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.
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Glasgow: Frederick W. Wilson and Brother, 1888. Paperback. First Edition. 300 copies printed. SCARCE PRESENTATION COPY of Davidson’s fourth book, inscribed “To Mrs. John A. Cramb with kind regards from John Davidson.” John Davidson (1857-1909) was a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist. His chief talent was as a poet, and his work influenced early Modernists such as T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. Due to personal and financial problems, Davidson ultimately committed suicide. The recipient and her husband, a student, were among Davidson’s closest friends when he attended Edinburgh University. They followed Davidson to London in the early 1890s hoping also for successful literary careers. In the end, John Cramb returned to academic life, becoming professor of Modern History at Queen’s College, London. Cramb had a crucial influence on Davidson’s later works (in particular The Testaments of John Davidson) through his book, The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain (1900). In the original parchment wrappers, which are browned and lightly soiled, but otherwise in very good condition. Interior pages are clean and bright, with very light rippling caused by tight signatures. Enclosed in red cloth folder, which is inserted into a red cloth slipcase with quarter leather spine. Gilt title, author, date, and “presentation copy” to spine. 82 pages including publishers catalogue. DRA/051111. Very Good in Wraps.
London: Arthur Barker, 1934. Hardcover. First Edition. A masterpiece of historical fiction, ranked in some surveys as one of the best novels of the twentieth century. In very good condition in black cloth boards with gilt title to spine. Light spotting to boards and light wear to edges. Previous owner’s bookplate to front pastedown and note in pencil to front free endpaper. There is offsetting from an article that is no longer present on the front endpaper and front flap of the jacket. Minor foxing to endpapers. There is a foldout family tree at the rear of the book. In blue illustrated dust jacket with white title to spine and front panel. The jacket is in three pieces with small chips to the spine ends, edges, and hinges. Browning to spine of jacket. A nice copy despite noted wear. 494 pages. LIT/052511. Very good in a good dust jacket.
London: R.A. Walker, 1924. Hardcover. First Edition. Number 183 of 500 copies with signature of publisher, Walker. PRESENTATION COPY inscribed by Walker to the journalist J.M. Bulloch "To J.M. Bulloch / with the regards of the publisher and editor / R.A. Walker / 7 January 1925." An autograph letter from Walker to Bulloch is pasted down to the rear end page and Bulloch's review of this book is pasted down to the front end page. It was appropriate that Bulloch reviewed this book as he had promoted Beardsley's work in the 1890's. The main text is a lecture by A.W. King, a friend and tutor of Beardsley. He originally delivered the lecture at the Blackburn Technical Institute where he held the position of secretary. The book also includes 15 full page sketches and about 16 letters from Beardsley, many of which include smaller sketches. All of the letters and sketches had been in the possession of A.W. King and had never before been published. Several of the letters are of notable content, one of which tells of his first visit to see the influential artist Edward Burne-Jones in 1891 and another describes his development of a new drawing style. Near fine in original light blue cloth boards with black and gilt leather title label to spine. Slight browning to spine and minor wear to spine ends. Light offsetting to front endpages from inserted review, else very clean. A nice association copy. 103 pages. ART/010710. Near Fine.
London: C. Arthur Pearson Limited, 1899. Hardcover. First edition. This is the second book (and first novel) by the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which first appeared as a play in 1903 and was later released as a novel. This book is a tale of jewels, intrigue, and high Russian society. It is scarce in this condition. The author, Baroness Orczy (1865 - 1947), was born in Hungary and grew up in London. Very good plus in original tan cloth boards with brown title to spine and front board. Minor wear to edges and spine ends. Light rubbing to boards. A few spots of foxing to the interior, else very clean. Bookplate of book collector, Mark Samuels Lasner, is tipped in on the front pastedown. 288 pages. LIT/050109. Very Good.
London: Chaundy & Cox, 1922. Hardcover. INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION. Michael Sadleir (1888 - 1957) was the most noted scholar and bibliographer of Victorian literature of his time. In this work he calls the material included his “notes” rather than an exhaustive bibliography, and speaks of his great love for the Victorian novelists. Those included here are Anthony Trollope (his favorite), Benjamin Disraeli, Frederick Marryat, Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade, G.J. Whyte Melville, Mrs. Gaskell, and Herman Melville. There are several introductory pages on the writing of each author followed by the bibliographical notes. The book is inscribed “To James S. Bain and W. de Coverly for use in the shop if they care to Michael Sadleir May 1922.” Bound in very good black cloth boards with gilt title and author to spine. The interior is clean and bright except for browning to front and rear endpapers and slight aging to margins of pages. 240 pages including an index of titles. BOB/062008. Very Good.