3 March 2004
BARING, Maurice (1874-1946). Autograph manuscript signed of Darby and Joan, a novel, the title corrected and signed in pencil on the first leaf, including an introductory 'Note', written in ink on recto on numbered pages, autograph corrections and emendations throughout and some (in blue pencil) probably by an editor, approximately 310 pages, 4to in autograph, and 47 pages typed, bound in 20th-century blue half cloth, in a slipcase; and an autograph letter signed to [James] Bain, London 29 July 1935, referring to 'the bound MS of my new book ... the only MS of mine written in pen and ink', 1½ pages, 8vo.
The autograph manuscript of Maurice Baring's last novel, which he describes as based on real events transposed from the 16th/17th- to the 19th/20th-centuries, 'one of those cases in which truth outdoes fiction in odd misadventures and coincidences'. Opening with an account of the origins of Joan Roet, whose grandfather was cut out of his father's will for marrying a penniless beauty, it continues on the theme of unjust punishment for doing the right thing, but ends happily with Joan's marriage to the man whom she had loved in her youth but had not accepted out of loyalty to someone else.
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