Literary criticism & biography
Showing items 1-60 of 364
GRAVES, Robert. Lars Porsena.
London : First edition, first impression of this satirical treatise on the decline of swearing in the English language, including a defence of James Joyce's Ulysses from the charge of obscenity. Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 140732
GRAVES, Robert, & Alan Hodge. The Reader Over Your Shoulder.
London : 1943First edition, first impression, of this study of English prose, featuring analysis of more than fifty short passages by eminent contemporary writers including T. S. Eliot, Daphne Du Maurier, Ernest Hemingway, H. G. Wells, and Aldous Huxley. Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 140723
WYNDHAM-LEWIS, D. B. Ronsard.
London : 1946First UK edition, third impression, of the author's biography of the French Renaissance poet Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585). The first edition was published in the US and UK simultaneously, with the first impression appearing in 1944. Learn More£25.00
Stock Code: 140591
JOHNSON, Samuel. An Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage, Son of the Earl Rivers.
London : 1744First edition of Johnson's celebrated biography of his friend Richard Savage, the flamboyant poet, playwright, and blackmailer, here bound with the first edition of Oliver Goldsmith's life of Beau Nash, another of the most celebrated biographies of the 18th century.
Johnson's Life of Savage has the last page in the state with a single-line erratum.... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 141773
(WOOLF, Virginia.) Nigel Nicolson (ed.) The Letters.
London : 1975-80First editions, first impressions, inscribed by Nigel Nicolson on the title page of each volume. The letters record in stunning detail the evolution of Woolf's unmistakable style and provide an impressively comprehensive gathering of her correspondence from childhood until her death in 1941.
Volumes I and II: "Nigel Nicolson"
Volumes III, IV and... Learn More£650.00
Stock Code: 137435
OWEN, Robert. The Life of Robert Owen: Written by Himself,
London : 1857-8First edition of the autobiography of Robert Owen (1771-1858), one of the most influential thinkers and social reformers of his time, "published in his eighty-seventh year, but probably written much earlier, perhaps when he was planning the writing of his memoirs in 1835. The first volume takes the story of his life to the early 1820s" (Goldsmiths'... Learn More£2,750.00
Stock Code: 87786
(JOYCE, James.) PRESCOTT, Joseph. James Joyce: A Study in Words.
New York : March 1939The truly rare original offprint, with only two copies listed by OCLC worldwide (Harvard and National Library of Israel), of this groundbreaking early article on James Joyce, published two months before the final release of Finnegans Wake. Joseph Prescott would go on to become a major voice in Joycean studies, in particular through his book Exploring... Learn More£650.00
Stock Code: 140930
(MARCEAU, Marcel.) Ronald A. Wilford Presents Marcel Marceau and His Partner Pierre Verry.
New York : 1973First edition thus, first printing, inscribed by Marceau on title page verso "In dear memory of Bip flower doodle Marcel Marceau, 1973"; together with a programme signed "Bip flower doodle Marcel Marceau, 1973" for one of Marceau's show in Denver, in March 1973. Dunetz published similar performance souvenir programmes from the late 1960s to 1976. Wilford... Learn More£225.00
Stock Code: 140997
(BEATTIE, James.) FORBES, Sir William. An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D.
Edinburgh : 1806First edition of Forbes's principal work, an excellent association copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper to the author's son, "William Forbes Esqr. from the author"; together with a group of related contemporary autograph material laid in which reflects the strong ties between the Forbes and Beattie families.
Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 118450
(DUNCAN, Isadora.) YORSKA, Lottie. Hommage à Isadora Duncan.
[Paris] : 1927Rare first and only edition of this pamphlet calling readers for funds to save Isadora Duncan's house in Neuilly, France, from being sold to pay off her debts. The theatre director, Lottie Yorska, had taken it upon herself to make the news known outside of the US and had contacted the magazine Comœdia to raise funds for the purchase of the house. Duncan's... Learn More£225.00
Stock Code: 140856
(GAUDIER-BRZESKA, Henri.) EDE, H. S. A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska.
