First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Boyle with a 1,000+ word discussion of the book written in ink across 4 pages of the front and rear endpapers, dated 17th-18th March 1989 and signed to the rear endpaper. Publisher's original black cloth with titles in yellow to the upper board and spine. Fore-edge and lower edge untrimmed. Illustrated with numerous black and white photographic plates. A very good copy, the binding firm with scuffing and a little loss to the cloth, a couple of splits to the cloth to the left of the spine, and a little loss to the head of the spine. The contents with scattered foxing are otherwise in good order and clean throughout.
The first published work by the author, short story writer, educator, and political activist Kay Boyle (1902-1992). Ghost written for Gladys Brooke, née Palmer, who, through marriage to Bertram Brooke, had become a member of the ruling 'White Rajahs' of Sarawak. The work provides a conversational narrative of Palmer's life, including extensive discussion of the artistic and literary circles in which she was involved as part of the Parisian expatriate scene of the 1920s. In Boyle's manuscript discussion on the endpapers of the present copy, she describes the period of her life (1927/28) following the death of her partner Ernest Walsh and how her authorship of the work came about as a result of her attempts to find 'a job that would support me and my baby girl'. She discusses the process of writing the book, during which time she lived in Palmer's grand Parisian apartment, commenting on the 'the princess's' 'flights of imagination' and pointing out her own inventions within the text. Recounting her broader experiences in Paris, she notably describes her time spent with Raymond Duncan's commune, and also discusses her interaction with the novelist Gertrude Stein, whom she claims was 'incredibly snobbish...the prospect of meeting a member of established royalty sent her into ecstasies, even over the phone'. An important copy of Boyle's first book, documenting an early period in her life and career, as well as giving an insight into bohemian expatriate life in 1920s Paris. Provenance: From the library of Martin Stone.
Stock code: 17308
London: John Lane.