Several of the presentation copies Evelyn Waugh sent to Anthony Powell are now on sale by Peter Harrington Books. These were auctioned last year at Bonham’s. See earlier post. The most interesting are the two copies of Scott-King’s Modern Europe which Waugh first illustrated with a drawing and then sent another copy with an apology for having spoiled the first. Those are on offer for £12500. Here’s the description from the catalogue:
Both presentation copies, inscribed by the author to Anthony Powell. The first, in blue biro, in a scrawling hand: “For Tony, the host of Bats with deep respect from Evelyn” and with a half-page caricature drawing by the author, of a woman with curly hair and a veil and a man (self portrait?) in evening dress. The second copy is inscribed, conservatively and somewhat sheepishly: “Dear Tony, I am conscious of having abused your hospitality by defacing a copy of this story. I accordingly inscribe this with simple esteem & gratitude. Evelyn Easter Tuesday 1955.” Each copy with Powell’s bookplate to the front pastedown. An exceptional association linking two of the great novelists of the twentieth century.
Photos of of the presentation pages of both copies are included in the catalogue. Any of our readers having any thoughts as to what Waugh may be referring to in his mention of “the host of Bats” is invited to comment below.
Five other presentation copies to Powell are also on offer, extending from Remote People to The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (which Powell deemed to be Waugh’s best novel). Prices range from £4500-7500. These books were among those in an earlier announcement that included other Powell presentation copies from this auction by Jonkers Rare Books in Henley-on-Thames. See earlier post.
Another unrelated but interesting item is a copy of a book by Geraldine Waite entitlted Colleagues and published in 1923 by Chapman and Hall. It has what looks like a near perfect dust jacket designed by Waugh. That one costs £1250.