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Literary criticism & biography

Rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to critical writings about literature, including biographies and autobiographies of literary figures and printed collections of their correspondence.

Showing items 1-60 of 295

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  1. 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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  2. 132556comp
    First edition of the first monograph study on Sartre in English and Murdoch's first book, first impression, signed by the author on the title page. This exploration of Sartre "reveals a novelist's capacity to sink and merge her personality within the mind of another, and criticizes Sartre's ideas and novels' accessibly".... Learn More
    £600

    Stock Code: 132556

    signed

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  3. 133140
    First edition, no. 199 of 225 copies signed by the author. Stein signed the limitation slips in Paris and returned them to London to be tipped-in opposite the title page. This is the second work published by the press, found by Robert Graves with his literary partner Laura Riding in 1927. An Acquaintance with Description... Learn More
    £1,000

    Stock Code: 133140

    signed

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  4. 133138
    First edition, first impression, of Woolf's biography of Roger Fry, the English painter and fellow member of the Bloomsbury Group. Woolf wrote the biography at the request of the Fry family; the print run was 2,530 copies. Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 133138

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  5. 122395detail
    Virginia Woolf's original typescript, with her autograph corrections in eight places, for her first introduction to Mrs Dalloway, published in the Modern Library edition in 1928. Neither the first edition published by the Hogarth Press in 1925, nor the American edition published by Harcourt, Brace & Co later in the same... Learn More
    £27,500

    Stock Code: 122395

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  6. 132331
    Jane Austen's novels..."> First Clarendon edition, large paper edition, limited to 1,000 sets, of which 950 were for sale, presentation copy (and therefore presumably one of the 50 copies not for sale), inscribed by the editor in the first volume to his youngest son, "Michael Edward Chapman, from his father, the editor".
    Jane Austen's novels... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 132331

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  7. 132624comp
    First English-language edition, first impression, cloth issue, presentation copy from the author to the publisher, inscribed "A Tom, con afecto y amistad, Octavio, Londres, a 5 de Marzo de 1970" on the first blank. This meditation on the significance of Marcel Duchamp was penned in Delhi 1966 by Octavio Paz, the Nobel Prize-winning... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 132624

    signed

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  8. 117242
    First edition, first printing. A collection of essays on contemporary and historical poets published posthumously, selected from an extensive portfolio of unpublished work found upon her death in 1925. Learn More
    £150

    Stock Code: 117242

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  9. A Peep into the Past.
    First and limited edition, first printing, one of 300 copies printed on japon vellum; scarce: Copac records just three copies in British and Irish institutional libraries (BL, Oxford, Senate House Library). An attractive production that includes a facsimile of Beerbohm's original manuscript: "this hitherto unpublished essay... Learn More
    £375

    Stock Code: 105298

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  10. 63668comp
    First edition, first impression. One of a limited edition of 75 numbered copies on japon signed by both the publisher and artist. With the bookplates of noted collectors Estelle Doheny (1875-1958) and William Andrews Clark (1839-1925). Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 63668

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  11. 130267
    Original typescript draft with autograph corrections by Woolf of one of her most defining essays, by descent from the editor responsible for bringing the essay to publication, Geoffrey Parsons (1879-1956). Published in the New York Herald Tribune on Sunday, 16 October 1927, Woolf's review of E. M. Forster's Aspects of Fiction... Learn More
    £22,500

    Stock Code: 130267

    signed

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  12. 128476comp
    First Mexican edition, first printing, a lovely presentation copy of García Márquez's first (and the only completed) volume of autobiography, inscribed to his close friend the writer and actress María Luisa Elío Bernal (1926-2009), who was the dedicatee of Cien Años de Soledad. The inscription, on the dedication... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 128476

    signed

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  13. 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

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  14. 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

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  15. 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

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  16. 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

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  17. Fantasia of the Unconscious.
    First edition, first impression, presentation copy to E. M. Forster, inscribed by the author to E. M. Forster on the front free endpaper, "E.M., from D.H.L. Taos, 6 Nov 1922" and with Forster's "This book belongs to..." ticket. Forster and Lawrence met in 1915, when Forster visited Lawrence at Greatham, sharing "two hours... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 83380

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  18. 130655
    Second edition of the most famous Italian Renaissance commentary on Aristotle's Poetics, expanded from the first edition printed at Vienna by Gaspar Stainhofer in 1570. Castelvetro's independent-minded commentary quickly stimulated controversy and contributed to the widespread adoption of a tight conception of the three... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 130655

