[ilds] quaint & intimate ld

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Sun Dec 21 21:19:29 PST 2008

Since I know an impoverished owner of a copy of /Quaint Fragments/, I 
think this is excellent news!

Should anyone be interested, I've recently discovered that the Edmonton 
Bookstore has a pristine copy of /The Black Book/, and it's at a bargain 
price for the condition.

Best from the frigid North...  We're practically wearing icicles up here 
at the moment!


Charles Sligh wrote:
> On 11 December 2008, Bloomsbury Auctions put up for sale the Durrell 
> items listed below this note.  These lots were collected under the title 
> "Printed Books, Manuscripts and Artwork, including the Collections of 
> Cecil & Desmond Harmsworth and Important Manuscripts and Books from the 
> Library of the late Francisco Gil de Borja e Menezes."
> The Durrell-related lots will interest subscribers to this listserv not 
> only for their individual merits--the second lot is indeed 
> /singular/--but also for their over-topping of estimates.   The 
> Bloomsbury Auctions webiste notes:
>>         In spite of deeply depressing economic news, Bloomsbury’s last
>>         sale of 2008, Printed Books, Manuscripts and Artwork including
>>         the Collections of Cecil & Desmond Harmsworth (11-12th
>>         December), was a success. It would seem that private
>>         collections and items fresh to the market in good condition,
>>         still find eager buyers.
>>         A substantial part of the Harmsworth Collection (sold by
>>         descendants of the newspaper magnates) was snapped up by an
>>         institution. An autograph letter from WB Yeats to Cecil
>>         Harmsworth on Irish Unification (lot 47) made £3120, three
>>         times the lower estimate; a letter from Joyce recounting his
>>         eye problems fetched £7800, almost double the lower estimate
>>         (lot 85). Lot 87 was an interesting account of Harmsworth’s
>>         difficulties in drawing Joyce, it sold for £1800 (estimate
>>         £300-400). Swift’s presentation copy of Caludius Claudianus
>>         (1650) made a healthy £9000 (estimate £6000-8000).
>>         Once again Bloomsbury reaffirmed its place as the auction
>>         house for Modern First Editions. As Roddy Newlands said, ‘The
>>         market is still strong for genuinely scarce items, especially
>>         those in good condition or those with important associations.’
>>         *The very rare first edition of Lawrence Durrell’s Quaint
>>         Fragment (lot 229), one of very few printed (only two have
>>         appeared at auction in the last 30 years), and which contained
>>         poems written by the author between the age of 16-18, sold for
>>         £19200 against an estimate of £6000-8000.*
>         http://www.bloomsburyauctions.com/index
> Whatever the vagaries of investments in other markets, "Lawrence 
> Durrell" is apparently booming.
> C&c.
>     ****
>>     229. Durrell (Lawrence)  Quaint Fragment,  first edition , printed
>>     in red and black, mounted portrait (actual photograph) tipped in
>>     as frontispiece following title, with guard, mount with small
>>     crease at corner, pencil note on front free endpaper “Cecil
>>     Jeffrey’s first printed book December 1931”, endpapers a little
>>     foxed, original bronze paper-backed crimson cloth, uncut, spine a
>>     little rubbed with slight wear to head and foot, overall a very
>>     good copy, 8vo, Cecil Press,  1931.
>>     *
>>     est. £6000 – £8000*
>>     The author’s very scarce first book, one of only a few copies
>>     printed. It contains his poems written during the ages of sixteen
>>     and nineteen.
>>     “‘Never published. Cecil Jeffries bought a hand press and asked me
>>     to give him something to practise with; poems were easier than
>>     prose so I gave him an old notebook with roughs. Title was his. We
>>     took two pulls I think before the type was dispersed. One copy
>>     bound.’ This book is extremely rare, but Durrell’s statement that
>>     only one copy was bound is an exaggeration. Three or four have
>>     passed through the antiquarian book market in the last ten years,
>>     and one copy, left behind in Corfu, was destroyed.” Alan Thomas in
>>     his bibliography for G.S.Fraser’s Lawrence Durell: A Study , 1968.
>>     Only 2 copies have appeared at auction in the last 30 years, the
>>     most recent being the Bradley Martin copy in 1990.
>>     *Sold for £16000*
>>         Sale 672, 11th December 2008
> **
>>     1019. Durrell (Lawrence) .-  An intimate collection of material
>>     illustrating the relationship between Lawrence Durrell and
