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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 241-289 of 289

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  1. Frederick William Rolfe, Christchurch, and The Artist.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo; WEEKS, Baron. Frederick William Rolfe, Christchurch, and The Artist.

    Edinburgh : 1980

    First edition, signed limited issue. Number 10 of 120 copies. Learn More

    Stock Code: 102681

  2. Jugged Journalism.
    BERKELEY, Anthony, as A. B. Cox. Jugged Journalism.

    London : 1925

    First edition, first impression. Anthony Berkeley Cox wrote numerous and particularly highly regarded works of detective fiction under two pen names: as Anthony Berkeley, he took the British Golden Age detective novel to fresh heights, while as Francis Iles, he was a pioneer of psychological suspense fiction with a seasoning of cynical wit. The pieces... Learn More

    Stock Code: 31316

  3. Beyond the Outsider.
    WILSON, Colin. Beyond the Outsider.


    First edition, first impression, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to Sheila Hancox, in the year of publication. Learn More

    Stock Code: 31339

  4. The Milk of Paradise.
    LEES-MILNE, James. The Milk of Paradise.


    First Edition, First Impression. The final volume of the diaries. Learn More

    Stock Code: 33708

  5. Memoir of Charles Mathews, comedian.
    MATHEWS, Charles. Memoir of Charles Mathews, comedian.

    London : 1838-9

    First edition, in an extraordinary binding no doubt intended to invoke the traditional motley of the jester. The most famous comedian of his day, Mathews's powerful influence on Charles Dickens's stylistic methods of comic characterization has long been recognized. Mathews's monopolylogues, farces in which the actor played every character, provided... Learn More

    Stock Code: 35334

  6. Now and Then.
    HELLER, Joseph. Now and Then.

    New York : 1998

    First edition, first impression. With the author's magnificent presentation inscription to the half title page, "For Erica - - Who has played a much larger role in this slice of a life than has been given her here. The family photo in the book is lovely. I hope the book pleases you too. With much love Dad". Learn More

    Stock Code: 35884

  7. Shakespeare's Boy Actors.
    DAVIES, W. Robertson. Shakespeare's Boy Actors.


    First Edition, First Impression of the author's first book. Still a standard in the field. In a letter to a collector written in 1951 Davies reported having no spare copies of this book and that his best guess was that no more than 600 were in existence. Scarce in dust jacket. Learn More

    Stock Code: 38548

  8. Catalogue of The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection of Pat McInally.
    MILNE, A. A., & E. H. Shepard. Catalogue of The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection of Pat McInally.

    London : 2011

    Catalogue to accompany the exhibition and sale of the most comprehensive collection of Winnie-the-Pooh books and artwork ever assembled. Including more than one hundred items gathered together over twenty years by American football legend Pat McInally, the catalogue describes and illustrates fine examples of all the Pooh books, important inscribed copies,... Learn More

    Stock Code: 39598

  9. A Tree is a Tree.
    VIDOR, King. A Tree is a Tree.

    New York : 1953

    First Edition, First Printing. Signed by Vidor on the front free endpaper. Learn More

    Stock Code: 41284

  10. Time Exposure.
    JACKSON, William Henry. Time Exposure.

    New York : 1940

    First edition, first printing, of the autobiography of William Henry Jackson (1843-1942), the American painter, Civil War veteran, geological survey photographer, and an explorer most famous for his images of the American West. Learn More

    Stock Code: 42723

  11. Aurora Leigh. Offprint from
    WOOLF, Virginia. Aurora Leigh. Offprint from


    First printing of this appreciation of Elizabeth Barret Browning's Aurora Leigh (1856). Woolf's essay was reprinted and slightly revised in TLS on 2 July 1931; The Common Reader: Second Series, 1932; and in the Collected Essays, Vol. I, 1966. In this essay Woolf analyses Browning's work and writing form, and wonders why it has "left no successors",... Learn More

    Stock Code: 46203

  12. A Whole New Life.
    PRICE, Reynolds. A Whole New Life.

    New York : 1994

    First edition, first printing. Learn More

    Stock Code: 59411

  13. Contemporary Portraits.
    HARRIS, Frank. Contemporary Portraits.

    New York : 1915

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To Margaret Viereck from the author, who admires her grace & beauty, more than any writing. Frank Harris. New York, 3 Washington Square. In this year of DisGrace 1915". A fine association: Margaret "Gretchen" Viereck was the wife of the German-American... Learn More

