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Literature

Rare and first edition literature from Peter Harrington. On our shelves you'll discover rare poetry, English, American & modern literature, pre-1900 rare books, plays, world literature and much more.


From the blog: Nightingales and Roses: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Video: [PUTTENHAM, George.] The Arte of English Poesie. 1589.

Showing items 1-60 of 4908

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  1. 130554
    First edition in book-form, in the original publisher's deluxe binding. Chapman and Hall issued Pickwick Papers in cloth for 21s., half-morocco for 24s. 6d., and full morocco with gilt edges for 26s. 6d. (Patton, p. 326). Variant deluxe publisher's bindings are known, including states in green morocco. Dickens's bibliographers... Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 130554

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  2. 122901
    First edition of Porter's first acknowledged novel, a significant work that "ranks with Mrs Radcliffe's Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne as a super-rarity among Gothic Romantic novels" (Sadleir 1972). The first edition is held by only one of the six legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland (the National Library... Learn More
    £19,750

    Stock Code: 122901

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  3. 132152comp
    First US edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the title page, "For Larry, best regards from an 'Eskimo fanatic', Bruce". Originally published in the UK in the same year. This work is Chatwin's "capacious exploration of Aboriginal creation myths and incorporated some of his early speculations about nomads"... Learn More
    £300

    Stock Code: 132152

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  4. 132155
    First edition, first impression, preceding the first US edition, which was released later in the same year. "The Little Sister is particularly remarkable for Marlowe's cleverly phrased and brutally honest self-evaluations" (ODNB). Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 132155

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  5. 132156
    First UK edition, first impression, originally published in America in 1943. This was the fourth of Chandler's novels featuring Philip Marlowe, in which he "becomes more cynical and world-weary, and actively misanthropic, projecting his own despair onto the state of California, and onto modern life itself" (ODNB). It was... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 132156

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  6. 131962comp
    First editions, first printings, an excellent inscribed set, with the first three titles inscribed to the same recipient and all five volumes signed, respectively "To Dean, may your winters be short" in A Game of Thrones, "To Dean, keep your sword sharp" in A Storm of Swords, and "To Dean, may your summers be bountiful"... Learn More
    £4,750

    Stock Code: 131962

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  7. 132139detail
    First editions, early issues, of all volumes except Volume III, which is a second edition, and Volume XI, which is bound without advertisements. Lasner notes that although it is nearly impossible to determine the exact issue of a given set of The Yellow Book, "no volume without the advertisements can be a true first edition"... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 132139

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  8. 125497
    First edition of the third novel by Lady Caroline Lamb, again published anonymously, printed by her friend John Murray, formerly Byron's publisher, and dedicated to the Irish intellectual Lydia White. The titular antihero is born in Georgia and sold into bondage. He boards a privateer, murders the captain, and declares himself... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 125497

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  9. .
    First edition, first impression. "The whole tone of the book is philosophical involving a series of meditations on relativity and Time" (Patrick J. Quinn ed., New Perspectives on Robert Graves, 1999, p. 75). Nicholson's sinister cover design of a hanging bat is stunning. Learn More
    £475

    Stock Code: 110245

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  10. Two Christmas Tales.
    First edition in book form, published as a limited edition of 150 copies, none of which were offered for sale. The tales originally appeared in the Toronto Star Weekly, on 23 December 1923. With the publisher's compliments slip laid-in. Scarce. Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 99897

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  11. 62434
    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £400

    Stock Code: 62434

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  12. The Son of the Wolf. Tales of the Far North.
    First edition, first printing, first issue text, first state binding. London's first book. Learn More
    £1,600

    Stock Code: 41368

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  13. 132186
    First edition, first impression, second issue with plain endpapers. Inscribed on the title page by two actresses from the 1974 film: Maud Adams, signed along with her character name Andrea Anders, and Britt Ekland, signed with her character name Mary Goodnight and dated 2006. The Man with the Golden Gun was Fleming's twelfth... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 132186

    signed

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  14. 132172comp
    First Frink edition, number 98 of 250 copies signed by the artist on the title page and on each of the lithographs (a further 25 copies were printed for private distribution). A most attractive copy, handsomely bound, finely printed on Zerkall Bütton paper, and exquisitely illustrated by Frink; this was her first foray... Learn More
    £3,000