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  19. 44750
    Fitzgerald writes to Gilbert Seldes from Baltimore, March 26, 1934, announcing an exhibition of Zelda's paintings, and urging him to attend. Learn More
    £3,500

    Stock Code: 44750

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  20. 46212
    First printing of this essay, reprinted (revised) as the introduction to Life as We Have Known It, Margaret Llewelyn Davies (ed), Hogarth Press 1931; collected in The Captain's Death Bed, 1950; Selections from Her Essays, 1966; Collected Essays, Vol. 4, 1967. Woolf had an active interest in the Labour Party and Co-operative... Learn More
    £500

    Stock Code: 46212

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  21. 32546
    First Edition, Offprinted. One of about 50 copies. With the author's signed presentation inscription, "For Bobbie Gafford who sat through it in Birmingham Eudora Welty". The recipient was Charlotte Gafford the Professor of Writing Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her nickname "Bobbie" seems universally... Learn More
    £1,000

    Stock Code: 32546

    signed

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  22. Going Solo.
    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the half-title, "Stephen & Rhona, Happy Christmas, Roald Dahl, 1986". Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 101866

    signed

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  23. My Life.
    First edition, limited issue, number 211 of 650 publisher's presentation copies, not for public sale. This copy bears the bookseller's ticket of the renowned Kamin Dance Bookshop and Gallery, New York, owned by the publisher Martin Kamin, to the front pastedown, giving the copy a lovely association to both the Parisian and... Learn More
    £625

    Stock Code: 81051

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  24. ne page ALS, beginning "I was delighted, so was Zelda, to hear that you are back in Europe."

    Fitzgerald writes to Gilbert Seldes from France. Undated, but likely in 1929.

    "I was delighted, so was Zelda, to hear that you're back in Europe. Ring Lardner sent me a clipping about your play - I know how it feels to see one go pop before your eyes and I deeply sympathized with you...Zelda has been sick on and... Learn More

    £8,500

    Stock Code: 44746

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  25. 39057
    Michelet, best known for his monumental..."> A note to his sister: "I thought I remembered sending, or bringing, the Michelet to Wakefield. But I suppose I was mistaken. The vol. has somehow been lost, unfortunately. Affectionately yours, George Gissing". Gissing had last visited his family in Wakefield in September 1898.
    Michelet, best known for his monumental... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 39057

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  26. 131699comp
    First edition, signed limited issue, number 844 of 1,000 subscribers copies signed by the author and printed on handmade paper. The Trembling of the Veil was the second of Yeats's seven autobiographical works, and was described by Arthur Symons as "an absolute masterpiece: far & away the best thing Yeats has ever done" (Ross,... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 131699

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  27. 131321
    First edition, first impression, of Keynes's biographies of politicians and economists. The copy of the economist Lionel Robbins (1898-1984), with his ownership signature to the front free endpaper dated 1933. Keynes and Robbins had a troubled relationship. In 1930 Keynes was appointed by the Labour Government to head a... Learn More
    £300

    Stock Code: 131321

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  28. 125945
    First editions, first impressions, of two works that are particularly tough to find in collectable condition. These two volumes, the "pillars of Virginia Woolf's essays" include critical essays, articles, and book reviews that had previously appeared publications such as Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, Athenæum,... Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 125945

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  29. 131300
    First edition of Knight's biography of the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, who first visited England in 1498, later spending a number of years Cambridge. Samuel Knight was an English clergyman and antiquary, who served as chaplain to King George II from 1730 to 1746 and as Archdeacon of Berkshire from 1735 to 1746. John... Learn More
    £900

    Stock Code: 131300

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  30. 1
    First edition, first impression of Strachey's fourth book. Contains papers on various literary figures, including Thomas Browne, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Jean-Mariet Arouet de Voltaire, of which all but 'A Dialogue' had previously appeared in different periodicals. Learn More
    £225

    Stock Code: 91844

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  31. 131428comp
    First edition, signed limited issue, number 49 of 300 copies signed by the author. This work presents the text of an address Eliot gave to the Friends of Rochester Cathedral in 1937. This copy is from the library of author William Vincent Sieller, with his bookplate on the front pastedown. Learn More
    £600

    Stock Code: 131428

    signed

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  32. 123228comp

    Gay Roots.