    Stock Code: 63174

  14. Looking Back.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Looking Back.

    London : 1933

    First and limited edition, first impression, number 36 of 535 numbered copies signed by the author. "Douglas published Looking Back in 1933, a discursive, leisurely autobiography drawing upon material accumulated over several decades, and brought out as a two-volume limited edition of 535 copies under the guidance of Charles Prentice, his friend and... Learn More

    Stock Code: 105292

  15. Enemies of Promise.
    CONNOLLY, Cyril. Enemies of Promise.

    London : 1938

    First edition, first impression, uncommon in the dust jacket. "Connolly made a surer reputation than with his debut novel The Rock Pool (1936) with Enemies of Promise (1938). This work is part literary criticism, part general observations on the life of the writer, part childhood autobiography, part astute assessment of the precocity forced on English... Learn More

    Stock Code: 106756

  16. I Search for Rainbows.
    CARTLAND, Barbara. I Search for Rainbows.

    London : 1967

    First edition, first impression, of Cartland's autobiography. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author "To darling Denise - the most glamorous writer in the world - with love from her ever admiring Barbara, 1967" on the front free endpaper. The recipient was Cartland's friend and rival romantic novelist Denise Robins. The two authors shared a close... Learn More

    Stock Code: 106956

  17. Here in the Village.
    BARTHELME, Donald. Here in the Village.

    Northridge : 1978

    First edition, signed limited issue, accompanied by the author's extensively hand-corrected galley proofs for the preface and the first essay in the book. This is number 7 of 275 copies signed by the author (a further 50 signed copies were also issued, with a collage by the author as a frontispiece). Learn More

    Stock Code: 109942

  18. William Golding: A Bibliography, 1934-1993.
    GOLDING, William (foreword); GEKOSKI, R. A. & P. A. Grogan. William Golding: A Bibliography, 1934-1993.

    London : 1994

    First and limited edition. Number 54 of 900 copies which were supposed to have been numbered by Golding in Roman numerals, but instead were numbered in Arabic. There were also 1,000 copies bound in quarter leather, numbered in Arabic numerals and signed by Golding. This copy is unsigned and comes with an erratum slip tipped-in at the limitation page,... Learn More

    Stock Code: 112721

  19. Walt Whitman.
    WHITMAN, Walt - BUCKE, Richard Maurice. Walt Whitman.

    Philadelphia : 1883

    First edition, first printing, of this biography of Whitman by his devotee, physician Dr. Richard Bucke. "An unconventional book, as much anthology of documents about the poet as a biography. It was also a collaboration; Whitman advised throughout, revised Bucke's text, and wrote significant portions of the book himself" (LeMaster: Walt Whitman, An... Learn More

    Stock Code: 115095

  20. Time and Western Man.
    LEWIS, Wyndham. Time and Western Man.

    London : 1927

    First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To H. E. Dounce, from Wyndham Lewis, October 1927". Harry Esty Dounce (1889-1947) was an American journalist and book reviewer. Learn More

    Stock Code: 115120

  21. On Translating Homer, Three Lectures Given at Oxford; [together with:] On Translating Homer, Last Words, a Lecture Given at Oxford.
    HOMER - ARNOLD, Matthew. On Translating Homer, Three Lectures Given at Oxford; [together with:] On Translating Homer, Last Words, a Lecture Given at Oxford.

    London : 1861 & 1862

    First editions of the first published criticism by Matthew Arnold, who was primarily known for his poetry: "Here, taking the translation of the Iliad by F. W. Newman, brother of the theologian, as his main target, Arnold pilloried the tendency of learning to degenerate into antiquarianism and pedantry" (ODNB). From the library of English poet John Drinkwater,... Learn More

    Stock Code: 117142

  22. Present Indicative.
    COWARD, Noël. Present Indicative.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "For Dennis Wheatley, from Nöel Coward"; with Wheatley's bookplate to the front pastedown. Present Indicative is Coward's "entertaining and often revealing memoirs" (Philip Hoare in ODNB). Learn More

    Stock Code: 114439

  23. Shelley Memorials:
    (SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe.) SHELLEY, Lady Jane (ed.) Shelley Memorials:

    London : 1859

    Second edition, presentation copy inscribed by Lady Jane Shelley, Shelley's daughter-in-law, "The Countess of Malmesbury, from J. Shelley", on the front binder's blank. Jane Shelley was motivated to produce this memoir of her father-in-law as a response to his biography by Thomas Jefferson Hogg, which was published in 1858 to unfavourable reviews. In... Learn More

    Stock Code: 124955

  24. Vita scritta da se medesimo.
    VICO, Giambattista. Vita scritta da se medesimo.

    Venice : 1728

    First edition of Vico's autobiography, argued by Croce to be "the application of the Scienza Nuova to the life of its author, the course of his own individual history" (p. 266), printed as pages 145-256 in the first volume of Calogerà's Raccolta d'opusculi scientifici e filologici, a quarterly miscellany.

