Current Catalogue - Winter 2016/17

A couple of times a year I compile a catalogue which serves to give a snapshot of the items I currently have for sale.

This is my latest catalogue.


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Hindoo Holiday, Chatto and Windus, London, 1932. First edition. Bookplate removed from front pastedown, some spotting to endpapers, but a very good copy in somewhat rubbed and soiled dustwrapper a little chipped at head of spine, not affecting lettering. £175


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The House of Spirits, Jonathan Cape, London, 1985. First UK edition of the author's first novel. Her British publisher Elizabeth Calder's copy. Presentation inscription to Calder's husband Louis on the verso of the half-title: "Para Louis, con un saludo de las espiritas travesias de este libro. Isabel. 1985 [flower]." Usual light browning to paper but an excellent copy in dustwrapper. Calder's bookplate to front pastedown. £250


The Fantasy Poets Number 22, Fantasy Press, Swinford, 1954. First edition. Staples rusted else an excellent, clean copy. £150


Lucky Jim, Gollancz, London, 1953. The author's first book. A lovely copy in luminous dustwrapper – the best I’ve seen - in collector's quarter-leather case. £4950


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Archive of correspondence relating to Kingsley Amis's "ghost" science-fiction anthology, v.p., 1963. A file of correspondence relating to a putative anthology of Science-Fiction stories, to be written by prominent non-Science-Fiction authors, for Penguin/Jonathan Cape. In 1963 Amis wrote to numerous authors to solicit contributions to the anthology, which he intended to edit for Tom Maschler.
The correspondence comprises letters from 26 authors in response, including Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter, Aldous Huxley, Somerset Maugham, John Masters, Roald Dahl, H.E. Bates, William Golding, Daphne du Maurier, Anthony Burgess, Alan Sillitoe, C.P. Snow, Muriel Spark, J.B. Priestley, Rebecca West, Eric Ambler, C.S. Forester, and Angus Wilson. 38 pages, various sizes, 24 July to 20 September 1963. Further details on request.


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Backing for U.S. Policies in Vietnam, Trigram Press, London, 1967. One of 200 copies of this scarce broadside (approximately 75 x 30 cms.), re-printing the text of a letter published in The Times of 21 Jan 1967 (with the addition of smears of shit in facsimile), other signatories to which included Robert Conquest, Bernard Levin, Peregrine Worsthorne, John Braine, Edmund Crispin, Simon Raven and Ian Hamilton. Amis decries the mounting volume of anti-American protest in characteristically dyspeptic terms, suggesting that "much of it represents the impact of suspect information upon uncritical minds." Light browning to cheap paper and a few spots of foxing else in fine condition in original unprinted mailing tube. £375


The Rachel Papers, Knopf, New York, 1974. The dedication copy of the first American edition of his first book - inscribed on the front free endpaper: "To Gully [Wells] again with / even more love / from Smelly." A nice copy in dustwrapper in chemise and quarter-leather slip-case. £3500


The Strayed Reveller, Fellowes, London, 1849. First edition of the author's first book. Some rubbing to cloth, three bookplates to front pastedown and free endpaper, including that of illustrious collector J.O. Edwards, but a nice copy. £350


Renuka, Andre Deutsch, London, 1989. First edition - the dedication copy, fulsomely inscribed by the author on the dedication page beneath the printed sentiment `For Diana Athill'. Excellent in dustwrapper. £100


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Negotiating with the Dead, Cambridge University Press, 2002. First edition, author's presentation copy inscribed on the title-page to the British publisher of her Booker Prize-winning novel "The Blind Assassin", Elizabeth Calder: "Dear Liz - At last! One you don't have to edit! x x x Peggy". An excellent copy in dustwrapper, faded at spine, with Calder's bookplate to front pastedown. £250


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English Cities and Small Towns, Collins, London, 1943. First edition, in the "Britain in Pictures" series. Inscribed by the author's sometime lover on the front free endpaper: "Wolf and Vöge [Schnurre] with love from Wystan / Darkwater June 1943." The recipient was Auden's co-editor at Encounter magazine. A little rubbed at edges of spine but a very good copy. £450

