POWELL, Anthony.


London: Duckworth, 1932 Stock Code: 126592
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by the author to his father's lover on the front free endpaper, after whom he named the book's female protagonist: "For Lucy Hayes, With the best wishes of the author, Tony Powell Oct. 11 1932. In the hope that she will forgive the borrowing of her name". Hayes was "a great love and lifelong friend" of Anthony Powell's father Philip, whom she met in the early 1920s. Violet Powell, reminiscing about Philip, her father-in-law, noted that "he had not been without his partisans, mostly ladies with whom he had been on flirtatious terms" (A Stone in the Shade, 2002). Anthony Powell "accepted their relationship and was fond of Lucy. She greatly enjoyed his novels". He inscribed several of his books to her. Powell was a reluctant and at times ungracious signer of his own books, even for friends; this is a remarkably intimate inscription. Lucy Hayes (1878-1965) served as a nurse in the First World War. She worked at the Dimitri Palace in St Petersburg, the main Anglo-Russian Hospital, and a photograph album relating to her time there is held by the Imperial War Museum.

Loosely inserted is a typescript of a letter from Harold Nicholson to Powell, dated 8 October 1932, stating that "I have read Venusberg with the utmost enjoyment... Your deftness of composition makes all my fingers feel like thumbs... I envy you your gifts and opportunity..."

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original grey cloth, spine lettered in gilt. With dust jacket designed by Misha Black.


Spine rolled, spine ends and a couple of tips lightly rubbed, a little toning to foot of spine, one tip slightly bumped. A very good copy in the slightly soiled and rubbed jacket, spine panel toned, chips and short closed tears to spine ends, text unaffected, a couple of ink splashes to rear panel, a few nicks and creases to extremities.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book