“THAT GENEROUS SMILING SYMPATHY FOR HUMAN FAILINGS”: FIRST LESSON, FIRST EDITION
ASTON, James [i.e., WHITE, T.H.]. First Lesson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. Small octavo, full yellow cloth, original dust jacket. $1500.
First edition of White’s second pseudonymous novel, in original dust jacket.
White tells the story of an older man and younger woman’s love affair, contains “wit, irony, humor [and] that generous smiling sympathy for human failings and absurdities of behavior that distinguishes the point of view from that of the satirist” (New York Times). Not all reactions proved positive, however. When the parents of one of White’s students at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, read First Lesson, a “minor scandal” ensued: “The [Aston] pseudonym having been divulged, the headmaster asked White to give him a written recantation promising that he would no longer write such books” (Gallix, 8). Gallix A4. Bookseller’s inkstamp. Dust jacket front flap with price crossed out in ink.
Front joint tender, binding sound. Dust jacket with light rubbing to top edge. A lovely copy in near-fine condition.