Modern Firsts

Alexander Baron | The Lowlife | Collins | 1963 | First edition, no jacket. Boards worn & marked, paper foxed, name on ffep. | £100

Arnold Bennett | Riceyman Steps | Cassell | 1923 | First edition, no jacket. Front cover set a little forward, edge of page-block foxed. | £30

John Bratby | Brake-pedal Down | Hutchinson | 1962 | First edition. No jacket, edges of cover rather worn, most evidently at spine. Outer edge of pageblock foxed, front cover set a little forward. | £50

Richard Brautigan | The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster | Jonathan Cape | 1970 | 0224619330 UK 1st edition. No jacket. Pictorial boards are rather worn & foxed. Outer edge of page-block foxed. Outer margin of p.34 marked. | £30

Madeleine Brent (Peter O’Donnell) | Merlin’s Keep | Souvenir Press | 1977 | 28562296 First printing in unclipped jacket. Outer edge of page-block foxed. | £40

Alan Burns | Dreamerika! | Calder & Boyars | 1972 | 0714508039 First edition in price-clipped jacket. Publisher’s price label on front flap, ink price on ffep. 2cm closed tear with a very little loss at top of fold of back cover/spine. Corners of cover a little bumped. Top edge of page-block foxed. | £100

William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac | And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks | Penguin | 2008 | 9781846141645 First printing. Minor wear to unclipped jacket. A couple of small marks to outer edge of page-block. Front cover set a little forward. | £35

Raymond Carver | No Heroics, Please | Harvill | 1991 | 9780002712163 First printing in unclipped jacket. Reduced price label over printed price on front flap. A couple of short tears (approx 5mm & 2mm) to top of spine. Small light mark to spine. Top edge of page-block lightly foxed. Book appears to be in unread condition. | £40

Driss ben Hamed Charhadi; Paul Bowles | A Life Full of Holes | Weidenfeld & Nicolson | 1964 | Oral narrative transcribed & translated by Bowles, who has inscribed the book to the Tangier-based writer Angus Stewart. First edition in unclipped jacket. Edge of page-block foxed. | £100

Ivor Cutler | Gruts | Museum Press | 1962 | First Edition. Front cover set very slightly forward, edge of pageblock foxed. Jacket is unclipped, with traces of having once been crinkled about half way down the spine. There are odd vestigial traces of tape along the top & bottom of the jacket, I suppose from some kind of protective cover having been applied to it at some time. | £40

Federico de Roberto | The Viceroys | MacGibbon & Kee | 1962 | First British edition in rather tatty price-clipped jacket. Previous owner’s bookplate on front pastedown, newspaper review pasted onto rear endpaper. | £30

Laura Del-Rivo | Daffodil on the Pavement | Hutchinson | 1967 | First edition in unclipped jacket. Some wear to edges of jacket, front flap creased. Some foxing to outer edge of page-block. Old secondhand price marked in ink on ffep. | £300

Hal Ellson | Reefer Boy | Neville Spearman | 1955 | 1st edition. Hardback in jacket. Front cover looks great, plain back cover has been exposed to damp at some time, & is noticeably crinkled, although there is no problem with the book’s cover beneath it. | £50

Stuart Evans | Centres of Ritual | Hutchinson | 1978 | 0091330505 First edition in unclipped jacket: spine very lightly sunned;a couple of small pressure marks to back cover. Edge of pageblock & edges of endpapers foxed. Previous owner’s personal blindstamp on half title page. | £30

William Gaddis | JR | Jonathan Cape | 1976 | 0224012533 UK first edition in unclipped jacket. Corners of jacket are worn, with a short split at the top of the fold of the back flap. The red upper edge of the book has become speckled, & there is a little bleed from either the upper edge or the red boards onto the very top of the ffep & front flap. | £200

William Gaddis | J R: a Novel | Alfred A. Knopf | 1975 | 394731425 First edition paperback. Light creases to spine, paper tanned with age. | £30

Neil Gaiman | Coraline | Bloomsbury | 2002 | First printing in unclipped jacket. | £75

Peter Handke | Across | Methuen | 1986 | 0413575705 Ex-college library copy, with expected markings but absolutely no indication of having ever been read. UK 1st edition in unclipped jacket. Jacket is in a protective sleeve, which has been taped into place. | £100

