Posts Tagged ‘8vo

05
Jun
11

Alice in Rankbustland/ Lost in the Bungle

Lost in the Bungle, with apologies to Lewis Carroll. With an introduction by the Hon. John C. Knox.

Author Edwin M. Otterbourg.

Published in 1933 by Country Life Press. 8vo, hardback black cloth stamped in gilt. No dustjacket.

This edition is titled as Lost in the Bungle but it includes the earlier Rankbustland (1923) as an appendix.

Edwin M. Otterbourg, a trial and appellate lawyer with had a particular interest in legal ethics, co-founded the firm of Otterbourg Steindler & Houston in New York City in 1909.

This is apparently “A satire on alleged abuses in the administration of the American Bankruptcy act”, but I’m not sure what that means…

18
May
11

A Looking Glass Sequel

A Looking Glass Sequel by Cathy Bowern after Lewis Carroll.

Illustrated by Brian Puttock after Sir John Tenniel: 50 drawings.

Published by Angerona, 1993. Black leatherette with dustjacket. 8vo, 176pp.

Limited to 100 copies? Signed by author.

ISBN 10: 0952250500

From the back of dust jacket:

“In this adventure events happen in reverse order to the original story– according to the moves of a very bizarre chessgame– a mirror reflection of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the looking-glass’ (itself a mirror reflection!)”

The same Isle of Wight based author and illustrator combination have produced “The Hunting of the Snark Concluded”.

Available at an enormous price on amazon: Looking-Glass Sequel

Mine was rather cheaper from Stella and Rose.

13
Apr
11

Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland

Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland by George Gamov.

Published by Cambridge University Press.

This copy 1950: but first published 1940.

8vo hardback with dustjacket.

Illustrations by John Hookham.

The physicist George Gamow uses the adventures of Mr. Tompkins to explain modern scientific theories to a popular audience.

The book is structured as a series of dreams in which Mr Tompkins enters alternate worlds where the physical constants have radically different values from those they have in the real world. This results in the counterintuitive results of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics becoming obvious in everyday life.

Mr Tompkins’ adventures begin when he chooses to spend the afternoon of a day’s holiday attending a lecture on the theory of relativity. The lecture proves less comprehensible than he had hoped and he drifts off to sleep and enters a dream world in which the speed of light is a mere 30 miles an hour. This becomes apparent to him through the fact that passing cyclists are subject to a noticeable Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction:

The hands of the big clock on the tower down the street were pointing almost to noon and the streets were nearly empty.

A single cyclist was coming slowly down the street and, as he approached, Mr Tompkins’ eyes opened wide with astonishment. For the bicycle and the young man on it were unbelievable flattened in the direction of the motion…

The clock on the tower struck twelve, and the cyclist, evidently in a hurry, stepped harder on the pedals.

Mr Tompkins did not notice that he gained much in speed, but, as the result of his effort, he flattened still more and went down the street looking exactly like a picture cut out of cardboard.

Then, Mr Tompkins felt very proud because he could understand what was happening to the cyclist– it was simply the contraction of moving bodies about which he had just learned.

“Evidently nature’s speed limit is lower here,” he concluded, “that is why the bobby on the corner looks so lazy, he need not watch for speeders.”

G. Gamow says:

In the winter of 1938 I wrote a short, scientifically fantastic story (not a science fiction story) in which I tried to explain to the layman the basic ideas of the theory of curvature of space and the expanding universe. I decided to do this by exaggerating the actually existing relativistic phenomena to such an extent that they could easily be observed by the hero of the story, C. G. H. Tompkins, a bank clerk interested in modern science.

I sent the manuscript to Harpers Magazine and, like all beginning authors, got it back with a rejection slip. The other half-a-dozen magazines which I tried followed suit. So I put the manuscript in a drawer of my desk and forgot about it.

During the summer of the same year, I attended the International Conference of Theoretical Physics, organized by the League of Nations in Warsaw. 1 was chatting over a glass of excellent Polish mind with my old friend Sir Charles Darwin, the grandson of Charles (The Origin of Species) Darwin, and the conversation turned to the popularization of science. I told Darwin about the bad luck I had had along this line, and he said: ‘Look, Gamow, when you get back to the United States dig up your manuscript and send it to Dr C. P. Snow, who is the editor of a popular scientific magazine Discovery published by the Cambridge University Press.’