    Stock Code: 132172

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  15. 130819
    First edition of all three works. Miscellaneous Poems includes the first printing of "To his Coy Mistress" and "The Garden". Published a couple of years after Marvell's death, the volume made his poetic talents known to a general readership who would have known him, if at all, only from his commendatory verses to the second... Learn More
    £12,500

    Stock Code: 130819

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  16. 130036comp
    First edition, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's copy, with his ownership inscription at the head of the title, presented by him to his daughter Sara Coleridge, inscribed on the blank recto of the frontispiece, "Sara Coleridge, from her affectionate Father, S. T. Coleridge", and on a slip mounted on the preceding blank, "N.B. I... Learn More
    £9,750

    Stock Code: 130036

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  17. 130523
    First edition, second issue with "Stave One" as the first chapter heading and the text uncorrected. A Christmas Carol was an instant success, reportedly selling all 6,000 copies of the first edition on the first day of publication, and Dickens went on to write four more small festive books for each successive Christmas (the... Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 130523

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  18. 130639
    First edition, first impression. Lady Cobbold spent winters in Algeria and Egypt during her childhood, where "she learnt to speak Arabic and delighted in escaping her governess to visit local mosques with her Algerian friends" (ODNB). She converted to Islam in around 1914, having continued to travel and study in the region.... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 130639

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  19. 128803
    First UK edition, first impression, of Christie's first novel and Poirot's debut. Inspired by the refugees she saw in Torquay, the poisons she encountered whilst working in a local hospital for the Voluntary Aid Detachment, and "challenged by her sister Madge, Agatha embarked on a detective story" in 1914. "Rejected by two... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 128803

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  20. 126588comp
    A prominent member of the..."> First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Auntie Townshend. With love, from Rebecca". The recipient was Emily Townshend, one of the "Girton Five", the first students at the newly founded women's' college at Cambridge in 1869.
    A prominent member of the... Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 126588

    signed

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  21. 126672

    De claris mulieribus.

    [Strassburg: about 1474-75, not after 1479]

    Second edition of the first collection of 104 biographies devoted exclusively to women, following the first printed edition at Ulm by Johann Zainer in 1473. First composed between 1355 and 1359 it "represents Europe's first postclassical history of women" (Gaylard, p. 287). Boccaccio includes women from mythology, legend,... Learn More
    £15,000

    Stock Code: 126672

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  22. 127543
    First edition, first printing, of Morrison's highly influential debut novel. Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye whilst working as a senior fiction editor at Random House, waking at 4 am each morning to write before work. Learn More
    £850

    Stock Code: 127543

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  23. 127604comp

    Letters:

    Wiltshire: 1974-82

    Complete set of first editions, first impressions, each volume inscribed by the author to Jean Gunn and her husband William (except 4 and 7, which were added to the set at a later date). Jean Gunn was a close and dear friend of Stark (1893-1993) in Stark's later years. Her husband, William Gunn, was the founder of the European... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 127604

    signed

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  24. 125684comp
    First edition, first printing, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Dear Dr. Hale Who has taught me that even the prison-places of Life may be made to blossom like Aaron's rod with flowers. Helen Keller, March tenth 1903". The recipient was Keller's close friend and relative Dr Edward... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 125684

    signed

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  25. 125685
    First edition, first impression, of the author's only novel, and most uncommon in such nice condition. The Bell Jar, released on 14 January 1963, just five weeks before Plath died, was published pseudonymously by Plath to avoid offending her mother, who appears in the novel thinly-disguised. It was not published under Plath's... Learn More
    £10,000

    Stock Code: 125685

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  26. 124311
    The complete original autograph manuscript used as the printer's setting copy for Sackville-West's essay on Marvell and the most substantial of her original manuscripts remaining on the market. Aside from a few short stories and a few ephemeral pieces previously disposed of (mostly for charity), the bulk of Vita Sackville-West's... Learn More
    £27,500

