Modern Literature

Showing 1–36 of 205 results


An anthology of stories chosen by their own authors
London, Faber & Faber, 1934.

First edition. 8vo. Original purple cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 3/6.

Contributors include Martin Armstrong, A.E. Coppard, Louis Golding, James Laver, H. de V. Stacpoole and Alec Waugh.


London, Drane's, [1924].

First edition. 8vo. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 6/-.

Compelling jacket artwork graces this compilation of short stories, mostly of an Oriental bent. An uncommon imprint.

Modern Literature

Achebe (Chinua) Arrow of God


London, John Day, 1967.

First US edition. 8vo. Original purple cloth lettered in gilt. Dust-jacket, priced $5.50.

In this moving story Chinua Achebe catches perfectly the atmosphere of African village life, the beautiful proverb-laden language of the Ibo and their touching, strangely formal customs of worship and hospitality. (jacket)


New York, Mcdowell-Obolensky, 1959.

First US edition, second issue (with reviews to rear panel). 8vo. Original grey boards. Dust-jacket, priced $3.95.

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'. Achebe's first book, and the first part of the author's 'African Trilogy', Things Fall Apart is the compelling story of one man's battle to protect his community against the forces of change. Scarce.


London, Sampson Low, [1933].

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

A very good first edition of this uncommon title, on which this author's reputation primarily resides.


The novel of the play by Arnold Ridley and Bernard Merivale
London, Selwyn & Blount, 1928.

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket.

Striking jacket artwork adorns this tale of railway sabotage.


Lagos, Nigerian Printing & Publising, [1959].

First edition. 8vo. Original blue boards. Dust-jacket, priced 12/6.

A nice example of the true first edition of this depiction of the contradiction of Yoruba culture and the Christian missionaries. It was republished as part of Heinemann's influential 'African Writers Series'.


London, Peter Davies, 1940.

First edition. 8vo. Frontispiece portrait, plates. Original cloth. Photographic dust-jacket, priced 8s6d.

A scarce find in the dust-jacket. The book chronicles Anahareo's adventures with the faux apache 'Grey Owl' as they travelled along the waterways of Northern Ontario, having met in Canada when she was 19. Not to be confused with the later Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl, which is written after she had purportedly become aware that Grey Owl was in fact an Englishman named Archibald Stansfeld Belaney... Anahareo did not achieve the same fame as Grey Owl, but she played an important role in the conservation and animal rights movement, something she had been passionate about throughout her life.


London, Piatkus, 1980.

First UK edition, first hardback edition. 8vo. Original burgundy boards. Dust-jacket, without price.

The first hardback printing of Virginia Andrews' darkly psychological, grimly compelling thriller, the first in a series which was eventually, upon the author's death, taken over by a ghost writer. The book was first published in the US in paperback. Copies often turn up without a price as in this case.

Modern Literature

Armah (Ayi Kwei) Fragments


Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1970.

First US edition. 8vo. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, priced $5.95.

A very good first edition of Ghanaian author Armah's second novel, recounting the experiences of a Ghanaian man's return to Ghana after an education in the US.


London, Thornton Butterworth, 1925.

First edition. 8vo. Original pale sage cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

Attractive dust-jacket, a love story set against the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1923.


First edition.
London. Gollancz, 1934
Novel about a doctor in a small town, written by one-time house physician at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Uncommon.


London, Duckworth, 1938.

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

...a critical and sympathetic picture of modern life and its social it better to escape, or to play one's part? (jacket)

Modern Literature

Ballard (J.G.) Crash


London, Jonathan Cape, 1973.

First edition. 8vo. Original blue boards. Dust-jacket, priced £2.25.

One of Ballard's most famous works, a queasy blend of car crashes and sex...


London, Wright & Brown, [1936].

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

Classic stuff by Jean Barre, here writing under her own name rather than a pseudonym.


London, Wright & Brown, [1934].

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

Another attractive first edition by Wright & Brown, written by one of their more prolific authors.


London, Herbert Jenkins, 1932.

First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7/6.

An attractive first edition of this uncommon title, in the distinctive Jenkins jacket by Abbey. The tale of a somewhat high-minded and presumptuous would-be match-maker, told in a humorous vein.


Stories of Several Worlds. First edition, Heinemann, 1938.


First edition, Heinemann, 1900. A pleasing first edition of this early novel by the creator of Mapp and Lucia.


First UK edition, Collins, 1926. A jazz age title about a novelist, Henry Blackstone ‘who has never attained the wide popularity to which his gifts entitle him’ whose travails make him ‘vulnerable to, and ripe for the crisis which comes when he meets Mrs Thurlow’.

Modern Literature

Berners (Lord) Count Omega


London, Macmillan, 1941.

First edition. 8vo. Original pink cloth. Dust-jacket.

The story of a young composer who, under the auspices of a mysterious millionaire, looks forward to a sumptuous production of his first symphony. Nice copy.


Portrait of an Immigrant
London, Cape, 1937.

First edition. 8vo. Original orange cloth. Dust-jacket, price-clipped.

