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Granta 43 : Best of Young British Novelists : Signed By Kazuo Ishiguro, Iain Banks, Louis De Bernieres, Hanif Kureshi, Jeanette Winterson, Alan Hollinghurst, Ben Okri And 10 Other contributors : With The Publisher’s Promotional Band

Buford, Bill (Ed.) The sole UK printing published by Granta Publications, London in 1993. The BOOK is in Very Good++ or better condition with original printed illustrated covers. A hint of edge-wear at the corners and spine tips. Light toning to the spine. The book has been signed by Kazuo Ishiguro, Iain Banks, Louis De Bernieres, Hanif Kureshi, Alan Hollinghurst, Jeannette Winterson, Ben Okri and another ten contributors (Tibor Fischer, Esther Freud, A. L. Kennedy, Adam Mars-Jones, Will Self, Candia McWilliam, Caryl Philps, Nicholas Shakespeare, Lawrence Norfolk and Helen Simpson) at their respective contributions. This was the second time that Ishiguro had been included in the Granta 'Best of Young British Novelists' selection, having previously been included in the 1983 edition. This 1993 inclusion post-dates his having won the 'Booker Prize'. Ben Okri and Alan Hollinghurst were also (or to become) 'Booker Prize' winners. The scarce publishers' promotional Band is present with the spine, front panel and part of the rear panel remaining. Small tape remnants to the rear portion and the front flap of this band. The book is protected in a removable Mylar archival cover. A wonderful array of novelists in this Granta edition and very scarce to find with such attributes. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
  • $497
The Country Girls Trilogy : Comprising 'The Country Girls'

The Country Girls Trilogy : Comprising ‘The Country Girls’ , ‘The Lonely Girl’, ‘ Girls in Their Married Bliss’ : All Three Volumes Signed By The Author : With The Stage Play Adaptation ‘The Country Girls’ , Also Signed By The Author

O' Brien, Edna The Country Girl Trilogy - Comprising 'The Country Girl', 'The Lonely Girl' and 'Girls in Their Married Bliss'. All three books are the First UK printings published between 1960 and 1964. Comprising Vol. 1 : 'The Country Girls' (Hutchinson, London : 1960). The Book is in Very Good++ condition. The book is slightly cocked with light pushing to the spine ends. Some light toning and spotting to the text-block, the latter has slightly encroached onto the edge of a few pages. Some spotting and offsetting to the blank end-papers. Free from inscriptions. The WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++or better condition. Some light edge-wear with a little rubbing and creasing to the upper spine tip. A little light rubbing in places. A few small nicks and closed tears to the upper edges. A little spotting to the verso which has light come through to the front in a few places. The wrapper is protected in a removable Brodart archival cover. Vol. 2 : 'The Lonely Girl' (Jonathan Cape, London :1962. The Book is in Very Good++ condition. Some light pushing to the spine ends. Some light toning and spotting to the text-block, the latter has again, slightly encroached onto the edge of a few pages. Some spotting and offsetting to the prelims and blank end-papers. Free from inscriptions. The blue top-stain is present. The WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++ or better condition. Some light edge-wear with some very light rubbing to the upper spine tip. Some very light rubbing and age related markings in places. A few small nicks and a small closed tear to the upper front spine fold. A little mild spotting to the rear panel and flaps. The wrapper is protected in a removable Brodart archival cover. Vol.3 : 'Girls in their Married Bliss' (Jonathan Cape : 1964). The Book is in near Fine condition with only a hint of pushing to the spine ends. The grey top-stain is present. A neat penned previous owner's name and date to the upper front blank-end-paper. The WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++ or better condition. Some light edge-wear with some rubbing and a little loss to the upper spine tip. A 4 cm closed tear to the upper spine fold with a little associated rubbing. A little rubbing to the corners and mild toning to the spine. Some very light age related markings in places. The wrapper is protected in a removable Brodart archival cover. Vol.1 has been triple signed by the author : There is a signed bookplate which has been pasted to the title page : ' To Angharad Rhyder, with good wishes, Edna O'Brien'. This bookplate is very lightly spotted. Underneath the bookplate, Edna O'Brien has signed her name to the page in black pen, without dedication. To the blank front end-paper, there is a foldout bookmark which has been affixed to the end-paper. This has been signed by the author : 'For Angharad Ryder, A bookmark for you , Edna O B, May 1985'. Vols.2 and 3 have been signed (without dedication) by the author to the title page. The black ink looks the same as in volume 1. A nice set of the trilogy. O'Brien's first three novels form a trilogy and a testimony to life for women in southern Ireland in the middle of the twentieth century. It established its author as the major novelist she continued to be for the five decades - and counting. Accompanying this trilogy is the First UK printing of the stage play adaptation of 'The Country Girls' which was published by Faber, London in 2011. This was only issued in wraps format. The BOOK is in near Fine unread condition. It too has also been signed (without dedication) by the author to the title page. A very nice set of 'The Country Girls' and extremely scarce to find all signed. One of the highlights of 20th century Irish fiction. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
  • $2,317
  • $2,317
The Bell Jar : With Two Very Scarce ‘Contemporary Fiction’ Newsletters Detailing This Title

