-Wartime Presentation Copy Signed to Mary Churchill from “Mummie”-


First Thus

By: Henry James (Illustrated by Mariette Lydis)

Hand and Flower Press [England]

4to (138 pages, illustrated with six lithographs)

Hardcover [Beige marbled paper-covered boards]

Item Number: 203845



A beautiful book with a very significant gift inscription in ink on the front free endpaper: “For my darling Mary from Mummie, Christmas 1943.”

MARY CHURCHILL (nee Soames), Winston and Clementine Churchill’s youngest child, spent Christmas 1943 apart from her family, in London, manning a Hyde Park anti-aircraft battery as an officer in the Auxilliary Territorial Service. Her father had suffered a heart attack following the Casablanca Conference and was recuperating. Her mother had flown out to North Africa to nurse him.

The Hand and Flower Press was founded by Erica Marx at her home in Aldington, Kent in 1940. This book was the first production of the press, printed on handmade paper in a limited edition of 200 copies, of which this copy is number XXVIII. As the Colophon states: “This edition of The Turn of the Screw composed in Monotype Centaur to the design of Erica Marx was printed at the Western Printer’s Press at Bristol while the drawings by Mariette Lydis were reproduced by the Cotswold Publishing Company at Wotton-Under-Edge and finished under stress and difficulty during the warring months of July-September 1940.”

The book is in very good condition, with some wear along the cover edges and down the cloth spine, which has darkened significantly. The contents are fine. It is here presented in a stunning quarter-leather cloth clamshell solander.