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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 320

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen.
    WOOLF, Virginia (contrib.); 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Edmund Campion.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. Edmund Campion.

    London : 1947

    Second edition, with a new introduction by the author. Inscribed by Waugh on the half-title, "With happy & grateful memories of Dundee, from Evelyn Waugh. Oct 26, 1949". At the outbreak of the Second World War Waugh joined the marine infantry brigade and, after seeing action on the Libyan coast in April 1941, returned to Britain and spent about a year... Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 82521

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. Henry Green. A Novelist of the Imagination.
    WELTY, Eudora. Henry Green. A Novelist of the Imagination.

    [Austin : 1961

    Offprint from the Texas Quarterly. Inscribed by the author on the verso of the upper wrapper, "With love to Bill and Barbara and so many wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Eudora, 1961". The recipients were poets William Jay Smith, sometime American Poet Laureate, and his wife, also a poet, Barbara Howes. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 76436

  31. 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

  32. 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 19th and early 20th century. A collector of jewellery and precious stones, he owned 30 sets of diamond jewellery - one for each day of the month. He was also... Learn More
    £575.00

    Stock Code: 74752

  33. 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

  34. Preface [to Three Plays by Brieux].
    SHAW, George Bernard. Preface [to Three Plays by Brieux].

    [London : 1910]

    Page proofs, first state, hand-corrected by Shaw. The rare first state page proofs of Shaw's Preface to Three Plays by Brieux, which was published in 1911 by A. C. Fifield. Laurence located only 8 copies and notes "Shaw used copies of this proof state (and of the revised proof which followed) for purposes of translation and copyright deposit." It appears... Learn More
    £1,560.00

    Stock Code: 73705

  35. Edmund Campion.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. Edmund Campion.

    London : 1935

    First edition, first impression. A very tricky book to find in genuinely nice condition, this copy with an appropriately catholic association: a gift inscription from the Countess Idina Brassey to the Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Haywards Heath, to the front free endpaper, and with the Priory's bookplate on the front pastedown. Learn More
    £1,750.00

    Stock Code: 72381

  36. The Life of Captain James Cook.
    COOK, James - KIPPIS, Andrew. The Life of Captain James Cook.

    London : 1788

    First edition of the "first English biography of Cook intended to give a well-balanced account of his life from birth to death, including his family and early years, and the capacities in which he was engaged prior to the famous voyages The Newfoundland and Labrador surveys are discussed, and the three voyages are dealt with in great narrative depth.... Learn More
    £1,750.00

    Stock Code: 70808

  37. Sybil Thorndike Casson.
    THORNDIKE, Sybil - SPRIGGE, Elizabeth. Sybil Thorndike Casson.

    London : 1971

    First edition, first impression, presentation copy to Laurence Oliver and Joan Plowright, inscribed by Thorndike on the front free endpaper, "To my darlings Larry & Joan with much love, Sybil", and below that by the author, "and warm thanks from Elizabeth Sprigge, October 1971". Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 68779

  38. 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
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 66251

  39. My Musical Life and Recollections.
    RIVIÈRE, Jules. My Musical Life and Recollections.

    London : 1893

    First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the verso of the title page, "Anno 1898-99, to Mrs. Baker with compliments and best wishes from the author Rivière. P. S. as a musical conductor I have been beating the time for the last fifty years, but alas! Now, in my 80th year time beats me unmercifully".

    Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 63632

  40. The Eye of the Story.
    WELTY, Eudora. The Eye of the Story.

    New York : 1977

    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To Nash and Marjorie - with longtime appreciation and highest respects & best wishes, from Eudora, June 1978". Nash Burger was a high school classmate of Welty's who became an editor at the New York Times Book Review. Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 63062

  41. 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
    £450.00

    Stock Code: 63174

  42. Edward Garnett.
    BATES, H. E. Edward Garnett.

    1950

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 62417

  43. The Mechanical Bride.
    MCLUHAN, Herbert Marshall. The Mechanical Bride.

    New York : 1951

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "For Mr. Fred Allan from Marshall McLuhan". Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 61401

  44. James Joyce: Trivial and Quadrivial.
    JOYCE, James - MCLUHAN, Marshall. James Joyce: Trivial and Quadrivial.

    New York : spring 1953

    Offprint with the ownership inscription of poet and academic Ronald Bates to the front wrapper and his pencilled notes to the contents. Ronald Gordon Nudell Bates (1924-1995) earned his PhD from the University of Toronto, the subject of his doctoral thesis being James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. His teaching career was spent at the universities of Upsala,... Learn More
    £520.00