    Stock Code: 124311

    signed

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  27. 121080
    First edition thus, number 35 of 40 copies only, printed on Tuscany handmade paper. Although very little is known of her life Anyte is second only to Sappho in terms of surviving fragments. Referred to by Aldington as "one of the great women poets of Greece", his translations of 25 surviving poems credited to Anyte were... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 121080

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  28. 121385
    First edition, first impression, notably rare in the dust jacket, especially so in such nice unrestored condition this is the first we have handled. Brittain's wartime memoir was an instant best-seller. Published on 28 August 1933, the first impression of 5,000 copies was exhausted within a week. It went through six impressions... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 121385

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  29. 121965
    First edition, first printing; copies in the dust jacket are distinctly uncommon. A compact, witty and entertaining volume of some 160 recipes, including contributions from Nancy Astor ("Virginia Butter Bread"), Margot Asquith ("Scotch Haggis"), her daughter Princess Bibesco ("Leek Salad"), screen stars Norma Talmadge ("White... Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 121965

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  30. 118211comp
    First edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed by the author, "For Harry Zohn, cordially, Cambridge, April 6, 1967". This is the German-born Jewish political theorist's first commercially published book which she began writing in the late 1920s, translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston. It was... Learn More
    £4,250

    Stock Code: 118211

    signed

    Reserve

  31. 114151
    First US edition, the second overall. The first edition, published by Thomas Cautley Newby in London, was rushed into the shops on 4 December 1847 to capitalise on the unexpected success of Jane Eyre, which was published by Newby's rivals, Smith, Elder & Company, earlier the same year. Wuthering Heights,... Learn More
    £8,500

    Stock Code: 114151

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  32. Canterbury Tales.
    First editions; complete sets in first edition are scarce both in commerce and institutionally. Canterbury Tales - "an ambitious series of thematically connected stories" (Inge Heuer in British Women and the Intellectual World in the Long Eighteenth Century, 2015, chapter 9) - was one of the most popular publications of... Learn More
    £1,000

    Stock Code: 111976

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  33. 100043comp
    First edition, signed limited issue, number 49 of 50 copies signed by the author. The volume collects three of Stein's lectures at Oxford and Cambridge on the nature of artistic creation: "Composition as Explanation" (1926), "What Are Masterpieces and Why Are There So Few of Them?" (1935), and "An American and France" (1936).... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 100043

    signed

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  34. i1
    First edition, first impression of Lagerlöf's first novel. Presentation copy inscribed by Lagerlöf to her Danish translators Ida Falbe-Hansen and her partner Elisabeth Grundtvig on the front flyleaf of Volume I: "Frkr Falbe Hansen och Grundtvig med tacksamhet och tillgifvenhet, från förf". Lagerlöf (1858-1940) was the... Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 103054

    signed

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  35. 82608
    Inscribed first UK edition, first impression, copy of Kay Boyle's first book to be published in England (originally published in the US by Harcourt, Brace & Co. in the preceding year). The White Horses of Vienna, for which Boyle won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year, was written while she was living in... Learn More
    £325

    Stock Code: 82608

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  36. 87261comp
    First edition, first impression, presentation copy to Vanessa Bell, inscribed by the author on publication: "Vanessa Bell from V.W. Oct. 1922". An exceptional association copy: Jacob's Room was the first of VW's books for which Vanessa Bell designed the dust jacket, and the text represents VW's attempt to do in fictional... Learn More
    £85,000

    Stock Code: 87261

    signed

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  37. 92281comp
    First edition, first printing, of this biography of Anne Carroll Moore (1871-1961), American author, educator and advocate for children's libraries. Presentation copy inscribed to Julia Carter, the first full time children's librarian at the New York Public Library. Sayers's inscription, to the front free endpaper, is fulsome:... Learn More
    £600

