Finnegans Wake. James Joyce.
Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake

Finnegans Wake

London: Faber & Faber, 1939.

First edition, trade issue in an unusual, apparently hitherto-unrecorded binding, probably produced as an early review copy, advance reading copy, or one-off copy produced for a trade show. [iv], 628 pp. Bound in publisher's maroon paper-covered boards with yellow lettering, tan topstain, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. Near Fine with worn tips, hairline cracks at crown and toe of the joints, typical offsetting from the free endsheets to adjacent pages. Housed in a half morocco slipcase and cloth chemise.

A fascinating, unusual copy of Joyce's notoriously dense final novel. On May 4, 1939 British and American first trade editions were published in cloth with their respective imprints, as well as a limited edition with a joint imprint. Textually and in terms of trim size this paper board copy is identical to the clothbound first British trade edition, measuring 248 x 155 x 35mm (allowing for the variations inherent in the untrimmed fore-edges), with endsheets of an identical paper stock. The boards replicate the outer panels of the first British trade edition's dust jacket. No other copies bound similarly have been located in primary references, exhibition and sale catalogues, or in institutional holdings thus far. Other extant review copies of the UK trade issue are clothbound with a perforated stamp in the lower margin of the terminal text leaf stating, "Complimentary Copy Not for Sale"; this copy is unstamped. All evidence points toward this binding being a contemporary product undertaken or overseen by Faber in the course of the normal publication process, albeit a truly scarce one. It's a very special event nowadays to find such a bibliographically novel copy of such a major work of 20th century literature. Item #140941785

Price: $10,000.00

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