London : 1930First edition, first impression, number 147 of 350 copies, of this illustrated biography of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, "designed to be a worthy memorial of his work", as pointed out in the loosely inserted publisher's promotional leaflet. Of the edition of 350 copies, ten were issued signed and bound in leather. The regular issue is uncommon in the dust... Learn More£850.00
Stock Code: 140770
PAUL, Eden & Cedar. The Appreciation of Poetry.
London : 1920First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed the the publisher Stanley Unwin on the front free endpaper: "To Stanley Unwin with the writers' kind wishes. October 30th, 1920." Learn More£65.00
Stock Code: 140810
(WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary.) HAYS, Mary, and others. The Annual Necrology for 1797-8.
London : 1800First edition, and sole volume, of this ambitious project to record obituaries of notable persons on an annual basis. The most significant memoir recorded here is the 49 page obituary of Mary Wollstonecraft by the feminist biographer Mary Hays (1759-1843). Hays received a copy of Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman upon its publication... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 123651
SITWELL, Osbert. Left Hand, Right Hand! An Autobiography. [Together with a first edition of Passage to India.]
London : 1945-1950First editions, presentation copies, each volume inscribed and signed by Sitwell to E. M. Forster on the half-title, each beginning "For Morgan" and dated, vol. I with the additional epithet "With affection and admiration" and vol. III "whose only fault is his invisibility". Each volume bears Forster's booklabel to the front pastedown. In a 1954 letter... Learn More£2,500.00
Stock Code: 112546
OWEN, Wilfred, & Jon Stallworthy (ed.) The complete poems and fragments.
London & Oxford : 1983First edition, review copy, with the loosely inserted publishers' review and press release sheets, of wartime poet Wilfred Owen's works. The first collection of Owen's poems was published two years after his death, in 1920, with an introduction by Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), and was followed by another in 1931, edited by the poet Edmund Blunden (1896-1974).... Learn More£450.00
Stock Code: 140499
(WILDER, Thornton Niven). The Memorial Service.
Battell Chapel : 1976First edition, sole impression, inscribed by Wilder's sister Isabel on the front panel "For Peter & Kenneth, remembering Thornton's affection & admiration for Bart & the many memories we share with affection Isabel Feb - 24, 1977", and with a manuscript note also from Isabel laid-in loose "and ALWAYS greetings & affection to Jan from Isabel Wilder".... Learn More£175.00
Stock Code: 140296
ROWSE, A. L. Extempore Memorial.
St. Austell, : (1940)First edition, sole impression, of a memorial poem by A. L. Rowse for Charles Henderson, historian and antiquarian of Cornwall, with whom he had edited Essays in Cornish History (1935). Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 140179
(CHEKHOV, Anton.) SMITH, Virginia Llewellyn. Anton Chekhov and the Lady with the Dog.
London : 1973First edition, first impression of this study of "Chekhov's relationships with women and the portrayal of them in his work" (p.xv). In a fine full morocco binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Learn More£250.00
Stock Code: 140506
GARNETT, Edward. Friday Nights.
London : 1922First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "Violet Scott James from Edward Garnett". Violet Eleanor Scott-James née Brooks (1885-1942) was a journalist and literary critic, as well as a close friend of Edward Garnett. Learn More£150.00
Stock Code: 140475
[FONSECA, Jose de., i.e. Pedro Carolino.] English as She is Spoke:
London : First UK edition, second printing, (stated second edition). The present work is an edited version of a mid-19th-century Portuguese-English phrase book, which unintentionally became a classic of humorous literature, commonly known as English as She is Spoke. Mark Twain wrote the introduction of the first US edition, also published in 1883, of... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 140384
HEANEY, Seamus, and others. A Tribute to Kevin Sullivan.
New York : 1991First edition, number 3 of 25 copies signed to the title page by all five contributors (Seamus Heaney, Thomas Flanagan, Benedict Kiely, Sean White, and June K. Davison). An unsigned issue was also released in an unrecorded run. The tribute reproduces the speeches given at the memorial reading for Sullivan at Queen's College, New York, on 2 May 1988.... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 140158
RENAN, Ernest. Poetry of the Celtic Races, and Other Essays.
