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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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., . Hardcover. Inscribed by the playwright. First edition of this well-received Broadway play, which ran in New York between November 1931 and February 1932. Berhman (1893-1973) was a prolific playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his “high comedies” which were so popular in the 1930s. This copy was inscribed to Dame Nellie Burton, Berhman’s landlady when he stayed in London. Miss Burton ran a famous lodging house on Half Moon Street, where lived, among other notables, Siegfried Sassoon and Robbie Ross, the latter being one of Oscar Wilde’s closest friends. The inscription reads “For Miss Burton, with love from her devoted Sam, London Apr. 1932.” Laid in is a typed letter to Berhman from the Stanley Rose bookstore, informing him that the copy of Brief Moment he had sent to Miss Burton at her address on Half Moon Street was returned to sender, “party gone away.” Bound in red cloth with title and author in black on front cover and spine. The interior is bright and clean with some light spotting to fore-edge. The jacket has small tears to top and bottom of spine. In near fine condition with very good jacket. An extremely nice copy with an interesting association. DRA/042011. Near Fine.
New York: Vanguard Press, 1947. Hardcover. First Edition. Signed by the author on the title page. The author’s second novel. Very good in black cloth boards with blue title to spine. Minor wear to corners and spine ends and very light evidence of a minor dampstain to the rear board. Signed by the previous owner on the front free endpaper, and browning to both gutters; otherwise, a clean copy. In a good light blue dust jacket with white title to spine and front panel. There are several large chips to the top edges of the dust jacket and there are a few small chips to the bottom edge. Browning to the spine panel and dampstaining to rear panel. 294 pages. LIT.052511. Very Good in Good Dust Jacket / Chipped.
London: George, Allen and Unwin, 1920. Hardcover. First edition, second state. HANDWRITTEN SIGNED POSTCARD FROM AUTHOR LAID IN. This is the author’s first novel, published in London before the US edition. Based on his experience in WWI, the novel sets the stage for Dos Passos’s Three Soldiers (which brought him international attention). The laid in postcard dated 6/15/59 reads “Shall be delighted to inscribe the book if you’ll send it to me here. Have you tried the Gotham Book Mart ... or one of the big London secondhand book stores - it was published there by Allen & Unwin in 1920 (?). The only copy I have is the Philosophical Library reprint ... Cordial Regards John Dos Passos.” The original envelope addressed to John S. Mayfield is also laid in. Very good in blue cloth boards with black title to spine and front board. Fading to spine although the title remains bright. Offsetting to first and last couple of pages and remnants a sticker on the rear pastedown; otherwise the interior is very clean. In very good condition. 128 pages. LIT/051011. Very Good.
Chicago: Herbert S. Stone & Co, 1896. Hardcover. First American Edition. Tipped-in is a one page autograph letter on the author's printed stationary to the book's then owner, the author and book collector Thomas Hutchinson, on his own writing and books - an interesting autograph letter with good literary content. In maroon linen covered boards with highly decorated elaborate gilt Art Nouveau binding by Frank Hazenplug with gilt author and title stamp to spine. Minor bumping to corners and head/foot of spine, small smudge to design on front cover. Interior is clean and bright with decal edge to pages. Frontis photograph of Le Gallienne. Hutchinson's handwritten ownership signture on front pastedown. Very good condition. 201 pages. POE/121613. Very Good.
Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1856. Hardcover. INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION. Inscribed by Oliphant: “Royal Phelps from his sincere friend The Author London Febr 57.” Oliphant was a well known traveler, author, diplomat, and mystic who served as the private secretary to Lord Elgin in the mid 1800s among many other roles. Royal Phelps was a prominent New York merchant and trader in the West Indies. It is unclear where they might have met. This uncommon book is generally in very good condition in the original green cloth binding with faded gold title and gold stamped portrait on front cover. Neatly rebacked spine with most of the original spine intact; fading and spotting to front and rear covers; and bumping to corners. Interior is clean save for some foxing to illustrations and offsetting from them to facing pages, and light aging to page margins. Two nice foldout maps, five illustrations, and four woodcut vignettes. 234 pages plus 16 pages of ads. MIDEASTHIS/071508. Very Good.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1886. Hardcover. First Edition. A Presentation Copy, inscribed "Edward Shorthouse from his affectionate brother & sister J Henry & Sarah Shorthouse." John Henry Shorthouse (1834-1903) was an English novelist probably most famous for his book John Inglesant. The recipient was also an author. With the bookplate of Ohio book collector Paul Lemperly, with Lemperly's inscription stating that he received the book as a gift from Morris L. Parris, whose collection of Victorian novels is now at Princeton. Parrish's letter of presentation is inserted. Bound in original dark blue cloth with gilt stripes and embossed design on front cover and spine. In fine condition. Housed in a fine custom half-red morocco slipcase. Octavo. 300 pages. LIT/053013. Fine.
London: William Heinemann, 1892. Townsend, F.H. Hardcover. Includes 44 illustrations by F.H. Townsend. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on a tipped-in sheet of notepaper from the Hotel Bellevue, Boston. The inscription reads “With I. Zangwill’s Compliments please send 2 proofs here at once.” Jewish author and political activist Israel Zangwill (1864 - 1926) was passionate about campaigning for the oppressed. Many of his works address women’s suffrage, pacifism, Zionism, and Jewish emancipation. He was a strong believer in assimilation and is credited with coining the term “melting pot” to describe the fusion of various cultures and ethnicities. Bookplate of book collector W.K. Bixby to front end page. Very good in original orange cloth boards with illustration of birds and flowers to front board. The front board is creased and slightly bowed with darkening to spine and edges of boards. The interior is browned along the margins. The front hinge is cracked. Later protective blue cloth dust jacket with maroon leather title label to spine (not pictured). The jacket is frayed along the top edge and there is a short closed tear along the front joint. This is an attractive copy of Zangwill’s rare second solo book. 326 pages plus 16 pages of ads. LIT/050109. Very good.