"TO BRYHER WITH ADMIRATION": PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION FIRST EDITION OF CIDER WITH ROSIE, INSCRIBED BY LEE TO AUTHOR WINIFRED BRYHER
LEE, Laurie. Cider with Rosie. London: Hogarth Press, 1959. Octavo, original green paper boards, original dust jacket. $3600.
First edition, a wonderful presentation/association copy of Lee's signal memoir, "a remarkable book… magically contagious" (New York Times), inscribed by him on the half title in the year of publication to fellow British writer Winifred Bryher, "To Bryher with admiration, Laurie Lee Nov 1959."
Laurie Lee was one of England's most beloved writers. Raised in a small village, he "walked across Europe, fought in the Spanish Civil War and wrote about all three in a highly regarded series of memoirs… Lee was already a celebrated poet when he gained his greatest success in 1959 with the publication of the first of his memoirs, Cider With Rosie, evoking life in the village of Slad during his childhood. The book was originally published in America as The Edge of Day: A Boyhood in the West of England. 'It was a world I wanted to record because it was such a miracle… I wanted to communicate what I had seen so that others could see it.' The book was not so much an autobiography as a chronicle of the daily life and personalities in the village. A review in The New York Times described it as a 'remarkable book written with such dazzling verbal imagery and such relish in all the sensations of being alive (aged 3 or aged 16) that it is magically contagious'" (New York Times). First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on copyright page. Dust jacket design by John Ward with over 25 illustrations, most full page. With the bookplate of Winifred Bryher, the highly regarded English historical novelist who signed her books "Bryher.'" Born Anne Winifred Ellerman, "she spent some of her happiest childhood moments on the island of Bryher… [and] legally changed her name… For almost 40 years Bryher lived with Hilda Doolittle," and was a member of the 1920s Paris literary circle that included Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. In addition to authoring novels such as Roman Wall (1954), and This January Tale (1966), she co-founded the journal Close Up (New York Times).
A fine presentation copy with a memorable association.