First Edition of Muriel Spark's Doctors of Philosophy; Inscribed by Her to Her Publisher

  • Doctors of Philosophy: A Play.

Doctors of Philosophy: A Play.

Item Number: 79154

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966.

First edition of Spark’s only play. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to her publisher, “Sara, fondest love, Muriel.” The recipient was Sara Lippincott, who was on the staff at The New Yorker. Spark’s biographer, Martin Stannard describes Lippincott as a sharp young woman who sometimes acted as Spark’s secretary or helper. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Jacket design by H. Cowdell.

In a home overlooking London’s Regent’s Canal in the 1960s, two scholars debate the choices they have made with their lives. Catherine Delfont was one of the most promising minds of her generation, but after earning her PhD she gave up her research to marry a well-regarded economist and raise a family. Her cousin Leonora stayed in academia and became a successful classicist, able to observe both the breadth of history and the lives of others with brilliant, cool detachment. Together, they face the sacrifices they have made as women and intellectuals. First performed in London in 1962 and later in Scandinavia, where it was produced by Ingmar Bergman, Doctors of Philosophy is a fascinating artifact of early second-wave feminism.