R.A. Gekoski Booksellers

About us

Established in 1982, R. A. Gekoski Booksellers is one of the world’s leading specialist dealers in modern English, Irish and American literature, including first editions, association copies, manuscripts and archives, and artworks with literary associations.

Based in Wiltshire, we source material of the highest quality, rarity, and scholarly and collecting interest. We are particularly interested in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish literature (Yeats and Wilde); twentieth century modernism (Conrad, Pound, Joyce, Eliot, Beckett, Woolf); expatriate small press publishers in Paris (Black Sun, Obelisk Press); the Bloomsbury Group in both its literary and artistic guises; and also later twentieth century British and Irish poetry (Larkin, Hughes, Plath and Heaney). We specialise in association copies of important American and English books.

We have a long-standing interest in buying and selling literary art, a category which for us includes: pictures and other images of, and by, literary figures; pictures of and by members of the Bloomsbury Group; Eric Gill, David Jones, and their circle; Wyndham Lewis and Vorticism.

We are members of ABA and ILAB and exhibit at the London International Antiquarian Bookfair.

Services offered by R. A. Gekoski Booksellers include valuations, auction commissions, as well as institutional placement of significant archives. We are always interested in purchasing books, letters, manuscripts, photographs and artworks.

Literary Archives

We specialise in the placement of writer’s and publisher’s archives with our institutional clients.

These include amongst others:
The British Library - The Brotherton Collection at Leeds - The University of Texas - Princeton University - National Library of Ireland - Yale - Emory University - National Library of Wales - National Library of Scotland - Harvard University - and the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.

We have placed the full or substantial archives of the following (amongst others):
Dannie Abse - Peter Ackroyd - Andre Deutsch Publishers - Joan Bakewell - Sebastian Barry - Angela Carter - Rachel Cusk - Roy Foster - John Fowles - Linda Grant - Ian Hamilton - James Hamilton-Patterson - Adrian Henri - Geoffrey Hill - Kazuo Ishiguro - Penelope Lively - Roger McGough - John Osborne - Peter O'Toole - Brian Patten - Jeremy Reed - Iain Sinclair - Emma Tennant - D.M. Thomas - Barry Unsworth - Victor Gollancz Publisher - Weidenfeld & Nicolson Publishers

Firsts -London's Rare Book Fair

Following the ABA Firsts London’s Rare Book Fair 2019
I can offer any of the below at a discount of 50%
from the original indicated price.

Rick


R A GEKOSKI
RARE BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS
A SHORT LIST OF BOOKS FROM OUR STAND Q01
BATTERSEA EVOLUTION, JUNE 7-9

R A GEKOSKI BOOKSELLERS
JOINERS HALL, 56 ST ANN STREET, SALISBURY SP1 2DX, UK
rick.gekoski@gmail.com Tel (44) 07831 875202

 

5. BOGAN, Louise. Body of This Death. New York, McBride, 1923.

Her first book. A very good copy. £250

 

7. BRADBURY, Malcolm and RODWAY, Allan. Two Poets. Byron Press, 1966.

With inscriptions by both authors. Near fine. £125

 

8. BRECHT, Bertolt. Baal. Potsdam, Verlag, 1922.

Fine in original boards. £450

 

9. BROOKNER, Anita. Providence. London, Cape, 1982.

First edition of her second novel. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: "With best wishes from Anita Brookner.” A nice copy in slightly browned wrapper. £200

 

10. (CONRAD, Joseph.) A collection of four works inscribed to Borys Conrad from his father.

Kearton, R. The Fairyland of Living Things. London: Cassell, 1908. Reprint. Inscribed, “To dear Borys from his father, Someries, July 1908”. MacDonald, A. In Search of El Dorado. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1910. Third impression. Inscribed, “To my dear Borys on his 14th birthday, 15 Jan. 1912”. Jessopp, A. The Coming of the Friars. New York: Putnam’s Sons. 16th impression. Inscribed “Borys Conrad from his father, 15 Jan. 1912”. Taylor, T. E. Running the Blockage. London: John Murray, 1912. Fourth edition. Inscribed “To Borys Conrad with love from his father, 1912”. Very good condition. THE LOT: £1,250

 

11. CONRAD, Joseph. The Rescue. London & Toronto, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1920.

First edition. Some light water staining but a very good copy in dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Conrad to Miss Allen ("For Miss Allen with regards The shallow sea that foams and murmurs .... Joseph Conrad") on the front free endpaper, This first published English edition followed the American edition and an English printing of some 40 wrappered copies issued to reviewers. The reference in Conrad's inscription ("The shallow sea that foams and
murmurs...") is to the opening sentence of the novel. "Miss Allen" may be Jerry Allen, later the author of The Thunder and the Sunshine; a Biography of Joseph Conrad, published in
New York in 1958. £1,500

 

19. ELUARD, Paul & Max ERNST. Paris, Éditions de la Revue Fontaine, [1945].

First edition, number 1729, one of 500 copies on pink paper. Original wrappers with some spotting and a small dampstain on the lower wrapper. Excellent condition. £450

 

22. [FORD, Ford Madox] HUEFFER, Ford Madox. An English Girl: A Romance. London, Methuen 1907.

