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Adventure

Adventure

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Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates: Fiction, Fact & Fancy concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main: From the writing & Pictures of Howard Pyle, (Pyle, Howard); Johnson, Merle, comp.
1 (Pyle, Howard); Johnson, Merle, comp. Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates: Fiction, Fact & Fancy concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main: From the writing & Pictures of Howard Pyle
New York/London Harper & Brothers [1930] (c.1921) NO 14th printing (L-E) Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by Howard Pyle 
[moderate wear to spine ends and bottom corners, private library stamp on front pastedown; jacket has quite a few small tears along the top and bottom edges (nothing too serious, and with very little paper loss), partial rubber-stamp (same private library stamp) visible near bottom of front panel, a few tiny black crayon marks on rear panel]. (color and B&W plates; line drawings) A collection of Pyle's pirate stories and his vivid, iconic images of the buccaneers themselves, all brilliantly evoking the "roistering, adventurous, daredevil spirit" of these "cruel but picturesque sea wolves who once infested the Spanish Main." Merle Johnson's assessment of Pyle's significance, in his Foreword, is spot-on: "It is improbable that anyone else will ever bring his combination of interest and talent to the depiction of these old-time Pirates, any more than there could be a second Remington to paint the now extinct Indians and gun-fighters of the Great West." In addition to the 36 listed plates (25 in black & white, 11 in color), the book also contains three smaller illustrations (one in black & white, two in color) tipped onto pages 3, 232 and 239, and there are numerous smaller drawings sprinkled throughout the text. If you can flip through this book without slipping into pirate arrrgghh-got, you've got more self-control than I do, matey. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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Deep Diving and Submarine Operations: A Manual for Deep Sea Divers and Compressed Air Workers - Parts I & II, Davis, (Sir) Robert H.
2 Davis, (Sir) Robert H. Deep Diving and Submarine Operations: A Manual for Deep Sea Divers and Compressed Air Workers - Parts I & II
London The Saint Catherine Press Ltd. [1951] NO Fifth Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderate shelfwear, faint beverage-ring stain on front cover, slight damp-rippling to bottom half-inch of pages throughout book (no staining, and not bad enough to call it "damage"); fold-out color map tipped-in at rear endpaper in pristine condition; includes errata slip, tipped onto verso of frontispiece photo; additional illustration laid-in (see notes)]. (B&W photographs, figures, fold-out map) (Two volumes in one.) This edition of this massive and definitive work, with over 600 illustrations, was the first since the Fourth (in 1935) and thus the first to take into account "descriptions and illustrations of the developments in diving appliances during the 1939-45 War period and since." The front endpaper contains the property stamp of one "Fred V. Zendar, Deep Sea Diver," with a Santa Monica, California address; Zendar was a longtime Hollywood stunt diver, beginning with REAP THE WILD WIND in 1942. (You might remember that the highlight of that Cecil B. DeMille epic was an underwater battle-to-the-death between John Wayne and a giant octopus. Or was it a squid?) One of his credits (or I should say un-credits) was the 1954 Disney film 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, which might explain how this book came to be in the collection of that film's director, Richard Fleischer, from whose estate it was acquired. Laid in to this copy is an additional black-and-white illustration, "A Diagrammatic Impression of Underwater Activities," depicting 42 such activities in a single panel; folded in quarters, it opens out to a full size of 22-1/2" x 9-3/4". Although it's the right size, there is no indication -- on the illustration itself, or in the book, or in any bibliographic record of the book that I've been able to locate -- that this illustration was ever part of this particular book, so my assumption is that it was removed from a different book and placed here for reference. It's in good condition, with a few small edge-tears, some wrinkling and creasing (in addition to the fold lines), and one small stain. 
Price: 400.00 USD
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Twelve Secrets of the Caucasus, Essad-Bey [pseud. for Lev Nussimbaum] (translated from the German by G. Chychele Waterston)
3 Essad-Bey [pseud. for Lev Nussimbaum] (translated from the German by G. Chychele Waterston) Twelve Secrets of the Caucasus
New York The Viking Press 1931 2nd printing before publication Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Wenck 
(price-clipped) [book is tight and clean with only minor shelfwear, light age-toning to fore-edge, small vintage price sticker (from The White House, San Francisco) on rear pastedown; jacket shows moderate wear and a few tiny nicks along the top and bottom edges, minor paper loss at spine ends]. (endpaper maps, frontis. author photo) "Rich with the color of the East, Essad-Bey's book is at once a blending of sensational adventure and magnificent yarns and a document of folk-lore and research into the lives, both past and present, of the most astounding races of the Twentieth Century." The author himself, the subject of Tom Reiss's 2005 biography "The Orientalist," was quite a character: born Lev Nussimbaum, he was a Jew from Azerbaijan who transformed himself into a Muslim prince in Nazi Germany, having earlier escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan; writing as "Essad Bey" and "Kurban Said," he became a celebrated adventurer and author of the classic novel "Ali and Nino." And that ain't the half of it. Very scarce in the original jacket. 