London : First edition in English, this book was first published in France in 1854 as "La poésie des races celtiques". Ernest Renan (1823-1892) is best known for his 1863 Vie de Jésus, which was an immediate success, but " it is Renan's approach to the subject and his beautiful prose that gave it lasting eminence" (PMM 352).
This copy belonged... Learn More£275.00
Stock Code: 139627
DAVIES, Thomas. Dramatic Miscellanies:
London : 1783-4First editions, volumes I and III 1784, volume II 1783. Davies had a successful career as an actor before setting up as a bookseller in Covent Garden, his shop becoming a meeting place for the theatrical and literary world, it was in the back parlour of this shop that Boswell first encountered Johnson. In the 1770s Davies turned to writing, particularly... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 139635
ISHERWOOD, Christopher. My Guru and His Disciple.
New York : 1980First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author "for Burton & Elliot, Christopher Isherwood" on the front free endpaper. The book is an account of Isherwood's time as a student to the Hindu priest Swami Prabhavananda, who guided Isherwood for over 30 years. Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 140102
RUNCIMAN, Steven. Medieval History and the Romantic Imagination.
Oxford : Scarce original offprint inscribed by the author "with best wishes SR" to the front free endpaper. This copy is from the library of John Julius Cooper, 2nd viscount Norwich (1929-2018) a hugely prolific popular historian and television presenter. Runciman and Norwich led very similar careers: both educated at Eton, both dabbling in the Foreign Service,... Learn More£300.00
Stock Code: 139947
PEARSE, Andrew, & Balachandra Rajan. Focus One [together with] Focus Two.
London : 1945 & 1946First editions, first impressions. Focus was a serial miscellany concerned with contemporary writing: Focus One presents a wide selection of poems and essays, while Focus Two is primarily concerned with the realist novel in the 1930s. Learn More£125.00
Stock Code: 140057
(THOMAS, Edward.) THOMAS, Helen. As it Was.
London : 1926First edition, first impression, of Thomas's tender yet frank memoir of her life with poet Edward Thomas, in a remarkable example of the scarce jacket. A follow-up volume, World without End, was published in 1931, the two memoirs published as one volume in 1935. Thomas began writing these memoirs in an attempt to lift herself from her depression... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 139953
KEYNES, John Maynard. Essays in Biography.
London : 1951Expanded edition, with three new essays, on Isaac Newton, William Stanley Jevons, and Mary Paley Marshall. First published in March 1933, with a second impression in May 1933, this marked the third printing overall. Keynes's collection gives biographical sketches of various economists and politicians, including Winston Churchill, Alfred Marshall, and... Learn More£100.00
Stock Code: 140126
GREENE, Graham. Getting to Know the General.
London : 1984First edition, first impression. The story of Greene's five-year involvement with General Omar Torrijos, who ruled Panama from 1968 to his death in a plane crash in 1981. Learn More£35.00
Stock Code: 139957
(BRADBURY, Ray, intro.) SKEETERS, Paul W. Sidney H. Sime, Master of Fantasy.
Pasadena, CA : 1978First edition, number 73 of 200 copies signed by Bradbury and Skeeters, additionally number 16 of 50 copies with a copy of Arthur Machen's drawing for Sime's "The Hill of Dreams" loosely inserted, and a dust jacket reproducing "A Beast" by Sime, both numbered in manuscript. This is the definitive work on the artist noted for illustrating the stories... Learn More£300.00
Stock Code: 139783
(DOVES PRESS.) WORDSWORTH, William. The Prelude,
Hammersmith : 1915First Doves Press edition, a remarkably attractive example of one of 155 copies printed on handmade paper. The Doves Press was run by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson alongside his wife Anne. Cobden-Sanderson left his career as a lawyer in 1884 in order to open the Doves Bindery, establishing the Doves Press in 1900. He was interested in all aspects of book design,... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 139556
[BAILLET, Adrien.] Auteurs Deguisez,
Paris : 1690First edition of the first work in French devoted to pseudonyms. "Unlike Latin works on pseudonyms of the period, Baillet does not simply unmask authors who have written under assumed names; instead he offers a history of the practices, civil and ecclesiastical, of naming and re-naming, as well as a reflection on and a limited justification for the... Learn More£400.00
Stock Code: 128678
DOSTOEVSKY, Fyodor. Letters and Reminiscences.
