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Literature

Rare and first edition literature from Peter Harrington. On our shelves you'll discover rare poetry, English, American & modern literature, pre-1900 rare books, plays, world literature and much more.


From the blog: Nightingales and Roses: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Video: [PUTTENHAM, George.] The Arte of English Poesie. 1589.

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  1. 140791
    FITZGERALD, F. Scott. Complete set of works published in the author's lifetime, all first editions.

    New York : 1920-41

    First edition, first printing, of every book published by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his lifetime, and his posthumous Last Tycoon, together comprising five novels, four short story collections, and one play, uniformly bound by the Chelsea Bindery in green morocco. Learn More
    £20,000.00

    Stock Code: 140791

  2. 136458
    POE, Edgar Allan. Tales.

    New York : 1845

    First edition, first printing, with the New York imprint, one of 1,500 copies issued; this copy with the half-title present. Poe's Tales is "the first important book of detective fiction, the cornerstone of cornerstones in any readers' or collectors' guide, the highest of all highspots: The 1845 edition includes for the first time in book form... Learn More
    £27,500.00

    Stock Code: 136458

  3. 148548
    HEMINGWAY, Ernest. Death in the Afternoon.

    New York : 1932

    First edition, first printing, of the author's discussion and description of bullfighting and bullfighters. Learn More
    £1,000.00

    Stock Code: 148548

  4. The Cure at Troy.
    HEANEY, Seamus. The Cure at Troy.

    Belfast : 1990

    First edition, signed limited issue, number 338 of 500 copies signed by the author.

    Towards the conclusion of the play is a speech by the Chorus, frequently quoted by Joe Biden ("History say, Don't hope On this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme").... Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 148486

  5. England My England and Other Stories.
    LAWRENCE, D. H. England My England and Other Stories.

    1922

    First edition, first printing, of Lawrence's collection of ten short stories. The American edition was published in October 1922 and, therefore, predates the English edition which was published in January 1924. Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 148546

  6. Compassion.
    HARDY, Thomas. Compassion.

    Dorchester : 1924

    First separate edition, number 7 of 25 copies, signed by the author at the end of the poem, and initialled by his wife Florence on the limitation leaf.

    Hardy wrote this work at the request of the RSPCA as part of their centenary celebrations, and it was first printed in the society's centenary volume, before appearing in The Times on 16 June... Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 147154

  7. Poetry from Oxford in Wartime.
    LARKIN, Philip (contrib.) Poetry from Oxford in Wartime.

    London : 1945

    First edition, first impression, of this anthology of poetry, which includes one of Larkin's first appearances in book form. It was published in February 1945, five months before Larkin's debut collection, The North Ship.

    This copy has an appealing literary provenance, from the library of publisher John K. Martin (b. 1930), founder of the Black... Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 146875

  8. Oxford Poetry 1942-43.
    LARKIN, Philip, & others. Oxford Poetry 1942-43.

    Oxford : 1943

    First edition, first impression, of this early appearance of Larkin in print, who graduated from Oxford the following summer with a first in English.

    Larkin contributes three poems to the volume, "Stone Church Damaged by a Bomb" (p. 41), "Mythological Introduction" (p. 42), and "Poem" (p. 43). This copy has an appealing literary provenance, from... Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 146803

  9. The Common Reader: First and Second Series.
    WOOLF, Virginia. The Common Reader: First and Second Series.

    London : 1925 & 1932

    First editions, first impressions, of two works that are tough to find in collectable condition, in particularly nice examples of the Vanessa Bell-designed dust jackets.

    These two volumes, the "pillars of Virginia Woolf's essays" include critical essays, articles, and book reviews that had previously appeared publications such as Times Literary... Learn More
    £10,000.00

    Stock Code: 146747

  10. Columcille the Scribe.
    HEANEY, Seamus. Columcille the Scribe.

    Dublin : 2004

    Signed limited issue, number 124 of 150 copies signed by the author at the foot of the sheet. Heaney translated this Irish poem, the earliest known version of which is a 16th-century copy held at the Bodleian Library, to celebrate his enrolment as a member of the Royal Irish Academy on 9 June 1997, which he then presented to the Academy on vellum in... Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 145994

  11. Sweeney Praises the Trees.
    HEANEY, Seamus. Sweeney Praises the Trees.

    New York : 1981

    First edition, number 41 of 110 copies only, additionally signed by the author on the title page; scarce, especially so signed and in such fine condition. Sweeney Praises the Trees is an early version of part of his modern English translation of the ancient Irish Buile Shuibhne, preceding his complete translation, published in 1983 as Sweeney Astray.... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 142601

  12. Hailstones.
    HEANEY, Seamus. Hailstones.

    Dublin : 1984

    First edition, signed limited issue, one of 250 unnumbered cloth-bound copies signed by the author on the title page; here additionally inscribed by Heaney "Mary - fine girl y'are! Seamus" under his signature. The recipient was Heaney's friend Mary Conley Downe.