Price: 200.00 USD
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The African Safari: The Ultimate Wildlife and Photographic Adventure, Fetner, P. Jay
4 Fetner, P. Jay The African Safari: The Ultimate Wildlife and Photographic Adventure
New York St. Martin's Press (c.1987) 0-312-00969-0 / 9780312009694 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[book itself is virtually as new, despite some slight cracking of the binding at a couple of interior points (although all pages remain firmly attached and the overall binding is quite solid); jacket shows just a bit of surface wear, minor wrinkling along the bottom edge of the front panel, and a tiny tear at the top rear foldover]. (color photographs, endpaper maps) Lavish, weighty book that brings "together for the first time the practical elements of planning a safari with a proper appreciation for the animals and their environment," and providing the prospective safari-goer with information about "where and when to go, what to take, what to expect to see, how to look, and so forth" -- or, alternatively, giving the "armchair safarist" a vicarious version of the experience. Although some of the more specific information is undoubtedly dated, this is still an immensely interesting book, including extensive historical information about safaris, numerous chapters dealing with the wildlife itself, etc. Chapter II "concerns the photographic side of a safari and is written for the serious amateur photographer," with special focus (useful not only for photographers but for all game-watchers) on methods of locating and approaching wildlife, including a discussion of "photographic seeing, a special and thorough way of looking at the animals." Foreword by George Plimpton. Includes bibliography. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Ra Expeditions [*SIGNED*], Heyerdahl, Thor (translated by Patricia Crampton)
5 Heyerdahl, Thor (translated by Patricia Crampton) The Ra Expeditions [*SIGNED*]
Garden City NY Doubleday & Company, Inc. (c.1971) NO Later Printing Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[nice solid book, squarely bound, just a touch of wear to the top corners of the spine; jacket shows just a bit of edgewear, slight sunning to spine]. (color photographs) INSCRIBED ("To Kevin Thomas / with best wishes / and regards from") and SIGNED by the author on the ffep, with the added date 1-14-1972 below his signature. The intrepid author's tale of his crossing of the Atlantic in a boat constructed of papyrus reeds -- not just once, but twice -- in order to test his ideas about whether "the striking similarities in the ancient civilizations of the Americas and the Mediterranean [could] be more than mere coincidence." The expeditions chronicled in this book were also the basis for the 1972 documentary film RA, and the date of the inscription coincides with Heyerdahl's visit to Los Angeles in connection with the opening of the film -- which was reviewed for the Los Angeles Times by the inscribee, who found it "a splendid and beautiful picture, exhilarating and engrossing." (The book may in fact have been presented by the author in appreciation of that very review, which had appeared in the Times the day before the date of the inscription.) Signed by Author 
Price: 75.00 USD
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The Secret People: Adventure in Africa, Holmes, F. Ratcliffe
6 Holmes, F. Ratcliffe The Secret People: Adventure in Africa
Garden City NY Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. 1928 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by Erick Berry 
[light shelfwear, bumping to base of spine and bottom right front corner, vintage price sticker (from The White House, San Francisco) on rear pastedown; jacket lightly edgeworn, a couple of insignificant edge-tears, a bit of soiling to rear panel]. (frontispiece drawing + illustrated endpapers) A lost-race tale about the discovery of an ancient Egyptian civilization in darkest Africa, by a British naturalist and film producer. "Vic Tempest and his chum, Podger Wood [go] to Africa to search for Vic's father who disappeared while hunting for The Secret People. Harrowing adventures become daily experiences." Per the jacket blurb, "many of the events and most of the characters in [the book] are real," and that the author "has explored Africa from the 'gold coast' to the heart of the central and eastern sections of the country [sic]." (He wrote at least two other books based on these experiences, including one specifically about his adventures in filming wild animals.) [NOTE that despite the "Illustrated by Erick Berry" credit on the title page, other than the frontispiece and the endpaper drawings, there are no other illustrations in the book.] 
Price: 60.00 USD
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The Maggie Murphy, Ryan, John Joseph
7 Ryan, John Joseph The Maggie Murphy
New York W. W. Norton & Company (c.1951) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[good sound copy, minor wear to spine extremities, light dust-soiling to top edge, one-time owner's signature in pencil on ffep; jacket lightly soiled, a few tiny tears here and there, a bit faded at spine, faint dampstain near top of front panel]. The vessel referred to in the book's title "was the fantastic craft in which John Ryan and his friend Ed Braddock sailed from Puget Sound up to the fishing waters of Alaska. After hearing tall tales and get-rich-quick stories, they made up their minds that they were going to spend at least one season as big-time fishermen. They combed the beaches and tide flats near Tacoma for a suitable derelict. They found one. And for well over a year they worked day and night on the weather-worn hulk, patching, repairing, replacing, shoring, fabricating and creating a sea-going boat. [But] their make-shift masterpiece had one failing. It was irreparably lop-sided -- four inches wider on one side than on the other -- a misalignment acquired during the years the old hull had been ly8ing on its port side in the mud. However, by dint of prodigious bailing and the grace of God, John and Ed managed to get to Alaska. They fished with the best of them and packed a lifetime of entertainment and adventure into a few months." 
Price: 75.00 USD
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