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Fiction: Vintage

Fiction: Vintage

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Understudy, Brown, Pamela
121 Brown, Pamela Understudy
London Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd 1958 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good Illustrated by Drake Brookshaw 
(no dust jacket) [light shelfwear, remnants of bookplate (mostly removed) on ffep]. (line drawings) Juvenile fiction set in the London theatre world. The dedication page reads: "For the noble army of understudies." Many of the author's books had show-business backgrounds, and she herself was an actress and producer, although she shouldn't be confused with the the better-known actress of the same name who had supporting roles in a number of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger films in the 1940s. (NOTE: Although this is a stated "first edition," it lacks the color frontispiece observed in some other copies for sale.) 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Firemakers: A Novel of Environment, Brown, Rollo Walter
122 Brown, Rollo Walter The Firemakers: A Novel of Environment
New York Coward-McCann, Inc. (c.1931) Later Printing Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [light external wear and a bit of scuffing to covers, light bumping to bottom corners, tiny tear in cloth at top of spine, hinges and binding solid; some previous owner got a little too enthusiastic with a black grease pen on the front pastedown and ffep, and in their misguided attempt to obliterate whatever writings or markings appeared thereon they created two big black blotches, one of which I was able to erase to a dull grey]. This novel, set in a fictional southern Ohio coal-mining town, Wiggam's Glory (based on the author's hometown of Crooksville), was the first in a series of four books chronicling the fortunes of Luke Dabney, who was unable to escape the town, and subsequently his son Giles, who in the last two novels attends Harvard and establishes a career as a city planner. (The followup novels were "Toward Romance" (1932), "The Hillikin" (1935) and "As of the Gods" (1937).) Hanna 484. [NOTE that this is not a first printing, as denoted by the "torchless" C-M colophon on the copyright page.] 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Tarnished Fame; published serially under the title "Sally of Sky Alley", Brown, Vera
123 Brown, Vera Tarnished Fame; published serially under the title "Sally of Sky Alley"
New York Grosset & Dunlap (c.1934) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [nice-looking copy, orange cloth with profile of a woman in green and black decoration/lettering; spine slightly turned, just a bit of darkening to spine cloth, but remarkably little actual wear]. "A gripping story of love and adventure in the sky," featuring a troubled romance between a man and a woman who are both prominent aviators. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Friarsyurd, Brown, W[illiam] Neilson
124 Brown, W[illiam] Neilson Friarsyurd
London/New York/Toronto Longmans, Green and Co. 1929 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Theyre Lee-Elliott 
(price-clipped) [slight bumping to bottom corners, some discoloration to endpapers, generally a good solid book; jacket edgeworn and age-toned, tiny chips at top corners of spine, a few tiny scrape-holes in front panel, small ragged closed tear (no paper loss) at bottom of front panel, about a 2-inch split in rear hinge at upper-mid-spine]. Uncommon book, apparently the author's only published novel, "a tragic story of the power exercised by an old farmhouse over a man's life." Said farmhouse, located "in the Scottish hills" (the author hailed from the Galashiels burgh of Scotland), embodies for the book's protagonist "the heritage of poverty and bitterness left by his father." The son of a local MP, the author (1883-1953) had served in World War I, attaining the rank of Major and winning the Military Cross for gallantry; in later life, he was editor of the Borders Standard newspaper. Recently (November 2014) a collection of 40 letters written from France and Italy by Major Brown to an aunt, during the war, has been published by his grandson, under the title "All Well Yet." The designer of the striking dust jacket, Theyre Lee-Elliott, is a notable yet largely overlooked figure in British graphic design; he designed numerous aviation- and railway-related posters and advertisements during the 1930s, and was also a scenic painter for the Sadlers Wells ballet company. A selection of his ballet paintings was published in 1947, and his contacts in the theatrical world also led to considerable activity as a celebrity portraitist; his book jacket design work, however, is largely undocumented. (OCLC records only eight copies of this book in libraries worldwide, and I doubt if any of them still retains its original jacket.) 
Price: 200.00 USD
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Tomorrow Comes Never, Browne, Eleanor [Eleanore]
125 Browne, Eleanor [Eleanore] Tomorrow Comes Never
New York Arcadia House Publications 1939 First Edition Hardcover Good in Poor dj Illustrated by (dj) Charles Zingaro 
[solid reading copy only, spine turned, spotting/soiling to page edges, original owner's name and address on front pastedown; jacket worn and soiled, large pieces missing at both ends of spine, long closed tear across front panel (internally tape-mended and not too obtrusive), various other tears but I'm sure you've got the idea by now]. Romance novel with an ambitious heroine, Holly, to whom "the green fields of far-off pastures were more alluring than her own less glamorous surroundings. And love in an easy tempo of peaceful security was something that didn't fit into her romanticized dream of life. She didn't want peace and calm days. Clayton Brown represented enduring love in a quiet place. Jelke Sutter was glamour -- and danger. Holly wanted adventure -- and found it." (This author's name is rendered as Eleanore Browne on most of her other works.) 