    San Francisco: 1991-3

    First edition, first printing, Winston Leyland's own copy of the deluxe signed limited issue, letters B and Z of 26 specially bound copies signed by Leyland, these volumes additionally signed by Leyland on the title pages and deriving from his personal collection. There were also 300 unsigned cloth copies, the vast majority... Learn More
    £1,000

    Stock Code: 123228

    signed

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  33. 128652
    First edition, first impression, of Strachey's biography of Fawcett, written shortly after her death. Ray Strachey (1887-1940) was a feminist activist, politician and writer, involved in a number of Women's Labour societies. She worked closely with Fawcett throughout her life, and was secretary of the NUWWS from 1915 to... Learn More
    £325

    Stock Code: 128652

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  34. 130958comp
    First edition, first impression, inscribed by Beaton on the front free endpaper, "Love to darling Winifred, Xmas 1939". The recipient was playwright and novelist, Winifred Ashton, who wrote under the pseudonym of Clemence Dane. This spoof autobiography is a satire of the world of the middle-European aristocrat, which even... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 130958

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  35. 52144comp
    First edition. This copy with the bookplate of Butler Place to the front pastedown, and the publishers' presentation inscription; "Mrs. Owen J. Wister with respects of the Publishers" to the first blank. As well as co-editing, Mrs Wister contributes a piece on Deborah Logan. Sarah Butler Wister was the eldest daughter of... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 52144

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  36. 63062comp
    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To Nash and Marjorie - with longtime appreciation and highest respects & best wishes, from Eudora, June 1978". Nash Burger was a high school classmate of Welty's who became an editor at the New York Times Book Review. Learn More
    £1,000

    Stock Code: 63062

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  37. 125519
    First edition, first impression. Ray Strachey (18871940) worked closely with Millicent Fawcett and the suffragist movement throughout her life and was secretary of the NUWWS from 1915 to 1920. Learn More
    £125

    Stock Code: 125519

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  38. 130847comp
    First edition, first impression, signed by the author on the title page, with his printed name struck through. A collection of Eliot's "most important" literary essays which "revisit the French symbolists and the development of language in twentieth-century poetry" (ODNB). Dedicated to Valerie, his secretary, whom he married... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 130847

    signed

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  39. 130515comp
    First edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to Princess Mary, "To Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. With respect, gratitude and humble best wishes at Christmastime. Norman Hartnell, Christmas 1955." Hartnell (1901-1979) was the Dressmaker by Appointment to both... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 130515

    signed

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  40. 130466comp
    First edition, first impression. A superb presentation copy from the author to his unrequited love Ralph Partridge, inscribed on the front free endpaper: "Ralph from Lytton". Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge had a platonic, and possibly sexual, relationship, but the love was not returned on the latter's part. Strachey... Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 130466

    signed

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  41. 117964

    An Autobiography.

    North Conway, New Hampshire: 1951

    First and sole edition, first printing, presentation copy from Gibson's widow Helen Whitney Gibson to Kate Davison, inscribed and dated 2 June 1952. This is the privately printed autobiography of the American businessman, bank president, and Chairman of the American Red Cross during World Wars I and II. It was published... Learn More
    £125

    Stock Code: 117964

    signed

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  42. 128392
    First US edition, first printing, of the posthumously published collection of 25 essays on the art of fiction and biography. Learn More
    £175

    Stock Code: 128392

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  43. 129588
    First edition, first impression, of Yeats's autobiographical collection, compiling Reveries over Childhood and Youth (1914) with The Trembling of the Veil (1922) and some additional notes. Learn More
    £375

    Stock Code: 129588

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  44. 128967
    First edition, first issue with all required points where visible. Originally issued in 64 parts, the first 48 being issued by Fairburn, "the publication was then taken over by Cumberland, who issued 16 more parts" (Tooley). Abbey remarks that the "Fairburn venture must have been unsuccessful, for sets carrying his imprints... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 128967

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  45. The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole.
    First edition, first impression, one of 2,020 copies. Presentation copy, inscribed by the editor on the front free endpaper to the author Ralph Straus: "For Ralph Straus, whose gifts are almost an numerous as Corvo's, & who loves books as much as I do. Very cordially, from his friend A.J. Dec., 1934." A. J. A. Symons (1900-1941),... Learn More
    £475

