"THE BOLDEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE OF THEIR COLLABORATIONS": LIMITED EDITION OF KEW GARDENS, SIGNED BY BOTH VIRGINIA WOOLF AND HER SISTER, VANESSA BELL, ONE OF ONLY 500 COPIES—A BEAUTIFUL COPY
WOOLF, Virginia. Kew Gardens. (London): Hogarth Press, (1927). Quarto, original pictorial paper boards, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $13,500.
Scarce signed limited edition of this wonderful collaboration between Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa Bell, number 197 of only 500 copies signed by both of them, in original pictorial boards.
Shortly after it first appeared in 1919, Kew Gardens was praised as "a work of art… of original and therefore strange beauty," and quickly sold out two small editions (TLS). But that success did not come easily. "The printing of Kew Gardens caused more entries in Virginia's letters and diaries than any other book handprinted by the Woolfs… [On June 9th, 1919 Virginia recorded n her diary:] 'Nessa and I quarrelled as nearly as we ever do quarrel now over the get up of Kew Gardens, both type and woodcuts; and she firmly refused to illustrate any more stories of mine under those circumstances & went so far as to doubt the value of The Hogarth Press altogether'…. The anguish surrounding Kew Gardens was not just personal for Virginia but also creative, since she was exploring a new kind of realism in this story and its publication through the Press was part of her dream of freedom to write and print what she herself had done" (Rhein, 15-16). Out of that tension came "the boldest and most effective of their collaborations" (Spalding, 221)."Vanessa Bell's collaboration with her sister was vital… Virginia Woolf's adoration for her sister-muse… was the foundation of their extraordinary professional collaboration" (Goldman, Cambridge Introduction, 18). This limited edition is distinguished by Vanessa Bell's more elaborate page designs. Without rarely found glassine. Kirkpatrick A3. Woolmer 155. Willis 32. Bookseller label.
Interior clean. Fragile original paper boards with mild soiling, minuscule rubbing to extremities. A lovely, very nearly fine copy.