The Bell Jar : With Two Very Scarce ‘Contemporary Fiction’ Newsletters Detailing This Title

Lucas, Victoria (Pseud. of Sylvia Plath) The Second UK printing published by William Heinemann, London in 1964. This, the 'Contemporary Fiction' edition, was published the year after the first Heinemann edition and two years before the Faber edition was published under the author's real name - Sylvia Plath. The BOOK is in Very Good++ condition. Bound in the publisher's original green boards with silver lettering to the spine, with a lilac top-stain which is lightly faded. Slight pushing to the spine tips with light spotting to the prelims and the text-block. Free from inscriptions. The WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++ condition. Light edge-wear with some mild creasing and edge-wear at the spine ends and edges. Some fading of the lilac colouring to the spine as usually encountered. Some light age related markings in places with a small closed tear to the lower front panel edge. The wrapper remains very attractive in the removable Brodart archival cover. Loosely inserted are two 'Contemporary Fiction' Newsletters (numbers 21 and 25). Number 25 refers to this title being 'This Month's Choice' and the other newsletter has a full 2 paragraph review from 'The Listener' strongly endorsing the book. This second edition published in the 'Contemporary Fiction' series is the only edition, besides the first, bearing Sylvia Plath's pseudonym Victoria Lucas. Very scarce with the related newsletters. Collectible. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
  • $1,961
  • $1,961
Tolkien : Maker of Middle-Earth : The Collector's Limited Edition

Tolkien : Maker of Middle-Earth : The Collector’s Limited Edition

The Collector's Edition of 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth' published by The Bodleian Library, UK in 2018 in conjunction with the landmark exhibitions on the life and work of JRR Tolkien at the Bodleian Library in 2018 and the Morgan Library & Museum in 2019. The BOOK is as new Fine condition and is still in its original cardboard packaging. Number '135' of only 675 copies issued. Bound in Cialux and published in a custom-made presentation box, the book is printed with special endpapers reproducing Tolkien's drawing of the 'Elvenking's Gate'. The Collector's Edition contains seven unique facsimiles items of JRR Tolkien's work printed on fine Italian paper. These include Tolkien's painting of the dust jacket for The Hobbit, reproduced for the first time on both sides, revealing Tolkien's plea to his first publisher, Stanley Unwin, to print the sun in red and culminating in the underlined instructions to his printer on the reverse of the painting 'IGNORE RED'. Also included is a drawing of the 'Tower of Orthanc', drawn on the back of an Oxford undergraduate student's exam paper on Chaucer which Tolkien has cancelled with diagonal lines, as well as a manuscript page from 'The Lord of the Rings' describing and illustrating 'Shelob's Lair'. Both of these have never before been reproduced on both sides. For over 23 years, Tolkien wrote and illustrated Christmas cards and letters for his children, complete with beautifully addressed envelopes and exquisitely painted postage stamps. Included here is the Father Christmas letter and envelope for 1936, addressed to Tolkien's youngest children, Christopher and Priscilla, and bearing a jewel-like stamp from the North Pole, together with the accompanying Christmas card depicting Polar Bear's bath (which overruns and risks wetting the children's gift on the floor below). In the bottom section of the image, Polar Bear instructs the elves on the unique number set aside for every child, ensuring that Christmas gifts are matched and delivered to the correct recipient. Finally, a facsimile of the newly discovered map drawn by Christopher Tolkien, with annotations in J.R.R. Tolkien's hand (including notes such as 'Hobbiton is assumed to be approx. at the latitude of Oxford', 'Minas Tirith is about the latitude of Ravenna'), from which Pauline Baynes painted her poster map of Middle-earth. Each facsimile item is reproduced from newly commissioned photography, faithfully reproducing the originals kept in an underground safe in the Bodleian Library. Presented in a custom-made envelope bearing Tolkien's cipher, they are accompanied by a six-page illustrated guide describing and interpreting each facsimile item. Every copy of the Collector's Edition includes a limitation page signed by Priscilla Tolkien and hand-numbered, and making this an exceptional, truly unique edition for collectors. Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. The images are of this numbered copy, which has only been opened to enable images to be taken. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
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Brideshead Revisited