First edition, extremely scarce, of this Jamesian romance. Superb association copy, inscribed “Mr and Mrs Arthur Marwood/always affectionately/from Ford MH.” Arthur Marwood was the model for Ford’s most famous character, Christopher Tietjens, protagonist of his Great War series. £1,750

 

24. FOWLES, John. The Enigma. Helsinki, Eurographica, 1974.

First separate edition. One of 12 unnumbered copies printed for the author’s personal use, with Fowles’s blind stamp on the front blank and his signature on the title. From a total edition of 362 signed copies. Wrappers lightly rubbed, excellent condition. £350

 

31. GRIGSON, Geoffrey. A complete set of the literary magazine New Verse, comprising 32 issues January 1933 - May 1939.

For most of the 1930s New Verse was the only UK literary journal devoted to poetry, and was highly influential, publishing writers from all the major literary movements of the period. Among the contributors was W. H. Auden, whose career was launched in part by early issues of the journal. Light rubbing and spotting to most issues, an excellent set. £500

 

35. HOUSE, Gordon. An Assemblage of Several Things. London, Kelpra Editions, 1978.

First edition. Portfolio containing 29 prints. One of only 50 copies signed and numbered ‘50’ by the artist on the limitation leaf, the prints individually titled by the artist, and with the additional inscription to his close friends. Excellent condition. £850

 

37. ISHERWOOD, Christopher. Lions and Shadows. London, Hogarth Press, 1938.

With book sticker of a Sydney dealer, stamped “Colonial Cloth.” Very good in dw. Certainly scarcer than the London issue. £300

 

38. JOYCE, James. Tales Told of Shem and Shaun. Three Fragments from Work in Progress. Paris, The Black Sun Press, 1929.

Original wrappers. Some tanning and spotting, lower edge rubbed affecting the wax jacket. Very good condition. First edition, number 67, one of 500 copies on Holland paper from a total edition of 650 copies. Lacks original case. £750

 

40. KEANE, Molly. Loving and Giving. London, Deutsch, 1988.

First edition, signed limited format in quarter leather with marbled boards and slipcase, one of 112 signed copies, of which this is no. VII of XII Roman copies designated “not for sale”. £150

 

41. KERMODE, Frank. Puzzles and Epiphanies. London, Routledge, 1962.

Inscribed to Bernard Bergonzi (who suggested the title). A nice copy in vg dw. £175

 

42. Kunst der Sechziger Jahre 4. Verbesserte Auflage. Art of the Sixties. 4th Revised Edition. Cologne, The Wallraf-Richartz Museum, 1970.

Fourth edition of this comprehensive colour catalogue of 1960s art. A excellent copy. £250

 

45. MAILER, Norman. Advertisements for Myself. London, Deutsch, 1961.

Inscribed by Mailer “To Francis Wyndham after five minutes of waiting to find a sufficiently dry metaphor about the Queen I am reduced to signing this as The Baron. Norman, Oct 1961”. A fine copy in very good dust wrapper. £325

 

47. MERCHANT, Paul. Stones. Lithographs by Barbara Hepworth. Introduction by Ted Hughes. Exeter, The Rougemont Press, 1973.

First edition, number 113 of 150 copies. Presentation copy inscribed by the author to the literary critic and poet Bernard Bergonzi on the front free endpaper, “For Bernard Bergonzi with warm wishes, Paul Merchant. A fine copy. £500

 

48. MATISSE, Henri. Dessins. Paris, Éditions des Quatre Chemins.

First edition, one of one thousand unnumbered copies on Lafuma from a total edition of 1,100 copies. Wrappers rubbed and dulled. A very good copy. £200

 

49. MCCULLERS, Carson. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter with publisher’s file & signed contract for an earlier, never-published edition for Dent. London, The Cresset Press, 1943.