    Stock Code: 60922

  45. Janus.
    KOESTLER, Arthur. Janus.

    London : 1978

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, " To Tony, hopefully, from Arthur". Koestler had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in early 1976, the effects of which are evident here. Learn More
    £120.00

    Stock Code: 61022

  46. Goldsworthy Lower Dickinson.
    FORSTER, E. M. Goldsworthy Lower Dickinson.

    London : 1934

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £260.00

    Stock Code: 60122

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

    New York : 1994

    First edition, first printing. Learn More
    £20.00

    Stock Code: 59411

  48. Language In Action.
    HAYAKAWA, S. I. Language In Action.

    1939

    An early typescript of a fundamental work on language. The author was inspired by the work of groundbreaking semanticist Alfred Korzybski, applying his theories to sociology and politics in reaction to the fascist use of language to oppress. Hayakawa was a lecturer at the Armour Institute of Technology in 1939 and this copy is likely from an edition... Learn More
    £2,000.00

    Stock Code: 52003

  49. Worthy women of our first century.
    WISTER, Mrs O. J. [Sarah Butler], & Miss Agnes Irwin (eds.) Worthy women of our first century.

    Philadelphia : 1877

    First edition. This copy with the bookplate of Butler Place to the front pastedown, and the publishers' presentation inscription; "Mrs. Owen J. Wister with respects of the Publishers" to the first blank. As well as co-editing, Mrs Wister contributes a piece on Deborah Logan. Sarah Butler Wister was the eldest daughter of Fanny Kemble and Pierce Butler,... Learn More
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 52144

  50. Best Minds. A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg.
    GINSBERG, Allen. Best Minds. A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg.

    New York : 1986

    First edition, first impression. One of 500 specially-bound contributor's copies out of a limited edition of 726 copies. From the library of Alan Ansen. Learn More
    £120.00

    Stock Code: 51415

  51. Presents.
    GORDON, Max; with Lewis Funke. Presents.

    New York : 1963

    First edition, first printing, of the autobiography of the successful theatre and film producer. Inscribed by the author on two stickers: one to the verso of the half-title, "To Maurice Chevalier who understands the business of acting and the show business. There are few like you. Best always, Max Gordon"; and to the contents page, "To Maurice Chevalier... Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 49985

  52. On Stephen Crane.
    CONRAD, Joseph. On Stephen Crane.

    1932

    One of an edition of 31 copies privately printed 27 July 1932 for the friends of Vincent Starrett and Edwin B. Hill. Starrett (1886-1974) was a Chicago reporter, bibliographer, author, and Sherlock Holmes expert. Hill was a Texas tax-assessor whose hobby was printing by hand. In 1939, on its 55th anniversary, his was the oldest private press in America.... Learn More
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 48957

  53. A Victorian in the Modern World.
    HAPGOOD, Hutchins. A Victorian in the Modern World.

    New York : 1939

    First edition, first printing. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 47039

  54. The Ecstasies of Thomas de Quincey.
    BURKE, Thomas (ed.) The Ecstasies of Thomas de Quincey.

    London : 1928

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 46435

  55. Another Self.
    LEES-MILNE, James. Another Self.

    1998

    First published in 1970 and then re-issued in hardback in 1998. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 46846

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

    1931

    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
    £400.00

    Stock Code: 46203

  57. Memories of a Working Women's Guild. Offprint from.
    WOOLF, Virginia. Memories of a Working Women's Guild. Offprint from.

    1930

    First printing of this essay, reprinted (revised) as the introduction to Life as We Have Known It, Margaret Llewelyn Davies (ed), Hogarth Press 1931; collected in The Captain's Death Bed, 1950; Selections from Her Essays, 1966; Collected Essays, Vol. 4, 1967. Woolf had an active interest in the Labour Party and Co-operative Movement and regularly held... Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 46212

  58. Typed letter signed ("Scott" in pencil) to Gilbert Seldes in New York.
    FITZGERALD, F. Scott. Typed letter signed ("Scott" in pencil) to Gilbert Seldes in New York.

    1934

    A fine and longish letter in which Fitzgerald discusses Seldes's edition of Ring Lardner, a possible evening of one-act plays, and reviews of Tender Is the Night: "Just read the Lardner collection First and Last. At first I was disappointed because I had expected there would be enough stuff for an omnibus and I still feel that it could have stood more... Learn More
    £10,000.00

    Stock Code: 44748

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