Price: 50.00 USD
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See What I Mean?, Browne, Lewis
126 Browne, Lewis See What I Mean?
New York Random House (c.1943) 2nd printing Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [light shelfwear, occasional minor pencil annotation throughout text, two previous owners' names on ffep (one a name/address stamp, the other a signature)] "A novel," it sez here, and with an additional curiously-worded disclaimer on the copyright page: "This is in a literal sense a work of fiction, and no character in it is intended to be identified with any real person now either under arrest, at large, or dead." Styled as a kind of confessional, it's narrated by a newspaper man who drifts to Los Angeles during the Depression, does some publicity work for the studios, and ends up getting involved with an anti-Semitic organization called "the Crusade," whose leader, "John Christian Power," in very much in the vein of Father Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith, William Dudley Pelley, and similar home-grown American fascists (and would-be dictators). The author was a prominent Jewish author, radio commentator and lecturer; he was also an ex-rabbi. 
Price: 6.00 USD
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Masquerade, Brun, Vincent [Vincenz]
127 Brun, Vincent [Vincenz] Masquerade
New York Carrick & Evans, Inc. (c.1939) First Edition Hardcover Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [ex-rental library book, indicated as such by the "Bullock's Book Club" pocket mounted to the rear pastedown with two strips of (yellowing) tape; moderately worn, binding still fully intact, some fading to spine cloth, some soiling to edges of text block, slight exposure of boards at bottom corner of front cover]. Politcally-infused novel set in the mid-1930s about an expatriate couple, a Hungarian woman and her Austrian husband (the latter a journalist/satirist with a somewhat radical background), who hook up in Rome with a handsome young German doctor (possibly a Nazi spy, who eventually exhibits a rather keen interest in the Austrian's politics). The three of them head off on an alcohol-fueled tour of Northern Italy, during which romantic-triangular things happen. (One contemporary reviewer summed it up as "fundamentally the story of two very jealous men and one very pretty girl.") The author was himself a refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria, where he had been a freelance journalist; this was the first of apparently only two novels written by him in English. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Anne Kempburn, Truthseeker, Bryant, Marguerite
128 Bryant, Marguerite Anne Kempburn, Truthseeker
New York Duffield & Company 1910 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [nice-looking copy, light bumping at extremities, slight scrunching to bottom corners of a few pages, one letter of title on front cover slightly chipped, a few small puncture-wounds of mysterious origin to the ffep; the binding is nice and square, although the front hinge is a bit weak]. British novel, about a young woman who devotes herself to social service and charity work, and becomes involved in labor unrest in connection with her work with the Ironworkers Union in London. Some of the characters from an earlier novel by the same author, "Christopher Hibbault, Roadbuilder," are featured. (Also published by William Heinemann, London, the same year.) 
Price: 30.00 USD
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A Woman in Exchange, Buck, Howard
129 Buck, Howard A Woman in Exchange
New York The Macaulay Company (c.1936) First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [front hinge cracked but not split, a bit of scarring to both pastedowns (from label removal?), light spotting to rear cover, soiling to edges of text block]. "A Russian prince, an English dancer, an ex-guardsman, and an American heiress fall under the shadow of an ancient tradition and share in the terrifying events which follow the theft of a miniature, [which] disappears while Prince Paul is showing it to a group of friends in London." The plot thickens when the action of the novel switches to America, where the prince encounters the heiress, who's wearing the selfsame miniature! 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Let's Have a Baby, Buck, Howard
130 Buck, Howard Let's Have a Baby
New York The Macaulay Company (c.1934) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Loederer 
[minor wear to extremities, spine slightly turned, ex-rental library but marked as such by only a single stamp, on the ffep; jacket edgeworn, minor paper loss at a few corners, a couple of scrapes to spine, small chip at top of spine, soiling to rear panel]. A young Manhattan couple, anticipating the arrival of their first child, relocate to an apartment community "way uptown" in search of more space, sunshine, and fresh air. However, their lives are soon complicated by the arrival of spinster Aunt Anastasia, "the female relative in charge of the coming diapered event." 
Price: 100.00 USD
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The Mistress of the Robes; a tale of Queen Anne's days, Burchell, Sidney Herbert
131 Burchell, Sidney Herbert The Mistress of the Robes; a tale of Queen Anne's days
London Hurst and Blackett Limited 1905 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [light foxing to edges of text block, otherwise a nice solid book with just a touch of wear to the spine ends]. Romantic folderol set in 17th century England, a period of which this British author was evidently very fond, since he employed it as the setting for much of his fiction ("The Duke's Servants," "In the Days of King James," etc.). He eventually relocated to California, and his papers came to rest at UCLA, mentioned for benefit of those who may be inspired to conduct further research into his ouevre. A pretty scarce book (only eight copies in OCLC, only one other in online commerce at the moment of cataloging, November 2015), but does anybody really care? 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Say Uncle, Burgess, Dorothy A.
