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.

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  1. 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

    Stock Code: 91514

  2. 143133
    WOOLF, Virginia (contrib.), and others. Atalanta's Garland.

    Edinburgh : 1926

    First edition, first impression, and first appearance of Virginia Woolf's essay "A Woman's College from Outside". This literary and artistic "miscellany" produced to celebrate and fund the Edinburgh University Women's Union in its 21st year. Scarce in the jacket and in such good condition.

    It also features writing by, among others, Hilaire Belloc,... Learn More

    Stock Code: 143133

  3. The Whole workes of... three worthy Martyrs,
    TYNDALE, William; John Frith; Robert Barnes. The Whole workes of... three worthy Martyrs,

    London : 1573

    First edition, edited by the martyrologist John Foxe. Foxe had established his reputation as the leading chronicler of the English reformation with his first two editions of Acts and Monuments (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) in 1563 and 1570. In the latter he had promised that he would edit a collection of the works of William Tyndale, John Frith, and Robert... Learn More

    Stock Code: 77878

  4. Hours in a Library.
    WOOLF, Virginia. Hours in a Library.

    New York : 1957

    First separate edition, first printing, in a notably attractive example of the glassine jacket. Hours in a Library was originally published in the Times Literary Supplement in 1916. This edition was published for private distribution as a New Year's gift to friends of the publisher, this copy with a seasonal greetings note, signed "Dan", clipped... Learn More

    Stock Code: 142943

  5. Another Future of Poetry.
    GRAVES, Robert. Another Future of Poetry.

    London : 1926

    First edition, first impression, one of 1,000 copies. This work was issued as part of the Hogarth Essays, Series I, Number XVIII. Woolmer states that out of the 1,000 copies that were printed, 400 were pulped. Learn More

    Stock Code: 142890

  6. 142891
    GRAVES, Robert. Nine Hundred Iron Chariots.

    [Cambridge : 1963

    First edition. One of 4,500 copies (3,000 of which were issued on 7 October 1963, and a further 1,500 later that month) produced from Graves's lecture at the M.I.T., which included lecturers such as Sir Edward V. Appleton, Secretary of the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

    This copy with an enigmatic annotation to the... Learn More

    Stock Code: 142891

  7. 142778
    GRAVES, Robert. Oxford Addresses on Poetry.

    London : 1962

    First edition, first impression. This book gathers the three annual lectures Graves gave in his first year as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, as well as another three lectures given to University societies. Learn More

    Stock Code: 142778

  8. 142701
    STRACHEY, Lytton. Elizabeth and Essex.

    London : 1928

    First edition, first impression, of this dramatisation of the infamous relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Learn More

    Stock Code: 142701

  9. 142754
    JAMES, W. P. Romantic Professions.

    London : 1894

    First edition, first impression of this collection of essays, including the titular 'Romantic Professions', 'The Nemesis of Sentimentalism, 'Romance and Youth', and 'On the Naming of Novels'. Learn More

    Stock Code: 142754

  10. 142383
    RIDING, Laura, & Robert Graves. A Pamphlet Against Anthologies.

    London : 1928

    First edition, first impression, of Riding and Graves's collaborative thinking about the anthology as a significant form of marketing poetry, usually considered the sequel to their A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927).

    Loosely inserted is the publisher's promotional leaflet for P. Morton Shand's A Book Of Food, published the... Learn More

    Stock Code: 142383

  11. 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... Learn More

    Stock Code: 139100

  12. Marlborough.
    CHURCHILL, Winston S. Marlborough.

    London : 1933-1938

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139225

  13. 142281comp
    FREEMAN, Kathleen. The Work and Life of Solon.

    Cardiff : 1926

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy of the author's first book, inscribed by the author to her long-term partner, at the very start of their acquaintance, on the front free endpaper, "Lilian M.C. Clopet, from Kathleen Freeman July 14th, 1926". This work, "considered essential reading", is uncommonly found in the jacket or inscribed, this... Learn More

    Stock Code: 142281

  14. Literary San Francisco.
    FERLINGHETTI, Lawrence, & Nancy J. Peters. Literary San Francisco.

    San Francisco : 1980

    First edition, 84th printing, presentation copy inscribed to Beat icon, Carolyn Cassady, "For Carolyn in San Francisco on 'Literary San Francisco Day' 22 Sept 80", signed by both authors on the front free endpapers, and Cassady's annotations, on p. 179, correcting the text in her own entry, about her book Off the Road (1990).

