Osbert Sitewll. With illustrations by John Piper.
London. MacMillan & Co. Ltd. 1945; 1946; 1948; 1949; 1950. First editions. 5 volumes. Red cloth-bound hardbacks with gilt title to spines, top edges black, dust jackets. xvi, 272; viii, 319; viii, 326; viii, 381; xii, 324 pages. Black-and-white plates in each volume. Reproductions of original paintings by John Piper throughout. 220 x 150mm (8¾ x 6"). 3kg. . English. Very good; Vol. I - creasing and browning to spine, wear at head and base of spine with small area of loss, tear to front cover, front flap creased; Vol. II - browning to spine and edges, some marks to jacket, contemporary inscription to verso of front free endpaper; Vol. III - some browning and spotting to jacket and fore-edge, a few small nicks to edges; Vol. IV - browning to spine, some marks to surface of jacket, wear at forecorners, and head and base of spine, occasional closed tear; Vol. V - light brown to spine and fore-edges, staining to rear jacket; jackets now preserved in archival plastic.
A complete set of the five volume autobiography of Sitwell sibling, Osbert. The autobiography is grand in scale, Osbert is only 18 by the beginning of the third volume. The books cover an Edwardian childhood and two World Wars. The fifth volume contains a series of character studies of his friends and acquaintances, including Lytton Strachey, Ronald Firbank, Rex Whistler, Arnold Bennett, Ada Leverson and Wilfred Owen. John Piper created several paintings of Sitwell's homes and locations specifically for the book and they are reproduced throughout.