132 Burgess, Dorothy A. Say Uncle
Hollywood CA Murray & Gee Inc. 1944 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Good dj Illustrated by (dj) "Lynch" 
[book clean & tight, a couple of pages diagonally creased at upper corner, faint pencil squiggle on fore-edge; jacket worn at edges, various chips & a couple of small pieces missing along top edge, vertical crease in front panel]. "Until you know Uncle Louie, the roguish family skeleton, Madge, the darling wife, Marlo, the scheming vampire, and John, the lovable but misled husband who gambol through the pages of [this book] you have missed one of the rarest treats that has hit the bookstalls since death stilled the inimitable pen of the late Thorne Smith." The author, whose first novel this was, was a stage & screen actress. The cartoon illustration on the jacket's front panel is signed by "Lynch." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Unknown Steersman, Burn, Irene
133 Burn, Irene The Unknown Steersman
New York Brentano's 1912 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderate wear to extremities and bottom edge, faint bookseller's rubber-stamped name on front pastedown, white spine lettering somewhat rubbed but still fully readable, binding solid]. Novel set in British India. According to one contemporary reviewer, the book was "chiefly concerned with the same problem as 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles,' but the author gives it a different solution." Apart from the fact that her name appears as the author of four books in the British Library catalogue (including this one), all published between 1908 and 1916, I know nothing at all about Ms. Burn, although I think it's pretty safe to say she was no Thomas Hardy. It's also worth nothing that while print-on-demand or PDF editions of this title are available from numerous vendors, if you want a real vintage BOOK, this would appear to be the only one available online at the time of cataloging; govern yourself accordingly. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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This Heart, This Hunter [*SIGNED*], Burnett, Hallie Southgate
134 Burnett, Hallie Southgate This Heart, This Hunter [*SIGNED*]
New York Henry Holt and Company (c.1953) First Edition Hardcover Good+ in Fair dj Illustrated by (dj design) Ben Feder, Inc. Signed by Author
[moderate shelfwear, slight fraying to cloth at top of spine, light soiling/browning to page edges; jacket worn/rubbed, dampstained at spine, a few small tears, several internal tape repairs, paper loss at top of spine (no loss of text)]. INSCRIBED ("for Swanie / whose encouragement was important. / With love") and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. "At seventeen, Felicia Richardson, only daughter of the president of a small Southern college, was a sheltered, innocent child, but not too much a child to love richly and completely. Then she fell in love with Victor Cardwell, a GI student at the college ten years older than she and cynical about women and the world. This novel is about their first year of marriage -- the flowering it allowed Victor's ambition and Felicia's painful coming-of-age." The author was the co-editor, with her husband Whit Burnett, of Story magazine; the book's inscribee was the famed Hollywood literary agent H.N. Swanson, who brokered the movie rights to many novels and stories -- possibly even this one, although no film version was ever produced. Signed by Author 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Iron Man, Burnett, W.R.
135 Burnett, W.R. Iron Man
New York Lincoln MacVeagh/The Dial Press 1930 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine 
(no dust jacket) [nice tight clean copy, gilt spine lettering rubbed (still readable), no other significant wear]. Nice copy of this early Burnett work, a novel about a mechanic who becomes a champion prizefighter. Basis for the 1931 Universal film starring Lew Ayres, Robert Armstrong and a very young Jean Harlow, directed by Tod Browning right after he did DRACULA; remade by the studio twenty years later, with Joseph Pevney directing Jeff Chandler. This book would dress up real pretty in a facsimile dust jacket, commercially available from another source. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Pale Moon, Burnett, W.R.
136 Burnett, W.R. Pale Moon
London Macdonald 1957 NO First British Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Biro 
[light shelfwear to bottom edge, faint soiling to top of text block; jacket shows a little wear along top and bottom edges, tiny tears and miniscule paper loss at several corners, small internal tape repair at top of spine]. "A novel of the South-west," a sequel to Burnett's 1953 novel "Adobe Walls," set in the same town, "San Miguel." This story tells about "a new element from the East [which] is beginning to challenge the conservatism of the 'old-timers,'" and about a murder that "touches off a bitter election feud that threatens to wreck the whole community." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Romelle, Burnett, W.R.