The First UK printing published by Chapman and Hall, London in 1945. This is the correct first trade issue and not the 'Book Society' edition which was also issued in the same year. The BOOK in Very Good+ or better condition. The book is mildly cocked with some light pushing at the spine tips. Some fading of colouring to the spine but the gilt titling remains bright. A light vertical crease to the spine. Light toning to the text-block with a little dustiness to the upper text-block. Very light creasing to the the first few pages, barely discernible. The WRAPPER is complete and is the correct first issue and is in Very Good++ condition. A few slithers of loss at the spine ends and upper edges. A very small area of loss within the green decoration at the upper spine end. Light toning to the spine with mild fading of the red lettering to the spine. The wrapper is protected in a removable Brodart archival cover. The book is housed in a custom solander box with marbled inserts and a silk tie. A very nice example of an increasingly elusive title, which was a cheap wartime production which had to conform to the authorised economy standards of that time. Waugh's masterpiece of poignant exploration of love, faith, and societal change in pre-World War II England. Through the lens of Charles's narrative, the novel delves into themes of nostalgia, Catholicism, and the decline of the British aristocracy. Waugh's eloquent prose captures the essence of a bygone era, blending social critique with a deeply personal and evocative portrayal of characters navigating the shifting sands of love and identity. 'In the United States, 'Brideshead Revisited' was the Book of the Month Club selection for January 1946. In 1998, the 'Modern Library' ranked 'Brideshead Revisited' No. 80 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 45 on the BBC survey 'The Big Read'. In 2005, it was chosen by 'Time' magazine as one of the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. In 2009, 'Newsweek' magazine listed it as one of the 100 best books of world literature' (Wiki). It was adapted in 1981 as a British television serial starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews to huge acclaim. In 2008 Brideshead Revisited was developed into a feature film of the same title, with Emma Thompson as Lady Marchmain, Matthew Goode as Charles Ryder, and Ben Whishaw as Lord Sebastian Flyte. A very collectible title. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
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The Stone Book Quartet: ‘The Stone Book’ , ‘Tom Fobble’s Day’ , ‘Granny Reardun’ , and ‘The Aimer Gate’ : All 4 Vols. Signed By The Author : From The Library Of Children’s Author Jill Paton Walsh

4 Vols. : The Stone Book Quartet - 'The Stone Book', 'Tom Fobble's Day', 'Granny Reardun', and 'The Aimer Gate'. All First UK printings published by Collins, London between 1976-78. All four BOOKS are in near Fine condition. A hint of offsetting and a couple of light spots to the front blank end-paper of the second volume. The WRAPPERS are complete and are in near Fine condition. A small closed tear and a little lifting of the laminate to the upper edge of the front panel of volume two. Some light age related marking to the lower edges of volume two. Some fading of the red lettering to the spine of volumes three and four. All four wrappers are protected in removable Brodart archival covers. The single bookplate of Jill Paton Walsh and John Rowe Townsend to the front blank end-paper of volume one. All four books have been signed (without dedication)and dated to the title page by the author : 'Alan Garner, 19. 1X. 98'. All four volumes are with etched illustrations and wrapper designs by Michael Foreman. Jill Paton Walsh CBE, FRSL was a noted English novelist and children's writer. She is best known for her Booker Prize nominated novel 'Knowledge of Angels' and for the Peter Wimsey Harriet Vane mysteries that continued the work of Dorothy L. Sayers. In 1996, Paton Walsh received the CBE for services to literature and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1998, she won the 'Phoenix Award from the Children's Literature Association', recognising 'A Chance Child' as the best children's book published twenty years earlier that did not win a major award. Her husband John Rowe Townsend was a British children's writer and children's literature scholar. 'His best-known children's novel is 'The Intruder', which won a 1971 'Edgar Award'. His best-known academic work is a reference series, 'Written for Children: An Outline of English Children's Literature' (1965), the definitive work of its time on the subject' (Wiki). A wonderful association set of one of Alan Garner's key titles. Very scarce to find with such attributes. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
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Authors Take Sides on the Spanish War’ : With ‘Writers Take Sides On The Question : Are you for, or are you against Franco and Fascism? Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors’

