Beverley Nichols. Illustrated by William McLaren.
Jonathan Cape. London. 1951; 1953; 1956; all first edition, first printings. 3 volumes. Hardbacks; red, green, and blue cloth bound-boards, backed with white cloth and matching title-label to spine, dust jackets. 317; 256, 255 pages. Dust jackets, endpapers, frontispieces, title-pages and numerous text decorations and plates by McLaren. English. 205 x 145mm. 1.3kg. . Very good, in very good dust jackets; slight shelf wear to jackets, light wear to forecorners and spine ends, with very slight loss to Merry Hall at head of spine, spines lightly browned, not price-clipped; no inscriptions, slight spotting to edges of Merry Hall; a very attractive set.
'The stories of the garden and the dramas it has witnessed are as I have described them, though, as a fond father, I may at times have dabbed a little paint on one of the lilies, or heightened the flush on the cheek of a rambling rose.'
The trilogy of books recounting Beverley Nichols' restoration of the Georgian house, Merry Hall. Following the end of the war the author moved to Merry Hall (a property in Ashtead, Surrey) leaving Allways, the suject of an earlier successful trilogy. In the first volume Nichols writes about his restoration of the garden, with the aid of his much-featured gardener 'Oldfield'. Laughter on the Stairs continues the story inside the house. Sunlight on the Lawn depicts the house and garden as they receive guests and visitors. Whilst Nichol's memoirs are rooted in reality, he always brings to them a sense of the absurd, the eccentric and the fantastical, ensuring that they are as readable as they are informative. All three books are generously illustrated with line drawings, dust jackets and endpapers by the Scottish illustrator William McLaren.