"FROM ANOTHER LOVER OF BOOKS AND JOURNEYS": FIRST EDITION OF REYNOLDS STONE ENGRAVINGS, INSCRIBED, ANNOTATED, AND SIGNED THREE TIMES BY MIDDLE EAST EXPLORER FREYA STARK TO INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN RELIEF DOCTOR WILLIAM GUNN
(STARK, Freya) REYNOLDS, Stone, Reynolds Stone Engravings. London: John Murray, (1977). Tall quarto (7-1/2 by 11-1/2 inches), original navy cloth, original dust jacket. $1500.
First trade edition, British issue, of this richly illustrated book about the work of famous British engraver Reynolds Stone, whose engravings were used in the books of Middle East traveler Freya Stark, inscribed by Stark to the founder of the European Centre for Disaster Medicine: "For Bill from another lover of Books and Journeys. Freya Stark. Geneva 14/4/1983. PP 40 and 134," with signed annotations on the listed pages identifying particular engravings reading: "Perseus in the Wind. Freya Stark" and "Riding to the Tigris, Ionia, Alexander's Path, The Lycian Shore. Freya Stark," with a typed presentation slip on "Books from John Murray" stationery, reading: "FOR COLLECTION. Signore Gunn From: Dame Freya Stark."
This work details the engravings of Alan Reynolds Stone, a famous self-taught engraver, designer, typographer, and painter. Stone was both talented and prolific, completing such diverse projects as Royal Arms for the Queen's coronation; the clock logo for The Times; the 5- and 10-pound banknotes; and carvings commemorating Winston Churchill and T.S. Eliot. Here, hundreds of Reynolds engravings are presented with brief notes about their uses. Stone wrote the Introduction to this book. Published simultaneously with an American trade issue and a signed limited edition of only 150 copies. This work is inscribed and annotated from Freya Stark to Dr. William Gunn, with a typed presentation slip from Stark to Gunn. Freya Stark was a war nurse and mountaineer who used a period of convalescence from a stomach ulcer to make plans for her future. She decided to use that time to train as a governess, studying at the School of Oriental Studies in London. "In 1927 Stark lived in Lebanon for several months and travelled through Syria with Buddicom… She planned a journey to northern Persia after reading about the region at the British Museum. In 1929 she moved to Baghdad, where she went slumming in Arab clothing and was an outsider among priggish British expatriates. She gained acceptance after adventurous journeys to Lurestan and the Alamut district of Mazandaran, and the War Office made maps from her observations… In 1933 Stark returned to London to receive accolades as a female traveller. She was awarded the Back grant from the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and was the first woman to receive the Burton medal of the Royal Asiatic Society" (DNB). Stark was a great admirer of both Reynolds Stone and his wood engravings. He contributed devices and vignettes to many of her books and even designed her personal bookplate. In this copy, Stark has annotated and signed two sets of Stone engravings used in her books. Dr. William Gunn, the inscribee, was founder of the European Centre for Disaster medicine, former Director of Emergency Humanitarian Operations for the WHO, and author of nearly two dozen monographs on humanitarian relief. Gunn and Stark became close friends toward the end of Stark's life.
Book fine, dust jacket with light wear to extremities and a few tape repairs along edges. A near-fine inscribed copy with interesting provenance.