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Collins, London 1970 - First edition, first printing. O'Brian's debut title, of course, in his famous Aubrey sequence. Very Good in an attractive, well-preserved Near Fine example of the dust-wrapper, priced correctly at the original £1.50 / 30s. However, what makes this listing splendid and hugely exciting is the inclusion here of an ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN LETTER from Patrick O'Brian, and SIGNED by the author. The letter, composed on the author's headed notepaper, bearing his address in France, is dated 18.1.78. Written over two sides, the A.L.S. contains 230 words and is especially valuable for two reasons: one it's quite early in relation to the Aubrey-Maturin series, and, two, the content, which is both appealing and insightful. For example, at one point in the letter, O'Brian notes how "it is only too true, alas, that historical fiction is upon the whole a most discredited form of writing." He goes on to mention that works such as the Odyssey, the Aeneid, much of Shakespeare, and War and Peace were all, however, historical fictions, and what comes through is the sense of an author seeking in a sense to uphold the status of a genre he himself is looking to refine to the highest standard. And how well he succeeded, ultimately. A charming letter, finely preserved, and nicely signed "yours sincerely, Patrick O'Brian." The letter is addressed to a Mr E. Priestly, and is complete with the original mailing envelope, from Collioure, addressed in O'Brian's hand. Over the years, we have sold many copies of O'Brian's novels, and a number of signed copies. However, this is the first time we have encountered an original signed letter and as such it signifies a genuine rarity - and highlight. Handwritten letters by authors of this stature are decidedly uncommon and to the best of our knowledge there are no other examples currently on the market. Just to clarify: the first edition itself is not signed, but supplied with original handwritten signed letter + envelope. D. B. Waters Rare Books: we are established and professional booksellers of fine and select 1st editions only. All stock is fully guaranteed by us and limited to first editions / first printings. Feel free to get in touch if you require additional information or photos for this item. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: D. B. Waters Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-02-01           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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