‘BANNED’ FROM LIBRARIES

Snooty Baronet.

London, Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1932.

8vo, pp. vii, [1], 308, [2]; title-page slightly foxed; publisher’s orange cloth, bright blue dust-jacket printed in black; a very good copy in a decent jacket, spine sunned as always, old amateur repairs to tears at foot; bookplate of the BBC broadcaster and friend of Lewis D. G. Bridson.

£400

Approximately:
US $490€464

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First edition, first issue binding, the first of three books Lewis published with Cassell, and the first of his novels not to find an American publisher.

The book was virtually suppressed from circulating libraries for its depictions of sexual activity – both Boots and Smith’s bought only 25 copies each and kept them off display, ‘thus restricting the novel’s availability without giving it the sales boost that an outright ban might have effected’ (Stanfield, ‘“This Implacable Doctrine”: Behaviorism in Wyndham Lewis’s “Snooty Baronet”’, Twentieth Century Literature 47:2, 2001). Lewis later called it ‘the bad hat of my family of books’ and it rounded off a hat-trick of publishing difficulties in 1932.

Pound & Grover A18a; Morrow & Lafourcade A18.

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