Mervyn Peake. First Thus. Very Good / Very Good. Item #5248
Stockholm: Zephyr Books, 1946. Library of British and American Authors Vol 67. First Thus. 12mo; 348pp. Illustrations throughout. Illustrated beige dust jacket over matching paper wraps. "Not to be introduced into the British Empire or the U.S.A." printed on back cover. Jacket chipped at head of spine, with a few small tears along edges and down flap folds, but crisp overall and intact. Text faded down spine, but still just visible. Covers crisp with a few vertical creases along spine and nudging to head and tail. Book opens easily to between a few gatherings, but binding is secure. One or two pages with light fingerprinting in margins, not involving text or illustrations, else clean and unmarked. Uncommon in dust jacket.
First edition to include illustrations by Mervyn Peake. The year prior, Peake had traveled through continental Europe on assignment with the magazine The Leader, reporting back on the horrors of bombed and empty cities, concentration camps, and other scenes from the wound-down War. The first book in his own Gormenghast trilogy, Titus Groan, was also published in 1946.
As with other English-language publishers such as Tauchnitz and the Albatross Press, the Zephyr Books editions were published for distribution only on the European continent both to satisfy demand for English-language books and to secure copyright. Peake's Alice illustrations would not appear in an English edition until 1954. [Peake in Print B8a (online)].