"LIFE AND A LOVER": SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF VIRGINIA WOOLF'S ORLANDO, THE PUBLISHER'S COPY WITH CROSBY GAIGE'S OWN BOOKLABEL
WOOLF, Virginia. Orlando: A Biography. New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928. Octavo, original gilt-stamped black cloth, top edge gilt, uncut and mostly unopened. Housed in a custom morocco-edged slipcase. $4500.
Signed limited first edition of Woolf's fantastical and often whimsical novel, number 324 of 861 copies signed on the verso of the half title by Woolf in her trademark purple ink, with eight plates. The publisher's own copy with his booklabel reading, "From The Books Of Crosby Gaige." A fine, uncut and unopened copy.
The character of Virginia Woolf's young Elizabethan nobleman who does not age through four centuries and appears in male and female manifestations was based on Woolf's intimate friend Vita Sackville-West, to whom the book is dedicated. At the time of Orlando's publication critics praised Woolf, who "once more… has broken with tradition and convention and has set out to explore still another fourth dimension of writing. Not that she has abandoned the 'stream of consciousness' method… but with it she has combined what, for lack of a better term, we might describe as an application to writing of the Einstein theory of relativity" (New York Times). Sally Potter directed the Oscar-nominated 1992 film adaptation starring Tilda Swinton. With eight plates showing Orlando in various incarnations. Only 800 copies of this edition were originally offered for sale. Without extremely scarce glassine dust jacket, rarely found. Kirkpatrick A11. The publisher's copy, with the booklabel of the Orlando's publisher, bon vivant Crosby Gaige. Gaige was a theatrical producer, the author of The Standard Cocktail Guide (1944), and a noted collector of cookbooks. At the suggestion of Bennett Cerf of Random House, Gaige became a publisher in 1927, issuing original works by Virginia Woolf, Liam O'Flaherty, Siegfried Sassoon, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Walter de la Mare, Carl Sandburg, Lytton Strachey, Thomas Hardy, and W.B.Yeats, among others. His press published 22 volumes before the Crash of 1929 destroyed Gaige's personal fortune.
A fine copy with an outstanding provenance.