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. 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

  2. In Pursuit of Publishing.
    HILL, Alan. In Pursuit of Publishing.

    1988

    First edition, first impression. Signed by the author on the title page. Learn More
    £20.00

    Stock Code: 51594

  3. 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

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

    New York : 1954

    First edition, first impression, one of a limited edition of 300 numbered copies signed by the author on the limitation leaf. 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
    £600.00

    Stock Code: 50750

  5. 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

  6. My Friend Henry Miller. An Intimate Biography.
    MILLER, Henry - PERLÈS, Alfred. My Friend Henry Miller. An Intimate Biography.

    London : 1955

    First edition, first impression. Signed by both the author and Miller on a stuck in label on the front free endpaper and further inscribed by Miller "For Harry Lloyd Marshall, Jr." Learn More
    £320.00

    Stock Code: 48899

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. George Gissing: A Critical Biography.
    KORG, Jacob. George Gissing: A Critical Biography.

    London : 1965

    First UK edition. Initially published by the University of Washington Press two years previously. From the library of John Heygate, whose initials and the date "1965" are inscribed at head of the title page. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 47655

  10. 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

  11. The Glory That Was Grub Street.
    ADCOCK, St. John. The Glory That Was Grub Street.

    [c.1925]

    First published in 1923. Learn More
    £120.00

    Stock Code: 46438

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. One page ALS, beginning "The check that fell out of my mail this morning...."
    FITZGERALD, F. Scott. One page ALS, beginning "The check that fell out of my mail this morning...."

    [c.1930-31]

    Fitzgerald writes to Gilbert Seldes from Switzerland, where Zelda was being treated at a clinic. Undated, 1930-1931. Fitzgerald thanks him for a check, "...just emerging in company with Zelda from the biggest muddle we ever got into...Zelda is so near well that its now a question of a few weeks - but she had a damn narrow escape from permanent neurasthenia... Learn More
    £8,000.00

    Stock Code: 44744

  16. 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

  17. Ceaseless Turmoil.
    LEES-MILNE, James. Ceaseless Turmoil.

    2004

    First edition, first impression. The eleventh volume of the diaries. Learn More
    £60.00

    Stock Code: 44085

  18. Time Exposure.
    JACKSON, William Henry. Time Exposure.

    New York : 1940

    First Edition, First Printing. Learn More
    £220.00

    Stock Code: 42723

  19. Classics and Commercials. A Literary Chronicle of the Forties.
    WILSON, Edmund. Classics and Commercials. A Literary Chronicle of the Forties.

    New York : 1950

    First Edition, First Printing. With the author's signed presentation inscription to the front free endpaper, "To Dorothy Mendenhall with love from Edmund Christmas 1950". With a correction to the text in Wilson's hand. Review slip laid in. Dorothy Mendenhall was Wilson's cousin, a respected researcher, obstetrician, and pioneer in methods of childbirth.... Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 42861

  20. A Tree is a Tree.
    VIDOR, King. A Tree is a Tree.

    New York : 1953

    First Edition, First Printing. Signed by Vidor on the front free endpaper. Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 41284

  21. Autograph letter signed to his sister Ellen ("My dear Nelly").
    GISSING, George. Autograph letter signed to his sister Ellen ("My dear Nelly").

    1898

    A note to his sister: "I thought I remembered sending, or bringing, the Michelet to Wakefield. But I suppose I was mistaken. The vol. has somehow been lost, unfortunately. Affectionately yours, George Gissing". Gissing had last visited his family in Wakefield in September 1898.

    Michelet, best known for his monumental Histoire de France (1833-67)... Learn More
    £2,000.00

    Stock Code: 39057

  22. Catalogue of The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection of Pat McInally.
    MILNE, A. A., & E. H. Shepard. Catalogue of The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection of Pat McInally.

