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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 241-300 of 356

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  1. Special Delivery.
    CABELL, James Branch. Special Delivery.

    New York : 1933

    First US trade edition, first printing of this collection of ten "witheringly luminous emotional responses of Mr. Cabell to his typical fan mail" (front flap blurb). This copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "For Leo T. Sides, Jr., this volume which I remember liking very much when I dedicated it to George Keating, but upon which... Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 94352

  2. Experiment in Adoption.
    (MEMOIR.) DRAWBELL, James Wedgwood. Experiment in Adoption.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression. An account of the author's experience of adopting a child. The publisher's retained copy with their stamp to the front panel of the dust jacket and the front pastedown. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 94292

  3. Letters to Frank Savery.
    FLECKER, J. E. Letters to Frank Savery.

    London : [1926]

    Signed limited edition. Number 58 of 80 copies signed by James Elroy Flecker's wife Hellé, who edited this title and wrote its foreword, as well as the two illustrators, Claudia Guercio and Randolphe Schwabe, and the publisher, Cyril William Beaumont. Contained in this volume are the letters the British poet sent to his oldest friend, Frank Savery,... Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 94293

  4. Christ in the Synagogue.
    AARONSON, Leonard. Christ in the Synagogue.

    London : 1930

    First edition, first impression. An account of Aaronson's conversion from Judaism. From the publisher's archive with their stamp to the half-title. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 94173

  5. Life, Travels and Reminiscences of Jonathan Ceredig Davies.
    DAVIES, Jonathan Ceredig. Life, Travels and Reminiscences of Jonathan Ceredig Davies.

    Llanddewi Brefi : 1927

    One of 70 copies only printed by the author at his own printing-press for private circulation. This copy is inscribed "yours sincerely, J. Ceredig Davies" on the frontispiece, and was sent to Davies's cousin the Hon. Dan W. Williams, who is mentioned (though misnamed, as Williams comments in the margin) on page 5 as part of the global diaspora of Davies's... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 93335

  6. Anne Carroll Moore. A Biography.
    SAYERS, Frances Clarke. Anne Carroll Moore. A Biography.

    New York : 1972

    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: "This book is for Julia... Learn More
    £600.00

    Stock Code: 92281

  7. Together.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Together.

    London : 1923

    Signed limited edition, number 154 of 275 large paper copies signed by the author. Together is a nostalgic evocation of lost youth and the north as the author revisits his native Austria. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 92115

  8. The Witnesses.
    HENNELL, Thomas. The Witnesses.

    London : [1938]

    First edition, first impression. A remarkable account of the struggle with, and recovery from, mental illness. Though Hennell may be little-known to the general public today, in his time he was seen as an inheritor of the tradition of Constable, Cox and Palmer. He was selected for Sir Kenneth Clark's 'Recording Britain' scheme in 1940, and later became... Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 91831

  9. Books & Characters.
    STRACHEY, Lytton. Books & Characters.

    London : 1922

    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
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 91844

  10. My Music, My Life.
    SHANKAR, Ravi. My Music, My Life.

    London : 1969

    First UK edition, first impression. A scarce presentation copy inscribe by the author on front free endpaper: 'To Jack, affectionately Ravi Shankar, 11.11.69'. A biography of Shankar (1920-2012), the famous sitarist and composer who greatly increased the popularity of the sitar, as well as Indian classical music, in Europe and America during the 1950s... Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 91895

  11. The Demon of Progress in the Arts.
    LEWIS, Wyndham. The Demon of Progress in the Arts.

    London : 1954

    First edition, first impression of this book, in which Lewis analyses and attacks what he considers "the false innovations" in art. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 91498

  12. Scenes and Portraits.
    MANNING, Frederic. Scenes and Portraits.

    London : 1930

    Second edition, first impression. Number 177 of 250 copies signed by the author on the verso of the title page. First published in 1909, this is a series of imaginary debates on themes appropriate to the characters, with figures such as Socrates, Euripides, St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas Cromwell and Machiavelli taking part. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 91514

