Doom of Youth …

London, Chatto & Windus, 1932. 

8vo, pp. [2], xxix, [1], 266, [2], publisher’s tan cloth, white dustjacket printed in black; a very good copy in a good jacket (spine browned, reinforced with Japanese paper at head and foot); bookplate of the BBC broadcaster and friend of Lewis in the 1950s D. G. Bridson, with his pencil markings in the margin throughout (used in writing The Filibuster); 4-page Chatto and Windus catalogue of Lewis’s works laid in loose.


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First English edition, one of Lewis’s scarcest works (only 549 copies avoided destruction).  Doom of Youth began life as a series of seven articles on youth politics in Time and Tide in June–July 1931, rounded off with a pair by G.K. Chesterton; it was expanded and first published in book form in New York. 

Of the 1518 copies printed only 411 had sold by the time Chatto and Windus faced two separate suits for libel, from Godfrey Winn and Alec Waugh (author of The Loom of Youth; his brother Evelyn, also satirised, took his charges on the chin).  Lewis’s publishers were already annoyed with him for his failure to provide them with the sequels to The Childermass, and avoided legal proceedings by withdrawing the book, returning 138 copies to Lewis and pulping 968.  It was the last book he published with Chatto.  1932 was to prove an annus horribilis for Lewis, this the first of three books to be withdrawn from the market. 

See Bridson, The Filibuster, ‘Thou Hast Robbed Me of My Youth’, pp. 120–139.  Pound & Grover A15b; Morrow & Lafourcade A15b. 

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