    Downe founded, with her husband Edward, the Irish Clifden Arts Festival, now the... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 142605

  13. [Complete set of] New Numbers.
    BROOKE, Rupert; Lascelles Abercrombie; John Drinkwater; Wilfred Wilson Gibson. [Complete set of] New Numbers.

    Ryton, Dymock, Gloucester : 1914

    First editions, first impressions. The four numbers comprising the complete run of New Numbers by the "Dymock Poets". Forty-one poems are present, of which fifteen are by Rupert Brooke. The majority of the poems in Brooke's 1914 and Other Poems first appeared here, including the first publication of his famous poem "The Soldier".

    Keynes, in his... Learn More
    £675.00

    Stock Code: 148519

  14. Poems and Ballads.
    SWINBURNE, Algernon Charles. Poems and Ballads.

    London : 1866

    First edition, first issue (with Moxon imprint), first state with Wise's textual errors uncorrected, of the most sensationally controversial book of English poetry of its century, its contents being a heady mix of sadomasochism, necrophilia, egalitarianism, and blasphemy. This copy passed through the hands of renowned book dealer Martin Stone and has... Learn More
    £1,500.00

    Stock Code: 148689

  15. Spain.
    AUDEN, W. H. Spain.

    London : 1937

    First edition, second impression, signed by the author on the title page, his printed name struck through.

    This title was written after Auden's visit to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, a troubling experience that left him morally ambivalent towards the Republican cause. He published this supportive poem on his return, however, to defend the... Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 146828

  16. The Collected Poetry.
    AUDEN, W. H. The Collected Poetry.

    New York : 1945

    First edition, third printing, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends, "Bill Gray with best wishes Wystan Auden", his printed name struck through. Auden has written "1927-1944" under the title, reflecting his original (rejected) wish that, "as to the title, I want Poems 1928-1945. The word Collected suggests finality... Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 146839

  17. City Without Walls and Other Poems.
    AUDEN, W. H. City Without Walls and Other Poems.

    London : 1969

    First edition, first impression, familiarly inscribed by the author the year after publication using his first name reserved for friends on the title page: "For Patrick Garland. With best wishes, from Wystan Auden June. 1970", his printed name struck through. Garland (1935-2013) was a writer, actor, and director.

    Loosely inserted is a newspaper... Learn More
    £850.00

    Stock Code: 147003

  18. L'Ève future.
    VILLIERS DE L'ISLE-ADAM, August, Comte de. L'Ève future.

    Paris : 1886

    First edition, inscribed on the half-title "A Edmond de Goncourt. Hommage de son admirateur, Villiers de l'Isle Adam". This is a superb association copy, with a distinguished provenance, of this very scarce and highly unusual symbolist science fiction novel, which popularised the word and concept of the "android".

    The recipient was the man of... Learn More
    £9,500.00

    Stock Code: 147107

  19. A Selection by the Author.
    AUDEN, W. H. A Selection by the Author.

    London : 1958

    First edition, first impression, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends on the title page: "To Bill from Wystan", his printed name struck through.

    The recipient was Dr William ("Woods") Shelton Gray, Jr (1926-1993); his ownership inscription is on the half-title of this copy. Gray fostered friendships with... Learn More
    £350.00

    Stock Code: 147380

  20. A Severed Head.
    MURDOCH, Iris, & J. B. Priestley. A Severed Head.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression, of this play adaptation, originally published as a novel in 1961. It premiered on 7 May 1963 at the Theatre Royal in Bristol, and was highly sucessful. Murdoch reached out to Priestley for help dramatizing her novel, and Priestley was happy to oblige. It was later adapted into the film A Severed Head (1970).

    Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 146641

  21. Goodbye to Berlin.
    ISHERWOOD, Christopher. Goodbye to Berlin.

    London : 1939

    First edition, first impression, a superb, untouched copy in an exceptional example of the jacket, remarkably rare thus. Learn More
    £5,750.00

    Stock Code: 147344

  22. About the House.
    AUDEN, W. H. About the House.

    New York : 1965

    First edition, second printing, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends on the title page: "Bill Gray with best wishes Wystan Auden", his printed name struck through.

