BENNETT, Arnold (1867-1931). Anna of the Five Towns. London: Chatto and Windus, 1902.
8° (189 x 118mm). Advertisement on verso of half-title, title printed in red and black, advertisement leaves at end dated March 1902. (Some light browning to preliminary leaves including title). Original blue pictorial cloth, the upper board blocked with landscape design in white and yellow, top edge gilt (spine faded). Red morocco-backed slipcase. Provenance: presentation copy to Dr. J. F. Farrar, front free endpaper inscribed, 'To J. F. F. collorator from E. A. B. 11/9/2' -- purchased from Parke-Bernet sale, 10 December 1941, lot 42, $22. Exhibited: The Grolier Club.
A FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION, inscribed by Bennett to his friend and physician, Dr John F. Farrar. Although published after A Man from the North (1898), Anna was Bennett's first novel, written between 1896 and 1901, with much revision and two changes of title. Like subsequent 'Five Towns' novels, it chronicles the potteries of North Staffordshire -- Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent and Longton. Dr Farrar was a member of the 'muscial-evenings group' -- in December 1999 Bennett wrote to Thomas Lloyd Humberstone, 'I was up till 1.15 am playing duets with Dr. Farrar. We played four symphonies ... two odd movements, and the overture to the Meistersinger. You call this a good evening's work, don't you?' (Texas Ms. 85, from Hepburn, James, ed., Letters on Arnold Bennett, London: OUP, 1968.) Emery 2.