The first UK edition, together with the complete Dent publisher’s file containing the signed contract for a planned first UK edition in 1941 which was never issued. The book in excellent condition in the lightly rubbed jacket. £2,000

 

53. MONTAGUE, John. Patriotic Suite. Dublin, Dolmen, 1966.

Inscribed to Bernard Bergonzi in the year of publication. Fine in original wrappers. £125

 

54. MONTAGUE, John. A Chosen Light. London, McGibbon and Key, 1967.

With a warm inscription to Bernard Bergonzi, thanking him for a review. Fine. £200

 

55. MORTIMER, John. FIVE BOOKS INSCRIBED BY MORTIMER TO HIS LITERARY AGENT PEGGY RAMSAY, 1958 – 1982.

Being four plays and a later volume of autobiography. THE LOT: £500

 

58. PICKARD, Tom. Guttersnipe. San Francisco, City Lights, 1971.

His first book with a warm inscription. Nice in wrappers. £100

 

60. POWELL, Anthony. From A View To A Death. London, Duckworth, 1933.

First edition of the author's third novel, signed by Powell on the front free endpaper. It is difficult to resist the temptation to interpret this as an ownership signature in light of the presence of seven authorial corrections to five pages of the text, the first two being: p.14 - the word "very" is excised 8 lines up; p.33 - commas are placed around the phrase "in places" in line 10. Although not particularly substantive, the corrections represent only the second instance we have come across of Powell correcting his own text. All are within the first 60 pages and seem to have been done for his own purposes - or forgotten about - as they do not appear to have been incorporated in subsequent editions. Slight lean to spine, small stain to upper board else a very good copy with the spine gilt quite bright. £1,250

 

61. PROUVÉ, Jean. Le Métal L’Art International d’Aujourd’hui. Paris, Éditions d’Art Charles Moreau, [c. 1929].

First edition. 50 loose photographic plates depicting architectural metalwork by Mallet-Stevens, le Corbusier, and other leading designers. Portfolio a little rubbed and split at the head of the spine, some light spotting to the plates. Very good condition. £500

 

63. RITCH, John W. Jones & Newman’s Architectural Publications. The American Architect comprising Original Designs of Cheap Country and Village Residences… New York, C. M. Saxon, [mid-19th century].

Frontispiece and 47 plates. Rebacked, a little spotting to contents. Very good condition. £500

 

64. SCOTT, Paul. The Birds of Paradise. London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1962.

First edition. Inscribed on the front free end paper “I am very glad to have this opportunity of writing in Martyn Goff’s copy. Best wishes and thanks for your most encouraging letter. Paul Scott, 17 April ’62.” Scott has also signed on the title page. (Scott’s Staying On won the Booker Prize in 1977, making this a nice (pre)association copy.) A nice copy in slightly worn dust wrapper. £200

 

66. [SPARK, Muriel]. Photographic Portrait by Mark Gerson, 1963.

Inscribed by Spark to her son Robin: “Rob love Mum.” The pose from the same sitting as one of the Gerson Photos now at The National Portrait Library. Gerson was the foremost portrait photographer of his time, creating images of over 500 figures in the arts, many now at the NPG. Framed and glazed, Gerson studio stamp visible on recto. Though initially close, Muriel Spark and her son Robin became increasingly estranged. He disapproved of what he thought of as her abandoning her Jewish identity; she thought – and said – that he was a lousy painter, and a pain in the neck: “He’s made my life a misery.” £750

 

68. SZEEMAN, Harold. Documenta 5. Befragung der Realität – Bildwelten heute. Kassel, Museum Fridericianum Friedrichsplatz, 1972.

First edition of the catalogue to Documenta 5, the fifth of the Documenta shows, major art exhibitions held in Kassell every five years. Some rubbing and marks to the plastic file folder binding, as well as to the numbered tabs and top leaf. Very good condition. £400

 

69. TAUT, Bruno (ed.). Frülicht. Magdeburg, Karl Peters, 1921-22.

All four parts in the original wrappers. Originally published in Berlin as a supplement to the first 14 issues of Städtbaukunst alter und neuer Zeit, Frülicht was the mouthpiece for a group of Utopian architects and artists headed by Bruno Taut, his brother Max, Hans Scharoun, Max Bruckmann and Carl Krayl. Poor relations with the publishers led to a split and the demise of the supplement, with Taut moving to Magdeburg to work as the city’s chief architect and planner. There he relaunched Frülicht as a separate journal with a more international character, showcasing other architects including Mies van der Rohe, whose glass skyscraper appears in part 4, and Vladimir Tatlin, whose tower for the Third International Congress appears in number 3. £2,500

 

71. THOMAS, R. S. Das Helle Feld. Schondorf am Ammersee, Babel, 1995.

First edition, one of only 10 copies numbered in Roman numerals (this being X), signed by the author on the limitation leaf and bound in morocco. With the publisher’s card slipcase. A fine copy. £500

 

72. VALERY, Paul. Charmes. Ou Poèmes. Paris, Éditions de la Nouvelle Revue Française, 1922.

First edition, number 313, being one of 2,000 copies on paper. Original wrappers, slightly toned. Excellent condition. £200

Book Fairs

We are members of ABA and ILAB and exhibit at the New York and London International Antiquarian Bookfairs.

Dates and how to find us will be posted here closer to the time.

Note: The London International Antiquarian Book Fair is relocated to Battersea Evolution in May 2018.

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