    The recipient Dr William ("Woods") Shelton Gray, Jr (1926-1993) fostered friendships with major literary figures such as Auden and T. S. Eliot,... Learn More
    £300.00

    Stock Code: 146830

  23. The Magic Flute.
    AUDEN, W. H., & Chester Kallman. The Magic Flute.

    New York : 1956

    First edition, first printing, signed by the author on the title page, his printed name struck through. Auden and Kallman's translation of the libretto to Mozart's opera The Magic Flute was published during the anniversary of two hundred years since Mozart's birth. Learn More
    £500.00

    Stock Code: 146842

  24. The Honorary Consul.
    GREENE, Graham. The Honorary Consul.

    London : 1973

    First edition, first impression. Learn More
    £45.00

    Stock Code: 146647

  25. Ways of Escape.
    GREENE, Graham. Ways of Escape.

    London : 1980

    First edition, first impression, of this sequel to Greene's autobiographical A Sort of Life (1971). Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 146648

  26. Travels With My Aunt.
    GREENE, Graham. Travels With My Aunt.

    London : 1969

    First edition, first impression. It was adapted into a film by the same name in 1972. Learn More
    £50.00

    Stock Code: 146649

  27. Shelley.
    THOMPSON, Francis. Shelley.

    London : 1909

    First edition, first impression, this copy with a nice literary association, inscribed on the front free endpaper: "To Padraic Colum from Francis Meynell June 6th '10". Francis Meynell (1891-1975) was a poet and printer at the Nonesuch Press; his father Wilfrid Meynell (1852-1948) sponsored the author by publishing his works in the journal Merry England... Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 146637

  28. Works.
    TROLLOPE, Anthony. Works.

    London : 1864-1883

    First editions, from the library of Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, with his bookplate to vol. 1 of Can You Forgive Her?. Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 125520

  29. 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

  30. Tanglewood Tales, for Girls and Boys;
    HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. Tanglewood Tales, for Girls and Boys;

    Boston : 1853

    First US edition, first issue, of Hawthorne's sequel to The Wonder Book (Boston, 1852), retelling the Greek myths for children. This copy has a loosely inserted envelope addressed to the publisher, penned and initialled by Hawthorne.

    This edition, preceded only by the UK edition of the same year, has the following issue points: the "Stereotyped... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 147974

  31. The Doctor and the Devils.
    THOMAS, Dylan. The Doctor and the Devils.

    London : 1953

    First edition, first impression, publisher's file copy with "file" stamps to the jacket and first two leaves, and with release details penned to the front free endpaper.

    Thomas adapted this every day story of grave robbing folk for dramatic performance in the mid 1940s. And indeed Dent first set the book in 1946 getting the process of publication... Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 148610

  32. 145440
    CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel De. The Life and Exploits of the Ingenius Gentleman Don Quixote de la Mancha.

    London : 1742

    First edition of the Jarvis translation, a particularly elegant edition, here handsomely bound.

    The translator was in fact Charles Jervas (1675-1739), but the misprinting of his name as Jarvis on the title page has led this to be known as the Jarvis translation. The translation was published posthumously and frequently reprinted, and "is generally... Learn More
    £3,750.00

    Stock Code: 145440

  33. The Odyssey of Homer.
    LAWRENCE, T. E. (trans.); HOMER. The Odyssey of Homer.

    London : 1932

    First and limited edition of Lawrence's translation, one of 530 unnumbered copies.

    "Inspired by reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Bruce Rogers persuaded Lawrence to undertake a new translation of The Odyssey. Begun in 1928 and published in 1932, the translation was undertaken during Lawrence's free time while serving in the ranks. It was published... Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 147847

  34. [The Richard Hannay series.]
    BUCHAN, John. [The Richard Hannay series.]

    Edinburgh and London : 1915-1940

    All first editions, first impressions. Major-General Sir Richard Hannay is the fictional secret agent created by Buchan. In his autobiography, Memory Hold-the-Door, Buchan suggests that the character is based, in part, on Edmund Ironside, from Edinburgh, a spy during the Second Boer War.

    Learn More
    £3,500.00

    Stock Code: 144845

  35. 144445comp
    YEATS, W. B. Poems.

    London : 1904

    Presentation copy to Julia Anderson (née Quinn), inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To my friend John Quinn's sister, November twelfth, 1904. W. B. Yeats".

