London, The Egoist Ltd., 1918.

8vo, pp. xii, 319, [1]; publisher’s orange-brown cloth, wanting the very rare white dust-jacket; a little shaken but good; bookplate of Lewis’s friend and biographer, the BBC broadcaster D. G. Bridson; laid in loose is a cutting of A. Clutton-Brock’s review of the novel from the TLS, 11 July 1918.


US $367€348

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First English edition, published in an edition of 1000 (of which 87 distributed gratis). T. S. Eliot thought the book ‘remarkable’. Set in pre-war Paris, Tarr pits its eponymous English artist (‘a caricatural self-portrait of sorts’) against Kreisler, a self-destructive German Romantic of violent sexual energy.

Lewis’s first published novel, Tarr was begun as early as 1909 and had been serialized (in a reduced form) in The Egoist in 1916-7. It was first published in book form by Knopf in New York after Ezra Pound had provided them with an abreviated draft, which contained errors (Lewis called it ‘the bad American Tarr’) that were all corrected in the English edition. This edition differs from the American one in numerous places (see Morrow & Lafourcade for a summary).

A heavily rewritten second edition was published by Chatto in 1928, which was then slightly revised for Methuen in 1951. Bridson adapted the novel for the radio in 1956.

Pound & Grover A2b; Morrow & Lafourcade A3b.

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