Peter Handke; Ralph Manheim (tr.) | The Left-Handed Woman | Eyre Methuen | 1980 | 413458903 First UK edition in unclipped jacket. A thin line of glue is exposed in the crease between the page listing other books by Handke & the title page, perhaps as a result of the book having been opened hard there, but the sewn binding remains solid. | £200

Aldous Huxley | Proper Studies | Chatto & Windus | 1927 | First edition in unclipped jacket. Diagonal closed tear at very top of front cover. Short tear backed with tape at bottom of fold of front cover/spine. Some loss to jacket at extremities of spine. | £50

Aldous Huxley | Those Barren Leaves | Chatto & Windus | 1925 | First edition in jacket, extra spine label at back of book. Edge of pageblock foxed. Pale jacket is worn & marked, with a crumpled tear at the bottom of the fold of back cover/back flap. | £50

Yasunari Kawabata; Yukio Mishima (intr.); Edward G. Seidensticker (tr.) | House of the Sleeping Beauties | Quadriga | 1969 | 9000608001 First British edition in unclipped jacket. Boards are very slightly bowed. Pale jacket is rather worn & marked. A couple of small marks on outer edge of page-block. | £35

Alfred Kazin | Starting out in the Thirties | Secker & Warburg | 1966 | Inscribed by author to Richard Hoggart B[irming]ham March 66 on ffep. There is also a WITHDRAWN stamp on the ffep. First British printing in a damaged jacket: the book itself is in very good condition. | £30

Jack Kerouac | On the Road | Viking | 1957 | First edition, with “Printed by the Colonial Press” on the publishing information page. A heavily used ex-library copy with no jacket, very worn original cloth cover, tape reinforcement to hinges, expected markings & label traces, & small ink marginal mark on one page. | £200

Jan Kerouac | Baby Driver | Andre Deutsch | 1982 | 0233974873 First edition in unclipped jacket. Paper foxed & tanned. | £40

C. H. B. Kitchin | The Secret River | Secker & Warburg | 1956 | First edition in unclipped jacket. The top of the jacket’s spine has been reinforced on the reverse with tape. The largely plain back cover is lightly marked. | £30

Isidore Ducasse, Comte de Lautreamont; Alexis Lykiard [tr.] | Lautreamont’s Maldoror | Allison & Busby | 1970 | 0850310210 First edition of Lykiard’s translation. Dust jacket is price clipped, lightly sunned on spine & edge. There are a couple of closed tears to the upper edge of the back cover of the jacket, & the top edge of the jacket has been inconspicuously reinforced with clear tape on its reverse side. There is a faint trace of a small label on the front endpaper. The outer edge of the page block, & the pages at its extremities, are foxed. NB. The colours of the jacket are considerably paler than they appear in my photo. | £100

Ursula le Guin | City of Illusions | Victor Gollancz | 1971 | UK 1st edition in unclipped jacket. Ex-library copy with expected marks & signs of use, front cover set forward. Dust jacket is in lovely condition except for offset marks from the tape used to secure its protective cover. | £50

Cormac McCarthy | The Stonemason | Picador | 1997 | 9780330350334 First UK printing. | £30

Cormac McCarthy | The Sunset Limited | Picador | 2010 | 9780330518079 First UK printing in unclipped jacket. Jacket is good only, being scuffed & worn at the top of the spine. Outer edge of page-block foxed. | £100

Maurice Moiseiwitsch | The Sleeping Tiger | Heinemann | 1955 | First edition in unclipped jacket. Minor wear to edge of jacket, most evident at extremities of spine, spine very slightly faded, tiny nick to edge of spine. Front cover set slightly forward, outer edge of page-block foxed. | £100

V. S. Pritchett | The Complete Short Stories | Chatto & Windus | 1990 | First printing in unclipped jacket with a very slightly faded spine. At first glance, a very good copy, but the lower corner of the back panel has been exposed to damp at some time, & some of the colour from the boards has offset onto the reverse of the jacket. | £30

Thomas Pynchon | Gravity’s Rainbow | Jonathan Cape | 1973 | 224009621 Paperback first edition. A handsome copy, with a light crease to front cover, a couple of light creases to spine. The background of the spine has faded to a pale orange. A little wear & a few small marks to the outer edge of the page-block. Internally in very good condition indeed. | £175

Paul Ritchie | Confessions of a People Lover | Calder & Boyars | 1967 | First edition in unclipped jacket. Price has been crossed through in pencil on front flap. Jacket is worn at the edge, with a little loss. White background of jacket is foxed, as is outer edge of page-block. | £30