    John Quinn conveyed the book to his sister with a lengthy inscription beneath Yeats's on the front free endpaper - "To Julia: Yeats wrote in this book and gave it to me for... Learn More
    £5,000.00

    Stock Code: 144445

  36. From Russia, With Love.
    FLEMING, Ian. From Russia, With Love.

    London : 1957

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by Fleming on the front free endpaper to the eminent photographer, "To Erich Hartmann from his impatient patient. Ian Fleming".

    The recipient, Erich Hartmann (1922-1999), was the head of Magnum Photo, who "throughout his career, pursued many long-term personal projects, and photographic... Learn More
    £37,500.00

    Stock Code: 138464

  37. Moonraker.
    FLEMING, Ian. Moonraker.

    London : 1955

    First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To Edith, Cette tranche de vie! Ian 1955". Edith was Marie Edith, Viscountess Kemsley (1888-1976), second wife of the newspaper baron Viscount Kemsley (1883-1968). It was Viscount Kemsley who employed Fleming as the foreign manager of his Sunday Times... Learn More
    £39,500.00

    Stock Code: 138007

  38. You Only Live Twice.
    FLEMING, Ian. You Only Live Twice.

    London : 1964

    First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author to his proof-reader for this title: "To Alan To reread! from, Ian." Alan Ross, a former naval officer, was a literary friend of Ann Fleming.

    Ross was one of the first to review Casino Royale favourably, in the Times Literary Supplement, a review which Fleming kept on... Learn More
    £18,750.00

    Stock Code: 122645

  39. The Alexandria Quartet. Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea.
    DURRELL, Lawrence. The Alexandria Quartet. Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea.

    London : 1962

    First collected edition, first impression, number 302 of 500 copies signed by the author.

    The individual volumes were first published between 1957 and 1960. For this collected edition the author took the opportunity "to correct a number of small slips pointed out by readers and critics, and also to add some small passages which were cut out of... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 148795

  40. Child of Light.
    SPARK, Muriel. Child of Light.

    Hadleigh, Essex : 1951

    First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on front free endpaper: "To Mrs O'Toole with love from Muriel. 1.9.54"

    Long before Spark published her first novel she wrote a number of literary critical or biographical works including William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, John Masefield and John Henry Newman... Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 148800

  41. Everybody's Pepys.
    SHEPARD, E. H. (illus.); PEPYS, Samuel. Everybody's Pepys.

    London : 1959

    First edition, sixteenth impression, in an attractive binding. First published in 1926, Everybody's Pepys was the first in a series of three editions of English author's works illustrated by Shepard; it was followed by Everybody's Boswell (1930) and Everybody's Lamb (1933). Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 148247

  42. The Plays.
    GALSWORTHY, John. The Plays.

    London : 1929

    First collected edition, in a handsome Baytun binding. Learn More
    £375.00

    Stock Code: 148214

  43. 148158
    AUSTEN, Jane. The Complete Novels.

    London : 1928

    First one-volume edition, first impression, handsomely bound. Learn More
    £950.00

    Stock Code: 148158

  44. Mardi and A Voyage Thither.
    MELVILLE, Herman. Mardi and A Voyage Thither.

    New York : 1849

    First edition. Melville's third book, a complex allegorical fantasy. Learn More
    £750.00

    Stock Code: 15947

  45. 146205
    KAFKA, Franz. In der Strafkolonie.

    Leipzig : 1919

    First edition, first impression, in the deluxe binding. One of 1,000 copies of Kafka's short story set in an unnamed penal colony which he wrote in October 1914.

    The "relatively long time span between composition and first publication is due in part to Kafka's dissatisfaction with the original conclusion of the story", however, "Kafka revised... Learn More
    £3,750.00

    Stock Code: 146205

  46. Deux Contes.
    WILDE, Oscar; SCHMIED, François-Louis (illus.) Deux Contes.

    Paris : 1926

    Signed limited edition, number 59 of 162 copies only, signed by Schmied on the original drawing, of these two French translations of Wilde's The Happy Prince and The Nightingale and the Rose, originally published in 1888.

