First Edition of C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce
The Great Divorce: A Dream.
Item Number: 81231
London: Geofrey Bles, 1945.
First edition of this classic allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some wear and tear.
In The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis again employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory. The writer finds himself in Hell boarding a bus bound for Heaven. The amazing opportunity is that anyone who wants to stay in Heaven, can. This is the starting point for an extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment. Lewis's revolutionary idea is the discovery that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. In Lewis's own words, "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell." “Much deserves to be quoted... attractive imagery, amusing satire, exciting speculations... Lewis rouses curiosity about life after death only to sharpen awareness of this world” (Guardian).
Other Books by this Author
London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1943.
First edition of the final novel in Lewis’ acclaimed Space Trilogy. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by C.S. Lewis to fellow writer and journalist George Orwell and his wife (Eric and Eileen Blair) on the front free endpaper, “To the Blairs, with kind regards, C.S. Lewis Aug. 1945.” This is the review copy used in George Orwell’s literary review of the book which was published in the Manchester Evening News on August 16th 1945. Also with three hand-corrections to the text in Lewis’ hand which he made in all review copies before personally sending to critics. Although Lewis and Orwell were not close friends, both were employed as radio journalists by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during WWII, an era that transformed both religious broadcasting (in which Lewis became a primary figure) and war correspondence (Orwell’s experience as a correspondent working out of the basement of the BBC during wartime was a major inspiration for his masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four). Very good in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morrocco clamshell box. A remarkable association.
“Ceasing to be 'in love' need not mean ceasing to love": First Edition of Mere Christianity; Signed by C.S. Lewis
London: Geoffrey Bles, 1952.
First edition of this classic C.S. Lewis work, which was adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1942 and 1944. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by C.S. Lewis on the front free endpaper. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing and wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare and desirable signed.
The Chronicles of Narnia Set: The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, The Last Battle.
London: Geofrey Bles, 1950-1956.
First British editions of each of the seven volumes in the author’s acclaimed Narnia Series. Octavo, 7 volumes. Each is finely bound in full red morocco, raised bands, gilt titles to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, all edges gilt. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Illustrations throughout by Pauline Baynes. Octavo, seven volumes. An exceptional set.
New York and London: The Queen Anne Press; The British Book Centre, 1953.
Signed limited issue, number 23 of 50 specially bound copies, signed by both the author and illustrator Reynolds Stone, from a total edition of 1,000 copies. Quarto, original red morocco, gilt titles to the spine, gray endpapers, top edge gilt. Frontispiece woodcut and title page printed in brown, 3 further woodcuts in text printed in black. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Exceptionally Rare 15th century Illuminated Miniature Book of Hours; with 6 full-page illuminated miniatures and 30 other pages with full illuminated borders
Flanders [Bruges]: c. 15th century.
Exceptionally rare miniature book of hours illuminated with 6 full-page miniatures and 30 other pages with full illuminated borders. 12mo, bound in nineteenth century purple velvet, 160 vellum leaves, all edges gilt, text in Latin. Full page miniatures include a man pruning a sapling with Pisces above, The Virgin and Child, The Annunciation to the Shepherds, The Nativity, The Flight into Egypt, and Mary Magdalene in a wooded landscape. The illuminator of this volume was a follower of the Master of the Dresden Prayerbook, both in terms of style and the use of full-page calendar miniatures, which are not typically found in 15th century books of hours. In near fine condition. Exceptionally rare.
Autograph quote signed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer. The quote reads, “Only at quite rare moments have I felt really glad to be alive. I could not but feel with a sympathy full of regret all the pain that I saw around me, not only that of men but that of the whole creation. From this community of suffering I have never tried to withdraw myself. It seemed to me a matter of course that we should all take our share of the burden of pain which lies upon the world.” Signed by Schweitzer beneath the quote. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with a portrait of Schweitzer. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 17.5 inches. A unique example, rare and desirable signed by the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
The Trianon Press: Paris, 1966.
Signed limited edition of Lithuanian-born American artist Ben Shahn’s magnificently illustrated retelling of the Haggadah for Passover. Large folio, original wrappers, gilt titles to the front panel, loose leaves as issued, illustrated by Shaun with 21 color pictorial borders and line drawings and an additional double-page color lithograph also signed by him. One of only 228 copies signed by the author, this is number 34. Text printed in Hebrew and English. With a translation, introduction and commentary by Cecil Roth. Near fine in the original glassine which is in near fine condition. Housed in a custom full parchment padded gilt clamshell box with a silver clasp. A beautiful example.