>>     Margaret McCall his “darling original McCall girl”, as well as
>>     material relating to McCall’s time at the BBC and her contact with
>>     other authors, including Philip Larkin, Henry Miller and John
>>     Betjeman,  comprising a selection of autographed and typed
>>     letters, postcards and telegrams between Margaret McCall and
>>     Lawrence Durrell dating from 1967 , including :  c.5 A.L.s. from
>>     Lawrence Durrell to Margaret McCall; c.15 T.L.s. from Lawrence
>>     Durrell to Margaret McCall. Referring to the 1967 ‘Generals Coup’
>>     in Greece Durrell writes: “At the moment nearly all my powerful
>>     friends are locked up or limogees; but they find the exile islands
>>     very restful it seems and the food good… The situation is both
>>     dismal and quite farcical; both right and left are moaning. But
>>     the real nigger in the woodpile is the Queen Mother who has sunk
>>     her teeth into Constantine and won't let go. If she could be
>>     persuaded to take a holiday in Austria Karamanlis would agree to
>>     go back (Heleni was having talks with him when I saw her) and of
>>     course win the elections and restore order and democracy…"; 3
>>     telegrams; An A.Pc.s. from Durrell to McCall in which Durrell
>>     muses “arriving 10.35 London Time p.m. Suppose you were in London:
>>     suppose it was your evening off: suppose you got the keys from
>>     Alan and came to hear all my adventures... wouldn’t that be
>>     wonderful for me?”; 6 photographs of Durrell (2 with McCall);
>>     Original typescripts for “Midday Dialogue” and “Malcolm Muggeride
>>     talking to Lawrence Durrell” along with some typescript notes; 2
>>     ink and watercolour paintings by Durrell for McCall signed “Epfs”
>>     (Durrell used the pseudonym ‘Oscar Epfs’ which he reportedly loved
>>     as he thought it was impossible to say without sounding silly); a
>>     number Durrell’s publications inscribed to McCall including:
>>     Collected Poems, 1968; Nunquam, 1970; The Greek Islands, 1978, all
>>     signed presentation copies from the author all to Margaret McCall,
>>     original cloth, some faded, dust-jackets, jackets rubbed,
>>     extremities torn with loss ; and 11 others, by Durrell, many inscribed
>>     Also included in the collection: a selection of autographed and
>>     typed letters, postcards and telegrams between Margaret McCall and
>>     Philip Larkin; Henry Miller; John Betjeman and others, including :
>>     2 telegrams and 2 T.L.s. from McCall to Henry Miller, 1 A.L.s.
>>     from Miller to McCall in which he states: “I must warn you in
>>     advance that I am not much good on T.V. or film”. He decides that
>>     he would be more comfortable if “Larry (Lawrence) took over. He
>>     knows how to handle me. With the Britishers in general I am
>>     usually ill at ease.”; A T.L.s. from Philip Larkin to McCall and a
>>     copy of a T.L. from McCall to Larkin; 2 A.L.s. and 3 Pc.s. from
>>     John Betjeman to “Darling Margaret” and a T.L.s. from McCall to
>>     Betjeman in which she states: “You’ve never used auto-cue, so why
>>     should you look through some lavatorial glass darkly into the
>>     camera lenses now?” ; a number of typed and autographed letters
>>     between McCall and Nicholas Ghike, Dimitri Papadimos and George
>>     Katsimbalis; 2 A.L.s. to Phyllis McCall from Robert Graves; a
>>     number of books by the above authors inscribed to McCall
>>     including: Betjeman (John) Collected Poems, signed from “Banjo
>>     Betjeman” , spine faded, 1970 § Stephanides (T.) The Golden Face,
>>     signed and inscribed by the author on front free endpaper , 1965,
>>     original cloth, dust-jacket, extremities chipped ; and 10 others,
>>     many signed, v.s.
>>     (qty)
>>     *est. £1000 – £1500*
>>     Margaret McCall was a senior Producer and Director at the BBC in
>>     the 1960s and later. She was responsible for many of the stations
>>     best arts programmes and was tasked with getting many of the
>>     leading artistic figures of the time to make their first
>>     television appearances. These included Dali, Betjeman, Henry
>>     Miller, Philip Larkin and, of course, Lawrence Durrell, with whom
>>     she ultimately conducted a long-standing intimate friendship.
>>     *Sold for £2600*
>>     Sale 672, 11th December 2008
> -- 
> ********************************************
> Charles L. Sligh
> Assistant Professor
> Department of English
> University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
> charles-sligh at utc.edu
> ********************************************
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