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ISHERWOOD, Christopher, & Swami Prabhavananda (trans.)


The Song of God. With an Introduction by Aldous Huxley.

Hollywood: The Marcel Rodd Co., 1944 Stock Code: 143597
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"I typed the manuscript", presentation copy signed by both Isherwood and Prabhavananda

First edition, first printing, presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper "For Mary Herbold, with gratitude and good wishes, Christopher Isherwood", and signed within this also by his fellow translator the great guru Swami Prabhavananda. This is a superb association copy of this significant English translation of this major Vedic text.

The recipient was the typist, Mary Herbold, described by Isherwood in a 1962 letter as "a screaming bore, but she's a lively old thing... and I respect her. She dwells a great deal on her sex adventures, which must have been mostly in the mind". She typed manuscripts for the Vedanta Society, where Isherwood had immersed himself in the study of the Vedanta Scriptures during the Second World War.

Herbold has pasted inside the front cover part of the original dust jacket, advertising the translation as "a Gita which can be read by every western man and woman, not as an archaic monument to an ancient culture, but as a living, contemporary message which touches the most urgent personal and social problems of today". Herbold has also written beneath her address and phone number, and added in pencil beneath the translators' inscription, "I typed the manuscript". The text is annotated in pencil in some plates, and laid in at the rear is a typed list of other works by Isherwood.

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Octavo. Original red cloth, titles in gilt to spine and front board.


A hint of wear to corners, spine rubbed, the binding otherwise sharp and unfaded, light uniform toning to contents, else internally fresh; a very good copy indeed.


Christopher Isherwood, "The Sixties: Diaries Volume Two 1960-1969", p. 186.


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