This Happy Breed. A Play in Three Acts
London: Heinemann, 1943. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 8vo. Original dark blue cloth. Spine and portion of front cover faded, the latter also spotted. Item #409156
First edition. A dedication copy "To Hugh ['Binkie'] Beaumont, the play's producer, inscribed by the playwright on the front free endpaper: "For Hugh from Noel Coward." (...all Noel's plays had been presented in England since 1939 [and through the war years] by H. M. Tennent Ltd. [which] was exemplified in the attractive, persuasive, amusingly talkative person of Binkie' Beaumont. Violent and occasional business flare-ups excepted, Noel and Binkie were more than friends: they were the deepest, closest cronies..." (Cole Lesley, 'Remembered Laughter: The Life of Noel Coward', NY, 1976, p. 287). It was Beaumont who had persuaded Coward to return to the stage to act in a trio of plays - This Happy Breed was one - after the latter's nervous breakdown in 1937.
Another dedication copy to Beaumont of This Happy Breed was in the sale of Masterpieces of Modern Literature: The Library of Richard Rechler, Christie's, NY, 11 October 2002, lot 54. It was inscribed by Coward, also on the front free endpaper: "For Binkie with love from Noel / See Dedication dear Hugh." (BA).