London: Faber and Faber, 1936. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 8vo. Illustrated with 16 plates. Original dark red cloth, top edges gilt; printed dust jackets. Item #409216
Two copies: each a dedication copy of the first edition of Sitwell's first prose work. The book is dedicated "To Helen Rootham and Evelyn Weil." Each copy is also identically inscribed (except for the change of names) on the respective front free endpaper: "For darling Helen [Evelyn] with Edith's best love and the dedication, 4 February: 1936" (publication date was February 13). The dust jacket on Helen's copy is frayed at top edge with a chip costing two letters in "Victoria" on front; Evelyn's jacket is defective.
The two dedicatees were sisters and important life-long friends of Sitwell's. Helen Rootham took over as Edith's governess in 1903 and "throughout her teens [was] the most important intellectual and artistic ally [she] had" (John Pearson, The Sitwells, NY, 1978, p. 54). Evelyn Weil lived in Paris and Edith stayed with her when she was there. A small allowance from Sitwell enabled Evelyn to survive World War II at her apartment in Paris. A rare brace of dedication copies; with the H. Bradley Martin bookplate in each volume. Fifoot EA28a. (BA).