Basil Seal Rides Again or The Rake’s Regress.
Frontispiece by Kathleen Hale.
First edition, first impression. One of a limited edition of 750 numbered copies, this an out of series copy inscribed by the author on the limitation leaf, “for Jackie & Frankie, with sexagenarian greetings, from Evelyn”. Frances Donaldson was an author and one of Waugh’s neighbours. “In the often acerbic Evelyn Waugh, Donaldson, compassionate farmer’s wife and liberal humanist, could scarcely have found herself with a west country neighbour less similar, brilliant satirist, ardent Roman Catholic, and arch-reactionary as he was. But in Evelyn Waugh: Portrait of a Country Neighbour (1967) Frances Donaldson produced a critical yet immensely sympathetic reassessment of a man seemingly imbued with hidden charm. For many people Donaldson redressed with tact and truthfulness Waugh’s popular image, that of a thoroughly unpleasant drunken bore, an image assiduously polished by Waugh himself. He was, she wrote, the only person she had ever known ‘who seemed sincerely to long for death; he was terrifying to a stranger, merciless to a friend; but it is true that his house and life revolved round jokes; very, very funny jokes’ (F. Donaldson, Evelyn Waugh: Portrait of a Country Neighbour, 1967, xiii)” (ODNB).
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Quarto. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and pictorial design to upper board gilt, blue endpapers, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Housed in a blue quarter morocco slipcase and chemise. Colour frontispiece by Kathleen Hale. Spine slightly faded, margins of contents faintly toned. An excellent copy.