    François-Louis Schmied (1873-1941), a Swiss-born French painter, engraver and printer, incarnated the art deco style in... Learn More
    £4,500.00

    Stock Code: 143533

  47. Gone With the Wind.
    MITCHELL, Margaret. Gone With the Wind.

    New York : 1936

    First edition, first printing, with the copyright date May 1936. Learn More
    £4,250.00

    Stock Code: 139157

  48. The Wine-Dark Sea.
    O'BRIAN, Patrick. The Wine-Dark Sea.

    London : 1993

    First edition, first impression, signed by the author on a slip affixed to the title page. Learn More
    £275.00

    Stock Code: 123704

  49. Slaughterhouse-Five
    VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five

    New York : 1969

    First edition, first printing, of Vonnegut's best known novel. This copy includes the publisher's review slip (requesting two copies of any review or mention) together with a fine photograph of Vonnegut credited to Jane Schreiber loosely inserted. Though infused with science fiction elements, the plot centres on the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 148669

  50. Three Songs for St. Cecilia's Day.
    AUDEN, W. H. Three Songs for St. Cecilia's Day.

    New York City : 1941

    First collected edition, first impression, one of 250 copies. Signed by the author on the title page. Signed copies are rare.

    The poems were originally published in Harper's Bazaar and subsequently privately printed for Caroline Newton, the wealthy daughter of a well-known bibliophile. She had fallen in love with Auden and positioned herself... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 148611

  51. Blade Runner (a movie).
    BURROUGHS, William S. Blade Runner (a movie).

    Berkeley : 1979

    First edition, first printing, signed limited issue, number 86 of 100 copies signed by the author on the title page. Ridley Scott purchased the title (and only the title) of Burroughs's film script for his 1982 adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Learn More
    £950.00

    Stock Code: 148593

  52. Empty Mirror.
    GINSBERG, Allen. Empty Mirror.

    New York : 1961

    First edition, first printing, one of 1,000 copies only. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 148570

  53. 148576
    ELIOT, T. S. The Elder Statesman.

    London : 1959

    First edition, first impression. The Elder Statesman was first produced at the Edinburgh Festival between 25 and 30 August 1958; the original cast list is printed at the end of the work. Learn More
    £100.00

    Stock Code: 148576

  54. Poems Written in Early Youth.
    ELIOT, T. S. Poems Written in Early Youth.

    London : 1967

    First trade edition, first impression. Poems Written in Early Youth was originally published privately in 1950 at Stockholm in an edition of twelve copies only. Learn More
    £125.00

    Stock Code: 148577

  55. The Eternal Moment and Other Stories.
    FORSTER, E. M. The Eternal Moment and Other Stories.

    London : 1928

    First edition, first impression, of Forster's collection of short stories including "The Machine Stops", signed by the author on the title page, with his printed name struck through, and rare thus thus.

    This is the first appearance in book form of "The Machine Stops", originally published in an unobtainable rare Cambridge magazine in 1909. This... Learn More
    £4,500.00

    Stock Code: 148561

  56. Winter Trees.
    PLATH, Sylvia. Winter Trees.

    London : 1971

    First edition, first impression. This book constitutes a collection of poems written in between Plath's Colossus and Ariel, which was edited and published posthumously by Ted Hughes. Learn More
    £175.00

    Stock Code: 148569

  57. Ends and Odds.
    BECKETT, Samuel. Ends and Odds.

    London : 1977

    First UK edition, first impression, signed by Beckett on the title page. Originally published in the US in 1976, this volume includes "... but the clouds... A Play for Television", which was not in the US edition, and "Not I". Learn More
    £650.00

    Stock Code: 148560

  58. Doctors of Philosophy.
    SPARK, Muriel. Doctors of Philosophy.

    London : 1963

    First edition, first impression. This is the author's first play, of which 3,000 copies only were printed. Learn More
    £75.00

    Stock Code: 148554

  59. Bohemia in London.
    RANSOME, Arthur. Bohemia in London.

    London : 1907

    First edition, first impression, of which 1,250 copies were printed. Bohemia in London, dedicated to fellow novelist M. P. Shiel, was Ransome's first success, based on the author's own experiences in the capital. Library Hub cites copies at only two British and Irish institutional libraries (BL, Oxford); well represented internationally on Library Hub,... Learn More
    £850.00

    Stock Code: 143696

  60. Vile Bodies.
    WAUGH, Evelyn. Vile Bodies.

    London, : 1930

    First edition, first impression, in a striking example of the very scarce jacket, first state, with the list of books on the rear panel ending with Jeffery's Second Choice. This was Waugh's second published novel. It sold well on publication, reaching seven printings in as many weeks, and established Waugh as the pre-eminent novelist of his generation.... Learn More
    £37,500.00

    Stock Code: 143234

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