    Stock Code: 102584

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  46. Essays on Philosophical Subjects.
    First Dublin edition, same year as the first London edition; Kress lists the Dublin printing first and calls the London "another issue" while Tribe calls the Dublin edition a piracy. The Essays were published five years after Smith's death and edited by the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753-1828); his "Account of... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 97132

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  47. 77017comp
    Third printing, originally published in 1970. Inscribed by the poet Alan Brownjohn in the margin above his section of the anthology (p. 263), "Signed for Nicholas Gammage - with all good wishes to you and for your poetry - Alan Brownjohn, 24th January 1974". Brownjohn and Gammage were both friends with Ted Hughes, who also... Learn More
    £65

    Stock Code: 77017

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  48. 50706
    £50

    Stock Code: 50706

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  49. 127606comp
    First Edition. Freya Stark's personal copy of Professor William Ker's lectures delivered as Professor of Poetry in Oxford between 1920 and 1922, which was given to Stark by Ker's sister just a few weeks after Ker's death on 17th July and bears is inscribed to her, "Freya Stark. 6th August 1923. Love P.M.K Penelope M. Ker".... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 127606

    signed

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  50. A Survey.
    First edition, trade issue of Beerbohm's caricatures of public figures ranging from Joseph Conrad to David Lloyd George, scarce in this condition. There was also a deluxe limited edition of 275 numbered copies signed by the author. Learn More
    £425

    Stock Code: 104692

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  51. Madame Ambassador. The Life of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.
    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Leah Horwitz with appreciation of all she has done for PPSEWA - which includes the land of Madame Ambassador. With best wishes. Anne Guthrie". Loosely inserted is a typed letter signed from the author to Horwitz thanking her for sending... Learn More
    £250

    Stock Code: 82367

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  52. 118707
    First edition, wrappered issue. The South African poet and novelist William Plomer had been publisher's reader for Jonathan Cape from 1937. He was instrumental in the publication of Fleming's work and the dedicatee of Goldfinger. A limited hardcover issue was also produced. Learn More
    £400

    Stock Code: 118707

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  53. 87786
    First edition of the autobiography of Robert Owen (1771-1858), one of the most influential thinkers and social reformers of his time. Learn More
    £2,750

    Stock Code: 87786

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  54. 85374
    First edition, first impression, of this collection of essays by Kingsley Amis including "literary criticism, of writers as diverse and Hans Christian Andersen and Dylan Thomas and novels from Sorrell and Son to Portnoy's Complaint; articles on such topics as horror films, the use of language, the National Eisteddfod of... Learn More
    £100

    Stock Code: 85374

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  55. 118739detail
    A remarkable collection, including the dedication copy of the From the Jerusalem Diary, inscribed by the editor, Mary Gill, Eric Gill's widow, "To Austen St B. Harrison, with happy memories, from M.E.G.", with the Eric Gill-designed bookplate of Austen St Barbe Harrison to the front pastedown. Harrison, a close personal... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 118739

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  56. 114757detail
    Dorothy Bussy (née Strachey) had translated Bréal's book on Velazquez back in 1905 and the present letters have an easy intimacy throughout. In the first she introduces J. M. Keynes "(pronounced Canes) He is something of a swell an intimate friend of my brother Lytton's, Duncan Grant's chief patron, the headquarters... Learn More
    £5,000

    Stock Code: 114757

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  57. 123246comp
    First edition, first printing, letter O of 26 specially bound copies signed by Ginsberg and Orlovsky. This is publisher and editor Winston Leyland's own copy of the deluxe issue, additionally signed by him on the title page, and with two unpublished autograph letters signed from Ginsberg to Leyland laid in. The first letter,... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 123246

    signed

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  58. 121002
    First edition, limited hardcover issue, one of 50 copies. An address given at the memorial for Ian Fleming, by the South African poet and novelist William Plomer. Plomer had been a publisher's reader for Jonathan Cape from 1937; he was instrumental in the publication of Fleming's work and the dedicatee of Goldfinger. Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 121002

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  59. i1
    A fine and longish letter in which Fitzgerald discusses Seldes's edition of Ring Lardner, a possible evening of one-act plays, and reviews of Tender Is the Night: "Just read the Lardner collection First and Last. At first I was disappointed because I had expected there would be enough stuff for an omnibus and I still feel... Learn More
    £10,000

    Stock Code: 44748

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  60. 125516
    First edition, first impression, number 725 of 1,000 copies printed on handmade paper. Learn More
    £500

    Stock Code: 125516

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Showing items 1-60 of 295

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