Joseph Thornton
1808 - 1891

the old bookshop till 2002
History of the building
in Broad Street


Thornton's Bookshop
 ( W A & J S Meeuws ) 
Established in Oxford in  1835
(Internet and mailorder sales only)
Orders/correspondence as from 1st May 2007:
The Old Barn - Walnut Court
Faringdon - Oxfordshire SN7 7JH
United Kingdom

178 years of bookselling experience



Catalogue of Rare and interesting titles
Note: Payment for amounts over £100 by bank transfer only

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Poems, Copyright edition 

Ballads and Sonnets Copyright edition. 
2 Volumes

    (Collection of British Authors Tauchnitz Edition Series. Volumes 1380 and 2098 ) Poems with a memoir of the author by Franz Huffer, 1873, xxvi, 282pp. Ballads and Sonnets with a memoir of the author by Francis Hueffer, 1882, 287pp. Leipzig, Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1873 and 1882. In a splendid full red  leatehr binding tooled in gilt on the spines front and rear boards (ask for picture) spines with 5 raised bands. T.e.g.  right and bottom edges of the text  untrimmed, text only very sl. yellowed and with a few spots on prelims and last pages. A wonderful set (167 x 122 mm. ) £200

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The Serbian Psalter 

Splendid Facsimile edition of the Cod. Slav 4 in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Edited by Hans Belting, the text volume (in German) prepared with the co-operation of  Suzy Dufrenne, Svatozar Radojcic, Rainer Stichel and Ihor Sevcenko.  1981. Format 300 x 215 mm. 458pp., all the  148 miniatures and opposite pages in full colours, the text pages in one colour. One of a limited edition of only  550 copies, text volume, 1978, 300 x 215 mm, 313 pp and 52 plates. cloth 

 Serbia's most precious example of medieval book illumination may be the Serbian Psalter now located in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).  It originated around 1400 through the Brankovic princes and was much later booty to the winners of the Turkish war in Bavaria in 1689. Despot Djuradj Brankovic (1427-1456, George Brankovich) was one of the last Serbian rulers before Serbia's final fall under Turkish yoke in 1459. His family was known for having a strong and decisive faith in God. The Codex is written on paper and its composition offers evidence for liturgical use by laymen. This possibility reflects the fact that some of the Serbian Orthodox monks taught literacy in order for people to understand Christianity better and the monasteries served as centers for culture and art. Monasteries of Studenica, Zica, Pec, Mileseva, Sopocani, Decani, Ravanica, Manasija, etc., all founded by royal donators, outlived the State and centuries of captivity. The manuscript contains 148, often full-page miniatures reflecting the tradition of illustrating the Psalms of the Bible. Together with the Bulgarian Tomic Psalter the Serbian Psalter mirrors an old tradition of psalm illustration only found in these 2 manuscripts. £2500

 ..ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques,
Emilius and Sophia or, A New System of Education. Translated from the French of J.J Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva, by the Translator of Eloisa. Four volumes, London, printed for R.Griffiths, T.Becket, and P.A. de Hondt, in the Strand, 1762-1763;  12mo; with frontis. portrait after Gardelle in Volume I, three further frontis., and two plates, all after Cochin and Eisen; original speckled calf, panelled spines with raised bands, gilt, boards gilt-ruled, red speckled edges;  lacks all four morocco lettering-pieces. * The first edition of the Kenrick translation, Volumes I & II dated 1762, III & IV dated 1763, with ownership entry "Wm. Vaughan 1763" on fr. f.e.p. of each volume and partly offset onto front paste-downs, dating the binding also to 1763 at the latest. The binder somehow mistook Volume III for Volume II - the figure 3 on the spine has been superimposed by him over a figure 2, and the Volume II frontispiece is present in Volume III as well, in place of the correct Volume III frontispiece (which is therefore missing]. The loss of the latter frontispiece is to some extent made up for by the evidence the binder's mistake seems to give that this is in effect a publishers' binding or one commissioned by them, since duplicates of the plates could not  have been available in other circumstances. Both the Kenrick translation and its rival, the Nugent translation, are rare books, and it has not been established which has priority of publication. An excellent, fresh, and   unsophisticated copy.

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[i.e.Alexis St. Leger Leger],
Quatre Poemes (1941-1944)

    [La Porte Etroite No.7]. Buenos Aires, Lettres Fraançaises, Editions SUR, 1944; 80pp.., printed wrappers, front cover of wrappers  decorated and printed in black and red    * With an introduction by Archibald Macleish. * The poems originally appeared separately in American & French reviews between 
    1942 & 1944. paper , cover sl. soiled, small tears in bottom of spine, booseller's label ( Schoenhoff's) on f.e.p. 
    Saint-John Perse (1887-1975) - Pseudonym for Marie - René - Auguste - Aléxis Saint-Léger. French poet and diplomat, who used the pseudonym Saint-John Perse to keep his literary activity private. Perse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1960. He has been called the embodiment of the French national spirit and also a poet's poet for his emphasis on formal perfection and self-conscious way of choosing his words. Perse's solemn, oracular poetry was written in long lines that look like prose paragraphs but have a delicate musical quality. During his years of exile in the USA Perse resumed writing poetry His works darkened in tone - exile was for him a man's ever-present condition. This theme - with the images of barren sand and desolate beaches - he examined in EXILE (1942), dedicated to Archibald Mac Leish, the Librarian of Congress. It has been described as one of the greatest works emerging from World War II. PLUIES (1944), which took its rhythms from a rainstorm, and NEIGES (1945), more tender in tone, were first published in the Sewanee Review. 
    [ our reference 092968 ] £125
Front cover  -             Rear cover

Front cover design

Rear cover design
-Lewis Carroll
Alice in wonderland.
Illustrated by  John Tenniel. 
The Sally Press. n.d. facsimile reprint in 
curious private collage-art  binding