The Human Age:
Book Two Monstre Gai. Book Three Malign Fiesta. Illustrations by Michael Ayrton.London: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1955 Stock Code: 87778
NotesFirst edition, first impression, inscribed on the half-title by both Lewis and Ayrton. This volume constituted the second and third parts of the Human Age tetralogy, begun with The Childermass (1928); the final part, The Trial of Man, was left unfinished at Lewis's death.
"Towards the end of his life he resumed the task of completing The Human Age, with renewed lucidity and courage: Monstre Gai and Malign Fiesta, which, the revised Childermass, form The Human Age, explore the meaning of existence. The mass of humanity, in a limbo outside heaven, awaits examination by the Bailiff. This visionary work, 'magnificent and dreadful' (Walter Allen), which will undoubtedly be seen as one of the major achievements of the present century, was written by Lewis when he had become (by a savage stroke of irony) blind (the pressure of an inoperable tumour on his optic nerve) and was dying" (Martin Seymour-Smith, Macmillan Guide to Modern World Literature, 1985, pp. 285-6). Copies inscribed by both author and artist are uncommon.
Octavo. Original white cloth, titles to spine and front board gilt on black ground, pictorial design to front board in black. With the dust jacket designed by Ayrton.
Cloth a litle rubbed, corners bumped, spine toned, partial tanning to free endpapers. An excellent copy in the lightly rubbed jacket with toned spine panel.
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