SIGNED LIMITED LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY 250 COPIES SIGNED BY BOTH EVELYN WAUGH AND ILLUSTRATOR STUART BOYLE, WITH AN ADDITIONAL PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION BY WAUGH
WAUGH, Evelyn. The Loved One. An Anglo-American Tragedy. (London): Chapman & Hall, . Octavo, original green cloth, top edge gilt, uncut. $2500.
Signed limited large-paper first book edition, presentation copy, number 20 of only 250 copies signed by Evelyn Waugh and illustrator Stuart Boyle, additionally inscribed by Waugh on the limitation page: "Miss Kay Collins's copy."
"In 1947 Waugh visited Hollywood to discuss the proposed film of Brideshead Revisited. No film was ever made because he refused to alter the story as the producers wished, largely that they might satisfy the standards set by the very powerful Catholic Legion of Decency. But the visit was not barren. With time on his hands he became fascinated with Californian burial practices, and the result was The Loved One (1948) which, for all its macabre setting, was a highly successful light novel based on Forest Lawn" (DNB). Waugh wrote in his diary: "I found a deep mine of literary gold in the cemetery of Forest Lawn and the work of the morticians and intend to get to work immediately on a novelette staged there." He did extensive research for the novel, which included touring Forest Lawn and reading and annotating Embalming Techniques, a book by Forest Lawn founder, Dr. Hubert Eaton. The Loved One was critically acclaimed in Great Britain, as well as in the States, though The New Yorker refused to publish it when approached, claiming the themes had already been handled by other authors including Sinclair Lewis and Nathaniel West. The Loved One was adapted for the screen in 1965 by British filmmaker Tony Richardson and the screenplay was written by American satirical novelist Terry Southern and British author Christopher Isherwood. This is the first book edition; the work was first published in its entirety by Cyril Connolly in the February 1948 issue of the periodical Horizon. Without extremely rare glassine.
Interior fine, only minor toning to extremities of binding. A near-fine signed and inscribed copy.