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Books & Manuscripts

  • Fidel Castro Signed Speech Transcript
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    Paul Fraser Collectibles

    Fidel Castro Signed Speech Transcript

    £2,500.00

    • A rare signature by one of the most significant political leaders of the 20th century

    Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who led the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as President from 1976 to 2008.

    Castro was the architect behind the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which overturned the right-wing authoritarian government and turned the nation into a one-party socialist state.

    Castro remains one of the most divisive political figures of the 20th century, revered by many as a champion of social justice and anti-imperialism, and hated by others as a brutal dictator.

    Prior to his death in November 2016, Castro was listed on the PFC40 Autograph Index as the world's most valuable living signature, with the price of his autograph having risen 16.9% per annum since 2000.

     

    This printed booklet contains the text of a speech by Fidel Castro entitled "Pay tribute to the empire or pay tribute to the motherland".

    Castro gave the speech on July 18, 1985, during the final session of the Latin American and Caribbean Workers Trade Union conference in Havana.

    The conference was held at the peak of the Latin American debt crisis, which saw many countries crippled by billions of dollars in foreign debts far outweighing their national GDP.

    Many delegates, including Castro himself, called for the debts to be cancelled to help the Central American economy to recover.

    "I like the total cancellation of the debt more than a mouse would like a ton of Swiss cheese,' said Castro during the conference, and later suggested "the debt will never be paid anyway...it's mathematically impossible".

    During the conclusion of his stirring speech, Castro declared:

    "I have sometimes been accused of being an optimist.  Some companeros remember when we met for the first time, and we were seven guerrilla members carrying rifles...

    "I told them: We have won the war.  We were only seven men.  Some companeros said that out of respect for me, they said nothing, but they disagreed...Anyway, time went by and we won the war.  So, do not be afraid to be optimistic.  Life has shown me that we must not be afraid to be optimistic. 

    "I told you that I know this continent, this region of the world can become free and lead the struggle.  Today, we are also fully convinced that the workers will also be leaders of this struggle between the different levels and sectors of the population.  They will be the vanguard of this struggle."

    The booklet is signed boldly by Castro in black ink on the title page, and remains in good condition, with light creasing to the front cover.

    Booklet measures 5.5 x 8".

  • J.K Rowling illustrated personal horoscope
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    Paul fraser collectibles

    J.K Rowling illustrated personal horoscope

    £17,500.00

    • An incredibly rare unpublished work by J.K.Rowling
    • A personal Horoscope with a hand drawn natal chart for Jack David Buchanan, born 19 February 1994, 5.01 p.m.

    Unpublished illustrations and writings by J.K. Rowling are incredibly rare and offer a wonderful insight into the creative mind behind Harry Potter.

    This horoscope provides a fascinating example of Rowling's prose.

    On white paper, with double-sided typescript on yellow card providing a detailed interpretative reading, including of the sun sign, ascendant, ruling planets, significant conjunctions and oppositions, and their effect on character, personal strengths, possible careers, emotional and erotic characteristics, and compatibility with other signs, and a cover illustration depicting the chart's key astrological symbols in pen, ink, and coloured pencil laid down on bright blue coloured card.

    Comprising 12 loose pages in a plastic folder. In excellent, mint condition.

    "Born the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces. He will enjoy school, perhaps be accident-prone, (like all Pisces) could be prone to alcoholism, and (perhaps like us all) may well fall in love with someone totally incompatible.

    The chart apparently suggests that the boy will have great literary talent ("...the planet of fantasy and imagination meets a sign frequently associated with bookishness...")

    Rowling wonders whether his "ability to weave a good yarn" could perhaps bring fame and fortune, before deciding that becoming a film director would better suit his talents.

    Apparently wishing for some small slice of fame for herself, J.K. Rowling wonders if the boy would perhaps at least mention her in his Oscar acceptance speech ("...This peculiar woman my mother knows predicted I would be standing before you today ... of course, my parents laughed at the time...") ...Human destiny may be deciphered by the planetary rays... (Professor Trelawny)

    It is possible to detect in this short piece some of the characteristics that were shortly to bring Rowling's prose such extraordinary success: a great and varied sense of humour, flights of fancy underpinned by an internal logic, and - of course - a mingling of the everyday world with the strange and magical.