    The recipient,... Learn More

    Stock Code: 141947

  15. The Appreciation of Poetry.
    PAUL, Eden & Cedar. The Appreciation of Poetry.

    London : 1920

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed to the publisher Stanley Unwin on the front free endpaper: "To Stanley Unwin with the writers' kind wishes. October 30th, 1920." Learn More

    Stock Code: 140810

  16. The White House Years: Mandate for Change 1953-1956 [and] Waging Peace 1956-1961 [together with] At Ease: Stories I Tell My Friends.
    EISENHOWER, Dwight D. The White House Years: Mandate for Change 1953-1956 [and] Waging Peace 1956-1961 [together with] At Ease: Stories I Tell My Friends.

    New York : 1963, 1965, 1967

    First editions of Eisenhower's two volumes of presidential autobiography and his later volume of discursive memoirs. Nelson Doubleday Jr. (1933-2015) was the last president of Doubleday and Company (1978-86) before its sale to Bertelsmann AG in 1986; he was grandson of the founder, Frank Nelson Doubleday ("Effendi"). Doubleday were Eisenhower's publishers... Learn More

    Stock Code: 116984

  17. 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

  18. 136359
    LOKER, Chris One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature.

    New York : 2014

    First edition, first printing. Learn More

    Stock Code: 136359

  19. Frederic Remington.
    REMINGTON, Frederic. Frederic Remington.

    Cody, Wy : 1996

    First edition, first printing, deluxe issue, number 246 of 250 copies signed by both editors on the title page of the first volume. Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909) was an American artist and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West. Learn More

    Stock Code: 141811

  20. Royal Characters.
    DOBSON, William T. (ed.) Royal Characters.

    London : 1881

    First edition. A handsome copy. Learn More

    Stock Code: 141849

  21. Lars Porsena.
    GRAVES, Robert. Lars Porsena.

    London : [1927]

    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

    Stock Code: 140732

  22. Timebends.
    MILLER, Arthur. Timebends.

    New York : 1987

    First edition, first impression, signed by the author on the title page. Learn More

    Stock Code: 140751

  23. 140723
    GRAVES, Robert, & Alan Hodge. The Reader Over Your Shoulder.

    London : 1943

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140723

  24. 140590
    (DOUGLAS, Lord Alfred.) STOPES, Marie Carmichael. Lord Alfred Douglas.

    London : 1949

    First edition, first impression. Learn More

    Stock Code: 140590

  25. 140591
    WYNDHAM-LEWIS, D. B. Ronsard.

    London : 1946

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140591

  26. An Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage, Son of the Earl Rivers.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. An Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage, Son of the Earl Rivers.

    London : 1744

    First 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

    Stock Code: 141773

  27. The Life of Robert Owen: Written by Himself,
    OWEN, Robert. The Life of Robert Owen: Written by Himself,

    London : 1857-8

    First 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

    Stock Code: 87786

  28. 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

  29. Ronald A. Wilford Presents Marcel Marceau and His Partner Pierre Verry.
    MARCEAU, Marcel - Ronald A. Wilford Presents Marcel Marceau and His Partner Pierre Verry.

    New York : 1973

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140997

  30. Music at Night
    HUXLEY, Aldous. Music at Night

    London : 1931

    First edition, first impression. Learn More

    Stock Code: 116748

  31. An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D.
    (BEATTIE, James.) FORBES, Sir William. An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D.

    Edinburgh : 1806

    First 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

    Stock Code: 118450

  32. Hommage à Isadora Duncan.
    DUNCAN, Isadora - YORSKA, Lottie. Hommage à Isadora Duncan.

    [Paris] : 1927

    Rare 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

    Stock Code: 140856

  33. A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska.
    (GAUDIER-BRZESKA, Henri.) EDE, H. S. A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska.

