Book Description

FIRST US EDITION, INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR. 8vo, pp. 250, [2]. Original black cloth, spine lettered in green and orange. Top edge orange (? faded). Pushing and gentle wear to spine ends, corners bumped. edges toned. Inscribed in slightly fuzzy blue pen to ffep: "Red and Louise/ affectionately/ from Rhys/ June 11th 1955". In the wonderful wraparound, mirror-image dust jacket by Daniel Schwartz: spine sunned, creasing and chipping to spine ends, edgewear. An important presentation copy to two key figures in the mid-period of Davies' life, as well as a material trace of the dispersed web of twentieth century queer relations and wealth transmission, with Davies, ultimately, the unofficial heir (at one remove) of Toklas.
Dealer Notes
Dubbed 'the Welsh Chekhov', Rhys Davies (1901-1978; OBE) was a prolific and prize-winning author, over whose long career chronicled working class life, especially of industrial Wales, as well as featuring lesbian relationships, moving into crime writing later in his career, with an "emphasis on punitive surveillance and policing of homosexuality." Davies' homosexuality, Meic Stephens has argued, led Davies to leave South Wales for London and a peripatetic life, over which he cast a veil of secrecy. While his partners may be unknown, his friendships are recorded, including his close 30-year friendship with the two inscribees, Louise and Red Taylor. Louise Haydon Taylor (d.1977) was a childhood friend of Alice B. Toklas and became "fast friends" of both Toklas and Gertrude Stein when they moved to Paris; despite being about the same age, Toklas adopted Taylor, who became her heir (Ramage, 2010). Taylor inherited the majority of Toklas' estate upon her death (including the brooch, now held by the Fitzwilliam museum, Stein wore in Picasso's 1905/6 portrait, and for her first meeting with her future partner); in turn, Taylor bequeathed a substantial amount to Rhys Davies upon her death. Taylor's second husband, Richard Harold Redvers "Red" Taylor (1900-1975) was a painter and sculptor, whose work is held in permanent collection at the Beith Uri V Rami Museum in Israel. The Painted King is set in the world of mid-century British musical comedy; indeed, Davies' play No Escape, which starred Dame Flora Robson, was performed contemporaneously with the publication of both the British and American editions, and staged in various theatres across Britain in 1954-55. Nancy Hirschland Ramage (2010) 'Gertrude Stein's Brooches,' Metropolitan Museum Journal, 45. Seller Inventory # 2353
Author DAVIES, Rhys; [TAYLOR, Louise & Redvers]; SCHWARTZ, Daniel (DJ illustrator)
Date 1954
Publisher New York: Doubleday & Company Inc.
Condition Very good/ very good

Price: £125.00

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