irish independence. (Because he was Jewish, y'see, and as it turns out, that "Israeli" flag was actually the flag of the Zionist Movement, originally designed in 1891.) Anyway, per the blurb, Disraeli's "sympathy for the Irish cause and his great statesmanship and loyalty are important factors in the plot of this story and the author succeeds in bringing Disraeli before you as perhaps you have never known him." (I'd say that latter statement is true, especially if you've ever seen this particular statement of his: "The Irish hate our order, our civilization, our enterprising industry, our pure religion. This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character. Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry. Their history describes an unbroken circle of bigotry and blood.") 
Price: 60.00 USD
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The Lonely Heath, Hunter, Alison
40 Hunter, Alison The Lonely Heath
London Robert Hale & Company 1973 0-7091-3379-0 / 9780709133797 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Eileen Walton 
[nice tight copy, no discernible wear, very faint dust-soiling to top edge; jacket a bit rubbed, minor scuffing to rear panel, light edgewear]. "Amid the confusion that follows the battle of Sedgemoor and the rout of the Duke of Monmouth's army the rebel soldier, Randall Ainsley, [escapes and] with two companions he takes refuge for the night in a barn where a dying man gives a valuable ring into his charge. He rapidly becomes aware of the avarice of his companions and, knowing that the ring and his own life are in danger because of their greed, he decides that it would be wiser to travel alone. Pursued by the government's victorious soldiers and by his two personal enemies, Randall endeavours to make his way to the sea. His progress through the hills is delayed by a series of adventures during the course of which he rescues Laura, a mysterious maidservant, from the unwelcome attentions of a group of soldiers, and wins the friendship of a band of gipsies who help him and Laura on their journey to safety." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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