VAN VECHTEN, Carl. First edition thus (the boards decorated with Ralph Barton's map of Paris), a dummy or sample copy, with prelims and text to p.14, the remainder of the book blank. Illustrated. Barry Humphries' copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown; spine patchily faded, corners bruised, else a very good copy. The author's first novel. The free endpaper bears a note in the hand of Peter Howard, of Serendipity Books, in Berkeley: 'rare for Knopf', presumably referring to dummy copies of books from this publisher.
[BRIDGES, Elizabeth.] First edition. Cloth-backed boards. Barry Humphries' copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown. Spine browned, boards soiled, corner-tips chafed, offsetting to free endpapers, else a good copy. The anonymously published first book by Robert Bridges' daughter, slightly better known under her married name of Daryush. 'When an unprejudiced literary history of our century comes to be written,', wrote Donald Davie, 'our failure to recognize Elizabeth Daryush will be one of the most telling and lamentable charges that can be laid at our door.'
MITFORD, Nancy. First edition. Head of rear board slightly marked, edges tanned and spotted, some foxing to endpapers, ownership signature to front pastedown, else a good copy. Loosely inserted is a 4to sheet of paper, printed with Mitford's address in Paris (20, Rue Bonaparte. VI), signed by her at the head of the page, above a brief summary of her life: 'Early chapters of Pursuit are largely autobiographical - childhood in large remote country house with 5 sisters & one brother. Quite uneducated except taught to ride & to speak French. Two literary grandfathers, Lord Redesdale author of Tales of Old Japan etc & Thomas Gibson Bowles, M.P., editor, founder & owner of Vanity Fair & other papers. Married Peter Rodd son of Lord Redesdale, the former ambassador of Rome. Have written 5 novels & edited 2 books of Victorian letters, The Ladies of Alderley & The Stanleys of Alderley. During the war turned my father's big London house into a hostel for 50 bombed-out from Whitechapel, & ran it for 6 months, then became manager of a book shop until the end of the war. Now live in Paris.' The manuscript has been folded twice and the bottom right-hand corner of the sheet has been pasted to a blank sheet of paper.
SEFERIS, George. First edition. Original wrappers. Inscribed by the author, on half-title, to his publisher, 'To Max Reinhardt, with best wishes from his friends [signature of Rex Warner] and George Seferis'. Spine faded, upper corner of rear wrapper creased, and with a very small chip to tip of opposite corner, else a very good copy. A larger selection of Seferis's poetry than The King of Asine, and other poems, published by John Lehmann in 1948. At the reception held by Reinhardt, in honour of the book, Eliot remarked to Seferis, "You are a master now".
[SPENDER, Stephen.] GATHORNE-HARDY, Jonathan. First edition. Plates. Stephen Spender's copy, with his bookplate by John Craxton, occasional marginal markings, and extensive pencil and ink notes to half-title and verso, title-page and verso, and head of contents leaf and tail of last page of index, as well as the entire verso of the rear free endpaper. Subsequently, Barry Humphries' copy, with his bookplate. Cloth lightly marked, edges of cheap paper stock lightly browned, else a very good copy. Amongst Spender's notes is one on the title-page, in which he writes in pencil, 'the sexual entanglements undisentangleable / an affair between Gerald who is impotent and C[arrington] who is Lesbian', and then underneath in ink, 'Rather embarrassing to read all these inter-affairs not just because one feels hypocritical - as though their eyes ought to be looking back at one's own messes. I couldn't help feeling that Mr GH is far too nosey. It keeps the reviewer on the hop'.
DAVID, Hugh. First edition. Barry Humphries' copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown. Cheap paper stock browned, else a fine copy in dust jacket. Barry Humphries was, of course, Spender's son-in-law. A cutting of Andro Linklater's review of the book for the 'Spectator' is loosely inserted.
BINYON, Laurence. Offprint from the 'University of Toronto Quarterly', Vol. VIII, No. 3, April, 1939. Printed wrappers, stapled. Staples rusty, else a very good copy. Scarce; only two copies located in JISC: at Cambridge, and Royal Holloway, University of London.
The Story of Eros and Psyche, from Apuleius, and the first book of the Iliad of Homer, done into English by Edward Carpenter.CARPENTER, Edward. First edition. Frontispiece, tissue guard; t.e.g. Inscribed by the author, 'Lucy Henderson, from her old friend Ed Carpenter, May 1900'. Cloth lightly soiled, spine and right-hand edge of upper board slightly browned, endpapers and verso of frontispiece foxed, some tanning to edges, else a very good copy. The recipient was a Poor Law guardian, married to Fred Henderson, a writer and socialist activist.
URQUHART, Fred. First edition. Inscribed by the author to his long-term partner, 'for Peter Wyndham Allan [sic], because of our mutual friend, little Miss Tuttle, who could give Abraham's Daughter points when it comes to the question of being a tart. from Fred Urquhart. Publication day: 28th April 1949. 1 Bloomsbury Street, W.C.1', above a later inscription, 'to Jim Ratter, My dear Jim, here is Peter's copy which I'm delighted to give you with best wishes & love, Fred (Ms. Tuttle), Musselburgh, 20th August 1994'. Top and fore edges slightly tanned, else a very good copy in slightly browned dust jacket, lacking spine and chipped at extremities of upper panel. Born in Edinburgh, Urquhart moved to London shortly after the war, rapidly establishing himself amongst the writers and artists that gathered in the pubs of Soho. In December 1946, through Nina Hamnett, he met Peter Wyndham Allen, who moved in with him a few weeks later. Their 'very happy homosexual marriage', which lasted until Allen's death in 1990, is the subject of Urquhart's memoir, 'Forty-three years: a benediction'. After returning to Scotland, to live in Musselburgh, Urquhart died in December 1995. Though best known as a short story writer, he is also particularly notable for his two novels set in wartime Edinburgh, of which 'The Ferret was Abraham's Daughter' was the first.
