Autobiographies: Memoirs and Personal Histories
Aldington, Richard: An Autobiography in Letters. Edited by Norman T. Gates. Pennsylvania State University Press. University Park: 1992. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Pp. xii, 402, (ii). Frontispiece. Annotated Index. Fine copy in dj. $22.00
Ash, Timothy Garton: The File, A Personal History. Random House. New York: 1997. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. $12.00
The author studied in East Germany and was aware that the security service, the STASI, had him under surveillance. Many years later, after the fall of the Communist government, he saw the file they had gathered on him. It had some startling revelations.
Beauvoir, Simone de: The Prime of Life. World. Translated by Peter Green. Cleveland & New York: 1962. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Fine copy in a slightly frayed dj. This is the second volume of de Beauvoir autobiography in which she describes her relationship with Sartre. $28.00
Bikel, Theodore: Theo, The Autobiography. Harper Collins Publishers. New York: 1994. First edition. 8vo. Cloth-backed boards. Pp. viii, 440. Illustrated: (16) pp. of plates. Index. Remainder mark on bottom edge; else fine copy in dj. $4.00
Bredow, Countess Ilse von: Eels with Dill Sauce, Memories of an Eccentric Childhood. Translated from the German by M. A. Macmillan. Peter Owen. London: 1990. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. Memoir of the author's childhood in the 1930s Germany. $26.00
Canetti, Elias: The Torch in My Ear. Farrar Straus Giroux. New York: 1982. First printing (published originally as Die Fackel im Ohr by Carl Hanser Verlag: 1980). 8vo. Cloth-backed boards. Pp. (x), 372, (ii). Near fine copy in price-clipped dust-jacket. $18.00
Cournos, John: Autobiography. Putnam's Sons. New York: 1935. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. No dj. Very good copy. $22.00
Cournos immigrated to the United States with his family. Although he was only a boy then he worked in a factory to help support them. Later, before the outbreak of World War I, he went to England and became associated with the Imagist poets led by Ezra Pound.
De la Mare, Walter: Memoirs of a Midget. Collins. London: 1921. First edition. 8vo. Very good copy. No dj. $40.00
Doyle, Roddy: Rory & Ita. Viking. New York: 2002. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. $6.00
Figes, Eva: Little Eden, A Child at War. Persea Books. New York: 1978. First edition. 8vo. Cloth-backed boards. Fine copy in dj. $16.00
Fraser, Antonia: Must You Go?, My Life with Harold Pinter. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday. New York: 2010. First edition. 8vo. Two-tone boards. Pp. (viii), 328. Illustrated: (24) pp. of plates. Fine copy in dust-jacket. $12.00
Girodias, Maurice: The Frog Prince, An Autobiography. Crown Publishers, Inc. New York: 1980. First edition. 8vo. Two-tone boards. Pp. (iv), 412. Fine copy in dj. $15.00
The author's mother was French. He took her name during the German Occupation to avoid unpleasant questions about his father's Jewish background. In this very entertaining memoir he tells the stories of his coming of age, his interest in esoteric philosophy, and his encounters with some family friends, among them Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell. Here he writes about his father, Jack Kahane, who joined the British Army in 1914: “He went off to enlist. Thanks to his tailor, he was made an officer. Because he knew Balzac he was assigned to liaison. And because of his monocle he was assigned to the cavalry, although he scarcely knew how to ride a horse.”
Glassco, John: Memoirs of Montparnasse. With an Introduction by Leon Edel. Oxford University Press. Toronto and New York: 1970. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Pp. xiv, 242. Frontispiece. Dj has a one-inch tear and is a little frayed; owner's inscription on first free end-paper; else near fine copy. $45.00
This is one of the great memoirs of Paris in the 1920s written by a man who was there and who knew Robert McAlmon and Ernest Hemingway. He was at the time a callow youth of 18 determined to make his mark as a writer. However, he tells us, “I now found myself thinking constantly of women”. He became a gigolo. His dissolute experiences led to illness which necessitated his return to Canada without having written very much at all—except this memoir. It would be some 35 years before it appeared.
Green, Julian: The Green Paradise, Autobiography Volume I (1900-1916). Translated by Anne and Julian Green. Preface by Julian Green. Marion Boyars. New York and London: 1993. Enlarged edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. $8.00
Isherwood, Christopher: Christopher and His Kind. Eyre Methuen. London: 1977. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. $42.00
Koestler, Arthur: Arrow in the Blue, An Autobiography. The Macmillan Company. New York: 1952. First Printing. 8vo. Two-tone cloth. Pp. x, 354, (ii). Illustrated: (2) pp. of plates. Very good copy in slightly frayed dj. $35.00
This most interesting autobiography takes the author to about 1931 when he joined the Communist Party. It includes his experiences at university.
