"WE HAVE LANDED A QUEER FISH, DUCHESS": NORMAN DOUGLAS' SOUTH WIND WITH 15 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN AUSTIN
(AUSTEN, John) DOUGLAS, Norman. South Wind. Chicago: Argus, 1929. Two volumes. Royal octavo, original gilt-stamped blue cloth, top edge gilt, uncut and unopened, original dust jackets, original slipcase. $300.
First trade edition of Douglas' novel to be illustrated by John Austen, issued along with a signed limited edition, featuring splendid Art Deco-style colored frontispieces, title pages and 13 plates, uncut and entirely unopened, in original cloth and dust jackets.
Douglas' most famous work is a free-flowing narrative of a minister's moral temptation set on the island of Nepenthe, based substantially on Capri, where Douglas lived for decades. "It is an astonishingly civilized and good-humored book, full of Douglas' sanity and cobweb-sweeping charm… South Wind survives because it pleases, because Douglas' cackle is still infectious" (Connolly, Modern Movement 28). The first edition, published in 1917, was a best seller. "All his books have a charm arising from Douglas' uninhibited expression of a bohemian, aristocratic personality" (Encyclopedia of Literature, 342). Issued along with a signed limited edition (40 copies), no priority established.
Books fine; minute edge-wear, slight toning to spines of near-fine dust jackets, mild rubbing to slipcase.