First edition, first printing. Original blue cloth, lettered and decorated in green to spine, front and rear panels, in the dustwrapper designed by Ted and Ursula O'Brien. A near fine copy, the binding square and firm, the cloth and lettering sharp, the contents clean throughout. Light spotting to the upper edge, a couple of spots to the fore-edge and front endpapers, and a few foxing marks to final pages and endpapers. Complete with the fine dustwrapper, showing the merest wear to the upper spine tip. An attractive copy.

'Dream of Fair to Middling Women' (the title alludes to Chaucer's 'The Legend of Good Women' and Tennyson's 'A Dream of Fair Women') was Beckett's first novel, written in 1932 while the twenty-six year old author was living at the Trianon Hotel on the Rue de Vaugirard in Paris. The manuscript was submitted to a number of publishers at the time and rejected by all of them, later becoming the basis of the stories collected in 'More Pricks than Kicks' (1934) (both works share the central (autobiographical) character of Belacqua Shua). The novel had to wait sixty years to be published, the author forbidding the work's publication until, at the end of his life, he relented and agreed (in conversation with Eoin O'Brien) that it could be published, but not "until he was gone "for some little time"". The book was to be published by John Calder but following a dispute O'Brien published the book in Dublin. Calder's UK edition and the American edition were subsequently published with a number of textual errors. The novel has recently been reissued by Faber and Faber, for which O'Brien's original Dublin text (and preface) has been reproduced. Beckett described the novel as "the chest into which I threw my wild thoughts". It is a work of tremendous energy and Joycean exuberance, as well as a key to many of the author's later works.

Stock code: 22404


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