Alain Robbe-Grillet | Snapshots and Towards a New Novel | John Calder | 1965 | First British edition. Very good hardback, a little faded at extremities of spine & with an ownership signature on ffep, in good jacket. Jacket is unclipped, but has suffered some loss at the edges & is worn, with a little loss, along the creases of the spine: its predominantly white background areas are rather rubbed & marked. | £100

Manuel Rojas | Born Guilty | Gollancz | 1956 | UK 1st edition in unclipped jacket. The book is noticeably slant, with front cover set forward. A number has been noted in ink on the ffep. | £40

Joseph Roth; John Hoare (tr.) | The Emperor’s Tomb | Chatto & Windus, the Hogarth Press | 1984 | 701128267 First British printing in unclipped jacket. Spine of jacket is faded but still legible, label trace on back panel. Paper tanned with age, lower corner of title page very lightly creased. | £30

Iain Sinclair | The Kodak Mantra Diaries | Albion Village Press | 1971 | There is a distinct wobble to the profile of this tall thin ringbound publication. The outer edge of the front cover is marked, & there is some wear to the edge, most evidently at the corners. Still an impressive artefact. No problem with text pages. | £60

Iain Sinclair | Radon Daughters | Jonathan Cape | 1994 | 1st edition in jacket, inscribed by author on title page, flyer for reading by Sinclair loosely inserted | £50

Ali Smith | Autumn | Hamish Hamilton | 2016 | 9780241207000 First printing with wraparound. | £40

Stefan Themerson | Special Branch | Gaberbocchus | 1972 | 0852471033 First edition, in card covers. Author’s name faded on spine. | £30

Ruthven Todd | The Lost Traveller | Grey Walls Press | 1943 | First printing in a price-clipped jacket. The pale jacket is heavily foxed, & marked with cup-rings. The boards are worn & threadbare at the edges. There is a little damage to the top of the ffep, apparently due to the page becoming stuck to the front pastedown in the production process: the small missing patch of paper is still glued to the front pastedown. The book is slant, with the front cover set forward. There is some foxing to the outer edge of the page-block. The frontispiece & text pages are in very good condition, with some foxing to the final page. | £100

Robert Tressell (given as Robert Tressall on spine & title page) | The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists | Grant Richards | 1914 | First edition in what we assume to be library binding. The cover is very worn, & has been exposed to damp, with some offset on the lower corner of the last page, & the very tip of the lower corner of the penultimate page of the book. The outer edge of the page-block is worn & marked, & the binding is very fragile at the first & last pages of the book, although the main body of the book still feels solidly bound. The word ‘adult’ & a number have been written on the reverse of the front cover, & there is an ownership signature in the upper corner of the rear endpaper. The paper is foxed & marked, & the book has evidently been heavily read, with little tears in the outer margins of a few pages. | £400

Boris Vian | Froth on the Daydream | Rapp & Carroll | 1967 | First British edition of this translation in unclipped jacket. Jacket is worn at edges, most heavily at top of spine. Spine of jacket is creased & very lightly faded. The outer edge of page-block is foxed. A contemporary Sunday Telegraph review, incorporating a Nicolas Bentley drawing of ‘Boris Vian: trumpeter of zany notes’ has been loosely inserted into the book. | £150

Boris Vian | Mood Indigo | Grove Press | 1968 | First printing of this translation in unclipped jacket. Outer edge of page-block foxed. | £100

Manfred von Conta; Eva Figes [tr.] | The Deathbringer | Calder & Boyars | 1971 | 0714507733 Very good hardback. Unclipped jacket still looks impressive, but is worn at the edges, with a few closed tears, & lightly marked around the folds of the flaps. | £250

Rex Warner | The Aerodrome | John Lane The Bodley Head | 1941 | First edition with publisher’s review slip loosely inserted, no jacket. | £500

Denton Welch | In Youth is Pleasure | Routledge | 1944 | First printing. The boards are very worn indeed, the spine faded to near illegibility. Bookshop stamp of Higginbotham’s of Madras on ffep, along with a price in rupees marked in ink. Text pages still look very good. The sewn binding has loosened a little, but all pages remain firmly attached. | £30

William Carlos Williams | The Build-up | Macgibbon & Kee | 1969 | First UK edition in unclipped jacket. A handsome copy, with a couple of rather unsightly clusters of foxing on outer edge of pageblock. | £30