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First Edition or First of Type

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  • The Fountain Overflows – Rebecca West – 1957

    The Fountain Overflows – Rebecca West – 1957

    An early edition of this important work by Rebecca West published by MacMillan, London and nominated a “Book society choice” – a March 1957 edition after the January 1957 First.

    Octavo, 392 pages, very good condition, a trifle marked on the page edges.

    Rebecca West the nom de plume of Dame Cicily Isabel Fairfield was named by the Times as the best female writer of the 20thC.

    She maybe is even more famous for her lengthy romance with HG Wells despite his 27 years on her of his already marriage. They had a child, Anthony west, who also became a writer. He wrote a fictionalised biography of HG Wells that did not show Rebecca (or Cicily) in a good light … they never spoke again; and it was worse than that.

    The Fountain Overflows can be understood from the Blake quote on the title page … “The cistern contains: the fountain overflows”. Essentially and autobiographically inspired novel concerning the Aubrey family in the first decade of the 20th Century.

    Later Rebecca west would write two further extensions … one published posthumously. She lived then in a large apartment overlooking Hyde Park. Unfortunately, next to the Iranian Embassy and had to be evacuated when it was under siege … if you remember all that. I her final years she was friends with Frankie Hawerd so must have had some fun.

    Rebecca West an extraordinary life and this novel encapsulates some of it.


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  • The Martian – George du Maurier – First edition 1898.

    The Martian – George du Maurier – First edition 1898.

    First edition published by Harper & Brothers in 1898.

    A substantial book, large squarish octavo, 471 pages, dark black end papers which show signs of paper label removal, so possibly ex library probably not public as no other library marks. Striking deep blue cloth covered boards with gilt titles, design, and faux signature to front, gilt title to spine, extraordinarily clean. Someone has assembled poetry to the early preliminaries, which we find quite charming.

    Considered the be quasi autobiographical with a strange surreal Martian twist. The life of Barty Josselin as told by a friend Robert Maurice from early days at the Institution Brossard in Paris. Josselin a good looker and thoroughly talented and extrovert. Later back in England Barty has a spell in the army.

    Later his eyesight starts to fail which makes him think of taking his own life. In a dream a spirit guardian in the form of Martia from Mars comes to him. From then Martia inspires him and provides advice which secures his career as an author. Martia has other influences and wishes him to marry Julia … and all gets a little complicated from there ..

    George du Maurier Channelling a Martian Spirit Guide


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  • Maigret’s Pickpocket and Maigret and the Nahour Case– Georges Simenon

    Maigret’s Pickpocket and Maigret and the Nahour Case– Georges Simenon

    Translated from the French another double helping of Maigret published by the Companion Book Club in 1968. A first of type.

    Octavo, 288 pages in very good condition.

    Maigret has his wallet stolen on a bus .. the young offender telephone Maigret and a murder enquiry ensues. In Nahour a gambler is murdered and his wife, who has fled with her lover, is suspected.

    Two different Maigret cases but with murder at the heart of each.


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  • Maigret – Hesitates  and Takes the Waters – Georges Simenon

    Maigret – Hesitates and Takes the Waters – Georges Simenon

    Two classic short stories by Simenon in Paris and also out in the Vichy countryside – superb

    First edition in this form published by The Companion Book Club in 1971 the individual editions being published in 1969 and 1970.

    Octavo, 288 pages, page edges and end papers bright red. A very clean copy.

    Maigret unsurpassed – a double helping.


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  • Maigret in Court – Georges Simenon

    Translated from the French of 1960, this edition by the Thriller Book Club, Charing Cross, London in conjunction with Hamish Hamilton. A first of type.

    Octavo, 192 pages in very good condition.

    Gaston Meurani is on trial and on first blush deserves to get off having been accused of the murder of his aunt and a little girl. Maigret convinced he is innocent. However, things come out in the trial that require a different type of justice. Intrigued?

    Maigret has a moral viewpoint but how does it pan out?


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  • Maigret and the Burglar’s Wife – Georges Simenon – First UK edition 1955

    Maigret and the Burglar’s Wife – Georges Simenon – First UK edition 1955

    A first UK edition of an early Simenon published by Hamish Hamilton in 1955, the French equivalent being 1953.

    Octavo, 160 pages, a little age and spots but not a bad copy for a sought after Maigret.

    The burglar’s wife had a history with Maigret – she tried to spoil his arresting of her by taking her clothes off. This is years later when Loft is married to Sad Freddie a not very successful burglar. Sad Freddie comes across a dead body during one of his late night escaped and it all starts from there.

    Early Maigret First Edition and the story of Lofty and Sad Freddie


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