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Archive for ‘Literary First Editions’

The Sheltering Sky is a 1949 novel of post-colonial alienation and existential despair by American writer and composer Paul Bowles. The story centers around Port Moresby and his wife Kit, a married couple originally from New York who travel to the North African desert accompanied by their friend Tunner. The journey, initially an attempt by Port and Kit to resolve their marital difficulties, is quickly fraught by the travelers’ ignorance of the dangers that surround them.  In his 1949 review for The New York Times, Tennessee Williams remarked, “With the hesitant exception of one or two war books by returned soldiers, The Sheltering Sky alone of the books that I have recently read by American authors appears to bear the spiritual imprint of recent history in the western world.”.

Description: TRUE FIRST EDITION. First printing of the first edition. Hard bound in dust jacket. Meets all points of issue including $2.75 price on dust jacket.  Some minor wear to page edges and boards, otherwise with interior clean and binding sound. The original Lustig designed dust jacket shows several tears, with spine edges and corners chipped. Now protected in clear removable mylar cover. The Sheltering Sky tells the story of an American couple who travel from New York to Northern Africa during the waning years of the colonial era. An instant critical and popular success, The Sheltering Sky established Bowles as an important American author. Rare and sought after!

Bookseller Inventory # 39428

$750

The Sheltering Sky
Bowles, Paul

Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: 1949
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition

Umberto Eco is an Italian novelist, essayist, philosopher, literary critic. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 historical mystery novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory.

Description: (The Name of the Rose) Text In the original Italian. Hard bound in dust jacket. Gilt stamped red cloth. Signed & Inscribed by Umberto Eco on the front free end page. SIAE 1 edizione sticker, numbered 004995 on copyright page. Showing L10.000 original price on dust-jacket. This copy shows some minor age toning to pages, otherwise clean. The jacket shows some minor sunning to spine edge, and a few chips to edges. This now classic mystery is set within a medieval monastic library. In 1327, a time of tension between the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire, the English Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate heresy among the monks at an Italian abbey. His task is overshadowed by a series of bizarre murders. This is a tale of books, librarians, patrons, censorship and the search for the truth. Basis for the 1986 film starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater. Winner of the Premio Strega, Prix Medicis Etranger and Premio Anghiari awards.

Bookseller inventory # 28519

Il Nome Della Rosa (The Name of the Rose)
Eco, Umberco

$850

Publisher: Romanzo Bompiani
Publication Date: 1980 Milano, Italy
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: 2nd Edition – First Printing of the Second edition

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was an American author and aviator. Gift from the Sea was written by Lindbergh, while on vacation on Florida’s Captiva Island in the early 1950s. Written in an essay-style, with shells on the beach for inspiration, Lindbergh reflects on the lives of  American women of the mid-twentieth century. With great wisdom and insight Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth & age; love & marriage; peace, solitude and contentment during her visit. Gift from the Sea has sold over 3 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages. Ground-breaking for it’s time, it stands today as a seminal work of inspirational literature.

Description: TRUE FIRST EDITION. Hard bound with dust jacket. Beige boards with decorative shells, blue cloth spine with white lettering. Meets points of issue – $2.75 price, beige boards, no additional printings listed on copyright page, author photo to rear of dust jacket. Some wear to edges and corners of boards. Minor soiling to dust jacket that shows a few small tears and chips, now in protective Brodart cover. Foxing to page edges and end pages, otherwise with interior clean and binding sound. A scarce first printing of this modern inspirational classic and perennial bestseller!

Bookseller inventory # 28519

Gift From The Sea
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow

$300

Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: 1955
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: 1st Edition

David Garnett was British Writer and a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founded (along with Francis Meynell) the Nonesuch Press. Garnett had relationships with several members of the artistic and literary Bloomsbury Group including Francis Birrell & Duncant Grant. As a child, he had a cloak made of rabbit skin and thus received the nickname “Bunny”, by which he was known to friends and intimates all his life.

Description: Hard bound in dust jacket. First printing of the First U.K Edition. Some wear and age toning to dust jacket, otherwise very good, with interior clean and binding sound. A wonderful collection of notes from a diary kept while learning to handle an aeroplane. Rare!

Bookseller Inventory # 30053

$250

A Rabbit in the Air
Garnett, David

Publisher: Chattos & Windus, London
Publication Date: 1932
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First U.K. Edition

Tess Slesinger’s writing invites comparison with the best work of Dorothy Parker, Dawn Powell and Mary McCarthy. She will be remembered for her modern & up-to-the-minute report on the state of marriage, sexuality, political culture, and work in 1930s America. Her style was biting, yet emotionally revealing, typical of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker where she published frequently. Slesinger moved in the same circles as Lionel Trilling, Clifton Fadiman and other famed liberal intellectuals, who seem to have provided her with rich material. Tess Slesinger’s cult classic 1934 novel, The Unpossessed details the ins and outs & ups and downs of left-wing New York intellectual life and features a cast of litterateurs, layabouts, lotharios, academic activists, and fur-clad patrons of protest and the arts. This cutting comedy about hard times, bad jobs, lousy marriages, little magazines, high principles, and the morning after.

