WAUGH (EVELYN) Black Mischief, AUTHOR'S REVISED PROOF OF THE LIMITED EDITION OF 250 COPIES, MARKED UP FOR THE PRINTER AND WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR "For David & Tamara with love from Evelyn" on limitation leaf at front, Chapman and Hall, [1932]
Lot 172
WAUGH (EVELYN)
Black Mischief, AUTHOR'S REVISED PROOF OF THE LIMITED EDITION OF 250 COPIES, MARKED UP FOR THE PRINTER AND WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR "For David & Tamara with love from Evelyn" on limitation leaf at front, Chapman and Hall, [1932]
Sold for £35,000 (US$ 58,038) inc. premium
Lot Details
EVELYN WAUGH
Books from the Library of David & Tamara Talbot Rice, sold on behalf of a descendant
David Talbot Rice (1903-1972), Byzantine scholar, was a life-long close friend to Waugh, the two men having met as contemporaries at Oxford where both were members of the Hypocrites Club. In 1927 David married Tamara Abelevich Abelson (1904-1993) who, born in St. Petersburg and goddaughter of Tolstoy, "small, blue-eyed, vivacious, and hospitable" (ODNB) was to accompany and help her husband on his archaeological excavations throughout the East, and was admiringly described by Waugh as "the clever Russian" in his memoir, A Little Learning 1964. The Rices lived in the Cotswolds, and so were Gloucestershire neighbours of Waugh at Stinchcombe. David's legacy as an influential art historian and successful trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland, is memorialised in the "Talbot Rice Gallery", an art centre in Edinburgh where he taught for nearly forty years.
WAUGH (EVELYN)
Black Mischief, AUTHOR'S REVISED PROOF OF THE LIMITED EDITION OF 250 COPIES, MARKED UP FOR THE PRINTER AND WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR "For David & Tamara with love from Evelyn" on limitation leaf at front, half-title, frontispiece of "H.I.M. Seth of Azania" (used only for this special edition), 8 plates and tailpiece by Waugh, WITH ORIGINAL DESIGN FOR THE TAILPIECE bound in at end, corrections and instructions in Waugh's hand on approximately 11 pages (mostly concerning layout and grammatical errors, but suggesting changes to wording on p.135, see below), other proof markings in pencil (including "Press. Very urgent 9/9/12") on colophon, and blue ink (including "Looked round, pp.1-324. 12/9/32 H.C.G." on dedication leaf next to stamp "To be read for press"), corrected contents and illustration index leaves pasted-in, additional proof copy of the "Frightful hotel" plate, specially bound by Maltby of Oxford in black and white buckram (see footnote), the title stamped in black on upper cover, gilt lettered on spine, patterned decorative colour endpapers [cf. Davis Checklist A8], 8vo, Chapman and Hall, [1932]

Footnotes

  • WAUGH'S OWN PROOF COPY OF THE SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION, WITH HIS ORIGINAL PEN AND INK DRAWING FOR THE TAILPIECE, AND CORRECTIONS IN HIS HAND.

    Waugh's original drawing for the tailpiece (depicting a gramophone player and a copy of The Times) has proof markings in dark ink by Waugh, and in pencil by the publisher's copy editor. Other corrections by Waugh include minor proof corrections (commas, point sizes, layout of illustrations), but also on p.135 of Chapter 4 two suggested word changes; "three" for "four" in the line "four indians who discussed their racial grievances...", and "mule box" for "van" in the line "Mme. Youkoumian squatted disconsolately in a corner of the van clutching a little jar of preserved cherries...". These corrections did not make it through to the text as published.

    The striking "Art Deco" buckram binding design with white "V" on a black ground, by Maltby of Oxford, echoes the studio background in the portrait of Waugh taken by Madame Yevonde in 1930 (used as author photograph on the current Penguin Classics edition). This design was not used for the final published version, and so this is presumably a trial binding, or perhaps a one-off production for Waugh himself. The binder for the published version is given on the verso of the titleas G. & J. Kitcat Ltd.

    The map of the Azanian Empire which was used as a frontispiece to the first trade edition was replaced in this edition by Waugh's drawing entitled "H.I.M Seth of Azania". Black Mischief was the first of his novels to be printed in two 'first editions' (standard trade and "Special") and this was to remain his practice for the rest of his life. The considerable extra cost was deducted from his royalty account. "He did not go to this expense because he was a snob trying to impress the well-connected. He did it because he loved books and had a bibliographer's delight in seeing work elegantly produced" (Stannard, Evelyn Waugh: the Early Years, 1986, p.301).

    In 1929, after the break-up of his marriage, Waugh had spent time with the Talbot Rices at their flat in Paris. "The Rices, recently returned from a dig in Constantinople, were poor, and David was having to work hard on his thesis, while Evelyn spent hours talking to Tamara, mainly about religion. When she was unavailable, he went by himself to the Bal Nègre, a rackety, ramshackle club where he was fascinated by the loose-limbed dancers from Guadeloupe and Martinique" (Hastings, Evelyn Waugh: a Biography, 1994). This time seemingly fed into the writing of Black Mischief, Hastings noting that "The native Azanians are presented as funny savages... The emperor's crack troops [are] irreverently reminiscent of the dancers at the Bal Nègre".

Saleroom notices

  • Further inspection has shown that the tailpiece with Waugh's annotations is a proof strike and NOT hand drawn.
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