First edition. Inscribed presentation copy, with additional material. Publisher's original textured brown cloth with gilt titles to the spine, in dustwrapper. Illustrated in black and white throughout. A better than very good copy, the binding square and firm with a few small bumps at the spine tips, the contents clean throughout. Complete with the very lightly rubbed and creased dustwrapper. Not price-clipped. Loosely laid in are three typed letters, two are between co-editor David Vaisey and Nicholas Cooper at the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments regarding photographs for this publication, the third letter is from the publisher to John Betjeman regarding progress and setting a lunch meeting (annotated by Betjeman in blue ink).

Inscribed by John Betjeman in blue ink on the front endpaper "To darling Mary / with love from the old / photographed / co-editor / John Betjeman / 9.9.71/ This is the nastiest ?? book I / have ever been connected with". The recipient is the accomplished poet Mary Wilson who also happened to be married to the twice Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Mary met Betjeman after she contrived to sit beside the poet laureate at an official dinner, thereafter the two would meet regularly, at Betjeman's house or at Number 10, sometimes in St James's Park, to read and recite poetry to each other. Betjeman encouraged Mary to write and publish and they remained close friends until his death. Provenance: Collection of Gladys Mary Wilson, Baroness Wilson of Rievaulx.

Stock code: 16093


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London: B. T. Batsford.


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