  13. On Writing, Editing, and Publishing.
    BARZUN, Jacques. On Writing, Editing, and Publishing.

    Chicago : 1971

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title: "For Wendell, fellow-author, editor & publisher. As ever, J. Nov 30/71". The recipient is the French-born American historian Barzun's life-long friend, with whom the author Wendell Hertig Taylor later wrote the critique of crime fiction, A Catalogue of Crime... Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 91240

  14. Printer.
    HODGSON, Herbert. Printer.

    Wakefield : 1989

    First edition, first impression, one of 340 copies. Hodgson's account of his printing career. With loosely inserted gift letter dated 26 April 1998. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 91375

  15. Stars in a Dark Night.
    (GURNEY, Ivor.) BODEN, Anthony (ed.) Stars in a Dark Night.

    Gloucester : 1986

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £30.00

    Stock Code: 90868

  16. Father Goose.
    FOWLER, Gene. Father Goose.

    New York : [1934]

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on front free endpaper: "To Jimmy ('Four') Starr, my friend and colleague, with regards, Gene Fowler. Sept - 1934." Starr was an American screenwriter, gossip columnist, and film reviewer. Fowler's book is a biography of Mack Sennett, a director and actor active in Hollywood during... Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 90705

  17. La Bruyère et La Rochefoucauld,
    [SAINTE-BEUVE, Charles Augustin.] La Bruyère et La Rochefoucauld,

    Paris : 1842

    First collected edition, first impression, presentation binding. Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve published his biographical portraits anonymously and for private circulation among his circle of friends. For rather obscure reasons he had second thoughts and destroyed most copies. It is said that he did not keep a copy for himself and that his bibliographer,... Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 90713

  18. Essays on Philosophical Subjects.
    SMITH, Adam. Essays on Philosophical Subjects.

    London : 1795

    First edition, published five years after Smith's death, edited by Dugald Stewart with his "Account of the life and writings of Adam Smith", originally presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in two sessions during 1793. The editor states that the essays were intended as parts of "a connected history of the liberal sciences and elegant arts", but... Learn More
    £8,750.00

    Stock Code: 90155

  19. The Poetry of Edmund Blunden.
    (BLUNDEN, Edmund.) THORPE, Michael. The Poetry of Edmund Blunden.

    [Wateringbury] : 1971

    First edition, first impression, of the author's essay on Blunden's poetry, focusing on the "Joy" poems which are reproduced in the text. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 89484

  20. Poetic Unreason and Other Studies.
    GRAVES, Robert. Poetic Unreason and Other Studies.

    London : 1925

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 89638

  21. Experiments.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Experiments.

    London : 1925

    First trade edition, first impression. Collected essays, including the author's study of Charles Doughty's Arabia Deserta. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 89330

  22. Black Mountain. An Experiment in Community.
    DUBERMAN, Martin. Black Mountain. An Experiment in Community.

    New York : 1972

    First edition. This copy signed and dated by the author on the front free endpaper. Learn More
    £85.00

    Stock Code: 89346

  23. The Anti-Egotist:
    (AMIS, Kingsley.) FUSSELL, Paul. The Anti-Egotist:

    Oxford : 1996

    First UK edition, first impression, review copy from US sheets. Originally published in the US in 1994. With the publisher's review slip loosely inserted. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 88947

  24. Peeling the Onion.
    GRASS, Günter. Peeling the Onion.

    New York : 2007

    First English language edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the title page, "For Norman Mailer, with many thanks, Günter Grass". Grass and Mailer appeared together at "The 20th Century on Trial", an event in 2007 in which they were both interviewed on stage by Andrew O'Hagan. Peeling the Onion is a biography of Grass's... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 88979

  25. Together.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Together.

    London : 1923

    First edition, first impression. Together is a nostalgic evocation of lost youth and the north as the author revisits his native Austria. Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 88273

