SCARCE ASSOCIATION FIRST EDITION OF NOBEL LAUREATE DORIS LESSING’S “MASTERPIECE” (NOBEL COMMITTEE), THE FOUR-GATED CITY, FROM THE LIBRARY OF NOVELIST JOHN FOWLES
(FOWLES, John) LESSING, Doris. The Four-Gated City. Volume Five of Children of Violence. London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1969. Thick octavo, original burgundy cloth, original dust jacket. $800.
First edition of the concluding fifth volume in Nobel laureate Doris Lessing’s powerful Children of Violence series, a “masterpiece… illuminated by the author’s empathy” (Nobel Prize Committee), from the library of novelist John Fowles, with his embossed stamp.
In 2007 Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for a lifetime of work that broke new ground with its “scepticism, fire and visionary power… The semi-autobiographical Children of Violence series… comprises Martha Quest (1952), A Proper Marriage (1954), A Ripple from the Storm (1958), Landlocked (1965) and The Four-Gated City (1969)… With these books Lessing created a modern equivalent of the Bildungsroman of women writers of the 19th century… The masterpiece is the final volume of the series, The Four-Gated City, a period frescoe apparently enveloping all of England—indeed our entire culture—illuminated by the author’s empathy” (Nobel Prize Committee). “Lessing is widely considered one of the most honest, intelligent and engaged writers of the day… John Leonard, a book critic of The New York Times, described Lessing as ‘one of the half-dozen most interesting minds to have chosen to write fiction in English in this century” (New York Times). This highly memorable association copy of The Four-Gated City is from the library of Lessing’s contemporary and fellow novelist, John Fowles, author of works such as The Collector (1963) and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969). With his embossed stamp reading “John Fowles” and “Lyme Regis,” where Fowles lived for many years.
Interior fresh with only faint dampstaining to lower edges of pastedowns; light edge-wear to bright reversible dust jacket. An about-fine association copy.