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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.

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  1. The Godstone and the Blackymor.
    WHITE, T. H. The Godstone and the Blackymor.

    London : 1959

    First edition, first impression, inscribed by the illustrator, "Signed for Bridget by Edward Ardizzone, Feb 1968", on the front free endpaper, with a typed letter from the Book Trade Group referring to Ardizzone's visit to Melbourne, a related newspaper clipping and a prospectus from Jonathan Cape for their journal Now and Then, all laid in. A lovely... Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 108471

  2. The Problems of Lieutenant Knap.
    MUCHA, Jiří. The Problems of Lieutenant Knap.

    London : 1945

    First edition, first impression, preceding its publication in the original Czech (as Problémy nadporučíka Knapa) by a year. Ewald Osers was a noted translator of Czech, Slovak and German; of Jewish origin, he left his native Prague for England in 1938 and spent more than 40 years working for the BBC Monitoring Service. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 107712

  3. Greece and The Levant. The Catalogue of The Henry Myron Blackmer Collection of Books.
    NAVARI, Leonora. Greece and The Levant. The Catalogue of The Henry Myron Blackmer Collection of Books.

    London : 1989

    First edition, one of 300 copies of this important bibliographical reference detailing the Henry M. Blackmer Collection, the finest collection on Modern Greece and Levantine studies at the time of its sale in October 1989. Blackmer was an American banker who settled in Athens and formed this remarkable collection as a tribute to his adopted country,... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 107507

  4. 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
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 106956

  5. The Observer: Being a Collection of Moral, Literary and Familiar Essays.
    CUMBERLAND, Richard. The Observer: Being a Collection of Moral, Literary and Familiar Essays.

    London : 1786-1788

    First edition of the first four volumes of Cumberland's Observer, comprising 125 essays. A fifth volume with a further 27 essays followed in 1790. "Although Cumberland will largely be remembered as a playwright, he was more than merely a man of letters. His novel Arundel (1789), written in epistolary form, begs comparison with Samuel Richardson's Sir... Learn More
    £325.00

    Stock Code: 106964

  6. The English Ballad.
    GRAVES, Robert. The English Ballad.

    London : 1927

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 106674

  7. Joysprick.
    BURGESS, Anthony. Joysprick.

    London : 1973

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 106702

  8. 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
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 106756

  9. The Caliph's Design.
    LEWIS, Wyndham. The Caliph's Design.

    London : 1919

    First edition, first impression, 1,000 copies were printed. With the rare publisher's flyer for Lewis's debut novel Tarr, "some were laid into copies of The Caliph's Design" (Morrow & Lafourcade). "In The Caliph's Design: Architects! Where is Your Vortex?, Lewis offers the most sustained and considered of his early critiques of the art scene of the... Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 106471

  10. Lord John Ten: A Celebration.
    ETCHISON, Dennis (ed.) Lord John Ten: A Celebration.

    Northridge, California : 1988

    First edition, signed limited edition, deluxe issue. Number 3 of 75 specially bound copies, signed by the contributors: Robert Bloch, Dennis Etchison, James Purdy, Patrick W. Magee, Robert B. Parker, Bruce Francis, James Crumley, Whitley Strieber, Robert Lannes, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, William F. Nolan, Lorri Ziegler, Barry N. Malzberg, Jack... Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 105651

  11. The Essays.
    BROCK, H. M. (illus.); JERROLD, Douglas. The Essays.

    London : 1903

    First edition of this collection of essays edited by Jerrold's grandson, featuring Brock's delicate illustrations. The brothers C. E. and H. M. Brock collaborated closely with the publisher for J. M. Dent, perhaps most notably illustrating the novels of Jane Austen. They "worked closely together in the same studio and gained stimulation from each other... Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 105771

  12. 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
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 105292

  13. Angry Penguins Broadsheet.
    ANGRY PENGUINS - HARRIS, Max. Angry Penguins Broadsheet.

    Melbourne : 1946

    A complete set of ten issues. The Angry Penguins Broadsheet was an offshoot of Angry Penguins, Australia's leading modernist literary magazine.

