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THE PHYSICIAN
London: Printed at the Chiswick Press, 1897. n. Hardcover. A Special Presentation Binding Given to Queen Mary. 222 x 146 mm (8 3/4 x 5 3/4"). 4 p.l., 78 pp., [1] leaf. ESPECIALLY APPEALING DARK GREEN CRUSHED MOROCCO, HANDSOMELY GILT, BY THE DOVES BINDERY (stamp-signed and dated "18 C-S 97" on rear turn-in), covers with double gilt fillet border accented along the sides with dots and leaves, each of the four corners with a bouquet of tulips arising from a triangle of stippling; raised bands, spine compartments tooled with a long-stemmed tulip on a stippled ground, turn-ins with three gilt rules and tulip-and-leaf cornerpieces, all edges gilt. In an old (the original?) fleece-lined black folding cloth box with printed title label on spine. With two plates showing ground plans for Act II and Act III. Front pastedown with the engraved bookplate of Princess Mary; first preliminary blank inscribed by the author "To H.R.H. / Princess [Victoria] Mary [Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes] Duchess of Teck / from her obedient servant / Henry Arthur Jones / in grateful remembrance / of her kind presence at / the first performance of / 'The Physician' March 25th / 1897"; second preliminary blank with autographs of the cast of the play; third preliminary blank with the later (re-gifting) inscription "To Mr. Henry J. Bell / in remembrance of / Princess Mary [Adelaide of Cambridge] / from / Victoria Mary." Below the inscription are the autographs of the princess' three brothers, Adolphus of Teck (signed simply "Teck"), Francis of Teck, and Alexander George of Teck. For the binding: Tidcombe 299. The typical offsetting from turn-ins, but A VERY FINE COPY--immaculate internally, and the binding perfectly preserved, the leather almost mirror-like in its luster. This is an elegant Doves binding, probably commissioned by the author for presentation to Princess Mary of Teck, the future Queen Consort to King George V, and enhanced with important autographs. The elegant design of the exterior is recognizable at once as Doves work, mainly because it features Cobden-Sanderson's most frequently used tulip tool, 3b, employed here (as typical) with two small dots tooled above. And as for the interior, this item has what Charles Whittingham and his Chiswick Press normally provide: high quality press work and fine textured paper with ample margins. A popular English dramatist, Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929) had his detractors. As his daughter writes in "Taking the Curtain Call: The Life and Letters of Henry Arthur Jones," Oscar Wilde declared that "there are three rules for writing plays. The first rule is not to write like Henry Arthur Jones; the second and third rules are the same." Despite Wilde's deadly witticism, "The Physician" is not without its merits. It premiered at London's Criterion Theatre on 25 March 1897, with a cast reading like a "Who's Who" of the English theater; one of our cast signatories is Marion Terry, who played leading roles in more than 125 plays. As the wife of King-Emperor George V, Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck (1867-1953) was Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, and before her husband's accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess of Wales. (Her lengthy concatenation of names suitably reflects the exalted nature of these various titles.) After George V's death in 1936, she became queen mother when her eldest son Edward became king-emperor, but to her bitter disappointment, he abdicated later the same year to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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