Catalog 160, L

NOTE: This page is from our catalog archives. The listings are from an older catalog and are on our website for reference purposes only. If you see something you're interested in, please check our inventory via the search box at upper right or our search page.
46. LEE, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott (1960). The first issue of the advance reading copy of her first and only novel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the basis for the award winning film. The publisher's note on the cover calls the publication of this first novel "rare fun and lift," promising to "furnish a jackpot of sales during the summer," and the Truman Capote blurb emphasizes the book's humor and calls it "so funny and so likeable." None of this is unusual for publishing hyperbole, but in retrospect it seems ironic that the book was marketed in terms that would seem more suitable for light summer reading than for a Gothic novel of racism and prejudice set in the deep South. In any event, the book became a cultural touchstone and it has retained its relevance as a commentary on, and criticism of, racial discrimination in the decades since its publication in the early years of the Civil Rights movement. There were two prepublication issues of the book: this one, with the Courier typeface, publication announced as "in July," and cover text apparently addressed to booksellers, and a second issue, with a sheet overlaying the front cover with more polished typesetting, a publication date specified as July 11, and cover text more generally aimed at readers. Slight spine lean; mild spine creasing; one small red spot and some edge-sunning to the off-white wrappers. A near fine copy of the first prepublication issue of one of the great American novels of the 20th century; one of the nicer copies we have seen.

47. LEONARD, Elmore. Escape from Five Shadows. [Boston]: Houghton Mifflin, [1956]. The uncorrected proof copy of the third of his Westerns, which preceded his first mystery by over a decade and his first bestseller by over two decades. Rare: we have never seen another proof copy of any of Leonard's Westerns offered for sale, and Houghton Mifflin was not even routinely doing bound proofs for all its titles at that time. There were probably only a couple of dozen of these produced and, given the format and fragility of this item, it's unlikely that many others have survived, if any. 7" x 11" ringbound galley sheets, printed on rectos only. The label affixed to the cardstock cover gives a publication date of 1955 (the book was actually published in 1956) and, in pencil "May 1." Also in pencil on the front cover label is written "The Westerners" -- an alternate title, or an indication of the genre, for marketing purposes? The covers show some extremely slight creasing; still a remarkably fine copy, with the covers crisp, the fragile plastic ring spine intact. Housed in a custom quarter leather clamshell case.

48. LEWIS, Sinclair. The Job. NY: Harper & Brothers (1917). The first issue of his third book under his own name and his first attempt, he later said, to write a serious novel. The Job was controversial for its realistic depiction of a woman in the workplace and laid the groundwork for Lewis' great novels of social realism in the 1920s. Offsetting to endpages from jacket flaps and slight wear to board edges; near fine in a price-clipped dust jacket professionally restored to near fine. An extremely scarce book in jacket.

49. LOPEZ, Barry. Arctic Dreams. NY: Scribner (1986). His National Book Award-winning study on the Arctic, inscribed by Lopez to a prior National Book Award-winning author, "with admiration, in a shared sense of enthusiasm for the land for all it contains." Dated in the year of publication. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. An association copy of the first order.

50. LOPEZ, Barry. "Whatever evaluation we make of a particular stretch of land..." [West Burke]: Janus Press, 1992. An attractive broadside from the Janus Press, printing an excerpt from Arctic Dreams on a paper landscape montage created by Clare Van Vliet. A beautiful production: essentially a paper sculpture of cloud-enshrouded mountains, in keeping with the Lopez quote, which encourages us "to preserve some of the mystery within [the land] as a kind of wisdom to be experienced, not questioned. And to be alert...for that moment when something sacred reveals itself within the mundane..." One of 90 copies signed by Lopez. 16" x 24", matted and framed to 20" x 28". Fine.

51. LOWRY, Malcolm. Ultramarine. London: Jonathan Cape (1933). The first novel by the author of the 20th century classic Under the Volcano. An extremely scarce book: reportedly only 1500 copies were printed and barely half were sold. A "cheap edition" was issued in 1935 which was probably the unsold remainder of the first printing, offered at a reduced price. This title and Under the Volcano (#11 on the Modern Library's list of the best 100 books of the 20th century) were the only two books Lowry published in his lifetime; by the time of his postwar classic, this was already a scarce book. This is a near fine copy in a slightly edgeworn but still near fine still near fine dust jacket, with the original price still present. Extremely scarce in any dust jacket, and this is probably the nicest copy we have ever seen. A 20th century rarity in exceptional condition. In a custom clamshell box.