    The title came from Harris's poem, Mithridatum of Despair: "We know no mithridatum of despair/as drunks, the angry penguins of the night/straddling the cobbles of the square/tying a shoelace by fogged... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 105022

  14. Schnozzola: The Story of Jimmy Durante.
    FOWLER, Gene. Schnozzola: The Story of Jimmy Durante.

    New York : 1951

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Mumsie, with love, Gene." Learn More
    £325.00

    Stock Code: 105033

  15. Memoirs of a Booklegger.
    KAHANE, Jack. Memoirs of a Booklegger.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression of this memoir by the founder of the Obelisk Press. Scarce, due to most of the edition having been destroyed when a Nazi bomb hit the publisher's warehouse. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 105121

  16. Thomas Hardy.
    BLUNDEN, Edmund. Thomas Hardy.

    London : 1941

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 104948

  17. A Survey.
    BEERBOHM, Max. A Survey.

    London : 1921

    First edition, trade issue of Beerbohm's caricatures of public figures ranging from Joseph Conrad to David Lloyd George, scarce in this condition. There was also a deluxe limited edition of 275 numbered copies signed by the author. Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 104692

  18. Looking Back.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Looking Back.

    London : 1933

    Signed limited edition. Additionally inscribed by the author to his friend, the lawyer Arthur Johnson, "For Arthur, with love from Norman, Capri, January, 1950" (front free endpaper of first volume). Number 533 of 535 copies signed by the author. In 1953 Johnson wrote to Nancy Cunard: "I first met Douglas on Capri on the terrace of a café overhanging... Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 104200

  19. Buried Pleasure.
    DE CHAIR, Somerset [Struben]. Buried Pleasure.

    Braunton, Devon : 1985

    Limited edition of 100 signed and numbered copies, this number 32. This copy additionally signed and inscribed by de Chair on the title page "For Phyllis Roper on her 70th birthday in appreciation of her consistent help". Biography of the English author, politician, poet and connoisseur. In WWII he served as an intelligence officer with the 4th Cavalry... Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 103982

  20. The Big Fellow: A Life of Michael Collins.
    O'CONNOR, Frank. The Big Fellow: A Life of Michael Collins.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression of this biography of the Irish revolutionary leader. Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 103567

  21. The Filibuster: a study of the political ideas of Wyndham Lewis.
    BRIDSON, Douglas Geoffrey. The Filibuster: a study of the political ideas of Wyndham Lewis.

    London : 1972

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to his second wife, Joyce Thirlaway Bridson (née Rowe), "For Joyce, who suffered as much as I did researching & writing it for our old friend W.L. with love, Geoffrey. 21.9.72," and with Joyce's bookplate to the front pastedown. The author was a close... Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 103407

  22. The Lightning Conductor Comes Back.
    WILLIAMSON, Alice. The Lightning Conductor Comes Back.

    London : 1933

    First edition, first impression of this epistolary travel novel. Scarce in the jacket. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 103432

  23. Broken Record: Reminiscences.
    CAMPBELL, Roy. Broken Record: Reminiscences.

    London : 1934

    First edition, second issue, with pp. 105-8 removed and replaced with a cancel by the publisher, due to a libel case with Hugh MacDiarmid. Scarce in the jacket. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 103284

  24. Tennyson.
    WOLFE, Humbert. Tennyson.

    London : 1930

    First edition, first impression, number 3 in Faber's "The Poets on the Poets" series; a study of Tennyson's Maud. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 103092

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

    [London] : 1963

    First edition, limited issue, one of 600 copies. The first publication of this collection of letters from Rolfe to his publisher, John Lane, and which was 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: 102595

  26. De la littérature du midi de l'Europe.
    SIMONDE DE SISMONDI, Jean Charles L. De la littérature du midi de l'Europe.

    Paris : 1813

    First edition of Sismondi's survey of Italian, Provençal, Spanish, and Portuguese literature, which established him among the initiators of French Romanticism. Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 102671

  27. Frederick William Rolfe & Artists' Models.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo; WEEKS, Baron. Frederick William Rolfe & Artists' Models.

    Edinburgh : 1981

    First edition, signed limited issue. Number 16 of 115 copies only. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 102674

  28. 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 64 of 120 copies. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 102679

  29. 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
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 102681

  30. Frederick William Rolfe and Editors.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo; WEEKS, Baron. Frederick William Rolfe and Editors.

    Edinburgh : 1984

    First edition, limited issue. Number 40 of 110 copies only. Learn More
    £60.00

    Stock Code: 102684

  31. The Shape of Further Things: Speculations on Change.
    ALDISS, Brian W. The Shape of Further Things: Speculations on Change.