    Stock Code: 92281

    signed

    Reserve

  38. 61763comp
    First trade edition, service de presse copy. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title "Pour Raymond Federman avec amitîé Hélène Cixous". The recipient was French-American novelist, essayist and Beckett critic Raymond Federman (1928-2009), who edited a number of Cixous's critical essays on Beckett.... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 61763

    signed

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  39. 131621
    First and sole edition, signed limited issue, number 17 of 117 copies signed by the printer in pink. Stewart (1891-1955) studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, before joining the Santa Fe Art Colony in 1925, and working with the WPA Artist Collective in the 1930s. She and her sister, Margretta Dietrich (a suffragette... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 131621

    signed

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  40. 131620
    First edition, first impression, one of an estimated 280 copies. Martha-Wish-You-Ill was the second of Manning-Sanders works published by the Hogarth Press, the first being her narrative poem Karn, published in 1922. Virginia Woolf was enthusiastic about her work, and set the press herself for this work.... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 131620

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  41. 131588comp
    First edition, UK issue. The dedication copy, with the author's presentation inscription to the dedication leaf incorporating the printed dedication, "To A.J.H.S. From E.W. December 1929". The dedicatee was John Hugh Smith, a wealthy English banker who met Wharton at Stanway in 1908. The two became fast friends and "embarked... Learn More
    £9,500

    Stock Code: 131588

    signed

    Reserve

  42. 131573

    Scenes of Clerical Life.

    Edinburgh and London: 1858

    First edition in book form of George Eliot's first published work of fiction, which collects three short stories previously serialized in Blackwood's Magazine from January to November 1857. The tales, centering around three provincial clergymen, focus less on theological issues than on the ethical problems they face in their... Learn More
    £19,500

    Stock Code: 131573

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  43. 131585
    Clara Tice's personal scrapbook containing her original signed hand-coloured etchings and monochrome reproductions for her illustrations in the Pierre Louÿs Society's 1926 edition of Louÿs first novel Aphrodite (originally published in French between August 1895 and January 1896). The work was privately... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 131585

    signed

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  44. 131565
    First edition, inscribed by Florence Nightingale on the half-title, "Mrs. Webb Watson, with the kind and grateful regards of Florence Nightingale, Dec. 1865". The work was subsequently re-gifted by Webb, "Presented to L. Martin Edmunds by Mrs. Webb Watson". Nightingale's choice of this work as a gift provides insight into... Learn More
    £4,750

    Stock Code: 131565

    signed

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  45. 131568comp
    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy of the author's first prose work, warmly inscribed by the author to the American illustrator and writer Howard Pyle, "Will Mr. Howard Pyle accept through me the love of seven big and little children to whom he taught the beauty of language and of line, and to whom, in a desert... Learn More
    £40,000

    Stock Code: 131568

    signed

    Reserve

  46. 131547comp

    Enough Rope.

    New York: 1933 & 1934

    First editions, specially bound presentation copies, warmly inscribed by Parker to Frances Marion on inserted card before each work: "This signature is for Frances Marion I wish I had hers Dorothy Parker", and "To Frances Marion, than whom Dorothy Parker". While signed limited editions of Parker's work do appear at auction,... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 131547

    signed

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  47. 131524comp
    Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie was Angelou's first book of poetry, many of which were originally songs she previously performed..."> First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, warmly inscribed on the front free endpaper, "For Bob, More Poetry, More Joy! Thank you! Write On! Direct On! Maya Angelou". Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie was Angelou's first book of poetry, many of which were originally songs she previously performed... Learn More
    £400

    Stock Code: 131524

    signed

    Reserved

  48. 131296comp
    First edition, first impression, Sayers's own copy of her first appearance in book form, with her ownership signature to the half-title and authorial corrections in manuscript to her poem "Lay" (p. 50), and with the publisher's compliments slip tipped-in to the half-title. Sayers composed the poem while in her final year... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 131296

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  49. 131293
    First editions, first impressions, of the three works with which Margaret Busby, Britain's youngest and first black woman book publisher, launched her publishing house Allison and Busby Limited (A&B), co-founded with Clive Allison. Busby worked as the house's editorial director for 20 years, during which time A&B published... Learn More
    £100

