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Shark! Shark!

SHARK! SHARK! The Thirty-Year Odyssey of a Pioneer Shark Hunter.
by Captain William E. Young  (Gotham House, New York. NY. 1933)
As told to Horace S. Mazet. With a Foreword by Count Felix von Luckner. Unstated First Edition. Endpapers: illustration of world map with Sharks and Rays, 287pp., 8 plates with 23 drawings of sharks and rays by Helen Sewell, 30 b/w photographic reproductions, deckle edge. Frontispiece: Shark captured. Quarter bound, chipped and worn, cloth boards, decoration in blind on front cover, gilt title on spine. Hinge of front cover/spine worn and fragile. Front endpaper split at fold. Age toned text block, light browning to edges. Condition: Good. $50.00.

Truly, the oddest book I have come across. The spine we are informed, is ‘Bound by the J.C. Tapley Company in Shark Leather from the Ocean Leather Co.’
‘No one can tell just what a shark will do. Until there is blood in the water. Then watch out!’ California-born Captain William Young (1875–1962), lived in Hawaii and recounts with brio his lifelong obsession of capturing sharks of all kinds in all the world’s oceans. Young’s quest takes him to—among other places—Australia (1926), the Caribbean, French Somaliland and the Red Sea. He chose his ghost-writer well. Lt. Horace S. Mazet (1903–2002), aviator, world traveller, adventurer, photographer. Young’s good friend Count Felix von Luckner (1881–1966) writes the admiring Foreword. Von Luckner was the famed Captain of the World War I German Raider Sea Eagle. He visited Australia to great fanfare in 1938 where he was viewed either as a seafaring hero or an apologist for the Nazi regime. The black and white illustrations were created by Helen Sewell (1897–1960) illustrator of over 60 children’s books—the Laura Ingalls Wilder  Little House on the Prairie series among them. An appendix to the book features details on Shark types and the uses of Shark ‘leather’—Shagreen. Stephen.

People Under the Skin: An Irish Immigrant’s Experience of Aboriginal Australia by Clare Dunne
1988, Signed with dedication by the author. Born in Dublin, Clare Dunne migrated to Melbourne with her family when she was twenty. Her idiosyncratic career took her from SP betting to Qantas air hostess, TV personality to lead film actress in They’re a Weird Mob before becoming writer/producer/interviewer in radio, TV & educational media with subjects ranging from Freud to Irish music & poetry to Australia’s probable first Saint. This journal of her research of Aboriginal Australia takes journeys into parts of the country that in the 1980s were little known—from outback to inner city—recording the drama, humanity, colour, humour & depth in the lives of aboriginal people. $15, PB

On the Beach by Neville Shute
A classic of 1950s A Bomb paranoia, Shute’s book sees a group of Antipodeans hanging out at the bottom of the world waiting for the cloud of radiation from a nuclear war in the Northern Hemisphere to poison our southern skies. This 1957 edition’s jacket sports Gregory Peck & Ava Gardner in a last embrace from the Stanley Kramer movie. According to the jacket this is the complete & unabridged edition, so watch out—things can get pretty racy in end times. $30, HB

The General Strike by Julian Symons
According to British politician Duff Cooper the unprecedented General Strike of 1926 ‘threatened the survival of parliamentary government, and brought the country nearer to revolution than it has ever been. Symon’s 1957 book gives a full account of the nine days during which volunteers drove buses & railway trains, teams of undergraduates worked in the docks and special constables were enrolled in tens of thousands; when the Government ran its own newspaper the British Gazette (unofficially edited by Winston Churchill) and the trade unionists produced their British Worker; when the BBC, under threat of being commandeered  by the Government refused to allow the Archbishop of Canterbury to broadcast the churches’ appeal for a negotiated peace. Symons was allowed by the TUC to use the previously unexamined records in their archives which, as he says, contain the heart of the matter from the trade union standpoint. He talked to and corresponded with many of the people most directly involved in the Government preparations, and used some hundreds of letters from correspondents describing their personal experiences during the strike, as well as extracts from contemporary letters & diaries—resulting in an exciting narrative, and a notable contribution to the history of industrial relations. $20, HB