A marvellously written fictionalised account of the author's wife's family's story of migration from Russia to East London, by the author of Jew Boy.


London, Chapman & Hall, 1927

First edition, second impression. Large 8vo. Tipped-in slip. Plates. Original cloth. Dust-jacket.

Inscribed by the author E.H. Bostock, most famous for the Glasgow Zoo and Circus on New City Road, as well as cinema and variety house interests in Paisley, Hamilton and Wishaw; he opened a cinema in the Zoo and Circus. His animals were internationally famous and appeared in such films as The Rajah's Sacrifice (1916).

The foreword notes: "Mr. Bostock has been called the Barnum of Britain. Judged by the magnitude and multitude of his enterprises, he may well claim the title, for he has been a pioneer of modern entertainment as well as a practitioner of older forms."

Modern Literature

Boyle (Kay) My Next Bride


London, Faber, 1935.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7s6d.

A very good first UK edition of this early novel by one of the 'Lost Generation' writers, a semi-autobiographical künstlerroman set around an artists' commune on the outskirts Paris. Boyle was a prolific writer and poet, and a successful journalist until falling prey to the McCarthy witch hunts.


London, Rich & Cowan, 1935.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original orange cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

The first UK edition of journalist & writer Breuer's first novel, the basis for the Cary Grant and Carole Lombard film In Name Only (1939). Uncommon in the jacket.


Translated... by Felix W. Crosse.
London, Alfred A. Knopf, 1928.

First edition in English. 8vo. Original green cloth with white title label to spine. Dust-jacket.

The first English language edition of Brod's first major novel. The translation of the title has been criticised by many, as the eponymous protagonist does not achieve redemption on his path to God. Uncommon.


London, Cassell, 1932.

First UK edition. 8vo. Original black cloth lettered in red. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

An attractively jacketed edition of this work by US writer Katharine Brush, one of the most popular authors of her time, as well as one of most well-paid. 'Red headed woman! She went to New York; men looked at her, and say "Boy!"' (jacket). The book was adapted for the silver screen the same year, starring Jean Harlow as a woman who uses sex to advance her social position.


London, Heinemann, 1958.

First edition. 8vo. Original dark blue boards. Dust-jacket, priced 15s.

The second novel in Burgess's Malayan trilogy, set in Dahaga (Malayan for 'thirsty) and following the rise & fall of British expat Victor Crabbe, a microcosm of the waning influence of the British Empire.


London, Grant Richards, 1917.

Fourth printing. 8vo. Original brown cloth. Later issue dust-jacket (c.1921), price-clipped.

An early printing of Burke's famous tales of London's then Chinatown at the early part of the 20th century, in a slightly later but scarce dust-jacket. The work garnered both opprobrium and praise upon its publication in 1916, with some feeling it painted a morally damaging picture of Chinese immigrants cohabiting with white women, in part worsened by the developing trend for so-called "Yellow Peril" fiction by mostly US authors. Jacket artwork by the artist C.R.W. Nevinson, who became famous as a war artist.


London, Hodder & Stoughton, [1925].

First UK edition, first printing. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 7'6.

An excellent first UK edition of this collection of nine stories by American writer Struthers Burt, author of the non-fiction, intriguingly entitled account The Diary of a Dude Wrangler (1924). Burt's papers are housed at Princeton University.

Modern Literature

Byatt (A.S.) Shadow of a Sun


London, Chatto & Windus, 1964 [1963].

First edition. 8vo. Original blue cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 21s.

Byatt's first novel, an examination of the relationship between a girl and her father. Uncommon.


With a Preface by The Right Honourable Lord Buckminster
London & New York, G.P. Putnam, 1927.

First edition, signed by the author. 8vo. Original green cloth, lettered in gilt. Dust-jacket, priced 5/-.

A rallying cry by this Quaker writer against capital punishment, outlaying the failures of the death sentence as a deterrent. Suitable jacket artwork by renowned British artist Frank Brangwyn.

Modern Literature

Carew (Jan) Black Midas


London, Secker & Warburg, 1958.

First edition. 8vo. Original brown cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 16s.

The first novel by Guyanese author Jan Carew, a tale of tropical adventure, considered a key work in West Indian literature.


London, Longmans, Green,, 1923.

First edition. 8vo. 4pp. advertisements. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced 6/-.

A very good example of this early jacketed work set in Dartmoor, Devon. The adverts at the back are all related to West Country tales, including My Lady of the Moor by John Oxenham, which features none other than Beatrice Chase as the heroine.


London, Andre Deutsch, 1964.

First edition. 8vo. Original red boards. Dust-jacket, priced 25s.

The Nigerian author Clark's travelogue, covering his time in America. Clark's evisceration of much of American culture generated sizable controversy at the time but has since become a key work of Nigerian literature, often featuring in discussions about African perspectives on the United States. The book was also republished in 1968 as part of the influential Heinemann African Writers Series.

Modern Literature

Cleaver (Hylton) Double Room


London, Methuen, 1936.

First edition. 8vo. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, priced 7/6.

A very good copy of this first edition by the author more well-known for public school stories for boys.