London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1914. First Edition. Hardcover. Signed by Shaw on bookplate, with a TLS, duodecimo size, 358 pp., with two pieces of ephemera from the publisher. Near fine / very good +. Item #210503044
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was apparently in correspondence with the noted bookplate collector Charles Dexter Allen (1865-1926) - at least, the hints scattered within this book seems to indicate such.
The story begins on the front pastedown, which has the signature of “G. Bernard Shaw” with the date below of 14th July 1913, on an Ex-Libris with the printed message: “This Book belongs to Charles Dexter Allen”. Given that the date on the Ex-Libris is earlier than the publication date of the book, one can only assume that Mr. Allen sent out these bookplates to prominent personages to obtain their autograph, which he would keep and then, eventually, place within one of their books.
The story continues on the front free endpaper, with two slips tipped-in. The first a short clipping (apparently from a magazine) which opens: "George Bernard Shaw, in declining an invitation to visit this country, says of the suggested visit: 'I cannot help asking myself whether it is not now too late…' ". The second is a slip of paper with Mr. Shaw’s address of 10 Adelphi Terrace, W.C., printed at the bottom; printed at the top is "With Bernard Shaw’s compliments".
The recipient was clearly a fan, as there is a black-and-white photograph (apparently also clipped from a magazine) of Mr. Shaw tipped onto the flyleaf.
Lastly, tipped onto the verso of the rear free endpaper is a TLS again with Mr. Shaw’s address printed at the top, dated 17th February 1920, with a short note explaining that he is unable to authorize a "rival edition" of "The Dark Lady", signed "G. Bernard Shaw" and with a short hand-written note below: "PS You are probably aware that there are business reasons for not confusing the trade and the public as to who one’s publishers are."
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green ribbed cloth, gilt lettering on the spine, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, the Ex-Libris signed by Shaw and dated 14th July 1913 on the front pastedown, the two slips mentioned above on the front free endpaper, the photograph mentioned above tipped onto the flyleaf, the TLS tipped onto the verso of the rear free endpaper (the glue just above the fold); duodecimo size (7 " by 5"), pagination: [i-iv] v-cxvi (being an introductory "Treatise", "Parents and Children"), cxvii-cxix (Contents), [cxx-blank], cxxi [sectional title], [cxxii-blank],  2-234, [2 pp. publisher's ads]. In publisher's dust jacket of light blue heavy paper, navy blue lettering on both panels, spine (which shows the original price of 6/-), and front flap. Loosely laid in are two pieces of ephemera from the publisher: a listing of books ("Constable's 1/- Net Series"), being a single sheet of grey paper measuring 6 5/8" by 4 1/2", with red printing on both sides; and a tan heavy paper postcard for inquiries measuring 5" wide by 3" tall, black print on both sides.
___CONDITION: Volume near fine; the cloth binding clean and with only minor wear, a strong square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and free of prior owner written markings (there are the several pieces tipped or mounted in, enumerated above, either signed by Shaw or relating to him); mild bumping to the head and tail of the spine and prior bookseller notes in pencil on the front pastedown. Dust jacket is better than very good, clean and entire, with sunning to the spine and light edgewear, mostly to the head and tail of the spine (no loss of text) and a small triangular chip (approx. 3/8" on each side) at the bottom where the front panel meets the front flap. The two pieces of ephemera also near fine, both clean, the listing of books with very light wear and the postcard toned.
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