Antiquities & Oddities

//Antiquities & Oddities
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  • Red Boards, no dust jacket.
  • First published in 1948, this book caused a sensation.  Waugh, on a visit to California, was fascinated by the elaborate graveyards, pet cemeteries and overblown rituals of death. It inspired him to write this witty 'tragedy' of Anglo-American manners set against the background of embalming rooms and incinerators.
  • Plague rages in the city of London and Robin, son of Sir John de Bureford, lies ill in his father's house, crippled by a strange malady.  His father is away at war and his mother is in the Queen's service. Robin was meant to be on his way to a northern castle to serve as a page in his first step to knighthood. He is rescued by Brother Luke who takes him to the hospice and furthers his education.  Brother Matthew teaches him wood carving.  Robin learns that there are more ways to serve his King other than mounting a horse and riding to battle.
  • A compendium of true and truly eccentric epitaphs, such as:  John Tyrwitt: He died in a fit after drinking Port Wine, April 3rd 1828... or... Major James Brush who was killed by the accidental discharge of a pistol by his orderly: 14th April 1831 'Well done, good and faithful servant' (Someone wasn't thinking about how that would read!)  and this one, very succint: Thorpe's Corpse.  
  • Nash does have a good sly poke at society in this outing of verses, including  the Axis powers of World War II - and how not to annoy them!
  • Six adventures with Simon Templar - The Saint. This volume includes: The Helpful Pirate; The Bigger Game; The Cleaner Cure; The Intemperate Reformer; The Uncured Ham; The Convenient Monster.
  • What's in a name? Well, plenty, according to this interesting little booklet.  The word 'dunce' meaning slow-witted or dull is from the name Duns Scotus, a brilliant medieval teacher; Dick Whittington, mayor of London, did exist but is not the legendary poor boy with a pet cat seeking his fortune; Robert Louis Stevenson's infamous character Dr. Jekyll was based on a real man; Old 'Uncle Tom Cobbleigh' was a hotblooded and amorous red-headed man; Lady Godiva did get her gear off  as a result of a bet with her husband - and Mother Goose did write a swag of nursery rhymes! Loads of interest in a small package.
  • Covers a wide selection of well known and lesser known mysteries:  The Moving Coffins of Barbados; Joan of Arc - Did She Return From The Dead? The Most Mysterious Manuscript int he World; Orffyreus and the Perpetual Motion Machine and much more.
  • Here is Patrick Dennis' tale of a childhood spent with an outrageous, modern aunt, set against the rich background of the Roaring Twenties.  An interesting retro paperback, with Rosalind Russell in the role of Mame on the cover.
  • This 1947 book opens thus: "The senator's wife was returning from the very smartest of afternoon affairs; her whitehaired and fresh coloured loveliness had charmed and delighted the most famous and fastidious of diplomats and the Chinese minister had expressed frank amaze at the magical youthfulness of the American Grandmother..."
  • Poetry with illustrations by Spike and Laura Milligan.
  • Finding her sixteen year old daughter naked in bed with a man was a shock to Mrs Hardcastle; but the discovery that her daughter had been substituting her contraceptive pills with aspirins opened the door to a much wider calamity...
  • The word 'freak' can easily conjure up the image of a squalid Victorian side show exhibit; yet behind the peep show curtains, the medical textbooks and screaming headlines, these are people who were thrust into a prying, probing limelight because they were different.  Among those detailed here are John Merrick, the Elephant Man; Alice, The Faceless Child; Louise, the Four Legged Woman; Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who married and lived with their husbands successfully, as well as featuring in Tod Browning's famous film Freaks; wild children and many more.
  • More high jinks at St. Swithins with Dr. Simon Sparrow, Sir Lancelot Spratt and the the rest.
  • From The Saint Series.
  • Lietenant Garrett Byrne has just recently been promoted to take command of a squad of black soldiers. Irish-born and no-nonsense, he clashes frequently with his second-in-command, and struggles with his feelings over being placed in charge of such a squad. His troop is assigned the duty of guiding and protecting a band of reservation Comanches who want to hunt buffalo. Along the way, they encounter hide hunters, a white homestead family with a mother and two small children, and a band of Indian-hunting Texas Rangers. It's a volatile mix was the journey becomes a grim tale of chase and survival amid racial hatred and violence.

  • First published in 1955, this book deals with the daily problems and dilemmas facing teenagers and how to solve them in a practical manner. Not much has changed since 1955.
  • Under cover of a night time blizzard, seven prisoners caught up in Stalin's Reign of Terror escape a Soviet Gulag in 1940. With little food and no idea of  their direction, they set out on a journey of hardship as they struggle across Siberia, the Gobi Desert and over the Himalayas towards India and freedom.  Directed by Peter Weir
  • Quite a rollicking tale of corrupt soldiers and starving convicts, set in a South Pacific penal colony in 1790.  Into this alien world comes Corporal Phelim Halloran: Innocent and lover, poet and scholar and soldier-by-accident who attempts to make a world for himself in this non-conducive setting. First published in 1967.
  • Even in peace-time, Biggles can find adventures and mysteries with his tried and true comrades Algy, Bertie and Ginger.  Contains 14 stories.
  • The hilarious sequel to 1066 And All That. Contains chapters on: The Theory and Practice of Polar Exploration, Psycho-Babycraft, The  Practice and Fury of Knitting, A Brief Exposé of Modern Photography and more.  A Pythonesque title with Blackadderesque contents.
  • Deep in the Mariana Sea Trench, a corporate underwater mining complex has been built - an industrial Atlantis. When an accident in a dry-dock chamber kills several miners and investigator is sent to determine the cause and finds that it was no accident.  He is caught in a deadly conflict between the miners and the corporation and must fight to stay alive and uncover the truth.
  • The biography of an ordinary man seemingly curses with perpetual bad luck. From being born with Tourette's Syndrome, to getting struck by lightning; from having his testicle removed to developing Alzheimer's disease; Harvey's troubles seem unending.  Yet he learns many lessons in life an enjoys its many fruits. He finds love, freedom, nudity and ultimately, the true meaning of what it is to be human.
  • Edward is the creation of an inventor, whose sudden death leaves Edward with metal shears for hands.  He lives on alone in the darkness of the great Gothic house until he is found by a kind lady and taken home to live with her family - in the pastel paradise called Suburbia. An early role for Johnny Depp and one of Vincent Price's last films.  By Tim Burton.