12. AUDEN, W.H.

Autograph letter signed, one page, 13 Court Oak Road, Harborne, Birmingham, n.d.[late 1938]. Addressed to "Dear Harold" [likely - but unprovably - Nicolson], asking him to consider giving a talk at Shrewsbury School: " . . . having boasted of knowing you, I must pay for it, by asking you to go. You will find the [staff - crossed through] boys intelligent and the staff charming, and - O how they drink." Auden spoke at the school on 30 October 1938; the Auden family moved to 13 Court Oak Road on or about 17 October; so all the evidence points to a date of early November 1938. Auden letters from before his move to the USA the following year are scarce. Folded for mailing else in excellent condition. £950


Typed letter signed, two pages, London, 15 September [n.d.]. In reply to a reader's letter inquiring about her favourite among her own books; " ... most authors, if not all, are particularly pleased with their last book - I have three favourites, A Quiet Life, Watson's Apology and, my last one, The Birthday Boys." The fact that none of them were shortlisted for the Booker Prize may possibly explain something. Light creasing, folded twice for mailing else excellent. £125

14. BARKER, A.L.

 A Heavy Feather, Hogarth Press, London, 1978. First edition - the dedication copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper: "To dearest Norah with my love and devotion - A.L.B." The printed dedication is "To Norah Smallwood, my friend and publisher." Excellent in dustwrapper. £175


Typescript poem and autograph letter signed, two pages, Itteringham, Norfolk, 1977. Single-page typescript signed (with one holograph correction and holograph subscription: "Hope this isn't too late for your anthology".) of `Lines for an 80th birthday (To Sacheverell Sitwell)', being Barker's contribution to Hand and Eye, a festschrift for Sitwell's 80th birthday, privately printed in a limited edition of 175 copies by the Tragara Press, Edinburgh. The letter thanks the editor for sending a copy of the book. In excellent condition. £250


Our Exagmination Round his Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress, Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1929. One of 96 numbered copies on Vergé D'Arches, being on large paper and substantially thicker than the regular edition. Beckett contributes "Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce". Other essays by Gilbert, Jolas, McAlmon, Rodker, Carlos Williams, and others. An excellent copy in handsome quarter-leather collector's box. £4950


Typed letter signed, approximately 60 words, Paris, 15 October 1955. Beckett informs his correspondent, Miss Marx - possibly the publisher and artist Enid - that he has been in “negotiations with Faber & Faber for an English edition of Godot. These have now been successfully concluded and I signed the contract yesterday.” Folded twice for mailing and in excellent condition. £1750


Come and Go and That Time, Calder & Boyars and Faber & Faber, London, 1968 and 1976. Two author's presentation copies inscribed by Beckett to his friend Pat Magee, the actor for whom he wrote Krapp's Last Tape in 1958, and his wife Belle. Come and Go (second impression, 1968) is inscribed on the title-page: "Pat-Belle with love from Sam" and has Magee's own inscription in pencil beneath, presenting the book to James Mellor with whom he acted in Peter Brook's 1967 production of Marat/Sade. A little light soiling and a few nicks and creases to extremities of wrappers which are lightly browned. That Time, first edition, is inscribed on the title-page shortly after publication: "for Pat & Belle with love from Sam London May 76"). Excellent in original wrappers lightly sunned to lower panel. Both housed in a cloth solander case with leather title-label. £2250


More Pricks than Kicks, Calder & Boyars, London, 1970. One of a limited edition of 100 copies numbered and signed by the author. Specially bound in quarter vellum and originally available "hors commerce" from the publishers. Fine in slipcase. £1250


Original black and white photograph of the author with the cast of a German production of "What Where", 6.25 x 4 inches, n.p. [Germany], 1986. Samuel Beckett directed the production, and he is photographed with the four cast members, facing the camera. Beckett is dressed in a suit, with actors dressed in dark clothing, with dramatic lighting revealing white faces against a dark background. In fine condition. £125


I also carry a fairly substantial selection of stock with Abe Books, which can be purchased direct.

Click here to view my latest selection.

On writing

I have been writing about drinks since 2000, mainly for newspapers and magazines, and also through my blog, which is being updated alphabetically here (see below).

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