Neil Pearson Rare Books

  • Showing all 25 results

Globe-Gliding

Globe-Gliding

BROWN, Bob Small 8vo, pp. 151. Original brown stiff paper wrappers, lettered in gilt to front panel. Bookplate of Anthony Hobson to inner front wrapper. Small chip to rear panel and at spine ends, otherwise a very well preserved copy of a poorly made book. First edition of only the second book published by Roving Eye Press. Auctioneer and bibliophile Anthony Hobson's copy, with his bookplate to inner front wrapper. While everyone waited hopefully to be published in Jazz Age Paris, Bob Brown jumped the queue by setting up his own publishing house. Roving Eye Press was one of the smaller expatriate imprints, but it was also one of the more exuberant -- unsurprising, given its proprietor. Bob Brown [1886-1959] was a prolific and very successful jobbing writer who became an enthusiastic convert to Modernism after attending the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York, known forever since as the Armory Show. Strongly influenced by his friend Marcel Duchamp, Brown took Duchamp's idea of capturing objects and ideas in an automatic, unthought artistic response, and transposed it into his own medium of words. The result was a series of poems Brown called 'opticals', a stylistic forerunner of the Concrete Poetry movement of the 1950s. Other innovations of Brown's in a bewilderingly wide-ranging career included 'Readies', a sort of automated writing designed to be read on a Reading Machine -- also invented by Bob Brown, who had been inspired to build it while watching the ticker tape machine during a brief but highly successful parallel career on Wall Street. Globe-Gliding is one of Brown's more conventional offerings, a collection of poems inspired by his wide-ranging travels. Like all of Brown's first editions it is very scarce, and this copy is a very well preserved example.
Encaenia

Encaenia

AUDEN, W.H.] [BLUNT, Anthony] contrib. HARDIE, Colin 8vo, unpaginated. Cream stiff paper wrappers, lettered in black to front and rear panels. Note in ink to front wrapper, wrappers a little marked, but a well preserved copy. First edition, with a not in an unknown hand to front wrapper: 'Colin Hardie on Wystan'. The Oxford Encaenia, a ceremony at which honorary degrees are awarded, takes place annually. In 1971, W.H. Auden was made a Doctor of Letters at the ceremony; other beneficiaries at the same event were Edward Heath, Steven Runciman -- and the Soviet agent Anthony Blunt, who by this time had confessed his crimes to the security services in return for immunity from prosecution, but who would not be publicly unmasked until 1979. Classicist Colin Hardie [1906-1998] was Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford from 1936 to 1973 and, according to a note in an unknown hand, wrote the encomium to Auden, printed here in Latin and English, which ends: 'I present to you a Christ Church man, now honorary Student, sometime our Professor of Poetry, yet our poet still though he lives elsewhere and is of Icelandic extraction, steeped in the Sagas from boyhood, an ornament of our language, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.' (Anthony Blunt is introduced as 'an outstanding connoisseur and teacher of art history' which is accurate as far as it goes, and 'a true European', which proved to be less so.) Not in Bloomfield & Mendelson. A very well preserved copy.
William McGonagall: The Truth At Last

William McGonagall: The Truth At Last

illus. SELLERS, Peter] MILLIGAN, Spike and HOBBS, Jack 8vo, pp. 144. Original black boards, lettered in gilt to spine. Yellow illustrated endpapers. Illustrated dustwrapper. A fine copy in a near fine dustwrapper, the spine a little faded and with a single 3mm scuff to its centre. Line drawings throughout by 'Anybody and Peter Sellers'. First edition. PETER SELLERS' COPY, LENGTHILY INSCRIBED TO HIM BY CO-AUTHOR JACK HOBBS: 'To Peter, with much affection from the co-writer, co-publisher and (sometimes) co-interrupter which he didn't mean to be and this copy is the first off the press -- and long may you sail in her! Jack Hobbs April 1976 (see page 6) [inscription continues on p.6] and I was only marginally over the limit -- and I'd had a hard day -- and let's face it -- who hasn't! AND!!! "Can we have dinner before you go to Munich???" [doodled self-portrait with speech bubble] PHONE Walton-on-Thames either 21267 or 21126 J.' (Sellers was due to fly to Bavaria to film the castle sequences for The Pink Panther Strikes Again.) Milligan and Sellers had appeared together in The Great McGonagall [1974], with Milligan in the title role and Sellers as Queen Victoria. Milligan and Hobbs co-authored The Great McGonagall Scrapbook which was published the following year. This title followed in 1976, with two further McGonagall-related titles appearing in 1988 and 1992. Illustrating duties on this volume are shared roughly equally between Sellers and Milligan, with Sellers the distinctively heavier hand (though no less funny), helpfully accompanied by a (printed) signature. A lovely association, and a lovely copy too.