Ushant, an Essay.

New York & Boston, Duell, Sloan and Pearce / Little, Brown and Company, [1952].

8vo, pp. [1], 365, [1]; publisher’s black cloth, white dust-jacket printed in black and red; a fine copy in a good jacket (toned as usual, a couple of short tears); bookplate of the BBC broadcaster D. G. Bridson with his scattered pencil marks in the margins and a key to the characters on the rear endpaper.


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First edition, inscribed ‘For Geoffrey [Bridson] from Conrad. Ex – Xmas 1956’. Ushant, Conrad’s ‘autobiographical narrative’, is often considered his most significant work in prose.

Aiken and Bridson became close in the 1940s when the former was living in Rye, East Sussex, and he would go on to make two important recordings of Aiken for the BBC, in 1960 and 1968. In 1979, Bridson published an article on Ushant in PN Review, calling the work ‘one of the most neglected masterpieces of creative prose that either America or Britain has produced this century’.

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