Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 88

Price Realized: $ 3,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,000
Woolf, Virginia (1882-1941)
A Room of One's Own.

London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf, Hogarth Press, 1929.

First edition, octavo, bound in publisher's terracotta cloth, in a very good dust jacket, with cover art by Vanessa Stephen Bell (1879-1961); contemporary label of the Gotham Book Mart at 51 West 47th street pasted inside back board, very good, 7 x 4 1/4 in.

Woolf's important contribution to feminist literature is a contemplation on women's social treatment (compared to men's), and how it affects their creation of art. "This leads to a sketch of women's circumstances in the past, and the effect of those circumstances upon their writing. The conditions that are favourable to imaginative work are discussed, including the right relation of the sexes." (Quoted from the dust jacket blurb.)

Vanessa Bell, Woolf's older sister, and also a member of the Bloomsbury Group, studied painting at the Royal Academy. She painted, illustrated dust jackets for her sister's work, and produced the Famous Women Dinner Service: fifty hand-painted plates celebrating important women throughout history, from Catherine the Great and Pocahontas, to Charlotte Brontë, Greta Garbo, herself, and her sister.

The Gotham Book Mart was established and run by Frances Steloff (1887-1989) from 1920 until her death at the age of 101. Steloff's iconic book shop was a hub of literary society in the city for more than eight decades. She hosted author readings, art shows, and meetings of literary clubs, including the James Joyce Society, which held its first meeting there in 1947. A champion of literature under siege, Steloff sold banned titles like Lady Chatterley's Lover; the Tropic of Cancer; and Joyce's Ulysses. When Anaïs Nin was forced out of Paris, she sent her books to Steloff for safekeeping. (cf. Frances Steloff: Memoirs of a Bookseller, a short documentary by Deborah Dickson, 1987)