    London : 1930

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140770

  34. The Annual Necrology for 1797-8.
    WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary - HAYS, Mary, and others. The Annual Necrology for 1797-8.

    London : 1800

    First 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

    Stock Code: 123651

  35. 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

  36. The Memorial Service.
    (WILDER, Thornton Niven). The Memorial Service.

    Battell Chapel : 1976

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140296

  37. Anton Chekhov and the Lady with the Dog.
    (CHEKHOV, Anton.) SMITH, Virginia Llewellyn. Anton Chekhov and the Lady with the Dog.

    London : 1973

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140506

  38. Friday Nights.
    GARNETT, Edward. Friday Nights.

    London : 1922

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140475

  39. A Tribute to Kevin Sullivan.
    HEANEY, Seamus, and others. A Tribute to Kevin Sullivan.

    New York : 1991

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140158

  40. 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

  41. Poetry of the Celtic Races, and Other Essays.
    RENAN, Ernest. Poetry of the Celtic Races, and Other Essays.

    London : [1897]

    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

    Stock Code: 139627

  42. Dramatic Miscellanies:
    DAVIES, Thomas. Dramatic Miscellanies:

    London : 1783-4

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139635

  43. My Guru and His Disciple.
    ISHERWOOD, Christopher. My Guru and His Disciple.

    New York : 1980

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140102

  44. Medieval History and the Romantic Imagination.
    RUNCIMAN, Steven. Medieval History and the Romantic Imagination.

    Oxford : [1963]

    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

    Stock Code: 139947

  45. Focus One [together with] Focus Two.
    PEARSE, Andrew, & Balachandra Rajan. Focus One [together with] Focus Two.

    London : 1945 & 1946

    First 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

    Stock Code: 140057

  46. As it Was.
    (THOMAS, Edward.) THOMAS, Helen. As it Was.

    London : 1926

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139953

  47. Essays in Biography.
    KEYNES, John Maynard. Essays in Biography.

    London : 1951

    Expanded 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

    Stock Code: 140126

  48. Getting to Know the General.
    GREENE, Graham. Getting to Know the General.

    London : 1984

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139957

  49. Yours etc.
    GREENE, Graham. Yours etc.

    London : 1989

    First edition, first impression. Learn More

    Stock Code: 139958

  50. The Fire and the Sun: Why Plato Banished the Artists.
    MURDOCH, Iris. The Fire and the Sun: Why Plato Banished the Artists.

    London : 1977

    First edition, first impression. Learn More

    Stock Code: 139934

  51. Sidney H. Sime, Master of Fantasy.
    (BRADBURY, Ray, intro.) SKEETERS, Paul W. Sidney H. Sime, Master of Fantasy.

    Pasadena, CA : 1978

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139783

  52. Shakespeare.
    BROWN, Ivor. Shakespeare.

    London : 1963

    First edition, fourth impression, finely bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Learn More

    Stock Code: 136667

  53. Auteurs deguisez sous des noms étrangers;
    BAILLET, Adrien. Auteurs deguisez sous des noms étrangers;

    Paris : 1690

    First 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

    Stock Code: 128678

  54. Letters and Reminiscences.
    DOSTOEVSKY, Fyodor. Letters and Reminiscences.

    London : 1923

    First 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

    Stock Code: 121093

  55. Poetry and Poets.
    LOWELL, Amy. Poetry and Poets.

    Boston : 1930

    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

    Stock Code: 117242

  56. Remarkable Biography;
    PINDAR, Paul. Remarkable Biography;

    London : 1821

    First 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

    Stock Code: 133534

  57. 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

  58. 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

  59. Edward Marsh's Little Book.
    MARSH, Edward. Edward Marsh's Little Book.

    Eton : 1990

    First 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

    Stock Code: 139388

  60. An Autobiography.
    TROLLOPE, Anthony. An Autobiography.

    Edinburgh : 1883

    First 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

    Stock Code: 128316

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