52. LOWRY, Malcolm. Autograph Note Signed, together with The Best Short Stories of 1931. A note by Lowry, about 5" x 7", to his college friend E. Kenneth Wright, about 75 words written in pencil on the verso of a shopping list or budget written by Wright. Signed by the author. Lowry and Wright both read English together under T.R. Henn and St. Catherine's College, Cambridge. Lowry's note reads, in part: "Dear Kenneth, I have to go to the ADC tonight; a private show - I want to go to Festival to-morrow - so what about Thursday? I'll have Troilus & Langland done by then - you have Keats & something else. A short story of mine (which neither of us liked) has been selected by Edward J. O'Brien in his volume the best stories of 1931. I'm in the company of Tomlinson & Coppard...You can sell this letter! Malcolm." An added note says: "Come to breakfast to-morrow & we'll talk." Wright has typed a three-page missive explaining his relationship with Lowry and transcribing two contemporary notes he wrote about Lowry at the time they were friends, when Lowry was still in school and was working on his first novel. The short story O'Brien selected ("Seductio Ad Absurdum") was a piece of that work in progress, and Wright notes "I see in today's paper (11 June 1933) that [Ultramarine] is to be published tomorrow by Jonathan Cape." He concludes his summary "He was a great fellow, I hope he will not kill himself with whiskey," which, of course, he did. The note is very good; the provenance is excellent. Together with a copy of the anothology [London: Cape (1932)], edited by Edward J. O'Brien. Woolmer B2. The book is near fine in a very good dust jacket, slightly spine darkened and with a bit of edge wear, housed in a custom quarter leather clamshell box. A revealing note and unpublished bit of literary history, and a nice copy of an uncommon book.

53. (LOWRY, Malcolm). The Leys Fortnightly, Vol. 49. Cambridge: Severs, 1925. Lowry's first published appearances, written when he was fifteen years of age and a sophomore in high school. Lowry attended The Leys school in Cambridge, England from 1923-27 and in his second year at the school approached William Henry Balgarnie, one of the Masters at the school and in charge of The Leys Fortnightly, the school's magazine. (Balgarnie was later immortalized as the basis for the title character in James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips.) Despite the fact that normally only third and fourth year students published in the magazine, Lowry told Balgarnie he had some work that The Fortnightly might want to print. The first piece he submitted was a story entitled "The Light That Failed Not," and Balgarnie read and liked Lowry's piece enough to publish it; it was later voted the best story to appear in The Fortnightly during the year. At his teacher's suggestion, Lowry wrote under the pen-name "CAMEL," [Lowry's initials are C.M.L.], and on the basis of his first story he gained some degree of prestige at the school. He later contributed a poem, "Der Tag," and another story, "Travelling Light" to the magazine; all three pieces are included in this bound volume of all the issues of The Fortnightly published during the 1924-25 school year. Three quarter leather binding, with the school's coat of arms embossed on the front cover. Spine leather weathered; near fine in a custom quarter leather clamshell box. An attractive copy of an exceedingly scarce volume: enrollment at the school was probably on the order of about 300 students at that time, and relatively few of these could have been expected to purchase bound copies of the school magazine; at most a couple of hundred of these would have been produced, if that, and few will have survived the century. Not listed in Woolmer's bibliography, and preceding Woolmer's B1 (see below) by five years. OCLC locates only four libraries holding copies.

54. (LOWRY, Malcolm). Cambridge Poetry, 1930. London: Hogarth, 1930. An anthology, number 13 in the Hogarth Living Poets series, published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, edited by John Davenport, Hugh Sykes and Michael Redgrave, and containing poems by all three editors as well as John Lehmann, J. Bronowski, and others, notably, a young Malcolm Lowry, who was still an undergraduate at the time. Woolmer B1. Ownership signature of H. Romilly Fedden (aka Robin Fedden), later the author of a number of books on the Middle East and an important study of suicide, with his notes on the contents page and the rear endpaper and a number of marginal notations throughout. A very good copy in paper-covered printed boards, as issued, and copy with interesting provenance. In a custom clamshell case.

<< Back to Catalog Index