POWELL, Anthony.

Afternoon Men.

London: Duckworth, 1931 Stock Code: 126543
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Powell's debut novel, a rare inscribed copy

First edition, first impression, presentation copy of Powell's debut novel, inscribed by the author to his father's lover in the month of publication on the front free endpaper, "For Lucy Hayes, with love, (from the author!) Tony Powell. June 1st 1931". Lucy was "a great love and lifelong friend" of Anthony Powell's father Philip, whom she met in the early 1920s. Hayes (1878-1965) served as a nurse in the First World War. She worked at the Dimitri Palace in St Petersburg, the main Anglo-Russian Hospital, and a photograph album relating to her time there is held by the Imperial War Museum. Anthony Powell "accepted their relationship and was fond of Lucy. She greatly enjoyed his novels". He named the female protagonist of his 1932 work Venusberg after her, and inscribed several of his books to her. Powell was a reluctant and at times ungracious signer of his own books, even for friends; this is a notably warm inscription.

Loosely inserted is a portrait photograph of Philip, signed by the photographer Bassano, together with a small dried flower.

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Octavo. Original pale green cloth, spine lettered in gilt. With the supplied first printing dust jacket, designed by Misha Black.


Spine rolled and darkened, cloth somewhat marked and stained, a little foxing to contents. A good copy, in a slightly rubbed and faintly soiled jacket with toned spine and couple of small chips to spine ends.


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