Edward Selsey [pseudonym of Edward James]. Illustrated by Edward Carrick.
Duckworth & Co. London. . Limited to 750 copies, this copy being no. 3. Inscribed by the author to the first blank prelim - 'For Penelope "Lovejoy" with best wishes from the author. Edward James Selsey of Selsey Bill.' With the addition of a pencil drawing of red lips above the inscription. Hardback, quarto; three-quarter black cloth with marbled boards, gilt titles, marbled endpapers. [c.110 pages]. 106 drawings by Edward Carrick illustrating the text. English. 280 x 195mm. 0.65kg. . Very good; slight rubbing to boards, light browning to marbled boards; slight spotting to first few pages, slight rubbing to 'lip' drawing.
An improbable tale from the Surrealist art patron Edward James, revolving around a circus on the planet Venus. James wrote the book under the pseudonym Edward Selsey, presumably as a reference to Lord Selsey who previously owned the West Dean estate. Edward Carrick, who provides the lively illustrations to each page, was the son of Edward Gordon Craig and grandson of Ellen Terry. This copy is inscribed by James to Penelope "Lovejoy" with a rakish drawing of a pair of red lips. We presume the recipient to be Penelope Betjeman nÚe Chetwode. The pair were well acquainted and James had published John Betjeman's first book of poetry Mount Zion in 1931. Selsey Bill, referred to in the inscription, is a headland on the Sussex coast, not far from West Dean.