Oceana by J. A. Froude
James Anthony Froude (1818–1894) was one of the foremost historians in Victorian England, though he was often controversial and opinionated, especially towards Catholicism. In 1886 he spent six months travelling in South Africa, Australasia and America, and published Oceana on his return. He was very impressed by what he saw, and regretted popular indifference to the Empire at home. He believed that settlers from British colonies would reinvigorate and renew Britain itself as well as the Empire, since historically empires have a pattern of expansion and decay. His fears of the decline of Britain as a world power if she lost her Empire proved prophetic. Here he describes the Australian magpie:  …a magpie,certainly, with the same green, cunning eye, the same thievish nature, the same mottled coat; the difference between him & our magpie being that he has no long tail, that he is rather larger, and that, instead of the harsh cry of his European relation he has the sweetest voice of all Australian birds, a low crooning but exquisitely melodious gurgle, which he intensely enjoys. The book is illustrated with charming black & white sketches made by his companion on the trip, Lord Elphinstone. $35, boards, no dust jacket.

What is Remembered by Alice B. Toklas
First edition, 1963. Perhaps the most famous literary ‘friendship’ of this century … So the dust flap goes. In 1963 it was obviously still necessary to be cagey about just what sort of ‘friendship’ Alice B. Toklas and her ‘friend’ Gertrude Stein shared. In 1933 supreme egoist Stein wrote The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas which is basically all about her, so here’s Alice B. 30 years later giving her version—full to the brim of celebrities, literary and otherwise from the mid-20th century: Picasso, Matisse, Marie Laurencin, Guillaume Apollinaire, Henri Rousseau, Lytton Strachey, Roger Fry, Clive Bell, Hemingway, Sylvia Beach & James Joyce. ‘Yet its distinction derives not from names, but from the author’s quiet perceptions & her ability to convey the delicate emotions she felt’. $30, HB

Wars I Have Seen by Gertrude Stein
This book is not an experiment in the use of words; it is the experiences & reflections of a brilliant & resourceful woman, who remained in France during the four years of the German occupation, and wrote it in longhand under the noses of the Nazis who were often quartered in her house. When France was liberated, the manuscript was taken to America by a war correspondent with the US Seventh Army, while Gertrude Stein, with her lifelong friend, Miss Toklas, and her poodle, Basket, returned quietly, as is recorded in a supplementary chapter to Paris…crammed with first-hand anecdotes, human, humorous or tragic, of what the common people of France endured during the dark days of the Occupation. A feat indeed that two Jewish lesbians (I mean ‘friends) survived the occupation! There were rumours of collaboration, but Stein’s typically circular opening sentence ‘I do not know whether to put in the things I do not remember as well as the things I do remember.’ suggests she’s probably not about to tell. $55, HB

All on One Good Dancing Leg by Joan Clarke
1994, signed with dedication by the author. Joan Clarke vividly describes her childhood during the Great Depression & her endeavours to break free of the restrictions imposed by childhood polio & loving but overprotective parents. Determined to become part of the wider world—a world now at war—she found a job in a Sydney radio station & soon encountered such legends as John Dease, Charles Cousens & Jack Davey. She tells of the impact of American servicemen—and her involvement with the Booker T. Washington Club, which provided recreation & entertainment for black US servicemen who were routinely excluded from ‘whites only’ facilities, of the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney, and the growth of a radical youth movement. $30, PB

Ballads of the Kimberley & Other Wild Places by Geoff Allen
1991, signed with dedication by the author. Geoff Allen’s ballads offer a real depth of feeling that plumbs the relationship between aboriginal and white stockmen working side-by-side in the Kimberley Underworld. His is the writing of a man who has lived on the frontier and who has come out of it with a resounding empathy not just for the land itself, but the people who populated its vast distances. $20, PB