    London : 2011

    Catalogue to accompany the exhibition and sale of the most comprehensive collection of Winnie-the-Pooh books and artwork ever assembled. Including more than one hundred items gathered together over twenty years by American football legend Pat McInally, the catalogue describes and illustrates fine examples of all the Pooh books, important inscribed copies,... Learn More
    £10.00

    Stock Code: 39598

  23. Shakespeare's Boy Actors.
    DAVIES, W. Robertson. Shakespeare's Boy Actors.

    1939

    First Edition, First Impression of the author's first book. Still a standard in the field. In a letter to a collector written in 1951 Davies reported having no spare copies of this book and that his best guess was that no more than 600 were in existence. Scarce in dust jacket. Learn More
    £1,875.00

    Stock Code: 38548

  24. Last Essays.
    HEWLETT, Maurice. Last Essays.

    London : 1924

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £35.00

    Stock Code: 36634

  25. Memoir of Charles Mathews, comedian.
    MATHEWS, Charles. Memoir of Charles Mathews, comedian.

    London : 1838-9

    First edition, in an extraordinary binding no doubt intended to invoke the traditional motley of the jester. The most famous comedian of his day, Mathews's powerful influence on Charles Dickens's stylistic methods of comic characterization has long been recognized. Mathews's monopolylogues, farces in which the actor played every character, provided... Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 35334

  26. Now and Then.
    HELLER, Joseph. Now and Then.

    New York : 1998

    First edition, first impression. With the author's magnificent presentation inscription to the half title page, "For Erica - - Who has played a much larger role in this slice of a life than has been given her here. The family photo in the book is lovely. I hope the book pleases you too. With much love Dad". Learn More
    £2,750.00

    Stock Code: 35884

  27. Predilections.
    MOORE, Marianne. Predilections.

    1956

    First Edition, First Impression. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 34667

  28. Colin Wilson.
    WILSON, Colin - CAMPION, Sidney R. Colin Wilson.

    London : 1962

    First edition, first impression. With the author's signed presentation inscription to the front free endpaper to Sheila Hancock. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 34823

  29. The Fortunes of Harriette.
    THIRKELL, Angela. The Fortunes of Harriette.

    1936

    First Edition, First Impression. Scarce. Learn More
    £200.00

    Stock Code: 33706

  30. The Milk of Paradise.
    LEES-MILNE, James. The Milk of Paradise.

    2005

    First Edition, First Impression. The final volume of the diaries. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 33708

  31. Holy Dread.
    LEES-MILNE, James. Holy Dread.

    2001

    First Edition, First Impression. Learn More
    £90.00

    Stock Code: 33709

  32. A Mingled Measure.
    LEES-MILNE, James. A Mingled Measure.

    1994

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £90.00

    Stock Code: 33710

  33. Place in Fiction.
    WELTY, Eudora. Place in Fiction.

    1956

    First Edition, Offprinted. One of about 50 copies. With the author's signed presentation inscription, "For Bobbie Gafford who sat through it in Birmingham Eudora Welty". The recipient was Charlotte Gafford the Professor of Writing Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her nickname "Bobbie" seems universally to have been used. Place in... Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 32546

  34. Jugged Journalism.
    BERKELEY, Anthony, as A. B. Cox. Jugged Journalism.

    London : 1925

    First edition, first impression. Anthony Berkeley Cox wrote numerous and particularly highly regarded works of detective fiction under two pen names: as Anthony Berkeley, he took the British Golden Age detective novel to fresh heights, while as Francis Iles, he was a pioneer of psychological suspense fiction with a seasoning of cynical wit. The pieces... Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 31316

  35. Beyond the Outsider.
    WILSON, Colin. Beyond the Outsider.

    1965

    First edition, first impression, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to Sheila Hancox, in the year of publication. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 31339

  36. The Life of Samuel Johnson
    BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson

    London : 1831

    First edition edited by John Wilson Croker and "the best edition until superseded by the work of George Birkbeck Hill 1887" (ODNB). This set has the additional volume of Johnsoniana (1836). Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 24392

  37. The Drama:
    BATES, Alfred; James Penny Boyd; John Porter Lamberton. The Drama:

    London : 1903

    Limited edition, number 1 of 8 sets only, printed on japon, this styled the "Aeschylus Copy". The set has the bookplates of Daniel Willard Streeter (18831964), an American hunter, adventurer, and author active in the 1920s, who lived in Buffalo, New York. Learn More
    £3,000.00

    Stock Code: 22924

  38. The Life of Samuel Johnson.
    BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson.

    London : 1901

    First Railton edition, one of the most attractive illustrated editions of Boswell's great book; this set extra illustrated and handsomely bound by Riviere and Son, with the additional volume of Johnsoniana, or Supplement to Boswell (1836). Learn More
    £1,950.00

    Stock Code: 12631

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