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Book Description
FIRST EDITION. 8vos, pp. [xvi], [288] + b/w frontis and 7 plates; [xii], 298 + b/w frontis and 7 plates. Original purple cloth, gilt stamped lettering to spines. Green gilt-edged ribbon markers with ‘This Volume is the Property of Harrods Circulating Library’ stitched through in black. Spines cocked and sunned, uneven sunning, pale splotches and a few scores to boards. Offsetting and POI to ffeps, scatter of light foxing. Vol. I only: tape repair to leading edge of pp. 47-8. Else, clean and bright. A robust set of Smyth’s childhood and musical memoirs, uncommon in trade in first edition.
Dealer Notes
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), flamboyant English composer, memoirist and Suffragette, is perhaps best remembered for composing the Women’s Social and Political Union’s (WSPU) rousing anthem, ‘The March of Women’(1911, lyrics by Cicely Hamilton: see item 5). While she was the first female composer to be awarded a damehood, her loss of hearing in the early C20th, led her to invest her prodigious energies in writing (alongside golfing). Of her autobiographical works, Vita Sackville-West wrote: “she might have entitled her successive books ME ONE, ME TWO, ME THREE, and so on [...] All Ethel’s books are about Ethel, from one point of Ethel’s view or another”. A lover of women, Smyth had a late, passionate friendship with Virginia Woolf, who recalled first seeing her at a concert in 1919, the same year Smyth’s Impressions was published and by which Woolf was then absorbed: “I suppose I told you how I saw you years before I knew you? —coming bustling down the gangway at the Wigmore Hall, in tweeds and spats,a little cocks feather in your felt, and a general look of angry energy, So thats Ethel Smyth!”(all citations in Raitt, 1988).

Suzanne Raitt (1988)‘‘The tide of Ethel’: Femininity as narrative in the friendship of Ethel Smyth and Virginia Woolf.’ Critical Quarterly. 30:4, pp. 3-21.
Author SMYTH, Ethel
Date 1919
Publisher London, New York, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras: Longmans, Green, and Co.
Condition Good-only

Price: £120.00

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