Saturday 28 July 2018

Is this the only remaining copy of this book in the whole world?

This beautiful little childrens' book recently arrived on my desk. It wasn't a title or author that I was familiar with, so to google I went, to track down some information. The result was something that happens only very, very rarely in this game: not only could I not find another copy of this book for sale, I could find no record of its existence, period. Even exceptionally scarce titles usually turn up in a library catalogue somewhere; Man the Lifeboat! by F. Hamilton-Knight did not.

There's an incomplete copy of The Beacon Light, a similar looking title by Hamilton-Knight (and a W.H.S. Thompson, who is an artist) on Amazon here and some *very* expensive copies (£300!) of another Hamilton-Knight storybook, The Turning of the Tide, here and here.

... but no other copies of Man the Lifeboat!

It's a rather wonderful thing, so here, for the first time on t'internet, is the whole book in all its small but perfectly formed glory. It's not dated, but I reckon it's late Victorian or Edwardian. The quality of the printing is very good indeed. Given his work with Knight on The Beacon Light, perhaps the uncredited artist here is also W.H.S. Thompson.

It is for sale, but as it's so hard to know what price level to aim for, I'll just say I'm open to offers!


  1. I own a copy of the sister book by the same author - The Turning Of the Tides. It is similar in size and style. With the same illustrator. I imagine it is part of a series. I also was unable to find another copy so also unable to determine the price or value.

    1. Have a look at the links in the post above where I mention Turning of the Tides (click on the word 'here') and you'll see what the two copies of that book I could find are on sale for. It's a lot of money!

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