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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 405

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  1. 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

  2. Dunbar.
    TAYLOR, Rachel Annand. Dunbar.

    London : 1931

    First and limited edition, one of 125 numbered copies (but this copy unnumbered) signed by the author. A handsomely produced book, printed on handmade paper at the Chiswick Press, the binding designed by Rex Whistler, and published as number 4 in Faber's "The Poets on the Poets" series. This is an important study of the fifteenth-century Scottish poet... Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 103089

  3. 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

  4. Essays by Divers Hands.
    (HEANEY, Seamus.) CRONIN, Vincent (eds.) Essays by Divers Hands.

    Norwich : 1979

    First edition, first impression of this volume of essays, with contributions from Seamus Heaney, Ronald Blythe, Robert Gittings, Thomas Hinde, Paul Jennings, Willian Sansom, Charles Tomlinson, John Stewart Collin, and N.C. Chaudhuri. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 103180

  5. The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo. The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole.

    London : 1934

    First edition, first impression, one of 2,020 copies. Presentation copy, inscribed by the editor on the front free endpaper to the author Ralph Straus: "For Ralph Straus, whose gifts are almost an numerous as Corvo's, & who loves books as much as I do. Very cordially, from his friend A.J. Dec., 1934." A. J. A. Symons (1900-1941), book collector and... Learn More
    £475.00

    Stock Code: 102584

  6. 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

  7. Aberdeen Interval.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo. Aberdeen Interval.

    Edinburgh : 1975

    First edition, limited issue. Number 10 of 120 copies printed on Strathmore paper; an additional 20 copies lettered A to T were printed on handmade paper by Barcham Green. Learn More
    £85.00

    Stock Code: 102597

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Frederick William Rolfe, Christchurch, and The Artist.
    (ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo.) WEEKS, Donald. 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

  11. Frederick William Rolfe, Christchurch, and The Artist.
    (ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo.) WEEKS, Donald. 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

  12. Frederick William Rolfe and Editors.
    (ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo.) WEEKS, Donald. Frederick William Rolfe and Editors.

    Edinburgh : 1984

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

    Stock Code: 102684

  13. Letters to Harry Bainbridge.
    ROLFE, Frederick, Baron Corvo. Letters to Harry Bainbridge.

    London : 1976

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £65.00

    Stock Code: 102575

  14. 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

  15. A Bibliography of the Writings of William Somerset Maugham.
    (MAUGHAM, William Somerset.) BASON, Frederick T. (Compiled by). A Bibliography of the Writings of William Somerset Maugham.

    London : 1931

    Signed limited edition, number 41 of 50 copies signed by Maugham and printed on mould-made paper, from a complete edition of 1,000. Learn More
    £425.00

    Stock Code: 101909

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A Better Class of Person. An Autobiography 1929-1956; Almost a Gentleman. An Autobiography. Volume II, 1955-1966.
    OSBORNE, John. A Better Class of Person. An Autobiography 1929-1956; Almost a Gentleman. An Autobiography. Volume II, 1955-1966.

    London : 1981 & 1991

    First editions, first impressions, of the playwright's two-part autobiography, described by Melvyn Bragg as a classic: "It is, quite simply, one of the best, most moving, richest and most bitterly truthful autobiographies I have ever read" (writing about A Better Class of Person). Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 99809

  20. The Merry Hippo.
    HUXLEY, Elspeth. The Merry Hippo.

    London : 1963

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 99495

  21. Nothing Like the Sun.
    BURGESS, Anthony. Nothing Like the Sun.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression, of this novelisation of Shakespeare's life. Burgess has been described by Harold Bloom as "at his best in some of his novels, particularly in his Joycean fiction about Shakespeare, 'Nothing Like the Sun'" (Bloom, "Road Trip", New York Times, November 11, 2009). Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 99565

  22. 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

  23. 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

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

    London : 1972

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 98804

  25. Chatterton.
    ACKROYD, Peter. Chatterton.

    London : 1987

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 98807

  26. Tennyson: His Art and Relation to Modern Life.
    BROOKE, Stopford A. Tennyson: His Art and Relation to Modern Life.