Koestler, Arthur: Arrow in the Blue, The First Volume of an Autobiography. With a new preface by the author. The Macmillan Company. New York: 1969. First American Danube Edition. 8vo. Cloth. Pp. 416. Fine copy in dj. $20.00
Koestler, Arthur: The Invisible Writing, Being the Second Volume of Arrow in the Blue, An Autobiography. The Macmillan Company. New York: 1954. First printing. 8vo. Two-tone cloth. Pp. 432, (iv). Illustrated: (6) pp. of plates. Previous owner's name on first free end-paper, front flap of dj clipped, else a fine copy. $22.00
Lahr, John: The Autograph Hound. Cape. London: 1973. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Inscribed by the author. Fine copy in a dj which is just a little frayed. $45.00
Lessing, Doris: Under My Skin, Volume One of My Autobiography, To 1949. HarperCollins. New York: 1994. First edition. 8vo. Cloth-backed boards. Fine copy in dj. $15.00
Malraux, André: Anti-Memoirs. Translated by Terence Kilmartin. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. New York: 1968. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Fine copy in dj. $26.00
Maugham, Robin: Escape From the Shadows, His Autobiography. Hodder & Stoughton. London: 1972. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Pp. 278. Illustrated: (16) pp. of plates. Appendices. Index. Fine copy in fine dust-jacket. $20.00
Milne, Christopher: Beyond the World of Pooh, Selections From the Memoirs of Christopher Milne. Edited by A. R. Melrose. With an Introduction by Lesley Milne. Dutton Books. New York: 1998. First edition. 8vo. Two-toned boards. Fine copy in dj. $15.00
The author was the son of A. A. Milne and his life was somewhat blighted by his association with his father's writings. This is a selection from his previous autobiographical books.
Mitford, Jessica: A Fine Old Conflict. Michael Joseph. London: 1977. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Pp. 272. Illustrated. Near fine copy in dj. $16.00
This memoir covers the author's first years in America and her involvement with the Communist Party. It was a time, in the 1950s, when radical politics was not appreciated.
Morris, Jan: Pleasures of a Tangled Life. Barrie & Jenkins. London: 1989. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. A personal journey involving travel, biography, history, and autobiography celebrating the good things of life. $15.00
Neill, A. S.: “Neill! Neill! Orange Peel!,” An Autobiography. Hart. New York: 1972. First edition. 8vo. Two-tone boards. Pp. 538, (vi). Illustrated: (22) pp. of plates. Index. Laid in: A typed signed letter from the author, plus two letters to the Editor of The Times from the 1970s. Owner's bookplate. Dj a little faded; else near fine copy. $35.00
O'Sullivan, Maurice: Twenty Years A-Growing. Introductory Note by E. M. Forster. Viking. New York: 1933. First edition. 8vo. Cloth with paper sides. Fine copy in dj. $75.00
Pasternak, Boris: An Essay in Autobiography. With an Introduction by Edward Crankshaw. Collins & Harvill. London: 1959. First edition. 8vo. Buckram. Fine copy in dj. $18.00
Pasternak, Boris: Safe Conduct, An Early Autobiography and Other Works. Translated by Alec Brown & Lydia Pasternak-Slater. Elek. London: 1958. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Fine copy in dj. $18.00
Rees, Goronwy: A Chapter of Accidents. Chatto & Windus. London: 1971. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Pp. vi, 274. Frontispiece photograph. Fine copy in a dj with several tears and some fraying. $30.00
This is the sequel to the author's autobiography, A Bundle of Sensations. Of particular interest is Rees's account of his friendship with Guy Burgess which, however, is not wholly forthcoming.
Santayana, George: My Host the World. Cresset Press. London: 1953. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Very good copy in a repaired and frayed dj. $12.00
Scutt, Theodora Gay: Cuckoo in the Powys Nest, A Memoir. Brynmill. Denton: 2000. Corrected proof copy, unbound. Pp. 252, not including title-page. $30.00
The author, who was the daughter of Count Potocki of Montalk, was adopted and raised by Violet and T. F. Powys in Dorset. She grew up believing that the Powys family was hers, but also that somehow it was not. These are her recollections of the many people she knew within it and amongst the large literary circle around her parents.
Soros, Tivadar: Masquerade, Dancing Around Death in Nazi-Occupied Hungary. Edited and translated from the Esperanto by Humphrey Tonkin. Arcade Publishing. New York: 2001. First edition. 8vo. Two-tone boards. Fine copy in dj. $25.00
Spender, Stephen: World Within World, The Autobiography of Stephen Spender. Hamilton. London: 1951. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Very good copy in dj. $35.00
Waugh, Alec: The Early Years of Alec Waugh. Cassell. London: 1962. First edition. 8vo. Cloth. Fine copy in dj. $38.00
‘Wilkomirski, Binjamin’: Fragments, Memories of a Wartime Childhood. Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway. Schocken Books. New York: 1996. First edition. 8vo. Boards. Pp. iv, 156. Frontispiece photograph. Fine copy with wrap-around label. $10.00
This tells the harrowing story of a Jewish boy's ordeals in the Ghetto of Riga, then in the concentration camps of Majdanek and Auschwitz. However, it was shown that the work is entirely fictional. The author was actually born in Switzerland in 1941 and had never left that country during his childhood. And yet many find this book to be powerful, and it appears to have found a niche in the vast literature on the Holocaust.
Woolf, Leonard: Sowing, An Autobiography of the Years 1880-1904. Hogarth Press. London: 1960. 8vo. Cloth. Very good copy in tape-marked and worn dj. $18.00
Zykë, Cizia: Oro. Translated from the French by Stanley Hochman. St. Martin's Press. New York: 1985. First U.S. Edition. 8vo. Boards. Pp. 282, (iv). Near fine copy in dj. $6.00
The author, who was born in Morocco of Albanian descent, was an adventurer. In this tale he is hunting for gold in a remote corner of Costa Rica. Underneath the tough, world weary exterior there is a charming man, just the sort of person you would like to take a walk with through the jungle.
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