2 Vols. set :Vol.1 'Authors Take Sides on the Spanish War'. The sole UK printing published by Left Review, London in 1937. The pamphlet BOOK is in Very Good condition. Original printed yellow and red card covers. A few ink stains to the front cover with some light age related markings. The corners are gently bumped and lightly rubbed. Internally the 32 pages are staple bound and the binding remains tight. Some early light rusting to the staples internally. Light spotting throughout due the quality of the paper stock used, a little heavier in places. Free from inscriptions and erasures. A scarce survivor of what was a cheap production. The book is protected in a removable Mylar archival cover. A very scarce pamphlet containing contributions from 148 British and Irish authors on their personal stance on the Spanish Civil War. The question posed is: 'Are you for, or against, the legal Government and the People of Republican Spain? Are you for, or against, Franco and Fascism?' and is signed off by Aragon, W. H. Auden, Jean Richard Bloch, Nancy Cunard, Brian Howard, Heinrich Mann, Ivor Montagu, Pablo Neruda, Ramon Sender, Stephen Spender, and Tristan Tzara. The publisher states its limitations within a six penny pamphlet, i.e. that it has indeed selected the responses, likely based on its own motivation (though it does say the responses herein are representative) but more so from the weight of the authors themselves. Indeed, it contains most of the powerhouse names of British and Irish literature; W. H. Auden, Samuel Beckett (who perhaps satirically simply writes ¡UPTHEREPUBLIC! , Cyril Connolly, Alastair Crowley (with his name misspelt) , C. Day Lewis, Liam O Flaherty, Ford Madox Ford, David Garnett, Victor Gollancz, Aldous Huxley, Storm Jameson, John Lehmann, Sylvia Pankhurst, Herbert Read, Stephen Spender, Olaf Stapledon, Leonard Woolf and many others. T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Vera Brittain, H. G. Wells, and Vita Sackville-West among others declare themselves neutral, the latter questioning the publication s terminology in the question regarding a legal government. And against the government appears Arthur Machen, Edmund Blunden, Evelyn Waugh and others. An extremely scarce pamphlet, a rare survivor in all senses, which gave audiences direct insights into ideas and worlds some authors seldom expressed themselves in and a hugely important booklet. JSIC reports 13 holdings at institutions. Vol.2 : Writers Take Sides On The Question : Are you for, or are you against Franco and Fascism? Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors . The sole USA printing published by the League of American Writers, New York in 1938. The BOOK is in near Fine condition. Stapled, blue wraps with writers' names in white and titles in black. Some very light, edge and corner wear along with some age-toning on edges. A sharp copy. The 418 authors responses include those from : Franklin P. Adams, Sherwood Anderson, Maxwell Anderson, Gertrude Atherton, Brooks Atkinson, Earl Browder, Kenneth Burke, Countee Cullen, William Faulkner, Edna Ferber, Felix Frankfurter, Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Stanley Kunitz, Katharine Ann Porter, George Seldes, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, I. F. Stone, Genevieve Taggard, Clara Weatherwax ,Richard Wright, Felix Frankfurter, James Weldon Johnson, Rockwell Kent, Stanley Kunitz, I. F. Stone, Genevieve Taggard, Clara Weatherwax, et al. Both Volumes housed in a custom solander box with gilt titling, marbled inserts and a red silk tie. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
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The Men Of Good Will’ Series : Twelve Books In 9 Volumes All With Their Scarce Wrappers Designed by Rex Whistler

Twelve Books In 9 Volumes. All the books are the First UK printings published by Lovat Dickson, London between 1933 and 1937. Translated by Warre B. Wells and Gerard Hopkins. Twelve volumes in nine, totalling over 3,500 pages, the first seven volumes with pictorial title page designed by Rex Whistler, the title page of the last two volumes printed in red & black, index of characters to each volume and some volumes with advertisements at the rear. The BOOKS are in Very Good++ or better condition. Original publisher's red cloth, spines lettered in gilt; top edges red (mostly faded). Free from inscriptions. Light toning and spotting to the text-block with a little offsetting to the blank end-papers. Some light spotting in places to some volumes. The WRAPPERS are complete and in Very Good++ or better condition. They are slightly marked and spotted in places. Some of the edges are lightly rubbed and split, with a couple of tiny chips and a little toning to the spines. The wrapper of book 6 has a slight amount of silver-fishing to the rear panel. All wrappers are protected in removable archival protectors. The title page and wrappers designs are all by Rex Whistler except for books 8 and 9 which were only issued bound with the U.S.A sheets and a different title page design. Some publisher's ephemera loosely inserted in some volumes. The first twelve books (Volumes I, VIII & IX each contain two books) of Jules Romains' epic roman-fleuve, originally published in French in 27 volumes. In America, the full sequence was published by Knopf in 14 volumes, but in the U.K. it remained incomplete. In 1938 Lovat Dickson sold his publishing company to Peter Davies, who issued a few further volumes, ending with Book 18. Jules Romains was the pseudonym of French novelist, poet and dramatist Louis Henri Jean Farigould (1885-1972). He was nominated for the Nobel prize in literature sixteen times. Very scarce to find such a compete set with such attributes. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
L Apres-Midi d un Faune. Eglogue : One Of 25 Lettered Copies With An Additional Suite Of 5 Experimental Plates : With The Publisher's Prospectus