    London : 1970

    First edition, first impression of the author's autobiography. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 102150

  32. If I Die In A Combat Zone.
    O'BRIEN, Tim. If I Die In A Combat Zone.

    London : 1973

    First UK edition, first impression of the author's first book. It was first published earlier the same year in the US. Uncommon in such nice condition. Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 102020

  33. The Story of the Life of George Stephenson;
    SMILES, Samuel. The Story of the Life of George Stephenson;

    London : 1871

    An attractively bound copy of Smiles's popular biography, first published in 1857. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 101775

  34. The New Disorder.
    FORSTER, E. M. The New Disorder.

    New York : 1949

    First separate edition, signed limited issue, number V of 20 copies signed by both author and illustrator, from a total edition of 1,200. Forster's essay was first published in Horizon, December 1941, and largely incorporated in "Art for Art's Sake" in Harper's Magazine, August 1949. Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 100433

  35. The Merry Hippo.
    HUXLEY, Elspeth. The Merry Hippo.

    London : 1963

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 99495

  36. End Papers.
    BREYTENBACH, Breyten. End Papers.

    London : 1986

    First edition in English, first impression. It was published later the same year in the US, in Germany as Schlussakte Südafrika, and in Amsterdam as De andere kant van de vrijheid. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 99217

  37. Pentimento.
    HELLMAN, Lillian. Pentimento.

    London : 1974

    First UK edition, first impression, of the author's controversial memoir, which was originally published in the US the preceding year. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 99077

  38. The Overcrowded Barracoon
    NAIPAUL, V. S. The Overcrowded Barracoon

    London : 1972

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 98804

  39. Chatterton.
    ACKROYD, Peter. Chatterton.

    London : 1987

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 98807

  40. Experiments.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Experiments.

    London : 1925

    First UK trade edition, first impression, originally printed privately at Florence in April 1925. "The text differs from both the privately printed and American editions. It contains the revised version of "D. H. Lawrence and Maurice Magnus: A Plea for Better Manners", not included in the privately printed edition, and the book-reviews and dedication... Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 97955

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

    Dublin : 1795

    First Dublin edition, same year as the first London edition; Kress lists the Dublin printing first and calls the London "another issue" while Tribe calls the Dublin edition a piracy. The Essays were published five years after Smith's death and edited by the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753-1828); his "Account of the Life and Writings of Adam... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 97132

  42. Confessions of a Young Man.
    MOORE, George. Confessions of a Young Man.

    London : 1888

    First edition in English. Originally published in French in 1886. A memoir written in the form of a novel about the author's bohemian life in Paris and London during the 1870s and 80s, and notable as one of the first English writings about the emerging French Impressionist art scene. With the advert for Parnell and His Island tipped-in to the front... Learn More
    £875.00

    Stock Code: 95927

  43. The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.
    TAYLOR, Marshall W. The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.

    Worcester : 1928

    First edition, first impression, in the scarce jacket, of the autobiography of the pioneering athlete Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor, who became the world champion in 1899 in the one mile sprint. He was also the second African-American world champion in any sport, after boxer George Dixon. Though celebrated in Europe and Australia, his career was held... Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 95968

  44. Walton's Lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert, and Dr. Robert Sanderson.
    WALTON, Isaak. Walton's Lives of Dr. John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton, Mr. Richard Hooker, Mr. George Herbert, and Dr. Robert Sanderson.

    London : 1858

    Second issue of this New Edition, first published the previous year, the text largely based on John Major's 1825 edition, with the addition of Dowling's memoir of Walton. William Mansell was successor to the famed James Hayday. Large armorial bookplate of Charles Preston Crewe to the front pastedown. Born in London, Crewe travelled to South Africa in... Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 95258

  45. More First Nights.
    AGATE, James. More First Nights.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression of Agate's theatrical impressions. The publisher's retained copy with their stamp to the front panel of the dust jacket, the front pastedown and the title page. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 94971

  46. More First Nights.
    AGATE, James. More First Nights.

    London : 1937

    First edition, first impression of Agate's theatrical impressions. From the publisher's archive with their stamp to the half-title. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 94973

  47. 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

  48. Experiment in Adoption.
    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

  49. 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

  50. 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

  51. 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

  52. 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

  53. 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

  54. 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

  55. 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

  56. 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

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

    London : 1795

    First edition, published five years after Smith's death. It is prefaced by Dugald Stewart's "Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith", one of the earliest biographical notices of Smith, and "until Stewart's Biographical Memoir of 1811 formed the basis upon which everyone drew for the biographies of Smith that began to appear in the early 19th... Learn More
    £8,750.00

    Stock Code: 90155

  58. 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

  59. 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

  60. 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

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