"WITH BEST WISHES FROM VERA BRITTAIN": FIRST EDITION OF ENGLAND'S HOUR, INSCRIBED BY VERA BRITTAIN, IN RARE UNRESTORED DUST JACKET
BRITTAIN, Vera. England's Hour. London: Macmillan, 1941. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $850.
First edition, colonial issue, of this powerful autobiographical work about the early years of World War II Britain, inscribed: "To Helen Mayo and Andy Sharps—with best wishes from Vera Brittain—Feb. 3rd, 1941," in rare unrestored dust jacket.
Written by the critically acclaimed author of Testament of Youth and Testament of Friendship, England's Hour returns to the subject of war—specifically the earliest years of World War II, including the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. An ardent pacifist following her experience as a World War I nurse, Brittain strove to show the devastating effects of war on the homefront. At the time, critics such as Graham Greene and Stevie Smith claimed that Brittain had over-dramatized the extent of the bombing and its effects on morale. Yet, by 1945—indeed, by the end of 1941—England's Hour had proven prophetic with German bombs hitting the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Waterloo station, and tens of thousands of homes and businesses, often killing those trapped inside. Stamp on front flap of dust jacket reading: "Macmillan's Overseas Library. This Library must not be circulated in the British Isles, The United States of America, or Canada." At the time, copies of the domestic issue were frequently price-clipped and then stamped to render them suitable for sale in the colonies, including, for example, Australia. This copy is inscribed to Helen Mayo and Andy Sharps. Helen Mayo may have been the famous Australian physician and health educator who was an elected member of the Council at the University of Adelaide at the time this work was published. Mayo was, like, Brittain, one of the leading feminists of her time.
Book very nearly fine, with only mild toning to extremities. Rare, unrestored dust jacket price-clipped with only a bit of wear to extremities and faint foxing to flaps. A near-fine inscribed copy.