Purporting to be three issues of a journal dated 1890-91, but in fact a spoof or satire published 20 years earlier, The Moslem in Cambridge. A Liberal and Advanced Journal… proved an unexpected success in the city of its creation.
Offered in a February 21 sale held by Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium), and with an extended title that declares it to be a work …of Universal Scope, Views and Tendencies, Adapted to the Tastes of all Nations, the volume sold for £800 rather than the £50-80 predicted.
It contained three issues of an undergraduate magazine, that as a line towards the bottom of the title-page declares, was conducted “…by Hadjii Sievad and a talented Heathen Staff”.
This is a satire on a Cambridge of the future, one that it is no longer simply Christian, but admits women, has abolished tests or exams and is completely cosmopolitan.
A copy still in a Cambridge library notes that it was edited, or perhaps wholly written by Gerald Stanley Davies (or Seivad), who was a student at the time but was later ordained and taught for many years at Charterhouse School. He also became a collector of traditional peasant arts and crafts from the Baltic, Scandinavian and northern Russian lands.
“This Cambridge of the future is no longer simply Christian but admits women, has abolished exams and is completely cosmopolitan
Another lot which raised a much higher than expected bid an account of the 1653 Triall of Mr John Lilburne…
Compiled by Lawrence MacLachlan, ‘The Trials of John Lilburne’ is an easily found online resource that provides an enormous amount of background to this work. First off it sums up Lilburne as a “political firebrand who began his career as a martyr for puritan doctrine, became a champion of the Levellers and political democracy, and ended his days as a Quaker and a pacifist”.
It also adds the words, attributed to Henry Martin, “…if the world was emptied of all but John Lilburne, Lilburne would quarrel with John, and John with Lilburne”.
A seemingly rare survival, this account of Lilburne’s battles with the judiciary sold at £1700.
A 1704 first in rubbed but contemporary calf of Swift’s The Tale of a Tub made £2000 and a 1766, first English edition of …the Dispute between Mr Hume and Mr Rousseau, in much later half calf, sold at £550.
A 1919 New York edition of Kipling’s Verse 1885-1918, bound in full blue morocco gilt and bearing the ‘Clouds Hill’ bookplate of TE Lawrence, sold at a 10-times estimate £500.
The sale included a number of sets, handsomely displayed in a characteristically well-illustrated catalogue, among them a 26-volume run of Curtis’ Botanical Magazine (1787-1807) and a 40-volume, 1833-43 set of Jardine’s Naturalist’s Library, at £3000 apiece.