An intriguing copy of the only novel by Edith Sitwell, the inscription from the author ‘For darling Evelyn with Edith’s very best love and gratitude’ inscribed to the front free endpaper, just above the printed compliments label from the publisher’s Gollancz, ‘Sent at the request of the author With Compliments Publication date, Monday, September 27th’.
This would seem to indicate the book was an advance copy for review, which given the inscription and the fact that Waugh wrote one of the few positive reviews of the novel (referring to it as “like a magnesium flame in a cavern”), would suggest this copy was sent to Evelyn Waugh for review purposes, possibly at Edith Sitwell’s request.
Edith Sitwell was one of the most literarily prolific members of the famous Sitwell family. Despite her privileged background she proved as a poet to be a more than ready challenger of the more prosaic style of the Georgian poets, and courted controversy on a number of occasions, notably with her 1922 publication Façade, a clarion call for modernity which angered many critics of the time. She had numerous literary friends, including Evelyn Waugh, who knew the Sitwell family well and in 1955 served as Edith’s godfather when she converted to Catholicism. I Live Under a Black Sun is superficially a fictionalised biography of Jonathan Swift but set in her own circle and time, bringing in autobiographical elements of realism that serve to define it as a modernist novel.
First edition, inscribed presentation copy from the author; 8vo; publisher’s printed compliments slip tipped-in onto front free endpaper; publisher’s cloth, minor wear to foot of spine, dust-jacket, spine browned, spine ends and corners a little chipped, some creasing and fraying to head.
Stock ID: 99385