London: Printed for T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies in the Strand, 1795. Hardcover. Theater owner and playwright, Augustin Daly's copy, with his bookplate to front pastedown. First edition, scarce. Bookplate of Franklin Johnston to facing page. George Colman (1732 - 1794) was an English playwright and theater owner. Includes two portraits of Colman. Bound in three quarter tan leather over marbled paper covered boards with red label "Stage Biography" and green title / author label beneath. This is part of a series of books Daly had bound in a matching style, all labeled "Stage Biography." Rubbing, pulling, and wear to leather. Dampstaining to top and side margins of some pages. Top edge gilt with marbled endpapers. Bound by R.W. Smith. 33 pages plus blank pages. DRA/031419. Very Good.
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London: Grant Richards, 1904. Hardcover. First Edition. Interesting presentation copy from the author to Lyster Ryle, the manager of the Imperial Theatre, where the play was first produced in 1901: “To Lyster Ryle with kind regards from John Davidson ‘Now, a truce to your reproaches.’” This line was said by the character Don Caesar in the first act. Bound in original red cloth with title and author in gilt on spine and front cover. Lightly bumped corners but in very good condition. Some scattered foxing and offsetting to endpapers but otherwise very nice. 111 pages plus 3 pages of ads. DRA/121911. Very Good.
London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane at the sign of the Bodley Head, 1893. Hardcover. One of 120 copies. Uncommon first published edition. This book comprises the sheets of the private issue with four preliminary leaves added, containing half-title, limitation notice, Mathews and Lane title-page, preface, errata list, and a note explaining that "The play stands simply as it was roughly printed for our own and the actors' use. " At the back is a single leaf of advertisements for Michael Field titles followed by a Bodley Head catalogue dated 1893. The play was not reprinted in its original form and was heavily revised before printed in 1918. This is also a notable association copy, with the bookplate of Richard Le Gallienne. Not only was Le Gallienne well acquainted with the authors, but he was also the publisher's reader for the Bodley Head when the book was published. Bound in original green cloth with red title and author to spine and front cover. Offsetting to free front and rear endpapers. Pages unopened. Very good condition. 48 pages plus 16 page publisher's catalog. DRA/081015. Very Good.
Edinburgh and London: T.N. Foulis, 1908. Hardcover. Scarce First Edition. 1 of 500 copies. William Sharp (1855 - 1905) wrote numerous essays and biographies (including of Rossetti, Shelley, and Browning), although he is best known for the novels and plays that he wrote under the pseudonym "Fiona Macleod." This is a presentation copy, inscribed: "To Alice Egerton with friendly greetings from the author's wife Elizabeth, October 1919, 'It is loveliness I seek: not lovely things.' F.M'" Laid in is a program for the performance of the play at the Village Hall Chislehurst, Saturday June 29. Bound in original linen backed brown paper boards with spine label and title and author in gilt on front cover. Boards are bumped and slightly soiled but still very nice. Offsetting to endpapers otherwise in very good condition. 53 pages. DRA/061313. Very Good.
London: Watts & Co., [1898?]. Hardcover. Rare. A Presentation Copy, inscribed "To Joseph Fay from his old friend Arthur B Moss 25 June 98.” The Workman's Foe concerns a man who succeeds in becoming a manager in a large firm and then turns upon the workmen who helped him climb the ladder, making their lives unendurable. Paul the Rebel is the story of a would-be anarchist whose mission is to blow up a bank. He ends up being blown up by his own bomb. Bound in brown cloth with titles and author in gilt to cover and original wraps bound in. Water staining on pastedowns and free endpapers, partially affecting the inscription. Some pages are loose and the paper has browned. The cloth binding is slightly rubbed and worn, but an extraordinary survival story as radical plays by a working-class author were printed in extremely perishable form. According to press notices reprinted on the original paper wrappers, both plays were actually performed in local theaters in London. No original copies in WorldCat, one of two known copies - the other is in the James Ellis collection of Victorian drama. Very good condition given the fragility of the items. Workman's Foe: 16 pages; Paul the Rebel: 14 pages. DRA/013113. Very Good.
Monmouthshire, England: The Old Stile Press, 2008. Hard Cover. Number 70 of 195 copies in Main Edition. Illustrated by Michael Onken and signed by him. This book came when the McDowells, proprietors of the press, discovered this text among the papers of George Mackay Brown. He wrote it in 1984 and it had a single public reading but was never published. The play draws on the tales of the Selkie folk. The American artist, Michael Onken, has found Orkney to be his "spiritual" home, and also was drawn to the Selkie legends. This book is a result of the play's discovery. Bound in cream cloth front cover with illustration in brown. Backing and rear board are blue linen. Housed in fine grey slipcase with paper illustration of Mackay Brown affixed to front. Designed and printed by Nicolas McDowell in Albertina type on grey Velin Arches paper. The artist's wood engravings, woodcuts,and linocut images were printed in black and white from the original blocks. Binding by The Fine Book Bindery using paper printed at The Old Stile Press. In fine condition. Unpaginated [56 pages]. PRI/061316. Fine.