L Apres-Midi d un Faune. Eglogue : One Of 25 Lettered Copies With An Additional Suite Of 5 Experimental Plates : With The Publisher’s Prospectus

Published by The Hague and London: J.BW. [John Buckland Wright] Editions in 1935 [but issued 1956 by the Golden Cockerel Press]. Letter 'E' of 25 copies (with a neat penned date of '1972' next to the letter) with an extra suite of 5 experimental engravings and a letterpress note on the edition by Mary Buckland Wright. This edition is the only one to have the complete 5 experimental engravings (other editions had 4 or less). The BOOK is in Fine condition. Although 50 copies of the text were printed (of which 40 were for sale), only 25 copies were ever bound and issued. Text in French, 4 collotype plates reproducing wash drawings by John Buckland Wright, with a suite of 5 experimental engravings and etchings for the work by Buckland Wright, together with a letterpress 'Note on the John Buckland Wright Edition of L'Apres-midi d'un Faune' by the artist's wife Mary Buckland Wright. Publisher's original morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, upper cover with gilt design after Buckland Wright, top edge gilt. Original green cloth slipcase with matching folder for the experimental prints. All in Fine condition. Developed from Buckland Wright's drawings executed in 1935 but not published until 1956. 'The printed sheets remained in Holland throughout the war. In 1947 they reached us in London'. 'Always fascinated by the classical Pan or faun figure, the artist experimented with different media for the illustrations but was never satisfied; the drawings reproduced in the book would probably have been turned into line engravings or etchings'. (Note on the edition by Mary Buckland Wright).[Reid A73]. A posthumous publication on which Buckland Wright had been working for twenty years, the work was intended to be the third publication by J.B.W. Editions and the text was printed by Mouton & Co. of the Hague in 1936. The Golden Cockerel Press also issued an English version translated by Aldous Huxley in 1956, in an edition of 200 copies with 100 special copies (The accompanying additional suite for the latter had only 4 experimental engravings). In this edition the images are not quite as sharp as in this French text JBW edition. In the prospectus for the Huxley edition, they also refer to this JBW edition in French text. This prospectus is loosely laid in here. 'Mary Buckland- Wright showed disappointment with Christopher Sandford at the Golden Cockerel Press with the way he had designed the Huxley translation edition.'. The project had turned sour for him when Mary Buckland-Wright accused him of treating as a Cinderella another version of the book he was publishing for her (this other version being the French text edition listed here, which Sandford had published for her under her late husband's old 'Editions JBW' imprint ( Roderick Cave & Sarah Manson : A History of The Golden Cockerel Press 1920-1960). A very handsome production. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.
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The Woodcut No. 111 : Edition De Luxe : With A Woodcut Signed by John Nash

The sole UK printing published by The Fleuron Limited, London and printed by The Curwen Press in 1929. This is the special edition de luxe with this copy being number '42' of only 80 copies issued (of which only 75 were for sale), printed on hand-made paper and with a woodcut ('The two tugs') signed in pencil by John Nash, as the frontispiece. There was also a trade edition issued on standard paper and issued without the frontis. The BOOK is in near Fine condition in the publisher's original salmon red cloth binding with gilt titling. Upper edge gilt. Pages uncut and internally clean. The scarce WRAPPER is complete and is in Very Good++ or better condition. I am assuming the striking wrapper design is by Paul Nash (It is unattributed). Some minor edge-wear with a little loss at the spine ends and corners. Some small closed tears. The wrapper remains very striking in the removable archival protector. The signed John Nash frontis is complete with a few light spots to the margins but the image is itself clean. A very handsome production with a chapter on 'The Wood engravings of John Nash' which includes reproductions of three woodcuts. There is also another chapter 'Fourteen contemporary woodcuts' which includes work by Gertrude Hermes, Gwen Raverat and Tirzah Garwood et al. A handsome production. 'The Woodcut' annual ran to an edition of four volumes and it is very scarce to find any copy with a wrapper or the special deluxe edition with the signed frontispiece intact. More images available on request. Ashton Rare Books welcomes direct contact.