  26. Specimens of Scottish Literature 1325-1835.
    METCALFE, W. M., ed. Specimens of Scottish Literature 1325-1835.

    Glasgow and Bombay : 1913

    First edition, first impression. A very attractive copy. This volume compiles a wide selection of Scottish writing from the Early, Middle, and Modern Scots periods between 1325 and 1835, along with substantial critical apparatus. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 86913

  27. A Little Learning. The First Volume of an Autobiography.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. A Little Learning. The First Volume of an Autobiography.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression. A fine presentation copy with Waugh's signed inscription to the front free endpaper, "For Bob & Angie with Christmas greetings & love from Evelyn. Tis is a mass of misprints & mistakes which I was ashamed to send before. Please treat it as a Christmas card & don't trouble to acknowledge. 1964". The recipients were the... Learn More
    £3,750.00

    Stock Code: 87033

  28. Reflections in a Silver Spoon.
    MELLON, Paul, & John Baskett. Reflections in a Silver Spoon.

    New York : 1992

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the title page, "To Dr. Joel Guiterman - with all best wishes from Paul Mellon". Learn More
    £575.00

    Stock Code: 85945

  29. What Became of Jane Austen and Other Questions.
    AMIS, Kingsley. What Became of Jane Austen and Other Questions.

    London : 1970

    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 Wales and fictional detectives;... Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 85374

  30. Without Prejudice.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo. Without Prejudice.

    [London] : 1963

    First edition, first impression. The first publication of this collection of letters from Rolfe to his publisher, John Lane. Published privately as a gift for friends and family by Allen Lane, John's nephew and the founder of Penguin Books. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 84788

  31. Some Memories of W. B. Yeats.
    (YEATS, W. B.) MASEFIELD, John. Some Memories of W. B. Yeats.

    Dublin : 1940

    First edition and limited edition, number 13 of 370 copies. "A crucial event of these early years was Masefield's meeting with W. B. Yeats in 1900, and through him with J. M. Synge in 1903. With Yeats he found literary companionship and an entry into the literary world. Soon after, in 1901, he became a full-time writer" (ODNB). Learn More
    £325.00

    Stock Code: 84853

  32. The 'Shaggy Dog' Story.
    PARTRIDGE, Eric. The 'Shaggy Dog' Story.

    London : 1953

    Presentation copy of the first edition, first impression, of this humorous investigation into the phenomenon of the "Shaggy Dog" story, defined by its mischievous unexpectedness, and traced from its Ancient Greek origins ("A pert youth, meeting an old woman, driving a herd, called, 'Good morning, mother of asses!', she replied 'Good morning, my son!'"),... Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 84947

  33. Twenty-Four Portraits.
    ROTHENSTEIN, William. Twenty-Four Portraits.

    London : 1920

    First edition, first impression of this collection of twenty-four portraits or authors, artists, and intellectuals by William Rothenstein, including Joseph Conrad, John Galsworthy, André Gide, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, George Bernard Shaw, and H. G. Wells. Provenance: from the library of Conrad collector Stanley J. Seeger, with his bookplate. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 84657

  34. The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen.
    (WOOLF, Virginia.) MAITLAND, Frederic William. The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen.

    London : 1906 [1910]

    First edition. The book contains Virginia Woolf's first appearance in a book at pp. 474-6, chapter XI, "The Sunset". Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 84698

  35. Mrs Fisher.
    GRAVES, Robert. Mrs Fisher.

    London : 1928

    First edition, first impression; from the To-day and To-morrow series. Inscribed by Robert Graves on the front free endpaper, "Damn and blast, said Lars Porsenna! Robert Graves, 1957". This inscription references the opening lines of Macaulay's poem Horatius at the Bridge ("Lars Porsena of Clusium, / By the Nine Gods he swore..."), and to Graves's... Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 84023

  36. The Cutting of An Agate.
    YEATS, W. B. The Cutting of An Agate.

    London : 1919

    First UK edition, first impression. The 1912 New York publication of this title had substantially different contents. An attractive copy and uncommon in the dust jacket. Learn More
    £875.00

    Stock Code: 84212

  37. England Have My Bones.
    WHITE, T. H. England Have My Bones.

    London : 1936

    First edition, first impression. Scarce presentation copy inscribed by T. H. White on the title page, "N.H.H-B. / One book as a small token of gratitude for very many fried eggs. T.H.W." Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 83943

  38. John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, With Biographical Notes.
    (SYNGE, John M.) MASEFIELD, John. John M. Synge: A Few Personal Recollections, With Biographical Notes.