“It’s sophisticated … satiric, then ecstatic, alternating social criticism with displays of sexual and intellectual coquetry.”
— The Village Voice

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Blue cloth over boards with red/gold titles. Red top stain. Dust jacket with tipped in author photo, as issued. Wear and minor sunning to edges of boards. Some soiling to page edges, and foxing to end pages. Dust jacket shows some tanning, with one small red stain to rear. Interior pages clean and binding tight.  Scarce!

Bookseller Inventory # 23013

tess

$300

The Unpossessed
Slesinger, Tess

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1934
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition

hlhumes_author_photo2H. L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen and George Plimpton founded The Paris Review in 1953. He studied writing with Archibald MacLeish at Harvard, graduating in 1954. A Scientist, novelist, activist, inventor, filmmaker, architect, prophet, healer, madman, Harold “Doc” Humes was, by all accounts, an exhilarating, infuriating and terrifyingly brilliant man. He participated in Leary’s LSD experiments and later continued his own experiments, guiding the first LSD experiences of several famous literary friends. He reinvented himself as a “guru on campus”, a self-appointed visiting professor, and spent the next 20-odd years living on or near-campus at Columbia, Princeton, Bennington, and Harvard.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Meets points of issue – First Edition with “4/58” date code and $4.95 price on flap, no mention of any later books and no reviews. This is one of Random House’s known anomalies, with no statement of printing evident on the copyright page. Blue cloth boards with title in gilt to spine edge. Front board blind stamped with the image of the Eiffel tower. Red top stain. Some wear to spine edge of boards. Dust jacket with several large chips and a few small closed tears, now protected in removable clear dust jacket cover. 755 pages. Ownership book plate of the New York literary agency “McIntosh, McKee & Dodds” affixed to front free end page. The author’s elusive first novel, a tale of the French underground during the last years of WWII. Humes, along with Peter Matthiessen & George Plimpton, founded the Paris Review. For many years he slipped into obscurity; this novel has only recently been reissued to glowing acclaim. The true first edition, and a  scarce copy from a legendary forgotten novelist!

Bookseller Inventory # 29821

$225

The Underground City
Humes, H.L.

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1958
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was an English author, feminist, publisher, and is regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society, and probably the best known member of the Bloomsbury Group. In 1917 along with Leonard Woolf she founded the Hogarth Press, which subsequently published Virginia’s novels along with works by T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud, and others. Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued by periodic nervous breakdowns and associated illnesses. Though this instability often affected her social life, her literary productivity continued with few breaks until her suicide on 28 March 1941. After the final attack of mental illness Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse near her home where she drowned. Woolf’s suicide, like Sylvia Plath’s, have much colored the interpretation of both her work and her life.

Description: Hard bound in dust jacket. First printing of the First U.S. Edition. V. Bell designed dust wrapper. Some wear and age toning to dust jacket that shows chipping to edges. Offsetting from news paper to front end pages, otherwise with interior clean and binding sound. Her second collection, which includes the essays, The Niece Of An Earl, Beau Brummell, Dr. Burney’s Evening Party, How Should One Read A Book, Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Bookseller Inventory # 30051

$150

The Second Common Reader
Woolf, Virginia

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York
Publication Date: 1932
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First U.S. Edition

hlhumes_author_photo2Humes was a co-founder of The Paris Review in 1953, along with Peter Matthiessen and George Plimpton. He studied writing with Archibald MacLeish at Harvard, graduating in 1954. A Scientist, novelist, activist, inventor, filmmaker, architect, prophet, healer, madman, Harold “Doc” Humes was, by all accounts, an exhilarating, infuriating and terrifyingly brilliant man. He participated in Leary’s LSD experiments and later continued his own experiments, guiding the first LSD experiences of several famous literary friends. He reinvented himself as a “guru on campus”, a self-appointed visiting professor, and spent the next 20-odd years living on or near-campus at Columbia, Princeton, Bennington, and Harvard.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. First printing of this now cult-classic title set during a build-up to an inevitable war, in which the US Navy assigns an all black crew to work under three white officers on an insanely dangerous munitions base located on a tiny Caribbean island. Wear and tanning to dust jacket edges. Previous owners stamp to front free end page, otherwise very good. A scarce copy from a legendary forgotten novelist!

