London: William Heinemann, 1921. Hardcover. Inscribed by Beerbohm with Autograph Letter Signed laid in. The book is inscribed on the half title to S.J. Williams, “Dear Mr. Williams I am so very glad you see to like [And Even Now] and I thank you very much - Max Beerbohm May, 1943.” Laid in is a letter to Williams along with the envelope in which it was sent. The letterhead is “Abinger Manor Cottage, Abinger Common, Nr. Dorking.” In this charming letter Beerbohm writes: “June 15 1943/Dear Mr. Williams/I write to tell you, with many thanks, how proud I am to be the subject of an epigram so perfect in pre-, com-, and incision. Epigrams are usually unkind in wit. Wit and kindness are rather distantly related to each other. But here they seem to be [the word are is crossed out below this] brother and sister, and will abide in my heart as well as in my brain. With kindest regards from my wife and me to Mrs. Williams and to you, I am sincerely and gratefully yours, Max Beerbohm.” The envelope is addressed S.J. Williams, Prof/Queens’ College/Cambridge. The flap of the envelope is affixed to the front endpaper opposite the half title page. There is one fold in the letter otherwise in fine condition. Book is bound in original yellow cloth with paper title label to spine. Soiled and bumped but in very good condition. Interior pages are clean and tight. 320 pages. LIT/042012. Very Good.
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London: Smith, Elder,and Co, 1880. Hardcover. First Edition. AN IMPORTANT PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed “Mrs Proctor, with RB’s affectionate regards June 27 ‘80.” Anne Proctor’s husband, the barrister and poet Bryan W. Proctor (who wrote under the pseudonym Barry Cornwall), was the dedicatee of Browning’s poem “Columbe’s Birthday” (1844). The Proctors were among the Brownings’ closest friends. Proctor and John Forster anonymously edited the first selection from Browning’s works in the 1860s. Near fine in original brown cloth with gilt title to spine. Light rubbing to edges and corners. There is browning from a paper clip to the top edge of the first few pages, else the interior is very clean. 147 pages plus 2 pages of advertisements. POE/020309. Near Fine.
New York: Metropolitan Syndicate, Inc., . Hardcover. First edition. First issue with integral title leaf. Scarce copy of author’s first book. Inscriptions on the front free endpaper: “Robert W. Jones, / Jan. 1. 1909” and just below it in a different hand: “Presented by the Author, / who did not sign his name herein--durn him.” A collection of short stories that “deal with grim incidents of life in the big city. In one story a drunken hotel waiter beats his wife to death with a chair, in another an Italian pickle dealer stabs a saloon keeper who will not pay his twelve dollars, and yet another story tells how a cab driver took a drunken man into his cab and after driving to a secluded section stabbed him in a fight that followed an attempt to rob him. Each story is one incident, a crisis, told in a style both unusual and interesting. Lyon’s style is clear, effective, and unaffected” (unidentified newspaper review, pasted in). Bound in the original green cloth titled in red on spine and front cover. A few chips to cloth at foot of spine, minor sunning to spine, small stain to spine, and light wear to corners, otherwise a bright, attractive copy. Clipping from newspaper review of the book pasted to the rear pastedown with offsetting to endpapers. 225 pages. LIT/30119. 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.
London: C. Kegan Paul and Co., 1879. Hardcover. Scarce first edition. Presentation copy to Lewis Campbell: "Professor Lewis Campbell from his friend the author, January 17th 1879." Campbell (1830 - 1908) was a professor of Greek at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. English author, poet, and philanthropist Emily Pfeiffer (1827 - 1890) was self educated as her family did not have enough money to send her to school. Upon her death, she left most of her acquired property and assets to establish an orphanage for girls and to be used to promote women's education. This volume includes Pfeiffer's original poetry and her translations of work by the German poet, Heinrich Heine. She also reprints her poem 'Madonna Dunya,' which first appeared in 'Contemporary Review' and she defends it against the accusation that it was not an original piece, but rather a translation from a Russian saga. Very good in original green cloth boards with gilt title to spine and front cover. Black decorative border to boards and spine. Cloth along top of both hinges is split about an inch and interior hinges are cracked. Wear and rubbing to edges, corners, and boards. The interior is clean overall with a few small spots of foxing and corrections in pen to pages 45, 47, and 113, which appear to be in the author's hand. 144 pages plus 40 pages of advertisements. POE/011916. Very Good.
London: Ellis and White, 1881. Hardcover. First Edition. AN EXCEPTIONAL ASSOCIATION COPY. Inscribed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "To Frederick Leyland from his friend D.G. Rossetti 1881." Rossetti died the following year. Leyland was Rossetti's most important late patron. Frederick Leyland (1832-1892) was a Liverpool shipping magnate and major art collector. He had a collection of paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites and from artists of the Aesthetic Movement, as well as an important collection of Italian Renaissance paintings. His collection included Rossetti's “The Blessed Damozel,” “Monna Rosa Proserpine”, and “Lady Lillith.” Rossetti also painted portraits of Leyland and his wife. Other well-known works commissioned by Leyland were “The Beguiling of Merlin” by Edward Burne-Jones, and Whistler's Peacock Room, which was installed in his London house (The Peacock Room may now be seen at the Freer Art Gallery). Bound in original green cloth with gilt flower and lattice design by Rossetti on covers and spine. There is spotting to the preliminary leaves and at the end of the book, including on the inscription page, but this does not obscure the inscription. Closed half-inch margin tear to page 327. A very nice copy in very good plus condition. Housed in a modern green cloth clamshell box. 335 pages plus one page ad. PRERAPH/052213. Very Good.
London and Cambridge: Macmillan and Co., 1864. Hardcover. FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY to Louis Tennyson d’Eyncourt inscribed: “The gift of the author ... to L.T. d’Eyncourt.” The recipient was the author’s cousin and a member of the part of the family which inherited the property, fortune, and aristocratic ambitions of their grandfather. Charles was the older brother of the renowned poet Alfred Tennyson. Very good in original green cloth boards with lightly rubbed gilt title to spine and gilt rules to front board. Minor wear to corners and edges of boards, with a few light spots of damp staining to rear board. Bump to top edge of front board. Bookplate of C.J. Sturman to front paste down. 102 pages plus 2 pages of notes. POE/043009. Very Good.