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Trial of a Judge:

a tragedy in five acts.

Stock Code 110799

London, Faber & Faber, 1938

Original price $286.00 - Original price $286.00
Original price $0.00
$286.00
$286.00 - $286.00
Current price $286.00
Inscribed. spender's first play, an expressionist, anti-fascist drama in verse, inscribed at the close of its initial run at unity theatre

Written for the experimental collective Group Theatre, of which he was Literary Director, Spender's play was first produced by Rupert Doone and staged in March 1938 by the Unity Theatre club, with stage designs by John Piper (making his debut in theatrical work). The collaboration between these two amateur theatre groups was apparently not a comfortable one, with many Unity members objecting to 'the obtuse language, vaguely symbolist design, and bleak ending.' (Warden, 2019)

'Trial of a Judge' ran for nine days in the Unity Theatre's converted chapel on Goldington Street, NW London; Spender's inscription is dated on that run's closing night. The dedicatee George Windred could in all likelihood be George Loftus Windred (1906-64), entomologist by training, but, by 1937, recorded as 'stage actor, England' and living in Kensington in 1939; equally he might just have been one of the discontented audience members (the play apparently did elicit a certain amount of heckling during this run), trying to salvage something from the evening.

First edition, first impression, inscribed presentation copy from the author' 'To Stuart Latham/ with many thanks and best wishes/from Stephen Spender/ March 16 1938.'; 8vo; neat, red ink marginalia (stage directions, possibly Latham's hand?) to pp 49, 64, 71, 72, 74, 75, 93 and 104; publisher's salmon cloth, without dust-jacket, spine darkened, spines end slightly frayed, a little rubbed at extremities, otherwise very good.

Claire Warden, pp. 47-62, 'Drama' in The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the 1930s (ed. J. Smith), Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Provenance

Provenance: Stuart Latham (1912 – 1993, English theatre and film actor, director and television producer.)

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Trial of a Judge:

SPENDER, Stephen.

Stock code: 110799

$286.00

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