So I did just this, and a week later came a telegram from Snow saying: ‘Your article will be published in the next issue. Please send more.’ Thus a number of stories on Mr Tompkins, which popularized the theory of relativity and the quantum theory, appeared in subsequent issues of Discovery. Soon thereafter I received a letter from the Cambridge University Press, suggesting that these articles, with a few additional stories to increase the number of pages, should be published in book form. The book, called Mr Tompkins in Wonderland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1940 and since that time has been reprinted sixteen times. This book was followed by the sequel, Mr Tompkins Explores the Atom, published in 1944 and by now reprinted nine times. In addition, both books have been translated into practically all European languages and also into Chinese and Hindi.

Chapter headings:

1. City Speed Limit
2. The Professor’s Lecture on Relativity which caused Mr Tompkins’s dream
3. Mr Tompkins takes a holiday
4. The Professor’s Lecture on Curved Space Gravity and the Universe
5. The Pulsating Universe
6. Cosmic Opera
7. Quantum Billiards
8. Quantum Jungles
9. Maxwell’s Demon
10. The Gay Tribe of Electrons
10.5. A Part of the Previous Lecture which Mr Tompkins slept through
12. Inside the Nucleus
13. The Woodcarver
14. Holes in Nothing
15. Mr Tompkins Tastes a Japanese Meal

Bought in Marchpane for £30, available as a modern reprint on amazon: Mr. Tompkins

03
May
10

Alick’s Adventures

Alick’s Adventures by G.R.

Illustrated with 8 plates by John Hassall, the first of which has come loose along with the protective tissue. Bother.

Longmans, Green and co, 1902. First edition.

8vo. Hardback with decorated front board and spine. No dust jacket.

G.R. is a mystery to me, but John Hassall was the creator of the “Jolly Fisherman” poster for Skegness, which he drew in 1908.

This one is sometimes tricky to track down, but usually reasonable when you do.

My copy is tatty and, as I said, the frontispiece has come away, but it’s perfectly bright and readable, and only cost me a tenner on abebooks.

You might be lucky on amazon: Alick’s Adventures

03
May
10

Alice in Bennetland

Alice in Bennetland by Peter A. Johnson.

Illustrated by Snark.

Published by Dog Island Enterprises. Undated, and I’m confused about dating- it’s parodying 1950s British Colombia, but I’ve seen it dated as 1972- why so much later?

8vo softback, 39 pages.

Apparently a satire on 1950s British Columbia politics: the Social Credit party and Bennett government, but my knowledge of 1950s Canadian politics is non-existent.

Ah, the power of t’internet: wiki tells me that Bennett came to power in 1952, but was there until 1972 so that would explain the publication at that time.

29
Apr
10

Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Alicia in Terra Mirabili by Lewis Carroll, illustrations by Tenniel. Translated by Clive Harcourt Carruthers. Published by Macmillan, 1964.
Hardback with dustjacket. 8vo. First Edition.

Not much i can say about this one, really. It’s Alice. In Latin. Have an excerpt.

‘NECOPINATIUS, etiam necopinatius!’ inquit Alicia. (Tantum stupebat ut ad praesens facultas recte loquendi eam omnino desereret.)

‘Distendor nunc velut maximum omnium telescopium! Pedes, valete!’
(Cum enim pedes suos despiceret, tam procul esse videbantur ut vix in conspectu essent.)
‘Ei! Pedes miselli, quisnam vobis dehinc induet soleas et tibialia, deliciae? Certum est me non posse! Procul ero multo magis quam ut vos curem. Res vobis gerendae erunt quam bene poteritis.’
‘Sed benevola eis esse debeo,’ secum reputabat Alicia, ‘aut forte non in cedent quo modo ego ire volam! Quid enim? Soleas novas semper Saturnalibus eis dabo.’

Et usque cogitabat quomodo id efficeret.

‘Soleas oportet a gerulo apportari; et quam mirum mihi erit dona ad meos ipsius pedes mittere! Quamque inusitate inscribetur fasciculus!

‘Alicia Pedi Suo Dextro S. P. D.,
In Stragulo,
Prope Focum.’

Available on amazon: Alicia in Terra Mirabili , but I think mine was bought on ebay. Generally not too expensive.

There’s a Looking Glass as well: I don’t have that…yet….

04
Mar
10

Alice in Wunderground

Alice in Wunderground and Other Blits and Pieces by Michael Barsley.

Illustrated by the author.

Published by John Murray, 1940. 48 pages: pamphlet, 8vo.

Collection of various satires, poetic parodies and cartoons on wartime topics, with some related to Alice.

I’m on the lookout for his other book: “Grabberwocky and other Fights of Fancy”.

Bought via abebooks for a tenner or so.

On amazon: Alice In Wunderground And Other Bits And Pieces




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