    Churchtown, Dundrum : 1915

    First edition, first impression, of Masefield's recollections of his friend J. M. Synge, who died in 1909; from a numbered limited edition of 350 copies. This copy is from the Garvan Collection on Ireland, with the bookplate and shelfmark annotation to title page verso in pencil. Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 83957

  39. Between You and Me.
    BAILEY, Pearl. Between You and Me.

    New York : 1989

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the title page, "To Paul, God is ever present. Love, Pearl Bailey". With a photograph inscribed "Love Pearl Bailey" loosely inserted. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 83591

  40. Negro.
    (ROBESON, Paul.) ROBESON, Eslanda Goode. Negro.

    London : 1930

    First UK edition, first impression, originally published in the US in the same year. The biography of the great American actor, musician, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson, written by his wife Eslanda. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 83627

  41. My Life.
    ELLIS, Havelock. My Life.

    Boston, : 1939

    First edition, first printing of Ellis's autobiography, the central subject of which is Ellis's marriage and open relationship with the lesbian and women's rights activist Edith Lees. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 82383

  42. The Complex Fate.
    (LEAVIS, F. R.) BEWLEY, Marius. The Complex Fate.

    London : 1952

    First edition, first impression of Bewley's study of classic and modern American literature, taking its title from Henry James's words, "It's a complex fate, being an American, and one of the responsibilities it entails is fighting against a superstitious valuation of Europe". This copy is inscribed on the front free endpaper by the monolithic British... Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 81883

  43. Grand Man. Memories of Norman Douglas.
    (DOUGLAS, Norman.) CUNARD, Nancy. Grand Man. Memories of Norman Douglas.

    London : 1954

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £80.00

    Stock Code: 81395

  44. Fanny Burney and the Burneys.
    (BURNEY, Fanny.) JOHNSON, R. Brimley. (Ed.) Fanny Burney and the Burneys.

    London : 1926

    First edition, first impression. Additions to Madame d'Arblay's diary, letters by Susan Burney, a journal of the Worcestershire Burneys, and a selection of the works of Dr Burney, his children and grandchildren. Plates, the frontispiece being a photogravure reproduction of an allegorical sketch by Edward Burney. Ownership signature on front pastedown.140492... Learn More
    £85.00

    Stock Code: 81598

  45. King of Comedy.
    (SENNETT, Mack.) SHIPP, Cameron. King of Comedy.

    Garden City, NY : 1954

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy signed by Sennett and inscribed by Shipp on the front free endpaper, "For Wally and Joan Meier, keep laughing! Mack Sennett, Cameron Shipp". Mack Sennett (1880-1960) was a Canadian-American actor and director, an Academy Award winner and the innovator of slapstick comedy in Hollywood. Learn More
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 81753

  46. My Life.
    DUNCAN, Isadora. My Life.

    New York : 1927

    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 American dance and literature... Learn More
    £625.00

    Stock Code: 81051

  47. A Survey.
    BEERBOHM, Max. A Survey.

    London : 1921

    First edition, first impression. One of a limited edition of 275 numbered copies signed by the author on the limitation leaf. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 80459

  48. Rabelais.
    FRANCE, Anatole. Rabelais.

    London : 1929

    First separate edition of Anatole France's "exact biography of Rabelais and critique of his masterpieces", first published two months previously in France's posthumous collected works. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 79710