London : 1923First edition in English, first impression. The material includes a letter from Dostoevsky to his brother, letters to Maikov, to his wife, and to Pobiedonoszev, and reminiscences of Dostoevsky by his wife. S. S. Koteliansky translated a number of Russian works into English, often working with Virginia Woolf, publishing their translations at the Hogarth... Learn More£375.00
Stock Code: 121093
LOWELL, Amy. Poetry and Poets.
Boston : 1930First 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£150.00
Stock Code: 117242
PINDAR, Paul. Remarkable Biography;
London : 1821First and only edition of this pseudonymously authored series of curious biographical sketches, including chapters on "Charles Mc. Ghie or Mackey", the Milanese Frances Scanagatti known as "the Female Soldier", and the freemason John Coustos. Though some catalogues have identified the author as the antiquary and numismatist John Yonge Akerman (1806-1873)... Learn More£575.00
Stock Code: 133534
HOBSON, John Atkinson. John Ruskin, Social Reformer.
London : 1898Second edition, following the first of 1895. John Ruskin's work and thought were a major influence on Hobson's own beliefs regarding social reform. In the present work, a highly favourable account of Ruskin's sociological ideas, Hobson argues that these beliefs are as important as Ruskin's artistic theories, and are deserving of wider appreciation. Learn More£75.00
Stock Code: 124616
NICOLSON, Harold. Paul Verlaine.
London : 1921First edition, first impression, presentation copy of the author's first book, inscribed by the author on the front pastedown, "For William Rothenstein, with all thanks from Harold Nicolson. See p. 213"; with Rothenstein's bookplate to the front free endpaper. On p. 213 is an account of how Rothenstein "saddened by the plight of Paul Verlaine... had... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 139526
MARSH, Edward. Edward Marsh's Little Book.
Eton : 1990First edition, limited issue, number 417 of 626 copies (26 were deluxe signed copies). This is the first printing, reproducing the original in facsimile, of the notebook presented in 1911 by Lady Diana Cooper to Sir Edward Marsh (1872-1953), who was Winston Churchill's secretary and a great literary impresario in his own right. Marsh determined "to... Learn More£250.00
Stock Code: 139388
TROLLOPE, Anthony. An Autobiography.
Edinburgh : 1883First edition of Trollope's autobiography, written in the late 1870s but published by his son, after the author's death in 1882.
This copy with W. H. Smith & Son's Subscription Library purple paper label to front pastedowns; and the armorial bookplates of oil and colour merchant Francis Frederick Fox (1833-1915) to front free endpapers. Learn More£200.00
Stock Code: 128316
WASHINGTON, Booker T. Up From Slavery.
New York : 1901First edition in book form, first printing, signed by the author on the verso of the contents page "Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama, Aug. 11. 1906". This autobiography was first published chapter by chapter over 17 issues in The Outlook between 1900 and 1901 and became "his most critically acclaimed autobiography, translated into some... Learn More£7,500.00
Stock Code: 139033
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Marlborough.
London : 1933-1938First editions, first impressions, in a handsome binding. "Marlborough: his Life and Times took its place at once among the classics of historical writing. As the story of his ancestor's leadership of a grand alliance to prevent the domination of the continent by a single power, it was also a source of inspiration to Churchill in his campaign against... Learn More£2,000.00
Stock Code: 139225
(JOHNSON, Samuel.) BOSWELL, James; George Birkbeck Hill (ed.) Boswell's Life of Johnson.
Oxford : 1887First Hill edition. By 1887 Hill was an established commentator of both Johnson and Boswell's works, having published Dr Johnson, his Friends and his Critics (1878) and an edition of Boswell's correspondence (1879). The Clarendon Press accepted Hill's proposal for a new edition of Boswell's Life in 1881, and the six volume text - the... Learn More£3,250.00
Stock Code: 139100
MACLEAY, Kenneth. Highlanders of Scotland:
London : [c. 1874]Archibald Fraser MacDonald's copy in the presentation binding. It was first published in 1870, featuring the watercolour portraits commissioned by Queen Victoria from Kenneth Macleay. This copy was specially bound and personalised for Archibald Fraser Macdonald (1842-1890), who was The Prince of Wales's Jäger (or gillie). His biographical notes start... Learn More£1,250.00
Stock Code: 137270
(STRICKLAND, Agnes.) POPE-HENNESSY, Una. Agnes Strickland. Biographer of the Queens of England 1796-1874.
