Wednesday 6 December 2017

God's Glory in the Heavens by William Leitch: The First Source To Suggest Rocket-Powered Space Exploration

This evidently *very* scarce book (I can find no other non-POD copy currently for sale anywhere online) holds a very special place in the history of astronomy, and space exploration. As the Wikipedia article for its author William Leitch points out:

Space historian Robert Godwin published in October 2015 his discovery that Leitch gave the first modern scientific explanation of the potential for space exploration using rockets (1861).[1] He was said to be "a distinguished astronomer, naturalist and mathematician",[2] and his proposal for rocket spaceflight came four decades prior to more well-known proposals by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1903), Robert Esnault-Pelterie (1913), Robert H. Goddard (1914), and Hermann Oberth (1923). Leitch's rocket spaceflight description was first provided in his 1861 essay "A Journey Through Space", which was later published in his book God's Glory in the Heavens (1862).[3] This description correctly attributed rocket thrust to the "internal reaction" (Newton's laws of motion) and correctly identified that rocket thrust is most effective in the vacuum of space.

Despite the title, this is not a 'religious' book, but a still very readable trip around the solar system as it was known then. This copy is in Very Good condition overall, with all 12 plates present (and numerous illustrations in the text). The half leather binding looks of the time, and the bookplate has a story of its own: this book's previous owner was John Whichcord, the lauded architect, perhaps best known for designing the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which, despite the efforts of the IRA, still stands to this day.

A small piece of history then. (Which, perhaps not surprisingly, SOLD before I had a chance to post this blog!)

Sunday 26 November 2017

The Secret Garden First Edition

As is often the case with such lovely books, between me taking these photos and posting them, this book has already sold... but I'll put them up anyway, as a record of the wonderful Rackham-esque illustrations by Charles (Heath) Robinson (brother of William) in this, the first edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

An Horrific Signing...

On Saturday November 11th it was to London for the signing of THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY (on which I was Project Manager) at Forbidden Planet in London. Thanks to the book's editor Stephen Jones, I had been invited to sign along with a lot of very august people: writers Anne Billson, Ramsey CampbellBarry Forshaw, Sir Christopher Frayling, Kim Newman and Jonathan Rigby, artists Steve CrispLes EdwardsGraham Humphreys and Uli Meyer, screenwriter and director Sean Hogan, actor and writer Nicholas Burman-Vince, Stephen Jones himself, and special surprise guest Dave McKean. We signed for a full two hours, and a fine time was had by all...

Author and Hellraiser actress Barbie Wilde, who had also pre-signed copies.

It's not every day I find myself sitting next to Dave McKean, so I'm afraid I shamelessly made the best of the situation, and asked him for a sketch on my name sign...

.... a great souvenir of a wonderful day.

At the time of writing, these multi-signed copies are available from FP HERE!

Wednesday 1 November 2017

A Post-Halloween Plug: The Art of Horror Movies

As you settle into your post-Halloween sugar-induced coma, here's a book to settle down next to the fire with. The Art of Horror Movies is the follow-up to the award-winning The Art of Horror. I was the Project Manager on this one too, and IMHO it's every bit as good (and actually probably a bit better!) than its illustrious predecessor. It's also currently on Amazon at a very keen price folks!

See below for the blurb and some sample pages...

This magnificent companion to The Art of Horror, from the same creative team behind that award-winning illustrated volume, looks at the entire history of the horror film, from the silent era right up to the latest releases and trends. Through a series of informative chapters and fascinating sidebars chronologically charting the evolution of horror movies for more than a century, profusely illustrated throughout with over 600 rare and unique images including posters, lobby cards, advertising, promotional items, tie-in books and magazines, and original artwork inspired by classic movies, this handsomely designed hardcover traces the development of the horror film from its inception, and celebrates the actors, filmmakers, and artists who were responsible for scaring the pants off successive generations of moviegoers! Edited by multiple award winning writer and editor Stephen Jones, and boasting a foreword by director and screenwriter John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), this volume brings together fascinating and incisive commentary from some of the genre's most highly respected experts. With eye-popping images from all over the world, The Art of Horror Movies is the definitive guide for anyone who loves horror films and movie fans of all ages.