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The Pothunters.
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The Pothunters.

Published: London: Adam & Charles Black, 1902

Stock code: 100642

Price: £7,500

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition, first impression, of the author’s rare first book. The first issue in blue cloth with silver lettering and cup designs. Loosely inserted together with the original envelope is an autograph letter signed by Wodehouse to Leslie Mead, a British author living in Buenos Aires. The letter, dated 19 September 1936, finds Wodehouse discussing publication of The Pothunters in some detail: “Dear Mr. Mead, Thank you for your letter. The Pothunters was my first book & I imagine only a very small number of copies were published – at a venture I should say 1000. It started as a serial in the Public School Magazine and I had to condense the third instalment, as the magazine ceased publication. (I mean I had to condense for the 3rd instalment – cramming about 40,000 words into 5000!). I am so glad you like my books. I am slowly collecting material for another Ukridge volume. I have seven stories & need ten for a book. I have just written another, which will appear in The Strand sometime in 1937. Yours, P. G. Wodehouse.” With the bookplate of Mead to front pastedown, and the bookplate of British bibliophile Douglas R. Vining to front free endpaper.

Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and cup design to spine and front board in silver. Frontispiece and 9 plates. Spine slightly sunned, extremities a touch rubbed, minor wear to corners and spine ends, prelims and endmatter foxed, occasional spotting to margins of text block. A very good copy with gilding still bright.

Bibliography: McIlvaine A1a.

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