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Down the River - Miller Parker.) BATES (H.E.) - 1937. 
Gollancz 1937 - FIRST EDITION, 83 wood-engravings by Agnes Miller-Parker, a number full-page, a couple of pages with a line of spots at foot, pp. 150, 4to, original mid blue cloth, backstrip lettered in gilt and a shade darkened with the cloth borders likewise, a couple of very faint marks and light knock at foot of upper joint, a tiny amount of tape residue to corners of free endpapers, dustjacket with Miller-Parker engraving repeated on front panel, some light spotting though not affecting image, very good. A very special copy of what ranks among Miller Parker's finest work - and therefore among the best of what is justly regarded as a golden age of British wood engraving. This copy has been signed three times by the illustrator: once with a simple inscription, 'Best wishes from Agnes Miller Parker', and then at the foot of two of her illustrations - the first the central portion of the dustjacket laid down to the flyleaf and given the title 'Book Jacket. Canada Geese' and signed in pencil, and then 'Small Ships' on p. 147 also titled and signed, here with the date added. Additionally, laid in at the front of the book are two ALs from Agnes Miller Parker to the book's previous owner (a Mr Ernest Rasdall) from June and August 1963: in the first she thanks him and advises him not to cut out the signed page from within the book, offering the possibility that she might have some loose pages back in Hambleden that would satisfy him; she goes on to discuss her illustrations to a John Cowper Powys work ('Lucifer'), the limited edition of which was not signed by her, complaining that 'the hand-made paper on which it is printed is unsympathetic to my wood engravings' and encouraging him not to bother with it; in the second, with the original envelope addressed in her hand, she encloses for his amusement a note addressed to her from Hatchards (present here) offering the book at a price of £1.10.0 ('I was staggered at the price!'). Thankfully, Mr Rasdall - who corresponded with Tolkien in the same capacity (i.e., seeking an autograph) - observed the artist's recommendation not to excise what was evidently his favourite illustration, and the book preserved its integral status, gaining some very enhancing additional features in the process. (Eads A29a)
[Bookseller: Blackwell's Rare Books ABA ILAB BA]
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