    "A Proposal to the Scholars of Italy",... Learn More

    Stock Code: 123878

  25. Leopoldo Lugones.
    BORGES, Jorge Luis. Leopoldo Lugones.

    Buenos Aires : 1955

    First edition, first printing, presentation copy inscribed by Borges on the title page, "Para Vicente Barbieri, afectos y un abrazo, Jorge Luis Borges". Barbieri (1903-1956) was a notable Argentine poet, posthumously awarded the National Prize for Poetry after his early death from tuberculosis. In this work Borges addresses the legacy of another Argentine... Learn More

    Stock Code: 129522

  26. The Trembling of the Veil.
    YEATS, W. B. The Trembling of the Veil.

    London : 1922

    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, p. 559). The following... Learn More

    Stock Code: 131699

  27. Elinor Remick Warren: her life and music.
    BORTIN, Virginia. Elinor Remick Warren: her life and music.

    Metuchen, New Jersey : 1987

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, warmly inscribed by Remick Warren, "To Patsy, with all loving good wishes and happy memories of neighborhood days, from Elinor Remick Warren Griffins" on the front free endpaper. Works signed by Remick Warren are uncommon. Warren's "neo-Romantic style which was accessible to audiences and characterized... Learn More

    Stock Code: 134308

  28. Life of Napoleon Bonaparte,
    NAPOLEON - IRELAND, William Henry, & George Cruikshank. Life of Napoleon Bonaparte,

    London : 1823-8

    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 are very unusual, and examples... Learn More

    Stock Code: 128967

  29. Memoirs of the Life of Count de Grammont:
    HAMILTON, Anthony, Count, & Mr. [Abel] Boyer, (trans.) Memoirs of the Life of Count de Grammont:

    London : 1714

    First edition in English of this anonymously published account of Anthony Hamilton's brother-in-law, French nobleman Philibert, Count de Gramont (1621-1707), and the intrigues of the Restoration court. This first edition is commercially uncommon, particularly in such an attractive binding.

    "The book was greeted with considerable critical acclaim... Learn More

    Stock Code: 133350

  30. The Life of Samuel Johnson.
    BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson.

    London : 1793

    First octavo edition, the second overall, of "the most famous biography in any language, one of Western literature's most germinal achievements: unprecedented in its time in its depth of research and its extensive use of private correspondence and recorded conversation" (ODNB). Boswell set about compiling his many thousands of notes after Johnson's... Learn More

    Stock Code: 136108

  31. The History of the Twelve Caesars, Emperors of Rome.
    SUETONIUS. The History of the Twelve Caesars, Emperors of Rome.

    London : 1672

    First edition of this translation, the second edition in English overall, following the first of 1606 translated by Philêmon Holland. The translator has never been firmly identified. It was published by John Starkey, a well-known Whig and Dissenting bookseller, and some have perceived an anti-royalist tone in the translation, although the book does... Learn More

    Stock Code: 136176

  32. A Middle English Vocabulary [in] Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose.
    TOLKIEN, J. R. R. - SISAM, Kenneth (ed.) A Middle English Vocabulary [in] Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose.

    Oxford : 1923

    First edition of Tolkien first book, in its secondary issue as the latter part of Kenneth Sisam's Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose. The first edition of A Middle English Vocabulary was printed in 2,000 copies and was issued in May 1922 as a stand-alone volume in wrappers; the following year unsold sheets of the edition were issued bound into a new... Learn More

    Stock Code: 136543

  33. A River Runs Through It,
    MACLEAN, Norman. A River Runs Through It,

    Chicago : 1976

    First edition, first printing, with the first printing issue points: a digit missing to the ISBN on the copyright page, "adways" for "always" on line 15, p. 27, and the ISBN complete on the dust jacket rear flap. A River Runs Through It is Maclean's autobiographical collection of short stories, collecting "A River Runs Through It", "Logging and Pimping... Learn More

    Stock Code: 137199

  34. Cartoons:
    BEERBOHM, Max. Cartoons:

    London : [1911]

    First and only edition. "The series of fifteen cartoons called 'The Second Childhood of John Bull' was exhibited in 1901 as part of Max's first one-man show, at the Carfax Gallery, operated by friend Robert Ross. In 1911 Stephen Swift & Co. published the drawings... While allegorical subjects are not considered Max's forte, the John Bull drawings have... Learn More