SELVON, Samuel. First American edition, from English sheets. Spine very slightly cocked, offsetting to free endpaper, else a very nice copy in lightly soiled pictorial dust jacket, with one centimetre tear to head of rear panel. Rare in both the English and American first editions.
Two page t.l.s to Penelope Chetwode, East Hagbourne, February 22nd 1934, with typescript carbon copy of an amusing six-stanza poem, ‘Hymn for Saint John Betjeman’s Day’, inscribed at tail, ‘With respect, F.E. 26-3-34.’ETCHELLS, Frederick. Artist and architect, Frederick Etchells had worked at the Omega Workshops, and contributed to Wyndham Lewis's 'Blast', before translating Le Corbusier's 'Vers une Architecture' into English in 1927. He became both mentor and close friend to John Betjeman, as well as playing Batty Langley to Betjeman's Lord Ongley, in the correspondence between a modish eighteenth-century architect and his patron, in 'Ghastly Good Taste'. His wife, Hester Sainsbury, was a fellow artist, and book illustrator. Etchell's letter to Betjeman's wife discusses delays in making various alterations to their house, Garrard's Farm, which he was overseeing. In a closing paragraph, he writes: 'You might make a very good Vicar's wife; in fact a better Vicaress than John a Vicar! How is his job going on? I expect he adores it really, but won't ever admit it! Give him my love, and Hester sends you both hers.' Betjeman had just begun writing film reviews for the 'Evening Standard', a job that forms the subject of Etchell's 'hymn', which ends: Yet all his efforts useless are -- He is not writing for the "Star"; A hopeless highbrow he appears To Beaverbrook and his compeers! So shortly John will get the sack And be no more a Fleet Street hack; The Film from off his eyes he'll shed, And write of Arshitects instead! Betjeman managed slightly better than Etchells' prediction, lasting a year before being sacked.
[GUNN, Thom.] WILLIAMS, William Carlos. Third printing. Thom Gunn's copy, with his ownership signature to free endpaper. Very good copy in dust jacket, designed by Alvin Lustig, split between spine and upper panel, and with a little, fractional chipping. An attractive association, Williams having been a notable influence on Gunn's poetry.
MORRISON, Blake. First edition. Inscribed by the author to Tom Paulin and his wife, 'To Tom and Giti, Love Blake, March 1980'. Poor quality paper browned, else a very good copy in dust jacket, slightly faded at spine and edge of upper panel. The author's first book.
DUFF, Michael. First edition. Illustrations by Marcus Grischotti. Inscribed by the author, 'For Bianca & Claud with my love, Michael'. Boards very slightly marked, else a very good copy in chipped, torn, and slightly soiled pictorial dust jacket. A scarce satirical novel in which Lord Berners is portrayed in the character of 'Sir Purvis Bernard' and Robert Heber-Percy as 'Robert Oddman'. Duff had been the model for 'Miss MacRogers' in Lord Berners' humorous roman à clef, 'The Girls of Radcliff Hall'. Edition limited to 100 copies for private circulation; this copy unnumbered and unsigned, as usual.
RIMBAUD, Arthur. First edition of this translation. Cecil Beaton's copy, with his pencilled inscription to free endpaper, 'Cecil Beaton from Edith R.R.' Later bookplate to front pastedown; spine slightly faded, lower half of spine and very tail of rear board stained, boards slightly soiled, else a good copy.
EWART, Wilfrid. First edition. Frontispiece and seven plates. Cloth soiled and marked, hinge cracked at half-title, very small chip to head of free endpaper, else a good copy, with front and rear panels of dust jacket loosely inserted. Although with no physical evidence of provenance, this volume came from the library of the writer, Henry Williamson, who regarded Ewart's novel, 'The Way of Revelation', as one of the greatest novels of the First World War.
SMITHERS, Leonard. First edition. Original cloth, gilt lettered at spine, boards decorated in gilt. Barry Humphries' copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown. Very tail of spine slightly crushed, rear board very lightly marked, else a very nice copy. Edition limited to 680 copies.
RATHBONE, Irene. New edition. Printed wrappers. Inscribed by the author, 'To Meum Stewart from Irene Rathbone who is honoured that some bits of this "summer" have been considered worthy of your anthology. January, 1947'. Wrappers slightly worn, else a very good copy. A long poem written following the end of the author's brief but intense affair with Richard Aldington. Meum Stewart was an actress and the mother of Jacob Epstein's first daughter. The anthology was presumably 'The Distaff Muse: an anthology of poetry written by women', co-edited by Stewart and published in 1949.
WELCH, Denton. First edition. Illustrated. John Lewis's copy, with his bookplate to verso of free endpaper. Spine cocked, edges foxed, else a good copy in somewhat worn and soiled pictorial dust jacket, with a small chip to one edge at head of spine. In his later autobiography, 'Such Things Happen', the typographer John Lewis would write about his close friendship with Denton Welch, which had begun when the two of them were studying at Goldsmiths' College.