137 Burnett, W.R. Romelle
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1946 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Barye Phillips 
[a little soiling to bottom edges of covers, prior ownership information on front pastedown, signs of erasure on ffep; jacket is worn, with various tiny/shallow chips, some paper loss surrounding top of spine, and a 1-inch piece missing from base of spine]. A second-rate chanteuse in a third-rate Hollywood dive marries a charming stranger, a refined yet moody young Southern gentleman with (it turns out) a somewhat cloudy and troublesome past. Despite the geography, though, it's not a "Hollywood novel" in any sense -- the author never penned a contribution to that genre, despite long experience as a screenwriter. He does catch something of the seedy side of the town itself in the early part of the book, but the film business is so irrelevant to the goings-on that the story might as well be taking place in Wichita. It's an odd sort of Gothic/hardboiled hybrid: apart from a few forays to upscale locales like Romanoff's or Beverly Hills, most of the narrative unfolds in a big hillside mansion in Encino. The jacket illustration is by Barye Phillips, one of the top paperback cover artists of the era and equally renowned for his movie poster art. (Baird & Greenwood 362.) 
Price: 18.00 USD
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The Silver Eagle, Burnett, W.R.
138 Burnett, W.R. The Silver Eagle
New York Lincoln MacVeagh/The Dial Press 1931 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderate shelfwear to bottom edge, front board slightly exposed at corner, a bit of surface deterioration to cloth at spine ends, light rubbing to silver spine lettering (still easily readable), ffep removed, colorful vintage bookplate on half-title page]. Burnett's fourth published novel, by far the most obscure and hard-to-find of his early books -- and a classic example of how a work by a notable and successful author (and Burnett had become notable and successful right away, with the publication of his first book, "Little Caesar," in 1929) can fade into obscurity for no other apparent reason than because nobody ever made a movie out of it. (It's the only one of Burnett's first six novels that's never been filmed.) I've seen the book referred to as a "follow-up" to "Little Caesar," but that's only true in the sense that it's also set in Chicago (and in fact on the original dust jacket it's heralded as "A Chicago Novel"). It's not even really a gangster novel, although the underworld does play a part in the narrative, which is primarily about a successful restaurant/club owner, a self-made man with ambitions to rise in the society world. But if you were a successful restaurant/club owner in Chicago in that era, you'd inevitably find yourself rubbing shoulders with the town's rougher elements, and between its somewhat low-born protagonist and some of the characters he gets involved with, there's a pretty decent quotient of hard-boiled, tough-guy talk to keep things snappy. The milieu is also evoked by the book's dedication -- "To the Wilson and Oak Gang, 1915-1918" -- although the significance of such a "gang" (if it was) has so far eluded my research. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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The Same Person, Burr, Anna Robeson
139 Burr, Anna Robeson The Same Person
New York Duffield & Company 1931 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[nice copy, spine slightly turned, top edge dust-soiled, tiny smudge at bottom edge, slight fading to cloth at top of spine to match missing pieces of dj; jacket is generally clean and attractive, with only minor wear at a couple of corners, but has a large-ish chip at upper left-hand corner of front panel, which also causes a bit of paper loss at top of spine (not affecting any text)]. The author, a member of an "old Philadelphia family," here presents "a drama of modern life." Its heroine, Lila Stanward, is "divorced from a millionaire husband, and emotionally and spiritually alien to her typical Philadelphia family [and she] sets out on the highroad of magnificent adventure, which is to lead her through scandal and apparent failure to a startling success." The climax unfolds in a "pastoral Maine setting." (++) 
Price: 75.00 USD
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And So Dedicated: An American Novel, Burton, Thomas (pseud. for Stephen Longstreet)
140 Burton, Thomas (pseud. for Stephen Longstreet) And So Dedicated: An American Novel
New York Harrison-Hilton Books (c.1940) First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [good sound copy, internally clean, mildly shelfworn, light dust-soiling to top of text block, very light bumping to bottom corners]. Pseudonymous novel by Stephen Longstreet, set in the 1920s in a fictional Midwestern town, "Corinth." The plot centers around a romantic triangle that culminates in a scandalous double murder, and is set against the background of labor troubles. The author, in a note to the reader, explains that his purely-invented "Crime of the Century"-type situation "owes nothing to the real events [of the 1920s] except the pure frenzy, the emotion with which we took such things in those days." Longstreet, who began his professional life as an artist, began writing for radio in 1933 and went on to a multi-faceted career as a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, art critic, lecturer, journalist, and jazz historian. He wrote dozens of books (one source says "over 100," but honestly, I haven't counted), both fiction and nonfiction, and employed as many as a half-dozen pseudonyms. His best-known screenwriting credit was probably for THE JOLSON STORY (1946), and he also co-wrote the book for the 1947 Broadway musical "High Button Shoes," adapted from his own semi-autobiographical novel, "The Sisters Liked Them Handsome." ("Thomas Burton" appearse to have been Longstreet's "serious fiction set in the 1920s Midwest" pseudonym, as the only other book for which he used it was the 1941 novel "Bloodbird," which dealt with the conflict between farmers and industrialists over the building of a hydroelectric dam.) 
Price: 45.00 USD
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