"How much does one imagine, how much observe? One can no more separate those functions than divide light from air, or wetness from water": First Edition of The Flame Trees of Thika; Inscribed by Elspeth Huxley and with a two page signed letter
The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood.
Item Number: 76988
London: Chatto & Windus, 1959.
First edition of Huxley’s autobiographical work based on her early life among white settlers on her father’s coffee plantation in Kenya. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, “For Joe Ferrier, most faithful and esteemed of absent friends. Elspeth Huxley.” Also, laid in is a two-page autographed signed letter from Huxley to the recipient and a signed Christmas card. Name to the pastedown, near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by Rosemary Seligman.
Elspeth Huxley prolifically wrote thirty books, but she is best known for her lyrical books The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard. Both are based on her experiences growing up in a coffee farm in Colonial Kenya. Her husband, Gervas Huxley was related to both Thomas and Aldous Huxley (Lownie, 2006). A year after the publication of The Flame Trees of Thika, Huxley was appointed an independent member of the Advisory Commission for the Review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. She was an advocate of colonialism early in life and later called for independence for African countries (Ibid.). In the 1960s, she served as a correspondent for the National Review magazine. It was later made into the well received television series originally airing in 1981.