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Basil Seal Rides Again or The Rake’s Regress.
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WAUGH, Evelyn.

Basil Seal Rides Again or The Rake’s Regress.

Frontispiece by Kathleen Hale.

Published: London: Chapman & Hall, 1963

Stock code: 104039

Price: £3,750

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

First edition, first impression. One of a limited edition of 750 numbered copies, this an out of series presentation copy to Robert Laycock and his wife Angela, inscribed by the author on the limitation leaf: “for Bob with love to Angie from Evelyn”, and with Laycock’s bookplate to the front pastedown. Robert Laycock (1907–1968) was a British army officer most remembered for his service with the British Commandos during the Second World War. “An ideal officer for special service employment, Laycock was promoted lieutenant-colonel, and early in 1941 he sailed for the Middle East in command of ‘Layforce’, an enlarged battalion of five commandos. The little force carried out several minor but hazardous tasks with varying success until it was allotted the daunting mission of rearguard action in the British defence of Crete. Throughout this action (May–June 1941) Laycock’s personal assistant was Captain Evelyn Waugh. The experience of the British disaster in Crete is reflected in Waugh’s novel Officers and Gentlemen (1955). Laycock and Waugh were in the last British ship to leave the island” (ODNB).

Quarto. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and pictorial design to front board gilt, blue endpapers, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. With the acetate dust jacket. Housed in a blue cloth solander box with a brown morocco label to spine. Colour frontispiece by Kathleen Hale. Spine sunned, light foxing to front pastedown. An excellent copy in a stained and scuffed jacket with a few small chips to extremities and a couple of closed tears to rear panel.

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