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KAFKA, Franz.

The Metamorphosis.

Translated by A. L. Lloyd.

London, The Parton Press, 1937 Stock Code: 139325

First English language edition

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First English language edition, first impression, of the author's masterpiece, which was originally published in the German magazine Die Weißen Blätter in October 1915, under the title Die Verwandlung. The translator was A. L. "Bert" Lloyd. Lloyd came from a humble background, emigrated to Australia in the 20s and, after stints working as a farm-hand and shepherd, returned to England in the early 30s and landed a job in Foyle's foreign language department. A lifelong Communist, he fell in with the Fitzrovia set and came to the attention of the publisher, David Archer, one of the great figures of the book scene during the inter-war years. "With a small inheritance Archer was able to buy stock and shelving and in 1932 opened a left-wing bookshop at 4 Parton Street, London, beside Red Lion Square, hub of the mythic Fitzrovia'That miniature carrefour of Thirties intelligentsia' David Gascoyne, Collected Journals, 352. The Marxist and pro-Russian publishers Lawrence and Wishart were next door at no. 2, and across the road was the Arts Café from whose upstairs rooms Roger Roughton edited Contemporary Poetry and Prose. Archer had no head for business, and his partner, David Abercrombie, kept a sharp eye on the bills and restocking of shelves, and took control in 1934. Archer and Abercrombie, which sold 'Poetry: Marxism: Novels' and housed a printing press, was already a natural successor to Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop, which was to close in 1935. Visitors were welcomed by a 'tongue-tied' Archer John Lehmann, The Whispering Gallery: Autobiography 1, 250), 'this outwardly ineffectual, awkwardly apologetic and absurdly generous man' (Gascoyne, 352). Regulars included Dylan Thomas, George Barker, John Cornford, Charles Madge, Philip Toynbee, Esmond Romilly, Geroge Reavey, Alec Guinness, Geoffrey Grigson (the editor of New Verse), and David Gascoyne - the shop was 'a necessary touchstone for any account of '30s politics and literature' Valentine Cunningham, British writers of the Thirties, 109" (ODNB).

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Octavo. Original blue cloth-backed dark brown boards, titles to spine in black, titles to front board in black on blue paper label. With the glassine jacket.


Ownership inscription to front free endpaper "Joseph Gifford February, 1943", pencil annotation identifying him as the dancer and professor emeritus of Boston University. Head of spine slightly frayed and worn, one tip slightly worn, contents clean and unmarked, some loss to the jacket. A very good, bright copy.


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