London : 1940First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication to Georgiana Fanny Julia Foster, "To Miss Foster in gratitude from Una Pope-Hennessy April 1940". Foster's ownership inscription, "F. Foster Park Lane Cottage Southwold", appears on the front pastedown.
Foster (1891-1975)... Learn More£175.00
Stock Code: 138334
(BRONTË, Charlotte.) GASKELL, Elizabeth. The Life of Charlotte Brontë.
London : 1857First edition of Elizabeth Gaskell's pioneering, landmark biography of her close friend, "creating a new, feminine form which linked emotional and domestic life and suffering to creativity" (ODNB). The biography was hugely controversial at the time, and remains so today, for different reasons. Gaskell was asked to write it by Patrick Brontë in June... Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 138990
STREATFEILD, Noel. A Vicarage Family; Away from the Vicarage; Beyond the Vicarage.
London : 1963, 1965, 1971First editions, first impressions, presentation copies to Streatfield's amanuensis and proof-reader June Allen, inscribed by the author in each work: A Vicarage Family, "For June with love Noel 1963"; Away from the Vicarage, "For June, Thank you for your hard work, love, Noel 1965"; Beyond the Vicarage, "To June with love Noel 1971". It is very unusual... Learn More£500.00
Stock Code: 111041
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Lord Randolph Churchill.
London : 1906First edition, first impression. Churchill had it in mind to write a biography of his father soon after Lord Randolph's death in January 1895, and was appointed by the late statesman's literary executors to do so in autumn 1902. Churchill worked on the biography, his most substantial literary project so far, for the next two and a half years. The book... Learn More£750.00
Stock Code: 138958
VICTORIA, Queen. Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands, From 1848 to 1861.
London : 1868 and 1883First editions, superbly provenanced presentation copies from Victoria, inscribed on a preliminary blank in each volume, respectively, "For dear Elizabeth Argyll, in recollection of our visit to Inverary in 1847 from Victoria R, Jun: 10. 1868" and "To the Duke of Argyll from his affectionate Victoria RI, Dec: 28, 1883". More Leaves is of the rare privately... Learn More£3,500.00
Stock Code: 134754
TOKLAS, Alice B. The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book.
New York : 1954First US edition, first printing, of one of the best-selling cookbooks of all time. Weaving together traditional French recipes and entertaining anecdotes of Toklas's life with Gertrude Stein in Paris, The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book is considered the counterpart to Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933) which had catapulted Toklas to fame.
Harper,... Learn More£450.00
Stock Code: 133986
(AGNESI, Maria Gaetana.) FRISI, Antonio Francesco. Elogio storico di Da. Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Milan : 1799First edition of "the most valuable source of information" (Mazzotti, p. 658) on the life of the Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first woman to publish a mathematical work. Written by her friend Antonio Frisi and published the year of her death, it is the earliest biographical work about her. Though relatively well represented institutionally... Learn More£2,250.00
Stock Code: 138353
MANDELA, Nelson. The Illustrated Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography.
Boston : 1996First US edition, signed limited issue. This is copy number 3 from an edition of 425 copies quarter bound by hand in Wassa Goatskin from South Africa. It includes a specially commissioned portrait of Nelson Mandela, taken by Benny Gool, and is signed and dated by Mandela. This illustrated and abridged edition of Mandela's biography was first published... Learn More£3,750.00
Stock Code: 138910
(BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.) Eccentric Biography;
London : 1801First edition of this collection of biographies of historical and contemporary eccentrics, here an issue with the stipple engraved plates printed in colour, not known in other copies. Eccentrics vary from Bamfylde Moore Carew, king of the beggars, to various historical figures including Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great,... Learn More£975.00
Stock Code: 138864