    Stock Code: 131293

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  50. 131122comp
    First edition, singed limited issue, number 92 of 150 copies on handmade paper and signed by the editor and artist in pencil to the colophon. A total edition of 330 copies were printed by Alfred Ruckenbrod; 65 of which were on untreated paper, 80 of which were on vellum with photographic plates. This work collects 22 poems... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 131122

    signed

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  51. 131196comp
    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by Pankhurst on the front pastedown, "Presented to Alberto Tamb? by Sylvia Pankhurst, 1940". The recipient has added their ownership inscription in pencil on the same page, "Property of Alberto Tamb?", and additionally annotated the work in pencil on a couple of pages. This edition... Learn More
    £1,350

    Stock Code: 131196

    signed

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  52. 131021
    A formal typed letter signed from Belle da Costa Greene, written in her role as the first director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, to acclaimed military surgeon Frank Lester Pleadwell of the Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., acquiescing to the recipient's request to "make any use you desire of the Halleck and Drake's... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 131021

    signed

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  53. 130897
    First edition thus, limited issue, number 70 of 100 copies printed on Japon for the Guild of Women Binders and finely bound in their workshop. The Guild was established in 1898 by a bookseller, Frank Karslake, as "a way of publicising and promoting the sale of books bound by women" (Tidcombe pp. 27-8). Karslake set up the... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 130897

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  54. 130910
    First edition, limited issue. A presentation card inscribed by the author is loosely inserted into this copy, "Souvenir de plusieurs heureux séjours à l'Aichi, S. de Beauvoir", translating as "Remembrance of several happy stays at the Aichi". In 1966 Beauvoir undertook a three week lecture tour of Japan with Jean-Paul... Learn More
    £950

    Stock Code: 130910

    signed

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  55. 130792
    First edition, first impression, of the very scarce true first book appearance of the poetry of American poet Mary Oliver (19352019), preceding the US edition by two years, since Oliver was briefly living in London at the time. The print run was small and many copies went to libraries, further contributing to the rarity... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 130792

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  56. 130630comp
    Signed limited edition, number 25 of 100 copies signed by the author. Curie's biography of her late husband, the French physicist Pierre Curie, also includes an autobiographical piece in which she hoped to convey "an understanding of the state of mind in which I have lived and worked" (p. 155). The publication was shepherded... Learn More
    £6,000

    Stock Code: 130630

    signed

    Reserve

  57. 130538comp
    Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well was Angelou's second volume of poetry; James Baldwin wrote of the work..."> First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "Maureen, Joy! Maya Angelou". Loosely inserted into this copy is a candid polaroid of Angelou taken at the book signing. Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well was Angelou's second volume of poetry; James Baldwin wrote of the work... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 130538

    signed

    Reserve

  58. 130434
    First edition, first impression, in the rare dust jacket, of Brittain's first book and her only volume of war poetry, together with three typed letters signed and three autograph postcards by the author laid in. Published in August 1918, shortly after the death of her brother Edward, Verses of a V.A.D. consists of poetry... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 130434

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  59. 130476comp
    Eve's Hollywood was Babitz first work; billed as a confessional L.A. novel, the work gives a semi-fictional account of Babitz early life in Hollywood. A photographer, author, and mainstay of..."> First edition, first printing, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "Too sic Anselma, love Eve Babitz". Uncommon signed, Eve's Hollywood was Babitz first work; billed as a confessional L.A. novel, the work gives a semi-fictional account of Babitz early life in Hollywood. A photographer, author, and mainstay of... Learn More
    £3,000

    Stock Code: 130476

    signed

    Reserve

  60. 130287
    Pall Mall Gazette), written by the acclaimed journalist and writer on household management "Mrs C. S. Peel". The Hat Shop is genuinely uncommon: Copac records just..."> First edition, first and sole impression, of this "vivid picture of one side of the world of fashion and of the cost to those who serve it" (Pall Mall Gazette), written by the acclaimed journalist and writer on household management "Mrs C. S. Peel". The Hat Shop is genuinely uncommon: Copac records just... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 130287

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Showing items 1-60 of 4908

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