London: Jonathan Cape, (1926). Austen, John. First Edition. Hardcover. First printing, octavo size, 288 pp., signed by Liam O'Flaherty. Near fine / very good +. Item #20082922
Liam O'Flaherty (1896-1984) is considered by many to be one of the "foremost socialist writers in the first part of the 20th century". After serving in WWI (and being badly injured) he became involved in Irish politics and was a founding member of the Communist Party in Ireland. In his novels he could generally be seen as "a caustic, indeed corrosive, critic of the social pressures which shaped early twentieth-century Ireland and, in particular, the new Ireland which emerged with the founding of the Irish Free State."
This work, "Mr. Gilhooley" is one of his "morbid" novels, with the story set in a "murky Dublin"; upon publication, it caused an "uproar over its 'indecent' content" (which has as a character a "girl of the streets").
The dust jacket with two illustrations by John Austen (1886-1948), a well-known illustrator whose style was at first influenced by Aubrey Beardsley and later by the Art Deco movement.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full brick-red cloth over boards, gilt lettering and rules on the spine, publisher's device blind-debossed on the back board, signed by Liam O'Flaherty on the front free endpaper, publisher's device on the title page; octavo size (7.75" by 5.5"), pagination: [1-4] 5-288. Publisher's dust jacket shows the original price of 7s. 6d., illustration of Mr. Gilhooley on the front panel by John Austen, another illustration (likely by Austen but unsigned) on the spine of a girl under a streetlamp, undoubtedly meant to be a "streetwalker", black lettering on front and spine, back panel publisher's ad for other works, front flap with a short summary of the book and the printed price, back flap blank.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a hint of sunning to the head and tail of the spine, some dustiness to the top edge of the text block, else fine. The unclipped dust jacket just shy of near fine; entire and free of tears, some overall soiling, minor overall edgewear, and a mark on the front panel crossing the left-hand shoulder of Gilhooley. Overall a wonderful example of this work of Irish literature, signed by the author.
___CITATION: Information above and quotes from the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
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