Bookseller Inventory # 23011

hlhumes

$225

Men Die
Humes, H.L.

Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1959
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition

Joseph John Campbell was the leading authority on mythology and comparative religion in the 20th century. He was an American writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. James Joyce was an important influence on Campbell. His seminal work  A Hero With A Thousand Faces discusses what Campbell called the monomyth (in the cycle of the journey of the hero) a term that he borrowed directly from Joyce.

Description: First Edition. Hard bound with dust jacket.  Some minor wear to dust jacket. Age toning to jacket, mostly to spine edge. Interior clean and binding sound. The 365 page “1st Key” edition. Lime green cloth with gilt-lettered spine. The definitive literary analysis and the first important book-length critical work on Finnegans Wake. This was Joseph Campbell’s second book, the first being Where the Two Came to Their Father, A native American story published the year before.  A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake is considered to be a seminal work on the text.

Bookseller Inventory # 30055

$150

A Skeleton Key To Finnegans Wake
Campbell, Joseph; Robinson, Morton

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Co.
Publication Date: 1944
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition

Patrick Leigh Fermor widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest travel writers. Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor, DSO, OBE (1915–2011) was a British author, scholar and soldier. A BBC journalist once described him as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene.” He played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during World War II. For a year and a half Leigh Fermor, disguised as a Cretan shepherd endured a perilous existence, living in freezing mountain caves while spying on German troops. In April of 1944, dressed as German police corporal, he stopped the car belonging to General Karl Kreipe, the island’s commander. The chauffeur disposed of, Leigh Fermor donned the general’s hat and, with his accomplice Moss driving the car, they bluffed their way through 22 checkpoints. The General meanwhile, was hidden under the back seat. For three weeks the group evaded German search parties. Hunted by German patrols, the group moved across the mountains to reach the southern side of the island, where a British Motor Launch was to pick them up. Eventually, on 14 May 1944, they were picked up and transferred to Egypt with their prisioner. Patrick Leigh Fermor was awarded a military OBE in 1943 and was appointed a Companion of Literature in 1991. He received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List, 2004.

Fermor  lived partly in Greece—in the house he designed with his wife, Joan, in an olive grove in the Mani. Roumeli is not to be found on present-day maps. It is the name once given to northern Greece—stretching from the Bosporus to the Adriatic and from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth, a name that evokes a world where the present is inseparably bound up with the past. His books His books Mani (1958) and Roumeli (1966) attest to his deep interest in languages and remote places. Celebrated not only for his books but for his wartime exploits, He is, perhaps, the last of a breed of writer-travelers whose reputation has an aura of genuine action and courage.

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. First edition stated. Wear to dust jacket that shows sunning to spine edge. Some edge wear to blue cloth boards, otherwise with interior clean and binding sound. Scarce! Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Roumeli takes the reader among Sarakatsan shepherds, the monasteries of Meteora and the villages of Krakora. Roumeli is not on modern maps: it is the ancient name for the lands from the Bosphorus to the Adriatic and from Macedonia to the Gulf of Corinth.

Bookseller Inventory# 28626

$175

Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece
Fermor, Patrick Leigh

Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers, New York
Publication Date: 1966
Edition:First U.S. Edition
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Good
Edition: 1st Edition

In 2003 Hilary Thayer Hamann self published an ambitious coming of age novel that went on to become an underground classic. Anthropology Of An American Girl, Hamann’s breakout first novel explores the sexual and intellectual awakening of a young American woman struggling to remain true to herself.  At it’s core it is a moving depiction of first love, following Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, through her early adulthood in the high-pressured Manhattan of the 1980s. Now revised and reissued by Spiegel & Grau, it has gone on to rave reviews, and is a current best seller.

Description: SIGNED BY H. T. HAMANN on the front free end page. TRUE FIRST EDITION of the now classic novel. Hard bound with dust jacket. Stated First edition with # line 10-1. Published September, 2003. Green cloth with gilt title to spine edge. Rare first state with “E”  for “Eveline” stamped in gold foil to front board. Very minor edge wear to dust jacket, otherwise fine.

Bookseller Inventory# 23071

$150

Anthropology of an American Girl
Haman, Hilary Thayer

Publisher: Vernacular Press
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardbound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

EDWARD ABBEY

Description: Hard bound with dust jacket. Stated first printing. Black boards with yellow title on spine edge. Some minor wear to dust jacket, otherwise very good. A fictional account of the author’s time spent as a fire lookout near Arches National Monument, and loosely based on Carol Turner who disappeared into Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Many friends of Abbey have claimed the author called Black Sun his favorite work.

Bookseller Inventory # 24280

$120

Black Sun
Abbey, Edward

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 1971
Binding: Hard Bound
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition

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