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2020-10-13 16:31:08
Middle East Diary.
London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1944. London: William Heinemann Ltd,, 1944. Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. A fine copy, in near-fine jacket, spine panel a little sunned. First edition, first impression, a very scarce presentation copy inscribed by the author to Coward's friend the actress Joyce Carey on the title page: "For Joyce from !!!". Coward's Middle East Diary relates his late 1943 tour across North Africa, the Levant and Iraq, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals and performing a series of morale boosting concerts. Joyce Carey, OBE (1898-1993) is best known for her long professional and personal relationship with Noel Coward. In the midst of her stage career, which lasted 1916 to 1987, she rejoined Coward in 1942 to tour in his three newest plays, This Happy Breed, as Sylvia, Blithe Spirit, as Ruth, and Present Laughter, as Liz (a character based partly on Carey herself). She later played all three roles in London. After the war she played in Coward's new plays Quadrille and Nude with Violin (alongside Gielgud in London and Coward himself in New York). Her New York Times obituary noted that she "excelled in Coward plays" and that "her constructive comments helped shape" them.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]
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