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Usually smaller quaint books that make great gifts - whimsical books chosen based on their amusing titles, subjects and illustrations - or because we simply couldn't resist!

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Brock, Alan St H, A History of Fireworks, London, George G. Harrap & Co, Ltd, 1949, first edition (revision of author's 1922 book, "Pyrotechnics: the History and the Art of Firework Making."), tall 8vo (6.5 x 10"), HB, blue cloth boards w/ gilt spine titles, NF / VG. Unclipped original dj, with edgewear and edge-creasing to extremities, the more noticeable due to its dark navy background. Interior clean and bright..

280 pages. Illustrated "With Eight Plates in Colour, 32 in Half-tone and Line Blocks in the Text."

From the jacket flap: "Few other family names can be so closely associated, in the public mind with a particular industry (or art) as that of Brock with fireworks. . . A history of fireworks by a member of that family (especially when he is an established writer) must appeal to a wide public. . . Alan Brock has already established himself as the outstandingly authoritative writer on the subject of pyrotechny in all its aspects, and in this book he has collected the results of a lifetime's study and research. His survey covers the long story of development in this field from its first, little-recorded beginnings in the East, to the spectacularly unprecedented official London peace display of June 8th, 1945. The records and traditions of the author's own family — covering a period of over two hundred years — naturally find a not inconspicuous place in the narrative, while his expert knowledge and professional training enable him to view his subject not only from the aesthetic angle, but also from practical and scientific viewpoints. Mr. Brock's evident enthusiasm and affection for the art, business and history of fireworks, ensure that his book will become — and long remain — the foremost work of reference in its sphere."

A quote that precedes the opening chapter, "The Origins of Pyrotechny":

   “What are fireworks like? She [the Princess] had asked the Prince, one morning, as she was walking on the terrace.

   “They are like the Aurora Borealis,” said the King, “… only much more natural. I prefer them to stars myself, as you always know when they are going to appear…“ Oscar Wilde, The Remarkable Rocket

A charming, thorough and decidedly British presentation of the subject, by Brock, whose family produced fireworks as far back as the 18th century.    [Book ID # 2076]


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