    The horoscopes show Rowling to have a detailed technical knowledge of Western astrology.

    She is at ease explaining the significance of having one's Moon in the First House but peppers her interpretations with quotations and wryly amusing comparisons.

    In general the astrologers that she cites tend to be popular rather than academic.

    Rowling's knowledge of astrology has undoubtedly played into the Harry Potter books.

    Harry himself is a Leo (sharing his birthday with J.K. Rowling herself), whilst the meticulous worrier Hermione is naturally a Virgo.

    An important influence on Harry in the first book is Firenze the centaur, a star-gazer who helps and teaches him before his first encounter with Voldemort.

    Sybill Trelawney, Professor of Divination, makes an appearance in later books; she is considered by many a fraud (and is a fine satire of New Age fortune tellers) but her predictions frequently come true in unexpected ways.

    On a deeper level, an issue that goes to the heart of astrology is the apparent conflict between free will and fate, and this is one of the central themes of the Harry Potter series.

    NB: Please note copyright remains with J.K. Rowling and no permission is granted for reproduction

  • Lewis Carroll Pair of Handwritten Letters
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    Paul Fraser Collectibles

    Lewis Carroll Pair of Handwritten Letters

    £8,950.00

    • A pair of handwritten letters by one of the most influential writers of the 19th century.

    Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), known more commonly by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was a renowned English writer, mathematician and photographer.

    As Carroll he wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), its sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1871), and the epic poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876), all of which are classic examples of the literary nonsense genre.

    To date his works have sold millions of copies around the world, and have inspired countless adaptations on the stage and screen.

    Dodgson was also a highly skilled amateur photographer, who took up the new art form during the 1850s and established his own studio, creating an estimated 3,000 photographs during his life.

     

    In January 1877 Dodgson began a correspondence with Edward T. Draper, an agent for the Royal Marines and a fellow amateur photographer.

    Draper sent Dodgson several photographs, including some of his 13-year-old daughter Dolly, telling him she was a fan of his books.

    Dodgson then wrote in return to Dolly Draper, and struck up a friendship with the family.

    These two handwritten letters are part of that correspondence.

    Dodgson's first letter, dated February 5, 1877, included a photograph of himself and poked fun at his famous 'alter ego' of Lewis Carroll:

    "Here is the portrait of the man I told you about. He is no relation of mine (but I have known him all my life)—at least, if he is a relation, I don’t know what sort of relation you would call him—He is about the same age as I am, but he certainly isn’t my brother, nor any kind of cousin."

    The four-page letter is written across two adjoining sheets, and measures 3.25 x 5.25". In fine condition, with a rusty paperclip mark on the top of the front page.

    In the second letter, dated April 12, 1877, Dodgson mentions sending Draper and her family copies of his most famous books, and also includes a piece of nonsense wordplay typical of his work:

    "I think the only way to prevent you all forgetting me again…is to send each a copy of some one of my 3 books…I’ll tell you what I was thinking of sending…—For Jessie, Alice’s Adventures…for Roger, the Snark…& for you, the Looking-glass…

    "With these helps, you may perhaps remember me for a while, but it will give a far better chance if you would put me in among your Modern History dates…—And then if even Roger says ‘Why, I don’t believe you care a fig for Mr. Dodgson,’ you can say ‘Ah, but I care a date for him!’"

    The three page letter is written on two adjoining sheets, measuring 4.5 x 7", and is in fine condition. Dodgson's signature at the bottom of the letter has been clipped, and replaced with a facsimile.

    Both letters are written in Dodgson's trademark violet ink, an unusual colour which he used for the majority of his correspondence throughout his life.

    Additionally, the second letter is contained in its original folder from Walter Benjamin Autographs, the renowned US autograph dealership established in 1887.

    Benjamin is recognized as playing a significant role is the development of the autograph collecting hobby in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the company continued to trade for 121 years.

