Advance Copy for Review

The Vulgar Streak.

London, Robert Hale Ltd., 1941.

8vo, pp. 247, [1]; publisher’s light blue cloth, pink dustjacket printed in blue and black; a fine copy in a good jacket, faded, spine browned, head of spine reinforced on verso; bookplate of the BBC journalist and later friend of Lewis D. G. Bridson; laid in loose is a typed publisher’s slip sending the book for review and giving the date of publication as 8 December 1941.


US $950€877

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First edition, first impression, a scarce work because of wartime paper shortages and, possibly, the destruction of a portion of the first impression in the Blitz; certainly Robert Hale’s offices were bombed and the records destroyed, and the work was reprinted within a month.

A novel of the class system: the main protagonist Vincent Penhale tries to hide his proletarian roots by assuming the manners of a gentleman; caught up in a counterfeiting scheme, he is arrested and exposed. ‘Life is a big, pompous, exclusive Mayfair party … Well, if you are born outside of the party, it is no use gate-crashing it, is it? If you can’t bear the thought of the party – with you outside it – you should do what Guy Fawkes did. Blow it up!’

Pound & Grover A34a; Morrow & Lafourcade A33a

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