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

    New York : 2007

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

    Stock Code: 88979

  2. Histoire D'Une Grande Dame.
    PEREY, Lucien. Histoire D'Une Grande Dame.

    Paris : 1888

    A handsomely bound copy. Learn More
    £85.00

    Stock Code: 89022

  3. 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

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

    Glasgow and Bombay : 1913

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

    Stock Code: 86913

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    London : 1906 [1910]

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

    Stock Code: 84698

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    New York : 1989

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

    Stock Code: 83591

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

    London : 1930

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

    Stock Code: 83627

  19. Edmund Campion. Jesuit and Martyr.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. Edmund Campion. Jesuit and Martyr.

    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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

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

    Garden City, NY : 1954

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

    Stock Code: 81753

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  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 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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

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

    New York : 1934

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

    Stock Code: 74752

  39. 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

  40. Is She A Lady? A Problem in Autobiography.
    HAMNETT, Nina. Is She A Lady? A Problem in Autobiography.

    London : 1955

    First edition, first impression. The author's follow-up to her first book of memoirs, Laughing Torso. Hamnett (1890-1956) was an English artist and bohemian who lived in Paris and London, working as an art model and having affairs with writers and artists including Gaudier-Brzeska, Modigliani, Roger Fry, Pablo Picasso, and Jean Cocteau. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 74018

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. Sybil Thorndike Casson.
    (THORNDIKE, Sybil.) SPRIGGE, Elizabeth. Sybil Thorndike Casson.

    London : 1971

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by Thorndike on the front free endpaper, "To my darlings Laura & Joan with much love, Sybil", and below that by the author, "and warm thanks from Elizabeth Sprigg, October 1971". Learn More
    £975.00

    Stock Code: 68779

  45. Religious Drama: Mediaeval and Modern.
    ELIOT, T. S. Religious Drama: Mediaeval and Modern.

    New York : 1954

    First edition, signed limited issue, number 153 of 300 copies signed by the author. This work presents the text of an address Eliot gave to the Friends of Rochester Cathedral in 1937. The work was never published in the UK. Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 67843

  46. 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

  47. 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
    £850.00

    Stock Code: 66252

  48. 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

  49. The Eye of the Story. Selected Essays and Reviews.
    WELTY, Eudora. The Eye of the Story. Selected Essays and Reviews.

    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

  50. 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

  51. Conversations.
    SINGER, Isaac Bashevis. Conversations.

    Garden City, NY : 1985

    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To Robert with love, Isaac B Singer". Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 62867

  52. Edward Garnett.
    BATES, H. E. Edward Garnett.

    1950

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 62417

  53. The Mechanical Bride. Folklore of Industrial Man.
    MCLUHAN, Herbert Marshall. The Mechanical Bride. Folklore of Industrial Man.

    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

  54. 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

  55. Janus. A Summing Up.
    KOESTLER, Arthur. Janus. A Summing Up.

    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

  56. Abinger Harvest.
    FORSTER, E. M. Abinger Harvest.

    London : 1936

    First edition, second impression. Inscribed by the author on the half-title "For E. K. Brown from E. M. Forster, June 4th 1947". Brown's annotations appear throughout the text. Edward Killoran Brown (1905-51) was a prominant Canadian literature professor who taught at the University of Toronto, and later Cornell and the University of Chicago. He edited... Learn More
    £700.00

    Stock Code: 60250

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

    London : 1934

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £260.00

    Stock Code: 60122

  58. A Bibliography of Sir James George Frazer.
    (FRAZER, James George) BESTERMAN, Theodore (ed.) A Bibliography of Sir James George Frazer.

    1934

    First edition, first impression. Inscribed by Frazer, anthropologist and author of The Golden Bough, on the half-title "A notre ami Francois Ceccaldi, en affectueuse reconnaissance de J. G. & L. Frazer". Also included is a plate from a different book illustrating the entrace to Trinity College, Cambridge (where Frazer was a fellow) taped to the front... Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 59659

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