    Later typed copies of both the letters are also included.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte Order of the Iron Crown Signed Document
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    Paul fraser collectibles

    Napoleon Bonaparte Order of the Iron Crown Signed Document

    £4,500.00

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    • A significant historical document signed by Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most influential military and political leaders in human history.

    Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) was a French military and political leader who ruled over much of Europe during the early 19th century.

    Having risen to prominence during the French Revolution, he engineered a coup and became Emperor of France in 1804, whilst his armies swept across Europe creating a new empire for him to rule over.

    Napoleon is regarded as one of the finest military commanders in history, and his tactics and campaigns are studied at military schools to this day. When once asked to name the greatest military general of the time, the Duke of Wellington replied: "In this age, in past ages, in any age, Napoleon."

    Napoleon's dreams of conquering Europe finally ended in June 1815, when the French were defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, and he was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena where he died in 1821.

    Many of the ideas that underpin modern society, such as meritocracy, religious tolerance, property rights, secular education, and the encouragement of science and the arts, were firmly established across Europe during Napoleon's reign.

    He remains one of the most influential and controversial leaders in human history, whose political and cultural legacy can still be felt more than 200 years later.

    Having conquered most of Italy during the early years of the 19th century, Napoleon decided to convert the republic into a kingdom, and crowned himself as King at the Cathedral of Monza in Milan on May 26, 1805.

    Napoleon was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy, a medieval gold crown said to include iron from a nail used at the crucifixion of Jesus, and proclaimed: "God gives it to me, beware whoever touches it".

    Napoleon's full title became Emperor of the French and King of Italy, signifying the importance he placed on the role.

    To commemorate his coronation, Napoleon also established the Order of the Iron Crown on June 5, 1805. This chivalric order of merit was divided into three classes, consisting of 20 grand cross knights, 100 commander knights, and 500 ordinary knights.

    Initially, Napoleon bestowed the honours on members of his French army who had distinguished themselves in battle. However, he quickly began awarding titles to Italian officials such as bishops, judges and mayors, in a bid to legitimise the order and entrench support for himself as King.

    The order was disbanded after the collapse of the French Empire in 1814, but was later re-established in 1815 by Francis I, Emperor of Austria, when Imperial Austria regained control of Lombardy.

    This manuscript document is dated February 14, 1809, and was signed by Napoleon at the Imperial Tuileries Palace in Paris.

    The document is a decree presented to the Grand Chancellor of the Order of the Iron Crown, naming 19 men as Knights of the Order of the Iron Crown.

    The list includes officers from several military regiments, such as the 1st Regiment of Italian Light Infantry, the 4th Regiment of Italian Infantry of the Line, the Royal Italian Chasseurs, the Napoleon Regiment of Dragoons and the Italian Regiment of Sappers.

    Signed boldly by Napoleon, the clean and crisp document measures 20 x 30.5cm and is in good condition.

  • William Wordsworth Autographed Poetry Quotation
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    Paul fraser collectibles

    William Wordsworth Autographed Poetry Quotation

    £4,000.00

    • A handwritten poetry inscription signed by one of history's most celebrated poets

    William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is one of history's most famous poets, and was a founder of the Romantic Age in English literature.

    In 1798 Wordsworth and his close friend, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published their volume 'Lyrical Ballads', which inspired a generation of Romantic writers including John Keats, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake.

    Wordsworth served as Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850, and is most renowned for 'Daffodils', one of the world's most famous poems, which begins with the iconic line "I wandered lonely as a cloud..."

     

    In this handwritten note, Wordsworth has inscribed four lines from the poem 'Old Age' by the 17th century poet and politician Edmund Waller:

    "The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
    Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
    Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
    As they draw near to their eternal home."

    The note is signed "Wm Wordsworth", and is dated "6 July, 1839".

    It also bears the address of Wordsworth's Lake District home Rydal Mount, where he lived from 1813 until his death in 1850, and which today remains a public museum dedicated to his life and work.

    The page measures 17 x 20.3 cm (approx. 6.7" x 7.9"), and features a small tear to the upper left portion, along with two horizontal fold creases.