    Stock Code: 81571

  35. Ways of Escape.
    GREENE, Graham. Ways of Escape.

    London : 1980

    First edition, first impression. A sequel to the autobiographical A Sort of Life (1971). Learn More

    Stock Code: 104414

  36. Napoleon.
    SOKOLOFF, Boris. Napoleon.

    New York : 1937

    First edition, first printing. Sokoloff was a Russian doctor, author, and cancer researcher who was instrumental in drafting the All-Russian Constitution of the Russian Constituent Assembly, the governing body that would later be overthrown by Lenin. After escaping a death sentence, he moved to Paris before relocating to America at the invitation of... Learn More

    Stock Code: 138223

  37. Apollinaire filmé en 1914.
    APOLLINAIRE, Guillaume - ROUVEYRE, André. Apollinaire filmé en 1914.

    Lanzac : 1944

    First and only edition, number 93 of 115 copies on papier Vélin Madagascar. The short film, or succession of photographs, were taken on 2 August 1914 as Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) on the left, and his friend the artist André Rouveyre (1879-1962), had just returned to Paris and were on their way to the Comœdia's offices to deliver their work.... Learn More

    Stock Code: 138667

  38. Agnes Strickland. Biographer of the Queens of England 1796-1874.
    STRICKLAND, Agnes - POPE-HENNESSY, Una. Agnes Strickland. Biographer of the Queens of England 1796-1874.

    London : 1940

    First 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

    Stock Code: 138334

  39. Boswell's Life of Johnson.
    (JOHNSON, Samuel.) BOSWELL, James; George Birkbeck Hill (ed.) Boswell's Life of Johnson.

    Oxford : 1887

    First 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 product of almost... Learn More

    Stock Code: 139100

  40. John Ruskin, Social Reformer.
    HOBSON, John Atkinson. John Ruskin, Social Reformer.

    London : 1898

    Second 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

    Stock Code: 124616

  41. Paul Verlaine.
    NICOLSON, Harold. Paul Verlaine.

    London : 1921

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139526

  42. Going Solo.
    DAHL, Roald. Going Solo.

    London : 1986

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the half-title, "To Jenny with love, Roald Dahl, 1988". Learn More

    Stock Code: 112116

  43. Edmund Campion.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. Edmund Campion.

    London : 1935

    First edition, signed limited issue, number 45 of 50 copies signed by Waugh "for private distribution". Learn More

    Stock Code: 112493

  44. James Joyce: A Study in Words.
    JOYCE, James - PRESCOTT, Joseph. James Joyce: A Study in Words.

    New York : March 1939

    The truly rare original offprint, with only two copies listed by WorldCat 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

    Stock Code: 140930

  45. Fever Pitch.
    HORNBY, Nick. Fever Pitch.

    London : 1992

    First edition, first impression, inscribed on the title page "Best wishes, Nick Hornby". Learn More

    Stock Code: 142960

  46. A Literary History of India.
    FRAZER, R. W. A Literary History of India.

    London : 1898

    First edition, presentation copy from the author, with a full-page inscription on the front free endpaper: "I wrote this book in six months time and have repented ever since that I wrote it. It is however a pleasure to know that it has found an honoured home in the Library of Mr. J. Carleton Young. I now sign it in token of kindest regards and sincerest... Learn More

    Stock Code: 141343

  47. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
    SCHOFF, Wilfred H. (trans.) The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

    New York : 1912

    First edition, first printing, of this translation of "the first record of organized trading with the nations of the East, in vessels built and commanded by subjects of the Western World, comparable to the journals of Marco Polo and Columbus and Vespucci" (introduction). Learn More

    Stock Code: 143761

  48. 143803
    LEWIS, Wyndham. Blasting and Bombarding.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression, first issue (in stiff boards). Blasting and Bombarding was the first of two autobiographical books written by Lewis (followed by Rude Assignment, 1950), and covers the period from 1914 to 1926, tracking Lewis's progress through the First World War and the literary and artistic upheavals of Modernism. Learn More

    Stock Code: 143803

  49. Pope.
    STRACHEY, Lytton. Pope.

    Cambridge : 1925

    First edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper "To H.T.J.N. with love from the Author". The recipient was Harry Norton, a fellow Cambridge Apostle and close friend of Strachey's, he was also the dedicatee of Strachey's Eminent Victorians (1918). This is a lovely association copy. Learn More

    Stock Code: 146014

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