29 June 2005
BECKETT, Samuel (1906-1989). Whoroscope. Paris: The Hours Press, 1930.
8o. Printed portion from original wrap-around slip tipped onto front wrapper. Original printed red wrappers, stapled as issued (some very light fading near edges, very small marinal dampstain on front cover); quarter morocco folding case with onlaid cloth and leather Celtic design).
FIRST EDITION OF BECKETT'S FIRST BOOK, LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, NUMBER 247 OF 100 SIGNED BY BECKETT. Whoroscope--Beckett's first separately-published work--was awarded the £10 prize for the best poem on Time in a competition organised by Nancy Cunard's The Hours Press; as Beckett recollected in a letter to Cunard, "Whoroscope was indeed entered for your competition and the prize of I think 1000 francs. I knew nothing about it till afternoon of last day of entry, wrote first half before dinner, had a guzzle of salad and Chambertin at the Cochon de Lait, went back to the Ecole and finished it about three in the morning. Then I walked down to the Rue Guénégaud [the office of The Hours Press] and put it in your box. That's how it was and them were the days" (Lake, Eichhorn and Leach No Symbols Where None Intended [Austin, 1984], 8). Davis, Bryer, Friedman and Hoy Beckett A1; Federman and Fletcher Beckett 5; Published in Paris p.411.
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