  49. The Wanderer.
    MURRY, John Middleton. The Wanderer.

    The Old Rectory, Larling, near Norwich : December 1933 - 1934

    First editions, first impressions of all 12 published numbers (the final volume contains two numbers) of The Wanderer, a literary magazine published privately by John Middleton Murray. Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 79254

  50. Letters to Various Persons.
    THOREAU, Henry David. Letters to Various Persons.

    Boston : 1865

    First edition in the binding variant A, described in BAL as presumably the earliest of a number of styles, and cloth type Z. This volume compiles a large number of letters written by Thoreau to correspondents such as his wife, his sister, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with nine poems. An exceptional copy, Thoreau's books are rarely found in such beautiful... Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 79534

  51. The Cantos. Some Testimonies by Ernest Hemingway,
    (POUND, Ezra.) The Cantos. Some Testimonies by Ernest Hemingway,

    New York : 1933

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £600.00

    Stock Code: 78052

  52. Themes and Attitudes in Modern African Writing.
    GORDIMER, Nadine. Themes and Attitudes in Modern African Writing.

    [Ann Arbor, MI] : 1970

    An offprint from the Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. IX, No. 4, Fall, 1970. Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 77452

  53. Diamond Jim. The Life and Times of James Buchanan Brady.
    (BRADY, James Buchanan.) MORELL, Parker. Diamond Jim. The Life and Times of James Buchanan Brady.

    New York : 1934

    First edition, first impression. The biography of the larger-then-life figure James "Diamond Jim" Brady, American tycoon, philanthropist, and toast of the New York social scene during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A collector of jewellery and precious stones, he owned 30 sets of diamond jewellery-one for each day of the month. He... Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 77480

  54. British Poetry since 1945.
    [BROWNJOHN, Alan] LUCIE-SMITH, Edward [ed]. British Poetry since 1945.

    Harmandsworth, Middlesex : 1973

    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 is included in this anthology.... Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 77017

  55. On Strange Altars.
    JORDEN-SMITH, Paul. On Strange Altars.

    New York : 1924

    First edition, first impression. An idiosyncratic anthology of critical and personal responses to a range of writers, by the man (known pseudonymously as Pavel Jerdanowich) who founded the hoax art movement, Disumbrationism. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 77098

  56. The Truth About A Publisher.
    UNWIN, Sir Stanley. The Truth About A Publisher.

    London : 1960

    First edition, first impression. With the author's signed presentation inscription to Storer Lunt, head of the New York publishing house W. W. Norton & Co., on the front free endpaper, "To Storer Lunt, Colleague of my best friend among american publishers, the late W. W. Norton, from Stanley Unwin, 31st March 1960". Includes, clipped from the New York... Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 77300

  57. Ernest Hemingway's Apprenticeship. Oak Park, 1916-1917.
    (HEMINGWAY, Ernest.) BRUCCOLI, Matthew J. Ernest Hemingway's Apprenticeship. Oak Park, 1916-1917.

    Washington : 1971

    First edition, first printing. An account of Hemingway's schooldays, drawing together much of his schoolboy juvenilia. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 76529

  58. Diamond Jim. The Life and Times of James Buchanan Brady.
    (BRADY, James Buchanan.) MORELL, Parker. Diamond Jim. The Life and Times of James Buchanan Brady.

    New York : 1934

    First edition, first impression. The biography of the larger-then-life figure James "Diamond Jim" Brady, American tycoon, philanthropist, and toast of the New York social scene during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A collector of jewellery and precious stones, he owned 30 sets of diamond jewellery-one for each day of the month. He... Learn More
    £575.00

    Stock Code: 74752

  59. Society Sensations.
    WYNDHAM, Horace. Society Sensations.

    London : 1938

    First edition, first impression, of this collection of tales, including "the liaison of a poet and a "literary" lady; the suspect "mediumship" of a feminine spiritualist; the exploits of a "gold-digger" who overreached herself; and the story of a girl who began in the chorus, and who, by courage and personality, finished up in the peerage." Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 74609

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