Now that I have begun to get settled into my new library I culled about three grocery bags of books from the rest of the herd. I took them to a secondhand shop and ended up getting $80 of store credit. Well, that plus $20 got me this stack of books. For me this is a pretty short stack for $100, but two of them were quite costly because of their rare nature. One was a no-brainer: a first edition of my FAVORITE Willa Cather novel, The Professor’s House. And the other is a large format, Rebecca West story illustrated with really amazing color plates. I will have more on the Rebecca West volume in the days to come.
A Room With A View by E.M. Forster – I think I already have a copy of this favorite book, but I couldn’t resist the sweet cover. (see below)
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron – I need some mass market volumes to take with on vacation in a few weeks. That way I can leave them behind as I finish them. This is one of the Modern Library’s Top 100 that I haven’t read yet.
The Men With the Pink Triangle by Heinz Heger – A rare first-hand account of a homosexual prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp.
The Diary of Provincial Lady and The Provincial Lady in America by E.M. Delafield – I have one of these already in the same edition. But not with these amazing dust jackets. I have never seen this edition in dust jackets. What a find.
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton – This one sounded very interesting and I am fast becoming a sucker for NYRB editions.
Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather – A great cover on a Cather I haven’t read yet.
The Professor’s House by Willa Cather – A first edition of this, my favorite Willa Cather novel.
The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald – I don’t always love her books but I am always glad I read them.
The Modern Rake’s Progress by Rebecca West – You guys are going to love this book when I blog about it later.
Not the best shape, but how cute is this illustration?
My library here does not have Delafield and I have not seen any available in the second hand shops. I doubt I will ever get them in Sri Lanka so just have to go on looking.
They are beautiful.
The Delafield covers are beautiful!
How wonderful to be able to “barter for books”, particularly when you get such lovely htings in return – those Delafield covers are superb.
I am green with envy at that first edition Willa Cather – great find!
I can't wait to hear more about the Rebecca West, I'd never heard of that before!
The Delafield dust covers are gorgeous. Great find!
What beautiful Delafield covers! I covet those covers… I thought I'd seen allthe ones available, but I've never seen those before.
And if I'm not much mistaken, that's a Raoul Dufy on the cover of the Forster – one of my favourite painters.
Oooh I think thats the cover that I had of A Room With A View when I studied it at A Level.
I love the Provinical covers they are wonderful. I also want to finally read Sophie's Choice and think Pink Triangle sounds like it should be read here at Savidge HQ too.
So … you're on the slippery slope of collecting Firsts!
What a great haul!
I already have two copies of The Provincial Lady (the Virago fabic hardback and the old green Virago edition with the sequels) so I am averting my eyes … they are stunning and covetable.
I ADORE Rebecca West! I can't wait to hear more about it.
What a beautiful stack of books! I have not read Cather's The Professor's House. I will have to make a point to give it a go one of these days.
Awesome! Aren't second-hand stores fun?
Those Delafields are especially lovely. Now what shop did you visit?
Those Delafield covers are gorgeous! I love Willa Cather, but am not familiar with The Professor's House. Great first edition find… I'm off to look up the title.
These are such literary treasures, Thomas! I have read all the authors you mentioned, but none of the books you cited, except for A Room with a View. Loved Rebecca West's The Bird Falls Down and I have The return of the Soldier in the pile. I'm looking forward to your buzz on her. :)
I'm so incredibly envious that you have a first edition of The Professor's House! I hardly ever see anyone mention it, and it's by far my favorite Cather. It was also the first Cather I read. Beautiful!
I read The Slaves of Solitude last winter. Like all the NYRBs I've read, it's extremely satisfying in terms of imagery, style, and writing, if not always in story (it doesn't wrap things up neatly). I liked it.
Those dust jackets are lovely.
Mystica: Email me your address. I have an extra copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady that I will send to you. onmyporch (at) hotmail (dot) com
Iris: With the colors they kind of jumped off the shelf that is for sure.
Verity: I am not sure it would technically be considered bartering, but I liked the alliteration.
Bookssnob: The West was a last minute, almost didn't see it, kind of find. Thank goodness for that.
Bibliophile: Like the West book, I almost didn't find these on my first pass through the fiction. And even then the two weren't together. So it was like finding hidden treasure twice.
Simon T: You are right about Raoul Dufy on the cover. And the intro to this edition has lots of good info on Forster's process in writing it.
Simon S: Even though I haven't seen the film, I fully expect to see Meryl Streep in my head as I read.
music-books-steve: I think I may be safe from that. There are a few things that catch my eye now and then, but I rarely go out of my way to find them. John would love it if I focused on firsts and stopped buying all the ratty old paperbacks that I prefer.
Susan: It turned out to be a good day.
Claire: These editions are the only Delafields I have seen in the U.S. This is the first time I have seen them with dust jackets.
Amanda: You will be delighted when you see more.
Stefanie: Definitely worth checking out The Professor's House. It appealed to the loner in me.
Tiffany: I much prefer second-hand books over new ones.
Frances: Do you remember Kulturas books that used to be on Connecticut just north of Dupont Circle? They moved to LA about five years ago and now they are back. However, I actually found these at their second location on the 4900 block of Wisconsin.
JoAnn: TPH is often overlooked but really wonderful. I am pretty sure it is still available in paperback.
Matt: You will love The Return of the Solider.
Andi: It is so exciting to hear that TPH is also your favorite Cather. The book was like a revelation for me.
Anna: Good to know about Slaves of Solitude. I took a chance on that one.
Those are indeed beautiful covers. I have to get myself acquainted with Willa Carther. I've heard great things about her.
The Slaves of Solitude is an astounding novel. How anyone could have written such a perceptive and insightful book on three bottles of whisky a day is beyond me.
What I particularly like about this novel is its portrayal of passive-aggressive behaviour. There is something very English about this story, in which everyone is outwardly civil and well-behaved, but inwardly seethes with anger and resentment.
In its own way, The Slaves of Solitude is a wonderfully damning account of English manners, potraying them as gutless and hypocritical rather than noble and civilised. I wonder completely agree with that view, but I've met some pretty dreadful people who've hidden behind a mask of gentility.
Sorry, typomania this evening. It should read “I wouldn't completely agree…”
The wines were too various…”
Sophie's Choice is a fabulous novel. Hope you enjoy it. Love those art deco Delafields.
Mad: Cather really is worth checking out.
Steerforth: Your description should be a blurb on the back cover. You have really piqued my interest. I am going to have to start this one soon.
Vintage Reading: Good to know. It should be a good one to take on vacation.
Oh I long for those Delafields – not that I need them mind you – I have about 5 different editions already!
Elaine: Thankfully all of mine are in the same editions. Otherwise I might find myself losing control.
I found that Delafield edition in a second hand shop a few years ago and I HAD TO HAVE IT! I still haven't read it but every time I see it, it gives me pleasure and says “READ ME”
Whispering Gums: I know the feeling.