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MACHEN, Arthur.

Notes and Queries.

London, Spurr & Swift, 1926 Stock Code: 135859
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First edition, copy B of 15 lettered presentation copies signed by the author, additionally warmly inscribed by Machen on the front free endpaper, "To Major Nicholson, commonly and affectionately known as 'Brother Bill', these 'Ashes from an Old Dustbin' are inscribed by Arthur Machen April 21st 1927". The recipient may be the actor H. O. Nicholson (1868-1940), a member of Frank Benson's company, described by Ellen Terry as "a wonderful actor in Shakespeare" (cited by Roger Savage in Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas: Vaughan Williams and the Early Twentieth-Century Stage, The Boydell Press, 2014, p. 234). Machen himself was a member of Benson's company, joining in 1901, and the familiar epithets he uses for Nicholson may refer to theatrical roles.

Notes and Queries is a collection of fifteen essays previously published in T. P.'s Weekly in 1908-09 and includes pieces on Guinevere and Lancelot, "The Holy Graal", "The Art of Divination", "Celtic Magic", and "Our Absurd Education". Machen's introduction is interesting for its passing comments on his home town of Caerleon, which was undergoing modernisation: "The dream is broken... It is all over. Caerleon is to be another pustule on the corrupt body of industrialism".

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Square octavo. Original green cloth, printed paper label to spine, top edges gilt, others untrimmed.


Title page printed in green and black.


Spine sunned, scattered foxing. A very good copy.


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