    London : 1907

    First published in 1894. A most attractive copy of "the most extensive critical commentary on Tennyson's poetry written in the late nineteenth century" (Laurence W. Mazzeno, Alfred Tennyson: the Critical Legacy, p. 39). Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 98515

  27. 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

  28. Ways of Escape.
    GREENE, Graham. Ways of Escape.

    London : 1980

    First edition, first impression. Sequel to the autobiographical A Sort of Life (1971). Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 97308

  29. Higher Gossip.
    UPDIKE, John. Higher Gossip.

    New York : 2011

    First edition, first printing of this posthumously published volume (Updike died in 2009). With the ownership inscription of novelist John Barth to the half-title. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 97316

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. The Cutting of an Agate.
    YEATS, W. B. The Cutting of an Agate.

    New York : 1912

    First edition, first printing, preceding the UK edition by seven years. Scarce in the jacket. Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 95449

  35. More First Nights.
    (THEATRICAL MEMOIR.) 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

  36. More First Nights.
    (THEATRICAL MEMOIR.) 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

  37. Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe.
    ALLEN, Hervey. Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe.

    London : 1935

    First UK edition, first impression. First published in the US in 1926. From the publisher's archive. A fascinating biography. Learn More
    £150.00

    Stock Code: 95030

  38. 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

  39. Experiment in Adoption.
    (MEMOIR.) 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

  40. 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

  41. Christ in the Synagogue.
    AARONSON, Leonard. Christ in the Synagogue.

    London : 1930

    First edition, first impression. An account of Aaronson's conversion from Judaism. From the publisher's archive with their stamp to the half-title. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 94173

  42. Life, Travels and Reminiscences of Jonathan Ceredig Davies.
    DAVIES, Jonathan Ceredig. Life, Travels and Reminiscences of Jonathan Ceredig Davies.

    Llanddewi Brefi : 1927

    One of 70 copies only printed by the author at his own printing-press for private circulation. This copy is inscribed "yours sincerely, J. Ceredig Davies" on the frontispiece, and was sent to Davies's cousin the Hon. Dan W. Williams, who is mentioned (though misnamed, as Williams comments in the margin) on page 5 as part of the global diaspora of Davies's... Learn More
    £2,250.00

    Stock Code: 93335

  43. 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

  44. Together.
    DOUGLAS, Norman. Together.

    London : 1923

    Signed limited edition, number 154 of 275 large paper copies signed by the author. Together is a nostalgic evocation of lost youth and the north as the author revisits his native Austria. Learn More
    £250.00

    Stock Code: 92115

  45. 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

  46. Books & Characters.
    STRACHEY, Lytton. Books & Characters.

    London : 1922

    First edition, first impression of Strachey's fourth book. Contains papers on various literary figures, including Thomas Browne, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Jean-Mariet Arouet de Voltaire, of which all but 'A Dialogue' had previously appeared in different periodicals. Learn More
    £225.00

    Stock Code: 91844

  47. My Music, My Life.
    SHANKAR, Ravi. My Music, My Life.

    London : 1969

    First UK edition, first impression. A scarce presentation copy inscribe by the author on front free endpaper: 'To Jack, affectionately Ravi Shankar, 11.11.69'. A biography of Shankar (1920-2012), the famous sitarist and composer who greatly increased the popularity of the sitar, as well as Indian classical music, in Europe and America during the 1950s... Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 91895

  48. 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

  49. 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
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 91514

  50. On Writing, Editing, and Publishing.
    BARZUN, Jacques. On Writing, Editing, and Publishing.

    Chicago : 1971

    First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title: "For Wendell, fellow-author, editor & publisher. As ever, J. Nov 30/71". The recipient is the French-born American historian Barzun's life-long friend, with whom the author Wendell Hertig Taylor later wrote the critique of crime fiction, A Catalogue of Crime... Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 91240

  51. 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

  52. 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

  53. 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

  54. 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

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

    London : 1795

    First edition, published five years after Smith's death, edited by Dugald Stewart with his "Account of the life and writings of Adam Smith", originally presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in two sessions during 1793. The editor states that the essays were intended as parts of "a connected history of the liberal sciences and elegant arts", but... Learn More
    £8,750.00

    Stock Code: 90155

  56. 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

  57. 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

  58. 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

  59. Black Mountain. An Experiment in Community.
    DUBERMAN, Martin. Black Mountain. An Experiment in Community.

    New York : 1972

    First edition. This copy signed and dated by the author on the front free endpaper. Learn More
    £85.00

    Stock Code: 89346

  60. The Anti-Egotist:
    (AMIS, Kingsley.) FUSSELL, Paul. The Anti-Egotist:

    Oxford : 1996

    First UK edition, first impression, review copy from US sheets. Originally published in the US in 1994. With the publisher's review slip loosely inserted. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 88947

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